My personal opinion is that the Buddha talked about literal rebirth. It accords with my reading of the Suttas and Venerable Bodhi's 'A comprehensive manual of the Abhidhamma'.
However, I think the real issue is not so much whether rebirth exists or doesn't exist, is what is it that wanders on. And for me, this is the million dollar question. Not only understanding paticcasamuppada, understanding anatta, the process of becoming (and unbecoming) from an intellectual point, but developing naana, (insight/knowledge) with regards to the reality of rebirth and anatta directly through bhavana.
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road
Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725
(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •
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