Questions tagged [rebirth]

The coming into existence of another being based on conditions arising from a previous existence. This is commonly confused with reincarnation. Reincarnation is the passing of a soul or spirit into a new body. Buddhism denies the concept of a soul, spirit or permanent self therefore in Buddhism rebirth occurs but there is no-one who is reborn.

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Why is speaking about the conventional self in this life ok, but speaking about the conventional self in past and future lives forbidden?

It is widely understood across all Buddhist traditions that the Buddha often spoke of persons and used words like 'I' and 'person' and 'self' and this is not seen as problematic or contradictory to ...
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What fault is found in denying Dharmakirti's notion of “substantial cause” as necessary in the arising of things?

I have read here argumentation for the continuity of mind, coming from a Geshe in Tibetan Buddhism. From what I have learnt it is asserted that: Consciousness could not arise from matter (could not ...
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What did the Buddha mean in MN 140 about what happened to clansman Pukkusāti after a cow killed him?

Bhikkhu, ‘I am’ is a conceiving; ‘I am this’ is a conceiving; ‘I shall be’ is a conceiving; ‘I shall not be’ is a conceiving; ‘I shall be possessed of form’ is a conceiving; ‘I shall be formless’ is a ...
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Why did the Buddha teach how to escape Samsara if there is no soul?

Yes, I have seen the similar questions. But they do not satisfyingly answer my own since my question is slightly different. Let me explain: I was reading up on Emptiness, Samsara and so on and found ...
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Should one who follows the Dhamma give drugs to the dying to ease thier suffering?

My Christian wife is dying and the doctor has prescribed morphine and tranquilizers. She is losing her mind and the drugs may be contributing to that. I don't want her to suffer but I also don't want ...
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Looking for a quote from Johannes Bronkhorst

I recall, years ago, reading about Buddhist treatises on rebirth, composed some long time after the Buddhas death. It was a very brief reference of Johannes Bronkhorst's, probably in a footnote. I've ...
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How did ancient Indian Buddhists describe causation vs correlation? Why were they concerned with this?

An important compendium of the ancient Indian philosophical schools - called Sarva-Darsana-Samgraha - was written in India in 14th century CE by Madhvacharya (a non-Buddhist Indian Philosopher) who ...
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Does “old karma” come from our parents, family, community, surroundings?

In SN 35.145 (below), we see that the body, intellect etc. is "old karma", capable to be felt. But it doesn't say whose "old karma" it is. The sutta also talks about "new ...
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What is (re)born? Did the Buddha explicitly state that it is “the mental idea of the self” that is reborn?

It's been asserted by some knowledgeable individuals that the Buddha explicitly identified "the mental idea of the self" as what is (re)born in samsara and has done so in suttas spelling out ...
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Is rebirth scientifically proven?

I am from a Buddhist family, in which my parents believe in Buddhism a lot (100%). But after learning tech, science, and IT in the last five years, what I feel is the idea of rebirth is nothing more ...
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What is meant by “divorcing the view and the action” and why is it considered so dangerous?

In Chandrakirti’s Madhyamakavatara, there is a debate with the Charvakas (ancient materialists) about the existence or non-existence of past and future lives. In the commentary, Rinpoche compares and ...
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Infinite rebirth, finite kamma?

If we have been transmigrating in samsara infinitely via rebirths, then doesn't that mean that kamma which we have earned too is infinite? And if so, doesn't that imply that enlightenment is imposible ...
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How do the concepts of anatta, rebirth and karma coexist together?

Although I have read quite a lot of books about Buddhism, almost all of them were meant for the Western layman so I consider myself to be a beginner compared to most of you here. I hope you can ...
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AN 4.197 - do the Pali words “āgacchati” and “paccājāyati” mean “reborn”?

AN 4.197 has been translated as: Here, Mallikā, a certain woman, is angry, often irritable. Even over a trivial remark, she is cross (abhisajjati), shaken, vexed, stubborn, and shows her temper (...
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How, if at all, does karma exist in the form and formless realms?

