Page 1 of 9

Human reborn as Human

Posted: Fri Dec 24, 2010 2:54 pm
by andyn
In the Sutra, Buddha said "Those whose in human form die and reborn as human can be compared to the dirt in my finger, while those in human form die and reborn in the realm of hungry ghosts, animals, and hells can be compared to the dirt in of the whole earth". If this is to understand literally, the ratio of dirt in the whole earth is more than billions of billions of dirt in finger, that means if our current earth population of 6.9 billion people die, then nobody will be reborn as human? Thus, doesn't making so much sense, since then our cultivation would be wasted?

Re: Human reborn as Human

Posted: Fri Dec 24, 2010 3:14 pm
by Aloka
Hi andyn,

Perhaps it isn't meant to be interpreted literally ?


Kind regards,

Aloka

Re: Human reborn as Human

Posted: Fri Dec 24, 2010 3:20 pm
by ground
336. Bhikkhus, in the peninsular of India there are a few pleasant orchards, forests, outstanding sites, stretches of water but many irregular blocks of land, irregular rivers flowing disorderly, forming uneven shapes. In the same manner a few humans who leave the human corpse are born among humans many more are reborn in hell, in the animal world and as ghosts.

337. In the same manner a few gods that leave divinity are reborn among gods many more are reborn in hell, in the animal world and as ghosts.

338. In the same manner a few gods that leave divinity are reborn as humans, many more are reborn in hell, in the animal world and as ghosts.

339.Bhikkhus, in the same manner a few released from hell are reborn human, many more are reborn in hell, in the animal world and as ghosts.

340.Bhikkhus, a few released from hell are reborn with the gods, many more are reborn in hell, in the animal world and as ghosts. In the same manner a few who leave behind the animal world are reborn as humans, many more are reborn in hell, in the animal world and as ghosts. In the same manner a few who leave behind the animal world are reborn as gods, many more are reborn in hell, in the animal world and as ghosts. In the same manner a few ghosts are reborn among humans, many more are reborn in hell, in the animal world and as ghosts. In the same manner a few ghosts are reborn among gods, many more are reborn in hell, in the animal world and as ghosts.
http://www.mahindarama.com/e-tipitaka/A ... n1-296.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Kind regards

Re: Human reborn as Human

Posted: Fri Dec 24, 2010 3:31 pm
by andyn
Aloka wrote:Hi andyn,

Perhaps it isn't meant to be interpreted literally ?

Kind regards,

Aloka
The Buddha's word are said to be of absolute truthfulness and he knows all. I'm so depressed when reading this though.

Re: Human reborn as Human

Posted: Fri Dec 24, 2010 3:35 pm
by ground
andyn wrote:I'm so depressed when reading this though.
Actually there is reason to rejoice. Why? Because the Buddha taught the way to end this.

Kind regards

Re: Human reborn as Human

Posted: Fri Dec 24, 2010 4:35 pm
by octathlon
What about the huge increase in human population in the last 200 years? There were only < 200 million people during Buddha's time and population didn't pass 1 billion until 1800. Now there are 7 billion. So in Buddha's time the population was about a quarter of 1% of the current population. There is much more opportunity for beings to be born as human now. Does it have anything to do with the merit of beings? Or, does Buddhism teach that there are human realms other than Earth so that Earth's population is irrelevant?
:thinking:
I suspect this subject is not mentioned anywhere. :juggling:

Re: Human reborn as Human

Posted: Fri Dec 24, 2010 5:08 pm
by andyn
Bhikkhus, in the peninsular of India there are a few pleasant orchards, forests, outstanding sites, stretches of water but many irregular blocks of land, irregular rivers flowing disorderly, forming uneven shapes. In the same manner a few humans who leave the human corpse are born among humans many more are reborn in hell, in the animal world and as ghosts.
In the example above, however the ratio is much much smaller when comparing dust in great earth against dust in fingernail.

Re: Human reborn as Human

Posted: Fri Dec 24, 2010 7:16 pm
by cooran
octathlon wrote:What about the huge increase in human population in the last 200 years? There were only < 200 million people during Buddha's time and population didn't pass 1 billion until 1800. Now there are 7 billion. So in Buddha's time the population was about a quarter of 1% of the current population. There is much more opportunity for beings to be born as human now. Does it have anything to do with the merit of beings? Or, does Buddhism teach that there are human realms other than Earth so that Earth's population is irrelevant?
:thinking:
I suspect this subject is not mentioned anywhere. :juggling:
Not so Octathlon …. There would be uncountable worlds which have the equivalent of conscious human life throughout the measureless universe.

