What is the true cause of rebirth?

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths - what can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
Santi253
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Re: What is the true cause of rebirth?

Post by Santi253 »

Thank you for your responses in this thread. They've been very helpful to my understanding.
Non-violence is the greatest virtue, cowardice the greatest vice. - Mahatma Gandhi

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Santi253
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Re: What is the true cause of rebirth?

Post by Santi253 »

The insights I've gained from this thread have been very helpful in how I understand the Buddha's teachings in relation to my daily life. Thank you very much for your help. This is what I have learned:

Wherever we go after death, whether a Pure Land or a hell, is unknowable in the present because it’s outside our reach of experience. All we have right now is the here and now.

Those who commit evil deeds all their life, thinking that the Buddha will “save” them if they just call his name, might be missing the original point of the Buddha’s teachings.

Buddhism traditionally teaches that our destination after death is conditioned by our actions in the present life.
Beings are born into a particular realm according to their past kamma. When they pass away, they take rebirth once again elsewhere according to the quality of their kamma: wholesome actions bring about a favorable rebirth, while unwholesome actions lead to an unfavorable one.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/ptf/dham ... /loka.html
Non-violence is the greatest virtue, cowardice the greatest vice. - Mahatma Gandhi

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chownah
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Re: What is the true cause of rebirth?

Post by chownah »

Santi253 wrote:The insights I've gained from this thread have been very helpful in how I understand the Buddha's teachings in relation to my daily life. Thank you very much for your help. This is what I have learned:

Wherever we go after death, whether a Pure Land or a hell, is unknowable in the present because it’s outside our reach of experience. All we have right now is the here and now.

Those who commit evil deeds all their life, thinking that the Buddha will “save” them if they just call his name, might be missing the original point of the Buddha’s teachings.

Buddhism traditionally teaches that our destination after death is conditioned by our actions in the present life.
Beings are born into a particular realm according to their past kamma. When they pass away, they take rebirth once again elsewhere according to the quality of their kamma: wholesome actions bring about a favorable rebirth, while unwholesome actions lead to an unfavorable one.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/ptf/dham ... /loka.html
Just a reminder that in the pali texts they do not describe a Pure Land....at least not that I have seen.
chownah
Santi253
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Re: What is the true cause of rebirth?

Post by Santi253 »

chownah wrote:
Santi253 wrote:The insights I've gained from this thread have been very helpful in how I understand the Buddha's teachings in relation to my daily life. Thank you very much for your help. This is what I have learned:

Wherever we go after death, whether a Pure Land or a hell, is unknowable in the present because it’s outside our reach of experience. All we have right now is the here and now.

Those who commit evil deeds all their life, thinking that the Buddha will “save” them if they just call his name, might be missing the original point of the Buddha’s teachings.

Buddhism traditionally teaches that our destination after death is conditioned by our actions in the present life.
Beings are born into a particular realm according to their past kamma. When they pass away, they take rebirth once again elsewhere according to the quality of their kamma: wholesome actions bring about a favorable rebirth, while unwholesome actions lead to an unfavorable one.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/ptf/dham ... /loka.html
Just a reminder that in the pali texts they do not describe a Pure Land....at least not that I have seen.
chownah
Yes, that is true, but the traditional Pure Land teaching is the same as the traditional Theravada teaching, in the basic sense that our thoughts and actions condition our destination for after death.

Pure Land teachings were not originally intended to give people a free pass on committing evil deeds all their lives, supposing that they will be reborn into the Pure Land no matter what anyway.
Non-violence is the greatest virtue, cowardice the greatest vice. - Mahatma Gandhi

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chownah
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Re: What is the true cause of rebirth?

Post by chownah »

Santi253 wrote:
chownah wrote: Just a reminder that in the pali texts they do not describe a Pure Land....at least not that I have seen.
chownah
Yes, that is true, but the traditional Pure Land teaching is the same as the traditional Theravada teaching, in the basic sense that our thoughts and actions condition our destination for after death.

Pure Land teachings were not originally intended to give people a free pass on committing evil deeds all their lives, supposing that they will be reborn into the Pure Land no matter what anyway.
I hesitate to accept that pure land is the same as a traditional theravada teaching. Traditional theravada teachings are contained in the pali texts and there is nothing in the traditional theravada teachings which is even slightly similar to pure land at least that I have seen. It may be that your interpretation of pure land has an element in common with your interpretation of theravada teachings but I think that your expression "is the same as" is quite an exaggeration and "is similar to" would even be an exaggeration in my view while "have one element in common" would be the most accurate thing to say if the only thing you wish to posit as being similar is the one element you mention.

I'm not trying to argue or quibble even. You have acknowledged how people can misconstrue doctrinal matters and I want to point out that they can misconstrue the meaning of a post. Just by using the words "the traditional Pure Land teaching is the same as the traditional Theravada teaching," might, if repreated often enough, (even though you qualified it) lead someone to the misconception that pure land is contained in the pali canon's presentation of the buddha's teachings. Thanks for pointing out your interpretations of pure land and traditional theravada teachings. :anjali:
chownah
edit: I am still wondering if pure land is the mind or if it is a metaphor.
chownah
Santi253
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Re: What is the true cause of rebirth?

