Are Karma and Rebirth Real?

No holds barred discussion on the Buddhadharma. Argue about rebirth, karma, commentarial interpretations etc. Be nice to each other.

Re: Are Karma and Rebirth Real?

Postby Punya » Wed Dec 04, 2013 5:44 pm

PadmaVonSamba wrote:
Punya wrote:I guess you're not a buddhist then. :smile:

I don't think leinas ever claimed to be.
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Yes, I know. You guys are infinitely more patient than I am.
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Strife with outer enemies will never end.
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Re: Are Karma and Rebirth Real?

Postby futerko » Wed Dec 04, 2013 5:49 pm

Punya wrote:
PadmaVonSamba wrote:
Punya wrote:I guess you're not a buddhist then. :smile:

I don't think leinas ever claimed to be.
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Yes, I know. You guys are infinitely more patient than I am.


...or infinitely more pedantic! :rolling:
we cannot get rid of God because we still believe in grammar - Nietzsche
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Re: Are Karma and Rebirth Real?

Postby M.G. » Wed Dec 04, 2013 5:52 pm

smcj wrote:
...or is - really the letter o, which has fallen backwards,
and we are seeing it from the side, like the edge of a coin?
If so, it isn't hard to prop it back up again.

...like it was drunk or something...

:good:



In Jewish tradition one avoids directly speaking or writing God's name out of reverence except on sacred occasions. Some practitioners interpret this to include the English word, "God." It's an arbitrary custom, but most religious customs are arbitrary.
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Re: Are Karma and Rebirth Real?

Postby M.G. » Wed Dec 04, 2013 6:09 pm

M.G. wrote:
smcj wrote:
...or is - really the letter o, which has fallen backwards,
and we are seeing it from the side, like the edge of a coin?
If so, it isn't hard to prop it back up again.

...like it was drunk or something...

:good:



In Jewish tradition one avoids directly speaking or writing God's name except on sacred occasions or in sacred texts. Some Jews interpret this to include the English word, "God." It's arguably an arbitrary custom, but many religious customs are somewhat arbitrary.
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Re: Are Karma and Rebirth Real?

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Wed Dec 04, 2013 8:55 pm

M.G. wrote:In Jewish tradition one avoids directly speaking or writing God's name out of reverence except on sacred occasions. Some practitioners interpret this to include the English word, "God." It's an arbitrary custom, but most religious customs are arbitrary.


Yes, I am very familiar with this.
But as someone who studies language (as a hobby)
what I find funny, from a Buddhist perspective, is that conceptually
a person substitutes one written symbol for another, ( - for o)
and then thinks one has actually accomplished something different.

Hebrew, of course, does not have written vowel characters.
Similar to Sanskrit- derivative languages,
in order to indicate vowel sounds,
diacritic symbols are added to consonants.
So, I don't know how you leave out the letter O in Hebrew!

Also, it is ironic to spell "G-D" in a sentence where one is condemning idolatry
because imputing vowels with special qualities
and then not using them
is really not that much different than
imputing "idols" with special qualities
and then worshiping them.
it's merely a kind of "idolatry in reverse".

:zzz:
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Re: Are Karma and Rebirth Real?

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Wed Dec 04, 2013 9:25 pm

A few posts were removed due to being in contravention of the ToS:

Terms of Service wrote:This is not a "comparative religion site", it is a site to learn and discuss the Buddha's teachings without animosity. In support of this:

~ Badmouthing of other spiritual paths is not allowed.
~ Proselyting/evangelizing other paths which includes for example arguing some other path is superior to the Buddhist path is not allowed.


Thanks.
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is not born in the hearts of disciples in whom the moisture of attachment has dried up. It grows instead in the hearts of ordinary sentient beings who possess in full the fetters of bondage." -Se Chilbu Choki Gyaltsen
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Re: Are Karma and Rebirth Real?

Postby M.G. » Wed Dec 04, 2013 9:26 pm

PadmaVonSamba wrote:
M.G. wrote:In Jewish tradition one avoids directly speaking or writing God's name out of reverence except on sacred occasions. Some practitioners interpret this to include the English word, "God." It's an arbitrary custom, but most religious customs are arbitrary.


Yes, I am very familiar with this.
But as someone who studies language (as a hobby)
what I find funny, from a Buddhist perspective, is that conceptually
a person substitutes one written symbol for another, ( - for o)
and then thinks one has actually accomplished something different.

Hebrew, of course, does not have written vowel characters.
Similar to Sanskrit- derivative languages,
in order to indicate vowel sounds,
diacritic symbols are added to consonants.
So, I don't know how you leave out the letter O in Hebrew!

Also, it is ironic to spell "G-D" in a sentence where one is condemning idolatry
because imputing vowels with special qualities
and then not using them
is really not that much different than
imputing "idols" with special qualities
and then worshiping them.
it's merely a kind of "idolatry in reverse".

:zzz:
.
.
.


In Hebrew one either substitutes a consonant or uses a euphemism.
(Whether that's idolatry is a debate I won't get into, and which is anyway irrelevant from a Buddhist perspective.)

One could argue that respect for God's name isn't any different than respect for a Buddhist icon or perhaps a mantra.
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Re: Are Karma and Rebirth Real?

Postby futerko » Wed Dec 04, 2013 9:57 pm

M.G. wrote:One could argue that respect for God's name isn't any different than respect for a Buddhist icon or perhaps a mantra.


Surely, in regard to the ultimate, the Buddhist equivalent is the idea of being beyond concepts?
we cannot get rid of God because we still believe in grammar - Nietzsche
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Re: Are Karma and Rebirth Real?

Postby M.G. » Wed Dec 04, 2013 10:10 pm

futerko wrote:
M.G. wrote:One could argue that respect for God's name isn't any different than respect for a Buddhist icon or perhaps a mantra.


Surely, in regard to the ultimate, the Buddhist equivalent is the idea of being beyond concepts?


Itself a very interesting discussion.

Not so much in regards to the nature of the ultimate, but in a more relative sense the admonition within the Vajrayana not to revere one's yidam above one's guru always struck me as somewhat similar in spirit to Biblical injunctions against idolatry.
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Re: Are Karma and Rebirth Real?

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Wed Dec 04, 2013 10:13 pm

M.G. wrote:One could argue that respect for God's name isn't any different than respect for a Buddhist icon or perhaps a mantra.


Not disagreeing.
My point is that there is in fact no difference between - and o
if they are each serving the exact same purpose.
Y** C*N R*M*V* *LL TH* V*W*LS *ND *T W*NT F*CK*NG M*TT*R.
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.
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Profile Picture: "The Foaming Monk"
The Chinese characters are Fo (buddha) and Ming (bright). The image is of a student of Buddhism, who, imagining himself to be a monk, and not understanding the true meaning of the words takes the sound of the words literally. Likewise, People on web forums sometime seem to be foaming at the mouth.
Original painting by P.Volker /used by permission.
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Re: Are Karma and Rebirth Real?

Postby dharmagoat » Wed Dec 04, 2013 10:14 pm

PadmaVonSamba wrote:Y** C*N R*M*V* *LL TH* V*W*LS *ND *T W*NT F*CK*NG M*TT*R.

:anjali:
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Re: Are Karma and Rebirth Real?

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Wed Dec 04, 2013 10:21 pm

And actually all of this does relate to to the subject of karma and rebirth,
because the very same qualities, any sort of reality
imputed on "idols' or vowels, or gods, or yidams or whatever
is essentially the same 'reality' we give to the one who is doing the imputing.
And that experience of an intrinsic 'self' ,
whether as a person or as the letter of the alphabet,
existing somehow outside dependent origination
is that which is experienced as rebirth constantly.
And why the experience you have of a 'self' right now
is almost exactly what it was 30 seconds ago
is karma.
The fact that the physical body ceases to function at some point has no bearing on this.

