The Stack Overflow podcast is back! Listen to an interview with our new CEO.

Hot answers tagged

36

"Views regarding one's past and future existence are included in the "62 false beliefs"" A little context: I assume the 62's mentioned above are the same as found in DN 1 (Brahmajāla Sutta) translated as "The sixty-two kinds of wrong views" by Walshe (MN 102 also develops on these wrong views). Now, "wrong view" is understood as either "not according to ...


32

When most people think of "self" they think of some abstract core that is the subject of all experience and the agent of all actions. Buddha taught (and modern cognitive science tends to agree) that upon careful examination there is no such single core. Instead experiences result from interactions of multiple perceptory functions. Similarly, our actions are ...


19

There is suffering in heaven. They still have to eat to maintain their bodies. They feel frightened when they get to know that their lives are running out. I've heard that there's a divine tree with flowers in the palaces of the Devas. When an year of their world comes to completion, a flower will wither and fall down. That is how they know that they are ...


18

Rebirth is a metaphor. There is no literal rebirth (of the same person). This hope for literal rebirth is really a hidden attachment to "I", the desire to continue. Let go. It's Ok, you will die -- and never exist again. In fact, "you" do not exist even now, as a separate being. It is just wrong understanding that is called "I". The world is continuous ...


17

Anatta is often described as "not-self" which I understand to mean that our identities are illusions. No, in fact, the meaning of not-self, as others have pointed out, is that the object in question is not self :) The Visuddhimagga offers some good explanations: All that [materiality] is “not-self in the sense of having no core.” In the sense of ...


15

I'm pretty sure the belief is not that earthworms become mothers, it's that every earthworm has most likely been your mother at some point in the past, as per the mata sutta (SN 15.14-19): At Savatthi. There the Blessed One said: "From an inconstruable beginning comes transmigration. A beginning point is not evident, though beings hindered by ignorance ...


15

I think you're right to question the importance of rebirth; the Buddha himself didn't seem to dwell on the concept, though remembering one's past lives does have obvious practical benefits - lots more experience to draw upon :) Bhikkhu Bodhi wrote a couple of things about the subject you might find interesting: Dhamma Without Rebirth? Does Rebirth Make ...


15

No tradition, except maybe Secular Buddhism, rejects literal rebirth, it is a core part of the dhamma. I will say though that there is evidence the Buddha was never " believe in rebirth or else." Probably the most famous Sutta for Western Buddhism is also the most over rated, misquoted and misunderstood. That being the Kalama Sutta. It is most famous for ...


14

I'm a secular Buddhist who takes Mahayana as my starting point. What you are discussing is the cosmology-- the idea that there are six realms, maybe one or more pure lands, and places you can go after you die. In Glenn Wallis's book "Basic Teachings of the Buddha," I think he persuasively argued that the historical Buddha was an extinctionalist and had no ...


13

The question of how karma works in light of the concept of non-self has been answered several times on this site (see "Related" in the sidebar). That being said, you raise a couple of interesting objections, namely the seemingly impossible jump through time and space. First, let's be clear. The Buddha never said "there is no self". What he did say is that ...


12

The principle of not-self is not saying "No self", it's saying a specific kind of thing: "Bhikkhus, feeling is not-self... "Bhikkhus, perception is not-self... etc. From Anatta-lakkhana Sutta: The Discourse on the Not-self Characteristic Upon the greater question of "does some kind of self other than the aggregates exist", the Buddha refused to ...


12

This linguistic terminology generally has caused a lot of miscommunication and misunderstanding. The notion of not self is that is there no: unchanging everlasting component which we can identify as self. Other contemporary teachers tried to identify such a part which they called Atman there is nothing to which any one can have absolute or ever lasting ...


12

I am a Rinzai Zen Monk with a decade-long monastic background so my answer will be relevant within our school's framework. From a Zen POV being 'reborn' exists only within Reality. Reality is purely this one moment here and now. With each breath, with each action we are reborn. The choices we make are fresh and new. The Enlightened being will make those ...


11

The Visuddhimagga provides a pretty comprehensive explanation of how one obtains this and all the other psychic powers mentioned by the Buddha. Briefly, the method is as follows: Obtain the four rūpa-jhānas Exit the fourth jhāna and remember the last thing one did before one sat down. remember the last thing before the thing remembered in the last step. If ...


11

I suspect the Buddha used the term "rebirth" The entire premise of your question is faulty, unfortunately. The Buddha never, afaik, used a term that could be translated as "rebirth". In fact, the idea of anything being reborn goes against orthodox early Buddhist teachings. Throughout the Buddha's teachings, it is made clear that at the breakup of the body ...


