Reincarnation Question.

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Reincarnation Question.

Postby p3rfect » Thu Apr 29, 2010 9:03 am

In Buddhsim do you have an infinite number of reincarnations?

Did Buddha have an infinite number of reincarnations?

Source?
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Re: Reincarnation Question.

Postby cooran » Thu Apr 29, 2010 9:11 am

p3rfect wrote:In Buddhsim do you have an infinite number of reincarnations?

Did Buddha have an infinite number of reincarnations?

Source?


Hello p3rfect,

It may be worthwhile for you to read this first, and then see what your questions and terminology are.

Rebirth - Bhikkhu Bodhi
The question of human destiny after death is probably one of the most critical questions we can raise. Nowadays it has become fashionable to dismiss this question as unimportant. But if we reflect on the extent to which our views influence our action we will see that it is quite essential to gain some understanding of the complete context in which our lives unfold. Moreover our views on the afterlife will determine what we regard as important in this present life.
Three positions of human destiny after death
There are three possible positions that can be taken on human destiny after death. One position, the outlook of materialism. It simply denies that there is an afterlife. It holds that the human being consists of organic matter. It regards mind as a byproduct of organic matter, and after death, with the break up of the physical body, all consciousness comes to an end and the life process is completely extinguished.
The second alternative is the view held in Western theistic religions such as Judaism, Christianity and Islam in their orthodox forms. They believe in an eternal afterlife. According to these religions, we live a single life on earth and after death we live eternally in some state of existence determined by our present beliefs and conduct.
Then there is a third view, a view which prevails in the religions of the East, Hinduism and Buddhism. This is the idea of rebirth. According to this, the present life is only a simple link in a chain of lives that extends back into the past and forward into the future. This chain of lives is called samsara.

And please click on the short following pages at the link below:

~Buddhism and Hinduism compared
~Rebirth without a "Transmigrating soul"
~What continues from one life to another?
~Preservation of identity illustrated
~Conception
~Teaching of dependent arising with specific reference to Rebirth
~Craving the Seamstress
~What is it that causes rebirth in a particular form
~Is rebirth scientifically acceptable?

http://www.beyondthenet.net/dhamma/rebirth.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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Re: Reincarnation Question.

Postby PeterB » Thu Apr 29, 2010 9:13 am

It depends what you mean by reincarnation p3rfect. The literal meaning of reincarnation suggests that that something "takes flesh "..most Buddhists do not use the term.
The Buddhist term is Purnabhava which means " again becoming.."
Many Buddhists take this literally. Some do not.
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Re: Reincarnation Question.

Postby p3rfect » Thu Apr 29, 2010 9:16 am

My bad.

Question still though.

You can have several re-births to eliminate the negative energy.

Is there an infinite number of rebirths or a limit number?
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Re: Reincarnation Question.

Postby Goofaholix » Thu Apr 29, 2010 9:24 am

p3rfect wrote:My bad.

Question still though.

You can have several re-births to eliminate the negative energy.

Is there an infinite number of rebirths or a limit number?


I think you'll find they are uncountable or unknown, not infinite.
"Proper effort is not the effort to make something particular happen. It is the effort to be aware and awake each moment." - Ajahn Chah
"When we see beyond self, we no longer cling to happiness. When we stop clinging, we can begin to be happy." - Ajahn Chah
"Know and watch your heart. It’s pure but emotions come to colour it." — Ajahn Chah
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Re: Reincarnation Question.

Postby p3rfect » Thu Apr 29, 2010 9:33 am

Goofaholix wrote:I think you'll find they are uncountable or unknown, not infinite.


There is only two outcomes though.

Either it is infinite or it is finite. If it is finite why isn't there a number stated?
Isn't it unfair to only have a finite number of re-births?
How come we only get a finite number of re-births?

Curious.
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Re: Reincarnation Question.

Postby cooran » Thu Apr 29, 2010 9:37 am

Please learn some basic buddhism.

We are not trying to have more rebirths ~ we have had uncountable rebecomings while wandering on and on ~ we are trying to stop rebecoming.

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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Re: Reincarnation Question.

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Apr 29, 2010 10:05 am

Greetings,

SN 15.3: Assu Sutta
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

At Savatthi. There the Blessed One said: "From an inconstruable beginning comes transmigration. A beginning point is not evident, though beings hindered by ignorance and fettered by craving are transmigrating & wandering on. What do you think, monks: Which is greater, the tears you have shed while transmigrating & wandering this long, long time — crying & weeping from being joined with what is displeasing, being separated from what is pleasing — or the water in the four great oceans?"

"As we understand the Dhamma taught to us by the Blessed One, this is the greater: the tears we have shed while transmigrating & wandering this long, long time — crying & weeping from being joined with what is displeasing, being separated from what is pleasing — not the water in the four great oceans."

