the great rebirth debate

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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Element » Mon Jan 12, 2009 9:34 pm

In the First Noble Truth, Buddha taught from simple to more subtle. The subtle part was "in short, clinging to the five aggregates is dukkha". The dukkha is in the clinging. Regarding 'birth is dukkha', this simply means birth of a child is dukkha. For the mother it is dukkha and for the helpless child it is dukkha. However, if a mother & parents can practise non-attachment, birth, just like aging, sickness & death, will not be dukkha. Dukkha is attachment.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Element » Mon Jan 12, 2009 10:03 pm

Individual wrote:Both views are really equally deluded, but the second one is samma-ditthi with asavas (right view with effluents), since the first category denies the existence of the fruit of karma beyond this life, denying "this world and the next".

The view of no-rebirth accords with the supramundane dhamma of the Buddha, with the teachings of impermanence, conditionality & not-self. For example, Buddha taught extensively about the practise of contemplation of death. If one holds rebirth belief, this practise loses much of its efficacy. Impermanence is to be contemplated deeply & thoroughly, until dispassion arises.

Individual wrote:In this sense, both views are merely projections of a more deep-seated ignorance, self-view, choosing an arbitrary reference point for self, either the "body" of this life (which lays the basis for this consciousness), or the "luminous mind" which comes and goes, between lives.

The Buddha taught the body & all consciousness, whether gross and subtle, are impermanent. The above view by Individual is the view of nihilism. Individual is equating the five aggregates with 'self' and thus to be free of 'self', one must be free of the five aggregates. This view is denial. This view is one that does not want to face reality in meditation. This view is one that instead of confronting negative, harmful & lustful mental formations as real, denies these formations and the other aggregates through heedlessness, which they equate with non-attachment. Non-attachment is not heedlessness. We must be careful here.

Individual wrote:In accordance with dependent-origination, the mind and body are dependently co-arising, and to choose one reference point over another is irrelevant.

Dependent origination is about the dependent origination of suffering. It is not about the dependent origination of the mind and body. For example, when dependent origination states ignorance conditions fabricators and the fabricators condition consciousness and the mind-body, the meaning here is that the mind-body become affected by or imbued with ignorance. There is a body - for example, an erect penis - fabricated by ignorance to become erect. Once the penis was not erect. The penis dwelt in penis nirodha. However, then the penis becomes imbued with ignorance formations and the seach begins to find a sense object of penis gratification. Also, there is a mind - full of hindrances, primed for a sensual search - full of ignorance. The mind and body are not pure. The mind and body are not free from ignorance & defilement. So dependent origination is about the origination of an ignorant body-mind and not the body-mind per se.

Individual wrote:The Buddha's teaching on dependent-origination was pretty straightforward.

Buddha said:
"It's amazing, lord, it's astounding, how deep this dependent co-arising is, and how deep its appearance, and yet to me it seems as clear as clear can be."

"Don't say that, Ananda. Don't say that. Deep is this dependent co-arising, and deep its appearance. It's because of not understanding and not penetrating this Dhamma that this generation is like a tangled skein, a knotted ball of string, like matted rushes and reeds, and does not go beyond transmigration, beyond samsara, the planes of deprivation, woe and bad destinations
.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Element » Mon Jan 12, 2009 10:12 pm

Individual wrote:Both views are really equally deluded, but the second one is samma-ditthi with asavas (right view with effluents), since the first category denies the existence of the fruit of karma beyond this life, denying "this world and the next".

In Pali, the teaching is "there is this world and another world". The translation of "this world and the next world" is incorrect.

The "worlds" are the various realms of existence. For example, a human being that has an addiction dwells in the hungry ghost world.

"This world" is the world of "normality". In Pali, the word "sila" has is roots in the meaning of "normalcy". When sila is practised, human beings maintain their normalcy, their natural psychological integrity, rather than being born into other words, such as the hungry ghost world, animal world or even the hell world of extreme sufferings and despair.

Thus, Buddha taught "there is this world and another world". The other world is the place your parents taught you not to hang out in when your were a kid.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby clw_uk » Mon Jan 12, 2009 10:18 pm

In the First Noble Truth, Buddha taught from simple to more subtle. The subtle part was "in short, clinging to the five aggregates is dukkha". The dukkha is in the clinging. Regarding 'birth is dukkha', this simply means birth of a child is dukkha. For the mother it is dukkha and for the helpless child it is dukkha. However, if a mother & parents can practise non-attachment, birth, just like aging, sickness & death, will not be dukkha. Dukkha is attachment.



