the great rebirth debate

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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Alex123 » Fri Nov 26, 2010 12:23 am

That sutta probably means not taking up wrong views, and not clinging to right views. Not clinging to right views doesn't mean that one rejects them. One simply doesn't cling to them.

In whom there is no inclination to either extreme, for becoming or non-becoming, here or in another existence, for him there does not exist a fixed viewpoint on investigating the doctrines assumed (by others).


In your own quote it does mention "another existence". One doesn't have fixed viewpoint on investigating the doctrines assumed by non-Buddhists.



I believe in literal rebirth. However it would be nice if there was only one life (after which there would be parinibbana) and this miserable existence would end once and for all. There also would even be a shortcut...
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby clw_uk » Fri Nov 26, 2010 12:29 pm

Hi Alex


That sutta probably means not taking up wrong views


It doesnt say that it says views.


, and not clinging to right views. Not clinging to right views doesn't mean that one rejects them. One simply doesn't cling to them


Im not rejecting them. Rebirth view, such as annihilation view, arises due to the process outlined in the Honey Ball Sutta. When one understands this then one can work to stop the process and so the view just doesnt come up at all


Ven. Maha Kaccana said this: "Concerning the brief statement the Blessed One made, after which he went into his dwelling without analyzing the detailed meaning — i.e., 'If, with regard to the cause whereby the perceptions & categories of objectification assail a person, there is nothing there to relish, welcome, or remain fastened to, then that is the end of the obsessions of passion, the obsessions of resistance, the obsessions of views, the obsessions of uncertainty, the obsessions of conceit, the obsessions of passion for becoming, & the obsessions of ignorance. That is the end of taking up rods & bladed weapons, of arguments, quarrels, disputes, accusations, divisive tale-bearing, & false speech. That is where these evil, unskillful things cease without remainder'

"Dependent on eye & forms, eye-consciousness arises. The meeting of the three is contact. With contact as a requisite condition, there is feeling. What one feels, one perceives (labels in the mind). What one perceives, one thinks about. What one thinks about, one objectifies. Based on what a person objectifies, the perceptions & categories of objectification assail him/her with regard to past, present, & future forms cognizable via the eye.



http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html


Understanding the dependent origination of such views will then lead to a situation where


At Savatthi. "Bhikkhus, form is impermanent, ..feeling ..., perception, formations, consciousness is impermanent. What is impermanent is suffering. What is suffering is non-self. What is non-self should be seen as it really is with correct wisdom thus: "This is not mind, this I am not, this is not my self"

"When one sees this thus as it really is with correct wisdom, one holds no more views concerning the past. When one holds no more views concerning the past, one holds no more views concerning the future.

When one holds no more views concerning the future, one has no more obstinate grasping. When one has no more obstinate grasping, the mind becomes dispassionate towars form, feeling, perception, formations and consciousness, and is liberated from the taints by non-clinging.

"By being liberated, it is steady; by being steady, it is content; by being content, one is not agitated. Being unagitated, one personally attains nibbana. One understands: "Destroyed is birth, the holy life has been lived .... there is no more for this state of being


SN page 885 Bodhi translation



We are also taught that Rebirth after death as a deva view is a Tainted view, i.e. it is caught up in clinging and dukkha


"And what is right view? Right view, I tell you, is of two sorts: There is right view with effluents [asava], siding with merit, resulting in the acquisitions [of becoming]; and there is noble right view, without effluents, transcendent, a factor of the path.

"And what is the right view that has effluents, sides with merit, & results in acquisitions? 'There is what is given, what is offered, what is sacrificed. There are fruits & results of good & bad actions. There is this world & the next world. There is mother & father. There are spontaneously reborn beings; there are priests & contemplatives who, faring rightly & practicing rightly, proclaim this world & the next after having directly known & realized it for themselves.' This is the right view that has effluents, sides with merit, & results in acquisitions.


http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html


But why would he teach in line with rebirth view with some?


