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question on reincarnation

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  • question on reincarnation

    Dear venerable ones,

    i'm wondering whether there have been 'reliable' cases where people remember past lives (either by remembering or by meditation or ...) which were obviously in the past but not on this planet but on one or several alien planets. so i'm looking for stories/traces of people who might have lived as an 'alien'.

    kind regards,

  • #2
    Dear Stefan,

    Gee, rebirth as an alien! I suspect this might make a good movie. No, I am not aware of any such cases - and certainly not reliable ones! Does anyone else have any such stories they would like to share?

    With metta.


    • #3
      I don't know anything, just speculation!

      But what I speculate is that... what's the expression, seeds never fall far from the tree? While it might be possible to be reborn on another planet, most beings are probably unlikely to go far after death. Even if it is 'easy' to travel to a distant world, craving which results in rebirth is most likely going to be connected to the previous life.

      I recall a sutta - can't remember which - were the Buddha points to an ant-hill and says that the ants in that ant-hill have been being reborn in that same ant-hill since the time of the previous Buddha!

      Hence while it might be possible to be reborn from another planet, it might be very low odds, like one in a million. Then it is furthermore necessary for that person to remember their past lives, and furthermore, be willing to talk about it, and furthermore; be believed and the story spread.

      With metta,
      Ven. Nandiya.


      • #4
        I agree very much with Ven. Nandiya. My understanding of rebirth is that it is not nearly as complicated or fantastical as most believe. Since it is not the same person being reborn again and again, but the tendencies and the vippaka of the kamma made, remembering such lives is very difficult indeed. I do believe though that if one is very careful and mindful, he/she may catch glimpses now and again of a bit of former life or two. It also stands to reason, in my limited understanding, that it would be quite difficult for a human to remember life as an ant or snake, but easier to get these glimpses I mentioned above of previous human existences. As a last point, there is a fine distinction between rebirth and reincarnation. Rebirth is the reintroduction of some of the old tendencies, energy, natural occurring processes into a new form. Reincarnation would be more in line with the atman principle, meaning a soul/vessel/edium carrying all of the tendencies, energy, memories etc.. were reconstituted into a new form. Sorry to be so long winded. Perhaps suggesting looking at one of the other threads or suttas on just what gets reborn would be better. This may not be very clear to everyone. It is humbly only my understanding through my frame of reference. I hope I was of some additional help.


        • #5
          Buddhist cosmology seems to indicate an evacuation of lower and sensual realms before a world (planetary)system is destroyed. Not sure about this, perhaps one of our monks can expand.



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