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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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 ...
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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 ...
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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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1answer
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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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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 ...
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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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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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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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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 ...
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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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 ...
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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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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 ...
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1answer
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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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How can the theory of emptiness be true and yet the self still transmigrates and takes rebirth?

The Theory of "Emptiness" is the concept that all phenomenon are empty of inherent existence. Something has the illusion of existence when the right causes and conditions arise. Example: there is no ...
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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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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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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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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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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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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. ...
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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 — ...
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2answers
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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 ...
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10answers
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What is happening to Lord Buddha after “parinirvana”?

We all know that after Lord Buddha's parinirvana, he will never be born again. So my question is, if Lord Buddha does not have a rebirth after parinirvana, what is actually happening to him (after ...
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1answer
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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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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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Can Right View be interpreted as scientific fervor?

The first in the eightfold path talks about having a right view of things. Or as wikipedia puts it, The purpose of right view is to clear one's path of the majority of confusion, ...