Mysticism: Christian and Buddhist

By Daisetz Teitaro Suzuki | Go to book overview

V.
Transmigration

DOES Buddhism teach transmigration? If it does, how does it work? Does the soul really transmigrate?

Such questions are frequently asked, and I will try briefly to answer them here.


I

The idea of transmigration is this: After death, the soul migrates from one body to another, celestial, human, animal, or vegetative.

In Buddhism, as it is popularly understood, what regulates transmigration is ethical retribution. Those who behave properly go to heaven, or to heavens, as there are many heavens according to Buddhist cosmology. Some may be reborn among their own races. Those, however, who have not conducted themselves according to moral precepts will be consigned after death to the underground worlds called Naraka.

There are some destined to be reborn as a dog or a cat or a hog or a cow or some other animal, according to deeds which can be characterized as pre-eminently in correspondence with those natures generally ascribed to those particular animals. For instance, the hog is popularly thought to be

-115-

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Mysticism: Christian and Buddhist
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • BOARD OF EDITORS of WORLD PERSPECTIVES iv
  • Title Page v
  • Contents vii
  • World Perspectives ix
  • Preface xix
  • Section One 1
  • I. Meister Eckhart and Buddhism 3
  • Ii. the Basis of Buddhist Philosophy 36
  • Iii. "A Little Point" and Satori 76
  • Iv. Living in the Light of Eternity 93
  • Appendices 113
  • V. Transmigration 115
  • Vi. Crucifixion and Enlightenment 129
  • Section Two 141
  • Vii. Kono-Mama ("I Am That I Am") 143
  • Appendices 159
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