The Danger of Rebirth

An open and inclusive investigation into Buddhism and spiritual cultivation

Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Postby PeterB » Mon Feb 15, 2010 11:42 am

How is :rofl: an appropriate response to Bhikkhu Pesala's post ? Do you have a canonical reference to refute it with ? Or does it simply not conform to your exisiting ideas ? Or is it just a delightful thought that had not occured to you, or what ?
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Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Postby Virgo » Mon Feb 15, 2010 2:31 pm

clw_uk wrote:Didnt feel this falls under the thread discussing if rebirth is literal or not as I wanted to discuss the danger of holding the view of rebirth in relation to nibbana.

Many Buddhists seem to mistake Rebirth as the central core of the Buddhas Dhamma. This hower is contary to the correct Right View which does not include the teaching of Rebirth,this is included in mundande right view, it is right view with Effulents.

The Buddha only taught rebirth to those who could not understand his higher teaching, or who were not yet ready. To those he thought would understand he taught that all things conditioned are Anatta, dukkha and Anicca, empty of a self and so there is no rebirth of anything. His true teaching was concerned with ridding oneself of self view so there is no more becoming and to quench the fires of greed hatred and delusion so there is no longer any Dukkha.

Since the Buddha did not teach rebirth as part of his higher dhamma it is dangerous to hold onto it if one wants to reach nibbana. The reason for this is because rebirth leads to a sense of self, "I will be reborn" or to a belief that something continues.

The name in fact itself is contary to the Buddhadhamma, RE-BORN implies that something comes again which is completely contradictory to Anatta. To hold that rebirth is central to the teachings is close to making Buddhism a form of Hinduism.

:namaste:

The idea that there is rebirth but that dhammas are anatta (without self) are seemingly contradictory, but in fact they are not contradictory. There is no individual that is reborn, just as there is no individual with an essential soul reading this now; there is only an ongoing process that takes things for self, in this life and in the next, never a self there though. Because this process is bound up with ignorance and craving rebirth occurs. Rebirth and becoming in fact happen every second on an individual level. The process of becoming is just carried out on a lager scale when the body perishes. To understand this you must understand Dependent Origination, which is the core teaching of the Buddha-- not rebirth or anatta. In a sense Dependent Origination is and explanation of both becoming (rebirth) and anatta, and shows how they work together. It is most important to understand.

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Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Postby Freawaru » Mon Feb 15, 2010 6:58 pm

PeterB wrote:How is :rofl: an appropriate response to Bhikkhu Pesala's post ? Or is it just a delightful thought that had not occured to you, or what ?


This one. And the response was not to Bhikkhu Pesala's post but to the story of the Buddha creating a double of himself to ask the right questions. I think it is amusing that the Buddha used this way of teaching those who don't know the right questions. I didn't expect it. My apology for the incomprehensible response. I did not mean any disrespect to Bhikkhu Pesala.
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Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Postby PeterB » Mon Feb 15, 2010 7:25 pm

I think there is a danger of all of us including me, thinking that emoticons are self explanatory, and they are not really, just as Tilt says.
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Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Postby meindzai » Mon Feb 15, 2010 10:05 pm

clw_uk wrote:
The Buddha only taught rebirth to those who could not understand his higher teaching, or who were not yet ready.



This would mean the Buddha spoke about something that isn't true, which he did not do.

[1] In the case of words that the Tathagata knows to be unfactual, untrue, unbeneficial (or: not connected with the goal), unendearing & disagreeable to others, he does not say them.

[2] In the case of words that the Tathagata knows to be factual, true, unbeneficial, unendearing & disagreeable to others, he does not say them.

[3] In the case of words that the Tathagata knows to be factual, true, beneficial, but unendearing & disagreeable to others, he has a sense of the proper time for saying them.

[4] In the case of words that the Tathagata knows to be unfactual, untrue, unbeneficial, but endearing & agreeable to others, he does not say them.

