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I'm reading about bardos in the Tibetan Book of the dead. I'm wondering how is rebirth dependent on geographical location. For example, if dead occurs in Europe is it possible to get a rebirth in Asia? Is there any decision point for the deceased regarding parents or all happens depending only on past karma? Do we chose rebirth location and parents or not?

3 Answers 3

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The exact place and circumstance of rebirth is an unconjecturable.

"The [precise working out of the] results of kamma is an unconjecturable that is not to be conjectured about, that would bring madness & vexation to anyone who conjectured about it.
AN 4.77

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I haven't read the book you're referring, but I'll answer based on Dharma Sermons I have heard.

When a person dies, the next life is determined vi a random pool of types. This Types pool contains every thought, action the person has attached. Think of this pool having various sentient life forms such as Human, Deva, Brahma, Cats, Dogs etc.

Those who have done a ton of Maithree (Metta) Meditation + achieved Dyanas (Jhana) has the potential to be born in Brahma Realms.

The universe is made up of 31 Realms. Bottom is the Hells. Top is Brahma Realms. Distance and geography between each of these Realms is huge and different. But the thoughts and actions of the person can land him a life as Brahma, Deva, Animal or a Hell being.

So based on that, a person who dies in Europe has the potential to be born in Asia. For that, he should has factors created for that Asian birth. If you wish to be born in Asia, you can perform good deeds such as donating food to Buddhist monks and then wish something like this, → By the power of this good deed, the infinite power of Buddha, Dhamma, Sangha I wish for a human birth in Asia so that I can do X, Y, Z good deeds etc.

If you're trying to get an Asian Birth to follow Buddhism, please realize that you don't need an Asian Birth for that. You can follow Buddhism anywhere in the world.

Above wish is not guaranteed to get you whatever you want. BUT it'll happen whenever it happens. You're just putting your wish as a potential item in the queue/pool. Whether it gets selected or not is not something you can control or decide.

You can use the same strategy to wish for specific parents, but there is no guarantee it'll happen whenever you want.

Nope! Not everything occurs based only on Past Karma.

If your business fails, while that exact same business worked for someone else, why did that happen: → It's because of a Past Karma you have done coming back to you. Doesn't matter the logical reason it happened. That circumstance's root level reason is the Bad Karma you've created.

Now if you react this situation very angrily, you're creating new karma yourself. Your past karma only brought you failure. But your unawareness + anger caused you to create new karma.

Just like that, Not everything occurs based only on Past Karma. It may begin the circumstance, but it is not to blame for everything.

The person who is on the journey to become a Samma Sambuddha chooses his Birth Location, Parents and a couple of other things. BUT normal people like us cannot decide such things with 100% guarantee.

If you become Sowan (Sotapanna), then you'll be free from the 4 Hells forever. But that still doesn't mean you get to choose your birth location or parents.

All you can do is perform good deeds that burn your Raga (Lust), Dwesha (Anger) and Moha (Delusion) and then make a wish on that. There are cases on Tripitakaya how people wished for Beautiful Figure, Various Titles trillions of years ago and achieved exactly that. (e.g. Ambapali)

Hope this answers your questions!

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Certain insecure which kind, good householder, not to speak about place, but Why beings take birth, even in most worse existences and circumstances? may give some ideas of the dangers of another birth. Good to seek the stream-enter therefore. What ever would still ones desire at the moment of death, there one takes birth , when given, like good householder took here.

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