You are completely correct, but expanding on my previous post, he is describing a cycle, if rebirth is taking out then the whole of dependent origination, which can be reguarded as expounding further on the 2nd noble truth, falls apart. Dependent origination is a self perpetuating system (until liberation). If nothing carries on past death then death would be reguarded as its end not liberation.

Going back to another point on birth, yes in one sense birth is dukkha due to suffering involved in the birth process, but birth itself still needs craving behind it as all dukkha has craving behind it. Craving must have been there in past for dukkha to have arrisen in the first place, for the dukkha of birth to have arrisen

What about the infant, if you take out rebirth from previous life then the infant in effect has no attachment/craving that could correlate to the dukkha or rebirth for it is a new being into exsistence, but if birth is dukkha then it has to have craving behind it at the individual level, therefore birth wouldnt be included in the 1st noble truth if there was just one birth as it would be at odds with the 2nd truth, that dukkha arises due to an indivuals craving/attachment.

Just to note i dont have a firm belief in rebirth as i have not experienced anything as of yet to verify it i just have confidence and i also accept that my reasoning may be at fault.

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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Individual » Mon Jan 12, 2009 10:44 pm

Element wrote:The view of no-rebirth accords with the supramundane dhamma of the Buddha, with the teachings of impermanence, conditionality & not-self.

It might seem that way because of attachment, but there is no mundane right view which "accords" with noble right view in particular, including nihilism. If it did, there would be no meaningful distinction between the two. Noble right view is "discernment," an idea rooted in a deeper psychology, and therefore transcendental, and the understanding of this renders it unnecessary to attach certain "views" to this discernment. Indeed, anything that is attached to discernment (literal rebirth, no-rebirth, etc.) will eventually be swept away. It is problematic to say that the "supramundane" dhamma of the Buddha is a direct contradiction of the mundane dhamma. But rather, the mundane dhamma is derived from the supramundane. How is it, though, that one derives "rebirth" from "no-rebirth"? And yet, with discernment, discernment and only discernment, it is clear and there is no confusion.

Element wrote:For example, Buddha taught extensively about the practise of contemplation of death. If one holds rebirth belief, this practise loses much of its efficacy.

Only if the person regards consciousness as permanent and self. It isn't. I think a good analogy is the T-1000 (the liquid-metal robot) from Terminator 2. This analogy works rather well when you consider that scientists mostly believe that conscious life arose out of a kind of "primordial soup". Like the liquid metal of the T-1000, the illusion of permanent material existence with relation to self can be likened to water or dust (the Buddha used the metaphors foam, bubble, etc., to describe the aggregates). So, if you take a sledgehammer to someone's skull, there will be a broken skull, blood everywhere, mashed brain, and the rest of the body, too, will rot away... And during this whole process, there is no "consciousness", for its basis has been destroyed. And yet, in some peculiar way, because subtle ignorance remains, then like the T-1000, the primordial soup oozes back together, in accordance with kamma, in a way that lays the basis for the next life. And in the next life, almost everything that the person attained in the previous life (material possessions, even gross mental possessions like knowledge and experiences) will be gone, but the luminous mind which is the foundation for becoming remains. This isn't a lie, Element. The Buddha wasn't a liar, teaching lies to laypeople and truths to his bhikkhus (truths which he told laypeople was a wrong view -- annihilationism). This is is the way things actually work.

Element wrote:
Individual wrote:In this sense, both views are merely projections of a more deep-seated ignorance, self-view, choosing an arbitrary reference point for self, either the "body" of this life (which lays the basis for this consciousness), or the "luminous mind" which comes and goes, between lives.

The Buddha taught the body & all consciousness, whether gross and subtle, are impermanent. The above view by Individual is the view of nihilism. Individual is equating the five aggregates with 'self' and thus to be free of 'self', one must be free of the five aggregates. This view is denial. This view is one that does not want to face reality in meditation. This view is one that instead of confronting negative, harmful & lustful mental formations as real, denies these formations and the other aggregates through heedlessness, which they equate with non-attachment. Non-attachment is not heedlessness. We must be careful here.

