Question regarding rebirths

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
User avatar
budo
Posts: 52
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 12:16 am
Location: Canada

Question regarding rebirths

Postby budo » Thu Dec 09, 2010 5:13 am

A lot of what I read says "not in this lifetime" as maybe you will achieve this in the next life time.

However what I want to know is how is progress carried over to the next life? Does the soul not forget? For example, how do I know if I studied Buddhism in a previous life or not? To me Buddhism is new, but maybe in a previous life I was well disciplined in Buddhism. So do we restart every life? If so how would we ever achieve the higher states?

Thanks!
Energy flows where attention goes

User avatar
kirk5a
Posts: 1959
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2010 1:51 pm

Re: Question regarding rebirths

Postby kirk5a » Thu Dec 09, 2010 5:35 am

"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230

User avatar
Cloud
Posts: 63
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2010 7:11 pm
Contact:

Re: Question regarding rebirths

Postby Cloud » Thu Dec 09, 2010 6:14 am

There's no soul, no abiding or separate self. You are not reborn, per se. The consciousness that gave rise to your life will give rise to new life. When we are told maybe in a future lifetime, this means maybe conditions will be better for awakening for beings in the future.

Rebirth is the re-arising of unwholesome mental states which are based on ignorance. Taken all together, all of our rebirths constitute Samsara (the cycle of rebirths). This is all that we know, unless we understand that conditions in the past are what have led us to now, and now we are able to apply skillful means toward changing conditions so that the future state will be a liberated one; an awakened one. We do this by following the Noble Eightfold Path. Getting caught up in rebirths "beyond this life", or "preceding this life", will not lead to our awakening now. We should wish for the awakening of all sentient beings (now and in the future), but if we want to awaken before we die we must walk the path and strive diligently.

Namaste

User avatar
Bhikkhu Pesala
Posts: 3670
Joined: Thu Jan 29, 2009 8:17 pm

Re: Question regarding rebirths

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Thu Dec 09, 2010 6:23 am

• • • • (Upasampadā: 24th June, 1979)

User avatar
retrofuturist
Site Admin
Posts: 17855
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Question regarding rebirths

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Dec 09, 2010 7:25 am

"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

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

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

rowyourboat
Posts: 1952
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 5:29 pm
Location: London, UK

Re: Question regarding rebirths

Postby rowyourboat » Thu Dec 09, 2010 2:11 pm

Hi Budo,

The Buddha trained over many lifetimes to become a Buddha. His 'paramis'- perfections were done over many millions of lifetimes- so yes, there is a residue a 'carry over'..

I like to see it like this- imgine a lead ball falls into some clay- an imprint will be left behind in the shape of the lead ball. Now this shape/imprint is not the lead ball but looks very much like it (in terms of it being a sphere). This is simply a transmission of information (which happens everywhere, all the time). A shadow is another good example. Now, when we die in this lifetime it casts a shadow (or certain information gets transmitted) to the next lifetime. This is then how Buddhas maintain some semblance of continuity beyond just the one lifetime.

with metta

Matheesha
With Metta

Karuna
Mudita
& Upekkha


Return to “General Theravāda discussion”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 11 guests

Google Saffron, Theravada Search Engine