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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11 answers
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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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17 votes
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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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13 answers
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If Rebirth is not taken literally then why seek Enlightenment?

I've read that some Buddhists do not believe in the literality of rebirth. As someone who is new to the study of Buddhism, this is confusing to me. My understanding, which perhaps is incorrect, is ...
a_a's user avatar
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10 answers
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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 ...
Prahlad Yeri's user avatar
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4 answers
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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. ...
back2dos's user avatar
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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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14 votes
2 answers
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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 ...
ChrisW's user avatar
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13 votes
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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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13 votes
5 answers
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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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Why would anyone ever want to go to the heavens?

References to a rebirth in the heavenly realms seems to be viewed in a positive light in Buddhism. It's easy to see why it would be considered more favorable than a rebirth in the hell realms of ...
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11 votes
8 answers
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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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3 answers
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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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7 answers
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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 ...
Reeel's user avatar
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6 answers
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Is there any proof of Karma theory & rebirth?

Non Abrahmic religions like Jainism, Buddhism, Hinduism & Sikhism believe in Karma theory & rebirth. I'm interested in knowing the proofs of Karma theory & rebirth presented by Buddhism....
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10 votes
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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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9 votes
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"Lower rebirth" -- Are animals really "lower" than us?

I love most aspects of Buddhism but I can't agree that animals have a "lower" rebirth than us. Dogs for example sometimes have enormous love and compassion for their owners, even if they are being ...
Lilly's user avatar
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7 answers
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If there are no past and future lives, why should we practice Buddhism?

If there are no past and future lives and everything ends at the moment of death. Why should we bother with anything at all? Why would the Buddha teach for 45 years if all our problems are definitely ...
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8 votes
2 answers
2k 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 ...
Earthliŋ's user avatar
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5 answers
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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 ...
Shinu Jacob's user avatar
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7 answers
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What is the relation between Nirvana and Parinirvana?

The Buddha attained Nirvana at the age of 35. He lived 45 years more after which his Parinirvana occurred. Is it not somewhat contradictory? If Nirvana means the end of rebirth and rebirth means the ...
Soumen's user avatar
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8 votes
7 answers
789 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, ...
Be Brave Be Like Ukraine's user avatar
8 votes
7 answers
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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 ...
George's user avatar
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3 answers
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Can all human beings potentially be enlightened in this lifetime?

Does any Buddhist school or tradition make the assertion that all human beings have the capacity to be enlightened in this lifetime? Or to put it the other way are there groups of people who it just ...
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8 votes
4 answers
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What is Buddhism's view on past lives?

I have often come across this - our past karma will bear its fruits in the present life or in the future one. So how does one identify the events is the because of past karma? Where is information ...
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1 answer
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Any instance in the pali canon where a sotāpanna born as a human?

According to the Theravada Buddhism, a sotāpanna can be born in 7 existence in kama-loka which includes human realm. Yê ariya saccâni vibhâvayanti - gambhira paññnêna sudêsitâni, Kincâpi tê ...
Sajeewa Welendagoda's user avatar
7 votes
4 answers
4k views

Devas and Asura?

I recently came across the in depth teaching of Buddhism and have a few questions. Can a human through the right path be reborn a Deva or Asura? And is there a type of "god karma" that will run out ...
user46173's user avatar
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7 votes
12 answers
958 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, ...
Rob Wardrop's user avatar
7 votes
5 answers
797 views

When do I realize that I am free from rebirth?

By following the Buddha's Path, when will I realize that I am free from rebirth and suffering? Is there any indication or sign ? Does one knows it at one's death bed?
user5256's user avatar
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8 answers
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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 ...
michau's user avatar
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7 votes
3 answers
726 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 ...
Zefareu's user avatar
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3 answers
935 views

What will be the situation of the world when every beings will attain Nirvana?