You are making false assumptions about what I'm saying and then going on and on in dismissing views I don't agree with. Of course nihilism is false. The five aggregates aren't the "self," but they are the manner in which self-view arises, so within subjective reality, it certainly might seem as though the aggregates are self.

Element wrote:
Individual wrote:In accordance with dependent-origination, the mind and body are dependently co-arising, and to choose one reference point over another is irrelevant.

Dependent origination is about the dependent origination of suffering. It is not about the dependent origination of the mind and body. For example, when dependent origination states ignorance conditions fabricators and the fabricators condition consciousness and the mind-body, the meaning here is that the mind-body become affected by or imbued with ignorance. There is a body - for example, an erect penis - fabricated by ignorance to become erect. Once the penis was not erect. The penis dwelt in penis nirodha. However, then the penis becomes imbued with ignorance formations and the seach begins to find a sense object of penis gratification. Also, there is a mind - full of hindrances, primed for a sensual search - full of ignorance. The mind and body are not pure. The mind and body are not free from ignorance & defilement. So dependent origination is about the origination of an ignorant body-mind and not the body-mind per se.

Suffering is manifest through mind-and-body, is it not? You said the 12 nidanas are nota bout mind and body... And then you used an analogy involving a body part.

Element wrote:
Individual wrote:The Buddha's teaching on dependent-origination was pretty straightforward.

Buddha said:
"It's amazing, lord, it's astounding, how deep this dependent co-arising is, and how deep its appearance, and yet to me it seems as clear as clear can be."

"Don't say that, Ananda. Don't say that. Deep is this dependent co-arising, and deep its appearance. It's because of not understanding and not penetrating this Dhamma that this generation is like a tangled skein, a knotted ball of string, like matted rushes and reeds, and does not go beyond transmigration, beyond samsara, the planes of deprivation, woe and bad destinations
.

When you're talking to me directly, Element, you are allowed to say "you", "your", etc.. Please, don't talk to me as a third-person... It's bad enough that you speak of yourself in the third-person. It's weird! :smile:
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Cittasanto » Mon Jan 12, 2009 10:49 pm

I am watching this post with some interest but nothing to add to this specifically to be a great contobution here but a recent line of posts have reminded me of something so I am starting a new post so please come and reply to this thread about conciet
viewtopic.php?f=16&t=214&start=0
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby stuka » Mon Jan 12, 2009 11:58 pm

clw_uk wrote:You are completely correct, but expanding on my previous post, he is describing a cycle, if rebirth is taking out then the whole of dependent origination, which can be reguarded as expounding further on the 2nd noble truth, falls apart. Dependent origination is a self perpetuating system (until liberation). If nothing carries on past death then death would be reguarded as its end not liberation.

Paticcasamuppada delineates how the influence of ignorance upon a person causes sufering (self-induced misery) to arise in response to one's environment. If "re-birth" is taken out ("Jati" means birth, BTW, not "re-birth"), then the only thing that falls apart is the errant assumption that paticcasamuppada describes the ins-and-outs of some reincarnation/"re-birth" process.

Going back to another point on birth, yes in one sense birth is dukkha due to suffering involved in the birth process, but birth itself still needs craving behind it as all dukkha has craving behind it. Craving must have been there in past for dukkha to have arrisen in the first place, for the dukkha of birth to have arrisen



This argument seems rather circular, and again based upon the previously-mentioned errant assumption. It is also based upon a false assumption that "physical birth, ageing and death" are the same sort of dukkha as the mental anguish that we bring upon ourselves through craving and attachment for sense pleasures, for perceived states or status and/or ownership, and ignorant views and assumptions about the world.


What about the infant, if you take out rebirth from previous life then the infant in effect has no attachment/craving that could correlate to the dukkha or rebirth for it is a new being into exsistence, but if birth is dukkha then it has to have craving behind it at the individual level, therefore birth wouldnt be included in the 1st noble truth if there was just one birth as it would be at odds with the 2nd truth, that dukkha arises due to an indivuals craving/attachment.



This dilemma is only a problem for one who assumes that the momentary discomfort of birth is the same as the self-induced misery that the Buddha addressed with his teachings of the Four Noble Truths. It is not.

Just to note i dont have a firm belief in rebirth as i have not experienced anything as of yet to verify it i just have confidence and i also accept that my reasoning may be at fault.