How, if at all, does karma exist in the form and formless realms? Obviously, as humans in the desire realm, we can suffer misfortune, etc., due to our karma. But what about events in these other ...
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Anatta and the question of motivation

I am a layperson of protestant Christian background interested in buddhist thought and trying to clarify some of the basic concepts for myself. One of the stumbling blocks is understanding the ...
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What words in Pali are correctly interpreted as rebirth/reincarnation?

In comments to this question I saw a disagreement over the proper translation of various Pali words in suttas commonly translated with the english word rebirth or reborn. According to Ajahn Sujato ...
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Is it right to use the term rebirth in the Buddhist context?

As I delve into the Buddhist literature deeper and deeper, particularly the Theravāda sutta literature, I am getting convinced more and more that when we use the term ‘rebirth’, and more so, the ...
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Why is it profitable to stop the cycle of rebirth?

Why is it profitable to stop the cycle of rebirth if it is not "me" who is reborn? Or maybe to ask differently - to whom it is profitable?
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Buddhism: Morality & Biology

I have relapsed out of Buddhism two times in my past. Currently, I am between reconciling and rejecting it yet again. I decided to make this post to ask questions that I feel will help me either ...
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Renouncing property and wealth

My question is about supreme peace that is received from renunciation. When people renounce a major portion of their possession and title, they are believed to get supreme peace. Where I can get a ...
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“For a person whose past,present and future are the same” from Dhammapada

With reference to the title of the question, I would like to know if the person blessed or under a curse if for him the past, present, and future are the same? If by unlawful acts he is elevated to a ...
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How does one deal with the 'fear of rebirth'?

At times when even Stream Entry seems implausible let alone Nirvana how does one deal with the fear of rebirth. Rebirth would mean over again; disappointment after disappointment and after horrendous ...
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Why are we “trapped” in cyclic rebirth?

If we are trapped in Cyclic Rebirth, we are then being held against our will.. If we are being held against our will, who or what has set this trap? If I escape, where am I escaping to? As with all of ...
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Looking for a canonical reference: everyone who attains jhana will be a god of that realm in the next life

Looking for a canonical reference: that everyone who attains jhana will be a god of that realm in the next life. I'm fairly sure I've seen that claimed in scholarship, either Buddhist or otherwise.
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How do Buddhists that think of karma figuratively do so about rebirth?

How do Buddhists that think of karma figuratively -- non literal -- not what is ordinarily meant -- do so about rebirth? They surely cannot believe rebirth is literal, so what exactly is it? An answer ...
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Not remembering past life(s)?

I wanted to ask how Buddhism explains why we don't remember our past lives? Why bother with the Buddhist path when we will not remember this temporary life in our next? I heard that for example ...
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Is Buddhism life denying or life negative?

My question tag is similar to this one but I am asking a different question. I am reading DN15 the mahanidana sutta where the Buddha says; Suppose there were totally and utterly no rebirth for anyone ...
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'Antarabhava' existence between rebirth and the death

Does a state called "Antarabhava" an existence between death and rebirth exist? Traditional Theravada sources, highly respected scholars and texts in Abhidhamma directly decline this as ...
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Why are they called “old kamma”?

The sutta below states that eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body and mind are old kamma. Why are these called old kamma (purāṇakammā)? Is it because of rebirth? Or could there be other reasons? If rebirth ...
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Do any Buddhists say that everyone's Buddha nature repeats an infinite number of times?

Do any Buddhists say that everyone's Buddha nature repeats an infinite number of times? To be specific, I mean that everyone's -- including Sakyamuni's -- life, or perhaps just karma, is repeated over ...
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Today, I killed

At work, a tiny little flying insect landed on my desk. At first I thought he was dead because he wasn’t moving, so I gently pushed him to see if he reacted, and he moved so I left him alone. Some ...
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Understanding non-self, life and rebirth

Blessings to all, I have had a difficult time trying to understand what it means by "non-self". I am certainly no expert in Buddhism but I was wondering if this life we have is just some subset of ...
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Is there a Buddhist school / tradition wich recognizes the endless cycle of rebirth but doesn't teach that we should get liberated from it?

