reincarnation question

Aupmanyav

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One has to square one's deeds in this world. I may have harmed you or decieved you. Going to any other planet, I will not be able to compensate you. Similarly, some person may have harmed or decieved me in this world. The person needs to be born in this world to square the deeds. Therefore, reincarnation is in this world only.

There is a story that my grandfather used to recite to me. Some person had taken a loan of Rupees 32,000. He was blessed with a son but the son was constantly ill. The person had to take the infant to doctor. The doctor treated him for a long time. When the expenses reached Rupees 32,000, the child died. The doctor said that he had taken the same amount from another person, who was then bon as the son of the first loan taker. That is how 'karma' is balanced in reincarnation. One cannot escape the repayment of his/her bad deeds.
Stories with morals. :)
 

Cino

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Do Buddhists believe the same thing?

Surely if you are not around any longer I cannot make right with you personally, and so have to make right with another -- with the universe? That's the balance? I have to pay-back into the universal energy pool, but that doesn't mean I need to do it here on this planet?
In Buddhism, as I know it (Theravada Buddhism) you simply can't credit your bright karma to your dark karma account. Dark, bright, and neither-bright-nor-dark karma are tracked in entirely separate book-keeping departments, so to speak. Thus, while you can't make up for your dark karma by doing right by your neighbor (you have to face the consequences of the previous dark karma, there is no avoiding it), you will absolutely reap the good, "bright" benefits of skillful, ethical, compassionate intentional acts.
 
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RJM

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I greatly apologise the comment of mine that you replied to in your post #102 above was inadvertently deleted by me. So it is repeated below. SORRY

Do Buddhists believe the same thing?

Surely if you are not around any longer I cannot make right with you personally, and so have to make right with another -- with the universe? That's the balance? I have to pay-back into the universal energy pool, but that doesn't mean I need to do it here on this planet?
 
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RJM

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The Buddha, who was not above the occasional fire-and-brimstone sermon, is remembered to have taught that birth as a hell-being or hungry ghost or animal was the most likely one.

The human birth was considered very precious.
In Buddhism, as I know it (Theravada Buddhism) you simply can't credit your bright karma to your dark karma account. Dark, bright, and neither-bright-nor-dark karma are tracked in entirely separate book-keeping departments, so to speak. Thus, while you can't make up for your dark karma by doing right by your neighbor (you have to face the consequences of the previous dark karma, there is no avoiding it), you will absolutely reap the good, "bright" benefits of skillful, ethical, compassionate intentional acts.
Interesting, thank you

According to most Hindus and Sikhs, it is repeated 8.4 million times
Elsewhere you have said you see no difference between Buddhism and Hinduism? How does it square with the Buddha's teaching that a human incarnation is rare and valuable?
 

wil

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a figment of your imagination
I related before I believe that having a Hindu priest and Buddhist monk in my car for half an hour after an interfaith service ... the priest went on and on about how they were the same ... just a sect like others with some nuance differences ...

But when I dropped him off the monk who sat quietly while the other fellow railed on ... said BS unless Christians and Muslims think themselves Jews.
 

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On the other hand, much of the royal Thai court ritual is Hindu. But Thailand is a Buddhist majority country, and the royal house are patrons of the Buddhist orders, and are themselves Buddhist. Some of the most popular shrines in Bangkok are Hindu shrines. Ganesh is as beloved in Thailand as he is in India.

Maybe it is as your monk claimed, @wil, but maybe it is complicated in ways not directly comparable to the Abrahamic faiths. After all, Hinduism developed entire schools that were unknown at the time of the Buddha or Mahavira. There was intense debate and exchange between the faiths for over a millennium. Shankara held positions very close to Buddhist thought, and he is a founding figure of Advaita Vedanta.

Maybe the Buddhists distancing themselves from Vedic Hinduism would be a bit like Christians distancing themselves from pre-temple, Judges-era Judaism.
 
