Is rebirth always existed?

This might be a case of language, but there seems a difference between something that can’t be found and it not existing at all.

I often can’t find things but still am confident they exist !

But in the Visuddhimagga there’s a quote clearly affirming that samsara wasn’t created: “For here there is no Brahma God, Creator of the round of births” (XIX 20, translation by Bhikkhu Nanamoli).

Once I asked my teacher that if we continue to look our past lives through concentration what will happen. He said if one practices that, and starts to see his past lives starting from the immediate past one as 1st then one before that then one before that…he said if one goes like this then one will realise four noble truths and will attain stream-entry. So according to my teacher seeing past lives in order to search for the beginning will result in inevitable realisation of 4 noble truths. So seeing and studying one’s own past lives is like seeing impermanence of sankhara only.
Based on above my conclusion is that continuous rebirths are result of geting distracted because of ignorance and craving.

I’ve another thing to propose to our reflection: we know that the element involved in rebirth is consciousness (viññāṇa), that in the Pañcattaya-sutta is stated be related inseparably to the other aggregates, among which the body (rūpa). Now, we know that the human body doesn’t exist from eternity, but it is a product of natural evolution. So we must conclude that even stream of consciousness, that depends also on it, is a historical product. And if consciosuness too is a historical product, than the rebirth, which is connected to it, doesn’t always existed. What do you think?

Your argument is logically invalid without the additional premise that human bodies are the only physical basis for consciousness. This is obviously rejected in the suttas, since they refer to all sorts of realms of existence.


I based my statement on Pañcattayasutta: “But if any ascetic or brahmin should say this: ‘Apart from form, feeling, perception, and choices, I will describe the coming and going of consciousness, its passing away and reappearing, its growth, increase, and maturity.’ That is not possible” (translation by Bhikkhu Sujato). Here the reference is to the five aggregates of the human person.

Here the reference is to the five aggregates of the human person.

What makes you say that it’s the five aggregates of a human specifically? On your proposed reading, the Buddha thought that only humans have consciousness. This is obviously false.

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In the Milindapañha, when Nāgasena try to explain to the king the anattā teaching, says that is by the union of the body’s parts and the aggregates that Nāgasena exists as saṅkhā, samaññā, paññatti, vohāra, nāmamatta. In this case, is clear that the aggregates were refered to the human person. And yes, I totally agree with you that, according to buddhist teaching, not only humans have consciousness.

Yes it disintegrates and again forms.

Offcourse when there was no rebirth it was between death from last life and birth in next life…in between these 2 processes rebirth don’t exist. It seems that you have answered your own question. That’s what teaching of impermanence is, isn’t it? That everything dies and nothing last forever.