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Reincarnation as non-human beings

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Old 21 May 2012, 11:23 AM
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Reincarnation as non-human beings

A simple question which i expect will foster some very complicated answers!

Q: Why is reincarnation as anything other than a human typically considered bad / inferior?
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If you found out that you were god, dreaming a life for yourself, and that you were identical with the external world, you would ask yourself: "So, what would I have happen to me in my life? what would be my perfect drama?"


You died, and death was complete freedom from suffering - bliss. But it very quickly got lonely and repetitive in bliss, so you decided to be born once more. You've been doing this forever.
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Old 21 May 2012, 11:59 AM
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Re: Reincarnation as non-human beings

Vannakkam: Not sure where you got that information from. Is the kindergarten child 'inferior' to the university professor?

There are several takes on reincarnation patterns within Hinduism. My personal take is that humans only very rarely are reborn as mammals, in a couple of special circumstances.

But there are many takes on it. Another is that souls progress upwards in a linear fashion from vegetable to insect to reptile to mammal etc. Yet another is that animals have different types of souls. Yet another has the model like some random target shooting, you just get the body/species you deserve.

Aum Namasivaya
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Old 21 May 2012, 12:19 PM
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Re: Reincarnation as non-human beings

I would assume its not inferior, but humans are considered 'superior' because its a rare birth and we have something called intellect beyond which is to other animals in the kingdom, and plants and other existing entities. Therefore it would be wise to use it and embark on your spiritual journey, or be a good citizen within societies confines, rather than waiting however long it will take to take birth as one again..
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Old 21 May 2012, 03:56 PM
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Re: Reincarnation as non-human beings

Pranam
yam yam vapi smaran bhavam
tyajaty ante kalevaram

tam tam evaiti kaunteya

sada tad-bhava-bhavitah


Whatever state of being one remembers when he quits his body, that state he will attain without fail. 8.6

nothing is either higher or lower good or bad, as far as i am concerned it is my desires that would propels me to act and that in turn will shape my future, what ever it is eventually i will have a suitable body to execute that desire to its fullest satisfaction. if i have a propensity to enjoy sleep and only sleep what use is for me to have highly evolved brain, i might as well be in a body that allows me to sleep for a long time.it not so simple though because we are caught up in so many desires.

Unlike EM, i happen to believe as the shastra informs us there are 840000 species of life and we can fall back in to anyone of them if we are not careful. Human life is very special only because it can lead us out of this quagmire but we have to have that desire.

Jai Shree Krishna
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Bhagvat Gita; Shree Krishna says Chapter 3.11 devan bhavayatanena te deva bhavayantu vah parasparam bhavayantah sreyah param avapsyatha Chapter 17.4 yajante sattvika devan yaksa-raksamsi rajasah pretan bhuta-ganams canye yajante tamasa janah
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Old 21 May 2012, 09:44 PM
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Re: Reincarnation as non-human beings

This is a complicated issue which I've thought over and over about. Ultimately, I think the prospect of the process of rebirth being a 'random shooting gallery' as EM puts it is too extreme, and ultimately unbecoming of who we are right now. In that sense I am not saying humanity is "better" than other forms of life, only better equipped to, as Ganeshprasad seems to hint, have the capacity to desire to get out of this material quagmire....

Do humans ever revert to simpler species? I won't say no. I think it is very possible. Does this mean there is no purpose or meaning to such incarnations? We are all connected, in my view, and so nothing escapes the Net of Indra.

My thought right now is: we get birth according to the state of our chit upon death and this amounts to a "remembrance" of who we take ourselves to be: a sort of practical self-image. Then those vasanas we take with us form our subtler and grosser bodies and we return, by our own volition, to the material plane....
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Old 21 May 2012, 09:56 PM
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Re: Reincarnation as non-human beings

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ganeshprasad View Post
the shastra informs us there are 840000 species of life
Vannakkam GP: I find it reassuring that this figure is in the ball park with modern science. http://www.guardian.co.uk/environmen...living-species

Aum Namasivaya
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Old 22 May 2012, 03:11 AM
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Re: Reincarnation as non-human beings

Our minds are more advanced and we can act upon it (compared to other living beings). We are very complex and possess the ability to alter our circumstances too. In other words, we indirectly control other living beings (extinction and formation of new species in recent times have all been attributed to humans). Humans have the ability to 'realise'. We're very deep.

Consider this scenario: A pet dog adopted by a wealthy family AND a baby born into a beggar's family. Which would be inferior now? The dog living in the lap of luxury or the baby destined for a beggar's life in unimaginable hardship?