"Excellent, monks. Excellent. It is excellent that you thus understand the Dhamma taught by me.

"This is the greater: the tears you have shed while transmigrating & wandering this long, long time — crying & weeping from being joined with what is displeasing, being separated from what is pleasing — not the water in the four great oceans.

"Long have you (repeatedly) experienced the death of a mother. The tears you have shed over the death of a mother while transmigrating & wandering this long, long time — crying & weeping from being joined with what is displeasing, being separated from what is pleasing — are greater than the water in the four great oceans.

"Long have you (repeatedly) experienced the death of a father... the death of a brother... the death of a sister... the death of a son... the death of a daughter... loss with regard to relatives... loss with regard to wealth... loss with regard to disease. The tears you have shed over loss with regard to disease while transmigrating & wandering this long, long time — crying & weeping from being joined with what is displeasing, being separated from what is pleasing — are greater than the water in the four great oceans.

"Why is that? From an inconstruable beginning comes transmigration. A beginning point is not evident, though beings hindered by ignorance and fettered by craving are transmigrating & wandering on. Long have you thus experienced stress, experienced pain, experienced loss, swelling the cemeteries — enough to become disenchanted with all fabricated things, enough to become dispassionate, enough to be released."


Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Reincarnation Question.

Postby acinteyyo » Thu Apr 29, 2010 10:08 am

p3rfect wrote:My bad.
Question still though.
You can have several re-births to eliminate the negative energy.
Is there an infinite number of rebirths or a limit number?

p3rfect wrote:There is only two outcomes though.
Either it is infinite or it is finite. If it is finite why isn't there a number stated?
Isn't it unfair to only have a finite number of re-births?
How come we only get a finite number of re-births?

Hi,

this is nonsense. Your questions are inappropriate. They lead to more confusion and suffering and aren't conducive to end suffering. There is no negative energy which could be eliminated through further birth.
As long as there is craving there will be clinging. With clinging as condition, there is becoming, with becoming as condition there is birth. With the cessation of craving, there is the cessation of birth. This is when it all ends.
You should heed coorans advice and make yourself familiar with buddhist basics.
cooran wrote:Please learn some basic buddhism.
We are not trying to have more rebirths ~ we have had uncountable rebecomings while wandering on and on ~ we are trying to stop rebecoming.
with metta
Chris

best wishes, acinteyyo
Pubbe cāhaṃ bhikkhave, etarahi ca dukkhañceva paññāpemi, dukkhassa ca nirodhaṃ. (M.22)
Api cāhaṃ, āvuso, imasmiṃyeva byāmamatte kaḷevare, sasaññimhi samanake lokañca paññāpemi lokasamudayañca lokanirodhañca lokanirodhagāminiñca paṭipadan. (AN4.45)

:anjali:
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Re: Reincarnation Question.

Postby Modus.Ponens » Thu Apr 29, 2010 12:55 pm

cooran wrote:Please learn some basic buddhism.

We are not trying to have more rebirths ~ we have had uncountable rebecomings while wandering on and on ~ we are trying to stop rebecoming.

with metta
Chris


That's why he's here, to learn the basics of buddhism. One is not expected to know some basic buddhism to be able to post on a buddhism forum.
And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Behold now, bhikkhus, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to vanish. Strive with earnestness!"
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Re: Reincarnation Question.

Postby p3rfect » Thu Apr 29, 2010 1:15 pm

cooran wrote:Please learn some basic buddhism.

We are not trying to have more rebirths ~ we have had uncountable rebecomings while wandering on and on ~ we are trying to stop rebecoming.

with metta
Chris



I didn't say you were trying to have more re-births. I was saying there can only be two outcomes here. That it is either infinite or finite. If it is infinite then it cannot stop. If it is finite then what is that set number? Why is it limited? Isn't it unfair for it to be limited? How is this limited count determined?

Modus.Ponens wrote:That's why he's here, to learn the basics of buddhism. One is not expected to know some basic buddhism to be able to post on a buddhism forum.


Exactly.
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Re: Reincarnation Question.

Postby Dhammabodhi » Thu Apr 29, 2010 3:15 pm

Hello p3rfect,

There are many kinds of infinities, countable, uncountable, in fact there is a whole continuum of infinities, an infinity of infinities if u will. The mathematician and logician George Cantor who gave a theory that make these infinities "tractable", became crazy in his later life, allegedly due to his work with infinities.

Now to come to your point, the statement
If it is infinite then it cannot stop.
is not completely correct.

