clw_uk wrote:Thats if you take gandhabba as having that meaning, it could mean anything though, no one was there to know its original meaning
So we can make up any meaning we like?
Regarding this, and the general issue of the meanings of various terms used in the Suttas, it might be helpful to pay some attention to those who have actually studied the Suttas in detail.
For example, in a link I gave earlier Ajahn Brahm discusses the meanings of various Pali terms by referring to various Suttas (no Abhidhamma, you'll be happy to hear...). http://www.bswa.org/modules/icontent/index.php?page=65
For me, the useful thing about this thread is that it inspired me to read that article again, along with several of the Suttas in SN 12 http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .html#sn12
and Bhikkhu Bodhi's analysis in "In the Buddha's Words". Everything I read seems self-consistent, is consistent with the detailed expositions here by Tiltbillings and others, and points to liberation...
Ajahn Brahm wrote:In this essay, I have attempted to describe what Paticca-samuppada is all about. I began by presenting the standard sequence of the twelve factors, and then their meaning as defined by The Buddha Himself. It should have been clear from these definitions that Paticca-samuppada, as The Buddha meant it to be understood, spans more than one life.
I then went on to discuss a Western model of causality, the necessary and sufficient conditions, and how these slotted so neatly into Idappaccayat, The Buddha's model of causality. I later used the 'necessary and sufficient conditions' model to throw more light on the different forms of causal relationships between each pair of factors.
A digression on the meaning of sanditthika-akalika, and a section called 'Misreading the Suttas', were meant to address some objections (misconceived, as I hope that I have proved) to the fact that Paticca-samuppada in the suttas does span more than one life. Although the argument here was somewhat technical, it highlighted the importance of kamma and rebirth to The Buddha's Dhamma. Kamma and rebirth are obviously not a mere cultural accretion, as some modern misinformed authors would have us believe, but are essential to the central teaching of Paticca-samuppda.
Lastly, I introduced a section rarely mentioned in essays about Paticca-samuppada - What is its purpose? I have shown that the purpose of Paticca-samuppada is much more than mere food for intellectual debate. Indeed, Paticca-samuppada demonstrates how there can be rebirth without a soul, it reveals what life is, and it explains why there is suffering together with the way suffering is totally ended. Paticca-samuppda answers the big questions.
It is no exaggeration to state that Paticca-samuppda is at the very heart of the Dhamma. As The Buddha stated, one who understands Paticca-samuppada accurately, also sees the Dhamma. And the one who sees the Dhamma fully, is one who has entered the stream and will soon put an end to all suffering. May that be you!