The Buddha clearly stated that each person is at his/her own level of understanding. Many Western Buddhist teachers will tell you that there’s no problem if you don’t believe in rebirth. Many schools of Buddhism teach that there is a subtle consciousness, sometimes called a "mind stream" or luminous mind, that is not subject to birth and death. The reason you have difficulty with rebirth … Are There Procedures for Attaining Magga Phala, Jhāna and Abhiññā? Attaining the Sotāpanna Stage via Removing Ditthasava, 12. Barbara O'Brien is a Zen Buddhist practitioner who studied at Zen Mountain Monastery. “Self” and “no-self”: A Simple Analysis – Do We Always Act with Avijja? Three Kinds of Happiness – What is Niramisa Sukha? Nirödha and Vaya – Two Different Concepts, Anicca, Dukkha, Anatta – Wrong Interpretations, The Way to Nibbāna – Transcription of a Discourse by Waharaka Thero, The Incessant Distress (“Peleema”) – Key to Dukkha Sacca. For those who do not believe in rebirth, there is a simple way to get started without having to believe in the rebirth process. Rebirth is one of the foundational doctrines of Buddhism, along with karma, nirvana and moksha. Do Things Just Happen? Dhamma, Saṅkhāra, Sankata, Rupa, Viññāṇa, Gati, Āsava, Anusaya, Complexity of the Mind – Viññāna and Sankhāra, Citta, Manō, Viññāna – Nine Stages of a Thought, What Are Kilesa (Mental Impurities)? The important point is that even in the case of a reborn lama, it is not a "soul" that is "reborn. The entire process of change from one life to the next is called punarbhava (Sanskrit) or punabbhava (Pāli), literally "becoming again"; it is also known simply as bhava, i.e. Parts of it make sense, but only until they touch on karma, rebirth, or not-self and, eventually, they all do. The ocean might also represent the dharmakaya, which is the unity of all things and beings. 3. How to Cultivate the Noble Eightfold Path starting with Anicca, Dukkha, Anatta, Difference Between Giving Up Valuables and Losing Interest in Worthless, Root Cause of Anicca – Five Stages of a Sankata, Why a Sotāpanna is Better off than any King, Emperor, or a Billionaire, Anulōma Patilōma Paticca Samuppāda – Key to Sōtapanna Stage, Sōtapanna Anugāmi – No More Births in the Apāyās, Four Conditions for Attaining Sōtapanna Magga/Phala, Sotapatti Anga – The Four Qualities of a Sotapanna, Sammā Diṭṭhi – Realization, Not Memorization. For many, death represents the ultimate unknown, the ultimate lesson in impermanence. Many people say, “What suffering? The Path is rich enough without them. The German scholar Helmuth von Glasenapp, in a comparative study of Vedanta (a major branch of Hinduism) and Buddhism (Akademie der Wissenschaften and Literatur, 1950), explained this distinction clearly: "The Atman doctrine of the Vedanta and the Dharma theory of Buddhism exclude each other. How do we Decide which View is Wrong View (Diṭṭhi)? Established (firm) view that there is no rebirth process is one included in micchā diṭṭhi, which is one of the (strong) dasa akusala, that makes a birth in the apāyā (four lowest realms of existence) possible. 1. We need to find the true laws of nature that the Buddha discovered. Buddhism denies the existence of a permanent, god-created soul or an unchanging entity that transmigrates from one life to another. Both Hinduism and Jainism use the Sanskrit word atman to describe the individual self or soul, which is thought to be eternal. What Does Buddha Dhamma Say about Creator, Satan, Angels, and Demons? Can there be Buddhism without belief in rebirth? Craving for Pornography – How to Reduce the Tendency, “The Life of the Buddha” by Bhikkhu Nānamoli, Free Will in Buddhism – Connection to Sankhara, 3. Photo by Sasamon Rattanalangkarn on Flickr. This cycle is considered to be dukkha, unsatisfactory and painful. Viññāṇa (Consciousness) can be of Many Different Types and Forms, 3. Why are Tilakkhana not Included in 37 Factors of Enlightenment? Buddhism: 11 Common Misunderstandings and Mistakes, Bardo Thodol: The Tibetan Book of the Dead, Buddhist Perspectives on the Abortion Debate, Nirvana and The Concept of Freedom in Buddhism, Reincarnation in Buddhism: What the Buddha Didn't Teach. Rebirth in Buddhism refers to its teaching that the actions of a person lead to a new existence after death, in an endless cycle called saṃsāra. Therefore, one can be a “secular Buddhist”; that could be an intermediate state before becoming a Buddhist. 