Really no need for a belief either way. Speculative views are irrelevant to the Buddha's Noble Teachings that address adn destroy suffering. :twothumbsup:
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Element » Tue Jan 13, 2009 1:12 am

Individual wrote:Noble right view is "discernment," an idea rooted in a deeper psychology, and therefore transcendental, and the understanding of this renders it unnecessary to attach certain "views" to this discernment. Indeed, anything that is attached to discernment (literal rebirth, no-rebirth, etc.) will eventually be swept away.

Indeed. In discernment, there is merely discernment of the psychological phenomena of suffering and its cessation. Thus, rebirth and no rebirth become irrelevant. However, holding to the review of rebirth will be a significant hindrance to discernment.

Individual wrote:It is problematic to say that the "supramundane" dhamma of the Buddha is a direct contradiction of the mundane dhamma. But rather, the mundane dhamma is derived from the supramundane. How is it, though, that one derives "rebirth" from "no-rebirth"? And yet, with discernment, discernment and only discernment, it is clear and there is no confusion.

It is not problematic. Buddha taught mundane right view leads to merit and supramundane leads to the end of the asava. The mundane is not derived from the supramundane because the mundane is about developing a better 'self' & avoiding 'self-harm' and the supramundane is about being free from 'self'. It is clear and unconfused.

Please, note: discernment is not having 'no views'.

Individual wrote:Only if the person regards consciousness as permanent and self.

True. Death and cessation can be used synonomously.

Individual wrote:And yet, in some peculiar way, because subtle ignorance remains, then like the T-1000, the primordial soup oozes back together, in accordance with kamma, in a way that lays the basis for the next life. And in the next life, almost everything that the person attained in the previous life (material possessions, even gross mental possessions like knowledge and experiences) will be gone, but the luminous mind which is the foundation for becoming remains. This isn't a lie, Element. The Buddha wasn't a liar, teaching lies to laypeople and truths to his bhikkhus (truths which he told laypeople was a wrong view -- annihilationism). This is is the way things actually work.

You need to quote the Buddha here Individual. The Buddha taught the luminous mind is free from defilement therefore it cannot form the basis of becoming in either this life or another life. The Buddha indeed was not a liar because he understood the deeper meaning of words (such as birth & death).

Individual wrote:You are making false assumptions about what I'm saying and then going on and on in dismissing views I don't agree with. Of course nihilism is false. The five aggregates aren't the "self," but they are the manner in which self-view arises, so within subjective reality, it certainly might seem as though the aggregates are self.

For one with discernment, the aggregates are the aggregates. The goal of satipatthana is to see the aggregrates as merely aggregates. It is within ignorant reality that the aggregates appear to be self.

Nihilism is two-fold: mundane and supramundane. Mundane nihilism is to believe there are no fruits of action. Supramundane nihilism is craving-not-to-be. Your definition of nihilism is one the Buddha did not use.
How, bhikkhus, do some overreach? Now some are troubled, ashamed and disgusted by this very same being and they rejoice in (the idea of) non-being, asserting: 'In as much as this self, good sirs, when the body perishes at death, is annihilated and destroyed and does not exist after death — this is peaceful, this is excellent, this is reality!' Thus, bhikkhus, do some overreach.

Held by Views


Individual wrote:Suffering is manifest through mind-and-body, is it not? You said the 12 nidanas are nota bout mind and body... And then you used an analogy involving a body part.

Suffering manifests due to ignorance, craving, attachment & birth of self-view. Suffering does not manifest due to the mind-body.

A penis becomes erect due to the ignorance within it rather due to the penis itself. The Buddha taught about two kinds of penis: penis samudhaya and penis nirodha. The samudhaya occurs due to ignorance & craving rather than the penis itself.

Individual wrote:When you're talking to me directly, Element, you are allowed to say "you", "your", etc.. Please, don't talk to me as a third-person... It's bad enough that you speak of yourself in the third-person. It's weird! :smile:

There is no person. As a Buddhist, you should be confortable with speech in first person, second person, third person and no person. Also, you are sounding 'over-sensitve'. Too much 'selfing'. You need to practice more. These posts are mere illusion.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Cittasanto » Tue Jan 13, 2009 7:56 am

Hi Element

Element wrote:In the First Noble Truth, Buddha taught from simple to more subtle. The subtle part was "in short, clinging to the five aggregates is dukkha". The dukkha is in the clinging. Regarding 'birth is dukkha', this simply means birth of a child is dukkha. For the mother it is dukkha and for the helpless child it is dukkha. However, if a mother & parents can practise non-attachment, birth, just like aging, sickness & death, will not be dukkha. Dukkha is attachment.


