The Buddha talked about a continuum of consciousness, so was he talking about souls? It’s a common misconception that Buddhism teaches about reincarnation, when it is actually teaching about rebirth. In this video I explain the Buddha’s position on the soul theory as well as the difference between rebirth and reincarnation. Within the Buddhist teachings there are several analogies to explain how consciousness continues moment to moment and what happens after death. I draw on these analogies to illustrate just how this continuity takes place and how consciousness is affected after death.
Also, being the inquisitive creatures that we are, it’s not surprising that we ask, ‘well, what am I, what is my true nature and what will I be if I’m enlightened?’ In this video, I explore the main reason why the Buddha didn’t specify our ‘true nature’ and I share some sutras where the Buddha does describe the beauty and freedom experienced by one who is enlightened.
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“Ananda Sutta: To Ananda” (SN 44.10), translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu. Access to Insight (Legacy Edition), 30 November 2013, http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn44/sn44.010.than.html.
©1994 Buddhist Publication Society. You may copy, reformat, reprint, republish, and redistribute this work in any medium whatsoever, provided that: (1) you only make such copies, etc. available free of charge and, in the case of reprinting, only in quantities of no more than 50 copies; (2) you clearly indicate that any derivatives of this work (including translations) are derived from this source document; and (3) you include the full text of this license in any copies or derivatives of this work. Otherwise, all rights reserved. Documents linked from this page may be subject to other restrictions. The Wheel Publication No. 394/396 (Kandy: Buddhist Publication Society, 1994). Transcribed from a file provided by the BPS, with minor revisions in accordance with the ATI style sheet. Last revised for Access to Insight on 1 December 2013. How to cite this document (a suggested style): “Fundamentals of Buddhism: Four Lectures”, by Nyanatiloka Mahathera. Access to Insight (Legacy Edition), 1 December 2013, http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/nyanatiloka/wheel394.html.
“Sariputta-Kotthita Sutta: Sariputta and Kotthita (4)” (SN 44.6), translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu. Access to Insight (Legacy Edition), 1 July 2010, http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn44/sn44.006.than.html.
“The Five Aggregates: A Study Guide”, by Thanissaro Bhikkhu. Access to Insight (Legacy Edition), 30 November 2013, http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/study/khandha.html.
“Potthapada Sutta: About Potthapada” (DN 9), translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu. Access to Insight (Legacy Edition), 30 November 2013, http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/dn/dn.09.0.than.html.
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