Karma, "soulmates" etc

General discussion, particularly exploring the Dharma in the modern world.
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TharpaChodron
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Karma, "soulmates" etc

Post by TharpaChodron » Sat Jul 14, 2018 3:15 pm

So, I'm curious what anyone's take, including the actual Buddhist official outlook is on "soul mates", chance encounters, predestined relationships and all that. My understanding is that our karma determines just about everything, so when we meet people it's due to our karma? But what exactly does that mean?

Some new agey ideas are that people somehow agree before they are born they will meet again in this life in order to either complete something important or the proverbial "learn an important life/spiritual lesson."

And how does Tibetan astrology look at these things. I imagine considering how important it is, they must have a notion about this stuff.

MatthewAngby
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Re: Karma, "soulmates" etc

Post by MatthewAngby » Sat Jul 14, 2018 4:01 pm

TharpaChodron wrote:
Sat Jul 14, 2018 3:15 pm
So, I'm curious what anyone's take, including the actual Buddhist official outlook is on "soul mates", chance encounters, predestined relationships and all that. My understanding is that our karma determines just about everything, so when we meet people it's due to our karma? But what exactly does that mean?

Some new agey ideas are that people somehow agree before they are born they will meet again in this life in order to either complete something important or the proverbial "learn an important life/spiritual lesson."

And how does Tibetan astrology look at these things. I imagine considering how important it is, they must have a notion about this stuff.
I must say that it might be true in my case. I once met a girl in one of my vacations and immediately fell in love, cried for her for a few days after I had to leave even though we never talked. I’m not sure if it applies, but she really gave me a warm , tender feeling I cannot explain.

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Virgo
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Re: Karma, "soulmates" etc

Post by Virgo » Sat Jul 14, 2018 4:23 pm

Hi Tharpa,
TharpaChodron wrote:
Sat Jul 14, 2018 3:15 pm
And how does Tibetan astrology look at these things. I imagine considering how important it is, they must have a notion about this stuff.
Astrology can be used to find compatibility between people. When people are highly compatible they can be of great benefit to each other. It all depends on karma. We all have male and female energies. When we find a partner that compliments us in this regard, as well as other regards, these different aspects of our person can become strong, purified, function very well, and so on. This pours into all life, not just biology/physiology, etc.

Kevin...
ངོ་རང་ཐོག་ཏུ་སྤྲད། །
ཐག་གཅིག་ཐོག་ཏུ་བཅད། །
གདེང་གྲོལ་ཐོག་ཏུ་བཅའ། །


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TharpaChodron
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Re: Karma, "soulmates" etc

Post by TharpaChodron » Sat Jul 14, 2018 5:21 pm

Virgo wrote:
Sat Jul 14, 2018 4:23 pm
Hi Tharpa,
TharpaChodron wrote:
Sat Jul 14, 2018 3:15 pm
And how does Tibetan astrology look at these things. I imagine considering how important it is, they must have a notion about this stuff.
Astrology can be used to find compatibility between people. When people are highly compatible they can be of great benefit to each other. It all depends on karma. We all have male and female energies. When we find a partner that compliments us in this regard, as well as other regards, these different aspects of our person can become strong, purified, function very well, and so on. This pours into all life, not just biology/physiology, etc.

Kevin...
Awesome answer, Virgo. And btw, it just occurred to me your name being Virgo you might know about this! :D

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Malcolm
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Re: Karma, "soulmates" etc

Post by Malcolm » Sat Jul 14, 2018 6:19 pm

TharpaChodron wrote:
Sat Jul 14, 2018 3:15 pm
So, I'm curious what anyone's take, including the actual Buddhist official outlook is on "soul mates", chance encounters, predestined relationships and all that. My understanding is that our karma determines just about everything, so when we meet people it's due to our karma? But what exactly does that mean?

Some new agey ideas are that people somehow agree before they are born they will meet again in this life in order to either complete something important or the proverbial "learn an important life/spiritual lesson."

And how does Tibetan astrology look at these things. I imagine considering how important it is, they must have a notion about this stuff.
In general, all relationships we have with each other are a result of karma.
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


[A]nything at all that is well spoken is the word of the Buddha.

-- Ārya-adhyāśaya-sañcodana-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra

The different sūtras in accord with the emptiness
taught by the Sugata are definitive in meaning;
One can understand that all of those Dharmas in
which a sentient being, individual, or person are taught are provisional in meaning.

-- Samadhirāja Sūtra

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Re: Karma, "soulmates" etc

Post by Mantrik » Sat Jul 14, 2018 7:54 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Sat Jul 14, 2018 6:19 pm
TharpaChodron wrote:
Sat Jul 14, 2018 3:15 pm
So, I'm curious what anyone's take, including the actual Buddhist official outlook is on "soul mates", chance encounters, predestined relationships and all that. My understanding is that our karma determines just about everything, so when we meet people it's due to our karma? But what exactly does that mean?