Just because the numbers reborn as humans on this tiny speck of dust in this particular solar system have increased, it doesn’t mean anything significant at all. Just as a decrease elsewhere isn’t particularly significant. We are not fenced in like horses in a particular paddock.

with metta
Chris

Re: Human reborn as Human

Posted: Fri Dec 24, 2010 9:07 pm
by octathlon
cooran wrote:
octathlon wrote: ...
...
I suspect this subject is not mentioned anywhere. :juggling:
Not so Octathlon …. There would be uncountable worlds which have the equivalent of conscious human life throughout the measureless universe.

Just because the numbers reborn as humans on this tiny speck of dust in this particular solar system have increased, it doesn’t mean anything significant at all. Just as a decrease elsewhere isn’t particularly significant. We are not fenced in like horses in a particular paddock.

with metta
Chris
Thank you Chris,
Yes, that is the logical conclusion. But I wonder, is it mentioned in the suttas?

Re: Human reborn as Human

Posted: Fri Dec 24, 2010 9:32 pm
by Anicca
Howdy Octathlon!
octathlon wrote:is it mentioned in the suttas?
This is not the only sutta - but is this mention what you mean?
From AN 10.29 Kosala Sutta: The Kosalan
"As far as the sun & moon revolve, illumining the directions with their light, there extends the thousand-fold cosmos. In that thousand-fold cosmos there are a thousand moons, a thousand suns, a thousand Sunerus — kings of mountains; a thousand Rose-apple continents, [1] a thousand Deathless Ox-cart [continents], a thousand northern Kuru [continents], a thousand eastern Videha [continents]; four thousand great oceans, four thousand Great Kings, a thousand [heavens of the] Four Great Kings, a thousand [heavens of the] Thirty-three, a thousand [heavens of the] Yamas, a thousand [heavens of the] Tusitas, a thousand heavens of the Nimmanaratis, a thousand heavens of the Paranimmitavasavattis, [2] and a thousand Brahma worlds.
metta

Re: Human reborn as Human

Posted: Sat Dec 25, 2010 5:18 am
by Kim OHara
andyn wrote: The Buddha's word are said to be of absolute truthfulness and he knows all. I'm so depressed when reading this though.
Hi, andyn,
"Absolute truthfulness" is not the same as "literal truthfulness". Metaphors, analogies and parables may be used to point to the truth but are not literally true, and the Buddha used all of them as occasion demanded.
Relax a bit, and take more notice of the meaning and less of the words.

:namaste:
Kim

Re: Human reborn as Human

Posted: Sat Dec 25, 2010 5:40 am
by ground
Kim O'Hara wrote:Metaphors, analogies and parables may be used to point to the truth but are not literally true, and the Buddha used all of them as occasion demanded.

Relax a bit, and take more notice of the meaning and less of the words.

:namaste:
Kim
Words do have meaning if they belong to common language. There is no need to go beyond the conventional meaning in the first place.
"Metaphors, analogies and parables" are conventionally known as such and can be detected in a given context without doubt and words are conventionally known through their meanings. To decide that a whole teaching is a "Metaphor, analogy or parable" based on the rejection of the conventional meaning of words is problematic if the teaching as such cannot be detected as "Metaphor, analogy or parable" in the first place without doubt.

But again: There is no need to get depressed about this teaching. Why? Because the Buddha has taught the way to end this misery. And he himself has shown how to help others to end this misery.


Kind regards

Re: Human reborn as Human

Posted: Sat Dec 25, 2010 2:19 pm
by Individual
Aloka wrote:Hi andyn,

Perhaps it isn't meant to be interpreted literally ?


Kind regards,

Aloka
:thanks:

Re: Human reborn as Human

Posted: Sat Dec 25, 2010 4:22 pm
by octathlon
Anicca wrote: This is not the only sutta - but is this mention what you mean?
Hi Anicca,
I guess so! :D
Thanks,

Re: Human reborn as Human

Posted: Sat Dec 25, 2010 5:35 pm
by Virgo
Hello, people born in other realms such as hell, hungry ghosts, deva realms, etc. can be reborn as humans based on some past good kamma, this means there will always be people being born into the human realm. What the Buddha seems to be saying is that most humans go to the lower realms after they die because of generating negative kamma, that is all. Taken altogher, this doesn't mean that the human population must decrease.