10

rebirth is itself a origin of all the Dukhhas. Not quite. Birth has a requisite condition as well. It's not the case that our birth was the ultimate origin of our suffering. Doesn't it imply that buddhist laymen who are married should not have children to stop this cycle of rebirth. Not having children will not stop those beings from being reborn. There ...


10

There are two concepts here. We pass away every moment and arise every minutes. Other is rebirth after death. Rebirth is partly a belief but much of the Dhamma should be realised at experiential level. What is much needed is that at the last moment is that you maintain equanimity so you do not take a new birth. The level of stillness can be achived only by a ...


10

From Milindapanha: The king said, “Is there anyone who is not reborn after death?” “Yes there is. The one who has no defilements is not reborn after death; the one who has defilements is reborn.” “Will you be reborn?” “If I die with attachment in my mind, yes; but if not, no.” ... He who is reborn, Nàgasena, is he the same person or ...


10

Lower is not meant as a moral judgement nor a pejorative in this case. It is meant simply as a statement of the more dire predicament most animals are in compared to most humans. There certainly exist individual dogs, cats, horses, pigs, donkeys, monkeys, deer, sheep, cows, chickens, fish, birds, reptiles that are more compassionate and exhibit virtues ...


9

Reincarnation implies a soul that takes a body; rebirth does not, so it is preferred. Note that neither term has a widely used cognate in the Pali texts, perhaps because the concept of "re-" anything implies the continuation of an entity. Buddhism tends to talk about birth and death in a more linear fashion; rather than being reborn, it's "being born again" ...


9

No, evolution does not do that. But this is a hard question to answer succinctly, because of the layers of concepts involved. I'll have a try. First, consider one of the core notions in Buddhism: that our normal view of reality suffers from three illusory aspects. We don't normally see that the thing we usually call "real" -- tables, chairs, electrons, our ...


9

Buddhism teaches that everything is 'conditioned', and so there is no independent/eternal self: The concept of no-self or anatman or emptiness of self is that it is not possible to identify an independent, inherently existing self; that the self only exists in dependence upon causes and conditions. You mention "the practitioner himself who is scanning", ...


9

Not all forms of Buddhism define emptiness in the way you describe; in Theravada Buddhism, for example, emptiness mainly means "empty of self": “katamā cāvuso, suññatā cetovimutti”? “idhāvuso, bhikkhu araññagato vā rukkhamūlagato vā suññāgāragato vā iti paṭisañcikkhati — ‘suññamidaṃ attena vā attaniyena vā’ti. ayaṃ vuccatāvuso, suññatā cetovimutti”. ...


9

From Ven. Bodhi's excellent short essay "Dhamma Without Rebirth?": The aim of the Buddhist path is liberation from suffering, and the Buddha makes it abundantly clear that the suffering from which liberation is needed is the suffering of bondage to samsara, the round of repeated birth and death. To be sure, the Dhamma does have an aspect which is directly ...


9

So can I still be a Buddhist, with these beliefs? Yes of course. Maybe don't over-idealise animals though, e.g. a real dog might chase and kill grass-hoppers or mice or anything else unless you stop it, fight with other dogs and so on unless it's properly trained. So I think a human, who is kind and self-restrained and so on, is more admirable. Instead ...


8

No, believe in literal rebirth is not necessary, as long as you don't subscribe to the other extreme -- that of complete annihilation at the time of death. That said, Buddha greatly appreciated the concept of rebirth as a practical motivator. He compared fear of unfortunate rebirth with fear of punishment that stops a potential criminal from committing a ...


8

Hinduism teaches about a permanent soul that goes from life to life until it reunites with the universal soul called the Mahabrahma. Buddhism says there's no soul going even from this moment to the next, let alone from life to life. Both mind and body are processes of causes and effects. There's nothing permanent within you that can qualify as a soul. Read ...


8

Sounds like Wikipedia is suffering from some Buddhist fervour of its own... ;) Can I interpret the first of the eightfold path as scientific fervor ? Right view has nothing to do with fervour; it refers to one's outlook or point of "view". The word "diṭṭhi" literally means "way of seeing". As the commentary explains it: sammādassanalakkhaṇā sammādiṭṭhi ...


8

What the Buddha experienced at 35 was called sa-upādisesa-nibbāna - nirvana with remainder. What he experienced at 80 was called anupādisesa-nibbāna - nirvana without remainder: “dvemā, bhikkhave, nibbānadhātuyo. katame dve? saupādisesā ca nibbānadhātu, anupādisesā ca nibbānadhātu. There are these two, monks, elements of nibbāna. What two? The ...


8

Bhikkhu Bodhi writes: The Buddhist term for rebirth in Pali is "punabbhava" which means "again existence". Buddhism sees rebirth not as the transmigration of a conscious entity but as the repeated occurrence of the process of existence. There is a continuity, a transmission of influence, a causal connection between one life and another. But there is no ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible