If I am reborn it is not me. So why I care about the rebirth?

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
pegembara
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Re: If I am reborn it is not me. So why I care about the rebirth?

Post by pegembara » Wed Mar 07, 2018 6:50 am

davidbrainerd wrote:
Wed Mar 07, 2018 6:07 am
pegembara wrote:
Wed Mar 07, 2018 5:21 am
ganegaar wrote:
Mon Mar 05, 2018 10:46 pm
Why do we need to look at before death and after death I wonder, we can just look between just two "breaths"!.
The one who breaths the next breath, is not the one who took the previous one!.
Curious? for if it were the same, we would never have grown old!
There are countless breaths we've taken, they come and go, just like we cannot see beyond death, we cannot see the next breath!
Just like I cannot remember the last life, I cannot remember my last breath too, for that matter, any of my previous breaths!
A stream of fuzzy memories of "my" past "actions (or reactions)" of current life remains, but where was the "I" ?
Sankharas (breath) arising and sankharas (breath) ceasing. No one is doing the breathing which is/are a process or processes.
I'm holding my breath right now and therefore its not just a process that takes place without a will.
Does "your" breathing stop when you fall asleep? What happens when "you" forget to breathe?
And what is right speech? Abstaining from lying, from divisive speech, from abusive speech, & from idle chatter: This is called right speech.

pegembara
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Re: If I am reborn it is not me. So why I care about the rebirth?

Post by pegembara » Wed Mar 07, 2018 6:53 am

davidbrainerd wrote:
Wed Mar 07, 2018 6:13 am
pegembara wrote:
Wed Mar 07, 2018 5:12 am
Good point. How can belief in rebirth end dukkha?
Because rebirth is ultimately the very definition of dukkha (as the Dhammapada quote below will show) and is what you're supposed to be trying to end. If you merely live once and then die, then dukkha just ends with death and you don't need to do anything to end it but wait for death to end it. Therefore, by not believing in rebirth, one remains subject to it because they don't have the wherewithall to end the clinging that causes it. And in some of the suttas around the 100s in Mahjima Nikkaya Buddha explicitly says that denying rebirth is wrong view. And I think he explains why also.

From the Daw Mya Tin translation of the Dhammapada:
VERSE 153: I, who have been seeking the builder of this house (body), failing to attain Enlightenment (Bodhi nana or Sabbannuta nana) which would enable me to find him, have wandered through innumerable births in samsara. To be born again and again is, indeed, dukkha!

VERSE 154: Oh house-builder! You are seen, you shall build no house (for me) again. All your rafters are broken, your roof-tree is destroyed. My mind has reached the unconditioned (i.e., Nibbana); the end of craving (Arahatta Phala) has been attained.
Nobody is denying rebirth. Just that believing in it cannot end dukkha. Perhaps one will have more sense of urgency and samvega to get out. Buddhist aren't the only one with such beliefs.

Just to set the record straight, I am a believer.
Last edited by pegembara on Wed Mar 07, 2018 7:01 am, edited 1 time in total.
And what is right speech? Abstaining from lying, from divisive speech, from abusive speech, & from idle chatter: This is called right speech.

davidbrainerd
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Re: If I am reborn it is not me. So why I care about the rebirth?

Post by davidbrainerd » Wed Mar 07, 2018 7:00 am

pegembara wrote:
Wed Mar 07, 2018 6:50 am
davidbrainerd wrote:
Wed Mar 07, 2018 6:07 am
pegembara wrote:
Wed Mar 07, 2018 5:21 am


Sankharas (breath) arising and sankharas (breath) ceasing. No one is doing the breathing which is/are a process or processes.
I'm holding my breath right now and therefore its not just a process that takes place without a will.
Does "your" breathing stop when you fall asleep? What happens when "you" forget to breathe?
When you're not purposefully stopping it, you've got it on autopilot, like when you're driving a car and thinking about something else not really paying attention to the road, yet you don't hit anything.

pegembara
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Re: If I am reborn it is not me. So why I care about the rebirth?