You might say that o has simply taken rebirth as -
.
.
.
Profile Picture: "The Foaming Monk"
The Chinese characters are Fo (buddha) and Ming (bright). The image is of a student of Buddhism, who, imagining himself to be a monk, and not understanding the true meaning of the words takes the sound of the words literally. Likewise, People on web forums sometime seem to be foaming at the mouth.
Original painting by P.Volker /used by permission.
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Re: Are Karma and Rebirth Real?

Postby M.G. » Wed Dec 04, 2013 10:28 pm

:twothumbsup:
PadmaVonSamba wrote:
M.G. wrote:One could argue that respect for God's name isn't any different than respect for a Buddhist icon or perhaps a mantra.


Not disagreeing.
My point is that there is in fact no difference between - and o
if they are each serving the exact same purpose.
Y** C*N R*M*V* *LL TH* V*W*LS *ND *T W*NT F*CK*NG M*TT*R.
.
.
.


LOL

This might be bordering on a comparative religion talk (moderators should feel free to let me know if I'm crossing a line) but I think there's an idea in Judaism, or at least some understandings of Judaism, that some of God's name have real power, somewhat like mantras are sometimes understood as having. So, just as some mantras might be kept secret in certain Indic traditions, some of God's names are reserved for use on special occasions.
Last edited by M.G. on Wed Dec 04, 2013 10:45 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Are Karma and Rebirth Real?

Postby M.G. » Wed Dec 04, 2013 10:31 pm

PadmaVonSamba wrote:And actually all of this does relate to to the subject of karma and rebirth,
because the very same qualities, any sort of reality
imputed on "idols' or vowels, or gods, or yidams or whatever
is essentially the same 'reality' we give to the one who is doing the imputing.
And that experience of an intrinsic 'self' ,
whether as a person or as the letter of the alphabet,
existing somehow outside dependent origination
is that which is experienced as rebirth constantly.
And why the experience you have of a 'self' right now
is almost exactly what it was 30 seconds ago
is karma.
The fact that the physical body ceases to function at some point has no bearing on this.

You might say that o has simply taken rebirth as -
.
.
.


Here's an interesting thought:

Is it OK for practitioners to change mantra pronunciations or swap words around as desired? Vowels and sounds have no intrinsic reality, right?
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Re: Are Karma and Rebirth Real?

Postby tatpurusa » Wed Dec 04, 2013 11:06 pm

M.G. wrote:Here's an interesting thought:

Is it OK for practitioners to change mantra pronunciations or swap words around as desired? Vowels and sounds have no intrinsic reality, right?


No, it is not. At least it is contrary to tradition.
It has been done anyway though, as mantras traversed cultural, national and language barriers.
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Re: Are Karma and Rebirth Real?

Postby futerko » Wed Dec 04, 2013 11:12 pm

M.G. wrote:Here's an interesting thought:

Is it OK for practitioners to change mantra pronunciations or swap words around as desired? Vowels and sounds have no intrinsic reality, right?


What was the story of the practitioner who ran across the lake to confirm the correct pronunciation from the monk in the boat?
we cannot get rid of God because we still believe in grammar - Nietzsche
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Re: Are Karma and Rebirth Real?

Postby M.G. » Wed Dec 04, 2013 11:22 pm

tatpurusa wrote:
M.G. wrote:Here's an interesting thought:

Is it OK for practitioners to change mantra pronunciations or swap words around as desired? Vowels and sounds have no intrinsic reality, right?


No, it is not. At least it is contrary to tradition.
It has been done anyway though, as mantras traversed cultural, national and language barriers.


Technically, I understand that doing so is contrary to tradition.
Is tradition an 'idol?' Or can it be disposed of by Buddhists as desired?
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Re: Are Karma and Rebirth Real?

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Wed Dec 04, 2013 11:41 pm

M.G. wrote:Is it OK for practitioners to change mantra pronunciations or swap words around as desired? Vowels and sounds have no intrinsic reality, right?

Mantras, specifically, it is not done intentionally.
But, for example, The mantra of Amitabha
in Chinese is Namo Omito Fo
In Japanese, Namo Amida Butsu
In Tibetan, the tantric version is Om Ami Dewa Hri
and of course, one could say Namo Amitabha.

Most people are familiar with OM
which is a Sanskrit syllable used in Hinduism and Vajrayana Buddhism.
There are many of these 'seed syllables' alo in the Shingon Tradition (Japan)
and these kinds of syllables are said to have a somewhat intrinsic quality to them
so they do not get changed intentionally.
It is too complicated to delve into that here, but suffice to say that they are not "parts of words".
.
.
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Profile Picture: "The Foaming Monk"
The Chinese characters are Fo (buddha) and Ming (bright). The image is of a student of Buddhism, who, imagining himself to be a monk, and not understanding the true meaning of the words takes the sound of the words literally. Likewise, People on web forums sometime seem to be foaming at the mouth.
Original painting by P.Volker /used by permission.
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Re: Are Karma and Rebirth Real?

Postby tatpurusa » Wed Dec 04, 2013 11:58 pm

M.G. wrote:
tatpurusa wrote:
M.G. wrote:Here's an interesting thought:

Is it OK for practitioners to change mantra pronunciations or swap words around as desired? Vowels and sounds have no intrinsic reality, right?


No, it is not. At least it is contrary to tradition.
It has been done anyway though, as mantras traversed cultural, national and language barriers.


Technically, I understand that doing so is contrary to tradition.
Is tradition an 'idol?' Or can it be disposed of by Buddhists as desired?


Now it gets complicated.
There are two different words in this context that many times are translated by "tradition".

paramparā meaning the unbroken lineage, living transmission represented by the succession of lineage masters that are still present and accessible in sambhogakāya form
sampradāya transmission in the sense of totality of what is to be transmitted

Obviously, both can be understood and used as idols. They are both objects of refuge in vajrayāna.
But in reality, for practitioners, as much in terms of practice as in terms of realisation, this means much more than just an idol.

There are fundamentally different types of mantras, with fundamentally different functions.
They can belong to both categories of "tradition"
Depending on their function the exactitude of their pronunciation might be more or less important.
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Re: Are Karma and Rebirth Real?

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Thu Dec 05, 2013 2:23 am

I think one has to be careful when drawing comparisons between Buddhism and Abrahamist religion,
or really, when comparing any two vastly different things which at first may appear to have many similarities.
Language translation is one of the biggest problems, but there is also a tendency to interpret things
in a context which is not really accurate.

"Idolatry", for example, has a clear meaning in the biblical context.
But representations in Buddhism, for example, even a Buddha statue,
is not something which is "worshiped" in the way that
Christians, Muslims and Jews worship their god.
There may be a lot of bowing or kneeling or chanting, or whatever,
but these are merely outward forms.
If we only evaluate things based on their superficial appearances
then making a wish and blowing out candles on a specially prepared cake on one's birthday
would certainly count as some sort of religious ritual.

Something I mentioned before...a friend of mine from Taiwan,
during a visit to the United States, asked me why it was that of all the presidents,
Abraham Lincoln was the only one who had a temple (The Lincoln Memorial) devoted to him.
Comparing it with things from his own experience,
it does indeed resemble a temple, in many ways
but it would never occur to most Americans to even see it that way.
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.
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Profile Picture: "The Foaming Monk"
The Chinese characters are Fo (buddha) and Ming (bright). The image is of a student of Buddhism, who, imagining himself to be a monk, and not understanding the true meaning of the words takes the sound of the words literally. Likewise, People on web forums sometime seem to be foaming at the mouth.
Original painting by P.Volker /used by permission.
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