Some new agey ideas are that people somehow agree before they are born they will meet again in this life in order to either complete something important or the proverbial "learn an important life/spiritual lesson."

And how does Tibetan astrology look at these things. I imagine considering how important it is, they must have a notion about this stuff.

In general, all relationships we have with each other are a result of karma.
Maybe an impossible question, but to what extent is that a consequence of karma from past lives?
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Re: Karma, "soulmates" etc

Post by boda » Sat Jul 14, 2018 8:05 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Sat Jul 14, 2018 6:19 pm
TharpaChodron wrote:
Sat Jul 14, 2018 3:15 pm
So, I'm curious what anyone's take, including the actual Buddhist official outlook is on "soul mates", chance encounters, predestined relationships and all that. My understanding is that our karma determines just about everything, so when we meet people it's due to our karma? But what exactly does that mean?

Some new agey ideas are that people somehow agree before they are born they will meet again in this life in order to either complete something important or the proverbial "learn an important life/spiritual lesson."

And how does Tibetan astrology look at these things. I imagine considering how important it is, they must have a notion about this stuff.
In general, all relationships we have with each other are a result of karma.
I guess that means that we deserve whomever we end up with. :lol:

I must have saved a village or something in my last life. Awww.... :heart:

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Re: Karma, "soulmates" etc

Post by Virgo » Sat Jul 14, 2018 8:19 pm

TharpaChodron wrote:
Sat Jul 14, 2018 5:21 pm

Awesome answer, Virgo. And btw, it just occurred to me your name being Virgo you might know about this! :D
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N9L4-z4tQco
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4-yALguMyeY
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y2hW9YoiObQ
Hi again Tharpa, you might enjoy these videos. They are taught in the context of a divination system which can be used to see compatibility. I want to stress: these videos are more about astrology and compatibility than they are on techniques with cards.

What is most interesting is the pre-compatibility. It's very good :)

Kevin...
ངོ་རང་ཐོག་ཏུ་སྤྲད། །
ཐག་གཅིག་ཐོག་ཏུ་བཅད། །
གདེང་གྲོལ་ཐོག་ཏུ་བཅའ། །


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Re: Karma, "soulmates" etc

Post by anjali » Sat Jul 14, 2018 8:22 pm

TharpaChodron wrote:
Sat Jul 14, 2018 3:15 pm
So, I'm curious what anyone's take, including the actual Buddhist official outlook is on "soul mates", chance encounters, predestined relationships and all that. ...
Perhaps the nearest I know of to a soul mate story in Buddhism is the relationship between the Buddha and his wife, Yashodhara. Here is a short description:
https://www.lotus-happiness.com/love-stories-buddha/ wrote:The relationship between Princess Yashodhara and Prince Siddhartha was long and deep-rooted. It had started many, many years ago at the time of the Dipankara Buddha. The Collective Sutra of the Buddha’s Past Acts (佛本行集經) documents the past life story between Siddhartha and Yashodhara at the time of Dipankara Buddha.

At that time, the Prince (Bodhisatta) was born as an ascetic by the name of Sumedha. After an exceedingly long period of practicing the ten virtues, the Bodhisatta Sumedha had finally completed the eight requirements to receive the definite proclamation of Buddhahood from the Dipankara Buddha.

Yashodhara, at that time, was born as a noble lady by the name of Sumitta. While waiting in the city of Paduma for Dipankara Buddha, Sumedha tried to buy flowers as an offering but soon realized that the king had already bought all the flowers for his own offerings. As Dipankara Buddha was approaching, he spotted Sumitta holding eight lotuses in her hands. He spoke to her with the intention of buying one of her flowers, but she recognized at once his potential and offered him five of the lotuses if he would promise that they would become husband and wife in all their next existences.

When she heard the prophecy that Sumedha would become a Buddha by the name of Gautama, of the Sakyan caste, in the distant future, she immediately cut off her hair and made a vow of aspiration to become his consort so as to support him in his quest for Buddhahood.