47:29. Therefore, one can be a “secular Buddhist”; that could be an intermediate state before becoming a Buddhist. Indriya Make Phassa and Āyatana Make Samphassa, Citta – Basis of Our Experience and Actions, Vipāka Vēdanā and “Samphassa jā Vēdanā” in a Sensory Event, Vision Is a Series of “Snapshots” – Movie Analogy, Chachakka Sutta – No “Self” in Initial Sensory Experience, Sakkāya Ditthi in Terms of Attā or “Self” or “Ātma”, An Apparent “Self” Is Involved in Kamma Generation, Paticca Samuppāda – Not ‘Self’ or ‘No-Self’, Paṭicca Samuppāda – A “Self” Exists Due to Avijjā. News Article on Robin Williams and Buddhist Meditation, Second Largest Religion by State in the US. We need to keep intact this unique message, with the understanding that not everyone comprehends it right away. I'm interested to hear some opinions of people who know more about Buddhism than me. If you see something inconsistent on the website, please let me know. What is the only Akusala Removed by a Sōtapanna? Magga Phala via Cultivation of Satta Bojjhaṅga, 10. Buddhism without rebirth? In the traditional Buddhist languages of Pāli and Sanskrit, there is no word corresponding exactly to the English "rebirth". Since there is no formal established way to declare oneself a “Buddhist” (or a need to do that), it is really in one’s own mind whether one is a Buddhist or not. Thinking is: Why can’t we have Buddhism without rebirth (because I do not believe in rebirth) and Nibbāna (because that seems to be too complicated)? Concept of rebirth is a roadblock for many to follow Buddhism. 6. I am not sure what will qualify for “proof”, but one thing is very clear: A strong case can be made for it. I strongly suggest the following post:  “Starting on the Path without Belief in Rebirth“. I don't think the Buddha spoke of this law but … Each wave is a separate phenomenon that depends on many conditions for its existence, but a wave is not separable from the ocean. If Everything is Anicca Should We Just give up Everything? Reincarnation is the passing of a soul or spirit into a new body. Buddha means, “one who has removed bhava (and attained Nibbāna)”. Sometimes people trying to "catch" Buddhists in a logical fallacy will ask how the facts of human population growth can accommodate the doctrine of reincarnation. But the real suffering is in the lowest four realms; that is why the complete picture of 31 realms of existence is important. A Decrease font size. Since there is no physical connection between the two lives (that existed many miles apart), the connection must be outside the physical realm, i.e., the mental energy. Pattana Dhamma – Connection to Cause and Effect (Hethu Phala). – Connection to Cetasika, Suffering in This Life – Role of Mental Impurities, Satipattana Sutta – Relevance to Suffering in This Life. Is Eating Meat an Akusala Kamma (Immoral Deed)? – Ditthi Is Key, Key to Sotapanna Stage – Ditthi and Vicikicca, Pabhassara Citta, Radiant Mind, and Bhavaṅga, Methods of Delivery of Dhamma by the Buddha, Misconceptions on the Topics the Buddha “Refused to Answer”. Some sources suggest that the rebirth is directed by the previous person's vows or intentions. In many respects, this is an important book. However, the Buddha also said, “My Dhamma is good in the beginning, good in the