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 KevinSolway » Wed Nov 09, 2011 7:12 am

LastLegend wrote:Yes, conventionally speaking, there is substance dualism as in mind and matter.


Dualistically speaking, there is dualism. :smile:
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Re: are karma and rebirth for real?

Postby padma norbu » Wed Nov 09, 2011 7:18 am

KevinSolway wrote:
alwayson wrote:Which is what in two sentences?


I'll answer your question in a new topic, since that question is straying a bit too much from the current topic.

See the topic "Ultimate Truth"


The truth is, that before 5 minutes is up in the first video...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4jmx181ODtQ

...you have already given the answer: you don't do any Buddhist practice whatsoever and it is obvious by what you say in 2:25 - the rest of the video.

You just smirk about the idea that a certain amount of practice can lead to understanding. To you, it seems "vague" because you obviously haven't practiced it.
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Re: are karma and rebirth for real?

Postby LastLegend » Wed Nov 09, 2011 7:19 am

KevinSolway wrote:
LastLegend wrote:Yes, conventionally speaking, there is substance dualism as in mind and matter.


Dualistically speaking, there is dualism. :smile:


There is dualism.
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Re: are karma and rebirth for real?

Postby alwayson » Wed Nov 09, 2011 7:32 am

There are 3 different things

A. Dualism
B. Nondualism / Monism
C. Dependent Origination (Buddhism)


Lets not confuse them :thumbsup:
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Re: are karma and rebirth for real?

Postby KevinSolway » Wed Nov 09, 2011 7:34 am

padma norbu wrote:You obviously haven't practiced it.


You have no idea what you're talking about. You should follow the advice of the moderators, refrain from ad homs, and deal with the actual arguments.
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Re: are karma and rebirth for real?

Postby LastLegend » Wed Nov 09, 2011 7:47 am

alwayson wrote:There are 3 different things

A. Dualism
B. Nondualism / Monism
C. Dependent Origination (Buddhism)


Lets not confuse them :thumbsup:



Show me Nondualism/Monism and DO.
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Re: are karma and rebirth for real?

Postby padma norbu » Wed Nov 09, 2011 7:50 am

KevinSolway wrote:
padma norbu wrote:You obviously haven't practiced it.


You have no idea what you're talking about.


Not the first untrue thing you've said here.
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Re: are karma and rebirth for real?

Postby alwayson » Wed Nov 09, 2011 7:59 am

LastLegend wrote:
Show me Nondualism/Monism and DO.




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

Postby LastLegend » Wed Nov 09, 2011 8:02 am

alwayson wrote:
LastLegend wrote:
Show me Nondualism/Monism and DO.




?????


????? is the answer?
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Re: are karma and rebirth for real?

Postby padma norbu » Wed Nov 09, 2011 2:58 pm

KevinSolway wrote:
padma norbu wrote:You obviously haven't practiced it.


You have no idea what you're talking about. You should follow the advice of the moderators, refrain from ad homs, and deal with the actual arguments.


And so we now see in your Ultimate Truth thread that I was completely correct. You do not do any Buddhist practice. And, btw, this was not ad hominem. It was a direct response to your dismissal of meditative experience as unreasonable.

You are getting older, Kevin. You should try some Buddhist practice! What a shame it would be to intellectualize your whole life, consider yourself a Buddhist and then die having wasted this precious opportunity to practice. I recommend Tara practice for your misogynist bent.
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Re: are karma and rebirth for real?

Postby Malcolm » Wed Nov 09, 2011 3:02 pm

KevinSolway wrote:Everything in the sutras is written from the perspective of Ultimate Truth.


If that is the case then you must hold that rebirth is an ultimate truth since the Vipaka sutta states:

"Monks, the taking of life — when indulged in, developed, & pursued — is something that leads to hell, leads to rebirth as a common animal, leads to the realm of the hungry shades. The slightest of all the results coming from the taking of life is that, when one becomes a human being, it leads to a short life span.

