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Thread: Rebirth - Reincarnation

  1. #1

    Question Rebirth - Reincarnation

    Namaste ,

    I am familiar with the Theravada view on Rebirth and also the Zen portrayal.

    As someone that has pursued strong meditation based traditions such as Thai Forest and Antai-ji - Gyobutsuji Zen Monastery I have been able to experience a lot of the teachings and or at least understand them in both a logical way and experiential way.

    Rebirth however has been a hard one for me. Not for disbelief but in achieving a level of experience and understanding in which it fits in smoothly into how I have come to understand the teachings both through study and experience.

    I am hoping those knowledgeable in the other schools/traditions can explain how it is talked about in their school and also experiences and or things that have helped deepen their understanding on this teaching.

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    Re: Rebirth - Reincarnation

    Namaste CedarTree

    Simple myths contain a lot of wisdom … Ganga Weds a Frog Prince is the story how a frog became - throughseries of lives – an equal to Ganga. Rebirth as the ‚die and become‘.

    http://www.boloji.com/index.cfm?md=Content&sd=Articles&ArticleID=1189

    May be you like it.

    Pranam
    Last edited by Indialover; 12 July 2017 at 12:21 PM.
    Dance with Shiva - live with Shiva - merge with Shiva

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    Re: Rebirth - Reincarnation

    hariḥ oṁ
    ~~~~~~
    namasté


    Kṛṣṇa-ji informs us in the chapter 2, 12th śloka of the bhāgavad gītā:
    na tvevāhaṁ jātu nāsaṁ na tvaṁ neme janādhipāḥ |
    na caiva na bhaviṣyāmaḥ sarve vayam ataḥ param ||
    2.12

    this says,
    there never was a time when I was not, nor you, nor these rulers
    of men. Nor will there ever be a time when all of us shall cease to be.

    If this is so , where then is rebirth or even birth if ~ we~ have always been and always will be ? Where is there this re-incarnation?
    Then the question must be, what then comes and goes? Something to ponder , no ?

    What school(s) are of this orientation? ( that too is another good question, me thinks)

    इतिशिवं
    iti śivaṁ

    Last edited by yajvan; 17 July 2017 at 02:53 PM.
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

  4. #4

    Re: Rebirth - Reincarnation

    Quote Originally Posted by Indialover View Post
    Namaste CedarTree

    Simple myths contain a lot of wisdom … Ganga Weds a Frog Prince is the story how a frog became - throughseries of lives – an equal to Ganga. Rebirth as the ‚die and become‘.

    http://www.boloji.com/index.cfm?md=Content&sd=Articles&ArticleID=1189

    May be you like it.

    Pranam
    Thank you friend for sharing that with me

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    Re: Rebirth - Reincarnation

    Namaste,
    I have been wondering of the same lately but no insights are coming in. The more I think about it the more I feels like that there is no 'self’ as such just thoughts. So who comes and goes is a great question bothering me for some time now.
    satay

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    Re: Rebirth - Reincarnation

    Namaste...

    I look at from a theoretical physics standpoint, though I am far from a theoretical, or any kind of physicist. Energy can never be created or destroyed, it can only change form. And since I believe we are energy at our most basic level, i.e. our soul, atman, Self, we change form, i.e., are reborn. https://hinduperspective.com/2014/12...oncept-of-god/

    "Even as the attainment of childhood, youth and old age is to one in this physical life, so is the change to another body for the embodied soul. Wise men are not deluded by this." Bhagavad Gita 2.13

    "Just as a man gives up old garments and puts on new ones, so the embodied self abandons decrepit bodies and assumes new ones." Bhagavad Gita 2.22

    śivasya hridayam viṣṇur viṣṇoscha hridayam śivaḥ

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    Re: Rebirth - Reincarnation

    Namaste,

    Some good insights coming in this thread :

    Quote Originally Posted by satay View Post
    The more I think about it the more I feels like that there is no 'self’ as such just thoughts. So who comes and goes is a great question bothering me for some time now.
    "Just thoughts" ? Why thoughts be just "just" and why don't they deserve any respect when it comes to creation i.e. existence of 'self' or whatever ? We often take our thoughts very lightly as Satay has stated above. The reality is just the opposite. It is the game of these "thoughts" alone.

    Our scriptures tell us "There was neither being nor non-being to begin with". What are thoughts ? Are they being or non-being or neither ? The scriptures don't give any straight forward answer. Lord Krishna says, "That beginningless Brahman is called neither being nor non-being" - Na Sat, na asat uchyate. Upanishads tell us that Brahman is pure Consciousness and that alone exists. For the creation, Upanishads tell us, "Sah Ikshat" == He desired. Let's mark here. This is the first phenomenon before the creation. That is birth of a desire. What is a desire ? It is a thought. So, this first thought ("Bahushyamah" = I should become many") is the seed of all creation.

