Can rebirth occur in the current percieved future?

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Re: Can rebirth occur in the current percieved future?

Postby Anders » Sun May 15, 2011 9:12 am

gregkavarnos wrote:
Anders Honore wrote:...If he said this, it almost certainly had some solid scriptural basis...
Or it is some Confucianism creeping into his Buddhism?
:namaste:


Not likely. The whole reason Xuanzang went to India was that he was concerned that Buddhism was becoming corrupted by the sinofication of Buddhism and that it was no longer true to the Buddhism taught in India. He spent 20 years going there and back in order to learn Indian Buddhism and transmit it properly back to China. And when he did, he was at the heart of an ideological debate between him and Fazang that would shape the development of Chinese Buddhism in the centuries to come in regards to whether there should be a reversal to a more strictly Indian Buddhism grounded in Indian Buddhist logic, or whether the developments peculiar to east-Asian Buddhism should dictate the baseline. In the end, Fazang largely came out on top and today Yogacara is often referred to in the derogatory name he gave it, faxiang (dharma characteristic), rather than what they called themselved, weishi (consciousnesness only).

Xuanzang really doesn't strike me as the kind of guy who would goof all that up by succumbing to Confucian lore if he wasn't convinced this was thoroughly compatible with Mahayana Buddhism. It would kinda defeat the purpose of his lifework.
"Even if my body should be burnt to death in the fires of hell
I would endure it for myriad lifetimes
As your companion in practice"

--- Gandavyuha Sutra
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Re: Can rebirth occur in the current percieved future?

Postby LastLegend » Sun May 15, 2011 10:45 am

It seems to me that people say Taoism and Confuscianism have creeped up in Buddhism. Correct? Maybe so but does not mean it deviates the teachings but more like explaining it in different terms. The core teachings are untouched by any traditions as far as I know.
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Re: Can rebirth occur in the current percieved future?

Postby Anders » Sun May 15, 2011 11:44 am

LastLegend wrote:It seems to me that people say Taoism and Confuscianism have creeped up in Buddhism. Correct? Maybe so but does not mean it deviates the teachings but more like explaining it in different terms. The core teachings are untouched by any traditions as far as I know.


It's not hard to find examples of this in East-Asian Buddhism in various guises. Contrary to the modern myths of Chan being a Daoist/Buddhist hybrid, the tendency to interpret Buddhism according to Daoist or Confucian thinking on equal footing, is mostly found in early Chinese Buddhism, pre-dating Bodhidharma's arrival on those shores by several centuries. It largely died off after Kumarajiva who sorted out a lot of this. Jizang did a pretty good job of it debunking the remainder, by taking up distinctly Chinese Buddhist classifications and turning them on their head to de-construct and defeat themselves. He was a very solid Madhyamikan in this regard.

But there is a difference between this kind of thinking and giving Indian Mahayana an East-Asian spin whilst staying true to the Indian teachings. Zhi Yi, one of the founders of Tiantai, is an excellent example of someone who produced a uniquely East-Asian spin on Mahayana but did so while being focused on staying true to the meaning of the Indian masters, Nagarjuna in particular.

Xuanzang isn't even that though. As Chinese Buddhists go, I don't think you can find anyone who was more hard line in his dedication to straight up old-school Indian Buddhism, minus the East-Asian influence. In fact, it was probably his overly Indian style and outlook that turned the majority off his persuasion in the end. He was just not Chinese enough for Chinese Buddhism. His translations for example are generally considered to be very precise, but they lack the flavour and elegance of Kumarajiva, so while from an academic point of view they might have been an upgrade, everyone tended to read Kumarajiva anyway (bear in mind, Kumarajiva was no slouch himself. He would probably kick Xuanzang's ass in the scholastic department if they been around at the same time to debate).
"Even if my body should be burnt to death in the fires of hell
I would endure it for myriad lifetimes
As your companion in practice"

--- Gandavyuha Sutra
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Re: Can rebirth occur in the current percieved future?

Postby LastLegend » Sun May 15, 2011 2:42 pm

Thanks for the information dawg.
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Re: Can rebirth occur in the current percieved future?

Postby cj39 » Thu Jun 02, 2011 2:34 am

Not sure there is a certain answer to your question but there is a story I ran across that's pertinent, unless the guy was buried many years after his death which seems unlikely:

"After a prosperous elder had passed away, his son ordered a huge quantity of livestock slaughtered to feed relatives and friends for several days. (In his lifetime, the elder, a good-natured, benevolent man who practiced Buddha Recitation and was vegetarian several days a month, had had many friends and associates.) The very evening after the funeral, his eldest grandson suddenly had a fit in front of everyone. His face all red, he suddenly jumped onto the wooden plank bed in the living room, sat squarely upon it, and slapped his hand against a nearby desk. Calling his father by his given name, he scolded him loudly: 'Right up until my death, I practiced charity and accumulated merits; without any heavy transgressions, I should have been reborn wealthy and into a good family. Instead, because of you and the heavy karma of killing you created on my behalf, I, as your father, am now confined and forced to look after a herd of cows, as well as pigs, chickens and ducks. I have to run back and forth barefoot through mud and thorns. My sufferings are truly beyond description!"'

After recounting the story, the Master smiled and said, "This event, which occurred only a few months ago, is known to the entire village and is believed and dreaded by my relatives. For precisely this reason, when I suggested vegetarian food, the idea was immediately accepted."

From Buddhism of Wisdom and Faith, available here:
http://reocities.com/amitabha48vows/bwf103.htm#between
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