I would disagree here slightly

There is Dukkha, their is Anitta, there is Anatta, attachment to these is not Dhamma, understanding these is Dhamma
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
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"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Element » Tue Jan 13, 2009 9:11 am

Hi Manapa

I am not sure what you are saying however how I view it, the Buddha did not teach about the three characteristics in the First Noble Truth. The Buddha taught about the three characteristics in his second sermon.

For me, which is merely my interpretation, the Buddha listed in the First Noble Truth those experiences which are ordinarily taken to be suffering by ordinary people. Then the Buddha ended the First Noble Truth by stating real suffering is attachment or upadana. This was the truth or vision never heard before that he awakened to. It is not required for a Buddha to point out things like sickness, death & separation are dukkha. Unenlightened people understand this.

The word dukkha means 'difficult to bear'. For example, sickness is difficult to bear but it becomes real dukkha or suffering due to attachment.

That is how I interpret the First Noble Truth. Buddha said: "In short, attachment to the five aggregates is dukkha".

With metta,

Element
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Cittasanto » Tue Jan 13, 2009 11:33 am

Hi Element
Element wrote:Hi Manapa

I am not sure what you are saying however how I view it, the Buddha did not teach about the three characteristics in the First Noble Truth. The Buddha taught about the three characteristics in his second sermon.

For me, which is merely my interpretation, the Buddha listed in the First Noble Truth those experiences which are ordinarily taken to be suffering by ordinary people. Then the Buddha ended the First Noble Truth by stating real suffering is attachment or upadana. This was the truth or vision never heard before that he awakened to. It is not required for a Buddha to point out things like sickness, death & separation are dukkha. Unenlightened people understand this.


What of the other 3 Noble Truths he also awoke to?

SN 56.11 Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta Setting the Wheel of Dhamma in Motion Translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu wrote:"Vision arose, insight arose, discernment arose, knowledge arose, illumination arose within me with regard to things never heard before: 'This is the noble truth of stress'... 'This noble truth of stress is to be comprehended'... 'This noble truth of stress has been comprehended.'

"Vision arose, insight arose, discernment arose, knowledge arose, illumination arose within me with regard to things never heard before: 'This is the noble truth of the origination of stress'... 'This noble truth of the origination of stress is to be abandoned'... 'This noble truth of the origination of stress has been abandoned.'

"Vision arose, insight arose, discernment arose, knowledge arose, illumination arose within me with regard to things never heard before: 'This is the noble truth of the cessation of stress'... 'This noble truth of the cessation of stress is to be directly experienced'... 'This noble truth of the cessation of stress has been directly experienced.'

"Vision arose, insight arose, discernment arose, knowledge arose, illumination arose within me with regard to things never heard before: 'This is the noble truth of the way of practice leading to the cessation of stress'... 'This noble truth of the way of practice leading to the cessation of stress is to be developed'... 'This noble truth of the way of practice leading to the cessation of stress has been developed.'"

And, monks, as long as this — my three-round, twelve-permutation knowledge & vision concerning these four noble truths as they have come to be was — not pure, I did not claim to have directly awakened to the right self-awakening unexcelled in the cosmos with its deities, Maras, & Brahmas, with its contemplatives & priests, its royalty & commonfolk. But as soon as this — my three-round, twelve-permutation knowledge & vision concerning these four noble truths as they have come to be — was truly pure, then I did claim to have directly awakened to the right self-awakening unexcelled in the cosmos with its deities, Maras & Brahmas, with its contemplatives & priests, its royalty & commonfolk. Knowledge & vision arose in me: 'Unprovoked is my release. This is the last birth. There is now no further becoming.'"


well the 3-round could refer to the three teachings, the three refuges or the three characteristics of existence so as the first two came later I would say it definitely talks about Anitta, Anatta, and Dukkha, the clinging to them, and the removal of this clinging and the twelve could be dependant origination links?

Element wrote:The word dukkha means 'difficult to bear'. For example, sickness is difficult to bear but it becomes real dukkha or suffering due to attachment.

