How to believe in rebirth

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tomschwarz
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Re: How to believe in rebirth

Post by tomschwarz » Fri Jul 08, 2016 10:01 pm

))) funny my dear old friend )))) of course you are right.

...what makes you think there is a deathless supreme security of nirvana?

Positing that Nirvana is (anything) a supreme security, you might be a burned out seed:

Lankavatara Sutra :
Then there are other scholars who hold a destructive and nihilistic view concerning such subjects as continuation, activity, breaking-up, existence, Nirvana, the Path, karma, fruition and Truth. Why? Because they have not attained an intuitive understanding of Truth itself and therefore they have no clear insight into the fundamentals of things. They are like a jar broken into pieces which is no longer able to function as a jar; they are like a burnt seed which is no longer capable of sprouting.
http://www.sacred-texts.com/bud/bb/bb09.htm Take a look at this sutra and find something that supports your idea and we can discuss it....
i dedicate this post to your happiness, the causes of your happiness, the absence of your suffering the causes of the absence of your suffering that we may not have too much attachment nor aversion. SAMAYAMANUPALAYA

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Re: How to believe in rebirth

Post by davidbrainerd » Fri Jul 08, 2016 10:39 pm

tomschwarz wrote:))) funny my dear old friend )))) of course you are right.

...what makes you think there is a deathless supreme security of nirvana?

Positing that Nirvana is (anything) a supreme security, you might be a burned out seed:

Lankavatara Sutra :
Then there are other scholars who hold a destructive and nihilistic view concerning such subjects as continuation, activity, breaking-up, existence, Nirvana, the Path, karma, fruition and Truth. Why? Because they have not attained an intuitive understanding of Truth itself and therefore they have no clear insight into the fundamentals of things. They are like a jar broken into pieces which is no longer able to function as a jar; they are like a burnt seed which is no longer capable of sprouting.
http://www.sacred-texts.com/bud/bb/bb09.htm Take a look at this sutra and find something that supports your idea and we can discuss it....
Well Buddha himself constantly uses the phrase "deathless supreme security of nibbana" in the Pali suttas. So is this a difference with Mahayana? To me, to be "like a burnt seed which is no longer capable of sprouting" sounds like a complement, since it sounds like escaping the cycle of rebirth.

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Thomas Amundsen
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Re: How to believe in rebirth

Post by Thomas Amundsen » Fri Jul 08, 2016 10:48 pm

davidbrainerd wrote:
tomschwarz wrote:))) funny my dear old friend )))) of course you are right.

...what makes you think there is a deathless supreme security of nirvana?

Positing that Nirvana is (anything) a supreme security, you might be a burned out seed:

Lankavatara Sutra :
Then there are other scholars who hold a destructive and nihilistic view concerning such subjects as continuation, activity, breaking-up, existence, Nirvana, the Path, karma, fruition and Truth. Why? Because they have not attained an intuitive understanding of Truth itself and therefore they have no clear insight into the fundamentals of things. They are like a jar broken into pieces which is no longer able to function as a jar; they are like a burnt seed which is no longer capable of sprouting.
http://www.sacred-texts.com/bud/bb/bb09.htm Take a look at this sutra and find something that supports your idea and we can discuss it....
Well Buddha himself constantly uses the phrase "deathless supreme security of nibbana" in the Pali suttas. So is this a difference with Mahayana? To me, to be "like a burnt seed which is no longer capable of sprouting" sounds like a complement, since it sounds like escaping the cycle of rebirth.
It could help to understand the Tibetan word for Buddha, Sangye. Jamgon Kongtrul says in his Treasury of Knowledge, "buddha is given the term sangs rgyas in Tibetan because a buddha has become both sangs pa cleared out and rgyas pa expanded". Tony Duff elaborates this point: "The two terms are then commented on by Tibetans as follows: sangs means woken up in the sense that the obscurations have been purified completely and rgyas means expanded in the sense that all good qualities have been developed to their limit." So I think a "burnt seed" has a very different meaning than how awakening is understood in Tibetan Buddhism.

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Re: How to believe in rebirth

Post by mikeyap » Fri Aug 26, 2016 2:10 pm

This question is very common for both buddhists and non-buddhists, because it's difficult to prove it.

A friend of mine, who has six-sense to look people's past life, told me the memory of past life can suddenly appear in his mind. It's like there is "something" (can be devas or other beings) tell him. So, that's why he believes in rebirth. For me, of course it's subjective. I cannot totally believe him, because he feels and be told about past life in his mind. There is possibility that he lied to me.

