Reincarnation: A gift or a curse?

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Re: Reincarnation: A gift or a curse?

Postby Malcolm » Sun Jul 17, 2011 2:19 pm

Serenity509 wrote:
Namdrol wrote:If one develops sufficient powers of samadhi, one can also examine other people's minds and see into their past lives as well.

N


Like I asked before, how do you know then if you are examining your own past life instead of someone else's?


Knowledge of other people minds is a more developed type of clairvoyance that recall of one's past lives. First you are able to recall your own past lives, then eventually, you can know the minds of others and also see into their past lives.

This is all predicated on skill in samadhi.
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Re: Reincarnation: A gift or a curse?

Postby Serenity509 » Sun Jul 17, 2011 2:34 pm

Namdrol wrote:First you are able to recall your own past lives, then eventually, you can know the minds of others and also see into their past lives.


What is the evidence of this, of one being before the other?
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Re: Reincarnation: A gift or a curse?

Postby Serenity509 » Sun Jul 17, 2011 2:35 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:Your view of reincarnation and enlightenment reminds me of some Hindu views of an existence that is guided by a capital "G" God, and that all beings have to do is follow Gods grand plan that eventually leads all beings to Nirvana. Doesn't work like that. YOU are responsible for your enlightenment, if you don't work towards it, it ain't gonna happen by chance.
:namaste:


Even if God doesn't exist, with an infinite amount of lifetimes, you'd eventually attain Nirvana.
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Re: Reincarnation: A gift or a curse?

Postby Enochian » Sun Jul 17, 2011 2:43 pm

Namdrol wrote:
This is all predicated on skill in samadhi.



I thought samadhi was garbage and it was all about working with the channels and chakras, although I am sure the two can be done at one time.
There is an ever-present freedom from grasping the mind.

Mind being defined as the thing always on the Three Times.
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Re: Reincarnation: A gift or a curse?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sun Jul 17, 2011 2:59 pm

Serenity509 wrote:
gregkavarnos wrote:Your view of reincarnation and enlightenment reminds me of some Hindu views of an existence that is guided by a capital "G" God, and that all beings have to do is follow Gods grand plan that eventually leads all beings to Nirvana. Doesn't work like that. YOU are responsible for your enlightenment, if you don't work towards it, it ain't gonna happen by chance.
:namaste:


Even if God doesn't exist, with an infinite amount of lifetimes, you'd eventually attain Nirvana.
Why? If I told you an infinite number of times that you cannot achieve Nirvana just by waiting around, and you denied my words and acted in unwholesome and harmful ways an infinite number of times (coz you believed that you are going to get enlightened anyway) you think you will reach enlightenment? Fat chance!
You are missing a vital point: samsara is also infinite.
:namaste:
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Reincarnation: A gift or a curse?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sun Jul 17, 2011 3:00 pm

Enochian wrote:
Namdrol wrote:
This is all predicated on skill in samadhi.



I thought samadhi was garbage and it was all about working with the channels and chakras, although I am sure the two can be done at one time.
There's a difference between the two? Where exactly?
:namaste:
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Reincarnation: A gift or a curse?

Postby Malcolm » Sun Jul 17, 2011 3:11 pm

Serenity509 wrote:
Namdrol wrote:First you are able to recall your own past lives, then eventually, you can know the minds of others and also see into their past lives.


What is the evidence of this, of one being before the other?


The evidence of course, is all anecdotal. Nothing you can empirically test.

Normally however, they appear in a list that is not ordered or ranked.

N
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Re: Reincarnation: A gift or a curse?

Postby Will » Sun Jul 17, 2011 3:14 pm

Serenity509: With an infinite amount of time, won't nirvana happen eventually? How is the person then able to recall a past life?


If one boils sand for an hour or infinity, rice will never be cooked. Thus without the proper conditions of mind & motive developed over many lifetimes no progress on the Buddhist path will occur.

You just quoted, to support your view, a famous sutta where Buddha pointed out that the answers to certain questions contribute nothing toward the Path. This "how to recall past lives" query is in the same category.

Using only one sutta or a few quotes without deep study and pondering on the full range of Buddha's thought is easy to do - but foolish.
One should refrain from biased judgments and doubting in fathoming the Buddha and the Dharma of the Buddhas. Even though a dharma may be extremely difficult to believe, one should nonetheless maintain faith in it. Nagarjuna
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Re: Reincarnation: A gift or a curse?

Postby Malcolm » Sun Jul 17, 2011 3:26 pm

Serenity509: With an infinite amount of time, won't nirvana happen eventually? How is the person then able to recall a past life?



Without following the path, no. Nirvana will never happen on its own. Nirvana requires discriminating insight which uproots afflictive emotions.
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Re: Reincarnation: A gift or a curse?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sun Jul 17, 2011 3:47 pm

You wanna reach enlightenment? It's not enough to just wait around at the bus stop, you gotta get on the bus!
SN 46.14
PTS: S v 79

CDB ii 1580

Gilana Sutta: Ill

(Factors of Enlightenment)

translated from the Pali by

Piyadassi Thera

© 1999–2011

Alternate translation: Thanissaro



Thus have I heard:

On one occasion the Blessed One was living near Rajagaha, in the bamboo grove, in the Squirrels' feeding ground. At that time the Venerable Maha Kassapa who was living in the Pipphali Cave, was afflicted with a disease, was suffering therefrom, and was gravely ill.

Then the Blessed One arising from his solitude at eventide visited the Venerable Maha Kassapa and sat down on a seat made ready (for him). Thus seated the Blessed One spoke to the Venerable Maha Kassapa:

"Well Kassapa, how is it with you? Are you bearing up, are you enduring (your suffering)? Do your pains decrease or increase? Are there signs of your pains decreasing and not of increasing?"

"No, Ven. Sir, I am not bearing up, I am not enduring, the pain is very great. There is a sign not of pains decreasing but of their increasing."

"Kassapa, these seven factors of enlightenment are well expounded by me and are cultivated and fully developed by me. They conduce to perfect understanding, to full realization (of the four Noble Truths) and to Nibbana. What are the seven?

i. "Mindfulness, the factor of enlightenment, Kassapa, is well expounded by me, and is cultivated and fully developed by me. It conduces to perfect understanding, to full realization and to Nibbana.

ii. "Investigation of the Dhamma, the factor of enlightenment, Kassapa, is well expounded by me, and is cultivated and fully developed by me. It conduces to perfect understanding, to full realization and to Nibbana.

iii. "Persevering effort, the factor of enlightenment, Kassapa, is well expounded by me and is cultivated and fully developed by me. It conduces to perfect understanding, to full realization and to Nibbana.

iv. "Rapture, the factor of enlightenment, Kassapa, is well expounded by me, and is cultivated and fully developed by me. It conduces to perfect understanding, to full realization and to Nibbana.

v. "Calm, the factor of enlightenment, Kassapa, is well expounded by me, and is cultivated and fully developed by me. It conduces to perfect understanding, to full realization and to Nibbana.

vi. "Concentration, the factor of enlightenment, Kassapa, is well expounded by me, and is cultivated and fully developed by me. It conduces to perfect understanding, to full realization and to Nibbana.

vii. "Equanimity, the factor of enlightenment, Kassapa, is well expounded by me, and is cultivated and fully developed by me. It conduces to perfect understanding, to full realization and to Nibbana.

"These seven factors of enlightenment, Kassapa, are well expounded by me and are cultivated and fully developed by me. They conduce to perfect understanding, to full realization and to Nibbana."

"Most assuredly, O Blessed One, they are factor of enlightenment. Most assuredly, O Welcome Being (Sugata), they are factors of enlightenment."

Thus said the Buddha, and the Venerable Maha Kassapa glad at heart approved the utterances of the Buddha. Thereupon the Venerable Kassapa recovered from that affliction, and that affliction, of the Venerable Kassapa disappeared.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .piya.html
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
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Re: Reincarnation: A gift or a curse?

Postby Enochian » Sun Jul 17, 2011 5:26 pm

Namdrol wrote:This is all predicated on skill in samadhi.



I don't get how samadhi actually becomes mastered. If the mind is merely a wind, kumbhaka seems the better way to go.