The ultimate goal of a Buddhist is to attain Nirvana, i.e., to stop the cycle of rebirth. Since a Buddhist is compassionate, she/he not only wants to stop her/his own rebirth but also wants that all ...
Soumen's user avatar
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7 votes
4 answers
488 views

Is it necessary for a Buddhist to believe that existence is suffering?

It appears that Buddhism depends on a central premise -- that all worldly existence = suffering / dukkha. Are there Buddhist teachers or traditions that teach a joyous approach to worldly life? Are ...
Krishnaraj Rao's user avatar
7 votes
4 answers
489 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 ...
GreenMatt's user avatar
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7 votes
5 answers
922 views

Is Nirvana redundant?

I'm confused over Buddhism's lack of afterlife, yet belief in rebirth. If there is no soul, how can there be rebirth? What happens to the five aggregates after death? Consciousness in Nibbana From ...
Paul's user avatar
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7 votes
6 answers
861 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?
jorel's user avatar
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7 votes
3 answers
829 views

What are some Buddhist ininterpretations of claims of past-life memories?

There are stories of people who claim to remember their past lives. Such stories have been investigated by researchers such as Ian Stevenson and Jim Tucker. These accounts lend themselves nicely to ...
MathAdam's user avatar
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7 votes
3 answers
621 views

Question on the possibility of higher rebirth for animals

In the questions Why not kill animals to hasten their rebirth? and Do the same rules of Karma apply to animals? and others, it in part discusses how animals have a very difficult time to be reborn as ...
user3169's user avatar
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7 votes
4 answers
445 views

First life in samsara

In Buddhism, we believe in rebirth and karma. But was there a time when it was our first time in any of the 31 Planes of Existence? If that is the case, how would we be reborn anywhere since we did ...
user5380's user avatar
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7 votes
1 answer
533 views

Meditation and good deeds vs clarity of mind during death

How important is meditation practice and doing good deeds in comparison to having a clear mind during death in order to reach nibbana or be at least reborn in a good realm? For example, if one ...
Tom So Undso's user avatar
7 votes
3 answers
926 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 ...
Haedrian's user avatar
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7 votes
2 answers
476 views

Can rebirth-linking conciousness (patisandhi-citta) actually be rooted in knowledge?

With dependent origination (paṭiccasamuppāda) underlying much of the doctrinal aspects of the Buddha's teaching - and all formation having concomitance to avijja as condition, is it correct to assume ...
Amanasa's user avatar
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7 votes
2 answers
361 views

Looking for references to skeptical debates on the subject of rebirth

I am a huge proponent of scientific skepticism, rationalism and critical thinking. As a former Christian, I enjoy watching debates and more recently, discussions on YouTube. I like the debate format ...
user117619's user avatar
6 votes
5 answers
2k views

Will Karma 'balance out' in most cases by the end of a lifetime?

So, let me start with the disclaimer that I am not a Buddhist and I am just asking this to further my understanding. Either way, the thing I was wondering about, does Buddhism hold that in most ...
David Mulder's user avatar
6 votes
5 answers
4k views

Are there reliable accounts of Buddhists who have remembered past lives?

Although the vast majority of people will not remember past lives, are there reliable accounts of people who have? Specifically are there accounts of Buddhists who have remembered past lives and whose ...
Crab Bucket's user avatar
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6 votes
6 answers
652 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 ...
ruben2020's user avatar
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6 votes
4 answers
529 views

Dealing with angriness or sadness that comes up with "meditation"

Ok, my "meditation" is physical exercise where I concentrate on what I am doing concentrate on my breath If I exercise in morning, I feel violent anger. When I confront why I feel such ...
Rhonda's user avatar
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6 votes
4 answers
732 views

Is 'be thankful to your parents, for they brought you life' incongruent with Buddhist thought?

It appears to me that this is incompatible with Buddhist teachings. Life will bring suffering, and it'll not be a kind and easy journey. So why be thankful? On the other hand, if you weren't an arhat ...
DLV's user avatar
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6 votes
2 answers
615 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. ...
ChrisW's user avatar
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