The Danger of Rebirth

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The Danger of Rebirth

Postby clw_uk » Wed Feb 11, 2009 6:45 pm

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.

Those who argue for rebirth cite the re-linking consciousness argument. As stated in other posts there is no re-linking consciousness, look at the suttas the buddha never mentions anything like it, and neither is Dependent Origination a model for how rebirth happens. The argument that rebirth occurs can be true from a mundane level as the Buddha does say on many occasions that beings fare on after death according to their actions, however he never goes into detail about how this happens only that it will but as stated this is a mundane teaching and does not lead to nibbana as it is an eternalist teaching which the buddha did teach to the lay.


The Buddhas message was the ending of becoming of the sense of I and self, the ending of dukkha not about rebirth.

I have good intentions in starting this thread, im not writting this post to appear to know it all and you obviously dont have to agree with me but i felt i should start this thread because I personally feel that the view of Rebirth is greatly holding back a lot of buddhist from seeing the true Dhamma.

Any comments would be appreciated.

:namaste:
“ Your mind is likewise blocked. But the right road awaits you still. Cast out your doubts, your fears and your desires, let go of grief and of hope as well, for where these rule , then the mind is their subject." Boetius
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Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Feb 11, 2009 7:14 pm

Greetings clw_uk,
clw_uk wrote: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. ...

In my opinion your conclusion is based on selective reading of the Suttas, as has been pointed out repeatedly.

Furthermore, since no-one here, as far as I can tell, has developed supramundane right view it would be extremely dangerous to one's chance of liberation to disregard "mundane right view" and abandon the raft mid-stream.

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Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Postby Prasadachitta » Wed Feb 11, 2009 7:18 pm

I personally feel that the view of Rebirth is greatly holding back a lot of buddhist from seeing the true Dhamma.


In my opinion the view of rebirth only holds ones practice back in as much as any conceptual view does. The right view which arises from Insight into the nature of what is real is not contained by any conceptual view. In my opinion a being who is well established in Insight does not hold to conceptual view's. While a view is conducive to purification she uses it as an operative principle all the while she knows perfectly well that the truth of what is real will never be captured by concepts.

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Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Postby clw_uk » Wed Feb 11, 2009 7:24 pm

You can only gain supermundane right view by practising it

I have read the suttas and there is no denying that rebirth is right view, but still mistaken

And what is right view? Right view, I tell you, is of two sorts: There is right view with effluents, siding with merit, resulting in acquisitions; and there is noble right view, without effluents, transcendent, a factor of the path

And what is the right view that has effluents, sides with merit, & results in acquisitions? 'There is what is given, what is offered, what is sacrificed. There are fruits & results of good & bad actions. There is this world & the next world. There is mother & father. There are spontaneously reborn beings; there are priests & contemplatives who, faring rightly & practicing rightly, proclaim this world & the next after having directly known & realized it for themselves.' This is the right view that has effluents, sides with merit, & results in acquisitions

And what is the right view that is without effluents, transcendent, a factor of the path? The discernment, the faculty of discernment, the strength of discernment, analysis of qualities as a factor of Awakening, the path factor of right view in one developing the noble path whose mind is noble, whose mind is free from effluents, who is fully pos­sessed of the noble path. This is the right view that is without effluents, transcendent, a factor of the path.



Right view in the true sense does away with rebirth, there is no you to be reborn, there is no rebirth, to hold it will only hold someone back.

If anyone can produce a sutta that states rebirth is central, and not called right view with effulents then please show me

:namaste:
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Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Postby Prasadachitta » Wed Feb 11, 2009 7:41 pm

clw_uk wrote:Right view in the true sense does away with rebirth, there is no you to be reborn, there is no rebirth, to hold it will only hold someone back.


There is nothing in the Sutta you quote which indicates that there is no you to be reborn and there is no rebirth. It is simply stating that practicing out of concern for your own well being and that of your extended community does not lead to liberation. It takes direct insight into the true nature of what is real in order for our practice to liberate beings.
Metta

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Last edited by Prasadachitta on Wed Feb 11, 2009 7:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Feb 11, 2009 7:45 pm

clw_uk wrote:You can only gain supermundane right view by practising it

Well, I think that's a complete misunderstanding.

Good luck!

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Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Postby clw_uk » Wed Feb 11, 2009 7:46 pm

gabrielbranbury wrote:
clw_uk wrote:Right view in the true sense does away with rebirth, there is no you to be reborn, there is no rebirth, to hold it will only hold someone back.


There is nothing in the Sutta you quote which indicates that there is no you to be reborn and there is no rebirth. It is simply stating that practicing out of concern for your own well being does not lead to liberation. It takes direct insight into the true nature of what is real in order to practice in this way.

