What reincarnates?

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
maniture_85
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What reincarnates?

Post by maniture_85 »

About reincarnation, what is the entity that reincarnates in another being?
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Ceisiwr
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Re: What reincarnates?

Post by Ceisiwr »

There isn’t an entity. A better question would be what is the condition for birth?
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josaphatbarlaam
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Re: What reincarnates?

Post by josaphatbarlaam »

maniture_85 wrote: Wed Oct 20, 2021 5:11 pm About reincarnation, what is the entity that reincarnates in another being?
some forest tradition guys would say "citta." ("citta never dies.") probably most on here will say "nothing."
alicem
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Re: What reincarnates?

Post by alicem »

A sequence of consciousness (viññana sotam) which arise and dissipate each passing moment.
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mikenz66
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Re: What reincarnates?

Post by mikenz66 »

See MN38
...The Blessed One then asked him: “Sāti, is it true that the following pernicious view has arisen in you: ‘As I understand the Dhamma taught by the Blessed One, it is this same consciousness that runs and wanders through the round of rebirths, not another’?”

“Exactly so, venerable sir. As I understand the Dhamma taught by the Blessed One, it is this same consciousness that runs and wanders through the round of rebirths, not another.”

“What is that consciousness, Sāti?”

“Venerable sir, it is that which speaks and feels and experiences here and there the result of good and bad actions.”

“Misguided man, to whom have you ever known me to teach the Dhamma in that way? Misguided man, have I not stated in many ways consciousness to be dependently arisen, since without a condition there is no origination of consciousness? But you, misguided man, have misrepresented us by your wrong grasp and injured yourself and stored up much demerit; for this will lead to your harm and suffering for a long time.”
https://suttacentral.net/mn38/en/bodhi
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Mike
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retrofuturist
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Re: What reincarnates?

Post by retrofuturist »

Greeting Mike,

:goodpost:

If only people could have left it where The Buddha left it.

Metta,
Paul. :)
"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"Why now do you assume 'a being'? Mara, have you grasped a view?" (SN 5.10)

"Overcome the liar by truth." (Dhp 223)
dharmacorps
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Re: What reincarnates?

Post by dharmacorps »

The Buddha had a "not self" approach, not a "no self". Meaning self as a ultimate reality. There is an experience of self though, and that gets reborn, unless put to an end by practicing the dhamma.

The idea of "citta" as what is reborn, does make sense to me personally, and is in line with the dhamma, although others don't like it.
un8-
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Re: What reincarnates?

Post by un8- »

maniture_85 wrote: Wed Oct 20, 2021 5:11 pm About reincarnation, what is the entity that reincarnates in another being?
Ignorance.

It's not consciousness or anything else

You may say that ignorance is not a "thing", but consciousness is not a thing either, the only reason it arises is because of a body (sense organs), it is not the fuel.

Ignorance however is a fuel source, so it's more tangible than consciousness.

As long as a body with a brain is born, then there is ignorce and consciousness with it. An entity without ignorance cannot be born.
There is only one battle that could be won, and that is the battle against the 3 poisons. Any other battle is a guaranteed loss because you're going to die either way.
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Lucas Oliveira
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Re: What reincarnates?

Post by Lucas Oliveira »

Rebirth vs Reincarnation...
viewtopic.php?t=22741


:anjali:
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josaphatbarlaam
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Re: What reincarnates?

Post by josaphatbarlaam »

Lucas Oliveira wrote: Wed Oct 20, 2021 11:08 pm Rebirth vs Reincarnation...
viewtopic.php?t=22741


:anjali:
Surely everyone has moved on since 2015 from the silly claim that there is a meaningful distinction between these two words.
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SDC
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Re: What reincarnates?

Post by SDC »

retrofuturist wrote: Wed Oct 20, 2021 8:57 pm Greeting Mike,

:goodpost:

If only people could have left it where The Buddha left it.

Metta,
Paul. :)
:goodpost:
“By breaking the root of unknowing, it smashes the mechanism of deeds, and drops the thunderbolt of knowledge on the taking up of consciousnesses.” Thag 6.8
Cause_and_Effect
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Re: What reincarnates?

Post by Cause_and_Effect »

dharmacorps wrote: Wed Oct 20, 2021 9:43 pm The Buddha had a "not self" approach, not a "no self". Meaning self as a ultimate reality. There is an experience of self though, and that gets reborn, unless put to an end by practicing the dhamma.

I like the way you put it here.
The 'experience of self' is real.
There is a locus of individual experience .

Clearly my experience and my stream of lives and rebirths is separate from yours. So saying that they are both simply not-self and leaving it there is an inadequate way of addressing the question and not the way the Buddha was intending imo.