Post by pegembara » Wed Mar 07, 2018 7:03 am

davidbrainerd wrote:
Wed Mar 07, 2018 7:00 am
pegembara wrote:
Wed Mar 07, 2018 6:50 am
davidbrainerd wrote:
Wed Mar 07, 2018 6:07 am


I'm holding my breath right now and therefore its not just a process that takes place without a will.
Does "your" breathing stop when you fall asleep? What happens when "you" forget to breathe?
When you're not purposefully stopping it, you've got it on autopilot, like when you're driving a car and thinking about something else not really paying attention to the road, yet you don't hit anything.
Yes you do hit something when you don't pay attention even for a few seconds.
And what is right speech? Abstaining from lying, from divisive speech, from abusive speech, & from idle chatter: This is called right speech.

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Re: If I am reborn it is not me. So why I care about the rebirth?

Post by Dinsdale » Wed Mar 07, 2018 9:22 am

cappuccino wrote:
Mon Mar 05, 2018 6:08 pm
Many can't face the fact of rebirth.
Many can't face the fact of no rebirth. :tongue:
Buddha save me from new-agers!

auto
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Re: If I am reborn it is not me. So why I care about the rebirth?

Post by auto » Wed Mar 07, 2018 3:41 pm

A guess

If you are thinking about something, then you are not here. I can take your things and you won't notice even if looking at what i am doing.
To notice me, is you need get a reminder, consciousness will arise and you can plug in to it and shout at me.

Also same type of consciousness what arises or manifests can be a gateway to your own body(what is important for cultivation).

If you die you will appear in that consciousness and are following karmic force, there you can't cultivate or put a stop to your destiny.

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cappuccino
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Re: If I am reborn it is not me. So why I care about the rebirth?

Post by cappuccino » Wed Mar 07, 2018 7:26 pm

Dinsdale wrote:
Wed Mar 07, 2018 9:22 am
Many can't face the fact of no rebirth.

Rebirth is a difficult, not easy teaching.

SarathW
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Re: If I am reborn it is not me. So why I care about the rebirth?

Post by SarathW » Wed Mar 07, 2018 8:33 pm

:focus:
This thread is not about the re-birth.
The question is is it necessary to believe in Kamma and re-birth to attain enlightenment.
How do you practice if there is no Kamma and re-birth?
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Sam Vara
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Re: If I am reborn it is not me. So why I care about the rebirth?

Post by Sam Vara » Wed Mar 07, 2018 9:31 pm

SarathW wrote:
Wed Mar 07, 2018 8:33 pm
:focus:
This thread is not about the re-birth.
The question is is it necessary to believe in Kamma and re-birth to attain enlightenment.
How do you practice if there is no Kamma and re-birth?
The Buddha's awakening involved the arising of the "three knowledges", and the first two certainly certainly involved an understanding of his own rebirth, and of the workings of kamma. The first one goes like this:
When the mind was thus concentrated, purified, bright, unblemished, rid of defilement, pliant, malleable, steady, & attained to imperturbability, I directed it to the knowledge of recollecting my past lives. I recollected my manifold past lives, i.e., one birth, two... five, ten... fifty, a hundred, a thousand, a hundred thousand, many eons of cosmic contraction, many eons of cosmic expansion, many eons of cosmic contraction & expansion: 'There I had such a name, belonged to such a clan, had such an appearance. Such was my food, such my experience of pleasure & pain, such the end of my life. Passing away from that state, I re-arose there. There too I had such a name, belonged to such a clan, had such an appearance. Such was my food, such my experience of pleasure & pain, such the end of my life. Passing away from that state, I re-arose here.' Thus I remembered my manifold past lives in their modes & details.

"This was the first knowledge I attained in the first watch of the night. Ignorance was destroyed; knowledge arose; darkness was destroyed; light arose — as happens in one who is heedful, ardent, & resolute.
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html

That's not of course to say that those following the Buddha must undergo the same process. A lot of modern secular Buddhism is predicated on the premise that it is possible to attain the third knowledge without the first two. So it is perfectly possible to practice if one believes there is no kamma or rebirth. But I'm struck by how, above, the Buddha explicitly directs his mind to the knowledge of recollecting his past lives. It didn't just happen as a result of being very mindful and having lived a pure life; he had the intention to achieve that knowledge before it was achieved. So on that reading, the belief seems necessary.

SarathW
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Re: If I am reborn it is not me. So why I care about the rebirth?