Anuruddha, for what purpose does the Thus Gone One tell the disciples, without wasting time, before you die, be born in something higher. Stating one is born there, another there. (* 2) The Teaching’s origin is the Blessed One, its lead is from the Blessed One, and its refuge is the Blessed One. Good that the meaning occurs to the Blessed One.We, bhikkhus, hearing it from the Blessed One, will bear it in mind. Anuruddha, the Thus Gone One tells the disciples, without wasting time before you die, be born in something higher. Telling them one is born there, another there. Not to deceive people, not for prattling, and not for gain honour or fame and not thinking may the people know me thus. Yet, Anuruddha, there are sons of clansmen who are born in faith and are pleased, to hear it. Hearing it they would arouse interest and direct their minds to that and it would be for their good for a long time.


http://www.vipassana.info/068-nalakapana-e1.htm




The Buddha taught that views, like the one you have, are a yoke. The process via which they arise should be understood and then abandoned.


]"And how is there the yoke of views? There is the case where a certain person does not discern, as it actually is present, the origination, the passing away, the allure, the drawbacks, & the escape from views. When he does not discern, as it actually is present, the origination, the passing away, the allure, the drawbacks, & the escape from views, then — with regard to views — he is obsessed with view-passion, view-delight, view-attraction, view-infatuation, view-
thirst, view-fever, view-fascination, view-craving. This is the yoke of sensuality, the yoke of becoming, & the yoke of views.



http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... html#views


and


At Savatthi. "Monks, there are these four floods. Which four? The flood of sensuality, the flood of becoming, the flood of views, & the flood of ignorance. These are the four floods.

"Now, this noble eightfold path is to be developed for direct knowledge of, comprehension of, the total ending of, & the abandoning of these four floods. Which noble eightfold path? There is the case where a monk develops right view dependent on seclusion, dependent on dispassion, dependent on cessation, resulting in letting go. He develops right resolve... right speech... right action... right livelihood... right effort... right mindfulness... right concentration dependent on seclusion, dependent on dispassion, dependent on cessation, resulting in letting go. This noble eightfold path is to be developed for direct knowledge of, for comprehension of, for the total ending of, & for the abandoning of these four floods."



http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html


The Buddha set out to understand Dukkkha and how to overcome. He didnt set out to discover some metaphysical doctrine

Upon his enlightenment he realized that clinging gives birth to "I" am via dependent origination.

Here, bhikkhus, the uninstructed worlding ... Reguards form as Self. That regarding, bhikkhus, is a formation. That formation - what is its source, what is its origin, from what is it BORN and produced? When ther uninstructed wordling .. is contacted by feeling born of ignorance contact, craving arises. Thence that formation is born."


Bodhi translation page 922


He also seen that via this process the various metaphysical views that arise in the world also come into being. This is shown via the honey ball sutta


Now when asked what view does an arahant/buddha have, what is the answer? Well we have it right here


When this had been said, Anathapindika the householder said to the wanderers, "As for the venerable one who says, 'The cosmos is eternal. Only this is true; anything otherwise is worthless.This is the sort of view I have,' his view arises from his own inappropriate attention or in dependence on the words of another. Now this view has been brought into being, is fabricated, willed, dependently originated. Whatever has been brought into being, is fabricated, willed, dependently originated, that is inconstant. Whatever is inconstant is stress. This venerable one thus adheres to that very stress, submits himself to that very stress." (Similarly for the other positions.)

When this had been said, the wanderers said to Anathapindika the householder, "We have each & every one expounded to you in line with our own positions. Now tell us what views you have."

"Whatever has been brought into being, is fabricated, willed, dependently originated, that is inconstant. Whatever is inconstant is stress. Whatever is stress is not me, is not what I am, is not my self. This is the sort of view I have."

"So, householder, whatever has been brought into being, is fabricated, willed, dependently originated, that is inconstant. Whatever is inconstant is stress. You thus adhere to that very stress, submit yourself to that very stress."