Kevin

Re: Human reborn as Human

Posted: Thu Dec 30, 2010 4:33 pm
by unspoken
andyn wrote:
Aloka wrote:Hi andyn,

Perhaps it isn't meant to be interpreted literally ?

Kind regards,

Aloka
The Buddha's word are said to be of absolute truthfulness and he knows all. I'm so depressed when reading this though.
The Buddha used a metaphor, so we should take it in a more rational mind, not literally.

Re: Human reborn as Human

Posted: Thu Dec 30, 2010 4:39 pm
by clw_uk
andyn wrote:
Aloka wrote:Hi andyn,

Perhaps it isn't meant to be interpreted literally ?

Kind regards,

Aloka
The Buddha's word are said to be of absolute truthfulness and he knows all. I'm so depressed when reading this though.


So do you then believe the world is flat with a big mountain in the middle?

Re: Human reborn as Human

Posted: Thu Dec 30, 2010 7:17 pm
by Alex123
clw_uk wrote: So do you then believe the world is flat with a big mountain in the middle?
Please provide a sutta quote (I'd like to check the pali).
If the Buddha has said it, I trust Him rather than worldlings (who often have financial reasons for their theories). That settles it.


It is unfortunate how some people choose to believe and take it on faith what the scientists say about the world, and don't believe The Buddha.

Re: Human reborn as Human

Posted: Thu Dec 30, 2010 8:18 pm
by son of dhamma
The point is that population within existential planes is in constant flux. The human plane is part of this cosmic enfold, and according to the differentiating kammic energy of the beings within our world-system (the single world, not the chiliocosm) the four lower planes, the six sensual pleasure planes, and the intermediate human plane convulse together quite rapidly compared to the entire scheme of our trichiliocosm (thousand-thousand-thousandfold system, or billionfold world-system). The human population is increasing not only because the opportunity for human life is increasing, but primarily because of a kammic influx of beings into the human state. This is supposed to occur, and especially in our world in consideration that we live in a Five-Buddha-kappa, nearing the final series of antarakappas (smallest aeons) in which the final Sammasambuddha shall arise, Metteyya. Eventually, this accumulating influx of beings is going to cause a mass expurgation of beings. This happens tremulously with the end of the mahakappa. And again the same accumulation-expurgation effect takes place after 8 mahakappas, upon which duration the entire thousandfold system is destroyed. And again it takes place after 64 mahakappas--or upon 8 destructive cycles of the thousandfold system--upon which duration the entire millionfold system is destroyed. This accumulation-expurgation effect, of course does not apply to the entire billionfold-system (the absolute extent of our material universe), in which the fourth-jhanic planes are never destroyed. The Formless realm is also never destroyed and encompasses innumerable material universes within infinite space. So, although there is indeed a reception of beings from the greater world-systems, which do ascend from other worlds, there is in fact no influx of human beings from other worlds during the last asankheyyakappa of a mahakappa. This influx (and correspondingly consequent expurgation) primarily consists of beings of our single world (the eleven sensual planes and first three brahma planes, up to Mahabrahma).
If it would happen that human beings are exterminated on this world--as you proposed in your original question--then that would be the accumulative effect of kammic influx into this plane. The cultivation of kamma cannot be wasted, it would simply mean that no one is to be reborn in the human plane. It is a natural tendency of the cosmos. If our species were to become extinct then there is virtually no opportunity for a revolution in time for the destruction of the world. The ascension of beings into higher realms would begin to take place and there wouldn't be sufficient kamma for human revolution.
This is all according to cosmic cycles due to the kamma of descending (forming world) and ascending (dissolving world) beings. According to the Buddha, there is NOT going to be a mass expurgation of human beings because Metteyya is destined to arise before the destruction of the world. In summation, the question has been rendered absolutely moot.
with metta

Re: Human reborn as Human

Posted: Thu Dec 30, 2010 9:57 pm
by cooran
Alex123 wrote:
clw_uk wrote: So do you then believe the world is flat with a big mountain in the middle?
Please provide a sutta quote (I'd like to check the pali).
If the Buddha has said it, I trust Him rather than worldlings (who often have financial reasons for their theories). That settles it.


It is unfortunate how some people choose to believe and take it on faith what the scientists say about the world, and don't believe The Buddha.
Hello Alex123,

This might be of interest:

Mt. Sineru (Mt. Meru)
http://www.palikanon.com/english/pali_n ... sineru.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Mt. Sineru (Mt. Meru) "seen" by Science
http://wisdomquarterly.blogspot.com/200 ... ineru.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

with metta
Chris