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On rebirth and reincarnation

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  • Ong Yong Peng
    Dear friends, many people are always confused about the two different concepts of rebirth and reincarnation. The concept of reincarnation begins with the
    Message 1 of 10 , Feb 20, 2010
      Dear friends,

      many people are always confused about the two different concepts of rebirth and reincarnation.

      The concept of reincarnation begins with the belief of an essence, a permanent indestructible self which "migrate" from one body to another between lives. This "essence" is commonly known as the "soul". This concept is prevalent in Hinduism, but traces of it can also be found in all other religions.

      Buddhism rejects the notion of self. Instead, the Buddha taught the concept of nama-rupa, or name-form. Each living entity is a name-form composition, and neither nama nor rupa exhibits the characteristics of a permanent self. Indeed, both nama and rupa are simply collective nouns for various constituents which are constantly interacting with external conditions and changing.

      Hence, Buddhism only teaches rebirth. In this case, there is no single fixed entity that is reborn. However, there is the conditioning (note: not pre-determination and not randomness) of the future life by the present life.

      My question is whether the Buddha made an explicitly detailed sermon of this in the Tipitaka. If not, how does someone interested in this topic conduct a systematic study? Thank you.


      metta,
      Yong Peng.
    • frank
      M.N. 38 http://www.metta.lk/tipitaka/2Sutta-Pitaka/2Majjhima-Nikaya/Majjhima1/038-mahatanhasankhaya-sutta-e1.html
      Message 2 of 10 , Feb 20, 2010
      • DC Wijeratna
        Hence, Buddhism only teaches rebirth. In this case, there is no single fixed entity that is reborn. However, there is the conditioning (note: not
        Message 3 of 10 , Feb 20, 2010
          "Hence, Buddhism only teaches rebirth. In this case, there is no single
          fixed entity that is reborn. However, there is the conditioning (note:
          not pre-determination and not randomness) of the future life by the
          present life.

          My question is whether the Buddha made an explicitly detailed sermon of
          this in the Tipitaka. If not, how does someone interested in this topic
          conduct a systematic study? Thank you."

          A systematic study into the teaching of 'araha.m sammaasambuddho' must commence with the the Four Noble Truths, and if one wishes to go deeper into 'pa.ticcasamuppaado idappaccayataa.' This is the dhamma that he became (adhigama) on attaining 'sammaasambodhi.'

          The word 'ponobhavikaa' occurs in the 2nd Ariyan truth. In the Dhammacakkappavattana sutta we find the punbbhavo. Personally I have not come across the word punajjaati (=rebirth).

          Again when one understands the PS (pa.ticcasamuppaada) one is a stream-enterer (sotapanna).

          A super journey to undertake.

          D. G. D. C. Wijeratna




          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Ong Yong Peng
          Dear DC and friends, I m not referring to *someone* who ain t know nuttin about Buddhism. Rather I am referring to a person who already have some basic
          Message 4 of 10 , Feb 21, 2010
            Dear DC and friends,

            I'm not referring to *someone* who ain't know nuttin' about Buddhism. Rather I am referring to a person who already have some basic understanding of the Buddha's teachings, he would have known the distinctions between rebirth and reincarnation, but want to have a fuller and deeper appreciation of the Buddhist doctrine of rebirth. Perhaps, there are already some good books and articles out there which cover the topic in details.


            metta,
            Yong Peng.


            --- In Pali@yahoogroups.com, DC Wijeratna wrote:

            A systematic study into the teaching of 'araha.m sammaasambuddho' must commence with the the Four Noble Truths, and if one wishes to go deeper into 'pa.ticcasamuppaado idappaccayataa.' This is the dhamma that he became (adhigama) on attaining 'sammaasambodhi.'
          • frank
            Hi Yong Peng, I looked through [D.N. 1] today, it mentions more variations of a type of view with eternal self (see the first 4 of the 62 views described).
            Message 5 of 10 , Feb 21, 2010
              Hi Yong Peng,
              I looked through [D.N. 1] today, it mentions more variations of a
              type of view with eternal self (see the first 4 of the 62 views
              described). B.Bodhi has a book through BPS about 350 pages that is just
              the sutta [D. 1] with commentaries. Someone fluent in pali can just use
              CST4 or DPR to read the sutta and all the commentaries as an alternative
              to the book. It's been many years since I looked at B.Bodhi's book, if I
              have time and do peruse it, I'll post to the list if it has more
              detailed answers than just dependent origination. Probably the
              commentaries will give more detailed answers on dependent
              origination/kamma/rebirth along the lines of Vism. and abidhamma.
              As far as I know [M. 38] is the only sutta I can think of that comes
              closest to the heart of your original question, a discourse that focuses
              on the distinction of rebirth versus some type of immutable core
              /essence/consciousness that carries on from birth to birth.
              Beyond those 2 suttas, bits of details on how dependent origination
              ties into kamma and rebirth are scattered throughout the canon, often
              not stated explicitly, and we have to connect the dots ourselves. For
              example, 6 abhinna are frequently referenced, perhaps more frequently in
              the canon just the 3 higher knowledges: knowledge of the destruction of
              the taints, knowledge of past lives, knowledge of seeing other beings
              being reborn (in accordance with their kamma). One gets the impression
              from the canon that most of the arahants all have at least the 3 higher
              knowledges, if not all 6. The unstated inferrence that I made is that we
              who aspire for arahantship also better develop our mindfulness,
              concentration to the point where we can directly witness dependent
              origination, kamma, rebirth with our own wisdom eye. Thus we move beyond
              views, mere beliefs, and know through direct understanding. Otherwise,
              from the point of view of our own practice, are we really in a position
              to say authoritatively whether the Hindus are right or the Buddha was
              right?
              The lack of explicit and consolidated sutta text addressing your
              question in detail is perhaps what allows someone like Stephen Batchelor
              to advance his pernicious views, see the best seller, "Buddhism without
              Beliefs" which claims the Buddha did not teach rebirth.
              I think DC's answers are often pretty complete, but terse. I
              interpreted his answer as pretty applicable to all of us, not just
              beginners.
              -Frank