"Venerable sirs, whatever has been brought into being, is fabricated, willed, dependently originated, that is inconstant. Whatever is inconstant is stress. Whatever is stress is not me, is not what I am, is not my self. Having seen this well with right discernment as it actually is present, I also discern the higher escape from it as it actually is present."



http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html


Metaphysical views are dependtly originated and thus are dukkha, hence why the Buddha does not hold such views


The extent to which there are viewpoints, view-stances, the taking up of views, obsessions of views, the cause of views, & the uprooting of views: that's what I know. That's what I see. Knowing that, I say 'I know.' Seeing that, I say 'I see.' Why should I say 'I don't know, I don't see'? I do know. I do see.



http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby clw_uk » Fri Nov 26, 2010 12:43 pm

I believe in literal rebirth. However it would be nice if there was only one life (after which there would be parinibbana) and this miserable existence would end once and for all. There also would even be a shortcut...



Still caught in the net of views I see


If there is one life and since I am suffering then if I kill[color=#0000FF] myself [/color]then I wont experience dukkha anymore



Clinging, "I am" and aversion is what he have here
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Ben » Fri Nov 26, 2010 1:07 pm

clw_uk wrote:Still caught in the net of views I see

Coming from you, this is just priceless.
Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.

Taṃ nadīhi vijānātha:
sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

Sutta Nipata 3.725


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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Sanghamitta » Fri Nov 26, 2010 3:56 pm

Frankly it would be priceless from either of them. Its the one thing they share.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby rowyourboat » Sat Nov 27, 2010 8:08 am

Sasana wrote:I'll throw in my 2 cents!

I fall into the category of not really proclaiming to know either way and focusing on the here and now as it's knowable.

This is not to discount the Buddha's teachings, but I don't think practice changes with or without it as long as we stay on the path as much as possible thats what matters.

I suppose thats how I see the middle way, with extreme's in view comes clinging and attachment :D

:buddha1:

With Metta,

Adam


Hi Adam

I think practice does change when a person starts to believe in rebirth- it becomes more essential to end the rounds of rebirth -therefore the person will put in more effort into the practice - hence progress further along the path.

with metta

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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Spiny O'Norman » Sat Nov 27, 2010 10:34 am

rowyourboat wrote:I think practice does change when a person starts to believe in rebirth- it becomes more essential to end the rounds of rebirth -therefore the person will put in more effort into the practice - hence progress further along the path.



This can go both ways though. For some people the assumption of only 1 life to practice can impart a greater sense of urgency and more effort. And since we don't know what will happen to us tomorrow, let alone in some future lifetime, why speculate?

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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Phra Chuntawongso » Sat Nov 27, 2010 12:52 pm

Spiny O'Norman wrote:
rowyourboat wrote:I think practice does change when a person starts to believe in rebirth- it becomes more essential to end the rounds of rebirth -therefore the person will put in more effort into the practice - hence progress further along the path.



This can go both ways though. For some people the assumption of only 1 life to practice can impart a greater sense of urgency and more effort. And since we don't know what will happen to us tomorrow, let alone in some future lifetime, why speculate?

Spiny

I guess that we can all agree then ,that the important thing here is practice. :woohoo:
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Aloka » Sat Nov 27, 2010 1:43 pm

Nanadhaja wrote:
Spiny O'Norman wrote:
rowyourboat wrote:I think practice does change when a person starts to believe in rebirth- it becomes more essential to end the rounds of rebirth -therefore the person will put in more effort into the practice - hence progress further along the path.



This can go both ways though. For some people the assumption of only 1 life to practice can impart a greater sense of urgency and more effort. And since we don't know what will happen to us tomorrow, let alone in some future lifetime, why speculate?

Spiny

I guess that we can all agree then ,that the important thing here is practice. :woohoo:
With metta




Yes indeed. It's absolutely essential to always keep practising, no matter what anyone else says or does !


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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Sasana » Sun Nov 28, 2010 9:08 am

Nanadhaja wrote:
Spiny O'Norman wrote:
rowyourboat wrote:I think practice does change when a person starts to believe in rebirth- it becomes more essential to end the rounds of rebirth -therefore the person will put in more effort into the practice - hence progress further along the path.



