Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Can we be sure what our next life will be?

Question : (Unedited)
Hi, I just had a question that was recently posed to me and I couldn't really answer due to the fact that I am new to Buddhism and I live in an area with no teachers to pose such questions too. Anywho - here goes:
So when I die I'll be reborn  - but are there any 'guarantees' in my next life I will even be a Buddhist? Could I be reborn and be a Christian, etc.? Is that determined by your Karma? Or is it just a 'roll of the dice?'

My comment:
Hi R,

Thank you for asking me.

As you know, the law of kamma can be described very simply as cause and effect.  However, it is impossible to quantify all our kamma.  How then can we know what effects will come our way in this life and beyond?  Based on this premise, it is not possible to predict accurately what our next life will be.  On a wider spectrum, it is safe to assume that if one were to associate very strongly with a certain lifestyle, then the next life should be closely associated with that lifestyle.  

This will be my personal interpretation.  You may get different answers from others. It is up to you to analyze them and pick your choice.  One thing for sure, it will not be "a roll of the dice".

Monday, May 7, 2012

Buddhist name

Question :(Unedited)
I am taking refuge in the three jewels at home after 9 years or studying and practicing Buddhism.  I am ready!  My question is this:  when I take refuge, should I choose a new Buddhist name?  If so, what types of names do I choose from...a Buddhist goddess or a name from another language?  Thank you!

My comment:
 Hi A,

Becoming a Buddhist is about changing mindset and living a harmless life.  It also depends on which tradition you are following.  I understand that some "sects" would require the adoption of a new name.  As for Theravada tradition, what one needs is to practise the Buddha's teachings to become a better and wiser person.  However if you wish to have a "Buddhist" name you can adopt one.  If you have contact with your teachers or monks, you can request them to choose a name for you.

Usually "Buddhist" names are in the language of the "sect".  You would have Tibetan, Chinese, Japanese, Pali, and what have you.  In Theravada tradition, it will be in Pali.  

Hope this helps.
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