[5] In the case of words that the Tathagata knows to be factual, true, unbeneficial, but endearing & agreeable to others, he does not say them.

[6] In the case of words that the Tathagata knows to be factual, true, beneficial, and endearing & agreeable to others, he has a sense of the proper time for saying them. Why is that? Because the Tathagata has sympathy for living beings."


Note that there is no case where the Buddha would speak an untruth, for any reason.

-M
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Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Postby Annapurna » Tue Feb 16, 2010 2:05 pm

clw_uk wrote:

I agree with you chris, but the teaching that there is rebirth as i have stated was mundane, it does not lead to nibbana. Rebirth is an eternalist doctrine that the buddha teached to lay and brahmins.


1. Are you saying that the Buddha deliberately taught 2 different paths? One leading people away from Nibbana and one leading to Nibanna?

2. Wouldn't that be a cruel thing to do, to mislead a part of intelligent beings?

3. If you claim that :quote: laity is too silly to grasp the Dhamma, then you would also be too :quote: silly, since you're laity, or not?
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Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Postby Annapurna » Tue Feb 16, 2010 2:33 pm

clw_uk wrote:
I dont deny rebirth was taught, just that its meaning and centrality have been distorted through the centuries.


Sorry, clw-uk, but if that is so, we have nothing to rely on, much less than you what you asked for:

i am only discussing the buddhas teachings as found in the canon


How can you tell that the one piece you are basing your views on is not distorted?
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Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Postby PeterB » Tue Feb 16, 2010 2:49 pm

Those of you addressing clw uk do realise that you are quoting posts he made a year ago in Feb 2009 ? And that he hasnt visited the forum since early Jan ?
He may of course read your posts and answer. In the meantime if you are not aquainted with the teachings of Buddhadhassa Bhikkhu you might want to aquaint yourself with them, as that will give you a good insight into clw uk's position.
In my opinion the two outstanding Theravada teachers of recent years were Ajahn Chah and Buddhadhassa Bhikkhu, clw uk's views give a good glimpse of thre latters teachings.
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Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Postby Annapurna » Tue Feb 16, 2010 2:59 pm

I'm aware he posted a year ago. If he comes back to reply, fine, if not, also fine.

:geek:
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Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Postby meindzai » Tue Feb 16, 2010 3:05 pm

PeterB wrote:Those of you addressing clw uk do realise that you are quoting posts he made a year ago in Feb 2009 ? And that he hasnt visited the forum since early Jan ?
He may of course read your posts and answer. In the meantime if you are not aquainted with the teachings of Buddhadhassa Bhikkhu you might want to aquaint yourself with them, as that will give you a good insight into clw uk's position.
In my opinion the two outstanding Theravada teachers of recent years were Ajahn Chah and Buddhadhassa Bhikkhu, clw uk's views give a good glimpse of thre latters teachings.


Actually, I didn't realize at all. I saw the thread was active, and saw "Feb" but somehow not "2009!" I need to restrain myself from these damn threads!

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Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Postby PeterB » Tue Feb 16, 2010 3:24 pm

I guessed miendzi.. :smile: we all do it. I just had a mental image of you waiting for him to reply...which he still might of course.
I would urge if you havent, a read of some Buddhadasa Bhikkhu for a very different take on things.
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Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Postby Aloka » Tue Feb 16, 2010 5:42 pm

PeterB wrote:I would urge if you havent, a read of some Buddhadasa Bhikkhu for a very different take on things.




I'll second that, for sure !


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Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Postby nschauer » Wed Feb 17, 2010 3:39 am

Great discussion by all - learned lots from following this thread.
However, I'm still inclined to simply dismiss the idea of rebirth - much as I would the idea of Christ being resurrected.
The way I understand rebirth is how it happens in my own life. I was reborn from child to teenager, teenager to young man, young man to adult and now to old geezer. Furthermore, I am reborn each time I reawaken myself from delusion, aversion ect. I am reborn each time I awake to mindfulness. Thus the goal of not being reborn makes sense to me - because it will mean the end of delusion - becoming fully mindful.

Does this make sense?

Nate
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Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Postby ground » Wed Feb 17, 2010 5:10 am

nschauer wrote:The way I understand rebirth is how it happens in my own life. I was reborn from child to teenager, ...
Does this make sense?

Not really because your understanding of "re-birth" is based on your hypothetical understanding of "my own life".
It is valid because this is the ordinary approach: Understanding based on assumptions taken either as "given" or being "hidden". But neither logically does it make sense nor with regards to conventional language.

Kind regards
Last edited by ground on Wed Feb 17, 2010 5:33 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Postby ground » Wed Feb 17, 2010 5:18 am

clw_uk wrote:Didnt feel this falls under the thread discussing if rebirth is literal or not ...


Which is a discussion that does not make much sense, because the buddha neither did teach "literal rebirth" not did he teach "non-literal rebirth" but - if we rely that the translation corresponds - just taught "rebirth".
If we concede that the label and the concept implied by it never is identical with the phenomenon labelled (e.g. the word/concept "apple" not being identical with an apple which e.g. can be tasted) it simply makes no sense to ask "is it meant literal or not?" since literal necessarily refers to the label and the concept implied by it but not to the so labelled.
A: "Would you like an apple?"
B: "Do you mean a literal apple or a non-literal apple?"
A: "I meant ... ahm ... just an apple ..."
:rofl:

The Buddha seems to have forgotten to provide a clear-cut definition and a procedural description of the process he was referring to which would have restricted the interindivual imaginative variations of "rebirth" a little bit.
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Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Postby meindzai » Wed Feb 17, 2010 1:05 pm

nschauer wrote:Great discussion by all - learned lots from following this thread.
However, I'm still inclined to simply dismiss the idea of rebirth - much as I would the idea of Christ being resurrected.
The way I understand rebirth is how it happens in my own life. I was reborn from child to teenager, teenager to young man, young man to adult and now to old geezer. Furthermore, I am reborn each time I reawaken myself from delusion, aversion ect. I am reborn each time I awake to mindfulness. Thus the goal of not being reborn makes sense to me - because it will mean the end of delusion - becoming fully mindful.

Does this make sense?

Nate


That works for some people, but it's not what the Buddha taught. The phrase that shows up in the pali translates variously as "upon the dissolution of the body after death" or "upon the breakup of the body after death. Google search results here: http://www.google.com/search?source=ig& ... f&aqi=&oq=

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Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Postby chownah » Wed Feb 17, 2010 1:41 pm

Annapurna wrote:3. If you claim that :quote: laity is too silly to grasp the Dhamma, then you would also be too :quote: silly, since you're laity, or not?

I think that many members of the laity today are much more sophisticated in regards to world view than were the run of the mill laity in the Buddha's time.....the laity of today can mostly read and write and have access to a world of knowledge that even the most highly educated person of the Buddha's time could not even imagine......
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Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Postby meindzai » Wed Feb 17, 2010 3:08 pm

chownah wrote:
Annapurna wrote:3. If you claim that :quote: laity is too silly to grasp the Dhamma, then you would also be too :quote: silly, since you're laity, or not?

I think that many members of the laity today are much more sophisticated in regards to world view than were the run of the mill laity in the Buddha's time.....the laity of today can mostly read and write and have access to a world of knowledge that even the most highly educated person of the Buddha's time could not even imagine......
chownah


Knowledge which has only hindered us when it comes to awakening.

-M
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Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Wed Feb 17, 2010 4:34 pm

chownah wrote:the laity of today can mostly read and write and have access to a world of knowledge that even the most highly educated person of the Buddha's time could not even imagine......

Lots more views and opinions to get rid of, hence far fewer people are getting enlightened today than did in the Buddha's time.
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Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Postby Aloka » Wed Feb 17, 2010 9:38 pm

.

Regarding the topic title, please someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I was under the impression that the suttas say 'reappearance'' and 'birth' and not re -birth.



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