Sorry...What's the difference? (Reincarnation Vs Rebirth)

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Re: Sorry...What's the difference? (Reincarnation Vs Rebirth)

Post by retrofuturist » Tue Jan 13, 2009 10:16 am

Greetings Element,

Be that as it may, on discussion forums, such discussions are hard to avoid. Things will be read about "rebirth" and "reincarnation"... therefore it's best that people can learn how to approach these concepts in a way that does not lead them to think that the Buddha taught eternalism.

Metta,
Retro. :)
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Re: Sorry...What's the difference? (Reincarnation Vs Rebirth)

Post by Ben » Tue Jan 13, 2009 10:23 am

Hi Element

It was my judgment call based on my observation that a lot of people new to Buddhism and new to the Theravada want to have this question clarified. I was concerned that if the thread remained in the conflagration of the 'Dhamma free-for-all', the answer would be less clear and the debate more of a distraction than if the thread was moved to 'Discovering Theravada'.
Thanks for your feedback.
Kind regards

Ben
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Re: Sorry...What's the difference? (Reincarnation Vs Rebirth)

Post by pererin » Tue Jan 13, 2009 10:48 am

Element wrote:
Fede wrote:Thank you all, (and thank you Ben for moving the topic to a more suitable location.....)
My opinion is this thread has not been moved to a more suitable location.

In my opinion, discussions like this can only distract beginners.
Well I can only speak for this beginner, but I am finding this discussion immensely helpful: as far as I am concerned it's far from being a distraction.

Metta

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Re: Sorry...What's the difference? (Reincarnation Vs Rebirth)

Post by Fede » Tue Jan 13, 2009 11:31 am

I think I have always been a beginner, of sorts.
I think I shall always be a beginner of sorts.


I would still like to know how Tibetan Buddhists (if we are therefore speaking about this specific tradition being the only one to consider re-incarnation as a premise) reconcile the notion of Reincarnation AND re-birth, within their practice.

Is Reincarnation recognised as a process purely and simply confined to realised individuals, as Lamas?

And how is it possible (in view of anatta and anicca)?

Thank you all kindly for your input.

At one point or another, surely, my reasoning will suggest to me I 'put this aside' as immaterial to my practice.
Until I know that it is most certainly immaterial, I am still curious....

This helps me trremendously.

:namaste:
"Samsara: The human condition's heartbreaking inability to sustain contentment." Elizabeth Gilbert, 'Eat, Pray, Love'.

Simplify: 17 into 1 WILL go: Mindfulness!

Quieta movere magna merces videbatur. (Sallust, c.86-c.35 BC)
Translation: Just to stir things up seemed a good reward in itself. ;)

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Re: Sorry...What's the difference? (Reincarnation Vs Rebirth)

Post by jcsuperstar » Tue Jan 13, 2009 11:40 am

i think bodhisattvas get to break the rules after a certain point or something....

i could never get all the different levels of bodhisattvas... it always just seemed like it was being made up as the person went long ... "a 10th level bodhisattva can do this but not this as thats reserved for 14th level bodhisattvas and up, but once youre a 48th level bodhisattva....."
its just confusing
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Re: Sorry...What's the difference? (Reincarnation Vs Rebirth)

Post by genkaku » Tue Jan 13, 2009 12:30 pm

When it comes to reincarnation, I can't help but remember a contest that once ran in the magazine, "Psychology Today." Readers were invited to come up with the best scam they could think of (pretty inventive idea, I thought). The winner was someone who imagined a company in -- where else? -- California: Patrons were invited to hand over all their worldly possessions. In return for this, they received a slip of paper with a number on it. After they died and were reincarnated, all they had to do was to present the number in order to get all their worldly possessions back.

This sort of reincarnation strikes me as idiotic. Fun, yes; capable of creating an interesting story, yes; but sensible, no. I love a good story as well as the next person, but stories are stories, so I don't put them on the front burner in my life.

Rebirth is another matter. I am completely untutored when it comes to texts and citations so I hope people will forgive me if I make some mistake. Rebirth to me just means what happens in every moment. Every moment is gone before you can say "death" and reappears before you can say "rebirth." The process is utterly smooth. It requires no wise observations. It is just what happens and fussing around about it is largely a waste of time ... noticing, OK; fussing, a waste of time. Perhaps it is like watching the small waves in a lake or in the ocean bay ... each wave flows seamlessly wherever it is headed. Sometimes it meshes with the wave next door. Sometimes it just seems to go its own way. Either way, it is in motion and changing before anyone can intone the word "change." And when the waves stop -- when what was obvious becomes no longer obvious -- well, who in his right mind would say the waves are somehow missing, that change was somehow missing?

What changes cannot be grasped. Past, present and future cannot be grasped. We're along for the ride, assuming there is some "we" in the situation. We have characteristics just like waves and there is no need to pretend we don't. But pretending we could grasp and hold this wave, define and dissect it ... well it doesn't work very well and it sure uses up a lot of unnecessary energy. What 'was' becomes 'is' without any help from 'me.' Might as well enjoy what we tentatively call the 'rebirth' ride. And if "rebirth" is somehow confusing or annoying, well, forget about it. Rebirth won't mind. :)

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Re: Sorry...What's the difference? (Reincarnation Vs Rebirth)

Post by Fede » Tue Jan 13, 2009 2:08 pm

Thank you genkaku....

My problem lies not in "what" it is, but "Why" it is....Reincarnation, that is.... vis-a-vis Tibetan Buddhism.