Mastering samadhi seems like trying to capture water in a seive.
There is an ever-present freedom from grasping the mind.

Mind being defined as the thing always on the Three Times.
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Re: Reincarnation: A gift or a curse?

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Sun Jul 17, 2011 5:37 pm


On one occasion the Blessed One was living near Rajagaha, in the bamboo grove, in the Squirrels' feeding ground.

That must have been where all the nuts were.
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Re: Reincarnation: A gift or a curse?

Postby Serenity509 » Sun Jul 17, 2011 6:37 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:
Serenity509 wrote:
gregkavarnos wrote:Your view of reincarnation and enlightenment reminds me of some Hindu views of an existence that is guided by a capital "G" God, and that all beings have to do is follow Gods grand plan that eventually leads all beings to Nirvana. Doesn't work like that. YOU are responsible for your enlightenment, if you don't work towards it, it ain't gonna happen by chance.
:namaste:


Even if God doesn't exist, with an infinite amount of lifetimes, you'd eventually attain Nirvana.
Why? If I told you an infinite number of times that you cannot achieve Nirvana just by waiting around, and you denied my words and acted in unwholesome and harmful ways an infinite number of times (coz you believed that you are going to get enlightened anyway) you think you will reach enlightenment? Fat chance!
You are missing a vital point: samsara is also infinite.
:namaste:


If in each new life, you are born with no memories and bad habits of the past, that's like a new chance to live the dharma each time. Eventually, you would live a life that attains nirvana.
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Re: Reincarnation: A gift or a curse?

Postby Malcolm » Sun Jul 17, 2011 6:55 pm

Serenity509 wrote:
If in each new life, you are born with no memories and bad habits of the past, that's like a new chance to live the dharma each time. Eventually, you would live a life that attains nirvana.


That however is not how it works in Buddhism. This sutta is instructive:

At Savatthi. Then, early in the morning, Cala the nun put on her robes and, taking her bowl & outer robe, went into Savatthi for alms. When she had gone for alms in Savatthi and had returned from her alms round, after her meal she went to the Grove of the Blind to spend the day. Having gone deep into the Grove of the Blind, she sat down at the foot of a tree for the day's abiding.

Then Mara the Evil One, wanting to arouse fear, horripilation, & terror in her, wanting to make her fall away from concentration, approached her & said, "What is it that you don't approve of, nun?"

"I don't approve of birth, my friend."


[Mara:]
Why don't you approve of birth?
One who is born
enjoys sensual pleasures.
Who on earth
ever persuaded you:
'Nun, don't approve of birth'?

[Sister Cala:]
For one who is born
there's death.
One who is born
sees pain.
It's a binding, a flogging, a torment.
That's why one shouldn't approve
of birth.

The Awakened One taught me the Dhamma
— the overcoming of birth —
for the abandoning of all pain,
he established me in
the truth.
But beings who have come to form
& those with a share in the formless,
if they don't discern cessation,
return to becoming-again.
Then Mara the Evil One — sad & dejected at realizing, "Cala the nun knows me" — vanished right there.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

As is this one:

I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Savatthi in Jeta's Grove, Anathapindika's monastery. Then Subha the student, Todeyya's son, went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, exchanged courteous greetings with him. After an exchange of friendly greetings & courtesies, he sat to one side. As he was sitting there, he said to the Blessed One: "Master Gotama, what is the reason, what is the cause, why baseness & excellence are seen among human beings, among the human race? For short-lived & long-lived people are to be seen, sickly & healthy, ugly & beautiful, uninfluential & influential, poor & rich, low-born & high-born, stupid & discerning people are to be seen. So what is the reason, what is the cause, why baseness & excellence are seen among human beings, among the human race?"

"Students, beings are owners of kamma, heir to kamma, born of kamma, related through kamma, and have kamma as their arbitrator. Kamma is what creates distinctions among beings in terms of coarseness & refinement."

"I don't understand the detailed meaning of Master Gotama's statement spoken in brief without explaining the detailed meaning. It would be good if Master Gotama taught me the Dhamma so that I might understand the detailed meaning of his brief statement."

"In that case, student, listen & pay close attention. I will speak."

"As you say, Master Gotama," Subha the student responded.

The Blessed One said: "There is the case, student, where a woman or man is a killer of living beings, brutal, bloody-handed, given to killing & slaying, showing no mercy to living beings. Through having adopted & carried out such actions, on the break-up of the body, after death, he/she reappears in the plane of deprivation, the bad destination, the lower realms, hell. If, on the break-up of the body, after death — instead of reappearing in the plane of deprivation, the bad destination, the lower realms, hell — he/she comes to the human state, then he/she is short-lived wherever reborn. This is the way leading to a short life: to be a killer of living beings, brutal, bloody-handed, given to killing & slaying, showing no mercy to living beings.

"But then there is the case where a woman or man, having abandoned the killing of living beings, abstains from killing living beings, and dwells with the rod laid down, the knife laid down, scrupulous, merciful, & sympathetic for the welfare of all living beings. Through having adopted & carried out such actions, on the break-up of the body, after death, he/she reappears in a good destination, in the heavenly world. If, on the break-up of the body, after death — instead of reappearing in a good destination, in the heavenly world — he/she comes to the human state, then he/she is long-lived wherever reborn. This is the way leading to a long life: to have abandoned the killing of living beings, to abstain from killing living beings, to dwell with one's rod laid down, one's knife laid down, scrupulous, merciful, & sympathetic for the welfare of all living beings.

"There is the case where a woman or man is one who harms beings with his/her fists, with clods, with sticks, or with knives. Through having adopted & carried out such actions, on the break-up of the body, after death, he/she reappears in the plane of deprivation... If instead he/she comes to the human state, then he/she is sickly wherever reborn. This is the way leading to sickliness: to be one who harms beings with one's fists, with clods, with sticks, or with knives.

"But then there is the case where a woman or man is not one who harms beings with his/her fists, with clods, with sticks, or with knives. Through having adopted & carried out such actions, on the break-up of the body, after death, he/she reappears in a good destination... If instead he/she comes to the human state, then he/she is healthy wherever reborn. This is the way leading to health: not to be one who harms beings with one's fists, with clods, with sticks, or with knives.

"There is the case, where a woman or man is ill-tempered & easily upset; even when lightly criticized, he/she grows offended, provoked, malicious, & resentful; shows annoyance, aversion, & bitterness. Through having adopted & carried out such actions, on the break-up of the body, after death, he/she reappears in the plane of deprivation... If instead he/she comes to the human state, then he/she is ugly wherever reborn. This is the way leading to ugliness: to be ill-tempered & easily upset; even when lightly criticized, to grow offended, provoked, malicious, & resentful; to show annoyance, aversion, & bitterness.

"But then there is the case where a woman or man is not ill-tempered or easily upset; even when heavily criticized, he/she doesn't grow offended, provoked, malicious, or resentful; doesn't show annoyance, aversion, or bitterness. Through having adopted & carried out such actions, on the break-up of the body, after death, he/she reappears in a good destination... If instead he/she comes to the human state, then he/she is beautiful wherever reborn. This is the way leading to beauty: not to be ill-tempered or easily upset; even when heavily criticized, not to be offended, provoked, malicious, or resentful; nor to show annoyance, aversion, & bitterness.

"There is the case where a woman or man is envious. He/she envies, begrudges, & broods about others' gains, honor, respect, reverence, salutations, & veneration. Through having adopted & carried out such actions, on the break-up of the body, after death, he/she reappears in the plane of deprivation... If instead he/she comes to the human state, then he/she is not influential wherever reborn. This is the way leading to not being influential: to be envious, to envy, begrudge, & brood about others' gains, honor, respect, reverence, salutations, & veneration.

"But then there is the case where a woman or man is not envious. He/she does not envy, begrudge, or brood about others' gains, honor, respect, reverence, salutations, or veneration. Through having adopted & carried out such actions, on the break-up of the body, after death, he/she reappears in a good destination... If instead he/she comes to the human state, he/she is influential wherever reborn. This is the way leading to being influential: not to be envious; not to envy, begrudge, or brood about others' gains, honor, respect, reverence, salutations, or veneration.

