Sunday, July 3, 2011

What Is Buddhism?(5)


The Buddha remembered his past lives. Even today there are monks, nuns and others who can
remember their previous existences. Such a strong memory is a result of deep meditation and
mental training. For those who can recall their past lives, the idea of rebirth becomes an established
fact which puts this present life in a meaningful perspective.
The law of kamma can only be fully understood in the framework of many lifetimes, because
sometimes it takes this long for kamma to bear its fruit.
Rebirth is not limited merely to the human realm. The Buddha taught that the realm of human beings
is but one among many. In addition there are realms of heavens, hells, animals and ghosts. Depending on the kamma one has accumulated, one may be reborn into any of these. Understanding this brings up a sense of empathy and respect for the lives of all beings.
Because no realm is permanent, the repetitive cycle of birth and death and the wandering on from
realm to realm is inherently unsatisfying. Eventually one seeks a way out. By following the Noble
Eightfold Path to its culmination of enlightenment, the process of rebirth ceases completely.

Do Buddhists Believe In A God?

Buddhism s a non-theistic religion in that one does not worship a God, creator or savior Progress
on the Buddhist path to enlightenment is not dependent on an external force but on one's own effort.
Buddhist cosmology does recognize the existence of heavenly realms, and the divine beings living
there are very similar to what people would associate with gods or God.Because of the fundamental
law of impermanence however, even these beings are subject to passing away and being reborn, still
caught in the cycle of birth and death, and therefore not taken as an ultimate refuge.
(to be continued.....)

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