"Stealing — when indulged in, developed, & pursued — is something that leads to hell, leads to rebirth as a common animal, leads to the realm of the hungry shades. The slightest of all the results coming from stealing is that, when one becomes a human being, it leads to the loss of one's wealth.

"Illicit sexual behavior — when indulged in, developed, & pursued — is something that leads to hell, leads to rebirth as a common animal, leads to the realm of the hungry shades. The slightest of all the results coming from illicit sexual behavior is that, when one becomes a human being, it leads to rivalry & revenge.

"Telling falsehoods — when indulged in, developed, & pursued — is something that leads to hell, leads to rebirth as a common animal, leads to the realm of the hungry shades. The slightest of all the results coming from telling falsehoods is that, when one becomes a human being, it leads to being falsely accused.

"Divisive tale-bearing — when indulged in, developed, & pursued — is something that leads to hell, leads to rebirth as a common animal, leads to the realm of the hungry shades. The slightest of all the results coming from divisive tale-bearing is that, when one becomes a human being, it leads to the breaking of one's friendships.

"Harsh speech — when indulged in, developed, & pursued — is something that leads to hell, leads to rebirth as a common animal, leads to the realm of the hungry shades. The slightest of all the results coming from harsh speech is that, when one becomes a human being, it leads to unappealing sounds.

"Frivolous chattering — when indulged in, developed, & pursued — is something that leads to hell, leads to rebirth as a common animal, leads to the realm of the hungry shades. The slightest of all the results coming from frivolous chattering is that, when one becomes a human being, it leads to words that aren't worth taking to heart.

"The drinking of fermented & distilled liquors — when indulged in, developed, & pursued — is something that leads to hell, leads to rebirth as a common animal, leads to the realm of the hungry shades. The slightest of all the results coming from drinking fermented & distilled liquors is that, when one becomes a human being, it leads to mental derangement."
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Re: are karma and rebirth for real?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Wed Nov 09, 2011 3:11 pm

Dear Namdrol,

I have already quoted large tracts of various other sutta outlining literal rebirth for Kev (he referred to the quotes as "reams of spam") to no avail.

You may consider not wishing to waste your time.
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One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
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Re: are karma and rebirth for real?

Postby catmoon » Wed Nov 09, 2011 3:26 pm

I am in some distress over where this topic is going.

As Greg has said, what is the point in wasting time? Opinions differ, it's always going to be that way.



Thus I have, without consultation with anybody, locked the thread.

Let's all take a moment to stop and reflect on our own defects and faults rather than the other guy's.

Now, when the moment is right, another mod will come along and unlock the thread. It might be quite soon, it might not. I leave that judgement to wiser heads than mine.
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Re: Reincarnation, Zen, etc.

Postby Mr. G » Mon Jan 02, 2012 4:14 pm

Beatzen wrote:3. Even as an earnest Zen practitioner, I question the validity in a belief in reincarnation. Read Jiddu Krishnamurti on the subject. All this rigidity makes people like us seem like a bunch of beatnik westerners fascinated by some new philosophical trend from the east.


Beatzen wrote:I don't believe in reincarnation personally. Even though I am an earnest practitioner. I believe that there is no transmigration, and that the aggregates simply disolve at death. I don't think I'm necessarily right in believing this, but this the opinion I currently hold. If I have a meditative insight that leads me to feel otherwise, I will eat my own hat.


As I wrote elsewhere, there are many so-called Buddhists that don't believe in literal rebirth and karma. However, the central tenet behind Buddhism is to end rebirth through Buddhist practice. And I'm not talking about one line out of the suttas/sutras. There is a large amount of suttas/sutras that are completely clear that rebirth is literal. So Buddhism, especially in the U.S., ends up being a form of psychotherapy where meditation is used to make people feel better about themselves. Yes, that's fine, but it's incidental to it's main purpose. This is prevalent in the current movement of Zen in America. This is what happens when modernity meets Buddhism. Ideas like rebirth and karma end up being watered down psychological terms. Yidams become archetypes and eventually Shakyamuni Buddha will end up being a symbol as opposed to a living contemplative that lived in the past

Let's face it, people are embarrassed to admit they are religious. They would rather co-opt Buddhism to suit their own preconceived materialist notions rather than risk personal embarassment discussing the supramundane aspects.
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Re: Reincarnation, Zen, etc.

