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 for real?

Postby Thug4lyfe » Wed Oct 26, 2011 7:13 am

So much arrogant delusions! You don't jump off the raft before you cross the river, you'll drown! All this stuff about letting go is for the ADVANCED practitoners who are ready! You ain't going no where when you can't even absorb Buddhism101 into your system!

The trouble with the internet etc is that people will always go the advanced stuff and miss out the basics, then start leading other people astray like that Alan Watts!
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Re: are karma and rebirth for real?

Postby edearl » Wed Oct 26, 2011 8:17 am

Kyosan wrote:
edearl wrote:This discussion has been interesting to follow, and demonstrates several awesome characteristics of Buddhists, including tolerance and mindfulness.


From the Vimalakirti Nirdesa Sutra
While like Mount Sumeru you are unmoved by both praise and censure. Your compassion is extended to both good and evil men, like space thy mind remains impartial. Does not anyone revere this human Buddha after hearing about Him?

:namaste:


That you and others are unmoved is OK, it is good for me to tell others how I feel. Moreover, being around good people is also good for me who has been (and can be good for many other people who are) lost in this push-and-shove (virtually eat-or-be-eaten) world. Whether I or others are ever considered to be Buddhist by anyone here is not as important as learning about Buddhism and integrating that knowledge into my life (and others into their lives).

:smile: ::EPIPHANY:: :smile:

Metta
HHDL: "My confidence in venturing into science lies in my basic belief that as in science so in Buddhism, understanding the nature of reality is pursued by means of critical investigation: if scientific analysis were conclusively to demonstrate certain claims in Buddhism to be false, then we must accept the findings of science and abandon those claims."
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Re: are karma and rebirth for real?

Postby Kyosan » Wed Oct 26, 2011 9:18 am

Kyosan wrote:
edearl wrote:That you and others are unmoved is OK, it is good for me to tell others how I feel. Moreover, being around good people is also good for me who has been (and can be good for many other people who are) lost in this push-and-shove (virtually eat-or-be-eaten) world. Whether I or others are ever considered to be Buddhist by anyone here is not as important as learning about Buddhism and integrating that knowledge into my life (and others into their lives).

:smile: ::EPIPHANY:: :smile:

Metta

I like your post. :twothumbsup: I posted that quote because you mentioned impartiality and I wanted to show you that impartiality is very important in Buddhism. It's one of the characteristics of Buddha and we are supposed to try to be like him. And it's something that is especially important to me; I think because I see so much hatred and bias in the world, and it doesn't have to be that way. This causes much suffering in the world.

You are right; even though we have disagreements we are all good people, not perfect but trying our best.

:smile: ::FIREFOX:: :smile: if that's what you mean :D
:namaste:
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Re: are karma and rebirth for real?

Postby edearl » Wed Oct 26, 2011 10:58 am

Kyosan wrote:I like your post. :twothumbsup: I posted that quote because you mentioned impartiality and I wanted to show you that impartiality is very important in Buddhism. It's one of the characteristics of Buddha and we are supposed to try to be like him. And it's something that is especially important to me; I think because I see so much hatred and bias in the world, and it doesn't have to be that way. This causes much suffering in the world.

You are right; even though we have disagreements we are all good people, not perfect but trying our best.

:smile: ::FIREFOX:: :smile: if that's what you mean :D
:namaste:


:thanks: I am studying the 37 factors of enlightenment and Bodhipakkhiyādhammā (whew--a mouth full) and find almost all of it reasonable and acceptable. At the moment I have only one issue, faith. That's because my family, mom especially, said, "Trust me. Have faith in Christianity," but my family and church are bigoted, intolerant, vindictive, and have other incredible beliefs. That experience has made me mistrust anyone who states a belief and expects me believe it because of trust. In my opinion, blind faith is an ugly thing because an otherwise good person can be led to do bad things. On the other hand, one cannot live their lives without faith. Math and logic simply cannot scientifically prove everything needed to live ones life. Faith filtered by reason is OK and needed. Needless to say, I was very impressed that the Buddha said don't blindly trust me, think about my philosophy and if it makes sense, follow me. That was the start of my epiphany, and it continues as I learn more. It is as if the Buddha read my mind, figured out many things I had been unable to work out, and now is telling me the things I want to know.

