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Thread: Cause for Rebirth - A Question.

  1. #21
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    Re: Cause for Rebirth - A Question.

    Namaste Viraja,

    Quote Originally Posted by Viraja View Post
    But I am interested in knowing "the original cause". When a new soul gets created, what makes it bonded into karma and how do karmas get assigned to it? I believe this is part of SriVijaya's question too, not sure...
    The "original cause" -- this question haunts us all. Why ? Because, we all have a feeling that there must be cause for everything. Is a cause necessary for everything ? Can't there be anything without any cause ?

    We know from Shruti that the ultimate reason for everything is Brahman Itself. Brahman is a peculiar entity (?) which cannot be conceived by any concepts this mind can grasp i.e. there is nothing in this world which can be likened with Brahman. What is Brahman in its absolute state ? Nirguna i.e. beyond three gunas i.e Sattva, Raja and Tama. How are these gunas created when the Brahman is Nirguna and why ? If we read MAndukya Upanishad carefully, we come to understand that :

    a) Turiya or the Fourth or the Nirguna Brahman is the Ultimate Reality. 7th sloka of this Upanishad tries to describe this state/foot of Brahman. It also says that it is Advaitam i.e. it alone exists. If that is so, then what about Vishva, Taijasa and PrAjna ... the three states earlier told by this Upanishad ? Explanation of this intriguing issue has been tried to be explained by many great scholars. However, we cannot deny the fact that Turiya is always present and as it is One alone, it is never contaminated with the three gunas. It is the essence of everything.

    This Reality has another three states which are complete by themselves, per this Upanishad :
    i) Vishva i.e. waking state, this Gross World where the Brahman whose consciousness is outward (i.e. he perceives the things of enjoyment separate from himself) enjoys this gross world with its 19 mouths. So, this realm is for enjoyment of this gross world.
    ii) Taijasa i.e. the subtle world (after death and before birth) where the Brahman, the sleeping state, whose consciousness is inward, i.e. it looks at things made up of its of mental impressions enjoys dream objects / world with its nineteen mouths. So, this realm, too, is for enjoyment of Brahman of its Dream World.
    iii) PrAjna i.e. unified mass of consciousness which is the Lord of everything and every being (in the above two worlds), origin and end of all beings and in this state it doesn't desire anything and doesn't see dream i.e. it is not deluded. It is the knower of everything at all times, it is omnipotent and blissful. Its mouth is consciousness and it enjoys bliss.

    So, what does it say ? The origin and end of the Visva and Taijasa is PrAjna. PrAjna too is Unified Mass of Consciousness i.e. it is one with the two worlds in the form of consciousness and yet it "creates" two different and "dissolves" into itself.

    When did it happen and why ?
    Svetasvatar Upanishad comes to our help :

    Sloka 9 says :

    Conscious objects (all beings e.g. humans, animals etc.) and Unconscious objects, the Lord of everything (i.e. God, the third state of Brahman i.e. PrAjna ), everything under the Lordship of God, are all unborn and uncreated. When one realises this truth that all these three i.e. Conscious, unconscious beings, God i.e. the Creator and the Creation are One Brahman then the Individual being becomes Infinite, one with the Universe and free from any agentship.

    ===> There is nothing in this universe which is "created" ... i.e. everything just changes its form i.e. the desire "to be many" (Bahushyamah) in Brahman is eternal.

    &&&&&
    So, does this discussion add anything new to our knowledge ? The Brahman exists in two dimensions of Reality simultaneously. In one dimension, it is free from all gunas and all activities and without any desire. In another state it is pregnant with primal cause, "I should be many" and that creates three states of existence. One is the Origin, end of all beings and it is all knower and the lord of everything in the two states.

    Now, how does it happen ? How does the One become Many ? Bhagwad Gita says : It is possible by its power of MAyA of God which has three essential gunas : Sattava, Rajas and Tama and with the combination of which everything is created. MAyA has two powers : It conceals the true nature of Brahman and power of projection by which it brings essential things for creation into being i.e. 5 Mahabhootas, Observing Mind, Intellect and I-ness (Ahamkaar).

    As there was never a time when it all started, MAyA with all this creation are all beginningless. It was always there. How do the Karma come into being ? Karma is due to I-ness (Bhagwad Gita says). Whatever we do is actually done by the three gunas of nature. The I-ness which also is of three types due to its association with gunas owns up things performed by the three gunas of nature and thus binds itself to the Karma.