Post by Santi253 »

chownah wrote: Just by using the words "the traditional Pure Land teaching is the same as the traditional Theravada teaching,"
Santi253 wrote:...in the basic sense that our thoughts and actions condition our destination for after death.
While the understanding of the destination might be different, the basic principle that our actions in this life condition our destination in the next life is the same.

:namaste:
Non-violence is the greatest virtue, cowardice the greatest vice. - Mahatma Gandhi

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Santi253
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Re: What is the true cause of rebirth?

Post by Santi253 »

When Mahayana Buddhists think of the Pure Land after death, it's similar to (though not exactly the same as) when Theravada Buddhists think of rebirth into the deva realm.

My only point is that, whether you are Mahayana or Theravada, our destination after death is determined by our thoughts and actions in this life.
Actually, rebirth in the Pure Land is not at all contradictory to the law of karma. Remember that through our actions such as reciting the Buddha's name, visualization, vowing to be reborn in the Pure Land, living a compassionate and ethical life and so forth, we are setting up the conditions that allow us to be reborn in the Pure Land, both as a literal realm of rebirth and as the Pure Mind itself...
http://www.cloudwater.org/index.php/ask ... and-effect
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pegembara
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Re: What is the true cause of rebirth?

Post by pegembara »

Santi253 wrote:
Sam Vara wrote: As for your final question, yes, it is possible for others to offer merit on our behalf, and that is beneficial to them. Whether it is beneficial for us is more a matter of faith and opinion.
Thank you for your response. Do the Pali scriptures or the traditional commentaries suggest that we can or should offer merit on behalf of the deceased?

"Furthermore, the disciple of the noble ones — using the wealth earned through his efforts & enterprise, amassed through the strength of his arm, and piled up through the sweat of his brow, righteous wealth righteously gained — performs the five oblations(a thing presented or offered): to relatives, guests, the dead, kings, & devas. This is the fourth benefit that can be obtained from wealth.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
And what is right speech? Abstaining from lying, from divisive speech, from abusive speech, & from idle chatter: This is called right speech.
Santi253
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Re: What is the true cause of rebirth?

Post by Santi253 »

As one can see, I might be one of the least dogmatic Mahayana Buddhists you could possibly meet. The reason is very simple.

I don't take anything in the Mahayana sutras literally if and when they contradict what's contained in the agamas, which are equivalent to the Pali suttas.

Since the agamas are believed to be the earliest part of the Mahayana Buddhist canon, it wouldn't make any sense for a Mahayana Buddhist to literally believe any teaching which contradicts the clearest meaning of the Buddha's words in the agamas.

When you are teaching me about karma and rebirth, I am very appreciative of that, because the same teachings are, as far as I know, contained in the agamas.
Non-violence is the greatest virtue, cowardice the greatest vice. - Mahatma Gandhi

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justindesilva
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Re: What is the true cause of rebirth?

Post by justindesilva »

The true cause of rebirth is simple. As death of beings are inevitable and the requirement of replacement of beings on this earth is necessary, nature has introduced this measure of rebirth. To ensure the distribution of energies in the form of chemical changes all sentient beings have to exist in a uniform number as long as the earth exists.
davidbrainerd
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Re: What is the true cause of rebirth?

Post by davidbrainerd »

The true cause of "rebirth" is becoming a monk. Because anyone truly well read in the suttas should know becoming a monk is called being "born again". Reincarnation is the proper term for the other thing, and that name itself implies the cause to a certain extent.
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Re: What is the true cause of rebirth?

Post by justindesilva »

davidbrainerd wrote:The true cause of "rebirth" is becoming a monk. Because anyone truly well read in the suttas should know becoming a monk is called being "born again". Reincarnation is the proper term for the other thing, and that name itself implies the cause to a certain extent.
It is my understanding that reincarnation is the hindu version of rebirth. The meaning of 're birth in buddhism is different and is explained well in paticca samuppada.
I admit that becoming a monk will mean being born again.
But all beings cannot be born again as monks. There has to be sentient beings for the world to go on.
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The Thinker
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Re: What is the true cause of rebirth?

Post by The Thinker »

Just reading this thread, one gets the impression that people are obsessed with becoming
to something that can only be speculation and not dharma?
"Watch your heart, observe. Be the observer, be the knower, not the condition" Ajahn Sumedho volume5 - The Wheel Of Truth
justindesilva
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Re: What is the true cause of rebirth?

Post by justindesilva »

The Thinker wrote:Just reading this thread, one gets the impression that people are obsessed with becoming
to something that can only be speculation and not dharma?
May I please note that my explanations here on this posting is based on Agganna sutta and that also after a study of a long duration. May I request my friends on this post to make a deeper study on re birth.
My request is a humble request and not with any anger lt is a " please do"
I do not wish to name the book I authored on these matters of morals as using this post for it is wrong.
With metta.
Santi253
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Re: What is the true cause of rebirth?

Post by Santi253 »

davidbrainerd wrote:The true cause of "rebirth" is becoming a monk.
Can Bhikkhunis attain Nirvana as well?
Non-violence is the greatest virtue, cowardice the greatest vice. - Mahatma Gandhi

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