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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61
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16answers
7k views

Is rebirth a delusional belief?

I find it difficult to assign a meaning to the word 'rebirth'. Here are some hints that rebirth might not be real: Views regarding one's past and future existence are included in the "62 false ...
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17answers
36k views

If there is no soul, how can there be rebirth?

Anatta is often described as "not-self" which I understand to mean that our identities are illusions. But it's also described as "soullessness" which I think implies that there is no mind other than ...
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4answers
558 views

What's the value or harm of a literal belief in rebirth?

Whenever I examine the concept of rebirth in Buddhism, I cannot help it but feel great skepticism. To put it in my own clumsy words, we have many fears and one of the greatest is to cease to exist. ...
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5answers
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Should a Buddhist have Children?

In Buddhism having a rebirth is itself a origin of all the Dukhhas. Doesn't it imply that Buddhist laymen who are married should not have children to stop this cycle of rebirth. This leads to a more ...
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6answers
618 views

Is it me or someone else paying karma for my sins?

According to Buddhism, is it me who is getting punished or rewarded in next life for my deeds in this life?
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1answer
1k views

Last thought before death?

I read somewhere (perhaps in an unreliable introduction to Tibetan beliefs) that rebirth is conditioned by the last thought before death (or perhaps affected by a thought or desire that you have after ...
7
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3answers
464 views

Then where did the concept of “rebirth” come from?

This blew, and is still kinda blowing, my mind: "The Buddha never, afaik, used a term that could be translated as "rebirth". In fact, the idea of anything being reborn goes against orthodox ...
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11answers
2k views

Is a belief in rebirth a necessity for Buddhist practice?

Can someone be a wholehearted Buddhist practitioner if they entirely reject rebirth? Or is anyone that follows the Buddhist path while not subscribing to rebirth only getting half the story? Or is the ...
3
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1answer
662 views

What does Buddhism say about the consequences of good and bad behaviour?

Please someone clarify: Does Buddhism believe in rebirth? There is an general belief in almost all religions that our good and bad will be carry forwarded to next and next to next generation and all, ...
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8answers
2k views

What happens to the five aggregates after death?

What happens to the five skandhas of a particular person after death? Do they stay together, and cause birth of a one specific person (which can be called rebirth), or do they separate? If they ...
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6answers
895 views

Did the Buddha mean this by “rebirth”?

I suspect the Buddha used the term "rebirth" in a sense different from its traditional meaning. Probably he meant that our sense of separate self is repeatedly being born, decaying, dying and being ...
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2answers
908 views

Buddhism, mothers and earthworms

My first exposure to Buddhism was watching Seven Years in Tibet in my German childhood. Most memorable were the following two scenes of Buddhist monks in orange robes. In the one scene, some monks ...
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5answers
278 views

Does self end after death?

Does self end after death? Please note: In my question »death« means: the physical processes of brokenness, graying, wrinkling, break up of the aggregates, casting off of the body, interruption in ...
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10answers
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If Buddha stayed unanswered on this matter, why do his followers preach that soul doesn't exist?

Almost every Buddhist I've met sincerely believes in non-existence of self or soul. Especially, the vipassana practitioners say that scanning the body and finding no atman or self in it is proof that ...
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3answers
581 views

Justifying the Four Noble Truths without rebirth [duplicate]

In the article entitled A Secular Evaluation of Rebirth, Doug Smith, of the Secular Buddhist Association, wrote: It is for reasons such as these that any contemporary, scientifically informed ...
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7answers
637 views

What if there is no rebirth?

Recently, I found a rather interesting quote of HH Dalai Lama XIV, which he said in Bodhgaya interviews, 1981: “Buddhists believe in rebirth. But suppose through various investigative means, ...
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3answers
329 views

Rebirth, transfer of memories, what is it?

I have a person in my own family who's aware of his past-birth. He knew it by age 7 only. When family started investigation 'they found it all true. How he has died in his last birth, how much of ...
7
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3answers
506 views

Do the same rules of Karma apply to animals?

Animals are sentient beings and therefore are also bound to the cycle of rebirth. However, animals are far less intelligent than humans, and are certainly not smart enough to follow a particular code ...
6
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6answers
527 views

Does DN2 and MN36 provide an irrefutable statement on the fact of rebirth?

Some Secular Buddhists and some members of Buddhism.SE do not accept that "Rebirth has always been a central teaching in the Buddhist tradition" (according to Thanissaro Bhikkhu in this essay). They ...
5
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6answers
534 views

Does the “nature” of a person move with her to the next life?

Imagine a person that is very calm, generous, doesn't like to harm others etc. If this person gets a rebirth in the human realm will he/she develop the same characteristcs? The point is that Kamma ...
4
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8answers
1k views

Is rebirth/reincarnation central to Buddhism?

Would you characterize belief in rebirth as a central component of Buddhism? Are there Buddhists who do not believe in it? How is this concept understood, i.e., what does rebirth mean (in as much ...
4
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1answer
188 views

Going from a waking state into the dream state while being conscious

I just listened to a audio dhamma talk by Ajahn Punnadhammo. Its called "Stop thinking" and can be found here. In the last 5 minutes of the talk Ajahn Punnadhammo mentions some good exercises for ...
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11answers
4k views

If there's nobody to get enlightened, why bother?

It seems the goal of Buddhist practice is to become an Arahant - someone who won't take a rebirth, and therefore will be eternally relieved from suffering. But WHO is this someone who doesn't get ...
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5answers
869 views

I want to understand the technicality of rebirth and what happens to conditioned self

Correct me if I'm wrong about my current understanding of Buddhism: There is no eternal self or essence in me, but I am just a conditioned-self, an illusion created by the interaction of the five ...
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3answers
753 views

Rebirth as cycle of consciousness?

Wikipedia's article on Rebirth (Buddhism) says, Buddhist meditation teachers suggest that observation reveals consciousness as a sequence of conscious moments rather than a continuum of awareness[...
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10answers
2k views

Why not kill animals to hasten their rebirth?

This may be primarily for the Tibetan style practitioners. Also, my question assumes that "rebirth" etc are not metaphors. Since non-human animal existence is lower down in the six realms, why ...
7
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4answers
500 views

Is there a way to help us remember our previous life?

There have been claims that some people can remember their previous life, their life before they are reborn. I can't say these are true or not. Is it possible to remember our previous life? If so, ...
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8answers
603 views

Is rebirth essential to Buddhist philosophy?

Elements of Buddhism can be rationally accepted such as the suffering that arises through attachment, the benefits of meditation, and even the acceptance of anatta, or non-self. It seems, however, ...
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3answers
159 views

How is re-linking consciousness reconciled with MN 38?

In the essay "Buddhist Reflections on Death", V.F. Gunaratna wrote: The terminal thought goes through the same stages of progress as any other thought, with this differences that whereas the ...
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3answers
367 views

Within Tibetan Buddhism, are the Lamas always the same “soul”?

It's my understanding that the belief in Tibetan Buddhism is that when a Lama is reborn he (not meaning to be sexist, but I know of no female Lamas - please let me know if I'm wrong) becomes that same ...
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7answers
436 views

What is passed from life to life in the process of rebirth?

As a practising Buddhist, I am often asked this question: what is passed from life to life in the process of rebirth? I have several answers to this depending on my audience - e.g. lessons to be ...
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3answers
394 views

Is there an interpretation of the 12 nidanas that occurs just over one lifetime?

Is there an interpretation of the 12 nidanas (shown on the outside of the wheel below) that is compatible with a lack of belief in rebirth. For instance in the 12 nidanas there are the links ...
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11answers
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Consciousness, death and reincarnation

First of all, I'd like to say I'm a scientist. This means fact will always come before faith, even if it hurts. In general, one's opinion doesn't mean much if the question itself has no meaning, but ...
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4answers
800 views

What is the difference between rebirth and reincarnation?

