This research project by Professor Bhikkhu Anālayo addresses the following issues:
- A comparative study of relevant Pāli discourses and their parallels in the Chinese Āgamas, in Sanskrit fragments, and in Tibetan translations, in order to determine the parameters of the early Buddhist doctrine of rebirth.
- A survey of the strategies of debate employed by Buddhists to defend the idea of rebirth in ancient India, when Buddhism spread to China, and in its recent spread to the West.
- A summary of modern rebirth-related research from the fields of near death experiences, past life regression, children’s memories of past lives, birthmarks and birth-defects, and xenoglossy.
- An examination of the audio recordings of Pāli chantings by a child in Sri Lanka, that is believed to be the reincarnation of an Indian monk who accompanied Buddhagosa to Sri Lanka, in order to determine whether they support or contradict his memory of having learned these texts in a past live.
The results of the research are to be published as a monograph.