middle, and good at the end”. The Buddha explicitly said that there is no atman, however. Although rebirth and karma are often linked together, it is karma that is of primary importance; rebirth is secondary. There is evidence from many different areas, and that are consistent with the Buddha’s other teachings, for example, the existence of a manōmaya kāya; see, “Manomaya Kaya (Gandhabba) and the Physical Body”. The process seen from a universal perspective, encomp… Buddhism embraces the concept of rebirth, also commonly known as reincarnation, as a fundamental principle that governs our world. Tipitaka Commentaries – Helpful or Misleading? Finally, it will take a real effort to sort through all different versions of “Buddhism” that are out there. – Is Everything Determined by Kamma? Right Speech – How to Avoid Accumulating Kamma. But when that is done, the uniqueness, the real message, gets lost. The Pāli or Sinhala word for Buddhist is “ Bhauddhaya ” meaning “a person trying the stop the rebirth process” (“ Bhava + uddha ”). Buddha Dhamma describe the laws of nature, and there cannot be any inconsistencies. And there is no need to pretend; what one believes is what it is. The coming into existence of another being based on conditions arising from a previous existence. Thus Buddhism is able to explain the continuity of the individual without recourse to the belief in an "eternal soul", an idea which contradicts the universal truth of impermanence. Its clear that you aren't annihilated. Does the First Noble Truth Describe only Suffering? 2. The Buddha said, “This Dhamma is unlike anything that the world has ever seen”. Part 1 - Duration: 47:29. There are plenty of references to rebirth in classical Buddhist writing. Stephen Batchelor's book, "Buddhism Without Beliefs" has attracted a lot of attention in Buddhist circles. Buddhism developed in the context of Brahmanist Indian culture, where rebirth was taken for established fact. The Buddha taught that the perception that we are all distinct, stand-alone people-units is an illusion and the chief cause of our problems. She is the author of "Rethinking Religion" and has covered religion for The Guardian,, and other outlets. We have at least the law that there can be no contradictions. Is It Necessary for a Buddhist to Eliminate Sensual Desires? Some schools of Hinduism think of the atman as the essence of Brahman that inhabits all beings. The mind becomes free of a body that is subject to decay and death (suffering). Why is Correct Interpretation of Anicca, Dukkha, Anatta so Important? In the mean time, it is important to realize that certain wrong views are bound to have adverse consequences according to Buddha Dhamma. There are two co-existing facets of Buddha Dhamma: 2. Buddha Dhamma (in its pure form) has withstood all tests to date;  see, “, However, one can actually verify the rebirth process by developing, And recent evidence confirm that there is indeed an unbroken memory record, at least in this life; see, “, Also, all we can say about what happens to an. – Three Kinds of Mindfulness, Getting to Samādhi via Formal Mediation Sessions. And this brings us to the Buddhist understanding of reincarnation. Here is the question paraphrased from a recent discussion about the rebirths of Tibetan lamas: "When I was born there were slightly more than 2.5 billion people in the world. The Basic Formal Anāpānasati Meditation, Possible Effects in Meditation – Kundalini Awakening, 9. Manomaya Kaya (Gandhabba) and the Physical Body, Out-of-Body Experience (OBE) and Manōmaya Kāya, Cuti-Patisandhi – An Abhidhamma Description. Death is only the beginning in Buddhist thought. Saddharma Pundarika Sutra (Lotus Sutra) – A Focused Analysis, Incorrect Theravada Interpretations – Historical Timeline, Buddhaghosa and Visuddhimagga – Historical Background. Meaning of Sansara (or Samsara)“;  