In my readings of Buddhist commentary there is a distinction drawn between rebirth and reincarnation. But to me it is unclear what is the difference between rebirth and reincarnation--the explanations ...
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3answers
279 views

What is it that is re-incarnated ? [duplicate]

I have been reading Mahayana philosophy. It proposes non-self and that self does not exist in the 5 aggregates. If the self/atman does not exist, what is that is re-incarnated? How can nothing ...
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7answers
7k views

Isn't enlightenment the ultimate death?

Is it true that after you reach enlightenment you simply vanish into the vast space of existence, and you simply cease to exist? Kind of like, when you have not attained to enlightenment you keep on ...
5
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3answers
801 views

Does Buddhism teach about “Parallel worlds”

I have heard something called "Mangala Sakwala" (The special universe or galaxy where lord Buddhas are born) This is a real puzzle for me because does it mean that there are many other worlds like ...
5
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2answers
476 views

Where do Hell Guards fall?

While searching some Buddhist inspired pictures of Naraka I often found hell guards torturing others... Question is where are they on the rebirth cycle. Are they ausras? And if they are created to ...
5
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1answer
723 views

Buddhism and bacteria

Buddhist teachings tell that all intentional killing is negative karma. So, what about bacteria? Are bacteria considered to be sentient beings? Is using antibiotics negative karma? Is it possible to ...
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5answers
492 views

Can a being be reborn into more that one body in Tibetan Buddhism?

I was reading that both the Dalai Lama and Karmapa are both rebirths (emanations) of the Bodhisattva Avalokiteśvara. Also there are other lamas who are also emanations of Avalokiteśvara. So is ...
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3answers
247 views

Questions to deniers of traditional view on Rebirth

1. If there's no rebirth, what happens after death of a non-arahant? Does a new life ensue dependent on the one which has just ended? 2. Rebirth is tightly connected with kamma. a) Do you observe ...
6
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4answers
258 views

Buddhism and past lives?

The idea of having more than one life in Buddhism is regarded not just as a theory but a truth that can be experienced and verified If this is so, what was the technique used by the Buddha to ...
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6answers
4k views

Can one take rebirth as an insect?

I have always wondered if insects belongs to the animal realm in Buddhism, and I have yet to read stories about rebirth as an insect, such as a butterfly, a mosquito, or a praying mantis.
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6answers
665 views

Where do “new” humans come from?

If all of us are re-incarnations of prior human beings, how do we account for the growing population? Where do “new” humans come from?
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1answer
76 views

How should a disciple of the Buddha with great samadhi verify that rebirth occurs after physical death?

I asked my teacher how somebody should see for themselves that rebirth occurs, he (a Theravadin monastic) said that with great samadhi one should watch the twelve nidanas (the process of dependant co-...
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5answers
680 views

Does Human Evolution Disprove a Kamma Based Rebirth?

I've started my practice as a Buddhist. Currently, I've read a few books about Buddhism particularly the Theravāda lineage for myself it seems more appropriate. While reading about kamma one thing ...
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2answers
532 views

Is anxiety as hell-bound as cruelty?

On page 24 of Good Questions, Good Answers it says, The gentle, loving type of person tends to be reborn in a heaven realm or as a human being who has a predominance of pleasant experiences. ...
6
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1answer
192 views

Does the Nihilism view (natthika-dithi) actually deny rebirths?

Is the Nihilism view (natthika-dithi) actually denying rebirths? In Fuller's The Notion of Diṭṭhi in Theravāda Buddhism: The Point of View, in the translation of the Sāmaññaphala-sutta, natthika-...
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7answers
910 views

Stream winner reborn as human

If someone enters the stream and becomes a sotapanna (stream winner), then he would have at most, seven lifetimes left. What the stream is, is defined in this answer as: This noble eightfold path — ...
5
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2answers
302 views

Is there any explanation on why only humans and animals do not remember previous life?

I have heard from a Buddhist monk that hungry ghosts usually return to their familis searching for food, which makes me believe they have easy access to memories of their previous life. Some hell ...