Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Rebirth (Comment)

To many, rebirth means taking life in human form or in some heaven. Stranger still is the Christian concept of going to heaven but rejecting the concept of rebirth. Isn't taking life in heaven an act of rebirth? Never mind. This was my comment:

There are some variations in interpreting the concept of rebirth amongst the different schools of Buddhism. My explanation is based on what I understood after listening to learned monks from the Theravada Tradition.

Rebirth takes place almost instantly upon death. Once the life form of a being ends, the evolution current of the mind immediately moves on to attach to another life form in accordance with its good and bad kamma deposits. It will search for the appropriate life form that can actualize the accumulated deposits of good and bad kamma. If the the mind is pure and vibrant, it will be reborn in a higher planes of existence, enjoying peace and happiness. On the other hand, if its current is weak, evil and dirty because of all the evil deeds that had been accumulated, then it will seek rebirth in the suffering planes.

There are actually 31 planes of existence. The 6 planes are sub-groups of the 31 planes. The 49 days' period is broadly believed by the Chinese. When the life force takes the form of a ghost or spirit, it is actually a rebirth in that plane of existence. It is believed by the Chinese that usually, rebirth in the form of spirit will be in the vicinity of the place of death, and after 49 days, this spirit will then depart to somewhere else. Spirits which haunt places are usually those who are not willing to depart from the place of death due to several reasons. They may be too attached to the place, or waiting to haunt and seek revenge, or because of sudden death that shocked the evolution current of the mind.

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