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Flashcards in Samsara Deck (36)
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What are the six realms of existence?

- The Human realm
- The Heaven realm
- The Titan realm
- The Annual realm
- The Hell realm
- The Hungry ghost realm


What is the Human realm?

- Mixture of pain and pleasure
- The realm of the happy, ideal state of which achievement of enlightenment
- Here, the bodhisattva points out that the way froward is the wholehearted leading to spiritual life


What is the Heaven realm?

- God-like beingsn
- Free of the poisons
- Previous good actions
- Bodhisattva plays lute of impermanence
- Examples: celebrities, royal family and rich people


What is the Titan realm?

- Envious, warlike beings engage in constant conflict
- Bodhisattva exemplifies the transcendental wisdom
- Examples: soldiers in war, dictators


What is the Animal realm?

- Beings who experience dominated for their basic physical needs
- Examples: food, sex, sleep


What is the Hell realm?

- Mental state of hatred beings
- Freezing, or being boiled, mutilated or tortured
- Bodhisattva brings abrosia to provide respite
- Examples: war, poverty, violence


What is the Hungry Ghost realm?

- Emaciated (extremely thin) beings with swollen stomachs
- Everything they eat and drink turns into fire


What is samsara?

- "wandering", "cyclic change", "the cycle of successive existence", "the wheel of life"
- person continues to be born and reborn in various realms and forms
- developed in post-vedic times
- Manier Williams defines samsara as " to go round,revolve, pass through a successive of states, to go towards or obtain, moving in a circuit "
- Also known as the wheel of existence (Bhavachakra)


What keeps you trapped in samsara?

- Your karmic energy
- Craving, ignorance of the truth


What philosophical issues are there with samsara?

- How do you that you are in samsara?
- How can you prove samsara? No empirical proof


What is the hindu idea of reincarnation?

The soul is eternal and part of the spiritual realm but returns to a physical in a new body. Learn new things each time and working through karma


What is Buddhist idea of re becoming?

Don't believe in permanent soul but neither that physical death is the end. Body is part of skandhas. Karma is a psychological link


What is the candle analogy?

The two flames not the same but the first provided for the second. So the person is one life both continuous yet different.


What is the relationship between dependent origination, karma, samsara, rebirth and nibbana?

- Dependent origination is that everything is interconnected and subject (momentary and gross)
- This change on human level is karma, meaning volitional actions/ deeds have an affect on us and other. Two types of actions: kusala and akusula. Unworthy actions means actions are rooted in the 3 root poisons and apunna (demerit) is given. This means we are reborn in samsara a never-ending cycle of death and rebirth. These volitonal actions decide which of the 6 realms we are born in.
- 12 nirdanas explains why everything is categorised by dukkha e.g. ignorance


What happens to a person after the body dies. Link to the process of rebirth in the Tibetan tradition

- Mind-stream (karmic energy) travels from life to life continuously like a rebirth- not the same person since the body dies
- At death the subtle mind (pure consciousness) leaves the body and if it merges with the clear light, enlightenment can be attained
- Most people can't control what happens at death


Any philosophical problems with the process of rebirth

1) Lacks empirical proof/ cannot verify
2) If there is no-self what is reborn in the next life?
3) What does rebirth mean? Literal/ symbol (moment to moment change) if literal is any different from a self?
4) How does karma actually work?
- Nature of pari-nibbana? Sounds pessimistic


What is the Tibetan Book of the dead?

- The Tibetan Book of the dead is a funerary text describing what happens to human consciousness during the interval between death and rebirth called bardo
- It is recited by lamas (spiritual teacher) over a dying or recently deceased person or sometimes over an effigy of the deceased- for 40 days
- It has been suggested that it is a sign of the ingluence of shamanism on Tibetan Buddhist



The Bardo Thodol differentiates the immediate states between lives into three bardos
1) The chikhai bardo ("bardo of the moment of death") features the experience of the "clear light of reality" or at least the nearest appoxiamation
2) The chonyid bardo ("Bardo of experiencing of reality") features the experience of visions pf various Buddha forms
3) The sidpa bardo ("Bardo of rebirth") features karmically impelled hallucinations


What does the Bardo Thodol also mention?

1) "Life"
2) "Dhyana" (meditation)
3) "dream"


What is Karma?

- All intentional actions
- Volitional actions
- A person's actions mould their consciousness
- At death- the quality of your mind influences the quality of rebirth


Why karma is often likened to a seed?

- Action like a seed, given the right conditions it will mature
- Store consciousness (Alaya vijnana)
1) Mind has two sections:
- Upper or mind- consciousness
- lower, store consciousness ( certain things which we are unaware)
- Store consciousness are seeds of every state of mind
- Their growth manifest habits


Karmic actions for nibbana?

- Deep insight into the true nature of reality, through practising the noble eightfold path
- Develop mind (samadhi), compassion (sila0 and wisdom (panna)


What determines the nature of karmic seed?

- Psychological impulses
- Actions must be intentional


What is a skilful action (kusala)?

- Lovingkindness (metta)
- Compassion (karuna0
- Generosity (dana)


What is an unskilful action (akusala)?

- Greed
- Hatred
- Ignorance


How to decide if an action is unskilful?

Leads to harm of oneself, or others OR both


What is an auspicious actions and merit?

- Punna: skilfula ction e.g. helps to purify the mind
- Apunna: unskilful action e.g. brings ill- fortune
In Buddhism you do this by supporting the sangha, food offerings, monastics provide food for the mind and lay people provide food for the belly


What is the purpose?

- Spreading the karmic beliefs of good deeds and to cultivate the virtue of non-attachment
- Gesture of goodwill
- Mahayana: merit is often transferred to all sentient beings



- People shape their own destiny by their actions
- Individuals are free to resist previous conditioning or habits i.e. karma


What is nibbana during life?

- Nibbana with remainder
- Still having the 5 aggregates
- Can't describe nibbana