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Thread: Rebirth as an animal

  1. #1
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    Rebirth as an animal

    Hello, I've heard from ISKCON that is easy to fall back from human stage to the animal realm.
    But what is the position of other schools, like Advaita for instance, on this issue?
    Are animals jivas, like human beings, or are they part of a collective soul from which they eventually split into jiva/human existence?

    Thanks.
    Last edited by ale84; 06 October 2014 at 12:12 PM.

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    Re: Rebirth as an animal

    Vannakkam ale:

    I believe it varies from school to school. In my school, the idea of rebirth to an animal is rare, but possible. Dogs, or cows would be the most common. It only happens when the soul is really confused at the point of death from alcohol, or a tragic sudden death with no preparation. Since they can't 'see' clearly, they might enter any body.

    So you will get different answers, as usual.

    Aum Namasivaya

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    Re: Rebirth as an animal

    Namaste ale,

    Quote Originally Posted by ale84 View Post
    Hello, I've heard from ISKCON that is easy to fall back from human stage to the animal realm.
    But what is the position of other schools, like Advaita for instance, on this issue.
    Are animals jivas, like human beings, or are they part of a collective soul from which they eventually split into jiva/human existence?
    a) Animals are also Jeeva taking animal bodies but with very low level of spiritual status.
    b) Advaita teaches you to dissociate from your Karma and to assert that you are Infinite Pure Consciousness and therefore no Karma binds you. However, it is easier said than done. You may have theoretical understanding of Advaita but your attachment with body and Karma may be strong. In that case, you have to go from birth to birth.

    In Bhagwad Gita Lord Krishna assures that a Yoga-bhrasta (those who fall from the path of Yoga) takes birth in family with favourable spiritual environment so that he can progress faster towards the ultimate spiritual goal. So, it is rare that an Advaitin would have to go through such sufferings. Moreover, the Advaita Guru Himself is Self-realised and Guru (even when not in body form) with His extraordinary powers keeps track of his/her disciple so that the disciple doesn't fall.

    For common people, as BG says : a person can be born as human or even as an animal depending upon his Karma.

    OM
    "Om Namo Bhagvate Vaasudevaye"

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    Re: Rebirth as an animal

    Namaste Devotee ji and EM ji

    I have two questions.

    1) We can have different answers based on different school, but can we prove what really happens?

    2) What will happen to the Jiva that didn't follow Sanaatana Dharma?

    Quote Originally Posted by devotee View Post
    Namaste ale,



    a) Animals are also Jeeva taking animal bodies but with very low level of spiritual status.
    b) Advaita teaches you to dissociate from your Karma and to assert that you are Infinite Pure Consciousness and therefore no Karma binds you. However, it is easier said than done. You may have theoretical understanding of Advaita but your attachment with body and Karma may be strong. In that case, you have to go from birth to birth.

    In Bhagwad Gita Lord Krishna assures that a Yoga-bhrasta (those who fall from the path of Yoga) takes birth in family with favourable spiritual environment so that he can progress faster towards the ultimate spiritual goal. So, it is rare that an Advaitin would have to go through such sufferings. Moreover, the Advaita Guru Himself is Self-realised and Guru (even when not in body form) with His extraordinary powers keeps track of his/her disciple so that the disciple doesn't fall.

    For common people, as BG says : a person can be born as human or even as an animal depending upon his Karma.

    OM
    Anirudh...

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    Re: Rebirth as an animal

    hariḥ oṁ
    ~~~~~~
    namasté

    This is a very interesting question that comes up once every 2 years or so. One can look at this several ways.


    The first way is very practical. Even if you are reborn ( or your next halting place (paḍvīśa) is an animal , does it matter? It is not as if you would be thinking, oh here I am, a deer, running though the woods . If I had just done this/that and the other as a human I would not be stuck running away as fast as I can from these tigers.


    The other view is the following. The wise see those that have not recognized their own being, their Self, as the paśu – any tethered animal or a domesticated animal.
    We are viewed as paśu ( or paśūni) due to blemish that one sees themselves as the body, 'tethered' to the body. Even if one is the domesticated paśu(learned, educated) they still can have this blemish.

