Death and Rebirth

#1

Upon death, how soon will one be reborn.

#2

According to Tibetan tradition, following the death process, one will undergo the bardo state. It is defined as one’s consciousness is no longer connected with a physical body, and experiences a variety of phenomena, similar to dreaming.

The “body” moves as fast as thought and - confused as most beings are by death - it can even take the aspect of a very long nightmare. Of course, nothing but our own karma is at work here, creating pleasant or unpleasant experiences.

Traditionally, it is explained that the maximum period that one can stay in bardo is 49 days. Within that period, all beings have been attracted to a new body to take rebirth. Every 7 days in bardo, a kind of ‘small death and rebirth’ occurs.

#3

Thank you. How can we prepare for death and during the bardo stages, what can we do to help the deceased to have a good rebirth.

#4

There are 2 good articles found on BW Monastery website pertaining to this topic.

Part 1: How should we plan for end-of-life?

Part 2: How to guide our loved ones to prepare for death.

W metta.

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#5

I quote a paragraph from the Part 2 article (how to guide our loved ones to prepare for death below. I don’t really get the part in bold. Does that mean we should view the illusions as manifestations of Buddha, Bodhisattvas or teachers? But aren’t these illusions not real and we should not follow them? Pardon my ignorance :slight_smile:

The para:
During the disintegration of the four bodily elements, there will be
signs of thirst, hunger or cold. At the point of death, if the person
feels cold, he might be inclined to go to a place that is warm. At this
juncture, he must change his thoughts and steer them towards going to
Pure Land, as the fire crystal at the Pure Land is very warm and
soothing; he should visualise going there to get some warmth. If he is
hungry, he should think of going to Pure Land, as there are sumptuous
meals made by the heavenly cooks; if thirsty, go to Pure Land too; when
feeling cold, go to Pure Land; when feeling hot, go to Pure Land. Even
when he is facing desirable or undesirable illusionary images, you need
to guide him that all these are just illusions and non-existent. Or, he
can see them as manifestations of Buddha, Bodhisattvas or his teacher.
When his attachment to the self arises and he wants to change to a new
body, guide him to change into a pure and majestic body in the Pure
Land.

#6

A deceased is to be reborn within 49 days during the bardo stages. A couple of questions on cases where someone can remember his/her past life that happened more than 50 or 100 years ago. Has he already went through several rebirth but could still recall this past life.

#7

According to 如得法师, all images whether desirable or not experienced are nothing but manifestations. The gist of it is, do not follow these illusions. Even if you see a desirable manifestation such as Buddha, Bodhisattvas or your teacher, you can take refuge in your heart, but be mindful that they are mirages.

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#8

Most people can’t recall their past life as we are not equipped with the right training to do it.

I once heard a professional hypnotist mentioned that with hypnosis, he is able to help his clients recall past many rebirths. :sweat_smile:

#9

If a professional hypnotist can help people unravel the past, I suppose this will help to unravel many mysteries which could not be explained or even furnish many answers to unfinished business. Nevertheless, how can the accuracy be determined.

#10

thank you 如得法师 and @jeremewong for the explanation. It has given me more clarity!

#11

@adrian if you need more clarity on this topic, look for this book: Tibetan Book of the Dead. There should be a pdf version online. :slight_smile:

#12

Hi @Lay_Lim, an ethical professional hypnotist will definitely assess his client/patient before any hypnosis. They will usually not do it, if it is just to satisfy one’s curiosity.

I have heard from my friend that he is able to use hypnosis to cure a teenager’s phobia of fire, or even someone’s chest pain since young, in which both western doctors or traditional TCM practitioners aren’t able to help with.

As to the accuracy of it, I guess it is up to individuals. If you are able to benefit from it somewhat, you will find it accurate. :wink:

#13

Hi, this is absolutely fantastic…:smiley:

#14

Apparently yes. The person though already reborn into another life, is still able to recall his/her past life or past lives. Science has proven so, but then again there are also Science which is trying to dispel the myths of past lives. This is a highly debatable topic but Buddhism has confirmed the existence of unlimited lives.

#15

Maybe this may also explain why some people feel an absolute closeness or affinity to particular people they meet in their life…

#16

Wonder if we are able to self hypnotised and find out what good & bad things we have done in previous life. Repent accordingly and build on the good karma for better rebirth in future lifes.

#17

Hmm… thinking this could be a sign of rebirth

#18

Very important for rebirth

1 ) only follow the Buddha you chant and not any other.

  1. only follow the bodhisattva you chant and not any other.

For example if you chant for Medicine buddha, Medicine buddha must be present.
You chant for Amithaba, Amitabha must be present .
You chant for Guan Yin bodhisattva, Guan Yin bodhisattva must be present.

If not you will be following 魔鬼。

#19

Master Sheng Yen talks about Karma along with Death and Rebirth:

#20

Death or Birth, which comes first?

Venerable Ru De provides a discourse on this:

My understanding after watching:

  • if we just look up a lifetime, there will be birth before death
  • if we look at cyclic existence, it will not matter whether birth or death comes first. One will always follow the next
    *awareness of this repetition of death and birth helps me look at the long term - beyond this lifetime.