Postby LastLegend » Mon Jan 02, 2012 4:27 pm

If there is no birth and death, then how do things come into existence?
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Re: Reincarnation, Zen, etc.

Postby LastLegend » Mon Jan 02, 2012 4:35 pm

Please explain further in terms of your understanding in rebirth.

What is meant by literal and not literal?
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Re: Reincarnation, Zen, etc.

Postby Beatzen » Mon Jan 02, 2012 4:41 pm

I do not believe in continuity of consciousness after the death of the body. I am not a materialist, but I am not a spiritualist, either.

You have to remember that Zen is a amalgamation of Chinese Taoist philosophy and Indian Buddhism. The Buddhist insight is the non-reality of the separate self. But the Taoist element casts life and death as a seamless movement. You don't have to believe in past or future lives to believe in case and effect.

But, if you think that the aggregate of consciousness continues on independantly of the body after death, please explain how this is possible. Use phenomenological terms, and do not quote scripture.
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Re: Reincarnation, Zen, etc.

Postby Mr. G » Mon Jan 02, 2012 4:42 pm

Beatzen wrote:But I don't think that reincarnation is literal. I apologize if you think that it automatically casts me as a materialist. Quite the contrary.

I don't think the buddha taught continuity of consciousness as we are referring to it as literal transmigration after death.


Hi Beatzen,

If you don't think Shakyamuni Buddha was talking about literal rebirth, what is your interpretation of the following suttas:

    "Of course you are befuddled, Vaccha. Of course you are uncertain. When there is a reason for befuddlement in you, uncertainty arises. I designate the rebirth of one who has sustenance, Vaccha, and not of one without sustenance. Just as a fire burns with sustenance and not without sustenance, even so I designate the rebirth of one who has sustenance and not of one without sustenance.""But, Master Gotama, at the moment a flame is being swept on by the wind and goes a far distance, what do you designate as its sustenance then?""Vaccha, when a flame is being swept on by the wind and goes a far distance, I designate it as wind-sustained, for the wind is its sustenance at that time.""And at the moment when a being sets this body aside and is not yet reborn in another body, what do you designate as its sustenance then?""Vaccha, when a being sets this body aside and is not yet reborn in another body, I designate it as craving-sustained, for craving is its sustenance at that time." - Kutuhalasala Sutta SN 44.9


    "Long have you (repeatedly) experienced the death of a father... the death of a brother... the death of a sister... the death of a son... the death of a daughter... loss with regard to relatives... loss with regard to wealth... loss with regard to disease. The tears you have shed over loss with regard to disease while transmigrating & wandering this long, long time — crying & weeping from being joined with what is displeasing, being separated from what is pleasing — are greater than the water in the four great oceans."Why is that? From an inconstruable beginning comes transmigration. A beginning point is not evident, though beings hindered by ignorance and fettered by craving are transmigrating & wandering on. Long have you thus experienced stress, experienced pain, experienced loss, swelling the cemeteries — enough to become disenchanted with all fabricated things, enough to become dispassionate, enough to be released." - Assu Sutta SN 15.3

    Which do you think is more: the streams of blood that, through your being beheaded, have flowed upon this long way, these, or the waters of the four oceans? Long have you been caught as robbers, or highway men or adulterers; and, through your being beheaded, verily more blood has flowed upon this long way than there is water in the four oceans. But how is this possible? Inconceivable is the beginning of this Sa.msaara; not to be discovered is any first beginning of beings, who, obstructed by ignorance and ensnared by craving, are hurrying and hastening through this round of rebirths. - S. XV. 13

    "He recollects his manifold past lives,[3] i.e., one birth, two births, three births, four, five, ten, twenty, thirty, forty, fifty, one hundred, one thousand, one hundred thousand, many aeons of cosmic contraction, many aeons of cosmic expansion, many aeons of cosmic contraction & expansion, [recollecting], 'There I had such a name, belonged to such a clan, had such an appearance. Such was my food, such my experience of pleasure & pain, such the end of my life. Passing away from that state, I re-arose there. There too I had such a name, belonged to such a clan, had such an appearance. Such was my food, such my experience of pleasure & pain, such the end of my life. Passing away from that state, I re-arose here.' Thus he remembers his manifold past lives in their modes & details. - Iddhipada-vibhanga Sutta SN 51.20

    a man, after the disappearance of the 3 mental chains personality-belief, skeptical doubt, attachment to rules and ritual; see: samyojana has entered the stream to Nibbāna, he is no more subject to rebirth in lower worlds, is firmly established, destined to full enlightenment. After having passed amongst the divine and human beings only seven times more through the round of rebirths, he puts an end to suffering. Such a man is called 'one with 7 births at the utmost' sattakkhattu-parama. - Pug. 37-39; A. III, 87:

    "Excellent, monks. Excellent. It is excellent that you thus understand the Dhamma taught by me. "This is the greater: the blood you have shed from having your heads cut off while transmigrating & wandering this long, long time, not the water in the four great oceans."The blood you have shed when, being cows, you had your cow-heads cut off: Long has this been greater than the water in the four great oceans."The blood you have shed when, being water buffaloes, you had your water buffalo-heads cut off... when, being rams, you had your ram-heads cut off... when, being goats, you had your goat-heads cut off... when, being deer, you had your deer-heads cut off... when, being chickens, you had your chicken-heads cut off... when, being pigs, you had your pig-heads cut off: Long has this been greater than the water in the four great oceans. - Timsa Sutta SN 15.13

Seems quite clear he believed in literal rebirth, no?

I think he was referring to a cessation of "becoming."


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Re: Reincarnation, Zen, etc.

Postby Beatzen » Mon Jan 02, 2012 4:47 pm

As I alluded to earlier, one cannot base faith in an idea on scripture. Scripture that was not penned but 3 to 500 years after Buddha's death.

I said, if I have a meditative insight into the reality of rebirth, I will gladly change my position. I will not argue this. Please don't stray from the topic, which was generally "how is Dzogchen/Mahamudra different from Zazen Samadhi"
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Re: Reincarnation, Zen, etc.

Postby LastLegend » Mon Jan 02, 2012 4:53 pm

Beatzen wrote:I do not believe in continuity of consciousness after the death of the body. I am not a materialist, but I am not a spiritualist, either.

You have to remember that Zen is a amalgamation of Chinese Taoist philosophy and Indian Buddhism. The Buddhist insight is the non-reality of the separate self. But the Taoist element casts life and death as a seamless movement. You don't have to believe in past or future lives to believe in case and effect.

But, if you think that the aggregate of consciousness continues on independantly of the body after death, please explain how this is possible. Use phenomenological terms, and do not quote scripture.


The 6 consciousnesses come into existence after the 5 aggregates are formed. With the 6th consciousness, there comes the 7th consciousness (grasping). Yes, the 6 consciousnesses will be gone after the body stops to function and the 6 consciousnesses depend on the body for their existence, such as there is this, there is that-dependently originated sort of thing. The only consciousness that will move on is the 8th consciousness, Alaya, or the store house of all actions and everything that happen. Because we are deluded, there has to be a system in place such as a soul that will continue to take rebirth until we are enlightened.

If you don't believe in rebirth, then can you please explain what might happen after death? And how things form again with consciousness? Such as what causes things to form again?
Last edited by LastLegend on Mon Jan 02, 2012 4:59 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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