              On 2/21/2010 4:33 AM, Ong Yong Peng wrote:
              >
              > Dear DC and friends,
              >
              > I'm not referring to *someone* who ain't know nuttin' about Buddhism.
              > Rather I am referring to a person who already have some basic
              > understanding of the Buddha's teachings, he would have known the
              > distinctions between rebirth and reincarnation, but want to have a
              > fuller and deeper appreciation of the Buddhist doctrine of rebirth.
              > Perhaps, there are already some good books and articles out there
              > which cover the topic in details.
              >
              > metta,
              > Yong Peng.
              >
              > --- In Pali@yahoogroups.com <mailto:Pali%40yahoogroups.com>, DC
              > Wijeratna wrote:
              >
              > A systematic study into the teaching of 'araha.m sammaasambuddho' must
              > commence with the the Four Noble Truths, and if one wishes to go
              > deeper into 'pa.ticcasamuppaado idappaccayataa.' This is the dhamma
              > that he became (adhigama) on attaining 'sammaasambodhi.'
              >
              >



              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • DC Wijeratna
              To the Group Quote: I m not referring to *someone* who ain t know nuttin about Buddhism. Rather I am referring to a person who already have some basic
              Message 6 of 10 , Feb 22, 2010
                To the Group
                Quote:
                "I'm not referring to *someone* who ain't know nuttin' about Buddhism.
                Rather I am referring to a person who already have some basic
                understanding of the Buddha's teachings, he would have known the
                distinctions between rebirth and reincarnation, but want to have a
                fuller and deeper appreciation of the Buddhist doctrine of rebirth.
                Perhaps, there are already some good books and articles out there which
                cover the topic in details.

                metta,
                Yong Peng.

                --- In Pali@yahoogroups.
                com, DC Wijeratna wrote:

                A systematic study into the teaching of 'araha.m sammaasambuddho' must
                commence with the the Four Noble Truths, and if one wishes to go deeper
                into 'pa.ticcasamuppaado idappaccayataa. ' This is the dhamma that he
                became (adhigama) on attaining 'sammaasambodhi. ' Unqoute.
                +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
                ""I'm not referring to *someone* who ain't know nuttin' about Buddhism."
                We call above type of language 'slang' and associate it with the uneducated who come from slum areas. We never use such language in dhamma discussions. I reject it totally an unequivocally.

                Inspite of that, where could one start a systematic study into the teaching of the 'Araha.m Sammaasambuddho' except the Cattaari Ariyasaccaani (Four Ariyan Truths) and Pa.ticcasmuppaado.

                I personally do not have what is called a 'basic understanding' of reincarnation or rebirth.
                Nor have I ever heard of a Buddhist doctrine of rebirth.

                Shall be very grateful if some member can teach me how to understand reincarnation and rebirth.
                By the way the Buddha never taught any 'doctrines'.

                D. G. D. C. Wijeratna




                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • DC Wijeratna
                Dear Frank, You wrote: I think DC s answers are often pretty complete, but terse. I interpreted his answer as pretty applicable to all of us, not just
                Message 7 of 10 , Feb 22, 2010
                  Dear Frank,

                  You wrote:
                  "I think DC's answers are often pretty complete, but terse. I
                  interpreted his answer as pretty applicable to all of us, not just
                  beginners.
                  -Frank"

                  Please accept my apologies, if what I write is terse. Thank you very much having mettaa on me.

                  Let me amplify a little bit on what I said about two meaningless words "reincarnation" and "rebirth".