I am seeking to clarify the Tibetan Buddhist stance on this.

of course, it could be argued that I am in COMPLETELY the wrong forum -! :rofl:

:namaste:

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Re: Sorry...What's the difference? (Reincarnation Vs Rebirth)

Post by genkaku » Tue Jan 13, 2009 2:16 pm

Sorry, Fede. My mistake.

If you want to be an aardvark next go-round, you go right ahead. :rofl:

Just teasing a little.

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Re: Sorry...What's the difference? (Reincarnation Vs Rebirth)

Post by Fede » Tue Jan 13, 2009 2:27 pm

aardvark too much like 'ard work!

I plan to take it easy!!

I didn't mean to slap you down or anything Gen, and my ticket's number 459.....
I have actually posted this in another Buddhist forum, that has a high attendance of Tibetan Buddhists, so I would be interested to hear from them......

:namaste:
"Samsara: The human condition's heartbreaking inability to sustain contentment." Elizabeth Gilbert, 'Eat, Pray, Love'.

Simplify: 17 into 1 WILL go: Mindfulness!

Quieta movere magna merces videbatur. (Sallust, c.86-c.35 BC)
Translation: Just to stir things up seemed a good reward in itself. ;)

I am sooooo happy - How on earth could I be otherwise?! :D


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Re: Sorry...What's the difference? (Reincarnation Vs Rebirth)

Post by Individual » Tue Jan 13, 2009 3:36 pm

Element wrote:Thus reincarnation looks as follows:

Image

Where as rebirth looks as follows, born into various realms of experience due to our actions:

Image
Considering that those 5 divisions represent actual places, and that's the god of death biting the bhavacakra, there isn't too big of a difference between the two images. It's only the interpretation that distinguishes them. Also, note that the realms of experience are drawn from an outside perspective (groups of people), not through the eyes of a single person, in a single life.
stuka wrote:
Individual wrote: Reincarnation: At death, self-consciousness continues, in the form of a soul.
Buddhist rebirth: There is no such thing as "self-consciousness". Consciousness ceases at death also, but it [stuka's note; CONSCIOUSNESS!!!! :jawdrop: ] still reunites, reappears, in the form of\as the result of a new body, conditioned by the kamma of the previous life.
Then the Blessed One said: "Sati, is it true, that such an pernicious view has arisen to you. ‘As I know the Teaching of the Blessed One, this consciousness :jawdrop: transmigrates through existences, not anything else’?"

"Yes, venerable sir, as I know the Teaching of the Blessed One, this consciousness :jawdrop: transmigrates through existences, not anything else."

"Sati, what is that consciousness :jawdrop: ?"

"Venerable sir, it is that which feels and experiences, that which reaps the results of good and evil actions done here and there."

"Foolish man, to whom do you know me having taught the Dhamma like this. Haven’t I taught, in various ways that consciousness is dependently arisen. Without a cause, there is no arising of consciousness. Yet you, foolish man, on account of your wrong view, you misrepresent me, as well as destroy yourself and accumulate much demerit, for which you will suffer for a long time."
I haven't said it "transmigrates." It is definitely swept away, but then, its cessation is as impermanent as its instantiation. Not the same thing as eternalism.
The best things in life aren't things.

The Diamond Sutra

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Re: Sorry...What's the difference? (Reincarnation Vs Rebirth)

Post by stuka » Tue Jan 13, 2009 5:09 pm

jcsuperstar wrote: soto accepts the same mahayana ideas of rebirth as the rest of japanese buddhism and the chinese buddhism it sprang from, same as korean buddhism and vietnamese as well.

there are a few soto teachers who teach no literal rebirth but it isnt a soto teaching as much as it's a teacher and his few students teaching...

tibetan buddhism is the only time i have ever heard anything where the same dude comes back 14 times or whatever
Thank you for the clarification on Soto.

When folks start talking about "my past lives", or "what will I be in a future life", or "I was this in this life, that in another...", it doesn't matter how they hedge it, or how they spin the process, they are still talking about "the same dude coming back 14 times or whatever".

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Re: Sorry...What's the difference? (Reincarnation Vs Rebirth)

Post by stuka » Tue Jan 13, 2009 5:11 pm

jcsuperstar wrote:... it always just seemed like it was being made up as the person went long ...
Indeed.

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Re: Sorry...What's the difference? (Reincarnation Vs Rebirth)

Post by stuka » Tue Jan 13, 2009 5:13 pm

Fede wrote:Thank you genkaku....

My problem lies not in "what" it is, but "Why" it is....Reincarnation, that is.... vis-a-vis Tibetan Buddhism.

I am seeking to clarify the Tibetan Buddhist stance on this.

of course, it could be argued that I am in COMPLETELY the wrong forum -! :rofl:

:namaste:


That might be a question better asked at a forum for the tibetan religions.

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Re: Sorry...What's the difference? (Reincarnation Vs Rebirth)

Post by stuka » Tue Jan 13, 2009 5:16 pm

Individual wrote: I haven't said it "transmigrates." It is definitely swept away, but then, its cessation is as impermanent as its instantiation. Not the same thing as eternalism.
You are making up as you go along.

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Re: Sorry...What's the difference? (Reincarnation Vs Rebirth)

Post by Will » Tue Jan 13, 2009 5:38 pm

Just for an overview of the Tulku notion: http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Tulku" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Within the Indo/Tibetan tantric tradition there are practices that allow one to keep some of the skandhas together so that leaving the present body, at its death or before its death, and entering a new body is possible.

However, the Tulku (nirmanakaya in Sanskrit) tradition is rife with corruption. When first started by the Karmapa lineage, the inheritance of the valuables & property of the previous incarnation was a benefit. Thus, there are many false "tulkus". But a few are real.
Wholesome virtuous behavior progressively leads to the foremost. -- AN 10.1

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