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  • Mortality

    Dear Bhante Brahmali,

    What are the ramifications of mortality, from a Buddhist point of view? When it comes to the (largely) unknown areas of existence (such as rebirth and kamma) what evidence is there to back up the existence of these?

    If I ask any questions which are stupid, please forgive me, I am still learning.

    Thanks and Metta,

    Guy

  • #2
    Dear Guy,

    If your question is sincere and well-considered, it is never stupid!

    Personally I find the research of Dr. Ian Stevenson very convincing. He spent most of his career researching past life memories of young children; have a look at this and this. In 1977 the psychiatrist Harold Lief said of Ian Stevenson that "either he is making a colossal mistake, or he will be known (I have said as much to him) as 'the Galileo of the 20th century'."

    As for kamma, there isn't much scientific evidence as yet. Here I rely mostly on my confidence in the Buddha's teachings. If the Buddha said there is a law of kamma, then I say it is worth taking seriously.

    With metta.

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    • #3
      Hi Bhante,

      Originally posted by Ajahn Brahmali View Post
      Personally I find the research of Dr. Ian Stevenson very convincing. He spent most of his career researching past life memories of young children; have a look at this and this. In 1977 the psychiatrist Harold Lief said of Ian Stevenson that "either he is making a colossal mistake, or he will be known (I have said as much to him) as 'the Galileo of the 20th century'."
      Thanks for that, I have had a look at a few of Professor Stevenson's cases and they are quite interesting.

      As for kamma, there isn't much scientific evidence as yet. Here I rely mostly on my confidence in the Buddha's teachings. If the Buddha said there is a law of kamma, then I say it is worth taking seriously.
      Why do you view the Buddha as someone worth taking seriously? (not that I don't...but I am curious to hear your reasons)

      Knowing that one day we will die, will a belief in rebirth or kamma necessarily help us live a "good"/"fulfilling" life? Can we live a "good"/"fulfilling" life without such a belief?

      Thanks and Metta,

      Guy

      Comment


      • #4
        Dear Guy,

        The Buddha claims to have the answer to the very meaning of life: how to attain perfect happiness. Not only does he claim to have an answer, but his answer is sensible and true to many people's experience. We have all tried endlessly to pursue happiness by satisfying our cravings, only to find that the cravings tend to come back with a vengeance. It is pretty obvious that there is no true satisfaction can ever be found in that pursuit. At the same time, we have all experienced some aspect of the happiness that comes from generosity, from morality, from peace, etc. It is a happiness that is much more fulfilling, precisely because craving normally subsides when we experience such happiness. By extrapolating from this, we get some idea of where the Buddhist path is heading. Sounds good, doesn't it? This is exactly how the Buddha taught. As we see this for ourselves, it starts to become obvious that the Buddha was an almost unparalleled genius. At that point you don't just take him seriously, but gain a profound sense of confidence.

        With metta.

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        • #5
          Thank you very much Bhante for a very sensible and concise answer!

          Sadhu! Sadhu! Sadhu!

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          • #6
            Although not necessary I know........I still must say. "Well said once again" Ajahn Brahmali.

            Thankyou for the reminder.

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            • #7
              Thank you, Ajahn.

              _/\_

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