Post by SarathW » Wed Mar 07, 2018 10:46 pm

Agree.
What I am saying is, isn't that enough to know how the Kamma ripening and the Dependent Origination in this life itself.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Sam Vara
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Re: If I am reborn it is not me. So why I care about the rebirth?

Post by Sam Vara » Wed Mar 07, 2018 11:31 pm

SarathW wrote:
Wed Mar 07, 2018 10:46 pm
Agree.
What I am saying is, isn't that enough to know how the Kamma ripening and the Dependent Origination in this life itself.
It didn't seem to be enough for the Buddha, otherwise he would not have bothered with the first knowledge.

davidbrainerd
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Re: If I am reborn it is not me. So why I care about the rebirth?

Post by davidbrainerd » Thu Mar 08, 2018 12:17 am

SarathW wrote:
Wed Mar 07, 2018 8:33 pm
:focus:
This thread is not about the re-birth.
The title is literally "If I am reborn it is not me. So why I care about the rebirth?"
SarathW wrote:
Wed Mar 07, 2018 8:33 pm
The question is is it necessary to believe in Kamma and re-birth to attain enlightenment.
How do you practice if there is no Kamma and re-birth?
If there's no kamma and rebirth there is no point, because enlightenment means exiting the cycle of rebirth. Without kamma and rebirth, just be one of those asshole atheists who goes around saying "I'm enlightened because I don't believe in anything" and viola, you're "enlightened" but not in the sense that Buddha uses the term.

thepea
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Re: If I am reborn it is not me. So why I care about the rebirth?

Post by thepea » Thu Mar 08, 2018 12:30 am

SarathW wrote:
Wed Mar 07, 2018 8:33 pm
:focus:
This thread is not about the re-birth.
The question is is it necessary to believe in Kamma and re-birth to attain enlightenment.
How do you practice if there is no Kamma and re-birth?
It is definitely not necessary to believe in kamma and rebirth to attain enlightenment.

davidbrainerd
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Re: If I am reborn it is not me. So why I care about the rebirth?

Post by davidbrainerd » Thu Mar 08, 2018 12:50 am

thepea wrote:
Thu Mar 08, 2018 12:30 am
SarathW wrote:
Wed Mar 07, 2018 8:33 pm
:focus:
This thread is not about the re-birth.
The question is is it necessary to believe in Kamma and re-birth to attain enlightenment.
How do you practice if there is no Kamma and re-birth?
It is definitely not necessary to believe in kamma and rebirth to attain enlightenment.
Somewhere in the 100s of the MN, there are several suttas that say that saying there is no birth, there is no death, there are no parents, there is no kamma, there is no offering, there is no reward, etc. is wrong view.

Not to mention that arahants always say in the canon, What needed to be done has been done, this is my LAST BIRTH, LAST DEATH....

You people are just kidding yourself. You're just atheists who meditate for stress relief, not Buddhists.

thepea
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Re: If I am reborn it is not me. So why I care about the rebirth?

Post by thepea » Thu Mar 08, 2018 1:34 am

davidbrainerd wrote:
Thu Mar 08, 2018 12:50 am
Somewhere in the 100s of the MN, there are several suttas that say that saying there is no birth, there is no death, there are no parents, there is no kamma, there is no offering, there is no reward, etc. is wrong view.

Not to mention that arahants always say in the canon, What needed to be done has been done, this is my LAST BIRTH, LAST DEATH....

You people are just kidding yourself. You're just atheists who meditate for stress relief, not Buddhists.
My point is, what good is “believing” in kamma and rebirth, this is not going to liberate you.
Experiencing kamma and rebirth first hand is the path.

The atheist comment is a bit harsh, ouch.

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cappuccino
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Re: If I am reborn it is not me. So why I care about the rebirth?

Post by cappuccino » Thu Mar 08, 2018 3:09 am

thepea wrote:
Thu Mar 08, 2018 1:34 am
what good is “believing” in kamma and rebirth

Only right view results in good rebirth.

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No_Mind
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Re: If I am reborn it is not me. So why I care about the rebirth?

