February 26, 2020 at 11:57 am #27238
So i read on this website and also in other books that rebirth is painful, mostly because the vast majority of rebirth happens in lower realms, and if we look at humans most of the humans are not on a trajectory that would lead them to a better rebirth, but either they are going to stagnate or go on a lower realm, since most of mankind does not live according to morality and buddhist principles.
I can’t find the post, but it divided mankind in 2 categories, those who seek pleasure but still respect morality, and those who seeked pleasures but were doing akusala acts. There is of course the 3rd category, people seeking dhamma or at least going in that direction but they are a minority.
I have no problem accepting that fact as i am someone who was always very critical but also shocked of the way or the world, even the average normal people who do not question or seek anything beyond their ordinary lives. At best most people are ordinary and not seeking anything, at worst they are full of greed / delusion / hatred / ignorance and spend their lives chasing ghosts. Anyway.
I understand that human life is praised as a good point toward dhamma, as it mixes both pleasure and pain, strong impermanence, and human intelligence.
So my first question is how can the buddha divide the world in 31 realms, one of which is the human plane, since mankind is only 200 000 years old. This is a very short span for our specie and as everything that araises is doomed to disappear, mankind might just disappear one day.
So what will become of the buddha worldview which divides the world in 31 realms then? What will “replace” the human realm then? Will that kind of birth be lost forever then or will there be other intelligent species such as men for potential rebirth?
Lal told me that in higher realms, beings had less incentive to study the dhamma because life is more pleasant.
But i don’t understand : first to reach higher planes, you need to have at least a strong moral / spiritual / buddhist development to create that positive karma. And i suppose the higher the realm, the more advanced on the dhamma are the beings. How can it be that they “fall” back into lower realms over time as they “die” ? (forgive me i am talking about something i have 0 experience about).
Why isn’t nibbana considered as an achievement that is somehow just above the higher of the existant realms, and how can beings in those realms fall back toward lower realms since they needed to cultivate strong positive kamma and understanding to reach that stage?
February 26, 2020 at 1:47 pm #27241
Yann asked: “So my first question is how can the buddha divide the world in 31 realms, one of which is the human plane, since mankind is only 200 000 years old.”
A fundamental idea of Buddha Dhamma (Buddhism) is that each life existing now has existed forever. At least a beginning to a “lifestream” is not discernible.
– I know that it is not compatible with science. But teachings of the Buddha have prevailed over scientific predictions so far.
– For example, even a few hundred years ago, Western science believed that the Earth was at the center of the universe. Even just over a hundred years ago, science was not aware of billions of other stars like our Sun with planetary systems like ours.
– But the Buddha had taught all that 2500 years ago.
For an introduction, see, “Dhamma and Science – Introduction.” More references are there.
Second question: “Why isn’t nibbana considered as an achievement that is somehow just above the higher of the existant realms, and how can beings in those realms fall back toward lower realms since they needed to cultivate strong positive kamma and understanding to reach that stage?”
This requires a lot more explanation.
– But one needs to understand what is discussed above first.
I would recommend the post, “Buddhism without Rebirth and Nibbāna?” after the above posts.
Buddhism (Buddha Dhamma) is VERY different from other religions. In fact, Buddha Dhamma is NOT a religion. It is a complete description of our “wider world” with 31 realms. That may sound exotic, but that is the truth.
February 26, 2020 at 4:34 pm #27244
I read the post but i don’t see how that answers my question. I do believe in rebirth and did so for many years, and i understand the concept of begining – less “mindrstream”.
I just ask myself what will happen of the human realm when mankind will be no more? This plane of experience will be gone and there will only be devas / lower realms and animals(maybe).
Also the path to nibbana / higher planes seems to be a similar path, nibbana goes further since they both need morality, non-attachment, non-greed, mindfulness, etc… What is the difference then between those path (and not between the results i understand that nibanna pulls you out of the existence cycle)
February 26, 2020 at 5:34 pm #27245
yann: “I just ask myself what will happen of the human realm when mankind will be no more? ”
I don’t understand. What do you mean by “mankind will be no more?”
– When will mankind disappear???
– Why would that happen?
February 27, 2020 at 4:05 am #27250
well, i mean mankind wasn’t alway around, man existed for less than a million year, so humans have not always been around and will not always be around. So yes will there be 30 realms then? Human bhavas will not be able to incarnate, just like they did when men where non existent. So the 31 realms division isn’t valid anymore and wasn’t valid 2 millions years ago.
But you don’t have the answer obviously, so that’s fine, nevermind
February 27, 2020 at 6:35 am #27253
Yann: “i mean mankind wasn’t alway around, man existed for less than a million year,.”
You have not read what I wrote and tried to explain. This cannot be explained in a single post. If you need to find out, it is necessary to read the recommended posts.
Let me try to explain it a bit more.
– Our planetary system with the Earth will be destroyed in a few billion years.