That is how I interpret the First Noble Truth. Buddha said: "In short, attachment to the five aggregates is dukkha".


The first Noble truth does not talk about the why it is Dukkha only that things are Dukkha so you are talking about the second noble truth

SN 56.11 Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta Setting the Wheel of Dhamma in Motion Translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu wrote:"Now this, monks, is the noble truth of stress:1 Birth is stressful, aging is stressful, death is stressful; sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair are stressful; association with the unbeloved is stressful, separation from the loved is stressful, not getting what is wanted is stressful. In short, the five clinging-aggregates are stressful.

"And this, monks, is the noble truth of the origination of stress: the craving that makes for further becoming — accompanied by passion & delight, relishing now here & now there — i.e., craving for sensual pleasure, craving for becoming, craving for non-becoming.

"And this, monks, is the noble truth of the cessation of stress: the remainderless fading & cessation, renunciation, relinquishment, release, & letting go of that very craving.

"And this, monks, is the noble truth of the way of practice leading to the cessation of stress: precisely this Noble Eightfold Path — right view, right resolve, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration.


this is my interpretation of them
1. There is Dukkha
2. Dukkha originates with Attachment
3. Dukkha Ends
4. The way to permanently end Dukkha is the full development of the 8-fold path.
or as I said "There is Dukkha, their is Anitta, there is Anatta, attachment to these is not Dhamma, understanding these is Dhamma"
if it is not Dhamma it is not the Buddhas Path
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
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Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby clw_uk » Tue Jan 13, 2009 5:17 pm

This whole debate has made me think that my reading and understanding of the buddhas teachings may have been flawed, i may have been looking over things so i decided to return to the pali canon to see if it does indeed say anything about literal rebirth.

Some quotes i found are

majjhima nikya - mahasihanada sutta
"sariputa, there are certain recluses and brahmins whose doctrine and view is this "Purification comes about through the round of rebirths" .But it is not easy to find a realm in the round that i have not already passed through in this long journey, except for the gods of pure abodes; and had i passed through the round of as a god in the pure abodes, i would never have returned to this world"

" nikya - alagaddupama sutta
"And how is the bikkhu one whose trench has been filled in? Here the bikkhu has abdndoned the round of rebirths that brings renewal of being, has cut it off at the root...so that it is no longer subject to future arising."

Digha Nikya - mahasatipatthana sutta
"And what monks is the noble truth of the origin of suffering? It is craving which gives rise to rebirth bound up with pleasure and lust, finding fresh delight now here, now there: that is to say sensual craving, craving for exsistence and craving for non-existence"

Majjhima Nikya - apannaka sutta
Because there actually is the next world, the view of one who thinks, 'There is no next world' is his wrong view. Because there actually is the next world, when he is resolved that 'There is no next world,' that is his wrong resolve. Because there actually is the next world, when he speaks the statement, 'There is no next world,' that is his wrong speech. Because there actually is the next world, when he is says that 'There is no next world,' he makes himself an opponent to those arahants who know the next world. Because there actually is the next world, when he persuades another that 'There is no next world,' that is persuasion in what is not true Dhamma. And in that persuasion in what is not true Dhamma, he exalts himself and disparages others. Whatever good habituation he previously had is abandoned, while bad habituation is manifested. And this wrong view, wrong resolve, wrong speech, opposition to the arahants, persuasion in what is not true Dhamma, exaltation of self, & disparagement of others: These many evil, unskillful activities come into play, in dependence on wrong view."


This does seem to suggest that the budda did teach rebirth as literal, however i am open to other suggestions on interpretations :smile:
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Placid-pool » Tue Jan 13, 2009 5:19 pm

Yes, I think I am beginning to get it.

(Now there is a first - Bear understands something in less than a decade!)

So this differs very much from the pagan concept of reincarnation in that there is no possibility of previous life memories. Hmm, interesting - and would explain why so many people who claim to have been incarnated n times don't appear to have learned diddly doo from any of them.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby clw_uk » Tue Jan 13, 2009 5:23 pm

Placid-pool wrote:Yes, I think I am beginning to get it.

(Now there is a first - Bear understands something in less than a decade!)

So this differs very much from the pagan concept of reincarnation in that there is no possibility of previous life memories. Hmm, interesting - and would explain why so many people who claim to have been incarnated n times don't appear to have learned diddly doo from any of them.