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Aupmanyav

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Elsewhere you have said you see no difference between Buddhism and Hinduism? How does it square with the Buddha's teaching that a human incarnation is rare and valuable?
Buddha said that you are reborn every moment. You are different from your former 'yourself'. Biologically and psychologically, that is true. He also said that you cannot enter the same river again. I do not think Buddha believed in the Hindu kind of reincarnation. He said that when he is no more, even Brahma and Indra will not be able to find him. "Gate, gate, paragate, para samgate" (gone, gone, gone to the other shore, gone to the other shore completely).
 
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Aupmanyav

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In Buddhism, as I know it (Theravada Buddhism) you simply can't credit your bright karma to your dark karma account.
That is exactly like in main-line Hinduism. Separate accounting. You have to bear the fruits of your dark karmas. Yudhishthira went to heaven with his body, but lost a finger as he had lied to Ashwatthama.

Furthermore, in Buddhism, 'self' is 'anatta' (without substance), so what will reincarnate? It is the karmas that linger beyond the life of the doer. For example, people still suffer from the effects of Hiroshima bomb, or the Bhopal Gas Disaster, or by Hitler's 'Holocaust". Our actions can make the future generations happy or sorrowful. It is the karmas reincarnate not any soul.
 
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RJM

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It is the karmas reincarnate not any soul.
So do 'people' reincarnate upon the planet earth -- whether they reincarnate as other people or as animals or insects -- or do they not? Does Hitler's essence reincarnate as someone/thing else, to bear the fruits of his karma?
 

Aupmanyav

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May I ask if any of it occurs in this life?
For atheists like me who do not believe in any second life, we suffer or enjoy the results of our karmas in this life, materially or psychologically. If there is still a balance left of good deeds or bad, it is written off, since after death my karmas cannot get anything from me when I am no more.

For the Hindu and Sikh theists the process continues till 'Lakh chaurasi' (8.4 million) births or ends if one attains Jnana, Moksha, Nirvana though the three methods (knowledge, devotion or karma, action) earlier than that. It is all well-defined. :D
 

Aupmanyav

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So do 'people' reincarnate upon the planet earth -- whether they reincarnate as other people or as animals or insects -- or do they not? Does Hitler's essence reincarnate as someone/thing else, to bear the fruits of his karma?
Well, according to Hindu theists, they do. Yeah, they can reincarnate as any living being (including as a shrub or a tree, that also is living). Probably Hitler or people like him will have a long sojourn in one of the worst Hindu hell (we have up to 28 according to the severity of the deed) for the crimes they have done before they return to earth. They may even have been sent to hell for all times, like imprisonment for life without parole. That will be some 425,000 years till the end of this age (Kaliyuga). As I said, it is all well-defined. :D

The Bhagavata Purana enumerates the following 28: Tamisra, Andhatamisra, Raurava, Maharaurava, Kumbhipaka, Kalasutra, Asipatravana, Sukaramukha, Andhakupa, Krimibhojana, Samdamsa, Taptasurmi, Vajrakantaka-salmali, Vaitarani, Puyoda, Pranarodha, Visasana, Lalabhaksa, Sarameyadana, Avichi, Ayahpana, Ksharakardama, Raksogana-bhojana, Sulaprota, Dandasuka, Avata-nirodhana, Paryavartana and Suchimukha.

The Vishnu Purana mentions the 28 in the following order: Raurava, Shukara, Rodha, Tala, Visasana, Mahajwala, Taptakumbha, Lavana, Vimohana, Rudhirandha, Vaitaraní, Krimiśa, Krimibhojana, Asipatravana, Krishna, Lalabhaksa, Dáruńa, Púyaváha, Pápa, Vahnijwála, Adhośiras, Sandansa, Kalasutra, Tamas, Avichi, Śwabhojana, Apratisht́ha, and another Avichi.

The meanings of these names are equally horendous. For example Swabhojana means the detainees are made to eat parts of their own body, Krimibhojana means detainees are given to insects to be eaten.
 
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Thomas

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Is it an answer?
It is for me.

I've long understood that the populist notion of reincarnation, which is largely the western notion (it would appear) assumes that something identifiable as 'me' reincarnates, that 'we' have a succession of existences until 'we' get it right.

As you know, I'm much informed by the Traditionalist movement, and Marco Pallis, a Tibetan Buddhist, has been my go-to reference on this question.

So I see 'life' as going on, but not any particular, individual life. Karma then is the wake of our passing, be it for good or ill, that effects subsequent lives.