"There is the case where a woman or man is not a giver of food, drink, cloth, sandals, garlands, scents, ointments, beds, dwellings, or lighting to priests or contemplatives. Through having adopted & carried out such actions, on the break-up of the body, after death he/she reappears in the plane of deprivation... If instead he/she comes to the human state, he/she is poor wherever reborn. This is the way leading to poverty: not to be a giver of food, drink, cloth, sandals, garlands, scents, ointments, beds, dwellings, or lighting to priests or contemplatives.

"But then there is the case where a woman or man is a giver of food, drink, cloth, sandals, scents, ointments, beds, dwellings, & lighting to priests & contemplatives. Through having adopted & carried out such actions, on the break-up of the body, after death, he/she reappears in a good destination... If instead he/she comes to the human state, then he/she is wealthy wherever reborn. This is the way leading to great wealth: to be a giver of food, drink, cloth, sandals, garlands, scents, ointments, beds, dwellings, & lighting to priests & contemplatives.

"There is the case where a woman or man is obstinate & arrogant. He/she does not pay homage to those who deserve homage, rise up for those for whom one should rise up, give a seat to those to whom one should give a seat, make way for those for whom one should make way, worship those who should be worshipped, respect those who should be respected, revere those who should be revered, or honor those who should be honored. Through having adopted & carried out such actions, on the break-up of the body, after death, he/she reappears in the plane of deprivation... If instead he/she comes to the human state, then he/she is low-born wherever reborn. This is the way leading to a low birth: to be obstinate & arrogant, not to pay homage to those who deserve homage, nor rise up for... nor give a seat to... nor make way for... nor worship... nor respect... nor revere... nor honor those who should be honored.

"But then there is the case where a woman or man is not obstinate or arrogant; he/she pays homage to those who deserve homage, rises up... gives a seat... makes way... worships... respects... reveres... honors those who should be honored. Through having adopted & carried out such actions, on the break-up of the body, after death, he/she reappears in a good destination... If instead he/she comes to the human state, then he/she is highborn wherever reborn. This is the way leading to a high birth: not to obstinate or arrogant; to pay homage to those who deserve homage, to rise up... give a seat... make way... worship... respect... revere... honor those who should be honored.

"There is the case where a woman or man when visiting a priest or contemplative, does not ask: 'What is skillful, venerable sir? What is unskillful? What is blameworthy? What is blameless? What should be cultivated? What should not be cultivated? What, having been done by me, will be for my long-term harm & suffering? Or what, having been done by me, will be for my long-term welfare & happiness?' Through having adopted & carried out such actions, on the break-up of the body, after death, he/she reappears in the plane of deprivation... If instead he/she comes to the human state, then he/she will be stupid wherever reborn. This is the way leading to stupidity: when visiting a priest or contemplative, not to ask: 'What is skillful?... Or what, having been done by me, will be for my long-term welfare & happiness?'

"But then there is the case where a woman or man when visiting a priest or contemplative, asks: 'What is skillful, venerable sir? What is unskillful? What is blameworthy? What is blameless? What should be cultivated? What should not be cultivated? What, having been done by me, will be for my long-term harm & suffering? Or what, having been done by me, will be for my long-term welfare & happiness?' Through having adopted & carried out such actions, on the break-up of the body, after death, he/she reappears in a good destination... If instead he/she comes to the human state, then he/she is discerning wherever reborn. This is the way leading to discernment: when visiting a priest or contemplative, to ask: 'What is skillful?... Or what, having been done by me, will be for my long-term welfare & happiness?'

"So, student, the way leading to short life makes people short-lived, the way leading to long life makes people long-lived; the way leading to sickliness makes people sickly, the way leading to health makes people healthy; the way leading to ugliness makes people ugly, the way leading to beauty makes people beautiful; the way leading to lack of influence makes people uninfluential, the way leading to influence makes people influential; the way leading to poverty makes people poor, the way leading to wealth makes people wealthy; the way leading to low birth makes people low-born, the way leading to high birth makes people highborn; the way leading to stupidity makes people stupid, the way leading to discernment makes people discerning.