I felt like shouting EPIPHANY, meaning "a sudden, intuitive perception of or insight into the reality or essential meaning of something," (Dictionary.com)

:lol: I looked up the definition, and found that it is also a Christian festival--not what I meant.
HHDL: "My confidence in venturing into science lies in my basic belief that as in science so in Buddhism, understanding the nature of reality is pursued by means of critical investigation: if scientific analysis were conclusively to demonstrate certain claims in Buddhism to be false, then we must accept the findings of science and abandon those claims."
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Re: are karma and rebirth for real?

Postby Dechen Norbu » Wed Oct 26, 2011 3:07 pm

:good:
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Re: are karma and rebirth for real?

Postby Dechen Norbu » Wed Oct 26, 2011 3:21 pm

TMingyur wrote:Be that as it may ... from within the context of the teachings volitional formations manifesting of the kind "there is re-birth" or "there is no rebirth" will lead to further being born.

However there is a difference when there is fear or aversion or being worried about when it happens. This was the meaning intended with the term "embrace".


All this fancy discursive fabrications about "rebirth" won't help ... what is of help however is the eightfold path which entails cessation of speculations and equanimous and/or joyful letting go.


Kind regards

If death is annihilation, it really doesn't matter, because there will be no further "being born".
The Noble Eightfold Path starts and ends with Right View. One should try to cultivate it. It's always a project as when one truly realizes right view one realizes enlightenment. First one has an intellectual understanding about the teachings and it is this that guides practice. Then there's a feedback and practice brings insight, refining the view even intellectually. It goes on and on like that until the insights become deeper and deeper, to the point of no longer being able to be fully understood by those who never had them. It's then inexpressible. I'm sure you get the point. Now, if we don't make an effort to develop Right View, it doesn't really matter if we call ourselves Buddhist or not. This doesn't work by labeling. Right View, when we start, mostly implies the first two wisdoms: hearing (studying) and contemplating (thinking about one has read). Then comes meditation. Depending on the school, there are many methods, different texts and so on. But what you won't ever see, not mattering the tradition, is a text denying rebirth. This is not because rebirth is a tremendously important teaching, but because usually a single lifetime is not enough to complete the path, so if we can have some control over it, gaining a life in which there are less obstacles to practice is wise. Otherwise, the teachings about rebirth are not that special. We just need to do our best to avoid a nasty rebirth. This means living morally (and here we could start a new debate) and practicing.
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Re: are karma and rebirth for real?

Postby Karma Dondrup Tashi » Wed Oct 26, 2011 3:37 pm

Dechen Norbu wrote:Rebirth is a phenomenon, like death or sickness. It has conventional existence and that's it. What you do when facing that idea is up to you. :smile:
You're a student of ChNN, right? So I would say, just do your best. :lol:


Yes.

_/\_

And for the record I actually do believe in rebirth - as a result of my practice - so what I am trying to figure out is its proper place in the view.
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Re: are karma and rebirth for real?

Postby Karma Dondrup Tashi » Wed Oct 26, 2011 3:44 pm

Annihilationism is no argument against rebirth because a permanent heaven or hell is possible and is not annihilation. So - back to why rebirth in particular is right view for renunciation.
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Re: are karma and rebirth for real?

Postby Josef » Wed Oct 26, 2011 3:57 pm

Karma Dondrup Tashi wrote:
Dechen Norbu wrote:Rebirth is a phenomenon, like death or sickness. It has conventional existence and that's it. What you do when facing that idea is up to you. :smile:
You're a student of ChNN, right? So I would say, just do your best. :lol:


Yes.

_/\_

And for the record I actually do believe in rebirth - as a result of my practice - so what I am trying to figure out is its proper place in the view.

Read The Precious Vase and Longchenpa's Precious Treasury of Philosophical Systems.
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Re: are karma and rebirth for real?