The two 'perennial' problems I have with the common and popular Buddhist expression of the doctrine is:
1: If the individual self is a perception of an aggregate of ephemeral effects; if there is not soul as such, what reincarnates?
2: Who weighs the balance of moral determinations?
The classic model is the rich man who gives alms to the poor. Essentially, a virtuous action. But if the motive of the rich man giving alms is so he is seen to be noble and virtuous by his neighbours, then thre is no virtue in his action.
I can see how we can place a moral value on the act, I cannot see any mechanism by which an impersonal cosmos can do that.

Also, I regard popular reincarnation as utterly nihilistic. Burdened by sins we did not cause and do not know, and at any turn we can make a mistake that might undo the good works of countless previous existences ...

... but that's me, and simply I've never had anyone explain it to me in terms I can agree to.
 
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RJM

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Well, according to Hindu theists, they do. Yeah, they can reincarnate as any living being (including as a shrub or a tree, that also is living). Probably Hitler or people like him will have a long sojourn in one of the worst Hindu hell (we have up to 44, according to the severity of the deed) for the crimes they have done before they return to earth. They may even have been sent to hell for all times, like imprisonment for life without parole. That will be some 425,000 years till the end of this age (Kaliyuga). As I said, it is all well-defined. :D
Are the hells a part of an astral/ethereal earth surround? In the sense they are linked to, but not a material part of the physical planet? I am trying to confirm whether (Hindu) reincarnation always happens here on the planet earth.
 
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Thomas

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... they can reincarnate as any living being (including as a shrub or a tree, that also is living)...
And as I understand it, if you reincarnate as such, or an insect, or whatever, you cannot regain the human state, because that state is beyond the current state of existence. That is part of the reasoning of the 'special state'?
 

RJM

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So I see 'life' as going on, but not any particular, individual life. Karma then is the wake of our passing, be it for good or ill, that effects subsequent lives.
Actions have consequences? Nothing new about that. Rebirth/reincarnation is concerned about having to take-on the effects of the karma we personally create? Does Mao Tse Tung have to account for causing the death of 70 million people? If the answer is yes, then does he have to be reborn on planet earth to expiate, or could he be reborn in other states, in other worlds and dimensions?
 

Aupmanyav

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Are the hells a part of an astral/ethereal earth surround?
Yeah, they are that, astral. It is not mentioned that 'this' hell is located in 'this' galaxy, in 'this' star or in 'this planet'.
Does Mao Tse Tung have to account for causing the death of 70 million people? If the answer is yes, then does he have to be reborn on planet earth to expiate, or could he be reborn in other states, in other worlds and dimensions?
But before being born, he has to suffer his time in hell for any ill-deed done by him. Even then the slate is not clean, because the God of Fate, Vidhata, Lord Brahma, keeps some fruits of actions which he may cause to fructify at any desired time. That introduces a factor of uncertainty.

There are these kinds of karmas in Hinduism:
"Everything that we have ever thought, spoken, done or caused is karma, as is also that which we think, speak or do this very moment.[2] Hindu scriptures divide karma into three kinds:

1. Sanchita is the accumulated karma. It would be impossible to experience and endure all karmas in one lifetime. From this stock of sanchita karma, a handful is taken out to serve one lifetime and this handful of actions, which have begun to bear fruit and which will be exhausted only on their fruit being enjoyed and not otherwise, is known as prarabdha karma.
2. Prarabdha Fruit-bearing karma is the portion of accumulated karma that has "ripened" and appears as a particular problem in the present life.
3. Kriyamana is everything that we produce in the current life. All kriyamana karmas flow in to sanchita karma and consequently shape our future.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karma_in_Hinduism

Kriyamana (actions in this life) flow into Sanchita (the brought forward), part of Sanchita may be wiped in hell, but another parts is reserved for future lives, that is known as Prarabhda. That comes up suddenly without warning as per the wishes of Lord Brahma. This is for good deeds as well as evil deeds. For example, one may win a lottery ticket or be involved in an accident. That is the effect of reserved karmas of previous lives, Prarabhda. As I said, it is all well-defined. :D
 
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