yōjana means bond. Sīla, Samādhi, Pannā to Pannā, Sīla, Samādhi, Six Root Causes – Loka Samudaya (Arising of Suffering) and Loka Nirodhaya (Nibbana). I confess I have struggled to understand this myself, and I am probably not the best person to explain it. "becoming". However, the point is NOT to get depressed about this inevitability. One does not become a Buddhist by reciting the precepts. You can't be a Buddhist without believing in rebirth. it is as simple as that. One does not need to know all that if all one needs is a peace of mind. Next, “Ten Immoral Actions (Dasa Akusala)“, ……….. Introduction – A Scientific Approach to Buddha Dhamma, Theories of Our World – Scientific Overview, Persistent Vegetative State – Buddhist View, Patient H.M. – Different Roles of Brain in Memory, Memory Recall for Gandhabba in a Human Body, Autobiographical Memory – Preserved in Nāma Loka, Rupa and Rupakkhandha, Nāma and Nāmagotta, Response to a Sensory Stimulus – Role of Gati/Anusaya, Ārammaṇa Plays a Critical Role in a Sensory Event, Nāma Loka and Rupa Loka – Two Parts of Our World, Tipiṭaka – The Uniqueness of Buddha Dhamma, Pāli Canon Is Self-Contained but Requires Detailed Explanation, Vinaya Piṭaka – More Than Disciplinary Rules, Abhidhamma Piṭaka – Deeper Analyses of Cocepts, Pāṭihāriya (Supernormal Abilities) of a Buddha – Part I, Pāṭihāriya (Supernormal Abilities) of a Buddha – Part II, The Grand Unified Theory of Dhamma – Introduction, Gandhabbaya – Only in Human and Animal Realms, Body Types in 31 Realms – Importance of Manomaya Kaya, Gandhabbaya Sensing the World – With and Without a Physical Body, Buddha Dhamma: Non-Perceivability and Self-Consistency, Samsāric Time Scale, Buddhist Cosmology, and the Big Bang Theory, Difference Between Jhāna and Stages of Nibbāna, Power of the Human Mind – Anariya or Mundane Jhanas. Need to Experience Suffering in Order to Understand it? Is There Buddhism Without Rebirth? Having established that rebirth and Nibbāna are the “lifeblood” of Buddha Dhamma, now we can turn to the next question: What evidence is there to “prove” rebirth? Two Versions of 37 Factors of Enlightenment, Types of Bodies in 31 Realms – Connection to Jhāna, Finest Manōmaya Kaya of an Arūpāvacara Brahma, Namagotta, Bhava, Kamma Bīja, and Mano Loka (Mind Plane), Gathi to Bhava to Jathi – Ours to Control, Memory, Brain, Mind, Nama Loka, Kamma Bhava, Kamma Vipāka, Bhava and Jati – States of Existence and Births Therein, Sorting out Some Key Pāli Terms (Taṇhā, Lobha, Dosa, Moha, etc), Tanha – How We Attach Via Greed, Hate, and Ignorance, Lōbha, Dōsa, Mōha versus Rāga, Patigha, Avijjā, Hetu-Phala, Paccuppanna, and Paṭicca Samuppāda, Diṭṭhi (Wrong Views), Sammā Diṭṭhi (Good/Correct Views), Panca Indriya and Panca Bala – Five Faculties and Five Powers, Kāmaccandha and Icca – Being Blinded by Cravings, Arising of Five Aggregates Based on an Ārammaṇa, Memory Records- Critical Part of Five Aggregates, Five Aggregates – Connection to Tilakkhaṇa, Five Aggregates and Tilakkhaṇa – Introduction, Icca, Nicca, Anicca – Important Connections, “Me” and “Mine” – The Root Cause of Suffering, Difference Between “Me and Mine” and Sakkāya Diṭṭhi, Pancakkhandha or Five Aggregates – A Misinterpreted Concept, Four Noble Truths – Suffering and Its Elimination, Introduction to Citta, Vēdanā, Saññā, Sankhāra, and Viññāna, Breath Meditation Is Addictive and Harmful in the Long Run, Viññāṇa – Consciousness Together With Future Expectations, Viññāna and Sankhāra – Connection to Paṭicca Samuppāda, Ānapānasati Eliminates Mental Stress Permanently, Sati in Ānapānasati/Satipatthāna – Two Meanings of Sati, Niramisa Sukha to Nibbana Suva – The Key Step, Starting on the Path Even without Belief in Rebirth, Buddha Dhamma for an Inquiring Mind – Part I, Root of All Suffering – Ten Immoral Actions. 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