Post by No_Mind » Thu Mar 08, 2018 4:53 am

SarathW wrote:
Wed Mar 07, 2018 8:33 pm
This thread is not about the re-birth.
The question is is it necessary to believe in Kamma and re-birth to attain enlightenment.
How do you practice if there is no Kamma and re-birth?
I hesitated a long while before answering ..

I have had lot of doubts .. about rebirth, kamma, anatta .. lot of questions .. I had gotten pretty worked up about it few years back and left Buddhism for a month ..

But .. when I read the suttas I find someone of immense wisdom speaking to us .. and I am on the whole sure that man is not selling snake oil

Hence I take his words as truth .. call it faith .. I have faith in what he asked us to do (follow Noble 8FP) .. I have no proof but I am willing to trust him because he sounds so wise ..
Then Anathapindika the householder went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, having bowed down to him, sat to one side. As he was sitting there the Blessed One said to him: "These five things, householder, are welcome, agreeable, pleasant, & hard to obtain in the world. Which five?

"Long life is welcome, agreeable, pleasant, & hard to obtain in the world.

"Beauty is welcome, agreeable, pleasant, & hard to obtain in the world.

"Happiness is welcome, agreeable, pleasant, & hard to obtain in the world.

"Status is welcome, agreeable, pleasant, & hard to obtain in the world.

"Rebirth in heaven is welcome, agreeable, pleasant, & hard to obtain in the world.

"Now, I tell you, these five things are not to be obtained by reason of prayers or wishes. If they were to be obtained by reason of prayers or wishes, who here would lack them?

Ittha Sutta
This is so wise .. I have not been able to find anyone else who could dismiss so much in so few words .. what such a man told us cannot be false .. he did not ask us to believe in next life but he asked us to follow the Noble 8FP .. if you believe he is not a fake messiah follow the 8FP .. it can only lead to good things.

:namaste:
I know one thing: that I know nothing

Upeksha
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Re: If I am reborn it is not me. So why I care about the rebirth?

Post by Upeksha » Thu Mar 08, 2018 5:16 am

Isn't there an important distinction to be made between insight and belief/faith?

Right view is predicated on direct insight. That's what we're all aiming for, and it has to be seen as a process. And the more honest one is in this (difficult) process, the more likely one is to be successful in my book.

So I think it is perfectly acceptable for Buddhists to be uncertain or agnostic about rebirth ~ it is nothing more than an honest expression of where they are at. I don't think it ought to be an article of faith - because belief in these things is not tantamount to actually gaining insight into them.

But on the flip side, being uncertain or agnostic also implies an openness. i.e. to the possibility that these things may be true/real.

pegembara
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Re: If I am reborn it is not me. So why I care about the rebirth?

Post by pegembara » Thu Mar 08, 2018 6:58 am

If I am reborn it is not me. So why I care about the rebirth?

No you shouldn't. You should instead care about the doctrine of anatta(no self or not self). For if "what" is reborn is merely a conglomerate of the 5 aggregates which are not self, you wouldn't care.
"Suppose a person were to gather or burn or do as he likes with the grass, twigs, branches, & leaves here in Jeta's Grove. Would the thought occur to you, 'It's us that this person is gathering, burning, or doing with as he likes'?"

"No, lord. Why is that? Because those things are not our self nor do they pertain to our self."

"In the same way, monks, the eye is not yours: let go of it. Your letting go of it will be for your long-term happiness & benefit... The ear... The nose... The tongue... The body... The intellect is not yours: let go of it. Your letting go of it will be for your long-term happiness & benefit... Whatever arises in dependence on intellect-contact, experienced either as pleasure, as pain, or as neither-pleasure-nor-pain, that too is not yours: let go of it. Your letting go of it will be for your long-term happiness & benefit."

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
And what is right speech? Abstaining from lying, from divisive speech, from abusive speech, & from idle chatter: This is called right speech.

binocular
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Re: If I am reborn it is not me. So why I care about the rebirth?

Post by binocular » Thu Mar 08, 2018 7:21 am

SarathW wrote:
Wed Mar 07, 2018 10:46 pm
Agree.
What I am saying is, isn't that enough to know how the Kamma ripening and the Dependent Origination in this life itself.
Have you read Ven. Thanissaro's The Truth of Rebirth And Why it Matters for Buddhist Practice?

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