This strong aspiration and the meritorious deeds that she performed over a long period of time resulted in her being reborn as the bodhisattva’s consort throughout many births.
If there is any basis to the concept of soul mates in Buddhism, this is it: a vow of aspiration to become consorts and support each other in a mutual quest for Buddhahood life after life.
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Re: Karma, "soulmates" etc

Post by TharpaChodron » Sun Jul 15, 2018 3:49 pm

anjali wrote:
Sat Jul 14, 2018 8:22 pm
TharpaChodron wrote:
Sat Jul 14, 2018 3:15 pm
So, I'm curious what anyone's take, including the actual Buddhist official outlook is on "soul mates", chance encounters, predestined relationships and all that. ...
Perhaps the nearest I know of to a soul mate story in Buddhism is the relationship between the Buddha and his wife, Yashodhara. Here is a short description:
https://www.lotus-happiness.com/love-stories-buddha/ wrote:The relationship between Princess Yashodhara and Prince Siddhartha was long and deep-rooted. It had started many, many years ago at the time of the Dipankara Buddha. The Collective Sutra of the Buddha’s Past Acts (佛本行集經) documents the past life story between Siddhartha and Yashodhara at the time of Dipankara Buddha.

At that time, the Prince (Bodhisatta) was born as an ascetic by the name of Sumedha. After an exceedingly long period of practicing the ten virtues, the Bodhisatta Sumedha had finally completed the eight requirements to receive the definite proclamation of Buddhahood from the Dipankara Buddha.

Yashodhara, at that time, was born as a noble lady by the name of Sumitta. While waiting in the city of Paduma for Dipankara Buddha, Sumedha tried to buy flowers as an offering but soon realized that the king had already bought all the flowers for his own offerings. As Dipankara Buddha was approaching, he spotted Sumitta holding eight lotuses in her hands. He spoke to her with the intention of buying one of her flowers, but she recognized at once his potential and offered him five of the lotuses if he would promise that they would become husband and wife in all their next existences.

When she heard the prophecy that Sumedha would become a Buddha by the name of Gautama, of the Sakyan caste, in the distant future, she immediately cut off her hair and made a vow of aspiration to become his consort so as to support him in his quest for Buddhahood.

This strong aspiration and the meritorious deeds that she performed over a long period of time resulted in her being reborn as the bodhisattva’s consort throughout many births.
If there is any basis to the concept of soul mates in Buddhism, this is it: a vow of aspiration to become consorts and support each other in a mutual quest for Buddhahood life after life.
Thanks for this. That's good enough evidence for me! :anjali:

humble.student
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Re: Karma, "soulmates" etc

Post by humble.student » Mon Jul 16, 2018 4:01 am

There's the famous story about Ananda and the Matangi girl, most notably included as the frame narrative for the Surangama Sutra, but found elsewhere too. The Matanga Sutra is available here courtesy of BDK: http://www.bdkamerica.org/system/files/ ... ode&id=633

Incidentally, that sutra also gives plenty of details about astrology.

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Re: Karma, "soulmates" etc

Post by kausalya » Sat Jul 21, 2018 9:36 pm

We certainly have karma with countless other beings, and this can be majorly intense in all kinds of ways.

When we meet them, we can go off our rocker, usually with hatred or elation.

It can be exciting to meet people like this, and we can feel as though we have a special connection (because we do, although we have no way of knowing the nature of that connection). If we guess about the cause of it, we're likely to be wrong, because we see what we want to see.

In fact, though, it doesn't matter what happened before.

Even if someone was our worst enemy in a past life, we have an opportunity to purify that, which we can only accomplish by letting go of the past and focusing on how to be of the most benefit to the person right now in front of us.

Even if someone is our closest lover in this life, there's no guarantee they'll stay that way, especially if our concern for them is mixed with selfish desire. If we truly care about them, we need to let go of self-grasping and do what needs to be done to ensure their ultimate happiness, which may be with us or it may not. We can erase the distinction between enemy and friend, and act solely for the benefit of others, only if we're honest and don't resort to lazy thinking.

If we're lucky enough to be in a romantic relationship with someone, it stands to reason that we should use that opportunity to practice dharma—to reduce our afflictions through generosity and the other perfections, and be the best possible example to others.

Although this connection we have may in fact have been consistently positive over several lifetimes, we shouldn't take it for granted that this is so. We should always keep in mind that the connection has to be actively maintained, or else we'll experience the consequences of our complacency.

Our partner will learn that we practice what we preach, and if our partner is of like mind, the benefit of our being together will manifest in the world.
"Open sky does not abide, nor do sentient beings."

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Re: Karma, "soulmates" etc

Post by Fortyeightvows » Sat Jul 21, 2018 10:32 pm

百世修来同船渡,千载修得共枕眠

One hundred lives for two people to ride in the same boat, One thousand lives to share a pillow.

kausalya
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Re: Karma, "soulmates" etc

Post by kausalya » Sun Jul 22, 2018 3:07 am

Fortyeightvows wrote:
Sat Jul 21, 2018 10:32 pm
百世修来同船渡,千载修得共枕眠

One hundred lives for two people to ride in the same boat, One thousand lives to share a pillow.
Beautiful sentiment!
"Open sky does not abide, nor do sentient beings."

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