Reincarnation, rebirth and karma

Discussion in 'Buddhism' started by intrepidlover, Oct 14, 2010.

  1. intrepidlover

    intrepidlover Melchizedek

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    It seems to my dull mind that there is a logical flaw regarding karma and rebirth. If my individual personality does not survive death and reincarnate, but instead is absorbed by an impersonal pool of energy, what does it matter what karma I generate in this lifetime if I will never consciously reap the results of it?

    As "I" will cease to exist as an individual when I die, "I" will never have to suffer the results of any bad karma that "I" have generated in this life time.

    So I might as well live an ungodly, self-absorbed, hedonistic life and as long as I am not caught for breaking any civil laws, I will not pay for my "sins."
     
  2. citizenzen

    citizenzen Custom User Title

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    I see karma as inertia and direction. The karma that you've created in this life was a result of the inertia and direction set forth from your past lives. Personality doesn't pass from one life to the next because personality is intimately tied to both your physical body (brain, hormones) and environment. When the concepts of karma and rebirth are understood, then one consciously reaps the results of karma.

    [​IMG]
     
  3. intrepidlover

    intrepidlover Melchizedek

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    Not likely to happen in this lifetime because already I am 69 years of age.:)
     
  4. citizenzen

    citizenzen Custom User Title

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    You've been reaping the results of karma for 69 years.

    All I'm asking is that you become conscious of that.

    That ain't so hard.
     
  5. Nick the Pilot

    Nick the Pilot Well-Known Member

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    CZ,

    I agree. We have been consciously reaping the results of our karma during each and every one of our previous lifetimes.
     
  6. Anicca

    Anicca New Member

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    The Buddha's own teachings do not contain notions and views such as being reborn after death as a frog or a deva etc.

    Karma means intentional action. The buddha taught birth not rebirth/reincarnation. The word he used is jati, which translates as birth


    An understanding of the Buddhas teaching on rebirth and kamma would be as follows


    In relation to kamma specifically we find this passage



    So if there is an intentional action to shout abuse at some one, this will lead to a corresponding state of mental anguish (or hell). The realms of Buddha's teaching are purely mental experiences, not actual places after death



    In relation to rebirth we must take into account the Buddhas teaching on anatta (not-self). The buddha broke a human down into 5 parts

    Form (body)
    Feeling (not emotion but just like, dislike or netural)
    perception
    mental formations (thoughts etc)
    Consciousness


    The Buddha taught that these 5 things are impermanent (anicca), dukkha if there is attachment to them and Anatta (not-self)

    The sense of self or "I am" arises due to clinging. So for example if there is clinging to the body then the sense "I am the body" is "born". This birth of "I am" arises and ceases many times a day whenever there is clinging, thus there are many births into different mental realms of experience


    If I am unware of the four noble truths then there will be grasping and continuous births of "I". This leads to suffering since there is identification around that which is painful to hold to because of impermanence
     
  7. Anicca

    Anicca New Member

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    Also would like to add that the Buddha's own teachings dont contain rebirth/reincarnation. By this I mean he didnt teach that people will be frogs in their next life, as is commonly thought.


    Some people in the Buddhas time did take this view and so he did pander to their beliefs. This is because it fosters a good sense of giving and, in the Buddhas teaching, virtue helps lead to mental well being (although its not enough on its own to end dukkha)


    He states the reason for teaching "rebirth" or reincarnation here


    MN 68

     
  8. Bhaktajan II

    Bhaktajan II Hare Krishna Yogi

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    Thank you for the post.
    Did Buddha not leave his own sutra?

    versus:


    Again:
    All physical experiences = stimuli affecting the senses = mental reception of the outside world.

    To live & suffer in an un-favorable setting will condition the mind ---that is the same as a physical realm by any other name ---yet, IT'S ALWAYS TEMPORARY
     
  9. Anicca

    Anicca New Member

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    Buddha defined Kamma as intention so we can read the suttas as



    If there is intentional action to steal then there is birth of identity as a robber. Kamma and result
     
  10. Bhaktajan II

    Bhaktajan II Hare Krishna Yogi

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    Kama in sanskrit is "Lust/Pleasure"

    The inspiration behind sinful acts that ensnare the individual being into the cycle of "samsara" = mundane enjoyments that are beyond ones quota in life and thus obtained by extraneous means:

    Bhagavad-gita 3.37 says

    The Blessed Lord said: It is lust only, Arjuna, which is born of contact with the material modes of passion and later transformed into wrath, and which is the all-devouring, sinful enemy of this world.
    [FONT=Arial,Helvetica]PURPORT[/FONT] ​
    [​IMG]When a living entity comes in contact with the material creation, his eternal love for the Absolute Dharma of Krsna consciousness is transformed into lust, in association with the mode of passion.

    Or, in other words, the sense of love of God becomes transformed into lust, as milk in contact with sour tamarind is transformed into yogurt.

    Then again, when lust is unsatisfied, it turns into wrath; wrath is transformed into illusion, and illusion continues the material existence.

