Author Topic: Reborn as multiple animals  (Read 1649 times)

Offline andyn

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Reborn as multiple animals
« on: April 20, 2013, 08:34:35 am »
Hello all,

Per Master Hsuan Hua's word below, one person could be reborn simultaneously into multiple animals, the next quote someone mentioned that the master experienced this in his meditation... Still, this has been giving me a headache and insecure thoughts lately. How could one person with one mind stream become animals with multiple mind streams? Is there a central mind that control all these animals? Do these animals that a person born into share thoughts and feelings? Moreover, when animal killed one another, then you're killing yourself??? All of these don't make sense, yet it stuck on my mind since it was said by Master Hsuan Hua, who is known to be a highly attained monk...


http://www.dharmasite.net/2001/5.htm

Quote
All animals are fragments of the consciousness of people. The spirit of a human being at death may split up to become many animals. One person can become about ten animals. That’s why animals are so stupid. The spirit of an animal can split up and become, in its smallest division, an organism or plant. The feelings which plants have, then, are what separated from the animal’s spirit when it split up at death. Although the life force of a large number of plants may appear sizeable, it is not as great as that of a single animal or a single mouthful of meat.  Take, for example, rice: tens of billions of grains of rice do not contain as much life force as a bit of meat the size of a grain of rice. If you open your Five Eyes, you can know this at a glance. If you haven’t opened your Eyes, no matter how one tries to explain it to you, you won’t understand. No matter how it’s explained, you won’t believe it, because you haven’t been a plant!  Do you understand?


http://sgforums.com/forums/1728/topics/175866?page=2
What he did state, apparently based on what he had actually observed in meditation, was that the lowest levels of animal ghosts (as I recall, I believe he was referring to low-level animal ghosts who were in the process of falling yet farther down into the abyss of bad karma) might manifest as swarms of insects, which would help discharge the karmic retribution accumulated by the very low level animal. Presumably, after a time then there would be rebirth again as one of these very low level animals and then gradual ascent back up towards the human realm, a process which could even take kalpas.

Another instance: He spoke of instances of a single being taking rebirth as a small group of animals, this involving apparently a paying off of some of the heaviest karma, apparently followed by a re-integration either into a higher animal or a preta or eventually, a person.

The above cases are indeed controversial. But Master Hua's meditative experiences were not what you or I encounter on the meditation cushion. He would not have spoken of these sorts of cases if he had not personally observed them to be the case.

You may have encountered yet other sorts of reports in his writings that I wasn't around at the time to hear. Can't imagine though that he would ever state this to be the case of one human being reborn as multiple humans.

Dharmamitra

Offline Hanzze

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Re: Reborn as multiple animals
« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2013, 09:00:57 am »
Cula-kammavibhanga Sutta: The Shorter Analysis of Action (a talk to a devoted and wise layman)

and if you have some developments of virtue and a proper basement of more insight, also

Maha Kammavibhanga Sutta: The Greater Analysis of Action (a talk to an ascetic and to monks)

The thoughts and speculation above, just throw away. They are not useful.




Offline vajrayoginifan

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Re: Reborn as multiple animals
« Reply #2 on: October 22, 2014, 08:26:18 pm »
Absolutely utter nonsense! Please do not let this bother you.

First of all, Hsuan Hua's idea is based on the assumption that human beings/animals have a 'soul'.
This is so different to the norm of the Buddhist view. So if the soul or 'I' do not exist, what is left to be "split up to become many animals".

Moreover, you will not find a single sutra that backs this claim.

Offline Issa

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Re: Reborn as multiple animals
« Reply #3 on: October 24, 2014, 12:25:09 pm »

Moreover, you will not find a single sutra that backs this claim.

In the original Pali scriptures, the term 'animal' is generally used in association with performing violent & immoral actions. Therefore, it is generally used in association with certain behaviours rather than with ideas about reincarnation.

Interestingly, in the last sutta in the Samyutta Nikaya, it is said an animal can be born human by realising the Four Noble Truths. If this is the case then the term 'animal' here cannot be literal but psychological.

This cartoon for children about Angulimala, the reformed mass-murderer, who is initially depicted as an animal but then becomes human after meeting the Buddha, may help us. (Enlarge the video by pressing the [ ] box to view it).



 
« Last Edit: October 24, 2014, 12:27:27 pm by Issa »

Offline Dharmakara

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Re: Reborn as multiple animals
« Reply #4 on: October 24, 2014, 06:55:29 pm »
Hi Issa.

All good points, but Hsuan Hua's statement wasn't presented in a metaphorical sense, so I would have to agree with vajrayoginifan that it's utter nonsense --- it's really no different than other comments attributed to him that aren't related to Ch'an, but out-right fanatical in nature:

Quote
In terms of causes and effects, sexual misconduct is the most serious offense. It’s punishment is the most severe. If a married couple gets divorced and each one remarries, then according to the law of cause and effect, their bodies will be cut in half after they die. This is because when they were alive, they had two relationships. So after they die, their karmic retribution manifests. A huge saw slices people in half from head to toe. Their bodies are sawed into as many pieces as the number of offenses they committed. If they were married a hundred times, they are sawed into a hundred pieces, so each of their former partners can have a tiny share of them. What’s so bad about being divided into pieces? If the soul becomes fragmented like that, it’s very difficult to make it whole again. Probably those people won’t regain a human body again for billions of eons. When their nature is split and their souls are incomplete, they become dull and insentient, like plants. When their inherent nature is scattered, it’s hard to become a sentient being again. Even if they became a sentient being, they might be a mosquito. But one human body can transform into 84,000 mosquitoes, and it’s not easy to get all those mosquitoes back into one being. Most of the time, mosquitoes are reborn as mosquitoes. So they bob up and down in the cycle of birth and death, not understanding how to turn away from the dust and unite with enlightenment, or how to renounce confusion and return to the proper. It’s said, "Once the human body is lost, it cannot be regained in ten thousand eons." If you truly understand this principle, how could you not be afraid?

http://www.dharmasite.net/bdh59/whatghostsare.html


Offline NoEssentialNature

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Re: Reborn as multiple animals
« Reply #5 on: November 24, 2014, 03:40:34 pm »
Can't imagine though that he would ever state this to be the case of one human being reborn as multiple humans.

Dharmamitra

Avalokiteshvara is considered to have multiple living manifestations, and one honorific is the boddhisattva of a thousand hands and eyes.

I seem to remember a sutra that talked about plants and trees not being sentient things, not in the cycle of rebirth (some trees could become temporary resting places between lives though). Shellfish that don't move were included I think. So, I think things which don't move and sense are not considered to partake in karmic mindstreams.

The idea of splitting and reforming with rebirths is something you just don't find in canonical texts. I think there is a deep reason for this, that Buddhist ontology is about the subjective, about Mind, and that this is something experienced in an essentially unified way. Fragmented minds suggest fragmentable reality.

Offline NoEssentialNature

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Re: Reborn as multiple animals
« Reply #6 on: November 24, 2014, 04:05:04 pm »
The story of Won Hyo is interesting on this topic: http://www.kwanumeurope.org/pdf/en/Passionate_Zen.pdf#zoom=87
Not the same, not different. If we are all one, how can we be divided?

 


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