Rebirth: Where are all of the people coming from?

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Re: Rebirth: Where are all of the people coming from?

Postby Vossaga (Element) » Fri Mar 04, 2011 11:39 am

David N. Snyder wrote:That is a common mistake some make who are new to the idea of rebirth; that they must come from other humans. In fact the Buddha said that human birth is very rare. There are gazillions of other realms, there are the 31 planes of existence and within them there are other realms. Even the hell realms have beings that get reborn.

David's answer is certainly a reasonable answer. However, does it not somewhat put into question the matter of karmic inheritance? For example, have the animals & hell beings made some kind of merit to be reborn human. Similarly, have some of the gods been a little naughtly to fall to earth but not fall as far down as hell?

:smile:
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Re: Rebirth: Where are all of the people coming from?

Postby Aloka » Fri Mar 04, 2011 11:50 am

.

I recall one of my previous Vajrayana teachers declaring that sentient beings could reincarnate onto Earth from other planets . I was gladdened by this, because I often felt like an alien from the planet Zog. :)
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Re: Rebirth: Where are all of the people coming from?

Postby fabianfred » Fri Mar 04, 2011 1:32 pm

Vossaga wrote:
David N. Snyder wrote:That is a common mistake some make who are new to the idea of rebirth; that they must come from other humans. In fact the Buddha said that human birth is very rare. There are gazillions of other realms, there are the 31 planes of existence and within them there are other realms. Even the hell realms have beings that get reborn.

David's answer is certainly a reasonable answer. However, does it not somewhat put into question the matter of karmic inheritance? For example, have the animals & hell beings made some kind of merit to be reborn human. Similarly, have some of the gods been a little naughtly to fall to earth but not fall as far down as hell?

:smile:

since the past is seen as infinite we have all been accumulating both good and bad karma since beginningless time... we therefore have stores of both.
When a being takes rebirth in the animal realm it does so as a result of bad karma which will be used up over many lives and when it is fortunate it will regain human rebirth. This does not mean that all the bad karma is gone, just that which caused the rebirth in the animal realm and perhaps some bad karma created whilst there too.
The being in the heaven realm could still have much bad karma in store and awaiting its chance to bear fruit.
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Re: Rebirth: Where are all of the people coming from?

Postby meindzai » Fri Mar 04, 2011 3:22 pm

On the rarity of human rebirth....

When you consider all the possible beings in all the different realms of existence, [some very large number] and you consider the possibility of them being born into one particular realm, like the human realm [some significantly smaller number of beings] then indeed, rebirth from one of those realms to the human realm would be extremely rare.

Though I do think there is evidence (Canonical I mean, not anecdotal) that a human has a pretty good shot at being reborn in that same realm. Of course we know this is the fact in the case of anybody with any sort of attainment (stream entry or above). There are cases in the Canon of the Buddha himself recalling past human lives. The Buddha talks of the causes of people being born into fortunate or unfortunate (human) circumstances as a result of fortunate or unfortunate (human) past actions.

My reading of suttas such as the Kukkuravatika and the Sankhārupapatti Sutta tell me that we can directly influence our rebirth by our actions in this life, and that a lot of it has to do with ones state of mind - dog state of mind, ox state of mind, human state of mind.

So, rare in general, but perhaps not so rare for us who area already in the "human club." That's just my opinion based on my interpretation of the above.

Any "increase" we see here is a result of a combination of factors, of which kamma is only one.

As far as evidence collected from people recollecting this or that, I find it intriguing, but it doesn't do much to support rebirth. I could come up with a number of equally wildly speculative explanations about why a person would remember such a thing. I could also probably come up with some rather mundane theories.

As for the usefulness of pondering such a thing?

It can be a bit of a diversion. But it may help us understand the law of kamma a little better.

-M
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Re: Rebirth: Where are all of the people coming from?

Postby beeblebrox » Fri Mar 04, 2011 4:01 pm

I think a more interesting question is... where does all of these insects come from? :shock: There are 10 quintillion of them (10,000,000,000,000,000,000... or 1 billion, 10 billion times) according to this link.