    &&&&
    Does a new soul get created ? Yes and No. There actually is no soul. No soul, in reality, exists. There is just one Atman which is reflected into Prakriti/MAyA and that creates an illusion of many beings. How many ? It is Infinite. There are changes in the Prakriti elements but no change is there in AtmAn ever. There is a thought of "I-ness" which thinks that it is bound to certain Karma / Gunas. This I-ness is also ever changing. The "I" which dreams and "I" which acts in our dream are both coming from same soul and also all those "I"s that come into our dream in different beings seen in our dream are all coming from the consciousness of same soul. So, the multitude is all illusion. When awake, our soul projects just one "I" and when we sleep, the same consciousness develops and projects many "I"s. So, the number of "I" is not sacrosanct. It has actually no meaning.

    Let's take an example of a Star fish. It has its own "I" which identifies itself with various Karma and binds itself with it. When it is cut into two from middle in exactly two halves, what happens to the newly created two starfish ? The two star fish will have their own "I"s which would be different from the original "I" of original starfish but they would bind themselves to Karma which is already existing of the original starfish or any suitable Karma already present in the nature. The aggregate of observing mind, intellect and "I"ness has a strong nature to bind together with Karma present in the nature and create an illusory entity.

    What would happen when we take a rebirth ? Will we be born with the same "I" as we have now ? No. It will be a completely different "I". Only the Karma will be same and nothing else. There will be different Observing mind, different Intellect and a different "I"-ness. Due to Karma these three elements of nature come into being and associate themselves with the Karma giving an illusion of a separate entity we call "soul".

    OM
    Last edited by devotee; 07 December 2017 at 07:20 AM.
    "Om Namo Bhagvate Vaasudevaye"

  2. #22
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    Re: Cause for Rebirth - A Question.

    Quote Originally Posted by Seeker View Post
    My understanding is that unfulfilled desires cause us to come back and be reborn. This includes the desire for moksha, which when attained in a particular birth enables us to be free of desires and the associated illness of lust, greed etc.. Other type of desires (wealth, fame, pleasure, revenge…) gives you a learning experience that there is nothing in them and the only desire that matters is the one for liberation from the cycle of death and birth. For those unwilling to learn, the cycle perpetuates.
    Namaste Seeker,
    This seems quite similar to the Buddhist presentation of the Three Poisons, self grasping etc.

  3. #23

    Re: Cause for Rebirth - A Question.

    Namaste

    It seems the cause for rebirth while one is already in the conditioned state has been repeated here enough. But how we first became bound is still missing. I find some explanations on lila very unsatisfactory, this would mean that brahman enjoys evil and is wrathful and vengeful and to submit to him is a forced love out of fear. That sounds more like the Jewish Old testiment version of Yahweh.

    As I see with Sri krsna lila and vishnu tattva lila is something very different, brahman descends into this world and liberates and delivers by his Divya janma, and all who come in contact with him are liberated, both suras and asuras (Kamsa) . Also brahman descends through man or the jivanmukta through purified mind and senses and that liberated being only gives benediction to all beings with whatever words actions and deeds, this is seva, directly from brahman. Also brahman is siva, always known as auspicious, rudra who destroys defilements. So brahman of vedanta is always divine, auspicious, delivering all beings with compassion and transcendental powers.

    There is also the lila of the rishis, who took birth in dwarka and was trapped in the narak city or city of he'll, just to feel the bliss of liberation of being released by sri krsna, this is lila and is a deep samadhi lila, not bound in the gunas, I see this as divine play.

    The problem of the existence of evil and bound up in states of suffering makes no senses at all. How pure consciousness falls from divine state without the inclusion of free will makes no senses at all. If it does then the God of the Old testament is right in part, but I can't accept it.

  4. #24

    Re: Cause for Rebirth - A Question.

    Namaste,

    This is part personal view based on what I see and experience and other things.

    Buddha sassana will be re introduced back into india to balance out the obsessive purva mimamsa and over intellectualization of vedanta, what to speak of the sentimentality of the bhakti traditions.

    Apart from the entrance to the west Buddha Dharma has a whole circle surrounding India and will re emerge, anyone who thinks that vedanta and buddha dharma ( which vast majority of Hindus do) are separate or opposed or higher or lower teaching doesn't know what they are going on about. The way Vedanta is at this point in time is in need of help of Buddha sassana to bring back the balance. And personally I think there will be a new avatar quite soon who will set the records straight and bring back the alignment of dharma. It may well be HH dalia lama in his next birth, as he has said in few places that Tibet was once the chela of India and now India will be the Chela of the knowledges that was kept sacred and secure.

  5. #25
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    Re: Cause for Rebirth - A Question.

