Significance of rebirth

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ekhhh
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What is the significance of anicca (rebirth) to Buddhists?? & How does it have an effect on their lives?
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(Original post by ekhhh)
What is the significance of anicca (rebirth) to Buddhists?? & How does it have an effect on their lives?
Anicca doesn't explicitly mean rebirth - it just means impermanence.

Rebirth means 'the continuation of consciousness' essentially and refers to the soul. One progresses through the stages of the Wheel of Samsara based on their behaviour in the current life, which is where karma comes into play. The belief in rebirth is very important to Buddhists because it affects their behaviour. One wants to accrue as much positive karma as possible so that they can come ever closer to becoming enlightened like the Buddha and entering the blissful state of mind known as nirvana. Some Buddhists say that once you reach this state, you have escaped Samsara for eternity. Others disgaree and say you can regress after becoming enlightened. But I think the crux of the answer to your question is that rebirth is a concept that shapes the way Buddhists morally behave. It provides a goal and a target to aspire for.

I hope this helps.
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e aí rapaz
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The issue with the notion of rebirth is that although it's a very important concept in buddhism, it's one that is very often interpreted in different ways by different people.

What we know is this. Buddhism teaches anatta - that there is no self, there is no soul. There is no "you" that passes from one body to another, so this western idea of reincarnation is often misunderstood. Buddhism also teaches the oneness of everything, including you, me and everything around us, so when our body dies, we are "reborn" through our continuation in the whole. This also explains why our karma has such a lasting effect beyond this current "life". A way of looking at it that I like is this:


“A wave in the sea, seen in one way, seems to have a distinct identity, an end and a beginning, a birth and a death. Seen in another way, the wave doesn’t really exist, but is just the behaviour of water, “empty” of any separate identity, but “full” of water. So when you really think about the wave, you come to realize that it is something that has been made temporarily possible by wind and water, and is dependent on a set of constantly changing circumstances. You also realize that every wave is related to every other wave.”
- Sogyal Rinpoche

"Enlightenment, for a wave in the ocean,
is the moment the wave realises it is water."
- Thich Nhat Hanh
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