Beings are owners of kamma, heir to kamma, born of kamma, related through kamma, and have kamma as their arbitrator. Kamma is what creates distinctions among beings in terms of coarseness & refinement....

When this was said, Subha the student, Todeyya's son, said to the Blessed One: "Magnificent, Master Gotama! Magnificent! Just as if he were to place upright what was overturned, to reveal what was hidden, to show the way to one who was lost, or to carry a lamp into the dark so that those with eyes could see forms, in the same way has Master Gotama — through many lines of reasoning — made the Dhamma clear. I go to Master Gotama for refuge, to the Dhamma, and to the Community of monks. May Master Gotama remember me as a lay follower who has gone to him for refuge, from this day forward, for life."

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
http://www.bhaisajya.net
http://www.bhaisajya.guru
http://atikosha.org
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

Though there are infinite liberating gateways of Dharma,
there are none not included in the dimension of the knowledge of the Great Perfection.

-- Buddha Samantabhadri
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Re: Reincarnation: A gift or a curse?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sun Jul 17, 2011 7:10 pm

Serenity509 wrote:If in each new life, you are born with no memories and bad habits of the past, that's like a new chance to live the dharma each time. Eventually, you would live a life that attains nirvana.
Nope, coz your negative karma from a previous life may generate habits and preconceptions in this life so that even if you were to come into contact with the Dharma you may feel disdain, disinterest or even hatred for it. It ain't a tabula rasa situation, death is not a reset button.

Anyway just coz you don't specifically remember something does not mean that it does not effect you, we can see this effect during this lifetime as well. I'm sure you don't remember the first time you went to the big boys toilet but the habit remains with you even to this day (I hope).
:namaste:
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Reincarnation: A gift or a curse?

Postby platypus » Mon Jul 18, 2011 2:24 am

I don't believe in rebirth either, and when I say don't I mean I can't, like I posted on dhammawheel in the words of Ricky gervais you can't believe in something you don't. I think its easier to follow theravada as an atheist, but its important to quote all the four solaces when mentioning them.

"Now, Kalamas, one who is a disciple of the noble ones — his mind thus free from hostility, free from ill will, undefiled, & pure — acquires four assurances in the here-&-now:
"'If there is a world after death, if there is the fruit of actions rightly & wrongly done, then this is the basis by which, with the break-up of the body, after death, I will reappear in a good destination, the heavenly world.' This is the first assurance he acquires.
"'But if there is no world after death, if there is no fruit of actions rightly & wrongly done, then here in the present life I look after myself with ease — free from hostility, free from ill will, free from trouble.' This is the second assurance he acquires.
"'If evil is done through acting, still I have willed no evil for anyone. Having done no evil action, from where will suffering touch me?' This is the third assurance he acquires.
"'But if no evil is done through acting, then I can assume myself pure in both respects.' This is the fourth assurance he acquires.
"One who is a disciple of the noble ones — his mind thus free from hostility, free from ill will, undefiled, & pure — acquires these four assurances in the here-&-now."
"So it is, Blessed One. So it is, O One Well-gone. One who is a disciple of the noble ones — his mind thus free from hostility, free from ill will, undefiled, & pure — acquires four assurances in the here-&-now:
"'If there is a world after death, if there is the fruit of actions rightly & wrongly done, then this is the basis by which, with the break-up of the body, after death, I will reappear in a good destination, the heavenly world.' This is the first assurance he acquires.
"'But if there is no world after death, if there is no fruit of actions rightly & wrongly done, then here in the present life I look after myself with ease — free from hostility, free from ill will, free from trouble.' This is the second assurance he acquires.
"'If evil is done through acting, still I have willed no evil for anyone. Having done no evil action, from where will suffering touch me?' This is the third assurance he acquires.
"'But if no evil is done through acting, then I can assume myself pure in both ways.' This is the fourth assurance he acquires.
"One who is a disciple of the noble ones — his mind thus free from hostility, free from ill will, undefiled, & pure — acquires these four assurances in the here-&-now.


So the Buddha says one can be a disciple of the noble ones and not believe in rebirth.