That "Birth and Rebirth can stop in the future" does not imply, logically, that you've had only a finite number of births/rebirths in all. This is what the Buddha and people here are trying to convey, that past lives are/have been incalculable but the whole point of Buddhism is to stop "re-becoming" (Punabbhava). This is achieved when one reaches the state of Nibbana:

Dwelling alone, secluded, heedful, ardent, & resolute, he in no long time reached & remained in the supreme goal of the holy life for which clansmen rightly go forth from home into homelessness, knowing & realizing it for himself in the here & now. He knew: "Birth is ended, the holy life fulfilled, the task done. There is nothing further for the sake of this world."


I hope this was helpful,
Metta :anjali:
Dhammabodhi
-Samāhitam cittam yathābhutam pajānāti.

समाहितं चित्तं यथाभूतं पजानाती |

A concentrated mind sees things as they really are.

-Ujuko nāma so maggo, abhayā nāma sā disā.

उजुको नाम सो माग्गो, अभया नाम सा दिसा |

'Straight' is this path, fearlessness is its way.
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Re: Reincarnation Question.

Postby p3rfect » Thu Apr 29, 2010 4:04 pm

Dhammabodhi wrote:] is not completely correct.

That "Birth and Rebirth can stop in the future" does not imply, logically, that you've had only a finite number of births/rebirths in all. This is what the Buddha and people here are trying to convey, that past lives are/have been incalculable but the whole point of Buddhism is to stop "re-becoming" (Punabbhava). This is achieved when one reaches the state of Nibbana:


I understand what you're saying and thank you for your responce, but............


Infinite: Something that is limitless, endless, boundless, goes on forever.

Finite: The opposite of Infinite. Something that is limited, a set number or formula, having definite or Definable limits. Has an end.


Now, if we have a infinite amount of re-birth's to eliminate negative energy to reach Nirvana. It means that the re-births do not end. It cannot end, that is infinite. If it ends it is not infinite thus such re-births cannot be so.


Now, if re-births are Finite; something we can quantify into saying that it is finite. In order for something to be FINITE we would have to be able to DEFINE it as such. Can you give me a reference that says re-births are limited?
Also, if re-births are limited it means there is a definable set periameter in which we can show that says it is limited. Such as a NUMBER!

Whether it depends on the person to finish there re-births this still applies to whether it is infinite re-births or finite re-births.
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Re: Reincarnation Question.

Postby Mawkish1983 » Thu Apr 29, 2010 4:18 pm

There is no 'first birth' but there is the potential for a 'last birth' in this very lifetime. Infinite births, uncountable in number, with the possibility of a glorious end.

Also, your definition of infinite isn't strictly correct. As has been already stated, 'infinity' isn't a number, and there are different types of use of the word.

By all means, drive yourself insane thinking about it, you wouldn't be the first. Or, practice the Dhamma in the hope of making this your final birth.
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Re: Reincarnation Question.

Postby p3rfect » Thu Apr 29, 2010 4:24 pm

Mawkish1983 wrote:There is no 'first birth' but there is the potential for a 'last birth' in this very lifetime. Infinite births, uncountable in number, with the possibility of a glorious end.

Also, your definition of infinite isn't strictly correct. As has been already stated, 'infinity' isn't a number, and there are different types of use of the word.

By all means, drive yourself insane thinking about it, you wouldn't be the first. Or, practice the Dhamma in the hope of making this your final birth.


"Infinite births, uncountable in number, with the possibility of a glorious end."

If it is infinite then it would have no end.

I did not say in the definition of Infinite that it is a number, but pertaining to this discussion containing re-births it can be defined in this specific discussion as such.


So you admit that it seems to be a form of a paradox here?
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Re: Reincarnation Question.

Postby Mawkish1983 » Thu Apr 29, 2010 4:26 pm

No paradox. Your definition is wrong.
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Re: Reincarnation Question.

Postby BubbaBuddhist » Thu Apr 29, 2010 4:39 pm

Ah, Moderators...examine the motives of the questioner closely please to see if there is perhaps an under-the-bridge origination. Many thanks.

An answer has been given: Rebirth ends upon Realization of Nibbana. That is the set point; the Limit. The number varies depending on the individual. Since no Beginning point can be determined, because no beginning point of sentience itself can be determined -- Buddha described the beginning point as lost in beginingless time-- there is no place to begin the tally.

However, upon Realization, an individual can supposedly make a survey of all of his/her past existences so if he / she decides to do so, this Realized being could determine a specific number. Though why he/ she would want to is specious.

Hope this helps,

J
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Re: Reincarnation Question.

Postby Dhammabodhi » Thu Apr 29, 2010 4:40 pm

Hello p3rfect,

Thank you for the definitions that you are assuming. I'd like to say some things about them.


Infinite: Something that is limitless, endless, boundless, goes on forever.


This definition seems incomplete to me in many ways and incompatible to what I am trying to convey.

First of all, this is only a non-rigourous idea of infinity. That something infinite need not have any bounds is a false assumption. Mathematics and Physics abound with examples of "infinite objects" in a bounded, limited space.