Several enlightening studies have been conducted involving the numbers of individual insects in a given area. In North Carolina, soil samples to a depth of 5 inches yielded a calculation that there were approximately 124 million animals per acre, of which 90 million were mites, 28 million were springtails, and 4.5 million were other insects.


I think many people don't really comprehend the numbers. If there were 7 billion people on earth... and you're managing to liberate around 1,000 of them per day (you're a super-bodhisattva), or 365,000 per year... that means that it'll take you around 20,000 years to complete your task.

With the insects (you're now an insect bodhisattva)... you're managing to liberate around 100,000 per day (you're more experienced by now), or 36,500,000 per year... that means it'll take you around 280 billion years, before you get them all. 10 quintillion of them... everywhere.

:anjali:
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Re: Rebirth: Where are all of the people coming from?

Postby Kare » Fri Mar 04, 2011 5:23 pm

beeblebrox wrote:I think a more interesting question is... where does all of these insects come from? :shock: There are 10 quintillion of them (10,000,000,000,000,000,000... or 1 billion, 10 billion times) according to this link.

Several enlightening studies have been conducted involving the numbers of individual insects in a given area. In North Carolina, soil samples to a depth of 5 inches yielded a calculation that there were approximately 124 million animals per acre, of which 90 million were mites, 28 million were springtails, and 4.5 million were other insects.


I think many people don't really comprehend the numbers. If there were 7 billion people on earth... and you're managing to liberate around 1,000 of them per day (you're a super-bodhisattva), or 365,000 per year... that means that it'll take you around 20,000 years to complete your task.

With the insects (you're now an insect bodhisattva)... you're managing to liberate around 100,000 per day (you're more experienced by now), or 36,500,000 per year... that means it'll take you around 280 billion years, before you get them all. 10 quintillion of them... everywhere.

:anjali:


Hmmmm ... you really made me reconsider my plans for becoming an insect bodhisattva ... :rolleye:
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Re: Rebirth: Where are all of the people coming from?

Postby fabianfred » Fri Mar 04, 2011 10:15 pm

Not forgetting that insects do not remain insects nor humans humans. We are all simply 'beings' all struggling in Samsara.
One aspect of karma is the attraction principle. Creating karma with humans on this Earth is a cause for us to be reborn human unless we go to another realm. Not creating any karma with beings on Jupiter for example means there is no cause for us to take rebirth there.
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Re: Rebirth: Where are all of the people coming from?

Postby cooran » Fri Mar 04, 2011 10:26 pm

Hello all,

The people come from all the planes of existence.

The Buddha warned of the utter rarity of human birth in this sutta, and the need to practise and develp understanding:

Chiggala Sutta (The Hole) - Translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu

Monks, suppose that this great earth were totally covered with water, and a man were to toss a yoke with a single hole there. A wind from the east would push it west, a wind from the west would push it east. A wind from the north would push it south, a wind from the south would push it north. And suppose a blind sea-turtle were there. It would come to the surface once every one hundred years. Now what do you think: would that blind sea-turtle, coming to the surface once every one hundred years, stick his neck into the yoke with a single hole?

It would be a sheer coincidence, lord, that the blind sea-turtle, coming to the surface once every one hundred years, would stick his neck into the yoke with a single hole.

It's likewise a sheer coincidence that one obtains the human state. It's likewise a sheer coincidence that a Tathagata, worthy and rightly self-awakened, arises in the world. It's likewise a sheer coincidence that a doctrine & discipline expounded by a Tathagata appears in the world. Now, this human state has been obtained. A Tathagata, worthy and rightly self-awakened, has arisen in the world. A doctrine & discipline expounded by a Tathagata appears in the world.

Therefore your duty is the contemplation, 'This is stress... This is the origination of stress... This is the cessation of stress.' Your duty is the contemplation, 'This is the path of practice leading to the cessation of stress.
http://www.zhaxizhuoma.net/DHARMA/Tripi ... aSutta.htm

with metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---
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