"The solaces show that the reason for a virtuous life does not necessarily depend on belief in rebirth or retribution, but on mental well-being acquired through the overcoming of greed, hate, and delusion."- Soma Thera

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... el008.html
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Re: Reincarnation: A gift or a curse?

Postby Will » Mon Jul 18, 2011 4:19 am

What puzzles me is, why bother calling oneself a "Buddhist" when rebirth & karma have little or no value to one? If a good life thanks to a tamed mind is what one wants, then any theistic religion will do fine. If "God" is another notion one does not like, then a righteous secularist life, with some meditation thrown in, should satisfy.

It is rather like saying your favorite soup is minestrone, but you always tell the waiter to remove the vegetables, pasta & spices.
One should refrain from biased judgments and doubting in fathoming the Buddha and the Dharma of the Buddhas. Even though a dharma may be extremely difficult to believe, one should nonetheless maintain faith in it. Nagarjuna
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Re: Reincarnation: A gift or a curse?

Postby Serenity509 » Mon Jul 18, 2011 5:13 am

Will wrote:What puzzles me is, why bother calling oneself a "Buddhist" when rebirth & karma have little or no value to one? If a good life thanks to a tamed mind is what one wants, then any theistic religion will do fine. If "God" is another notion one does not like, then a righteous secularist life, with some meditation thrown in, should satisfy.

It is rather like saying your favorite soup is minestrone, but you always tell the waiter to remove the vegetables, pasta & spices.


Why is belief in reincarnation a requirement of following the Buddha? Must one believe in reincarnation to attain supreme joy and peace of mind?
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Re: Reincarnation: A gift or a curse?

Postby Serenity509 » Mon Jul 18, 2011 5:14 am

gregkavarnos wrote:
Serenity509 wrote:If in each new life, you are born with no memories and bad habits of the past, that's like a new chance to live the dharma each time. Eventually, you would live a life that attains nirvana.
Nope, coz your negative karma from a previous life may generate habits and preconceptions in this life so that even if you were to come into contact with the Dharma you may feel disdain, disinterest or even hatred for it. It ain't a tabula rasa situation, death is not a reset button.

Anyway just coz you don't specifically remember something does not mean that it does not effect you, we can see this effect during this lifetime as well. I'm sure you don't remember the first time you went to the big boys toilet but the habit remains with you even to this day (I hope).
:namaste:


Are you saying that an individual can be locked into an infinite amount of bad karmic lives, never ever attaining nirvana?
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Re: Reincarnation: A gift or a curse?

Postby platypus » Mon Jul 18, 2011 5:36 am

Will wrote:What puzzles me is, why bother calling oneself a "Buddhist" when rebirth & karma have little or no value to one? If a good life thanks to a tamed mind is what one wants, then any theistic religion will do fine. If "God" is another notion one does not like, then a righteous secularist life, with some meditation thrown in, should satisfy.

It is rather like saying your favorite soup is minestrone, but you always tell the waiter to remove the vegetables, pasta & spices.

Buddhism is path of the cessation of dukkha. — SN 56.11


"Birth is dukkha, aging is dukkha, death is dukkha; sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief, & despair are dukkha; association with the unbeloved is dukkha; separation from the loved is dukkha; not getting what is wanted is dukkha. In short, the five clinging-aggregates are dukkha."


"Both formerly & now, it is only dukkha that I describe, and the cessation of dukkha."
— SN 22.86


"There are these three forms of stressfulness, my friend: the stressfulness of pain, the stressfulness of fabrication, the stressfulness of change. These are the three forms of stressfulness."
...[Jambukhadika the wanderer:] "What is the path, what is the practice for the full comprehension of these forms of stressfulness?"
"Precisely this Noble Eightfold Path, my friend — right view, right resolve, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration. This is the path, this is the practice for the full comprehension of these forms of stressfulness."
— SN 38.14


I'm not saying I can't believe in dukkha when nothing is fixed and everything is subject to change viewing what is not fixed as fixed and grasping what cannot be grasped obviously leads to dukkha. And from my own experience Buddhism leads to a happier life when this is realised through studying the Dharma and practicing sila samadhi and prajna.
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