    Quote Originally Posted by markandeya 108 dasa View Post
    personally I think there will be a new avatar quite soon who will set the records straight and bring back the alignment of dharma.
    Interesting. There has been an attempt of sorts, though it's not Buddhism. The Navayana rejects all the core teachings of Buddha Dharma, which is a pity as they have missed an opportunity I feel.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Navayana

    It's also a great pity that Kashmirir Shaivism has declined to such an extent. It is an amazing system.

  6. #26

    Re: Cause for Rebirth - A Question.

    Namaste,

    The vipassana movements and practices are spreading and gaining a lot of momentum in india at the moment.

    There are lots of details that I have missed out, one who knows buddha dharma correctly will see that there is no conflict at all with vedanta, purvamimamsa and even the bhakti traditions, as for some reason devotion is excluded, to think Buddhism is impersonal or lacks the idea of seva is unfounded it Buddhism.

    I'm going from memory here

    Buddha dharma is svakato, well spoken, rightly spoken

    Pachima janatanukampa manasa

    Spoken with compassion for later generations

    Sassamana brahmanim pajam sadeva manussam sayam abhinna sachikatva

    It's seekers and sages, celestial and human beings, he has by deep insight revealed the Truth

    Sattham sabyanjanam kevala paripunnam parisiddham brahma-cariyam pakasesi

    He has explained the spiritual life of complete purity in its essence and conventions

    Yoccanta suddhabara nana locano

    Possesing the clear sight of wisdom

    Yo magapakamata bheda bhinnako

    Illuminating the path and it's fruit, the deathless

    Vandanthoham carissami buddhasseva subodhitam

    And in devotion I will walk the truthful path os awakening.

    These are just a few lines from pali chants, not good spelling, I memorized these chants when I was 20 and there are some errors.

  7. #27
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    Re: Cause for Rebirth - A Question.

    Quote Originally Posted by devotee View Post
    Namaste Viraja,



    The "original cause" -- this question haunts us all. Why ? Because, we all have a feeling that there must be cause for everything. Is a cause necessary for everything ? Can't there be anything without any cause ?

    We know from Shruti that the ultimate reason for everything is Brahman Itself. Brahman is a peculiar entity (?) which cannot be conceived by any concepts this mind can grasp i.e. there is nothing in this world which can be likened with Brahman. What is Brahman in its absolute state ? Nirguna i.e. beyond three gunas i.e Sattva, Raja and Tama. How are these gunas created when the Brahman is Nirguna and why ? If we read MAndukya Upanishad carefully, we come to understand that :

    a) Turiya or the Fourth or the Nirguna Brahman is the Ultimate Reality. 7th sloka of this Upanishad tries to describe this state/foot of Brahman. It also says that it is Advaitam i.e. it alone exists. If that is so, then what about Vishva, Taijasa and PrAjna ... the three states earlier told by this Upanishad ? Explanation of this intriguing issue has been tried to be explained by many great scholars. However, we cannot deny the fact that Turiya is always present and as it is One alone, it is never contaminated with the three gunas. It is the essence of everything.

    This Reality has another three states which are complete by themselves, per this Upanishad :
    i) Vishva i.e. waking state, this Gross World where the Brahman whose consciousness is outward (i.e. he perceives the things of enjoyment separate from himself) enjoys this gross world with its 19 mouths. So, this realm is for enjoyment of this gross world.
    ii) Taijasa i.e. the subtle world (after death and before birth) where the Brahman, the sleeping state, whose consciousness is inward, i.e. it looks at things made up of its of mental impressions enjoys dream objects / world with its nineteen mouths. So, this realm, too, is for enjoyment of Brahman of its Dream World.
    iii) PrAjna i.e. unified mass of consciousness which is the Lord of everything and every being (in the above two worlds), origin and end of all beings and in this state it doesn't desire anything and doesn't see dream i.e. it is not deluded. It is the knower of everything at all times, it is omnipotent and blissful. Its mouth is consciousness and it enjoys bliss.

    So, what does it say ? The origin and end of the Visva and Taijasa is PrAjna. PrAjna too is Unified Mass of Consciousness i.e. it is one with the two worlds in the form of consciousness and yet it "creates" two different and "dissolves" into itself.

    When did it happen and why ?
    Svetasvatar Upanishad comes to our help :

    Sloka 9 says :

    Conscious objects (all beings e.g. humans, animals etc.) and Unconscious objects, the Lord of everything (i.e. God, the third state of Brahman i.e. PrAjna ), everything under the Lordship of God, are all unborn and uncreated. When one realises this truth that all these three i.e. Conscious, unconscious beings, God i.e. the Creator and the Creation are One Brahman then the Individual being becomes Infinite, one with the Universe and free from any agentship.

    ===> There is nothing in this universe which is "created" ... i.e. everything just changes its form i.e. the desire "to be many" (Bahushyamah) in Brahman is eternal.

    &&&&&
    So, does this discussion add anything new to our knowledge ? The Brahman exists in two dimensions of Reality simultaneously. In one dimension, it is free from all gunas and all activities and without any desire. In another state it is pregnant with primal cause, "I should be many" and that creates three states of existence. One is the Origin, end of all beings and it is all knower and the lord of everything in the two states.

    Now, how does it happen ? How does the One become Many ? Bhagwad Gita says : It is possible by its power of MAyA of God which has three essential gunas : Sattava, Rajas and Tama and with the combination of which everything is created. MAyA has two powers : It conceals the true nature of Brahman and power of projection by which it brings essential things for creation into being i.e. 5 Mahabhootas, Observing Mind, Intellect and I-ness (Ahamkaar).

    As there was never a time when it all started, MAyA with all this creation are all beginningless. It was always there. How do the Karma come into being ? Karma is due to I-ness (Bhagwad Gita says). Whatever we do is actually done by the three gunas of nature. The I-ness which also is of three types due to its association with gunas owns up things performed by the three gunas of nature and thus binds itself to the Karma.

    &&&&
    Does a new soul get created ? Yes and No. There actually is no soul. No soul, in reality, exists. There is just one Atman which is reflected into Prakriti/MAyA and that creates an illusion of many beings. How many ? It is Infinite. There are changes in the Prakriti elements but no change is there in AtmAn ever. There is a thought of "I-ness" which thinks that it is bound to certain Karma / Gunas. This I-ness is also ever changing. The "I" which dreams and "I" which acts in our dream are both coming from same soul and also all those "I"s that come into our dream in different beings seen in our dream are all coming from the consciousness of same soul. So, the multitude is all illusion. When awake, our soul projects just one "I" and when we sleep, the same consciousness develops and projects many "I"s. So, the number of "I" is not sacrosanct. It has actually no meaning.

    Let's take an example of a Star fish. It has its own "I" which identifies itself with various Karma and binds itself with it. When it is cut into two from middle in exactly two halves, what happens to the newly created two starfish ? The two star fish will have their own "I"s which would be different from the original "I" of original starfish but they would bind themselves to Karma which is already existing of the original starfish or any suitable Karma already present in the nature. The aggregate of observing mind, intellect and "I"ness has a strong nature to bind together with Karma present in the nature and create an illusory entity.

    What would happen when we take a rebirth ? Will we be born with the same "I" as we have now ? No. It will be a completely different "I". Only the Karma will be same and nothing else. There will be different Observing mind, different Intellect and a different "I"-ness. Due to Karma these three elements of nature come into being and associate themselves with the Karma giving an illusion of a separate entity we call "soul".

    OM
    Namaste Devotee ji,

    Thanks for this explanation. You have tried to explain something extremely profound as succinctly as possible. From the passage above, I understand 3 things:

    1. That brahman exists in 2 states simultaneously - one is of Thuriya, the 4th state and the other is a mixed state of Vishva, Taijasa and Prajna.

    2. That Prajna is the origin and end of the Vishva and Taijasa states. (Perhaps this Prajna state is the same as the Thuriya. )

    3. That the mixed state of Vishva, Taijasa and Prajna is like that because of Maya shakti and that when the individual soul (an illusionary concept) gets born on earth, it is the maya shakti that gets perceived as the 'I' factor and in reality soul cannot be classified or categorized as it does not have separate existence.

    This is fantastic! I still do not get a complete picture but I right now have a starting point and a rough picture. I shall learn more from the above given pointers!

    Thank you very much for the guidance!

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

  8. #28
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    Re: Cause for Rebirth - A Question.

    Quote Originally Posted by markandeya 108 dasa View Post
    Namaste,

    The vipassana movements and practices are spreading and gaining a lot of momentum in india at the moment.

    There are lots of details that I have missed out, one who knows buddha dharma correctly will see that there is no conflict at all with vedanta, purvamimamsa and even the bhakti traditions, as for some reason devotion is excluded, to think Buddhism is impersonal or lacks the idea of seva is unfounded it Buddhism.
    Vipassana is very popular at the moment but it lacks the necessary balance of samatha. Buddha taught both in combination. Actually, you make a good point about devotion in Buddhism. The Tibetan tradition has many Yidams; offerings and prostrations are made. Also guru yoga is much emphasized. So I guess it depends on the tradition and the individual.

  9. #29

    Re: Cause for Rebirth - A Question.

    Anjali Srivijaya,

    It may need a separate thread, but as long as nobody minds I think it's good to continue here as it will evolve into perfect synthesis.

    According to abhidharma vipassana is not possible without samatha, samatha calm abiding is the prerequisite of vipassana, if mind is unbalanced then insight will not happen. Samatha also has a cause, which is vitakka pali and vitarka sanskrit having applied thought on an object of meditation which is usually the breath and recommended if mind is wavering to much to use a mantra with the rytham of the breath. When this is developed then vichara is harmonised then there is steadiness on the meditation object and samatha is then the basis and reaches first jhana and mind is uplifted to the state of priti or feeling of spontaneous joy and happiness in concentration. From this vipassana is activated and vichara then is associated with study of phenomenon and one sees the rises and fall of all conditions in the mind and full insight into annica or impermanence, one then by direct insight sees the causes and conditions of rebirth and becoming.

    So samatha and vipassana although different are functional with each other, you can't have one without the other.

    Sometimes people get a flash of insight into impermanence and not self and feel shock and is destabilising, this is due to lack of samatha.

    I'm quite busy but can go into more details at some other point to discuss the foundations of samatha which is Dana, giving with generosity and sila which is self moral conduct in body, speech and mind.

    Thervada is a samadhi tradition, not intellectual . I will try to find out important sutta from the majjhima nikaya on the meaning of the gradual path leading to full awakening.

    I noticed your in UK, if you haven't already been please try and visit the Thai forest tradition of ajahn chahs branch monasteries.

    Goenka does good work, I've done a few of his retreats, and spent 6 months in a different vipassana centre, learning from various teachers.

    I consider that the upanishads are for the few, although interesting to dip into from time to time, the teaching s of the upanishads is very high and in ancient india those knowledges which was experienced by pratyaksha direct perception was only spoken to the few who were ready. Many of the bikkhus I know have a lot of respect for vedanta and upanishads but treat them with caution. They have the correct balance as far as I can see.
    Last edited by markandeya 108 dasa; 08 December 2017 at 02:09 AM.

  10. #30
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    Re: Cause for Rebirth - A Question.

    Namaste M1d,

    Quote Originally Posted by markandeya 108 dasa View Post
    Buddha sassana will be re introduced back into india to balance out the obsessive purva mimamsa and over intellectualization of vedanta, what to speak of the sentimentality of the bhakti traditions.

    Apart from the entrance to the west Buddha Dharma has a whole circle surrounding India and will re emerge, anyone who thinks that vedanta and buddha dharma ( which vast majority of Hindus do) are separate or opposed or higher or lower teaching doesn't know what they are going on about. The way Vedanta is at this point in time is in need of help of Buddha sassana to bring back the balance. And personally I think there will be a new avatar quite soon who will set the records straight and bring back the alignment of dharma. It may well be HH dalia lama in his next birth, as he has said in few places that Tibet was once the chela of India and now India will be the Chela of the knowledges that was kept sacred and secure.
    Let's understand that Buddhism and Advaita Vedanta are not contradictory to each other. I don't consider Buddha's teachings as different from Hindu Dharma. How can it be ? Sanatan Dharma has many paths which are apparently conflicting against one or the other path's beliefs and practices. Why should we keep Buddhism, Jainism or even Sikhism outside Sanatan Dharma fold ? The basic tenets are the same and all these have come from our old Sanatan Dharma alone.

    Buddha doesn't encourage any highly complicated discussion on AtmAn, God or how does it all work. His aim is quite simple : This life is full of misery and it is an endless phenomena going in cycles and he teaches on how to get rid of this vicious endless cycle. He lays emphasis on leading a life of virtues and practising meditation for stilling mindwaves and realising the Truth which reveals Itself when all stray mindwaves go silent. Let's note that Mahayan Buddhism doesn't shun discussion on highly complicated Reality just like VedAnta does.

    What does VedAnta say ? VedAnta goes into describing and explaining highly complicated phenomena which creates this world, births, deaths, God and the ultimate Truth. Vedanta also advises to go within in meditation and seek the Truth. VedAnta too emphasises on leading a noble life full of virtues.

    So, where is the difference ? The differences are in choices of words and preferences of the paths.

    Reality has to be attained and whether we take the route of Vedanta or Buddhism, how does it matter ? We should keep our eyes fixed on our goal and that is attaining Nirvana, freedom from all miseries and attainment of our True blissful nature again.

    &&&&

    That said, the scriptures of Advaita VedAnta don't make the whole picture of Advaita VedAnta. Advaita VedAnta is not complete without instructions of a True Guru of Advaita VedAnta. So, let's have no misconception that VedAnta is just a pack of high philosophy of no practical use.

    OM
    "Om Namo Bhagvate Vaasudevaye"

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