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What is it that is reborn?

rebirth
anatta
soul
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#41

Did I say you said it was false? Does it matter?

Come on, why pick on words? If I though you meant it this way, I would say it drectly, wouldn’t I?


#42

Correction: The verbal expression of the dhamma is concocted. satisfied now ?


#43

Sure, because the difference between the Dhamma and its verbal expression is not trivial :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


#44

But that is exactly what I said. Did you even read my post ? You are playing word games and then accusing me of doing so.


#45

We were doing is basically terminological discussion. We agreed on using Dhamma for denoting the direct knowledge of the world and verbal expression of the Dhamma or Buddhavacana to denote, well, its verbal expression. Your earlier teminology was somewhat different, so I thought it was necessary to correct it. Sorry for repeating your basic idea from a previous post, it was unnecessary.

Now, as for accusing you of playing word games or claiming that the Dhamma is false. I am not accusing you of anything, we are not in a court of justice. We are discussing Dhamma and rebirth. There is a big difference between clarification of terminology used, and I apologize if it made you feel personally attacked, and thinking that your partner in discussion is somehow implying things about you, like when you write ‘I never said Parinibbana is a place’ or ‘I never said Dhamma is wrong’. Man, who said you did say something like this? Why do you read this meaning into our comments? What’s the reason for this? That’s basically my point.

I mean, stop seeing people here so aggressively, like they are out to attack you or accuse you of something. Even if my comment on terminology was ill-advised in your opinion, it doesn’t mean I was sitting in front of my laptop clapping my hands with a fiendish smirk when I was writing it. Just say something: ‘Oh, Ilya, you know, this is basically what I said in my comment, looks like we are arguing about the terminology here.’ - ‘Well yeah, true, DaoYaoTao. Maybe my comment was even kind of off the mark, I don’t know’. Relax. Take it easy.


#46

We went off topic and missed an interesting connection. @Erik_ODonnell bought up the dichotomy of the physical and non-physical conceptual framework and @LXNDR brought up the non-verbal expression of the dhamma as expressing truth beyond concepts. I just noticed in another discussion where @sujato said

Love it! So it seems that were in heading in nice direction and I learnt a lot.
Very Sorry if my posts seemed argumentative.


#47

Yep. Theri Dhammadinna, who the Buddha praised as the foremost Dhamma teacher among his nun disciplies, teaches that the path is fabricated in MN 44.

“Is the noble eightfold path fabricated or unfabricated?”

“The noble eightfold path is fabricated.”

What sets the Buddhadhamma fabrication apart is that its correct execution leads to the end of fabrication. Indeed, the word nippapañca is a synonym for Nibbana.


#48

Campfire become a grass fire
Grass fire becomes a bush fire
Bushfire becomes a house fire
It is the raging fire which gets reborn due to nutrients.


#49

Thanks @Mkoll. I have tears in my eyes.


#50

What is it that is reborn?

If I understand the Buddha correctly, the answer would be: it is an invalid question.

Remember that the Buddha taught that both are wrong:

  • A permanent soul
  • Complete destruction after death

His intention is rather than encouraging us to develop a higher selves or to enjoy pleasures as much as possible, he wanted us to totally give up this idea of self theory. By giving up this theory of self, it is possible through practise that we can have a break through and catch a glimpse of total absence of self - enlightenment.

Having gone through the emptiness, it would seem that our intelligence is nothing but delusion. The intelligence that allows us to differenciate black and white is delusion, there’s only more or less gray, even gray itself is not real.

I’d imagine that an arahant, an enlightened being who has experienced the bliss and have compassion. If you were to ask him “what is it that is reborn?”, would he answer:

  • there is a soul jumping through bodies (creating more delusion and suffering in you)
  • or there is nothing after death? (Causing you to worship sensual pleasures)

Probably he would answer that it’s something in between and it’s not like what you can possibly imagine, just to make sure you stay on the right track.

But I believe that enlightenment is the only way to know the answer, maybe we will find out what is this impermanent soul business is all about! But by that time probably we won’t be able to put it in words that can be understood.

So… what is it that is reborn? Do you need the answer?


#51

Indeed.

It’s right there in SN 12.35.

“Venerable sir, what now is birth, and for whom is there this birth?”

“Not a valid question,” the Blessed One replied. “Bhikkhu, whether one says, ‘What now is birth, and for whom is there this birth?’ or whether one says, ‘Birth is one thing, the one for whom there is this birth is another’ - both these assertions are identical in meaning; they differ only in the phrasing.

Since we are thrashing around in a bog of ignorance, most of our questions are also bound to be delusional. And the process of uprooting this delusion culminates in the eradication of attachment and conceit. In the meantime, a puthujjana will continue to flail around, but an ariyasavaka will at least know the invalid questions that need to be put aside.


#52

The Buddha gives a very clear answer to the question in the very sutta you point to SN12.35. But instead of highlighting the answer in that sutta, you highlight the negative aspect. Did you not read the entire sutta?

Here is the answer:
“Bhikkhu, whether one says, ‘What now is existence, and for whom is there this existence?’ or whether one says, ‘Existence is one thing, the one for whom there is this existence is another’—both these assertions are identical in meaning; they differ only in the phrasing…. Without veering towards either of these extremes: ‘With clinging as condition, existence…. With craving as condition, clinging…. With feeling as condition, craving…. With contact as condition, feeling…. With the six sense bases as condition, contact…. With name-and-form as condition, the six sense bases…. With consciousness as condition, name-and-form…. With volitional formations as condition, consciousness.’”