    Now, this first thought must also beginningless. Why ? Because the Upanishads say, "Know the Nature to be beginningless." and "Know MAyA to be the Nature" ? What is this nature ? Which nature are we talking about ? Is it the same nature that we know in gross form ? And whose nature is it anyway ? Yes, this is the same nature but not limited to gross creation. This nature is nothing but the nature of Brahman. It is the nature of the Brahman to desire, "I should be many" and that is beginningless as the nature is beginningless. And also because Lord Krishna says in Bhagwad Gita, "There was never a time when these kings were not there, I was not there or you were not there and it is not that they would cease to exist after this". When Kings are there, when Lord Krishna is there in form and name and when Arjuna is there in form and name then that proves that this "multitude" (even if it is apparent) is beginningless.

    These names and forms always exist as Lord Krishna apparently say. But we would commit mistake if we forget other sayings ==>

    1. "VAsudevah sarvam idam" ==> This all is VAsudeva (Bhagwad Gita)
    MAndukya Upanishad says :
    2. Sarva hi etad Brahman ==> This all is Brahman
    3. Ayam AtmA Brahman è This self is Brahman
    4. So ayam AtmAn chatushpaat è That this AtmAn is four-footed
    5. Enjoyer of the gross world ("Consciousness drawn outward"-Bahirpragnya) is Vaishvanar and that is first foot of Brahman è The Enjoyer is the self which enjoys taking the help of the mind and indriyas. Upanishad tells us that this first foot of Brahman i.e. Vaishvanar enjoys this world with 7 limbs and nineteen mouths
    6. Enjoyer of the Subtle World is (dream field, Consciousness drawn inward- Antahpragnya) --- This also has 7 limbs and nineteen mouths. It is second foot of Brahman.
    7. Desireless, dreamless state (field) - Unified /undifferentiated mass of Consciousness which is utterly blissful, whose mouth is consciousness and who enjoys bliss. è This is the third foot of Brahman. He is the Lord of all, omniscient, the Controller, the origin and dissolution of all beings and the cause of all. This is third foot of Brahman.
    8. The fourth is "described" as :
    Not inward conscious -- Taijas (Second state) absent - devoid of dream world
    Not outward conscious -- Vaishvanar (First state) absent - devoid of gross world
    Not conscious of both ---
    Neither mass of consciousness - Praagya (Third state) is absent
    Neither knowing nor not-knowing -
    Not perceivable -
    Not worldly relatable -
    Devoid of all attributes (worldly) -
    Unthinkable (Mind cannot bring that into its thoughts) -
    Cessation of all activities (within the above three states) -
    Peaceful
    Blissful
    Essentially of the nature of self-consciousness alone
    One only without a second
    This is the Fourth (state/foot)
    ==è This is the SELF and that is to be known

    Now, let's analyse the above and see if we are able to see how the self and SELF related to each other and how the creation works.

    Let's start from the last part. The Fourth is the SELF and that is to be known. In this fourth foot all the other three states (foot) vanish and yet this fourth state and all other three states exist simultaneously.
    So, this Upanishad tells us that SELF comprises of 4 foot/states but in the end says that the Fourth is the SELF (without including the other three, apparently). So, the question is: If it is only one without a second i.e. the Turiya then what happened to the previous three states described in the Upanishad ? Moreover, if the three states merge among themselves and give rise to Turiya then the Upanishad should not have said, "Ayam AtmA ChatuspAt" because that would mean existence of either Three or the Fourth. If it is ChatuspAt with so much of multiplicity in the existence of three states then this cannot be said about SELF - One Only without a second. But the Upanishad says exactly so. It says about the four states of Brahman and also that the Fourth alone is the SELF. What exactly this mean and how can we explain this complex paradox of existence ? This can be solved only if either first three states or the fourth are illusory i.e. it is impossible that all the four states exist simultaneously in the same frame of reference. So, we must have two simultaneously existing two planes of existence i.e. simultaneous existence of the Reality in two dimensions. In Advaita VedAnta, one dimension which is the Fourth is called the Real (because the Upanishad says : It is the SELF and it is to be known) and the dimension having other three states is called as Not-real.

    Let's come back to Creation in the second dimension of Reality : In this dimension, the Brahman exists as PrAgnya, the VaishvAnar and the Taijasa.
    We had started with thought of becoming many arising within Brahman i.e. pure consciousness in third state or PrAgnya which leads to this creation. PrAgya is unified / undifferentiated mass of consciousness i.e. there is no consciousness apart from PrAgya in that state. And it is the origin and end of all beings (in the two worlds/states).

