How is it possible that he had past lives?
Because until he became the Buddha he hadn't eliminated craving.
Craving leads to clinging, clinging leads to becoming, becoming leads to birth.
how did he know they were his? What defines them as his?
Do you remember your childhood? If so, why do you call it your childhood? Because your current existence(...
The first book I read about Buddhism described the Sermon at Benares, i.e. the Dhammacakkappavattana, as explaining that the cause of suffering (the second noble truth) is,
... the craving to have what you don't have; the craving to keep what you can't keep; the craving to live; even the craving to die.
And here is the same quote from Access to Insight,
It's a very modern view, actually a very materialistic view at least, coming in camouflages of emptiness (e.g. householder equanimity, that like to deny effect of deeds)
It falls mostly even into one of the three 'evil views':
From: Manual of Buddhist Terms and Doctrines, by Ven. Nyanatiloka
The so-called 'evil views with fixed destiny' (niyata-...
It's important to keep in mind the true pupose of a reincarnated Teacher: "As long as sentient being remain, may I too remain and dispel the miseries of the world". If there was no one left, then the teacher's job would've been completed and there would be no further need to come back to this world. From a bigger cosmos perspective, there're uncountable ...
You shouldn't even think about things like suicide. Thoughts will be full of negative emotions and states that it will drag you to lower planes.
When you are doing the act you will have negative thoughts which would mean that your next life is bad.
You are also breaking the precept of not killing which is very grave.
Also it is best you see a doctor but ...
Have you been to see a doctor about this? Depression can cause life to lack appeal. Why is life worth living is one of those questions that cannot be answered in words, it's an inner feeling that doesn't need an explanation that most have felt at some point. It's a sign of good health to have a passion for life.
If whatever is causing you to feel that life ...
why would nature be so cruel
"Cruel" sounds like dukkha -- as if nature were ill-willed and unkind, and we were averse to that.
So I guess that's among the many kinds of view or perception that we should overcome (in order to do away with dukkha), craving things to be other than they are -- though maybe also acknowledge whatever truth there is in it to ...
There is rebirth in Buddhism, for sure, but rebirth of what?
When we say "rebirth", we mean that something that we can peg onto as YOU, is born again after physical death. But what is YOU? The soul or self or the SAME consciousness that wanders on throughout this lifetime?
The Buddha taught that all phenomena is not self. The Buddha also taught that all ...
Habits practiced over many lifetimes persist. Say there is monkey born as a monkey over 500 lifetimes and subsequently born human. The tendency to be a bit jumpy will persist.
The other knowledge you cannot access unless you develop the ability to recall past life. This is not easy and developing these kind of abilities are not connected to the Buddhist ...
The sutta doesn't say that the Buddha allowed him to commit suicide. When Mara reported this to the Buddha, venerable Godhika committed suicide. Then the Buddha saw what has happened and said that he has attained Nibbana.
According to Bhikkhu Vinaya, the only allowable act that comes close to committing suicide is rejecting medication, if you are suffering ...
This Scientific American article describes some of the benefits of mindfulness:
As a remedy for depression and anxiety, mindfulness meditation may
help patients let go of negative thoughts instead of obsessing over
them. Training people to experience the present, rather than reviewing
the past or contemplating the future, may help keep the mind out ...
If i may kindly correct the beginning sentence of your question, i.e. "In Buddhism, we believe in rebirth and karma."
We actually try to verify these things for ourselves by studying reality through insight meditation, thereby gaining insights into how reality functions. We practice to gain experiental knowledge instead of believing things to be in ...
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.
I read Dr. Weiss's "Many Lives Many Masters" before I start learning Bhuddhism. As I re-digest the content, many questions: a) Why every turn of a rebirth the character recalled she/he a human being? ...
why do people still believing in this concept? Only because they feel safer?
That sounds like a question which ought to have been answered by this earlier question: What's the value or harm of a literal belief in rebirth?
The most on-topic answer to that question seems to me to be Ven. Yuttadhammo's, and the second article of Bhikkhu Bodhi's which he quotes.
In the Dhammapada 153-154, we find the Buddha exclaiming:
Through the round of many births I roamed
seeking the house-builder.
Painful is birth
again & again.
House-builder, you're seen!
You will not build a house again.
All your rafters broken,
the ridge pole dismantled,
immersed in dismantling, ...
The institution of the Dalai Lama, as an emanation of the Bodhisattva Avalokiteśvara, is officially recognized only by Tibetan Buddhism.
The concept of tulku where teachers like the Dalai Lama, Panchen Lama and Karmapa, may intentionally reincarnate again and again as custodians of certain religious lineages, is only found in Tibetan Buddhism. It's not ...
As far as I'm aware, experiments of Dr.Ian Stevenson are referred to by Buddhists to convince materialists & the followers of monotheistic religions that there's a Samsara. There's no intention of getting them to believe in a soul. The approach isn't perfect as you have pointed out. But it could be effective for monotheists and those who refuse to accept ...
The following only is relevant if you follow Buddhism\ the following are all from Shantideva's text:
"Upon finding the boat of human birth now, cross the great river of suffering. O fool, there is no time to sleep, for this boat is hard to catch again."
When shall I encounter the extremely rare appearance of the Tathagata, faith, human existence and the ...
From the Buddha's famous "Tears" sutta:
At Savatthi. There the Blessed One said: "From an inconstruable beginning comes transmigration. A beginning point is not evident, though beings hindered by ignorance and fettered by craving are transmigrating & wandering on. What do you think, monks: Which is greater, the tears you have shed while ...
By asking if a person or someone reaches Nibbana is implying that people/persons exist meaning that one is not dealing with ultimate reality but instead with conventional reality.
In ultimate reality there is no person or being that gets enlightened.
Take the "i, me, you, him, her, it" out of the sentence and just observe what is left -> Enlightenment ...
Of course the Buddha wouldn't have used the word "reincarnation" because that's English (we've been talking on Meta recently about some difficulties translating Buddhist vocabulary into English).
This article, Buddhism and Death, says,
We can thus make a clear distinction between the terms "Reincarnation" and "Rebirth."
Because our consciousness can only persist in our brain. When the brain is destroyed, our consciousness is destroyed as well.
Not necessarily but the brain helps as a more convenient store, hence brain damage can hinder memory. Also why you cannot remember of past lives is that you now have a new brain.
Jhana meditators can recall past lives hence this is ...
Do you think someone might have asked that question before?
According to Access to Insight, many of the suttas include the following quote,
At Savatthi. There the Blessed One said:
"From an inconstruable beginning comes transmigration. A beginning point is not evident, though beings hindered by ignorance and fettered by craving are transmigrating &...
The Buddha clearly rebuked the idea of consciousness/mind that runs and wanders on [from birth to birth] in Mahatanhasankhaya Sutta (MN 38).
"Exactly so, lord. As I understand the Dhamma taught by the Blessed One, it is just this consciousness that runs and wanders on, not another."
"Which consciousness, Sāti, is that?"
Post-mortem rebirth? Isn't post-mortem implied in the common understanding of the word rebirth? Sounds like you are trying so hard to be in conformity with someone's custom usage of words. :)
Is such a belief/view a result of craving for views regarding rebirth?
Belief in no rebirth or the belief in termination of the mental-physical process at death is ...
Teacher of the Devas:
In the round of samsara it is extremely rare to rise above the realms
of woe, where the way out of suffering cannot be followed, and a human
birth is even more favorable to awakening than birth in the realm of
Given that human life, because of its possibility for awakening, is even higher in terms of value to that ...