I think we can positively understand about rebirth by observing everything surround us. For example, we can see many people were born in poverty and some were in very rich family. I think this is very unfair if it happened accidentally. Of course there was something that support them to be born in poor and rich family (as we call karma).

For me, understanding rebirth needs other knowledge that can support us to believe in it. As I said, Karma.

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Re: How to believe in rebirth

Post by boda » Fri Aug 26, 2016 11:23 pm

Malcolm wrote:You have to ask yourself where your mind comes from. If you think it is a product of the brain, well, there is no way to really convince someone that this is not true.
You don't think it's possible to understand the evolution of a human mind, with it's biological and environmental dependencies? Who do you hangout with?

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Wayfarer
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Re: How to believe in rebirth

Post by Wayfarer » Sat Aug 27, 2016 12:01 am

One conceptual problem with that is that, due to the exponential growth of world population, there are many more people alive today than have ever lived! So where this karma is acquired, is an open question.

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In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities; in the expert's mind there are few ~ Suzuki-roshi

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Re: How to believe in rebirth

Post by Astus » Sat Aug 27, 2016 12:09 am

Wayfarer wrote:So where this karma is acquired, is an open question.
Question to whom? There are practically infinite worlds and realms in Buddhism.
1 Myriad dharmas are only mind.
Mind is unobtainable.
What is there to seek?

2 If the Buddha-Nature is seen,
there will be no seeing of a nature in any thing.

3 Neither cultivation nor seated meditation —
this is the pure Chan of Tathagata.

4 With sudden enlightenment to Tathagata Chan,
the six paramitas and myriad means
are complete within that essence.


1 Huangbo, T2012Ap381c1 2 Nirvana Sutra, T374p521b3; tr. Yamamoto 3 Mazu, X1321p3b23; tr. J. Jia 4 Yongjia, T2014p395c14; tr. from "The Sword of Wisdom"

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Wayfarer
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Re: How to believe in rebirth

Post by Wayfarer » Sat Aug 27, 2016 12:18 am

Thank you for the reminder!

:namaste:
In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities; in the expert's mind there are few ~ Suzuki-roshi

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Re: How to believe in rebirth

Post by Coëmgenu » Sat Aug 27, 2016 7:35 am

davidbrainerd wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
davidbrainerd wrote:

Its not as simple as that. There are clearly two minds. In Pali you have nama and citta
Nama, citta, vijñāna and manas are all synonyms for the same thing, one's mind.
I remeber reading in some sutta that when citta combines with nama then vijñāna arises, but I don't remember where. But if vijñāna arises from citta and nama mixing then it shows they are not just synonyms.
davidbrainerd wrote:
tomschwarz wrote:))) funny my dear old friend )))) of course you are right.

...what makes you think there is a deathless supreme security of nirvana?

Positing that Nirvana is (anything) a supreme security, you might be a burned out seed:

Lankavatara Sutra :
Then there are other scholars who hold a destructive and nihilistic view concerning such subjects as continuation, activity, breaking-up, existence, Nirvana, the Path, karma, fruition and Truth. Why? Because they have not attained an intuitive understanding of Truth itself and therefore they have no clear insight into the fundamentals of things. They are like a jar broken into pieces which is no longer able to function as a jar; they are like a burnt seed which is no longer capable of sprouting.
http://www.sacred-texts.com/bud/bb/bb09.htm Take a look at this sutra and find something that supports your idea and we can discuss it....
Well Buddha himself constantly uses the phrase "deathless supreme security of nibbana" in the Pali suttas. So is this a difference with Mahayana? To me, to be "like a burnt seed which is no longer capable of sprouting" sounds like a complement, since it sounds like escaping the cycle of rebirth.
To "davidbrainerd": I'm not posting to address your specific arguments here, I'm just pointing out that the Pali Canon is not authoritative in Mahayana Buddhism. You need to reference the āgamas, not the nikayas, if you want to quote early scripture and have it have some authoritative weight here. Dharma Wheel is not Dhamma Wheel and vice-versa.
並畢竟空。並如來藏。並實相。非三 而三三而不三。非合非散而合而散。非非合非非散。不可一異而一異。
All three truths are ultimately empty, all are tathāgatagarbha, all are true aspect. Not three, they are three; three, they are not three. Neither combined nor separated, neither uncombined nor unseparated. Neither same nor different, yet in a sense same, and in a sense different.

夫三諦者。 天然之性徳也。 中諦者。 統一切法。 眞諦者。 泯一切法。 俗諦者。 立一切法。
The three truths. Heaven-sent natural characteristics. The middle truth unifies all dharmas. The ultimate truth demolishes all dharmas. The conventional truth establishes all dharmas.

摩訶止観始終心要Móhēzhǐguān, Shǐzhōngxīnyào.