                  Both these words are connected with the 'atta' (Sk. aatman) concept. It is also 'self', ego. I, psycho-physical personality and so on. They have a meaning only in theistic religions in those doctrines

                  The vision of the Buddha is that the 'world' in impermanent (anicca); hence dukkha--(I dare not translate this for fear of misunderstanding); and hence anatta (no atta).
                  Thus terms like 'reincarnation' 'rebirth' are just meaningless sounds ot symbols as far as Buddha Dhamma is concerned.

                  You have been reading DN 1. Of course the sutta is one of the most difficult in the canon. But the beginning of the sutta gives some very interesting advice, of course by the Buddha, about how to carry out a dhamma discussion. I am sure you would have read it. Even if you have read it, please read it once again.

                  With mettaa,

                  D. G. D. C. Wijeratna

                  P.S. Mettaa is not a ritual word. It comes from Indo-Iranian 'mitta'. It is just being sincerely friendly.




                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • Ong Yong Peng
                  Dear DC, 1. thank you for all your participation and contribution to our discussions. I hope you will continue to enjoy the messages from our members. As a
                  Message 8 of 10 , Feb 22, 2010
                    Dear DC,

                    1. thank you for all your participation and contribution to our discussions. I hope you will continue to enjoy the messages from our members. As a member, you also have access to the web features on Yahoo! Groups. (You require a Yahoo! ID to access these online features.)

                    2. I do not refer to anyone in this discussion when I said the following:

                    "I'm not referring to *someone* who ain't know nuttin' about Buddhism."

                    My sincere apologies if that made you felt uncomfortable.

                    3. When the Buddha accepted Upali as his direct disciple, the Blessed One was telling everyone that the Dhamma is not reserved to some privileged class of people. Again, if you felt I was directing the sentence to you, I am sorry but I was not. Otherwise, I urge you to be more open to harmless statements.

                    4. What you said about the 4NT and Dependent Origination exactly echos my personal opinion.

                    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Pali/message/13988

                    In Dhammacakkappavattana, the Buddha's maiden sermon, we learnt about the Middle Way, the Four Noble Truths, and the underlying theme of Dependent Origination. I believe these are the principal teachings of the Buddha.

                    5. If you said you do not believe in the Buddhist doctrine of rebirth, I can absolutely respect it, no drama. However, you said you have never heard of the Buddhist doctrine of rebirth. I wonder if you have read Stephen Batchelor.

                    6. A misconception remains a misconception until people discuss and clarify doubts. A person completely new to Buddhism certainly needs to start with the very basics. However, no matter how profound and significant the teachings of 4NT and Dependent Origination are, the study of Buddhism extends beyond these key teachings.


                    metta,
                    Yong Peng.



                    --- In Pali@yahoogroups.com, DC Wijeratna wrote:
                    >
                    > To the Group
                    > Quote:
                    > "I'm not referring to *someone* who ain't know nuttin' about Buddhism.
                    > Rather I am referring to a person who already have some basic
                    > understanding of the Buddha's teachings, he would have known the
                    > distinctions between rebirth and reincarnation, but want to have a
                    > fuller and deeper appreciation of the Buddhist doctrine of rebirth.
                    > Perhaps, there are already some good books and articles out there which
                    > cover the topic in details.
                    >
                    > metta,
                    > Yong Peng.
                    >
                    > --- In Pali@yahoogroups.
                    > com, DC Wijeratna wrote:
                    >
                    > A systematic study into the teaching of 'araha.m sammaasambuddho' must
                    > commence with the the Four Noble Truths, and if one wishes to go deeper
                    > into 'pa.ticcasamuppaado idappaccayataa. ' This is the dhamma that he
                    > became (adhigama) on attaining 'sammaasambodhi. ' Unqoute.
                    > +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
                    > ""I'm not referring to *someone* who ain't know nuttin' about Buddhism."
                    > We call above type of language 'slang' and associate it with the uneducated who come from slum areas. We never use such language in dhamma discussions. I reject it totally an unequivocally.
                    >
                    > Inspite of that, where could one start a systematic study into the teaching of the 'Araha.m Sammaasambuddho' except the Cattaari Ariyasaccaani (Four Ariyan Truths) and Pa.ticcasmuppaado.
                    >
                    > I personally do not have what is called a 'basic understanding' of reincarnation or rebirth.
                    > Nor have I ever heard of a Buddhist doctrine of rebirth.
                    >
                    > Shall be very grateful if some member can teach me how to understand reincarnation and rebirth.
                    > By the way the Buddha never taught any 'doctrines'.
                    >
                    > D. G. D. C. Wijeratna
                  • Bankei
                    Did the Buddha speak in slang? I see nothing wrong with slang. Bankei ... [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    Message 9 of 10 , Feb 22, 2010
                      Did the Buddha speak in slang?