Postby Karma Dondrup Tashi » Wed Oct 26, 2011 4:05 pm

Yes thank you I have read them I will be sure to check them out again.
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Re: are karma and rebirth for real?

Postby Josef » Wed Oct 26, 2011 4:11 pm

Karma Dondrup Tashi wrote:Yes thank you I have read them I will be sure to check them out again.

In the very beginning of both text they start off by explaining the problems with non-Buddhist views that either argue for nothingness or a permanent self. A review of these arguments pretty firmly establishes why our view is what it is and why it makes sense.
They are kind of boring explainations but worth a re-read.
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Re: are karma and rebirth for real?

Postby Dechen Norbu » Wed Oct 26, 2011 4:15 pm

Kyosan wrote:
TMingyur wrote:All this fancy discursive fabrications about "rebirth" won't help ... what is of help however is the eightfold path which entails cessation of speculations and joyful letting go.


Kind regards

When you are no longer sure about anything , I think that is a good sign. But still you have the Way, even though you don't know exactly what the Way is.
:namaste:

Not being sure about anything may solely mean confusion. Loosening up our convictions is one thing, because we gain space to learn, to change, to cultivate, to relax, you name it. Becoming lost is another thing all together. Pretty much that's how we have been or still are, even when we adhere to this or that belief or to the belief of disbelieving. Nothing special about that. Not knowing what is the path (or the way, if you prefer) may lead us to think we are walking it while in fact we a threading a fantasy. The path is there, has been discovered and revealed and now it's up to us to walk it or not. It's solely our responsibility. If we don't know what to accept and what to reject in post meditation, we may end up far away from the Buddhadharma while thinking we're Buddhists. This is really a shame, because there was a will, there was time we spent, there were sitting sessions and after all we just ended up spoiling our precious existence in a senseless fantasy of our own making. Again, this isn't directly addressed to you! :lol:
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Re: are karma and rebirth for real?

Postby Karma Dondrup Tashi » Wed Oct 26, 2011 4:18 pm

Nangwa wrote:
Karma Dondrup Tashi wrote:Yes thank you I have read them I will be sure to check them out again.

In the very beginning of both text they start off by explaining the problems with non-Buddhist views that either argue for nothingness or a permanent self. A review of these arguments pretty firmly establishes why our view is what it is and why it makes sense.
They are kind of boring explainations but worth a re-read.


_/\_

I must keep reminding myself of proper view all the time.
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Re: are karma and rebirth for real?

Postby Josef » Wed Oct 26, 2011 4:18 pm

Dechen Norbu wrote:Not being sure about anything may solely mean confusion. Loosening up our convictions is one thing, because we gain space to learn, to change, to cultivate, to relax, you name it. Becoming lost is another thing all together. Pretty much that's how we have been or still are, even when we adhere to this or that belief or to the belief of disbelieving. Nothing special about that. Not knowing what is the path (or the way, if you prefer) may lead us to think we are walking it while in fact we a threading a fantasy. The path is there, has been discovered and revealed and now it's up to us to walk it or not. It's solely our responsibility. If we don't know what to accept and what to reject in post meditation, we may end up far away from the Buddhadharma while thinking we're Buddhists. This is really a shame, because there was a will, there was time we spent, there were sitting sessions and after all we just ended up spoiling our precious existence in a senseless fantasy of our own making. Again, this isn't directly addressed to you! :lol:

Well said.
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Re: are karma and rebirth for real?

Postby Dechen Norbu » Wed Oct 26, 2011 4:23 pm

KDT,

It's always useful. I'm not saying you don't, but be sure to understand ChNN properly and closely. Many unfortunately don't get his teachings as they should and end up in their own "Dzogchen", misinterpreting the role of secondary practices and the view that supports them, even when done keeping Dzogchen in mind. I'm not saying this thinking in any way that you've misinterpreted him, but as it happens so often I might as well take it off my chest! :lol:
Nangwa gave you sound advice, as usual. :smile:
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Re: are karma and rebirth for real?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Wed Oct 26, 2011 4:24 pm

There can be no doubt that Matrceta's hymn likewise is an expression of a deep devotion to the Buddha and an admiration of his qualities. But quite apart from the author's motive in writing it, the value and indeed the purpose of the Hymn to the Buddha is twofold. First it is meant to awaken our faith. Matrceta recognized as did the Lord himself that faith has the power to arouse a tremendous amount of positive zeal and energy. Long before we have directly experienced it, faith keeps our eyes fixed firmly on the goal. When we stumble and fall, faith picks us up; when doubt causes us to falter, it urges us on; and when we get side-tracked, it brings us back to the Path. Without faith in the Buddha and the efficacy of his Dharma we would never even bother to try to put the teachings into practice. As Nagarjuna says:

One associates with the Dharma out of faith, but one knows truly out of understanding; understanding is the chief of the two, but faith precedes.
An extract from Matrceta's Hymn to the Buddha, An English Rendering of the Satapañcasatka http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... el360.html
The translated text itself is well worth reading. A fantastic poetic praise of the qualities of Shakyamuni Buddha.
: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: are karma and rebirth for real?

Postby Dechen Norbu » Wed Oct 26, 2011 4:25 pm

Nice post, Greg. :smile:
Whenever we start a project, we need a certain degree of faith. To test a hypothesis, for instance, I need to have some faith in it. Otherwise I wouldn't even bother.
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Re: are karma and rebirth for real?

Postby Karma Dondrup Tashi » Wed Oct 26, 2011 4:33 pm

Dechen Norbu wrote:KDT,

It's always useful. I'm not saying you don't, but be sure to understand ChNN properly and closely. Many unfortunately don't get his teachings as they should and end up in their own "Dzogchen", misinterpreting the role of secondary practices and the view that supports them, even when done keeping Dzogchen in mind. I'm not saying this thinking in any way that you've misinterpreted him, but as it happens so often I might as well take it off my chest! :lol:
Nangwa gave you sound advice, as usual. :smile:


Thank you I am always trying to do so. I am always trying to remain as close to my teacher as possible. I think I have seen a few students of dzogchen think they get it early on (i.e. the first few years) and then proceed right back into their own little hall of mirrors they left in the first place. So the practice is very simple, but very hard at the same time.

I also have this tendency on the boards to take a position opposite to the one I really believe and then try to play devil's advocate. I don't know why I do this. Probably my perverse nature.
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Re: are karma and rebirth for real?

Postby deepbluehum » Wed Oct 26, 2011 6:00 pm

Acchantika wrote:Behaving compassionately for fear of punishment and want of reward is not morality.

Refusing to question our beliefs for fear of what may be entailed is not wisdom.


This quip, while sounding spiritual, completely misses the mark. I haven't said one should behave compassionately for fear of punishment, nor have I said not to question beliefs for fear of what they might entail. You all are conditioned by the Church. I don't have the problem. The teaching on karma is very simple and verifiable. Good deeds result in pleasure and a higher rebirth; bad deeds result in pain and a lower rebirth. The path provides the methods to test these. You do not have a sound working basis to test these until the methods are taught to you. Until then, you will have to go on faith that the methods will do the job.

He says they should develop conviction in practice based on trust in their teachers. Not reify arbitrary beliefs and call it virtue.


Again you are just waxing poetic to get fools to chime in; again, completely off the mark. The above-cited sutta states that a beginner has to trust the Buddha first, then later, the answers become clear. The point is that you never just believe their is karma or rebirth, just because the Buddha said so. But you also don't disbelieve it and distrust the Buddha. You keep an open mind, "this is the teaching of the Omniscient one," and you proceed along the path step by step slowly verifying the trust behind the Master's words.

Seriously, you Westerners need to drop the New Age Guru aspirations or you will be left in the dust. This is the degenerate age. Dharma will not be here for long.
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Re: are karma and rebirth for real?

Postby deepbluehum » Wed Oct 26, 2011 6:19 pm

Basically the Buddha set out the figure out the ultimate place of rest. If death were it, that would be enough. But it turns out that death is not the end. So you have to go deeper into what is driving existence. Hence the twelve links, five heaps, the four noble truths and the path.
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