Planes of Existence - Birth is result of one's kamma

People are inclined to speculate about the place where they will be reborn. Would we like to be reborn in the human plane? We cling to life in the human plane and we do not always realize the many moments of akusala vipāka we are bound to receive in this world: we are threatened by calamities such as war and hunger, there is sickness, old age and death. Some people would like to be reborn in a heavenly plane; they like to experience pleasant things through the senses. One may wish for rebirth in a heavenly plane, but whether or not this will happen depend on one's kamma. Birth is result, it does not take place without cause. If one performs many good deeds one cultivates the cause which will bring a pleasant result; but there is no way to know when the result will take place, this is beyond control.


Are we afraid of death? Most people want to prolong their lives. They fear

death because they feel uncertain of the future. If one is not an ariyan there

may be rebirth in hell. We do not like to think of rebirth in a woeful plane, but

there may be deeds performed in the past which can still cause rebirth in hell.

Even the Buddha was in one of his former lives born in hell. It is useless to

think of hell with aversion and fear, but the thought of hell is helpful when it

reminds us to cultivate kusala at this moment, instead of akusala.


Topic 193