Reincarnation is a pillar of Buddhism?
a few Western Buddhists say they don't believe in reincarnation, but this a core part of Buddhism and without it the whole point of Buddhism would be taken away, which is to break free from the cycle and attain Nirvana. So how can you do that if there's only one life? You can't, therefore in these people's opinions, the Buddha was wrong. I guess he was also wrong when he stated the minimum number of lifetimes it took to attain Nirvana.
"But if there is no other world and there is no fruit and ripening of actions well done or ill done, then here and now in this life I shall be free from hostility, affliction, and anxiety, and I shall live happily."
I thought the "whole point of Buddhism" was to understand anguish, let go of it's origins, realize it's cessation and cultivate the path. You obviously have OTHER motivations.
"As long as my vision was not fully clear...regarding four ennobling truths, I did not claim to have realized authentic awakening..."
(Curiously, rebirth is seen by Westerners as a GOOD thing, rather than something to be avoided. Reincarnation is a tenet of Hinduism and was accepted theology at the time of Buddha's life.)
Never forget, Buddha wasn't a Buddhist.
“Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.”
I think the Buddha would be okay with having his teachings questioned.
Is this a question or a rant.
You are correct.
Just got back from my Vajrayana Retreat training, I am tired but this question I couldn't resist.
Of course, they are wrong and you are right; if their believe is right then all theories, philosophy, ways of life, ways and methods to eliminate sufferings and exercises to obtain Enlightenment are negated and for nothing.
As usual, there are too many book Buddhists, yet followed other half baked Buddhism authors, who themselves (another Book Buddhists) read a little bits of Buddhism, gained some knowledge and decided to write a Buddhism Novel (some fabricate answers they pull out of a hat); and that is why this strange phenomenon occurs only in the west.
These authors many times either misinterpreted, downright misunderstood or purposely twisted the teachings of Buddhism, because they feel they are smarter than Buddha!
Because they must feel they have the modern scientific minds, so they can pick and choose what they want to interpret, what to present, and what to believe?
So with these authors, you have these strange by products- the Book Buddhists, who do not believe in reincarnation, argue the difference between rebirths and reincarnation; believe being gay is acceptable- it is sexual deviants therefore broke the 4th precept- No Sexual Misconducts.
Being sexually promiscuous or being a womanizers; uncompassionate; or who believe they can becoming a Buddha by reading the books alone; believe in no need to take refuge- in essence neglected the common agreement and traditions among all Buddhist sects; believe they can believe they can practice in God based religions and Buddhism at the same time?
Wired, isn't it?
And one other thing, that Pangloss' quotation is one of those most quoted, yet most misunderstood quote by many of those Book Buddhists, all teachings by Buddha were spoken for a special purpose, we must read the beginning to understand why he said it the way he did.
But I forgot which Sutra it was from, but from my learning which I still remembered and that there were finishing statements after that quote and that is "after you verified my statements of a particular topic and found it to be true, you still don't need to believe in me. But after second proof, and third proof and fourth proof and so far, you can believe in what I said; or else if you never believe in my teaching then you will go nowhere and will continued to wonder among the six paths of Samsara."
Another good example of what Book Buddhists would misinterpret a perfectly good teaching.***
Read answers in www.YouAdNow.com/vajra
First of all, the term is rebirth, not reincarnation. Reincarnation is a Hindu term that refers to the permanent, eternal soul--the atman--taking up a new flesh. In Buddhism there is no concept of permanent soul, only no-self or non-self or emptiness (anatta, anatman). "Rebirth" would then refer to the re-formation of the five aggregates (skandhas).
I can't say much for Western Buddhism, but in Zen the question regarding the previous life or next life is considered irrelevant to your life right here, right now, right at this very moment.
Mindfulness lies in every possible moment of your life, so what does it matter if you believe in rebirth or not? When you come to a personal experience that confirms rebirth, then you know; If you don't, you don't. Why bother making up your mind on the topic when you know nothing about it, other than reading it or hearing it from some other people?
Also... rarely does everyone come out to declare what they kind of things they really believe in.