It goes back to karma i'd say. But, the baby has the chance of living a better life if he/she gets educated and gets a good job. The dog on the other hand, has to depend on his/her owners for a good life.

That's a reason as to why we think other beings are inferior to humans. Keep in mind though, that the lions in the Sahara think of humans only as food and definitely consider themselves superior.
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Old 22 May 2012, 05:14 AM
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Re: Reincarnation as non-human beings

Quote:
Originally Posted by Equinox View Post
Our minds are more advanced and we can act upon it (compared to other living beings). We are very complex and possess the ability to alter our circumstances too. In other words, we indirectly control other living beings (extinction and formation of new species in recent times have all been attributed to humans). Humans have the ability to 'realise'. We're very deep.
This capacity for realization, and this status of humanity, does not necessarily mean humans are superior - in fact it serves as the primary route of human suffering, which animals don't seem too fussed about.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Ganeshprasad
nothing is either higher or lower good or bad, as far as i am concerned it is my desires that would propels me to act and that in turn will shape my future, what ever it is eventually i will have a suitable body to execute that desire to its fullest satisfaction.

there are 840000 species of life and we can fall back in to anyone of them if we are not careful. Human life is very special only because it can lead us out of this quagmire

Which is it? this makes it look like on the one hand you don't think there's better or worse, but on the other hand you think humans are better? Is the quagmire necessarily something bad? Do animals suffer this quagmire or are they fine with it?
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If you found out that you were god, dreaming a life for yourself, and that you were identical with the external world, you would ask yourself: "So, what would I have happen to me in my life? what would be my perfect drama?"


You died, and death was complete freedom from suffering - bliss. But it very quickly got lonely and repetitive in bliss, so you decided to be born once more. You've been doing this forever.
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Old 22 May 2012, 08:42 AM
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Re: Reincarnation as non-human beings

Pranam

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZarryT View Post

Which is it? this makes it look like on the one hand you don't think there's better or worse, but on the other hand you think humans are better?
that is precisely what i am saying.human life is a rare opportunity even rarer is to inquire what is the purpose of life, if we miss this opportunity what is the difference? we sleep, eat mate and defend and if that is all we want to do and it seems the whole world is mad after that, each has it merit it is a matter of perspective, you and me both can come up with different answers.

Quote:
Is the quagmire necessarily something bad? Do animals suffer this quagmire or are they fine with it?
it is again a matter of perspective, off course animals, although are more simple, so less of quagmire for them, ironically humans are the ones that inflict the most pain. Yet there is no getting away from pain for all of us, that is my experience and reinforced in the Gita this world is temporary and full of pain.

Jai Shree Krishna
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Rig Veda list only 33 devas, they are all propitiated, worthy off our worship, all other names of gods are derivative from this 33 originals,
Bhagvat Gita; Shree Krishna says Chapter 3.11 devan bhavayatanena te deva bhavayantu vah parasparam bhavayantah sreyah param avapsyatha Chapter 17.4 yajante sattvika devan yaksa-raksamsi rajasah pretan bhuta-ganams canye yajante tamasa janah
The world disappears in him. He is the peaceful, the good, the one without a second.
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Old 22 May 2012, 09:13 AM
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Re: Reincarnation as non-human beings

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ganeshprasad View Post
Pranam



that is precisely what i am saying.human life is a rare opportunity even rarer is to inquire what is the purpose of life, if we miss this opportunity what is the difference? we sleep, eat mate and defend and if that is all we want to do and it seems the whole world is mad after that, each has it merit it is a matter of perspective, you and me both can come up with different answers.

it is again a matter of perspective, off course animals, although are more simple, so less of quagmire for them, ironically humans are the ones that inflict the most pain. Yet there is no getting away from pain for all of us, that is my experience and reinforced in the Gita this world is temporary and full of pain.

Jai Shree Krishna

Since it appears so dependent on perspectives, could we not say that really it is not better to be a human than to be an animal? I could think up perspectives in which it would be better to be human, and some in which it would be better to be an animal. Does this mean they are equal, and neither is better?
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If you found out that you were god, dreaming a life for yourself, and that you were identical with the external world, you would ask yourself: "So, what would I have happen to me in my life? what would be my perfect drama?"


You died, and death was complete freedom from suffering - bliss. But it very quickly got lonely and repetitive in bliss, so you decided to be born once more. You've been doing this forever.
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