This can go both ways though. For some people the assumption of only 1 life to practice can impart a greater sense of urgency and more effort. And since we don't know what will happen to us tomorrow, let alone in some future lifetime, why speculate?

Spiny

I guess that we can all agree then ,that the important thing here is practice. :woohoo:
With metta


Bhante,

Very well said, I think becoming too attached to these ideas could possibly have a negative effect on practice so until it is proven correct, investigate, practice and through insight one can most probably make an informed decision as to whether it is something they believe or not.

Better to be open to new ideas then closed minded, it's through open mindedness we came to the Buddhas teachings.

So it maybe true for some that practice now is on the forefront of the mind because of the idea of stopping rebirths, for others its imperative because there is but one life to attain enlightenment, two paths to the one destination.

With Metta,

Adam
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby clw_uk » Sun Nov 28, 2010 2:19 pm

So it maybe true for some that practice now is on the forefront of the mind because of the idea of stopping rebirths, for others its imperative because there is but one life to attain enlightenment, two paths to the one destination.



Or there is having no notions or views about one life, two lives or a million lives


:)
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby kirk5a » Sun Nov 28, 2010 3:12 pm

clw_uk wrote:Or there is having no notions or views about one life, two lives or a million lives


:)

hehe having no notions! but what will I do without my notions! :tantrum:
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Alex123 » Sun Nov 28, 2010 4:24 pm

clw_uk wrote:
So it maybe true for some that practice now is on the forefront of the mind because of the idea of stopping rebirths, for others its imperative because there is but one life to attain enlightenment, two paths to the one destination.



Or there is having no notions or views about one life, two lives or a million lives


:)


Is that due to lack of knowledge or extreme agnosticism?


If there was only one life, then what would be the point of practice? Why wouldn't one simply take strong medicine to tranquillize bad mental states? We all would attain parinibbāna at death. In fact one could attain it even quicker... That would be a very rational choice...If that was the case, then I could end all my daily physical pain quickly...

As someone has said: "Life is beautiful once you find the right anti-depressant".
"dust to dust...."
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby ground » Sun Nov 28, 2010 4:50 pm

clw_uk wrote:Or there is having no notions or views about one life, two lives or a million lives
:)


That sounds nice. But please consider to observe yourself mindfully when you leave the computer. Do you really abide in a state beyond time? If not then you are trapped :)
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Aloka » Sun Nov 28, 2010 4:57 pm

Alex123 wrote:
If there was only one life, then what would be the point of practice? Why wouldn't one simply take strong medicine to tranquillize bad mental states? We all would attain parinibbāna at death. In fact one could attain it even quicker... That would be a very rational choice...If that was the case, then I could end all my daily physical pain quickly...

As someone has said: "Life is beautiful once you find the right anti-depressant".


The fact remains, Alex123, that there are plenty of practitioners, like myself, who prefer to remain neutral about this matter, and just don't think about post- mortem rebirth at all, but let all that mental spinning and speculating go, in favor of present moment awareness.

Lets see again what Ajahn Sumedho is saying here in "The sound of Silence"

The historical Buddha refered to previous lives in the scriptures and things like this, but for me these things are speculative. Maybe you can remember previous lives, but I have no such memory. So all I know is from the here and now. We’re talking about direct knowing rather than Buddhist theory or Buddhist doctrine.
When Ajahn Chah taught about rebirth, he did so in the context of paticcasumappada, or dependent origination. He was talking about the kind of rebirth you can actually witness in daily life; birth is the beginning, death is the ending. How many rebirths have you gone through today, mentally ? What is born dies; what arises, ceases. Rebirth in this sense is actually provable.

In the paticcasamuppada, through desire (tanha) comes attachment (upadana), and then attachment leads to becoming (bhava), becoming leads to rebirth, and rebirth leads to suffering. Jati (birth) is the result of grasping desire. I quite like the idea of reincarnation and rebirth, on a theoretical level. I’ve no bias against it, but it is speculative and it’s conceptual.”

