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Monday, December 19, 2005

Gautama Buddha's personality (2)

The King, who was the father of Gautama Buddha, was afraid so much that Gautama Buddha would begin to have so much interest in the religious problems and want to become a monk, and so the father gave very beautiful and comfortable residences to Gautama Buddha, and he supplied so many beautiful ladies to serve Gautama Buddha. Of course Gautama Buddha was a very healthy stout young man, and so we can guess that he might enjoy his joyful life in the comfortable residences. And on the other way Gautama Buddha was skillful and strong in many kinds of sports and marcial arts, and so he always wan in many competitions of such a sports or marcial arts. And it is said that the reason, why he could get his beautiful lady Yasodara as the wife, was also caused from his brilliant win in some competition. Furthermore he got a son after getting married, and so it might be impossible for him to be unhappy at that time. But actually speaking, as he seemed to be much happier, he became much more unhappy, because his strong intention to pursue the Truth became so stronger enormously.


Blogger Ed said...

Roshi, this is not my direct comment on this blog entry in particular but is intended as a question about reincarnation. How is reincarnation compatible with the idea of Buddhism as a realist philosophy? Many of the basic tenets of the dhamma seem clear to me, but reincarnation seems much less clear.

2:25 AM, December 20, 2005  
Blogger Lone Wolf said...

Thanks for the comments and exerpt Jundo Jim

5:16 PM, December 20, 2005  
Blogger Ed said...


I guess I'm confused because when I read the Buddha's teachings it seems as if reincarnation is pretty deeply woven into the fabric of the dhamma, even to the extent that if you tried to excise it, the dhamma would be broken into pieces. Even more confusingly, there seems little or no reason to believe that "reincarnation" is meant in some sort of symbolic or metaphorical sense, at least as it appears in the dhamma.

I am not a believer in reincarnation, and I know Roshi is not ... but perhaps what most people understand as reincarnation (being literally reborn as another person or a tree or a dog) is not what the Buddha meant.

At any rate, I'm just not sure that viewing reincarnation as some sort of awkward holdover of an earlier tradition is correct. The Buddha talks about it often and without apparent irony.



1:07 AM, December 21, 2005  
Blogger Ed said...


To me it really doesn't matter whether the Buddha is "right" or "wrong" or whether the Buddha ever really existed ... that's not the issue. The issue is, since reincarnation seems to be an integral part of the dhamma, then what exactly does that term mean from a Buddhistic perspective?

I understand your point about the physical aspect of rebirth, the simple breaking down and recycling of chemical matter. But a literal physical reincarnation is not what Buddhists seem to have in mind at all. And I don't think the "playing telephone for 2500 years" is exactly what the dhamma is getting at, either.

Now I can understand and accept the concept of our actions having an impact (kamma) beyond the range of our physical life ... that seems quite obvious to me. And it's even easier for me to grasp the concept of everything being in a constant state of flux. And, given those ideas, I can also accept that we can positively or negatively influence the change that is constantly going on around us, starting by simply being aware of it.

Is this sort of what is meant by "rebirth" or "reincarnation"?

2:26 AM, December 21, 2005  
Blogger Michael said...

Hello all,

I think it's in the Lotus Sutra (and if not the Lotus, then certainly in one of the sutras) where the historical Buddha gives an account of all his past lives. It's said that a buddha can see thusly into his own primordial past.
I think this can be taken either as literal "gospel" (pardon the pun) or as metaphor.
My own feeling, for what it's worth, is that the Buddha's discourses were intended to be understood by everyone, from the wisest sage on down.
Thus, perhaps the Buddha's anecdotes were meant to be used as skillful means to illustrate teachings that might be hard to understand, depending on the audience.
Some listeners interpreted these things as literal truths, others saw the inherent metaphor.
Either way, if understanding was the result, then who cares?
Just my opinion.

3:17 AM, December 21, 2005  
Blogger Smoggyrob said...


There's no good reason to listen to me, but if you're still there...

I take references to rebirth in Buddhism to refer to the moment-by-moment "rebirth" of everything. Each moment of right now conditions the "next" one.

And, I also allow for when and where the Buddha was teaching. I think his delivery would be much different if he had come to modern Los Angeles, for example.

If your mileage doesn't vary, get your odometer checked,

Rob Robbins

1:20 PM, December 21, 2005  
Blogger Chris said...

If re-birth or reincarnation exists, like "reallynotimportant" said basically- so what? What possible benefit can this have on our practice?

If this universe is a whole of which we are a part (not even a part, but the whole itself) then we're not really re-"anything". We just always are aren't we?

Our bodies are just some present form in which the universe takes, no? This body will die. The universe continues. How can we seperate? We die, yet we continue. Another paradox. I can buy this intellectually but I am certainly not experiencing this.

I don't believe in a soul that transmigrates from human to tree or tree to dog or whatever. I believe that Buddha discounted this. We are just heaps of stuff.

I just don't dwell on this reincarnation stuff too much. Like Warner said in his book- if this is the afterlife why would we waste it worrying about what's next or what happened in previous lives?

I don't remember any previous lives. Do you? And I suppose in my next I won't remember this one. This is the life to live. Not only the span of our body's life, but this infinitesimal moment which perishes as soon as we speak of it, as soon as we think of it. All that really matters is getting in touch with that.

Buddha saw everything and the only way to really understand that which he speaks of is to follow his directions.

These are just my thoughts and nothing more....

8:35 PM, December 21, 2005  
Blogger GUDO NISHIJIMA said...

For Ed San

It is very common idea that Buddhists believe in the exsistence of the life after death. But this supposition might be wrong. In Shobogenzo Bendowa, Master Dogen wrote that in Budhism we believe in the oneness between body and mind, and so it is impossible for us to believe that when the body died, the soul will survive into another world.

For Jim Jundo San

Thank you very much for your kindness to promote my book "A Heart to Heart Chat on Buddhism with Old Master Gudo."

For Jim Jundo San

Yes, human societies usualy have some problems actually.

I agree that Zazen practice is to be a human being.

For Ed San

Even though, so many people believe that Buddhism believe in the life after death, Master Dogen clearly describes the denial of the life after death in Buddhism, and so I believe in his belief perfectly.

What Buddhist Sutras include, is the records of many Buddhist believers' memories in ancient India, and so it might be inevitable for them to include some kind of wrong informations.

I think that it is necessary for us sometimes to doubt contents of Buddhist Sutras.

For Ken San

I agree with your idea, and so Buddhism much more rely upon the experience in Zazn than contents of Buddhist Sutras.

For Ken San

I gree with your idea. Even though there are so many suppositions in our mind, it is completely impossible for me to meet a person, who survived from his death to come back to this world.

For Ed San

I think that Dharma does never include any kind of reincarnation at all.

I think that human beings do never have any duty to believe in reincarnation at all.

I think that your new interpretation is just true.

Yes, our life is just at the present moment.

For Michael San

I think that your interpretations are very flexible, but I have idea that a Buddhist monk is permitted to express his or her honest opinion directly without any hesitation.

2:12 PM, March 19, 2006  

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