There is a distinction between the separate streams of rebecoming.
So even if there is no absolute individual Citta, there are individual streams of citta that can be distinguished from others. So there is some degree of 'the individual' at the level of streams of rebirth.


Your views can find support among the Puglavadins, one of the early Buddhists schools alongside Theravada. They were not a minor school but a major sect of early Buddhism for over a thousand years. There may be insights there on the issue missing from the orthodox Theravada interpretations which took a different angle on some key points and are worth examining.



https://cyberleninka.ru/article/n/the-c ... eption/pdf

http://www.ahandfulofleaves.org/documen ... u_1984.pdf
alicem
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Re: What reincarnates?

Post by alicem »

un8- wrote: Wed Oct 20, 2021 10:29 pm
maniture_85 wrote: Wed Oct 20, 2021 5:11 pm About reincarnation, what is the entity that reincarnates in another being?
Ignorance.

It's not consciousness or anything else

You may say that ignorance is not a "thing", but consciousness is not a thing either, the only reason it arises is because of a body (sense organs), it is not the fuel.

Ignorance however is a fuel source, so it's more tangible than consciousness.

As long as a body with a brain is born, then there is ignorce and consciousness with it. An entity without ignorance cannot be born.
There's consciousness in the arūpa-lokas even though there is no body and if only ignorance was reincarnated, then the bodhisatta would never be able to perfect the paramitas and attain Buddhahood.
pegembara
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Re: What reincarnates?

Post by pegembara »

maniture_85 wrote: Wed Oct 20, 2021 5:11 pm About reincarnation, what is the entity that reincarnates in another being?
Here is the answer- Anything that changes or alters isn't an entity. It is anatta -without self. The caterpillar doesn't "become" a butterfly. It is just another thing!
“If anyone says, ‘The mind is self,’ that is not tenable. The rise and fall of the mind are discerned, and since its rise and fall are discerned, it would follow: ‘My self rises and falls.’ That is why it is not tenable for anyone to say, ‘The mind is self.’ Thus the mind is not self.

“If anyone says, ‘Mind-objects are self,’…‘Mind-consciousness is self,’…‘Mind-contact is self,’…‘Feeling is self,’… … ‘Craving is self’…That is why it is not tenable for anyone to say, ‘Craving is self.’ Thus the mind is not self, mind-objects are not self, mind-consciousness is not self, mind-contact is not self, feeling is not self, craving is not self.
https://suttacentral.net/mn148/en/bodhi
“Bhikkhus, knowing and seeing in this way, would you run back to the past thus: ‘Were we in the past? Were we not in the past? What were we in the past? How were we in the past? Having been what, what did we become in the past?’?”—“No, venerable sir.”—“Knowing and seeing in this way, would you run forward to the future thus: ‘Shall we be in the future? Shall we not be in the future? What shall we be in the future? How shall we be in the future? Having been what, what shall we become in the future?’?”—“No, venerable sir.”—“Knowing and seeing in this way, would you now be inwardly perplexed about the present thus: ‘Am I? Am I not? What am I? How am I? Where has this being come from? Where will it go?’?”—“No, venerable sir.”

https://suttacentral.net/mn38/en/bodhi
At Savatthi. "Monks, eye-consciousness is inconstant, changeable, alterable. Ear-consciousness... Nose-consciousness... Tongue-consciousness... Body-consciousness... Intellect-consciousness is inconstant, changeable, alterable.

"One who has conviction & belief that these phenomena are this way is called a faith-follower: one who has entered the orderliness of rightness, entered the plane of people of integrity, transcended the plane of the run-of-the-mill. He is incapable of doing any deed by which he might be reborn in hell, in the animal womb, or in the realm of hungry shades. He is incapable of passing away until he has realized the fruit of stream-entry.

"One who, after pondering with a modicum of discernment, has accepted that these phenomena are this way is called a Dhamma-follower: one who has entered the orderliness of rightness, entered the plane of people of integrity, transcended the plane of the run-of-the-mill. He is incapable of doing any deed by which he might be reborn in hell, in the animal womb, or in the realm of hungry shades. He is incapable of passing away until he has realized the fruit of stream-entry.

"One who knows and sees that these phenomena are this way is called a stream-enterer, steadfast, never again destined for states of woe, headed for self-awakening."

Vinnana Sutta

Zen Master Dogen-
"When you first seek dharma, you imagine you are far away from its environs. But dharma is already correctly transmitted; you are immediately your original self. When you ride in a boat and watch the shore, you might assume that the shore is moving. But when you keep your eyes closely on the boat, you can see that the boat moves. Similarly, if you examine myriad things with a confused body and mind you might suppose that your mind and nature are permanent. When you practice intimately and return to where you are, it will be clear that nothing at all has unchanging self.

