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What use is heavenly rebirth? - Dhamma Wheel

What use is heavenly rebirth?

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths. What can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
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Lazy_eye
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What use is heavenly rebirth?

Postby Lazy_eye » Sun May 16, 2010 6:10 pm

Rebirth in the heavenly realm seems to be a fairly common goal for laypeople, and perhaps even some monastics. It's one of the "six remembrances", for instance. But I'm a little unclear on why anyone would want to strive for this. Conditions in the heavenly realms are said to be very pleasant, but they are not optimal for practicing the dhamma. So wouldn't it make a lot more sense to aim for a human rebirth? (Granted, we don't necessarily have control of this...but I mean in terms of intentions).

For an ordinary layperson, why not seek to produce the kammic conditions that would enable further development of the path in a future (human) life? If you get to heaven, sooner or later you'll use up the merit and fall back into the lower realms, which means you'll have to wait eons until that blind turtle finds its head caught in the yoke again.

What exactly can be accomplished in heaven? Is there something I've missed here?

LE

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Aloka
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Re: What use is heavenly rebirth?

Postby Aloka » Sun May 16, 2010 7:23 pm

.

Personally, I interpret the realms as different mental states, rather than as actual physical places.Anything else would be just speculation.



_/\_
Last edited by Aloka on Mon May 17, 2010 5:44 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: What use is heavenly rebirth?

Postby Kenshou » Sun May 16, 2010 8:17 pm

Dhamma can probably still be practiced under those circumstances, it's just going to take a good bit of mental fortitude to not get caught up in the fun of it, I suspect. The long lives that such beings apparently have would make a good opportunity for practice and progress, assuming they've got the dedication. I figure that if a stream-enterer is reborn as a deva of some sort, their mind will naturally incline towards dhamma regardless of the pleasures around, though who knows, might take a few aeons to get down to it.

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Re: What use is heavenly rebirth?

Postby BubbaBuddhist » Sun May 16, 2010 9:51 pm

Presumably there are realms reserved for those of high accomplishments; didn't Ajahn Mun mention he was visited during meditation by Bhikkhus who lived during the time of the Buddha who dwelt in such a realm?

J
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retrofuturist
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Re: What use is heavenly rebirth?

Postby retrofuturist » Sun May 16, 2010 11:18 pm

Greetings,

If we take the Four Noble Truths as knowledges to be penetrated, we have...

1. Know suffering
2. Know the cause of suffering
3. Know the cessation of suffering
4. Know the path leading to the cessation of suffering

Regardless of how you conceive 'heavenly', #1 & #2, #4 are hard to do because pleasures offset the need, desire and ability to see the causality involved in dukkha. Because of that lack of understanding, #3 becomes harder to achieve too. Heaven is a fools paradise.

Metta,
Retro. :)
"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

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Re: What use is heavenly rebirth?

Postby Anicca » Sun May 16, 2010 11:32 pm

While the blind turtle coming to the surface analogy is for being born human - being born non-human has no such description - so maybe it is more plentiful and easier. Of the non-human choices - the heavens seem the better alternative than the others...

You grabbed the brass ring and had your chance - let others have an opportunity! If you've missed the grand exit door just grab your piece of silk on the way back around and start the annual rub on the cubic mile of granite until its gone! What's a gazillion aeons or two to ya?

Not all of heaven is a fool's paradise. Where do non-returners go? Why would the Buddha bother going "upstairs" and teaching them if they couldn't benefit? As humans we may have the *best* opportunity - but not the only.

Just gotta get my return ticket punched sotapanna before leaving!

:shrug:
Metta

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Re: What use is heavenly rebirth?

Postby retrofuturist » Sun May 16, 2010 11:35 pm

"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

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Re: What use is heavenly rebirth?

Postby Anicca » Sun May 16, 2010 11:50 pm


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Guy
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Re: What use is heavenly rebirth?

Postby Guy » Mon May 17, 2010 12:50 am

Four types of letting go:

1) Giving; expecting nothing back in return
2) Throwing things away
3) Contentment; wanting to be here, not wanting to be anywhere else
4) "Teflon Mind"; having a mind which doesn't accumulate things

- Ajahn Brahm

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Re: What use is heavenly rebirth?

Postby Anicca » Mon May 17, 2010 1:12 am


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David N. Snyder
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Re: What use is heavenly rebirth?

Postby David N. Snyder » Mon May 17, 2010 2:51 am

Anagamis (non-returners) go to the pure abodes (Suddhāvāsa) and attain enlightenment, nibbana from there.

There are other realms in the 31 planes that are for others who are also with some attainments, especially those proficient in the jhanas. But by far the pure abodes are the best place to go of the 31 planes, because enlightenment is guaranteed from there.
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Goofaholix
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Re: What use is heavenly rebirth?

Postby Goofaholix » Mon May 17, 2010 2:58 am

They don't seem to me to be anything worth aspiring to.

If I think of going somewhere that I might imagine to be the closest thing to heaven on earth going there with an untrained mind prone to craving aversion and delusion is just going to spoil it isn't it.

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Re: What use is heavenly rebirth?

Postby Paññāsikhara » Mon May 17, 2010 3:23 am

My recently moved Blog, containing some of my writings on the Buddha Dhamma, as well as a number of translations from classical Buddhist texts and modern authors, liturgy, etc.: .

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jcsuperstar
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Re: What use is heavenly rebirth?

Postby jcsuperstar » Mon May 17, 2010 3:26 am

i either heard a talk once or read something by ajahn thanissaro that said you can still practice the dhamma in those realms, well at least in some of them, also you may be born in one where you live such a long time you are around to hear the next Buddha, never know... certainly beats hell
สัพเพ สัตตา สุขีตา โหนตุ

the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat

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David N. Snyder
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Re: What use is heavenly rebirth?

Postby David N. Snyder » Mon May 17, 2010 3:31 am

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Re: What use is heavenly rebirth?

Postby Paññāsikhara » Mon May 17, 2010 3:35 am

My recently moved Blog, containing some of my writings on the Buddha Dhamma, as well as a number of translations from classical Buddhist texts and modern authors, liturgy, etc.: .

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Re: What use is heavenly rebirth?

Postby Paññāsikhara » Mon May 17, 2010 3:37 am

My recently moved Blog, containing some of my writings on the Buddha Dhamma, as well as a number of translations from classical Buddhist texts and modern authors, liturgy, etc.: .

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jcsuperstar
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Re: What use is heavenly rebirth?

Postby jcsuperstar » Mon May 17, 2010 3:41 am

also and maybe someone can help me find the sutta, couples who practice together can expect to be reborn in the heavens together so a loving Buddhist couple could remain so for many lives a pair of Kalyana Mitta, just something our married Buddhists should think about and rejoice in!
สัพเพ สัตตา สุขีตา โหนตุ

the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat

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Re: What use is heavenly rebirth?

Postby Paññāsikhara » Mon May 17, 2010 4:04 am

Last edited by Paññāsikhara on Mon May 17, 2010 10:35 am, edited 1 time in total.
My recently moved Blog, containing some of my writings on the Buddha Dhamma, as well as a number of translations from classical Buddhist texts and modern authors, liturgy, etc.: .

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Re: What use is heavenly rebirth?

Postby Pannapetar » Mon May 17, 2010 4:34 am



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