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Afterlife of Buddhism

Ten Stages of Buddhism Afterlife

Steve Grech

on 27 January 2013

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Transcript of Afterlife of Buddhism

Ten Spiritual Realms The Ten Spiritual Realms 2. Hunger (Pretas) What does Buddha say about Death Buddhist Afterlife Beliefs In Buddhism, there it is believed that life is a cycle, a road to finding the path to one's spiritual, conscious, and physical Enlightenment, or the gaining of spiritual insight and relief of earthly suffering or desire. This was achieved by Siddhartha Gautama. Siddhartha Gautama was a king who was born with many riches. As his father was a king Siddhartha Gautama had many riches. But Siddhartha Gautama always felt that his life was not complete. At the age of 29, Siddhartha left his palace to meet his subjects. Despite his father's efforts to hide from him the sick, aged and suffering, Siddhartha was said to have seen an old man. When the concept of growing old was explained to him the prince went on further trips beyond the palace. On these he encountered a diseased man, a decaying corpse, and an ascetic. These depressed him, and he initially strove to overcome aging, sickness, and death. Siddhartha and a group of five companions led by Kaundinya are then said to have set out to take their austerities even further. They tried to find enlightenment through deprivation of worldly goods, including food, practicing self-mortification. After nearly starving himself to death , he collapsed in a river while bathing and almost drowned. Siddhartha began to reconsider his path. Then, he remembered a moment in childhood in which he had been watching his father start the season's plowing. He attained a concentrated and focused state that was blissful and refreshing, the jhāna. The Buddha said of death:

Life is a journey.
Death is a return to earth.
The universe is like an inn.
The passing years are like dust.

Regard this phantom world
As a star at dawn, a bubble in a stream,
A flash of lightning in a summer cloud,
A flickering lamp - a phantom - and a dream Buddhists believe in the Ten spiritual realms. The Ten spiritual realms are ten states that one person can be reborn into. Most Buddhists believe a person must live there life in a Realm before once again being reincarnated at a higher or lower realm. the only way to shift between them is through rebirth. This is governed by karma (action and volition: the choices made during life) Hunger is a condition characterized by the inability to govern one's actions, for food, power, wealth, fame, pleasure and so on. Following this incident, Gautama was famously seated under a pipal tree he vowed never to arise until he had found the truth. After a reputed 49 days of meditation, at the age of 35, he is said to have attained Enlightenment. Gautama was then known to his followers as the Buddha or "Awakened One" ("Buddha" is also sometimes translated as "The Enlightened One"). 1.Hell (Naraka.) Hell is the first, worst spiritual realm to be in. Hell is a condition of total claustrophobic aggression, in which one perceives no freedom of action and has very little life-force (physical or mental energy). One feels totally trapped, the being is dominated by anger, hatred and frustrated rage and, in extreme cases, the urge to destroy oneself and everything else.
Six Realms of Desire 3.Animality (Animals.) Animality is a condition in which one is governed by instinct, in this realm there is no sense of morality and one lives only for the present moment. In this state one will prey on weaker beings for personal gain, and will try to attract the attentions of stronger beings in order to side with them. This realm is characterized by the total lack of good judgment and reason. 4. Arrogance (Asuras) Arrogance is the condition in which one is dominated by the selfish ego, competitiveness, paranoid jealousy and the need to be superior in all things. In this realm one feels dominant over all others and feels the urge to dominate 5.Humanity (Humans.) Humanity is the state in which the discriminating awareness and the thinking mind are most highly developed. It is characterized by ambitious passion for abstract ideals and role models, and is unique among the lower realms in providing both the potential means and the motivation to transcend suffering. This is one of the shortest lived life 6.Heaven (or rapture) Heaven is the condition of pleasure, when one's desires are fulfilled and one experiences short-lived but intense feelings of joy. Unlike the true happiness of Buddhahood, however, this state is temporary and, like Humanity, easily disrupted by even a slight change of circumstances. One will inevitably descend to a lower realm once the joy dies away. This realm is characterized by not feeling negative emotions and being less vulnerable to external influences than the lower realms.

The majority of sentient beings spend most of their time moving between these six conditions of life, from Hell to Rapture, governed by their reactions to temptations and ability to obey. Thus a lot of time is spent in the Six Realms of Desire. Four higher (noble) realms This realm, can also be called Nirvana. In this realm the being is called a Buddha. The person experiencing Buddhahood is totally free from all delusion, suffering and anger. It is a condition of perfect and absolute freedom, characterized by boundless wisdom, courage, compassion and life force. This realm is characterized by not being shifted into lower realms thus as previously mentioned is called Nirvana. In this realm you will never die and live in perfect happiness and knowledge. The four higher worlds are characterized by the belief that humans need to make an effort to reveal themselves from within their lives. Entering The higher realms is quite a difficult task that requires many years to reach.
Four Higher Realms 7. Learning (Śrvakabuddha) To access this realm, the experiencing this realm must first develop the desire to gain wisdom and insight into the true nature of all things, free from delusion. This realm is characterized learning from other people and learning with pre-recorded information eg. books. 8. Realization (atyekabuddha.) Realization is a state in which one discovers a partial truth through one's own observations, efforts and concentration. Usually to access this realm the experiencer must first have decided external sources are inferior to internal sources, e.g. his/her own mind. This realm is characterized by the seeking of truth and wisdom

The two above realms are collectively known as 'the two vehicles'. Even though these realms are based upon the desire to increase wisdom and insight, ego is still present, as these desires are primarily self-oriented. In these 9 realms being demoted to a lower realm was possible. Reaching the ninth realm is said to be a very difficult task as one must be reincarnated many times before he can reach such a high realm. This is the last human rank. And if you get enough good karma you will pass to the final realm. 9. Bodhisattvahood (Bodhisattva) Unlike all previous realms here we find that happiness is achieved through the benefit of others is superior to happiness achieved through the benefit of only the self. While all other realms depended on increasing personal glory in this realm we find that happiness can only be achieved by helping others Tenth Spiritual Realm 10.Buddhahood
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