There is possibilty of previous life memories if you are able to attain a high level of meditative attainment then you can recal them, or so its said
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Placid-pool » Tue Jan 13, 2009 5:26 pm

Oh believe me - the people I was talking about would not have attained anything but a very high level BS factor. :rofl:
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby stuka » Tue Jan 13, 2009 6:16 pm

clw_uk wrote:This whole debate has made me think that my reading and understanding of the buddhas teachings may have been flawed, i may have been looking over things so i decided to return to the pali canon to see if it does indeed say anything about literal rebirth.

Some quotes i found are

majjhima nikya - mahasihanada sutta
"sariputa, there are certain recluses and brahmins whose doctrine and view is this "Purification comes about through the round of rebirths" .But it is not easy to find a realm in the round that i have not already passed through in this long journey, except for the gods of pure abodes; and had i passed through the round of as a god in the pure abodes, i would never have returned to this world"

" nikya - alagaddupama sutta
"And how is the bikkhu one whose trench has been filled in? Here the bikkhu has abdndoned the round of rebirths that brings renewal of being, has cut it off at the root...so that it is no longer subject to future arising."

Digha Nikya - mahasatipatthana sutta
"And what monks is the noble truth of the origin of suffering? It is craving which gives rise to rebirth bound up with pleasure and lust, finding fresh delight now here, now there: that is to say sensual craving, craving for exsistence and craving for non-existence"

Majjhima Nikya - apannaka sutta
Because there actually is the next world, the view of one who thinks, 'There is no next world' is his wrong view. Because there actually is the next world, when he is resolved that 'There is no next world,' that is his wrong resolve. Because there actually is the next world, when he speaks the statement, 'There is no next world,' that is his wrong speech. Because there actually is the next world, when he is says that 'There is no next world,' he makes himself an opponent to those arahants who know the next world. Because there actually is the next world, when he persuades another that 'There is no next world,' that is persuasion in what is not true Dhamma. And in that persuasion in what is not true Dhamma, he exalts himself and disparages others. Whatever good habituation he previously had is abandoned, while bad habituation is manifested. And this wrong view, wrong resolve, wrong speech, opposition to the arahants, persuasion in what is not true Dhamma, exaltation of self, & disparagement of others: These many evil, unskillful activities come into play, in dependence on wrong view."


This does seem to suggest that the budda did teach rebirth as literal, however i am open to other suggestions on interpretations :smile:



A lot of this depends on how things are translated. many translations of "samsara", for example, are deliberately spun to reflect belief in "rebirth", as in "the round of rebirths" you see above. "Renewal of being" is a change in self-view. I "become" a "new person", in my view. The Buddha saw and pointed out the folly of this sort of chasing after perceived states of ownership and status, and showed by teaching and example how to get off such a merry-go-round.

Also, Jati in Pali means "birth", with the same connotations that it carries in English, including "birth" of nations, "birth" of ideas, and "birth" of self-view, which is what the Buddha was addressing in his teaching of Dependent Co-Arising. Folks who translate "Jati" as "rebirth" are pushing an agenda.

Also, as Element has pointed out elsewhere, the Pali is "There is this world, there is another world". When we become angry and turn on our fellows, we are "born" in the "animal world", the "animal realm".
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby stuka » Tue Jan 13, 2009 6:17 pm

Placid-pool wrote:Oh believe me - the people I was talking about would not have attained anything but a very high level BS factor. :rofl:


I see a high BS factor in Buddhists who drone on about past lives, as well.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby clw_uk » Tue Jan 13, 2009 6:30 pm

If rebirth is removed from the teachings as literal then doesnt kamma become reduced to a Cārvāka understanding/doctrine as not all results from action will be able to be brought to fruitaion in one existence?
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby stuka » Tue Jan 13, 2009 6:39 pm

clw_uk wrote:If rebirth is removed from the teachings as literal then doesnt kamma become reduced to a Cārvāka understanding/doctrine as not all results from action will be able to be brought to fruitaion in one existence?


If so, that would only be a problem for one who is attached to such speculative/superstitious views.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby clw_uk » Tue Jan 13, 2009 6:44 pm

If so, that would only be a problem for one who is attached to such speculative/superstitious views.[/quote]


Could you elaborate
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