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tomschwarz
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Re: How to believe in rebirth

Post by tomschwarz » Sat Aug 27, 2016 6:48 pm

boda wrote:
Malcolm wrote:You have to ask yourself where your mind comes from. If you think it is a product of the brain, well, there is no way to really convince someone that this is not true.
You don't think it's possible to understand the evolution of a human mind, with it's biological and environmental dependencies? Who do you hangout with?
Buddhism embraces modern science and I expect it to continue to do so. So Buddhism has some implicit explanations on the origin of the mind. Now it's science's turn to publish the explicit origin of the mind based on empirical results of the scientific method......
i dedicate this post to your happiness, the causes of your happiness, the absence of your suffering the causes of the absence of your suffering that we may not have too much attachment nor aversion. SAMAYAMANUPALAYA

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Malcolm
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Re: How to believe in rebirth

Post by Malcolm » Sat Aug 27, 2016 6:50 pm

boda wrote:
Malcolm wrote:You have to ask yourself where your mind comes from. If you think it is a product of the brain, well, there is no way to really convince someone that this is not true.
You don't think it's possible to understand the evolution of a human mind, with it's biological and environmental dependencies? Who do you hangout with?
That's one narrative. There are others.
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Re: How to believe in rebirth

Post by boda » Sat Aug 27, 2016 7:44 pm

Point is it should be rather easy to show that a mind doesn't develop from a mere lump of flesh. Not unlike how this forum doesn't come from the CPU in the device you're looking at now. Nothing mystical about that.

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Re: How to believe in rebirth

Post by tomschwarz » Sat Aug 27, 2016 10:05 pm

Astus wrote:
Wayfarer wrote:So where this karma is acquired, is an open question.
Question to whom? There are practically infinite worlds and realms in Buddhism.
True. So let's attempt to address wayfarer's excellent question/statement for an infinitely expanding and contracting population of sentient beings......

I suggest that there are energies, like partial vacuum and higher preasure/density, much like our weather/atmospheric dynamics, which cause the population fluctuations that you so vitally described in that animated image (e.g. only 300 million people on earth in 1350 ad. )

So in the spirit of science-and-Buddhism-one-happy-family, what caused the population growth over the last 700 years? Longer life span of course. And that led to technology advancements because finally wise old grandpa could explain the wisdom of mankind to little 6 year old Laura.

So how did people start to live longer? That clearly can be tied to caring for others. And conversely a self centered nuclear war could reduce the population. That is just one example of a potential relationship between karma and earth population. An inverse relationship is also evident (self centered attitude led to over population of an ancient capital of Mexico, perhaps Easter Island, etc...).

I suggest thinking over the various scientific discoveries (e.g. human population bottleneck of 10,000 people 70,000 years ago, or the much greater fish population 3 million years ago) and relating them to the causes, conditions, negative and positive characteristics, of the outcomes of the respective discoveries.
i dedicate this post to your happiness, the causes of your happiness, the absence of your suffering the causes of the absence of your suffering that we may not have too much attachment nor aversion. SAMAYAMANUPALAYA

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Re: How to believe in rebirth

Post by Wayfarer » Sun Aug 28, 2016 12:02 am

I think it is unseemly to try and come up with a scientific rationalisation of this question. There are many things that are impossible to know (well, for us, anyway). In the ancient world, everything was understood in terms of spirits, spirit-worlds, the ancestors, and the like. I'm not convinced that is mistaken, but it is very hard for moderns to relate to that, because the surrounding culture has changed so much in the process of modernisation. But what if there really are different domains of modes of existences, which interpenetrate our own? I now feel there may well be. But, as I say, I don't want to engage in speculative theories, because in this subject, they can become sources of fascination or intrigue.

I read about an interesting book, Ghost Hunters, which was the story of the formation of the Society for Psychical Research, in Victorian times. It included some prominent people (Including William James) and gave rise to the later scientific attempts to discover the truth of spirit mediums, telekinesis, remote viewing, and so on. A century later, there is precious little to show for all that research. (Unlike the "sceptic industry", I'm not convinced that there is nothing to show, but I am still dubious as to whether such endeavours really are fruitful or ultimately convincing.)

Likewise with past life research. I find Ian Stevenson's research pretty convincing (but then, I was already pre-disposed to believing in re-birth as I had past-life memories of my own.) But again, I don't see a lot of value in trying to lift the veil about those matters.