Metta

Gabriel



And what is the right view that is without effluents, transcendent, a factor of the path? The discernment, the faculty of discernment, the strength of discernment, analysis of qualities as a factor of Awakening, the path factor of right view in one developing the noble path whose mind is noble, whose mind is free from effluents, who is fully pos­sessed of the noble path. This is the right view that is without effluents, transcendent, a factor of the path.




First of all right view of rebirth is view with effulents as stated earlier.

And what is the right view that is without effluents
So it is without rebirth view

analysis of qualities as a factor of Awakening


This i take as Anicca, Anatta and dukkha, there can be no rebirth because of anatta, there is no "I" to be reborn.

whose mind is free from effluents


What is an effluent? One is to hold rebirth. To be without effluent is to not hold rebirth.

This is the right view that is without effluents, transcendent, a factor of the path


In order to awaken there is no effluents, no view of rebirth.

Metta
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Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Postby clw_uk » Wed Feb 11, 2009 7:47 pm

Mikenz66, in order to awaken one needs to leave mundane right view, see the error and danger in it and transcend to the higher dhamma.

:namaste:
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Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Postby cooran » Wed Feb 11, 2009 7:52 pm

Hello clw_uk,

Of course there is no you - Anatta is the basic teaching of the Buddha without which none of the other teachings stand.
BUT - the Buddha also taught that this "flux of latent tendencies and kammic accumulations" (me and you)rebecomes in another form and place after the death of the current one. What is so controversial about that? No medals for pointing out the obvious. All Traditions teach that the individuals' identity does not continue. However, you can't start at the conclusion of the Path - you start at the beginning with Generosity and Morality and go forward from there. We have all just learned to read in Primary School - no point is us quoting text books from University and implying we understand completely. Wisdom (panna) is not intellectual parroting of a definition, it is "seeing things as they really are". We are so-o-o far from that, even having wandered in Sa.msara since beginningless time.


metta
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Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Postby clw_uk » Wed Feb 11, 2009 7:56 pm

Chris wrote:Hello clw_uk,

Of course there is no you - Anatta is the basic teaching of the Buddha without which none of the other teachings stand.
BUT - the Buddha also taught that this "flux of latent tendencies and kammic accumulations" (me and you)rebecomes in another form and place after the death of the current one. What is so controversial about that? No medals for pointing out the obvious. All Traditions teach that the individuals' identity does not continue. However, you can't start at the conclusion of the Path - you start at the beginning with Generosity and Morality and go forward from there. We have all just learned to read in Primary School - no point is us quoting text books from University and implying we understand completely. Wisdom (panna) is not intellectual parroting of a definition, it is "seeing things as they really are". We are so-o-o far from that, even having wandered in Sa.msara since beginningless time.


metta
Chris



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. As you said

the Buddha also taught that this "flux of latent tendencies and kammic accumulations" (me and you)rebecomes in another form and place after the death of the current one.


notice you said "rebecomes" this is eternalism, to become again, anatta states there is no comming again.

Samsara is the spining of the mind, it is not the physical world

Yes one should start with mundane, as i did, but the problem is most buddhists dont make distinction between mundane and higher dhamma anymore.
They get stuck in mundane, claim it as the core of buddhism and dont reach nibbana
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Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Feb 11, 2009 8:01 pm

clw_uk wrote:Mikenz66, in order to awaken one needs to leave mundane right view, see the error and danger in it and transcend to the higher dhamma.

I completely agree. You keep arguing with straw men...

Where we disagree is in how this awakening is achieved.

Perhaps it is possible to awaken by just insisting on a particular view (as you seem to be doing). But in my view, to awaken requires development of the eight-fold path and the transcendence of views.

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Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Postby clw_uk » Wed Feb 11, 2009 8:06 pm

Perhaps it is possible to awaken by just insisting on a particular view (as you seem to be doing). But in my view, to awaken requires development of the eight-fold path and the transcendence of views.



One must hold certain view in order to awaken to set one in the right direction, i agree that there needs to be development in training. I didnt just pick a view and went with that, i myself started with rebirth view, ive never had a problem with it until my practice progressed to see the error in it through insight and contemplation . My point is that many buddhists take the rebirth view with them so to speak, they dont realise it was mundane and abandon it and this is a great hindrance.
Last edited by clw_uk on Wed Feb 11, 2009 8:09 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Postby mountain » Wed Feb 11, 2009 8:07 pm

I think it is helpful to understand that Shakyamuni came into a world where there were many systems that had at their core transmigation. For his teaching to survive independently it was nesscessary to distance it from the the pre-buddhistic brahmanical body of teachings. These teachings are called the 62 heretical teachings.
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Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Postby cooran » Wed Feb 11, 2009 8:10 pm

notice you said "rebecomes" this is eternalism, to become again, anatta states there is no comming again.


