Rebirth vs Reincarnation...

A forum for beginners and members of other Buddhist traditions to ask questions about Theravāda (The Way of the Elders). Responses require moderator approval before they are visible in order to double-check alignment to Theravāda orthodoxy.
User avatar
Dhammanando
Posts: 5563
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:44 pm
Location: Mae Wang Huai Rin, Li District, Lamphun

Re: Rebirth vs Reincarnation...

Post by Dhammanando »

pegembara wrote:Then perhaps the term re-birth is a misnomer for there is no re- anything. In the process (without an entity/atta), there is actually no birth and no death. There is only the process and its end.
So long as we're doing conventional truth/sammuti-sacca the term 'rebirth' (or even 'reincarnation', up to a point) is fine, because in sammuti-sacca we are speaking as if there existed a being who persists through saṃsāric time, who acts and experiences the ripening of his actions, who has past lives and is liable to have future lives, etc. etc.
“Keep to your own pastures, bhikkhus, walk in the haunts where your fathers roamed.
If ye thus walk in them, Māra will find no lodgement, Māra will find no foothold.”
— Cakkavattisīhanāda Sutta

User avatar
Nirrtix
Posts: 39
Joined: Tue Mar 25, 2014 3:29 pm

Re: Rebirth vs Reincarnation...

Post by Nirrtix »

This stuff fried my brain. :thinking:

ivanlen
Posts: 11
Joined: Sat Feb 07, 2015 10:37 am

Re: Rebirth vs Reincarnation...

Post by ivanlen »

"In ultimate truth, that is, in terms of dhamma theory, there isn’t one single dhamma existing in this life that will survive into the next life. Rebirth, in other words, is wholly the continuation of a process and not at all the passing on of any kind of essence." [end quote]

Bhanté, what exactly transmigrates from one existence to the next? It is not the soul. It is not a consciousness...? What? I am lost...

User avatar
Dhammanando
Posts: 5563
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:44 pm
Location: Mae Wang Huai Rin, Li District, Lamphun

Re: Rebirth vs Reincarnation...

Post by Dhammanando »

Dhammanando wrote:"In ultimate truth, that is, in terms of dhamma theory, there isn’t one single dhamma existing in this life that will survive into the next life. Rebirth, in other words, is wholly the continuation of a process and not at all the passing on of any kind of essence."

Ivanlen: Bhanté, what exactly transmigrates from one existence to the next? It is not the soul. It is not a consciousness...? What? I am lost...
Ivan,

If rebirth is the continuation of a process and not the passing on of a substance, then it is a mistake to ask what it is that transmigrates. One should be asking about the nature of the process. If you are interested in understanding this, then may I suggest that you read chapter 5 of the Abhidhammatthasangaha.

http://store.pariyatti.org/Comprehensiv ... _4362.html
“Keep to your own pastures, bhikkhus, walk in the haunts where your fathers roamed.
If ye thus walk in them, Māra will find no lodgement, Māra will find no foothold.”
— Cakkavattisīhanāda Sutta

User avatar
GengisAmon
Posts: 16
Joined: Sun Aug 31, 2014 12:34 am

Re: Rebirth vs Reincarnation...

Post by GengisAmon »

Well, as I understand, there is no atman, or soul to jump out to another body. That´s reeincarnation in hinduism and spiritism views. In buddhism, there is karma. If you still generating this karma, you will creating kilesas.

Dragon Lady
Posts: 16
Joined: Sun Nov 30, 2014 8:31 pm

Re: Rebirth vs Reincarnation...

Post by Dragon Lady »

Buddhism gets around the problem of the Hinduist belief of a "soul" reincarnating or transmigrating by saying it's "consciousness" and the karmic seeds of our actions in the present and previous lives that transmigrate: the "citta" or "alaya vijnana", seed consciousness.

I don't know if this is more of a Mahayana interpretation, or if it's in Theravada as well.

User avatar
mikenz66
Posts: 17740
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: Aotearoa, New Zealand

Re: Rebirth vs Reincarnation...

Post by mikenz66 »

Yes, seed consciousness is not a Theravada concept.

Mike

culaavuso
Posts: 1363
Joined: Sat Jan 11, 2014 8:27 pm

Re: Rebirth vs Reincarnation...

Post by culaavuso »

Dragon Lady wrote:Buddhism gets around the problem of the Hinduist belief of a "soul" reincarnating or transmigrating by saying it's "consciousness" and the karmic seeds of our actions in the present and previous lives that transmigrate: the "citta" or "alaya vijnana", seed consciousness.

I don't know if this is more of a Mahayana interpretation, or if it's in Theravada as well.
The Sanskrit word vijñāna corresponds to the Pāḷi word viññāṇa, both usually translated as "consciousness". There is a sutta where the Buddha directly addresses a bhikkhu who holds a view of consciousness transmigrating:
MN 38: Mahātaṇhā­saṅkhaya Sutta wrote: The Blessed One then asked him: “Sāti, is it true that the following pernicious view has arisen in you: ‘As I understand the Dhamma taught by the Blessed One, it is this same consciousness that runs and wanders through the round of rebirths, not another’?”

“Exactly so, venerable sir. As I understand the Dhamma taught by the Blessed One, it is this same consciousness that runs and wanders through the round of rebirths, not another.”

“What is that consciousness, Sāti?”

“Venerable sir, it is that which speaks and feels and experiences here and there the result of good and bad actions.”

“Misguided man, to whom have you ever known me to teach the Dhamma in that way? Misguided man, have I not stated in many ways consciousness to be dependently arisen, since without a condition there is no origination of consciousness? But you, misguided man, have misrepresented us by your wrong grasp and injured yourself and stored up much demerit; for this will lead to your harm and suffering for a long time.”

User avatar
Ceisiwr
Posts: 7686
Joined: Sun Jan 11, 2009 2:36 am

Re: Rebirth vs Reincarnation...

Post by Ceisiwr »

Bhante
there isn’t one single dhamma existing in this life that will survive into the next life.
Not even memories?
“Bhikkhus, whatever is not yours, abandon it. When you have abandoned it, that will lead to your welfare and happiness. ” SN 35:101

User avatar
Dhammanando
Posts: 5563
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:44 pm
Location: Mae Wang Huai Rin, Li District, Lamphun

Re: Rebirth vs Reincarnation...

Post by Dhammanando »

clw_uk wrote:
there isn’t one single dhamma existing in this life that will survive into the next life.
Not even memories?
What do you mean by memories? If you mean occurrences of saññā cetasika performing its role of marking objects and recognizing objects that have been marked by past saññās, then no saññā survives even into the next moment, let alone the next life.

But if you are using 'memories' in the conventional sense, where what is denoted is something that was cognized, thought, spoken, done etc., in the past and which is conceived as being stored away in the brain or in some special mental faculty, such that it can be retrieved, more or less accurately, by acts of will or simply by one's mind wandering into the past, then I think the question is a solecism. Since this isn't how remembering —whether of the everyday sort or that of pubbenivāsānussati— is conceived in the Dhamma, it doesn't make any sense to ask whether the reified data conventionally termed 'memories' will survive into the next life.
“Keep to your own pastures, bhikkhus, walk in the haunts where your fathers roamed.
If ye thus walk in them, Māra will find no lodgement, Māra will find no foothold.”
— Cakkavattisīhanāda Sutta

Dragon Lady
Posts: 16
Joined: Sun Nov 30, 2014 8:31 pm

Re: Rebirth vs Reincarnation...

Post by Dragon Lady »

If karmic seeds aren't reborn, then what is reborn? What is it that's referred to as a "rebirth"?

User avatar
Ceisiwr
Posts: 7686
Joined: Sun Jan 11, 2009 2:36 am

Re: Rebirth vs Reincarnation...

Post by Ceisiwr »

But if you are using 'memories' in the conventional sense, where what is denoted is something that was cognized, thought, spoken, done etc., in the past and which is conceived as being stored away in the brain or in some special mental faculty, such that it can be retrieved, more or less accurately, by acts of will or simply by one's mind wandering into the past, then I think the question is a solecism. Since this isn't how remembering —whether of the everyday sort or that of pubbenivāsānussati— is conceived in the Dhamma, it doesn't make any sense to ask whether the reified data conventionally termed 'memories' will survive into the next life.

So how is the conventional view of "memory" viewed in terms of Dhamma?
“Bhikkhus, whatever is not yours, abandon it. When you have abandoned it, that will lead to your welfare and happiness. ” SN 35:101

User avatar
Dhammanando
Posts: 5563
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:44 pm
Location: Mae Wang Huai Rin, Li District, Lamphun

Re: Rebirth vs Reincarnation...

Post by Dhammanando »

clw_uk wrote:So how is the conventional view of "memory" viewed in terms of Dhamma?
The mental factor of saññā performs the dual function of marking ārammaṇas (in the manner of a carpenter marking pieces of wood for later identification) and of recognizing marks made by earlier saññā. It is saññā’s marking that makes remembrance possible.

The question of how an earlier saññā’s marking persists through time, such that it may be recognised by a later saññā, despite the earlier saññā having ceased to be, is not addressed in the texts, as far as I know, and is not a dhammic concern (except insofar as it’s necessary to reject wrong ideas about it — those which entail eternalist or annihilationist views). If, however, one were to make it one’s own concern and attempt an explanation, then I suppose the lion’s share of the credit ought to go to pakatūpanissaya-paccaya — “natural-decisive-support condition”.
“Keep to your own pastures, bhikkhus, walk in the haunts where your fathers roamed.
If ye thus walk in them, Māra will find no lodgement, Māra will find no foothold.”
— Cakkavattisīhanāda Sutta

User avatar
LuisDantas
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Feb 12, 2015 2:14 am

Re: Rebirth vs Reincarnation...

Post by LuisDantas »

Nirrtix wrote:
Spiny Norman wrote:
Nirrtix wrote:I realize rebirth is the Buddhist teaching, reincarnation is from faiths like Hinduism, i am reading the article, but i am curious how they are different.
Basically reincarnation relies on an atman whereas rebirth doesn't.


Well this is where I get confused if there is no atman (self), why worry about the cycle of rebirth at all? I am confused about this.
The way I see it, it is because we do not reincarnate that rebirth is of interest.

We do not reincarnate, but other people will survive us and suffer the effects of our Karma. It is our moral duty not to neglect that fact.

Were Karma tied to an atman that reincarnates, there would be little need to attempt to act morally.
Morituri Delendi.

User avatar
Dhammanando
Posts: 5563
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:44 pm
Location: Mae Wang Huai Rin, Li District, Lamphun

Re: Rebirth vs Reincarnation...

Post by Dhammanando »

LuisDantas wrote:We do not reincarnate, but other people will survive us and suffer the effects of our Karma. It is our moral duty not to neglect that fact.

Were Karma tied to an atman that reincarnates, there would be little need to attempt to act morally.
Why do you think that? If there were an atman that reincarnated, how would that negate your earlier statement that we have a moral duty not to neglect the effect of our actions on those who survive us?
“Keep to your own pastures, bhikkhus, walk in the haunts where your fathers roamed.
If ye thus walk in them, Māra will find no lodgement, Māra will find no foothold.”
— Cakkavattisīhanāda Sutta

Post Reply