the great rebirth debate

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
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Alex123
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Post by Alex123 » Mon Oct 15, 2012 2:02 am

darvki wrote:
Alex123 wrote:If there are multiple lifetimes then suicide will not deal with problems inherent in existence. If there is one life, then suicide is a shortcut.
This, of course, assumes that one finds the "problems inherent to existence" solvable only by its termination. Many surely think otherwise.
Buddha couldn't avoid all dukkha. I don't think that I can do better than a Buddha.

Angulimala as an Arahant still experienced severe physical pain. He wasn't above that.

In MN144 due to severe illness Bhikkhu Channa, to quote the Buddha,
  • Sāriputta, there may be the families of venerable Channa's friends, well-wishers and earlier relatives, I say, there is no fault to that extent. Sāriputta, 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.MN144
It is said that the Buddha could prolong his lifespan for remaining of Kappa, or that he could die naturally, or shorten his life.
  • 10. And at the Capala shrine the Blessed One thus mindfully and clearly comprehending renounced his will to live onDN16
Why did Buddha shorten his life so that he would die within 3 month? Why didn't He remain longer to help more people?

To exist more means to experience more pain, aging, heat, cold, hunger, thirst, abusive people, and other complications inherent in having this body. Buddha was not exempt from it.
  • 28. But when the Blessed One had entered upon the rainy season, there arose in him a severe illness, and sharp and deadly pains came upon him. DN16
What makes you think that you can do better?

According to 4NT, at least 2/3 of Dukkha in this life is unsolvable. The only thing is to stop rebirth to stop life with all that which comes with it.
"Life is a struggle. Life will throw curveballs at you, it will humble you, it will attempt to break you down. And just when you think things are starting to look up, life will smack you back down with ruthless indifference..."

darvki
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Post by darvki » Mon Oct 15, 2012 3:07 am

Alex123 wrote:...
For some of us, whether we believe in one life or many, whether we are awakened or not, life is more than just unnecessary pain.

barcsimalsi
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Post by barcsimalsi » Mon Oct 15, 2012 12:12 pm

Alex123 wrote: Of course if one becomes an Arahant, then there will be less, less dukkha. But still, even the Buddha experienced some forms of dukkha that is inherent in existence. What are our chances of becoming Buddha, or even Arhant? What is the point in struggling if one could use the rope and quickly parinibbanize?
I love the idea of short cut please enlist me.
Maybe the Buddha's main point is to train ourselves to purely let go of all attachment so when we die or commit suicide, we and others got nothing to lose. I had listened to many suttas and i don't find any part of it that tells commit suicide will bring a person to hell. So if we are ready to let go everything, i think that is fine of taking the short cut.

Also if we don't believe in continuous rebirth, it won't make sense anymore about distinguishing craving for non existence vs accomplishing non attachment. I don't think the subject of rebirth can be parted from Buddhism.

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Alex123
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Post by Alex123 » Mon Oct 15, 2012 2:00 pm

darvki wrote:
Alex123 wrote:...
For some of us, whether we believe in one life or many, whether we are awakened or not, life is more than just unnecessary pain.
When one doesn't fully see the breadth, depth and width of Dukkha -Then, I guess, decorating seats in a burning house isn't that bad till some point. It is pessimism to say that house is burning, right? It is still somewhere in the future... Right?
"Life is a struggle. Life will throw curveballs at you, it will humble you, it will attempt to break you down. And just when you think things are starting to look up, life will smack you back down with ruthless indifference..."

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daverupa
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Post by daverupa » Mon Oct 15, 2012 5:20 pm

I fail to see how speculative metaphysics of any kind are a comfort to people, but it happens.

I also fail to see how the Dhamma is seen as having been rendered toothless without this sort of belief, but it happens.

(Partly this is because I've yet to see a rebirth discussion not run afoul of either MN 2 or DN 1...)
  • "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.

- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]

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gavesako
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Post by gavesako » Mon Oct 15, 2012 5:54 pm

Whatever problems arise, they arise right
here. “Is death followed by rebirth? By annihi-
lation? Is there a next world? Does hell exist?
Does heaven? Does evil exist? Does merit?” Ev-
erywhere I go, there’s the same question: “Do
heaven and hell exist?” I never feel like answer-
ing. I don’t see any reason to answer it, because
that which is burdened with heaven and hell
is the heart, which everyone already has. So
why waste time answering? After all, I’m not a
record-keeper for heaven and hell! Living beings
are reborn in various realms of existence through the power
of the good and bad kamma within the heart. The heart itself
is what’s reborn into those realms. If we don’t solve the
problem right in the heart, we’ll never be able to escape
the bonfires of suffering and anxiety.


-- Luangta Maha Boowa, "Samana"
Bhikkhu Gavesako
Kiṃkusalagavesī anuttaraṃ santivarapadaṃ pariyesamāno... (MN 26)

Access to Insight - Theravada texts
Ancient Buddhist Texts - Translations and history of Pali texts
Dhammatalks.org - Sutta translations

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Aloka
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Post by Aloka » Mon Oct 15, 2012 6:33 pm

daverupa wrote:I fail to see how speculative metaphysics of any kind are a comfort to people, but it happens.

I also fail to see how the Dhamma is seen as having been rendered toothless without this sort of belief, but it happens.

(Partly this is because I've yet to see a rebirth discussion not run afoul of either MN 2 or DN 1...)