– By that time, not only humans but all living forms on Earth (animals, beings in the apayas, Devas, etc) ALL will be in a higher Brahma realm that is NOT destroyed.
– Then the Solar system will re-form over billions of years, and eventually, all those being in that Brahma realm will gradually come down to the Earth.
That cycle has been going on forever. That is a very short summary that I gave.
– To understand how it all happens REQUIRES a lot more background material that I suggested.
– One needs to ALSO understand the rebirth process, kamma and kamma vipaka, etc.
What I stated above is in a bit more expanded form in the post, “Buddhism and Evolution – Aggañña Sutta (DN 27).”
More information on the rebirth process at, “Evidence for Rebirth.”
February 27, 2020 at 6:40 am #27254
Sybe07 has sent me the following comment. He was unable to post it. Apparently, the software bug randomly causes problems!
Here is Sybe07’s comment.
The following sutta’s treath differences in rebirth between noble persons and not noble ones: AN3.116, AN4.123-126
Regarding your second question:
As i understand it from what i have read, lifespan in a certain realm is based on a certain (limited) kammic energy. When this is spend, a transformation takes place to another bhava (lifeform) at the cuti-patisandhi moment. From death to a new rebirth/bhava.
So, when the positive kamma in those deva or Brahma realms is spend, and life ends in those realms, it is said, negative latent tendencies, still present in a not-noble mind, activate. They surfice automatically near the end of the lifespan and become at death a condition for rebirth in lower realms.
That’s why only doing good is, in the end, not liberating. The existing anusaya or latent tendencies in the mind must be uprooted too, or, in other words, mind has to be purified to the extent that there are no conditions anymore for rebirth in lower realms.
If this does not take place, it is to be expected that those bad anusaya will surfice at the end of a life in a relative happy realm and will drag one down at the end of that lifespan.
As i have understood, especially wrong views and strong greed and hate become conditions for rebirth in the lower realms. In a noble person (or better in a noble mind) there are no wrong views anymore and lobha en dosa is strongly reduced. So there are no causes anymore who can drag one down in the apaya’s after living as a human, deva or Brahma.
So the purification of the mind is the crucial point and explains the difference in rebirth as mentioned in de above sutta’s.
February 27, 2020 at 7:10 am #27255Tobias GParticipant
Regarding the second question (Nibbana) my answer: Existence in all realms is based on bondage to rupa. Nibbana follows if one cuts off the bondage to rupa. Thus Nibbana is not another realm.
February 27, 2020 at 7:22 am #27257
Tobias wrote: “Thus Nibbana is not another realm.”
Exactly. One is either in this world of 31 realms OR has attained Parinibbana.
– A living Arahant is still in this world. After his/her death he/she will LEAVE this world of 31 realms and merge with Nibbana. That is what is meant by “Parinibbana” or “full Nibbana.’
February 27, 2020 at 8:21 am #27258y notParticipant
You make a statement, flatly, like ‘mankind wasn’t always around, man existed for less than a million year’ and others you have, based on what the scientific view is at present. Another heap of bones excavated somewhere and that will change to two millions years, or three. And so it will go on, people accepting the latest scientific view as established fact.
Now I am alright with that, because this is the function and scope of science, to discover bit by bit, gradually. For that reason science does not have the complete picture, the ultimate ‘worldview’. So that is quite in order, as far as science goes.
‘So the 31 realms division isn’t valid anymore and wasn’t valid 2 millions years ago. But you don’t have the answer obviously” You are right; based on the ASSUMPTIONS you make, there is no answer. But the Buddha made no assumptions, arrived at no conclusions (even the right ones!), formulated no theories; He SAW these 31 realms, and saw also that they have always existed, and not only with regard to this solar system, but to innumerable others reaching out to infinity and dating back without a beginning.
Now to get to your point: consider the case of an exoplanet which is labelled as uninhabitable – but such must the Earth have looked like 15-30 billion years ago (when in its phases of destruction and formation). And before that not even a solid planet, or a star, for that matter, – just a mass of dust clouds and gas that were formerly a planetary system, on the way to forming a (re-)generation of it. So science cannot say which planets are inherently uninhabitable. Those that (would) harbour life will also have a ‘local humanity’ there at some point, and repeatedly, along with the other 30 realms.
As for myself – this is just my opinion here – I feel that there is nothing in Nature that is without a purpose. Life is everywhere, unbounded, timeless, and where there is sentient life, Nature applies the scheme of these 31 realms. The Buddha’s word, not mine.
When you take the time to examine the Teaching seriously and profoundly, you will see the absolute reasonableness of It. The INEVITABILITY of It. All other theories will seem like passing video games..’what shall we play next?’ That is where faith in the Buddha happens. Not a blind faith born of convenience and intellectual laziness, but born OF intellectual endeavour and introspective searching. The search is also an inner one. And that will be only the start.
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