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.
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Then, having known thus, having seen thus, do you recollect your manifold past lives (lit: previous homes), i.e., one birth, two births, three births, four, five, ten, twenty, thirty, forty, fifty, one hundred, one thousand, one hundred thousand births, many aeons of cosmic contraction, many aeons of cosmic expansion, many aeons of cosmic contraction & expansion, [recollecting], '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'?
So just now, friends, didn't you make that declaration [of enlightenment] without having attained any of these Dhammas?
We're released through discernment (wisdom), friend Susima.
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
The Suttas tell us that upon arhantship this is a part of the path. Occasionally pieces leak through to non-arhants while people are on the path, but usually the advice is not to be concerned or distracted by those too much.
One who follows the path ( if meant to be arya ashtangika marga) need not be skilled in remebering the past lives. But one who is skilled in jhana at a certain stage will remember the past with abignana.
How ever the follower of the path essentially has to believe that there is a life after death. This is possible by evaluating evidence of rebirths made known to us either by researchers like Dr. Ian Stevenson or following other similar literature. Perhaps treatment for sicknesses on reading past lives either by hypnosis or clairvoyants such as Edgar Kaysee are evidence for rebirths.
To have faith and belief on paticca samuppada belief on rebirth is necessary.
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