                      I see nothing wrong with slang.

                      Bankei

                      On 23 February 2010 02:13, Ong Yong Peng <palismith@...> wrote:

                      >
                      >
                      > Dear DC,
                      >
                      > 1. thank you for all your participation and contribution to our
                      > discussions. I hope you will continue to enjoy the messages from our
                      > members. As a member, you also have access to the web features on Yahoo!
                      > Groups. (You require a Yahoo! ID to access these online features.)
                      >
                      > 2. I do not refer to anyone in this discussion when I said the following:
                      >
                      >
                      > "I'm not referring to *someone* who ain't know nuttin' about Buddhism."
                      >
                      > My sincere apologies if that made you felt uncomfortable.
                      >
                      > 3. When the Buddha accepted Upali as his direct disciple, the Blessed One
                      > was telling everyone that the Dhamma is not reserved to some privileged
                      > class of people. Again, if you felt I was directing the sentence to you, I
                      > am sorry but I was not. Otherwise, I urge you to be more open to harmless
                      > statements.
                      >
                      > 4. What you said about the 4NT and Dependent Origination exactly echos my
                      > personal opinion.
                      >
                      > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Pali/message/13988
                      >
                      > In Dhammacakkappavattana, the Buddha's maiden sermon, we learnt about the
                      > Middle Way, the Four Noble Truths, and the underlying theme of Dependent
                      > Origination. I believe these are the principal teachings of the Buddha.
                      >
                      > 5. If you said you do not believe in the Buddhist doctrine of rebirth, I
                      > can absolutely respect it, no drama. However, you said you have never heard
                      > of the Buddhist doctrine of rebirth. I wonder if you have read Stephen
                      > Batchelor.
                      >
                      > 6. A misconception remains a misconception until people discuss and clarify
                      > doubts. A person completely new to Buddhism certainly needs to start with
                      > the very basics. However, no matter how profound and significant the
                      > teachings of 4NT and Dependent Origination are, the study of Buddhism
                      > extends beyond these key teachings.
                      >
                      >
                      > metta,
                      > Yong Peng.
                      >
                      > --- In Pali@yahoogroups.com <Pali%40yahoogroups.com>, DC Wijeratna wrote:
                      > >
                      > > To the Group
                      > > Quote:
                      > > "I'm not referring to *someone* who ain't know nuttin' about Buddhism.
                      > > Rather I am referring to a person who already have some basic
                      > > understanding of the Buddha's teachings, he would have known the
                      > > distinctions between rebirth and reincarnation, but want to have a
                      > > fuller and deeper appreciation of the Buddhist doctrine of rebirth.
                      > > Perhaps, there are already some good books and articles out there which
                      > > cover the topic in details.
                      > >
                      > > metta,
                      > > Yong Peng.
                      > >
                      > > --- In Pali@yahoogroups.
                      > > com, DC Wijeratna wrote:
                      > >
                      > > A systematic study into the teaching of 'araha.m sammaasambuddho' must
                      > > commence with the the Four Noble Truths, and if one wishes to go deeper
                      > > into 'pa.ticcasamuppaado idappaccayataa. ' This is the dhamma that he
                      > > became (adhigama) on attaining 'sammaasambodhi. ' Unqoute.
                      > > +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
                      > > ""I'm not referring to *someone* who ain't know nuttin' about Buddhism."
                      > > We call above type of language 'slang' and associate it with the
                      > uneducated who come from slum areas. We never use such language in dhamma
                      > discussions. I reject it totally an unequivocally.
                      > >
                      > > Inspite of that, where could one start a systematic study into the
                      > teaching of the 'Araha.m Sammaasambuddho' except the Cattaari Ariyasaccaani
                      > (Four Ariyan Truths) and Pa.ticcasmuppaado.
                      > >
                      > > I personally do not have what is called a 'basic understanding' of
                      > reincarnation or rebirth.
                      > > Nor have I ever heard of a Buddhist doctrine of rebirth.
                      > >
                      > > Shall be very grateful if some member can teach me how to understand
                      > reincarnation and rebirth.
                      > > By the way the Buddha never taught any 'doctrines'.
                      > >
                      > > D. G. D. C. Wijeratna
                      >
                      >
                      >


                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    • frank
                      http://bps.lk/onlinelibrary_wheels.asp#trans BPS online is steadily converting their booklets into online unicode pages. There s an impressive selection of
                      Message 10 of 10 , Feb 23, 2010
                        http://bps.lk/onlinelibrary_wheels.asp#trans

                        BPS online is steadily converting their booklets into online unicode
                        pages. There's an impressive selection of their high quality "wheel"
                        booklets in PDF and unicode format.
                        I saw at least two booklets on the topic of rebirth. At least one
                        booklet on "kamma".
                        Great stuff.
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