Ajahn Sumedho
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Alex123 » Sun Nov 28, 2010 5:36 pm

Aloka wrote:The fact remains, Alex123, that there are plenty of practitioners, like myself, who prefer to remain neutral about this matter, and just don't think about post- mortem rebirth at all, but let all that mental spinning and speculating go, in favor of present moment awareness.


Whenever one acts, it is due to a certain goal. Action is dependent on beliefs. The belief in danger of samsara is a required condition for action to get out of it. The more afraid you are of burning house, the more effort is produced to get out ASAP!

If we limit samsara and its danger to one life only, then the limited understanding of danger will produce limited sense of danger, and limited effort to get out.


Ultimately, even bare aggregates, devoid of clinging (which is very hard to achieve within one life. How many anagamis or arahants are there?), produce lots of pain... There would be an easy way to get rid of all bodily pain, and various painful events that can occur despite one's lack of present clinging.

With metta,

Alex
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Aloka » Sun Nov 28, 2010 5:57 pm

Alex123 wrote:
If we limit samsara and its danger to one life only, then the limited understanding of danger will produce limited sense of danger, and limited effort to get out.




Not for me. Speculating about the possibility of a future life as an ant, or roasting in a hot hell being poked by forks just seems pointless!

I'll take my chances and do my best in this life, thanks. I've been lucky and have had/have very good offline teachers so far. :smile:
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Alex123 » Sun Nov 28, 2010 8:01 pm

Aloka wrote:Not for me. Speculating about the possibility of a future life as an ant, or roasting in a hot hell being poked by forks just seems pointless!


It is not pointless if it motivates you to strive harder.

Besides, the Buddha did teach about continuation after death. Buddha taught strict conditionality, where kamma inevitably brings kammavipāka. So what if kamma is made by the last moment of mind? It inevitably will follow with a corresponding vipāka, in the new body. So rejection or agnosticism about rebirth, is also agnosticism about a crucial teaching of kamma and kammavipāka.


For example in MN144, Bhikkhu Channa used the knife for suicide. But he became an Arahant before death. The Buddha has said:
if someone gives up this body and seizes another, I say it is a fault. In the bhikkhu that fault is not apparent. Bhikkhu Channa took his life faultlessly.
http://metta.lk/tipitaka/2Sutta-Pitaka/ ... ada-e.html



What do you think it means about not seizing another body, when this body dies (Ven. Channa used the knife). If there was one life, then death as a worldling and death as an Arahat would bring the same result and disregard the vital teaching on kamma & kammavipāka.


What about MN129 and MN130?
http://metta.lk/tipitaka/2Sutta-Pitaka/ ... ita-e.html

In MN130 (Devaduta sutta) the Buddha clearly has stated about Hell,
``Bhikkhus, I say this not hearing from another recluse or brahmin, this is what I have myself known and seen and so I say it.
http://metta.lk/tipitaka/2Sutta-Pitaka/ ... uta-e.html


With metta,

Alex
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Aloka » Sun Nov 28, 2010 8:13 pm

Alex123 wrote:
It is not pointless if it motivates you to strive harder.



"Striving" doesn't do it for me, Alex. Relaxing and letting go of all that extra mental baggage does.


" The Buddhist teaching is ultimate simplicity and it takes things to the the most simple level of pure awareness -and that's so simple that most people never really get it.

We have to make Buddhism more complex -especially for lay people!" - chuckles

(Ajahn Sumedho - Amaravati Kathina.)
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Sanghamitta » Sun Nov 28, 2010 8:38 pm

TMingyur wrote:
clw_uk wrote:Or there is having no notions or views about one life, two lives or a million lives
:)


That sounds nice. But please consider to observe yourself mindfully when you leave the computer. Do you really abide in a state beyond time? If not then you are trapped :)

Do you T.Mingyur ? Abide in a state beyond time....if not you are in no position to give sermons to anyone else. You are just parroting stuff you believe. Its provenance might be impeccable.....but its all second hand.
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