    So if you are the mga (a forest animal, a wild beast) or the human (paśu) not living one's true nature, it seems to me ( and me only) does it really matter ? Let's look to one view by Ādi Śaṅkara. He mentions the following¹ :
    For all things subject to birth, birth in a human body is rare. Even rarer to obtain are strength of the body and mind . Rarer still is purity. More difficult than these is the desire to live a spiritual life. Rarest of all is to have an understanding of the scriptures.

    He continues in the 3rd śloka and says, rare and difficult to obtain are these 3: A human birth (narajañma), the burning desire for liberation (mumukṣutvaṁ) and the association with great (spiritual) beings i.e. the wise ( mahapuruṣa). These are the results of divine grace (daivānugraha).

    My teacher said, make hay while the sun shines.


    iti śivaṁ

    words
    • paśu – any tethered animal; a domesticated animal, compare this to a wild animal mga
    • mga – a forest animal, a wild beast.
    • Ādi Śaṅkara's writings in his Vivekacūḍāmaṇi; 2nd & 3rd śloka
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

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    Re: Rebirth as an animal

    Hello, yajvan

    Quote Originally Posted by yajvan View Post
    Even if you are reborn ( or your next halting place (paḍvīśa) is an animal , does it matter?
    I'm not affraid at all of being reborn as an animal, I just want to get more opinions to have a better understanding of how reincarnation works, because I personally think it's possible for a human to be reborn as an animal, but not as easy as Iskcon says.
    They also say that it follows a natural order, from aquatics to plants to beasts to humans, but I find absurd the idea of reaching the state of consciousness of a dolphin or a whale just to move to land and be reborn as a plant.

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    Re: Rebirth as an animal

    Quote Originally Posted by Anirudh View Post

    1) We can have different answers based on different school, but can we prove what really happens?
    Vannakkam: We can't.

    Aum Namasivaya

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    Re: Rebirth as an animal

    hariḥ oṁ
    ~~~~~~
    namasté

    Quote Originally Posted by ale84 View Post
    Hello, yajvan
    I'm not affraid at all of being reborn as an animal,
    The question one must address with honestly is who is coming and going in these wombs ? You mention 'I'm' - If you do not know who this I'm is, then you do not know who is coming and going.

    If one follows vedānta , then the following is apropos.
    We look to the the praśna upaniṣad (2.7), as it gives us the insight of who comes and goes:
    O, prāṇa as prajāpati you move within the wombs; you yourself are born repeatedly. These creatures in each of whom you dwell along with prāṇas brings offerings to you.

    Note in this verse from the praśna upaniṣad, prāṇa =prajāpati = brahman. Now the point I relish is prāṇa =prajāpati = brahman = 'I'. Pure I = pure consciousness = cetana.

    So as we go from body to body, who is coming and going? Surely it is not this small 'me', this yajvan, billy, tommy, susie, louie, etc .

    iti śivaṁ
    Last edited by yajvan; 06 October 2014 at 08:21 PM.
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

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    Re: Rebirth as an animal

    Namaste,

    Quote Originally Posted by Anirudh View Post
    1) We can have different answers based on different school, but can we prove what really happens?

    2) What will happen to the Jiva that didn't follow Sanaatana Dharma?
    There are many stories on human re-births. As animals don't speak our language, it is difficult to know about them. However, if we believe Self-realised souls in various schools, the majority of answers would lean towards possible births in animals too. In Lord Krishna's life-story, the Yakshas being born as Arjuna tree is mentioned. In Jataka story of Lord Buddha, his one of the incarnations in a deer is mentioned. Again, one King names Nahusha taking birth as snake is there in PurANas.

    So, imo, majority of Hindu Dharma believes that rebirths in animals is possible.

    OM
    "Om Namo Bhagvate Vaasudevaye"

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    Re: Rebirth as an animal

    Namaste,

    The story of Jadabharata, the sage who was reborn a deer due to his affinity to and thinking of a pet deer at the time of death as a sage could be of interest to this conversation. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jadabharata

    Thanks.
    jai hanuman gyan gun sagar jai kapis tihu lok ujagar

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