And even more, that we should embrace it and accept it (while at the same time avoiding the sufferings) ?
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I'm scared of the universe

So here is a quick "disclaimer": I know that the Buddha didn't answer metaphysical questions since it made no sense to him. He wanted to afaik limit/remove suffering as much as possible. Also I know ...
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Animals and morality

I'm thinking a lot about the animal issue right now, and a question came to me. Are the five precepts universal? If so, are animals required to respect them? If not, what morals must animals follow? ...
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Will most people go the three lower dimensions (hell, animal womb, ghost realm)?

"In the same way, monks, few are the beings who, on passing away from the human realm, are reborn among devas. Far more are the beings who, on passing away from the human realm, are reborn in hell... ...
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Why are plants not sentient beings?

Why in Buddhism plants are not recognized as sentient beings? Can it be immoral to kill a plant? Can a plant be reincarnated as an animal? Is a plant alive? Edit: I read somewhere a theory ...
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Where is the consciousness located? Cosmic Consciousness?

I recently became aware of questions regarding the location of consciousness. The argument put forward is that the consciousness is separate to the body. This is not something I considered before. ...
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Can bodhisatta reborn as mara

Sometime i read that the current mara is a bodhisatta. It seems hard to believe a bodhisatta can be reborn as mara, who oftens damage buddhism. There are two types of bodhisatta, the comfirmed one by ...
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Dependent Origination, 'here-&-now' & 11th & 12th link

On this site there are some users who claim that birth & death are mental phenomena, while other people argue that it's something physical. Contextually, the Buddha lived in a time where other ...
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Are the Skandhas reborn from moment-to-moment?

Imagine a human being born in 1982 weighing a few pounds at birth and labeled 'Melinda' by her parents. This little human being grows up - as little human beings tend to do - and by 2020 we imagine ...
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How does rebirth fit with the fact that everything is impermanent?

One of the lessons Buddhism teaches is that everything is impermanent. Our thoughts, our feelings, our emotions, our bodies, our life. Everything. We are surrounded by death. We are mortals. There is ...
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Most frequent realms for post-human rebirth

I read the following extract from the book "The Workings of Kamma", produced by the Theravada monastery "Pa-Auk Tawya Sayadaw" Rebirth in the human world is always because of wholesome kamma. None-...
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What arguments are there for “karma” — that the agent inevitably experiences the result of their actions?

There are philosophical arguments for e.g. 'emptiness', as evidenced by it having sections in philosophy encyclopedias. Whether or not you agree with them, probably depends on your language and pre-...
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Do Mahayana Buddhists explain birth and extinction in the same way?

Nirvana is the extinction of rebirth, and birth is its arising. Right? Is the debate throughout Buddhism on the "difference" between samsara and nirvana one of how to explain, rather than describe or ...
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If there is no literal rebirth, why have samvega (a sense of urgency)

Some people believe in rebirth after this life because (for them) it seems that the suttas claim literal rebirth. And it somewhat makes sense because in some passages it'd be harder to believe in "...
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How to redeem a wasted youth?

I wasted my youth. I am 35 years old. I had a toxic relationship with my parents, especially my mother. My career never started and am still looking for a fresh start and finding it humiliating at my ...
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Not seeing the wood, for the trees

How can I clearly see the lessons my soul needs to learn this lifetime? I am a householder who has a wonderful life in New Zealand. There have been difficult times too, but even though, as a child I ...
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Through which medium does kammic information travel after the break-up of the body?

If we understand kamma-vipaka as the process of creation and perpetuation of habitual volitional deeds, we can see that, in a living being, there's a medium through which behavioral information is ...

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