Firewood becomes ash, and it does not become firewood again. Yet, do not suppose that the ash is future and the firewood past. You should understand that firewood abides in the phenomenal expression of firewood, which fully includes past and future and is independent of past and future. Ash abides in the phenomenal expression of ash, which fully includes future and past. Just as firewood does not become firewood again after it is ash, you do not return to birth after death.

This being so, it is an established way in buddha-dharma to deny that birth turns into death. Accordingly, birth is understood as no-birth. It is an unshakable teaching in Buddha's discourse that death does not turn into birth. Accordingly, death is understood as no-death.

Birth is an expression complete this moment. Death is an expression complete this moment. They are like winter and spring. You do not call winter the beginning of spring, nor summer the end of spring."
Last edited by pegembara on Thu Oct 21, 2021 2:42 am, edited 6 times in total.
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Ontheway
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Re: What reincarnates?

Post by Ontheway »

It is a difficult subject...

Quoting Piyadassi Thera's The Buddha's Ancient Path (1979) :

"One with an inquiring mind may ask, if there is no transmigrating permanent Soul or Self to reincarnate, what is it that is reborn? The answer is that there is no permanent substance of the nature of Self of Soul (Atman) that reincarnates or transmigrates. It is impossible to conceive of anything that continues without change. All is in a state of flux.

What we call life here is the functioning of the five Aggregates of Grasping which we have discussed earlier, or the functioning of mind and body which are only energies or forces. They are never the same for two consecutive moments, and in the conflux of mind and body we do not see anything permanent. The grown-up man is neither the child nor quite a different person; there is only a relationship of continuity. The conflux of mind and body or mental and physical energy is not lost at death, for no force or energy is ever lost. It undergoes change. It resets, re-forms in new conditions. This is called rebirth, re-existence or re-becoming (punabbhava).

Karmic process (kammabhava) is the energy that out of a present life conditions a future life in unending sequence. In this process there is nothing that passes or transmigrates from one life to another. It is only a movement that continues unbroken. The ‘being who passes away’ here and takes birth elsewhere is neither the same person nor a totally different one (na ca so, na ca anno). There is the last moment of consciousness (cuti citta or vinnana) belonging to the immediately previous life; immediately next, upon the cessation of that consciousness, but conditioned by it, there arises the first moment of consciousness of the present birth which is called a relinking or rebirth-consciousness (patisandhi vinnana). Similarly the last thought-moment in this life conditions the first thought-moment is the next. In this way consciousness comes into being and passes away yielding place to new consciousness. Thus this perpetual stream of consciousness goes on until existence ceases. Existence in a way is consciousness--the will to live, to continue.

According to modern biology, ‘a new human life begins in that miraculous instant when a sperm cell from the father merges with an egg cell or ovum within the mother’. This is the moment of birth. Science speaks of only these two physical common factors.

Buddhism, however, speaks of a third factor which is purely mental. According to the Mahatanhasamkhaya-sutta, ‘by the conjunction of three factors does conception take place. If mother and father come together, but it is not the mother’s proper season, and the being to be reborn (gandhabba) does not present itself, a germ of life is not planted. If the parents come together, and it is the mother’s proper season, but the gandhabba is not present, then there is no conception. If the mother and father come together, and it is the mother’s proper season and the gandhabba is also present, then a germ of life is planted them.’

The third factor is simply a term for the patisandhi-vinnana, rebirth-consciousness. It should be clearly understood that this rebirth-consciousness is not a Self or a Soul or an Ego-entity that experiences the fruits of good and evil deed. Consciousness is also generated by conditions. Apart from condition there is no arising of consciousness.

We give names, such as birth, death, thought-processes and so on, to a stream of consciousness. There are only thought-moments. As explained above, the last thought-moment we call death, and the first thought-moment we call birth; thus births and deaths occur in this stream of consciousness, which is only a series of ever continuing thought-moments. So long as man is attached to existence through his ignorance, craving and clinging, to him death is not the final end. He will continue his career of whirling round the ‘Wheel of Existence’. This is the endless play of action and reaction kept in perpetual motion by karma concealed by ignorance propelled by craving or thirst. As karma, or action, is of our own making, we have the power to break this endless chain. It is through the eradication of ignorance (avijja) and of this driving force, craving, this thirst for existence, this will to live (tanha), that the Cycle of Existence (samsara) ceases."

Page 64 - 66
"The Buddha is like the rising sun; the Dhamma as already stated is like the web of his rays; and the Sangha is like the world rid by him of darkness."

Paramatthajotikā
(The Illustrator of Ultimate Meaning)
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