I recall Ajahn Sumedho saying in a talk I went to at Amaravati Monastery not long before he retired: ...

" What happens after death ? - We all have our opinions, but the fact is we don't really know."


:anjali:

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cooran
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Post by cooran » Mon Oct 15, 2012 8:56 pm

Alex123 wrote:
darvki wrote:
Alex123 wrote:Why isn't suicide a shortcut to parinibbana? Why suffer needlessly?
I've heard this argument presented a lot, and it's time to be clear on why it has no merit:

If one is looking at a one-life-only viewpoint, the multiple-lives-dependent definition of parinibbana is rendered meaningless. Mixing worldviews like this is a logical black hole. To use a possibly clumsy example: it's like believing that there is no God, but that you'll go to Abrahamic-religious heaven (or hell) when you die.
Unlike some other religions, Buddhism teaches that there is dukkha. One doesn't even have to be Buddhist, just examine what life is about.

If there are multiple lifetimes then suicide will not deal with problems inherent in existence. If there is one life, then suicide is a shortcut.

Of course if one becomes an Arahant, then there will be less, less dukkha. But still, even the Buddha experienced some forms of dukkha that is inherent in existence. What are our chances of becoming Buddha, or even Arhant? What is the point in struggling if one could use the rope and quickly parinibbanize?
Hello Alex, all,

Could we please leave ''Suicide'' to threads having it as a main topic, and not clog up the discussion about Rebirth?

Please discuss/debate about ''Suicide'' in the topics below, or many others which will come up in any search of DhammaWheel:

Buddhism, rebirth and suicide
http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=12221" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
A Logical Sacrifice
http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.ph ... 4&p=173965" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;


with metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---

darvki
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Post by darvki » Mon Oct 15, 2012 9:40 pm

Alex123 wrote:When one doesn't fully see the breadth, depth and width of Dukkha -Then, I guess, decorating seats in a burning house isn't that bad till some point. It is pessimism to say that house is burning, right? It is still somewhere in the future... Right?
All I'm saying is that some of us aren't going to have our minds changed posts like these. You may think what you wish, but surely it's too much to hope others will eventually think the same if you make enough of these comments.

darvki
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Post by darvki » Mon Oct 15, 2012 9:43 pm

cooran wrote:Hello Alex, all,

Could we please leave ''Suicide'' to threads having it as a main topic, and not clog up the discussion about Rebirth?
Sorry for helping the main topic veer off, Chris. I'm done now.

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Alex123
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Post by Alex123 » Mon Oct 15, 2012 9:59 pm

darvki wrote:
Alex123 wrote:When one doesn't fully see the breadth, depth and width of Dukkha -Then, I guess, decorating seats in a burning house isn't that bad till some point. It is pessimism to say that house is burning, right? It is still somewhere in the future... Right?
All I'm saying is that some of us aren't going to have our minds changed posts like these. You may think what you wish, but surely it's too much to hope others will eventually think the same if you make enough of these comments.
I am happy that you don't suffer so much.


With best wishes,

Alex
"Life is a struggle. Life will throw curveballs at you, it will humble you, it will attempt to break you down. And just when you think things are starting to look up, life will smack you back down with ruthless indifference..."

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equilibrium
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Post by equilibrium » Mon Oct 15, 2012 10:18 pm

Rebirth must apply to those who are not awakened in this very life.
Rebirth must apply to those who are in other planes of existence.....unless they got out by help.
Rebirth should also happen to those who wish to come back to guide/help others due to compassion.

Rebirth is interesting because it is like a puzzle, it needs to be resolved in the mind, if not, one will definitly return until it is solved.....so this life as a human being, it is a great opportunity to really do something that really matters most!

darvki
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Post by darvki » Mon Oct 15, 2012 11:42 pm

Alex123 wrote:I am happy that you don't suffer so much.
I have my share. Some of it has gone away with time thanks to the Dhamma. I hope (and firmly believe) you can find some immediate relief in your own refuge and practice.

dsaly1969
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Post by dsaly1969 » Sat Oct 27, 2012 2:35 pm

Scanning through this thread and the metaphysical speculation, it seems to remind me of the parable of the poison arrow. Deal with the dukkha. :tongue:

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Ron-The-Elder
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Post by Ron-The-Elder » Sun Oct 28, 2012 3:36 am

gavesako wrote:Whatever problems arise, they arise right
here. “Is death followed by rebirth? By annihi-
lation? Is there a next world? Does hell exist?
Does heaven? Does evil exist? Does merit?” Ev-
erywhere I go, there’s the same question: “Do
heaven and hell exist?” I never feel like answer-
ing. I don’t see any reason to answer it, because
that which is burdened with heaven and hell
is the heart, which everyone already has. So
why waste time answering? After all, I’m not a
record-keeper for heaven and hell! Living beings
are reborn in various realms of existence through the power
of the good and bad kamma within the heart. The heart itself
is what’s reborn into those realms. If we don’t solve the
problem right in the heart, we’ll never be able to escape
the bonfires of suffering and anxiety.


-- Luangta Maha Boowa, "Samana"
Yet, the discussions of such go on and on and on and on! :jawdrop:

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A head of gray hairs doesn't mean one's an elder. Advanced in years, one's called an old fool.
But one in whom there is truth, restraint, rectitude, gentleness,self-control, he's called an elder, his impurities disgorged, enlightened.
-Dhammpada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.

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