No Self or identity comes again. Read what I wrote. Kammic accumulations and habitual reactions continue, until cessation. This is the teaching of the Buddha. Anatta is Basic Buddhism 101.

anattā - 'not-self', non-ego, egolessness, impersonality,

is the last of the three characteristics of existence (ti-lakkhana, q.v.) The anattā doctrine teaches that neither within the bodily and mental phenomena of existence, nor outside of them, can be found anything that in the ultimate sense could be regarded as a self-existing real ego-entity, soul or any other abiding substance.

This is the central doctrine of Buddhism, without understanding which a real knowledge of Buddhism is altogether impossible. It is the only really specific Buddhist doctrine, with which the entire Structure of the Buddhist teaching stands or falls. All the remaining Buddhist doctrines may, more or less, be found in other philosophic systems and religions, but the anattā-doctrine has been clearly and unreservedly taught only by the Buddha, wherefore the Buddha is known as the anattā-vādi, or 'Teacher of Impersonality'.

Whosoever has not penetrated this impersonality of all existence, and does not comprehend that in reality there exists only this continually self-consuming process of arising and passing bodily and mental phenomena, and that there is no separate ego-entity within or without this process, he will not be able to understand Buddhism, i.e. the teaching of the 4 Noble Truths (sacca, q.v.), in the right light. He will think that it is his ego, his personality, that experiences suffering, his personality that performs good and evil actions and will be reborn according to these actions, his personality that will enter into Nibbāna, his personality that walks on the Eightfold Path. Thus it is said in Vis.M. XVI:

"Mere suffering exists, no sufferer is found;
The deeds are, but no doer of the deeds is there;
Nibbāna is, but not the man that enters it;
The path is, but no traveler on it is seen."

"Whosoever is not clear with regard to the conditionally arisen phenomena, and does not comprehend that all the actions are conditioned through ignorance, etc., he thinks that it is an ego that understands or does not understand, that acts or causes to act, that comes to existence at rebirth .... that has the sense-impression, that feels, desires, becomes attached, continues and at rebirth again enters a new existence" (Vis.M. XVII. 117).

While in the case of the first two characteristics it is stated that all formations (sabbe sankhārā) are impermanent and subject to suffering, the corresponding text for the third characteristic states that "all things are not-self" (sabbe dhammā anattā; M. 35, Dhp. 279). This is for emphasizing that the false view of an abiding self or substance is neither applicable to any 'formation' or conditioned phenomenon, nor to Nibbāna, the Unconditioned Element (asankhatā dhātu).

The Anattā-lakkhana Sutta, the 'Discourse on the Characteristic of Not-self', was the second discourse after Enlightenment, preached by the Buddha to his first five disciples, who after hearing it attained to perfect Holiness (arahatta).

The contemplation of not-self (anattānupassanā) leads to the emptiness liberation (suññatā-vimokkha, s. vimokkha). Herein the faculty of wisdom (paññindriya) is outstanding, and one who attains in that way the path of Stream-entry is called a Dhamma-devotee (dhammānusāri; s. ariya-puggala); at the next two stages of sainthood he becomes a vision-attainer (ditthippatta); and at the highest stage, i.e. Holiness, he is called 'liberated by wisdom' (paññā-vimutta).
http://www.palikanon.com/english/wtb/a/anatta.htm

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Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Postby Prasadachitta » Wed Feb 11, 2009 8:14 pm

To Hold the view that there is no rebirth is just as likley to hold you back. This too is a function of outflows (asiva). It seems to me that right view without outflows is simply practicing without any view. The laksinas(anika, annata, dukkha) are pointers for looking into the way things really are. They are not intended to breed conceptual ideas of what is and is not ultimately real.

clw_uk wrote:
whose mind is free from effluents


What is an effluent? One is to hold rebirth. To be without effluent is to not hold rebirth.

This is the right view that is without effluents, transcendent, a factor of the path


In order to awaken there is no effluents, no view of rebirth.



By your line of thinking a person who holds that there are pleasant results which arise from skillful action and unpleasant results which arise from unskillful action is being held back by this view.

And what is the right view that has effluents, sides with merit, & results in acquisitions? 'There is what is given, what is offered, what is sacrificed. There are fruits & results of good & bad actions. There is this world & the next world. There is mother & father. There are spontaneously reborn beings; there are priests & contemplatives who, faring rightly & practicing rightly, proclaim this world & the next after having directly known & realized it for themselves.' This is the right view that has effluents, sides with merit, & results in acquisitions


I think you are very mistaken about what is the intended meaning of these passages.

Metta

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Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Postby clw_uk » Wed Feb 11, 2009 8:18 pm

"Mere suffering exists, no sufferer is found;
The deeds are, but no doer of the deeds is there;
Nibbāna is, but not the man that enters it;
The path is, but no traveler on it is seen."

"Whosoever is not clear with regard to the conditionally arisen phenomena, and does not comprehend that all the actions are conditioned through ignorance, etc., he thinks that it is an ego that understands or does not understand, that acts or causes to act, that comes to existence at rebirth .... that has the sense-impression, that feels, desires, becomes attached, continues and at rebirth again enters a new existence" (Vis.M. XVII. 117).


This is from the commentaries, i am only discussing the buddhas teachings as found in the canon, excluding the abhidhamma and comentries which were not taught by buddha.

Notice all forms of protecting rebirth stem from the wrong insights the commentaries put forward, remember dont believe something because it is scripture.


anattā - 'not-self', non-ego, egolessness, impersonality,

is the last of the three characteristics of existence (ti-lakkhana, q.v.) The anattā doctrine teaches that neither within the bodily and mental phenomena of existence, nor outside of them, can be found anything that in the ultimate sense could be regarded as a self-existing real ego-entity, soul or any other abiding substance.

This is the central doctrine of Buddhism, without understanding which a real knowledge of Buddhism is altogether impossible. It is the only really specific Buddhist doctrine, with which the entire Structure of the Buddhist teaching stands or falls. All the remaining Buddhist doctrines may, more or less, be found in other philosophic systems and religions, but the anattā-doctrine has been clearly and unreservedly taught only by the Buddha, wherefore the Buddha is known as the anattā-vādi, or 'Teacher of Impersonality'.


Yes this is anatta.


Kammic accumulations and habitual reactions continue, until cessation


This is mundane dhamma, taught to lay people, other wanderers and brahmins, his own higher dhamma did not include it

If you can provide a sutta that shows that it is taught as higher dhamma please show me, however do not show me commentaries which as i said are not buddhas teachings and not something from the abhidhamma which was a later addition.

:namaste:
Last edited by clw_uk on Wed Feb 11, 2009 9:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Postby clw_uk » Wed Feb 11, 2009 8:25 pm

gabriel


There are fruits & results of good & bad actions


This is mundane teaching for morality

There is mother & father


This is the same

Mundane doesnt lead to nibbana if held to

As i have said rebirth is and effluent, do you deny this?

To not have any effluents is to have supermundane right view is it not?

Therefore rebirth view is good but still needs to be abandoned.


By your line of thinking a person who holds that there are pleasant results which arise from skillful action and unpleasant results which arise from unskillful action is being held back by this view.



Not at first, but if this is all they hold to then yes. This is because it is a teaching grounded in morality and makes for future becoming not release.
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Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Postby clw_uk » Wed Feb 11, 2009 8:28 pm

The core of the buddhas teachings is in the supermundane dhamma

Rebirth is not supermundane dhamma

Rebirth is not central to the buddhas message, it leads to delight and craving

There is no Rebirth because there is no true "I" to be reborn.

Those who cling to rebirth cling to the mundane dhamma, they wont reach nibbana

o Hold the view that there is no rebirth is just as likley to hold you back


Supermundane doesnt include rebirth.
Last edited by clw_uk on Wed Feb 11, 2009 9:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Postby clw_uk » Wed Feb 11, 2009 8:57 pm

The point im trying to make is that mundane right view isnt wrong understanding of the buddhas teachings, only that it should be seen for what it is, a mundane teaching that one needs to eventualy let go of so one can realise the higher dhamma and be liberated.

The point is the buddha has stated rebirth is mundane view, it is not the central teachings and is something that needs to be done away with eventually. The buddha has stated that it is a view with effluents.

One who holds rebirth stays in the mundane, they hold that it is central and for this they are mistaken. To hold rebirth as central is to hold the mundane as central and is to cut one off from the higher dhamma and from nibbana.

I dont deny rebirth was taught, just that its meaning and centrality have been distorted through the centuries.
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Re: The Danger of Rebirth

Postby Prasadachitta » Wed Feb 11, 2009 9:15 pm

Not at first, but if this is all they hold to then yes. This is because it is a teaching grounded in morality and makes for future becoming not release.


I agree that practice is best when one is aware that all views are provisional contingent upon confirmation through direct knowledge. I know for example that when I have acted with the intention to create harmony and bring well being to others my experience virtually always is one which is more pleasant than painful. Now you would call this a statement of "mundane right view". I would just say that it is an observation which is as true as any else I might be able to declare.

Here is what I think the Buddha is getting at in the sutta you quoted. Sometimes I act with the intention I stated above more for the purpose of recreating the results which I have come to expect from earlier similar actions. Sometimes I act this way more out of a sense of ease and confidence without expectation. This second way of acting skillfully has more to do with faith in awakening and letting go than with my limited recollection of experience.

I think this can be true of people who default to rebirth as being real or people who don't. I think our views are much more fluid and fragile than what we usually declare them to be. I think that transcendent right view is when we see this so clearly that we just naturally defer to our confidence in the potential for liberation.

Metta

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