The buddha is saying that the process of rebirth is integral to the principle of conditionality that runs through all existence. He is also saying that the conceptual scheme which draws a dichotomy between self and not-self is not valid just as @Mat and @sujato have said in other threads. Thus, any questions within that invalid conceptual scheme will also be invalid. But for the Buddha, the concept of rebirth is valid and is re-framed within an entirely new conceptual scheme that avoids the said invalid dichotomies.

I can understand how frustrating and vexing the Buddha must have found it to explain this to people. You need to be able to shift your mind from one conceptual framework to a new conceptual framework whilst using the language of the old one.

Another way to answer my original question would be to simply say:
Don’t ask ‘what is reborn?’. Instead ask, what is the process of rebirth? By what means does rebirth occur? The answer, for the Buddha, seems to be paṭiccasamuppāda. Add to that of course, that the whole philosophy is interrelated. You can’t understand one part without understanding the other parts.


#53

So the answer is “there’s nobody getting reborn, it’s just a process of dependent origination”?


#54

The sutta explains the condition that is necessary for birth to happen. It doesn’t explain who or what is reborn - that question is delegated as invalid. I don’t see any way to come up with an answer for the title of this thread within the framework of the Dhamma.


#55

What exactly do you mean when you say the question is not valid? Not valid in what sense ?

lol. :smile: That’s fair enough. So you just mean Buddhism has no answer to that question?


#56

@bachew
Possibly, or perhaps:

There is rebirth, it is a process of conditioned arising.
There is an end to rebirth, it is an end to conditioned arising.

But to be honest, perhaps everything I said is just complete rubbish. Thanks for taking the time to read my post and responding to it.

Peace.


#57

Ven. Thanissaro explains it:
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn12/sn12.035.than.html

An invalid question can’t be answered, but it can be eradicated - and this is described at the end of the very same sutta.

“With the remainderless fading away and cessation of ignorance, whatever kinds of contortions, manoeuvres, and vacillations there may be - ‘What now is birth, and for whom is there this birth?’…‘What now are volitional formations, and for whom are there these volitional formations?’ or ‘Volitional formations are one thing, the one for whom there are these volitional formations is another,’ or ‘The soul and the body are the same,’ or ‘The soul is one thing, the body is another’ - all these are abandoned, cut off at the root, made like a palm stump, obliterated so that they are no more subject to future arising.”


#58

https://buddhistas.wordpress.com/2017/03/05/yo/


#59

[quote=“Mkoll, post:47, topic:4724”]Yep. Theri Dhammadinna, who the Buddha praised as the foremost Dhamma teacher among his nun disciplies, teaches that the path is fabricated in MN 44.

“Is the noble eightfold path fabricated or unfabricated?”
“The noble eightfold path is fabricated.”

What sets the Buddhadhamma fabrication apart is that its correct execution leads to the end of fabrication. Indeed, the word nippapañca is a synonym for Nibbana.
[/quote]

‘Nippapañca’ may possibly be a synonym for Nibbana however this does not mean the noble eightfold path is papañca.

When MN 44 states the noble eightfold path is conditioned (saṅkhato) instead of unconditioned (asaṅkhato), is seems to be stating it follows or is subject to a process of cause & effect (idappaccayatā) rather than the noble eightfold path is papañca, as follows:

In one of right view, right intention comes into being; in one of right intention, right speech comes into being; in one of right speech, right action comes into being; in one of right action, right livelihood comes into being; in one of right livelihood, right effort comes into being; in one of right effort, right mindfulness comes into being; in one of right mindfulness, right concentration comes into being.

MN 117

How could the noble eightfold path be ‘papañca’ or mental proliferating? If the noble eightfold path was papañca, it could not develop samadhi & the four jhana.

The word ‘sankhara’ does not always refer to the operating of ‘sankhara khandha’. For example, MN 43 refers to the ‘aayu sankhara’, which continues to operate during the cessation of perception & feeling.

Friend, are vitality-fabrications (āyusaṅkhārā) the same thing as feeling-states? Or are vitality-fabrications one thing, and feeling-states another?"

“Vitality-fabrications are not the same thing as feeling-states, friend. If vitality-fabrications were the same thing as feeling-states, the emergence of a monk from the attainment of the cessation of feeling & perception would not be discerned. It’s because vitality-fabrications are one thing and feeling-states another that the emergence of a monk from the attainment of the cessation of perception & feeling is discerned.”

“When this body lacks how many qualities does it lie discarded & forsaken, like a senseless log?”

“When this body lacks these three qualities — vitality (āyu), heat & consciousness — it lies discarded & forsaken like a senseless log.”

“What is the difference between one who is dead, who has completed his time, and a monk who has attained the cessation of perception & feeling?”

“In the case of the one who is dead, who has completed his time, his bodily fabrications have ceased & subsided, his verbal fabrications … his mental fabrications have ceased & subsided, his vitality (āyu) is exhausted, his heat subsided, & his faculties are scattered. But in the case of a monk who has attained the cessation of perception & feeling, his bodily fabrications have ceased & subsided, his verbal fabrications … his mental fabrications have ceased & subsided, his vitality (āyu) is not exhausted, his heat has not subsided & his [five sense] faculties are exceptionally clear. This is the difference between one who is dead, who has completed his time, and a monk who has attained the cessation of perception & feeling.”

:ram:


#60

The jewel lies beneath rubbish!

Actually we could label the habit, energy, or clinging that persists along the process as soul that is reborn, but maybe not permanent. But then it would be almost like saying nothing is reborn, but yet somehow it feels like there is something. But for certain, that something is not what we can imagine, just like a blind man cannot imagine how red color smells like. So in the end we’re still left with nothing being reborn, square one.

This kind of discussion is good, it keeps us reasonable :wink: