Here is what the Mahasi Sayadaw wrote about the story: Those who do not believe in the law of kamma and its effects and in the law of dependent origination are unable to accept that a human queen could have gone so low as to become a beetle in her next existence. Even in these days of the Buddha’s dispensation there are some who hold that once you are a human being, you cannot be reborn into a plane of existence inferior to that of human existence. Outside the aegis of the Buddha’s dispensation there were many who held the view similar to that of the dissenters of the present day. According to the Buddha’s teaching, as long as one has not attained the state of a Noble One, anyone in the fortunate planes of existence may descend to the four lower realms. Even if one is the king of the devas it does not matter. One’s mode of rebirth after death depends on how one is mindful at death’s door. If one’s mind is directed to wholesome thoughts when dying, one may be reborn as a man or a deva, however lowly he may be, but the converse is also true.Lazy_eye wrote:If presented as a parable or fable, I'm not sure it would necessarily arouse objections from scientists. Are you saying it should be taken literally (i.e. a dung beetle can talk and has sufficient cognitive capacity to engage in a discourse on love)?robertk wrote: Give them examples like the beautiful story told by Mahasi Sayadaw about QUEEN UPARI ( http://www.aimwell.org/Books/Mahasi/Bha ... #PickingUp" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;)
who was reborn as a beetle and they would probably walk away laughing (knowing,as they do that this is "impossible").
There is the story about Venerable Tissa. On his death-bed, his mind got attached to the saffron robe that he was wearing. The result was that he was reborn as a louse making its home in his saffron robe. There is another story about a frog being reborn in Tāvatimsa as a deva since it died listening to the the Buddha while he was teaching.
It is standard Theravada teaching, as has been taught for millenia.