    Therefore, lust is the greatest enemy of the living entity, and it is lust only which induces the pure living entity to remain entangled in the material world. Wrath is the manifestation of the mode of ignorance; these modes exhibit themselves as wrath and other corollaries.

    If, therefore, the modes of passion, instead of being degraded into the modes of ignorance, are elevated to the modes of goodness by the prescribed method of living and acting, then one can be saved from the degradation of wrath by spiritual attachment.

    [​IMG]
    The Supreme Personality of Godhead expanded Himself into many for His ever-increasing spiritual bliss, and the living entities are parts and parcels of this spiritual bliss.

    They also have partial independence, but by misuse of their independence, when the service attitude is transformed into the propensity for sense enjoyment, they come under the sway of lust.

    This material creation is created by the Lord to give a facility to the conditioned souls to fulfill these lustful propensities, and when they are completely baffled by prolonged lustful activities, the living entities begin to inquire about their real position.

    [​IMG]This inquiry is the beginning of the Vedanta-sutras, wherein it is said, athato brahma-jijnasa: one should inquire into the Supreme. And the Supreme is defined in Srimad-Bhagavatam as janmady asya yato 'nvayad itaratas ca, or, "The origin of everything is the Supreme Brahman." Therefore, the origin of lust is also in the Supreme.

    If, therefore, lust is transformed into love for the Supreme, or transformed into Absolute Dharma of Krsna consciousness--or, in other words, desiring everything for Krsna--then both lust and wrath can be spiritualized.

    Therefore, lust and wrath, when they are employed in the Absolute Dharma of Krsna consciousness, become our friends instead of our enemies.

    Bhagavad Gita As It Is, 3: Karma-yoga, Text 37.
     
  11. Anicca

    Anicca New Member

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    I thought this was the Buddhist section not Hindu
     
  12. Quahom1

    Quahom1 What was the question?

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    It seems to me that "karma" happens immediately (or better put), within one's life time, now, here. It also seems to me that the more humble one is about their accomplishments/behavior, the faster that "karma" seems to act.

    Has anyone else noticed that? Or am I odd in my thinking?
     
  13. Nick the Pilot

    Nick the Pilot Well-Known Member

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    Intrepid,

    You said,

    "If my individual personality does not survive death and reincarnate…"

    --> I believe that our individual personality does not survive death and does not reincarnate. But I believe that there is a form of consciousness that is higher than human consciousness, and this higher consciousness does survive and reincarnate.

    "…is absorbed by an impersonal pool of energy…"

    --> It is absorbed by an ‘impersonal pool of energy,’ but our basic individuality is still maintained even at such a time.

    "…what does it matter what karma I generate in this lifetime if I will never consciously reap the results of it?"

    --> I believe we do reap the results, because the higher-than-human consciousness retains a record of our karma. Karma never forgets.

    "As "I" will cease to exist as an individual when I die…"

    --> Although there are Buddhists who believe such a thing, such an idea does not fit into my personal belief system.

    "…I might as well live an ungodly, self-absorbed, hedonistic life and as long as I am not caught for breaking any civil laws, I will not pay for my "sins.""

    --> You will ‘pay for your sins.’ The higher-than-human consciousness retains a record of your 'sinful deeds.'
     
     
  14. Nick the Pilot

    Nick the Pilot Well-Known Member

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    Q,

    You said,

    "…It … seems to me that the more humble one is about their accomplishments/behavior, the faster that "karma" seems to act."

    --> But there must also be karma that is recorded and burned off in subsequent rebirths.


     
  15. Snoopy

    Snoopy Active Member

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    Welcome to the crazy world of interfaith.org :p

    Every web forum has its particular levels of rule enforcement by the mods. In the past the different fora (?) here were quite strictly marshalled, perhaps to try to minimise grumpiness. These days, short of personal unpleasantries you can pretty much say what you want where you want. Personally I don't find that so helpful but at least I'm used to the established folk here and know "where they're coming from". (I would think it beneficial if we had short signatures to identify this but Brian - the owner - thinks otherwise). Newbies might get misled or confused though...So don't expect what you might think you might be expecting.

    s.
     
  16. Quahom1

    Quahom1 What was the question?

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    Hmmm, interesting point.

    How many times is a person reborn?
     
  17. Nick the Pilot

    Nick the Pilot Well-Known Member

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    Q,

    I have heard very differing numbers on how many reincarnations we have. But I sure the number is in the hundreds, maybe even in the thousands.
     
  18. Quahom1

    Quahom1 What was the question?

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    The reason I ask is because I was told we are allowed 12.
     
  19. Nick the Pilot

    Nick the Pilot Well-Known Member

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    Q,

    I think the number is way over 12. The reason is, as I look around me, I see people in all types of stages of maturity and immaturity. I think that we all have go to through all of these stages of maturity/immaturity, and this must take a lot more than 12 incarnations.
     
  20. Nick the Pilot

    Nick the Pilot Well-Known Member

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    One more thought: a person's first incarnation must be at the intellectual and maturity level of a caveman. (Fortunately, we all went through that stage a long time ago.) It may seem hard to see, but humanity is making progress. (At least we don't have gladiators being eaten by lions in colosseums any more!)
     

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