Reincarnation implied by the suttas?

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Reincarnation implied by the suttas?

Postby Individual » Thu Feb 26, 2009 8:11 pm

In SN 76 (division 1, book 1, chapter 8), there is a question:

(Mettanet's translation)
What decays, what does not decay and what is the wrong path?


(Bhikkhu Bodhi's translation)
What decays, what does not decay? What is declared the deviant path?


The answer is stated:

(Mettanet's translation)
Matter of beings decay.
Name and clan does not.
Lust is the wrong path and greed is the danger.


(Bhikkhu Bodhi's translation)
The physical form of mortals decays.
Their name and clan does not decay.
Lust is declared the deviant path.
Greed the impediment to [wholesome] states.

Does this not imply reincarnation, or at least swiftly refute those who would claim the Buddha did not teach rebirth? If not, then what exactly does this passage mean?
The best things in life aren't things.

The Diamond Sutra
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Re: Reincarnation implied by the suttas?

Postby David N. Snyder » Thu Feb 26, 2009 8:15 pm

Individual wrote:
or at least swiftly refute those who would claim the Buddha did not teach rebirth? If not, then what exactly does this passage mean?

That passage and about a thousand others refute those who say the Buddha did not teach rebirth.
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Re: Reincarnation implied by the suttas?

Postby Element » Fri Feb 27, 2009 4:07 am

Individual wrote:
Matter of beings decay.
Name and clan does not.
Lust is the wrong path and greed is the danger.

In the Anguttara Nikaya there is the simile of the Great Ocean.

Just as all rivers lose their names in the great ocean, similarly, all castes and clans lose their names when they join the Noble Sangha.

Maybe someone can quote the exact quote.

Thank you.
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Re: Reincarnation implied by the suttas?

Postby Individual » Fri Feb 27, 2009 4:35 am

Element wrote:
Individual wrote:
Matter of beings decay.
Name and clan does not.
Lust is the wrong path and greed is the danger.

In the Anguttara Nikaya there is the simile of the Great Ocean.

Just as all rivers lose their names in the great ocean, similarly, all castes and clans lose their names when they join the Noble Sangha.

Maybe someone can quote the exact quote.

Thank you.

And yet, there is still Sariputta, Mahakassapa, Ananda, Angulimala, Anuruddha, and many others worth of mention.

So, in that case, it seems to be metaphorical (Mr. Ralf Mo!). :)
The best things in life aren't things.

The Diamond Sutra
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Re: Reincarnation implied by the suttas?

Postby Element » Fri Feb 27, 2009 11:30 am

Individual wrote:So, in that case, it seems to be metaphorical (Mr. Ralf Mo!). :)

Mr. Ralf Mo surpasses Mr. Slow Mo. :lol: 8-) :)
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Re: Reincarnation implied by the suttas?

Postby DarkDream » Sat Feb 28, 2009 11:41 pm

TheDhamma wrote:
Individual wrote:
or at least swiftly refute those who would claim the Buddha did not teach rebirth? If not, then what exactly does this passage mean?

That passage and about a thousand others refute those who say the Buddha did not teach rebirth.


Looking at the sample chapter from your book, "Buddhist Lists":

The Buddha’s teachings are highly scientific and compatible to the findings of modern science. This statement does not mean that we all need to put on white laboratory coats and perform experiments. The term science is used here to refer to logic, personal observation, and scientific method. . . . The teachings are completely experiential.


Just curious, how can you contend that the Buddha's teachings are "highly scientific" when I can not through "logic, personal observation, and scientific method" show that rebirth exists? You say that the teachings are "completely experiential." From my own personal experience, I can neither remember my past births nor do I recall from a previous death me somehow inhabiting another body.

It appears that you are saying that the Buddha did teach literal rebirth in the sense of life after death where there is some form of continuation. Maybe I am misunderstanding you, but it sounds like you are saying two incompatible things.

To say that "thousand others [passages] refute those who say the Buddha did not teach rebirth," seems to say that the Buddha did teach rebirth. Well, if he did teach a literal form of rebirth then by the criteria you specified (I doubt you wrote something you felt no conviction in) the teachings on the Buddha are not scientific or at the very least some parts of it are not.

Do you believe the "The 31 Planes of Existence" can have the scientific method applied to it to show that indeed there exists a heavenly realm filled with all sorts of celestial beings? Do you think via the scientific method can show the hell realms where beings are tortured?

Let me refer to an interesting passage from the Sutta Nipata that seems to talk about no rebirth (Sutta Nipata, Jara (Decay) Sutta)

"Seen and heard are those people whose particular names are mentioned; but only the name of a person remains when he has passed away."(808)
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Re: Reincarnation implied by the suttas?

Postby kc2dpt » Sun Mar 01, 2009 3:40 am

DarkDream wrote:Just curious, how can you contend that the Buddha's teachings are "highly scientific" when I can not through "logic, personal observation, and scientific method" show that rebirth exists?

Perhaps, like the scientist who first has to go to school and study for many years, then has to get funding, then has to build a giant super-collider, then has to hope the right conditions come together so he can finally see the sub-atomic particles he's been looking for... perhaps you just haven't put in the necessary time and energy.

You say that the teachings are "completely experiential." From my own personal experience, I can neither remember my past births nor do I recall from a previous death me somehow inhabiting another body.

I haven't seen bosons. So I guess they don't exist either. :shrug:

the teachings on the Buddha are not scientific or at the very least some parts of it are not.

"Scientific" doesn't mean you see what you want when you want with no work or effort or development. But spoiled kids don't want to work. They want everything handed to them. "I'll take up Buddhism when you can show me beyond any doubt that the Path works. Only then will I do the work." :rolleye:

How can you know that Right View, which includes the view of rebirth, is a necessary part of the Noble Eightfold Path leading to the complete cessation of suffering? How can you prove this? By taking up the Path and seeing for yourself. There is no other way.
- Peter

Be heedful and you will accomplish your goal.
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Re: Reincarnation implied by the suttas?

Postby clw_uk » Sun Mar 01, 2009 2:18 pm

How can you know that Right View, which includes the view of rebirth



Doesnt have to mean post mortem rebirth



Metta
“ 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: Reincarnation implied by the suttas?

Postby David N. Snyder » Sun Mar 01, 2009 6:00 pm

Peter wrote:Perhaps, like the scientist who first has to go to school and study for many years, then has to get funding, then has to build a giant super-collider, then has to hope the right conditions come together so he can finally see the sub-atomic particles he's been looking for... perhaps you just haven't put in the necessary time and energy.

Hi DarkDream,

I just now saw your post and see that Peter has already answered it very well. :thanks: Peter.

I mention in the book that the Path begins with Saddhā (Faith) and then proceeds with the experience of meditation, study, and further practice, which are experiential actions.

References to Anatta in the Tipitaka do not refute rebirth. I am sure that has been discussed in the many rebirth threads. I mostly avoid the rebirth threads, because they go round and around, like samsara.
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