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Samsara.  

What is it?  

Essentially it is the Buddhist cycle of birth, rebirth, pain, and suffering thought to be common to all of humanity.

Buddhists would call it “rebirth”, others maybe “reincarnation.”

How could it practically play out in the world according to the Buddhist teaching?  

Let the disciple answer for himself.

The quote below is from the Satriputra (Sariputta), the chief disciple of Gautama, called the Buddha.

“Imagine this scene: a layman sits in front of his house, eating a fish from the pond behind the house, holding his son in his lap. The dog is eating the fishbones and the man kicks the dog.

Not an extraordinary scene one would think, but the Ven. Sariputta comments:

The Chief Disciple of Gautauma called "Buddha", Sariputta

“He eats his father’s flesh and kicks his mother away,
The enemy he killed he dandles on his lap,
The wife is gnawing at her husband’s bones,
Samsara can be such a farce.

What happened?  Shariputta goes on to explain…

  • The man’s father died and was reborn as a fish in the pool, the layman caught his father, the fish, killed it, and was now eating it. .
  • The layman’s mother was very attached to the house so she was reborn as the man’s dog.
  • The man’s enemy had been killed for raping the man’s wife; and because the enemy was so attached to her, he was reborn as her son.
  • While he ate his father’s meat, the dog – his mother – ate the fish bones, and so was beaten by her son.
  • His own little son, his enemy, was sitting on his knee.”

What do you think?    

If you believe in Samsara and rebirth, you must also take the authority of the highest disciple who taught this analogy and possibility as well.

A “farce” indeed.

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