I suppose you could call my attitude 'open-minded scepticism' - I don't rule anything out, but there are certain lines of enquiry that I don't think are that useful to the spiritual path.
In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities; in the expert's mind there are few ~ Suzuki-roshi

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Re: How to believe in rebirth

Post by prsvrnc » Sun Aug 28, 2016 10:53 am

Haven't read the prior posts... and there is certainly a lot to be said on this topic, but because I just HAPPENED to be reading Blaise Pascal... I really like what he has to say on this topic in Pensees!!! The virtue of totally throwing yourself into considering this most worthwhile topic... that you are valuing yourself and your life enough to consider. << The fact that you are searching earnestly.. << This is so good. I was very moved by what Pascal had to say... I guess because it dovetails what I like about Buddhism and my own buddhist path... that you should accept a teaching after you have thoroughly examined it FOR YOURSELF, so part of dharma is figuring it out for yourself, exploring, however you do that. Yay.

One book on this subject that was recommended by Robert Thurman in a talk he gave about reincarnation was the following: Children Who Remember Previous Lives: A Question of Reincarnation by Ian Stevenson, M.D. I highly recommend this book as does Robert Thurman!
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/530 ... ious_Lives

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Re: How to believe in rebirth

Post by Tolya M » Thu Oct 13, 2016 10:57 pm

When I was paralized for some time after a trepanation it comes vividly to me that consciousness and body are different phenomena and there is no way for the mind arising at the time of conception. I became unlearned even how to swallow saliva and if consciousness is zeroed at the start in the way my body was it is impossible to know anything and to develop anything because there is no initional term, no semantic schemes.

As I remember some arguments in a scaterred way:

1) consciousness is not getting old
2) it is nessesary to think to develop knowledge
3) when parts of the body are damaged consciousness is not getting smaller (even when brain is damaged - it is my own experience )))
4) when consciousness is affected by sorrow body changes
5) you can comprehend colors and sounds but not your eyes or ears first, so no way the consciousness is in the body
6) you can comprehend innate tactile feelins directly (I don't mean without kayaindriya), so no way the consciousness is out of the body
7) all children are different, born in different families and under different circumstanses
8) no single phenomen is devoid of conditions, there is no emerging and no ending withous causes
9) brain is not initial cause for the consciousness as grape for the intoxication effect, because intoxication is of consciousness category, nor as lamp for the light for the light is unable to appear by itself, nor as dynamo is generating electricity, because there is transformation of energy not the arising anew.


From buddhist view people are actually 18 dimensions filled with seeds of six lokas. It is interacting universes, not just body, not just mind in the body in 3d context. Сontinual transformation is the best in reasoning among the other theories, but it is hard to understand since it transcends mundane objects. IMHO.

Sorry for my english :emb:

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Re: How to believe in rebirth

Post by takso » Tue Nov 01, 2016 3:27 am

Wayfarer wrote:One conceptual problem with that is that, due to the exponential growth of world population, there are many more people alive today than have ever lived! So where this karma is acquired, is an open question.

Image
http://www.slideshare.net/buddhitakso/m ... e-56730775
~ Ignorance triumphs when wise men do nothing ~

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Re: How to believe in rebirth

Post by Temicco » Tue Nov 01, 2016 5:11 am

What's the Indian/Tibetan position(s) regarding belief in rebirth and samyag drsti? I imagine it's inherently important even at the highest stages as the necessary state of affairs for the emptiness of persons, but what's to be said regarding lack of belief in it? Is it considered nonsensical to discuss realization of emptiness (of persons and/or emptiness at all) without assuming the truth of rebirth? / Is it possible for someone without such a belief to realize emptiness?
"It is just a matter of never letting there be even a moment's interruption in your awareness of your real nature."
--Yuanwu Keqin

"As long as you let go and entrust with belief, your daily life itself can be meditation."
--Daehaeng Kun Sunim

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Re: How to believe in rebirth

Post by MiphamFan » Tue Nov 01, 2016 9:48 am

Wayfarer wrote:One conceptual problem with that is that, due to the exponential growth of world population, there are many more people alive today than have ever lived! So where this karma is acquired, is an open question.

Image
This is only a problem if you are a materialist and you think there is no extraterrestrial life.

If you accept that extraterrestrial life exists, that's one source of beings.

And then if you are not a materialist, you will understand that life exists in forms of matter not perceivable to us.

The sutras and tantras all say there are infinite sentient beings.

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Wayfarer
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Re: How to believe in rebirth

Post by Wayfarer » Tue Nov 01, 2016 10:32 am

Well I'm not materialist but the implications are a bit mind-boggling!

Although I guess the fact that there is a massive population boom happening on Planet Earth might be seen as an opportunity for many beings to incarnate in human form. So, may they hear the teachings!

:namaste:
In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities; in the expert's mind there are few ~ Suzuki-roshi

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