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Karma and Rebirth

by Sangharakshita

Karma and rebirth are two of the most widely known teachings connected with Indian spiritual and philosophical teaching, yet they are often profoundly misunderstood. This is an excellent introduction to the Buddhist perspective. How does it work? And what happens after death?

Talk given in 1970.

Tracks (click play to listen)

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1. The mystery of death through the ages (11:44) 
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2. Death is not the end; why consider this topic? Eastern and Western attitudes towards death (9:11) 
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3. The general Buddhist teaching on karma and rebirth: karma as a form of the universal principle of conditionality (16:05) 
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4. Karma as the law of conditionality at work on a certain level of existence:-the five niyamas ('natural laws', 'cosmic orders'); utu-niyama: non-living matter; bija-niyama: living matter; chitta-niyama: the world of mind; karma-niyama: ethical responsibili (13:23) 
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5. Karma classified according to: i. Ethical status (13:30) 
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6. ii. The 'door' through which it is performed: body, speech, and mind (1:23) 
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7. iii. The appropriateness of the resultant experiences (4:29) 
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8. iv. The time of taking effect (1:31) 
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9. v. Relative priority of taking effect: weighty karma; death-proximate karma; habitual karma; residual karma (10:47) 
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10. vi. Function: reproductive; supportive; counteractive; destructive (1:38) 
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11. vii. The plane on which it matures: space-time, the material aspect ofconditioned existence ('world'); spiritual, the subjective aspect of conditioned existence ('state') (4:18) 
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12. The evidence for karma and rebirth (11:50) 
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13. Misunderstanding and difficulties: i. karma is not destiny; ii. not everything happens as a result of karma; iii. rebirth and the anatma ('no self') teaching; Do you have to believe in karma and rebirth? Conclusion: reformulating the traditional teaching (9:53) 


Total running time: 1:49:42

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