    So, how does it happen ? -- In fourth there is no activity and therefore there cannot be any thought of becoming many either. In the third state in second dimension of existence, this desire arises and this desire is beginningless and is the root cause of all creation. The Nature of Brahman in third state has its nature having 8 essential parts : 5 mahaabootAs, Mann (observing and storing faculty of mind), Intellect and Ahamkaar (thought of being different from the surrounding, thought of ownership of thoughts etc.). So, this self is "created" in the 2nd dimension of Reality with the help of these 8 essential parts of Prakriti and the power of consciousness imparted by the PrAgnya which is the Unified Mass of Consciousness. While doing this, this PrAgnya doesn't get divided as it is always undivided/unified .... it just reflects itself within the Prakriti through a phenomenon called "ChidAbhAsa" and creates multiple beings.Due to this ChidAbhasa effect, there comes Ahamkaar and multitude. This ahamkaar attaches itself (or owns) elements of nature, Mann and Buddhi and creates one individual. Now, this Mann and Buddhi come in different shades tainted with varyung degrees of three gunas of nature i.e. Sattva, Raja and Tama. A unique combination of these gunas create a particular individual.This individual has ahamkaar which attaches itself with whatever it perceives by its mind and sense organs (7 limbs and nineteen mouths) and keeps creating impressions in the mind. Depending upon these impressions, the quantum of Sattva, Raja and Tama keeps changing in an individual. Now, the entity which is a combination of all these is the self and that migrates from one birth to the other and keeps encountering things in many lives depending upon impressions carried by him. In the relative dimension of existence, this appears quite real in all manners.

    However, on Realisation that this is "just a thought" and I am non-but Brahman i.e. instead of identifying Oneself with the Relative Reality the individual drops its ahamkaar and identifies itself with changeless / undifferentiated Brahman, Realisation of the Fourth state occurs. And on cessation of all thought-waves, an Individual is able to Realise the 2nd Dimension of the Reality i.e. Turiya which is already explained above. Now can we say that all the first three states are Unreal and Fourth alone is Real ? It depends upon how you define the Reality. Turiya is changeless and is always present in its own dimension whereas the three states (two states can merge in the third) in relative dimension of reality are always changing and present (with origin, end and activities) in relative dimension. Here, the changeless dimension has been called the Real and ever changing dimension is called the Unreal. Unreal doesn't mean that it doesn't exist .... If we see from the relative dimension of Reality then Turiya appears absent and if we see from the absolute reference plane of existence then Turiya alone exists and the three states are absent.

    So, we cannot say that self exists or doesn't exist. It exists in relative plane/dimension of existence and simultaneously, it is absent too in second dimension of reality where there is Turiya alone without a second. So, what happens to "the Kings, Lord Krishna and Arjuna etc." --- they are always present as thoughts in PrAgnya (in second dimension of the Reality) as PrAgnya is Omniscient. So, even though the Kings, Lord Krishna and Arjuna may not be physically existent or not existent even in subtle forms ... they would always be present in thought forms or memory forms by which they can be created anytime again. That is how this creation is created again and again due to these impressions or memories in the PrAgnya.

    OM
    "Om Namo Bhagvate Vaasudevaye"

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    Re: Rebirth - Reincarnation

    Namaste Devotee!
    Wow what a packed message! Loved it and thank you for that. My response to it going to seem childish no matter what I write in response. But for clarification when I said 'just thoughts’ I did not mean to emphasize the 'just’ all I meant was that there are 'thoughts alone’ one after the other one after the other.

    In my practice recently it occured to me that even the éxperiencer (satay;s observer inside) is just a thought in the mind, just observing other thoughts! So in reality there is 'no self’ or 'me’as I have always thought that existed in the back of my eyes or in the brain. No me, no self just thoughts one observing the ocean of thoughts or the breath or the mantra or whatever object that it was directed towards.

    Strangely instead of giving me a feeling of peace this actually gave me a feeling of fear or loss or sadness in the sense that 'hmm...there is no me, just thoughts. Dang it!’ So then my question was, ‘who is it then that keeps going on and on taking rebirths’ is it the mind alone is it impressions/vasanas or some other entity as sastra say atma but what is atma then is it the thought that was observing other thoughts?
    satay

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    Re: Rebirth - Reincarnation

    Namaste Satay,

    What you say is what had happened to me and what I too experienced while watching my thoughts. That experience showed me that my "I" was actually just a thought, my whole existence was just a bundle of layers of thoughts. So, when you used that term "just a thought" .... I was simply recalling my reaction to my own experience ... "Oh ! It is just a thought !!". Yes, when this dawns upon you, there is a fear of getting lost/dissolved into unknown ... as it strikes at the very core of our feeling of existence ... it shakes up violently what we are used to strongly cling to since our birth.

    That is what Heart Sutra says, "He (Buddha) perceived that all the five skandhas ( form, feelings, perceptions, volitions and consciousness(individual) ) are empty".

    OM
    "Om Namo Bhagvate Vaasudevaye"

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