the great rebirth debate

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
Raitanator
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Raitanator » Tue Jan 01, 2013 12:11 pm


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Aloka
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Aloka » Tue Jan 01, 2013 12:29 pm

I've mentioned this talk by Ajahn Amaro about kamma somewhere else - but its definately worth listening to, if anyone is willing to listen to what a Theravada abbot has to say :

"Who's pulling the strings"


alan...
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby alan... » Wed Jan 02, 2013 11:09 pm

to those who maintain or suggest that the buddha was using skillful means and that rebirth is not real: how does this fit in with his teaching that arahants cannot say anything that is not true?

i suppose if you think he was lying for skillful means then maybe that was a lie too? he was lying when he said arahants cannot lie? if this is the case then we really have no idea what he was telling the truth about and what was skillful means, right?

wouldn't it be much more reasonable to assume he never said anything that is not true as opposed to making blind assumptions that he lied sometimes but also taught at all times that lying is not something enlightened ones do... but that that could be another lie? once we make the buddha into someone who lies, simply so that we may explain a part of the dhamma that is not totally understood, it severely affects literally everything else in the dhamma.

i understand other debates on rebirth but this one just seems absurd. i appreciate ideas like:

"perhaps rebirth was added by others, not the buddha."

i would even appreciate something off the wall like:

"the buddha was enlightened and taught how to reach nibbana which is mental freedom. nibbana is real. rebirth is not real but he didn't know that because he was tripping out when he saw his past lives due to starvation and a sudden uptake of carbohydrates and protien causing such and such chemicals in his brain, blah blah blah, hallucinations of past lives. however after the hallucination subsided he was still able to maintain his mental freedom and teach others to reach the same state but never learned that the past lives was just a bad trip."

or even a total wash like:

"the whole thing is made up. it's all a big joke."

all of those are more plausible than the skillful means thing.

so don't get me wrong. i don't think the debate is a bad thing, it's a very valid idea to discuss. i just don't understand how anyone could possibly consider this "skillful means" idea with any seriousness. not to mention the whole skillful means thing is a mahayana idea and i don't believe it exists in the pali canon. it's a lotus sutra thing and surely other places but i think it's long after theravada closed their canon. "skillful means: do whatever you want as long as it leads to nibbbana." come on, that attitude is so far from anything in the pali canon it's nuts.

i don't get it.

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daverupa
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby daverupa » Wed Jan 02, 2013 11:36 pm

Last edited by daverupa on Thu Jan 03, 2013 12:07 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Aloka
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Aloka » Wed Jan 02, 2013 11:49 pm


alan...
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby alan... » Thu Jan 03, 2013 1:47 am

Last edited by alan... on Thu Jan 03, 2013 1:56 am, edited 1 time in total.

alan...
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby alan... » Thu Jan 03, 2013 1:54 am


Raitanator
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Raitanator » Thu Jan 03, 2013 2:29 am


Papashaw
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Papashaw » Thu Jan 03, 2013 6:38 am

One question I will toss in and I wonder is, the Buddha states the beings residing in hell number in the grains of dirt on earth if compared to the beings on earth who number in a few grains. Similar analogies are used for animals who number in blades of grass and ghosts who number in the pieces of sand.

So by definition almost 99% of all sentient beings are hellbeings with the other 1% being humans, devas, other creatures, etc. The most common state of the ENTIRE phenomena of conscious existence is pure torture with very little chance of any parole
(turtle in the ocean analogy, so somewhere in 1 in 10^99999.....kalpas/eons or trillion years).

Some nightmarish fuel indeed.
What anyone say to this theory?

(Not hypothesis or fact, remember biology class ok? a theory based on the Buddhas recorded word if every he says is to be true and understood as one understands a instructor.)

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cooran
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby cooran » Thu Jan 03, 2013 6:45 am

Hello Papashaw,

Could you give a link to where the Buddha says this please?

This might help:
The Simile of the One-eyed Turtle
In the Bālapandita Sutta — the Discourse on the Foolish and the Wise — (Majjhimanikāya, Sutta 129) the Buddha describes the suffering of the animal kingdom, giving the Simile of the One-eyed Turtle to illustrate just how difficult it is to regain human rebirth, once one is reborn in the animal realm.
“O monks, I will give you a simile. A man makes a hole in a log and sets it adrift in the ocean. When the wind comes from the east the log drifts westwards. When the wind blows from the west, it drifts eastward. Similarly, north winds push it to the south, and south winds push it to the north. In the ocean is a one-eyed turtle that surfaces only once every hundred years. Is it possible that the one-eyed turtle would put its head up through the hole in the log?”
The monks replied that normally it would be impossible, but in the infinite duration of samsāra a chance might occur. Yet it would be very difficult for the one-eyed turtle to meet up with the drifting log. Then the Buddha explained.
“Monks this rare chance, this freak occurrence is possible, but for a bad man who is reborn as an animal or in hell to become a human being again is rarer and more difficult.”
Human status is exceedingly rare. Once this rare chance is gone, one finds the greatest difficulty to be reborn again as a human being. Why? In the lower realms no opportunities exist for the performance of wholesome deeds. So, lacking good conduct, a being in the lower realms has to suffer for countless world cycles. Those reborn in the animal kingdom have to struggle for existence, preying upon each other. Animals do mostly harmful deeds with their low intelligence — the strong persecuting the weak. So there is little chance for them to be reborn in the human world. The lowest probability exists for them to upgrade themselves.
For a one-eyed turtle wandering in the ocean to encounter the hole in the log is possible only if the log never rots, and only if the turtle lives for billions of years. Yet a much smaller chance exists for a being in the lower realms to achieve human status again, for very few wholesome kammas are possible in the lower realms. This is explained in the commentary. In the four lower realms of existence a sentient being knows nothing of the value of almsgiving, keeping moral precepts, or practising meditation. Lower beings who find themselves lacking wholesome kamma are further hampered by the lack of opportunities to do good. Observe the daily behaviour of dogs, cats, sheep, birds, fish, and other animals. Their moral sense is very limited, so they have little chance to do good. They usually do only unwholesome deeds.

http://www.aimwell.org/Books/Pesala/Pre ... cious.html

wtih 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: the great rebirth debate

Postby alan... » Thu Jan 03, 2013 6:50 am


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Aloka
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Aloka » Thu Jan 03, 2013 8:57 am


alan...
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby alan... » Thu Jan 03, 2013 4:33 pm


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Sambojjhanga
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Sambojjhanga » Thu Jan 03, 2013 5:38 pm

The flavor of the dhamma exceeds all other flavors

Papashaw
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Papashaw » Thu Jan 03, 2013 6:05 pm


alan...
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby alan... » Thu Jan 03, 2013 8:42 pm


Papashaw
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Papashaw » Thu Jan 03, 2013 9:51 pm

Last edited by Papashaw on Fri Jan 04, 2013 2:11 am, edited 1 time in total.

alan...
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby alan... » Thu Jan 03, 2013 11:09 pm


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ancientbuddhism
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby ancientbuddhism » Sun Jan 06, 2013 8:09 pm

I say, beware of all enterprises that require new clothes, and not rather a new wearer of clothes.” – Henry David Thoreau, Walden, 1854

Secure your own mask before assisting others. – NORTHWEST AIRLINES (Pre-Flight Instruction)


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Alex123
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Alex123 » Sun Jan 06, 2013 8:28 pm

"Life is a struggle. Life will throw curveballs at you, it will humble you, it will attempt to break you down. And just when you think things are starting to look up, life will smack you back down with ruthless indifference..."


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