Second, since you use the term "goes on forever", you are implicitly bringing in the concept of time, which a definition of infinity should be independent of.

Third, Even if we do take in time into consideration, we still have a problem, and this is what I was trying to explain in my last post. I apologise in advance if I'm being too mathematical, but talking about infinities is dangerous without help from mathematics, since many things appear that may be counter-intuitive. Time is a linear concept for us, and this linearity is shown as past, present and future. So one can model time as a real number. You only consider subsets which are of the form (1,4) (all real numbers from 1 to 4) etc. or of the form (-infinity, +infinity). What about the sets (-infinity, 3) or (-infinity,20000) ? Are these latter sets finite or infinite? Clearly, they are still infinite, but bounded above. I hope you get the point.


Finite: The opposite of Infinite. Something that is limited, a set number or formula, having definite or Definable limits. Has an end.


The above explanation should suffice to show that this definition is also incomplete and non-rigorous.

Finally,
Now, if we have a infinite amount of re-birth's to eliminate negative energy to reach Nirvana...


There is no such concept in Buddhism. So the hypothesis is invalid in this forum, although we did indulge ourselves in crazy talk. :rolleye: I suggest you read some introductory books on Buddhism, there are many around, e.g. What the Buddha taught, by Ven. W. Rahula.

Metta (compassion), :anjali:
Dhammabodhi
-Samāhitam cittam yathābhutam pajānāti.

समाहितं चित्तं यथाभूतं पजानाती |

A concentrated mind sees things as they really are.

-Ujuko nāma so maggo, abhayā nāma sā disā.

उजुको नाम सो माग्गो, अभया नाम सा दिसा |

'Straight' is this path, fearlessness is its way.
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Re: Reincarnation Question.

Postby BubbaBuddhist » Thu Apr 29, 2010 4:46 pm

Mawk is correct; paradoxes cannot exist in reality; nor do they exist in the teachings of the Buddha. They DO exist in language, in verbal games and in our own confusion. :lol:

J
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Re: Reincarnation Question.

Postby p3rfect » Thu Apr 29, 2010 4:50 pm

Bubbabuddhist wrote:Ah, Moderators...examine the motives of the questioner closely please to see if there is perhaps an under-the-bridge origination. Many thanks.

An answer has been given: Rebirth ends upon Realization of Nibbana. That is the set point; the Limit. The number varies depending on the individual. Since no Beginning point can be determined, because no beginning point of sentience itself can be determined -- Buddha described the beginning point as lost in beginingless time-- there is no place to begin the tally.

However, upon Realization, an individual can supposedly make a survey of all of his/her past existences so if he / she decides to do so, this Realized being could determine a specific number. Though why he/ she would want to is specious.

Hope this helps,

J


The number various depending on the person, yes, because when they finish they have a set number of re-births.

The entire point is since re-births are not infinite they have to finite and if they are finite what is that set limiter that we cannot pass?

Bubbabuddhist wrote:Mawk is correct; paradoxes cannot exist in reality; nor do they exist in the teachings of the Buddha. They DO exist in language, in verbal games and in our own confusion. :lol:

J


You believe paradox's don't exist in reality, but that doesn't so. You are no more right then an individual who believes paradox's exist.

Dhammabodhi wrote:This definition seems incomplete to me in many ways and incompatible to what I am trying to convey.

First of all, this is only a non-rigourous idea of infinity. That something infinite need not have any bounds is a false assumption. Mathematics and Physics abound with examples of "infinite objects" in a bounded, limited space.

Second, since you use the term "goes on forever", you are implicitly bringing in the concept of time, which a definition of infinity should be independent of.

Third, Even if we do take in time into consideration, we still have a problem, and this is what I was trying to explain in my last post. I apologise in advance if I'm being too mathematical, but talking about infinities is dangerous without help from mathematics, since many things appear that may be counter-intuitive. Time is a linear concept for us, and this linearity is shown as past, present and future. So one can model time as a real number. You only consider subsets which are of the form (1,4) (all real numbers from 1 to 4) etc. or of the form (-infinity, +infinity). What about the sets (-infinity, 3) or (-infinity,20000) ? Are these latter sets finite or infinite? Clearly, they are still infinite, but bounded above. I hope you get the point.


Finite: The opposite of Infinite. Something that is limited, a set number or formula, having definite or Definable limits. Has an end.


The above explanation should suffice to show that this definition is also incomplete and non-rigorous.


I used the english dictionary to give people the definition.
You are focusing on a singular word within the definition, when you use definitions who take all the words into account and understanding the definition for that word as a whole.

Infinite or finite. Only to options when it comes to re-birth.

Infinite doesn't work so it's finite. Thus whet is the limiter?
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