If the ultimate goal is to reach nibanna and no longer be reborn into the samsaric realm then why would any sane practicing Buddhist want to bring children here and put them through the endless lifetimes of suffering and struggle to reach nibanna??


2 Answers 2


Here is an answer to your question (by which I mean this is not a definite answer and that there are more answers possible)-

The birth that is going to take place, by which I mean the past life of the being that is going to take another birth, will do so regardless of one deciding to have children or not. By being a Buddhist, who understands conventional world and pragmatically makes choices that allows them to lead a good life will also have good conditions for raising a child or children as opposed to someone who leads a bad life. By then bringing child/children into the world, one creates good life conditions for births to take place, allowing them to be educated and progress their own nibbana. Achieving Nibanna is not a one life act- though certainly in the life one gains Nibanna is one life- that is, to reach that life where one achieves Nibanna implies one has lived through many many lives already. Some of those births have to be human births. Like one has been a beneficiary of good conditions which allows them to do it, one should also do the same. Put it another way, one leads a good householder life, creating good conditions for raising children, then one will find oneself being born in the human lives with good conditions.

I understand the 'feeling' behind your question- why make people so that they then suffer in the samsara. May I remind that the parents that 'make' the child, are acting as people who create the physical body onto which then an already existing mind-stream enters and birth begins. It, the act of having children, then is a wonderful opportunity to give such mind streams who are about to attain human birth a good environment- in terms of love, affection, educations, etc.

Not wanting to bring children is not bad. Wanting to bring children is not bad. It is an opportunity to provide good conditions for another being so they can progress towards nibbana. Forcing the species to end, by not birthing, is grossly annihilistic and Buddhism isnt about annihilation of life in this sense.

This answer is only intended to give you food for thought. It is a good question to think about.

  • If not being reborn is the goal then logically that would end the human species if everyone was not reborn.
    – Sati
    Commented May 7 at 0:23

The Noble Eightfold Path is a path of celibacy (abrahmacariyā veramaṇī) therefore its practitioners do not have children. The Noble Eightfold Path says:

And what is right action?

Katamo ca, bhikkhave, sammākammanto?

Avoiding killing living creatures, stealing, and sexual activity.

Yā kho, bhikkhave, pāṇātipātā veramaṇī, adinnādānā veramaṇī, abrahmacariyā veramaṇī

This is called right action.

ayaṁ vuccati, bhikkhave, sammākammanto

SN 45.8

  • There is a factual inaccuracy in your answer. The Noble Eighfold path has nothing to do with celibacy. The part of right conduct has to do with abstaining from sexual misconduct-> MIS-conduct that is, bad conduct like cheating, harassment, abuse, rape etc. It does not forbid a householder from living a householder's life which allows for sex in a monogamous relationship. The celibacy vow is for the monks and the nuns (as extension in vinaya pitaka). The Noble-eightfold path can be practiced both by monks/nuns and lay people. Commented May 6 at 12:12
  • @HomagetoManjushri This answer (to the topic, The Noble Eightfold Path for monks and for lay disciples?) equates "Noble" with "without defilements" and therefore "monks and nuns only".
    – ChrisW
    Commented May 6 at 12:22
  • na.... not inaccurate. the suttas say false speech leads to hell. take care Commented May 6 at 19:32

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