Spirit or Ghost???

An open and inclusive investigation into Buddhism and spiritual cultivation

Spirit or Ghost???

Postby unspoken » Thu Jan 20, 2011 5:17 am

I think I read a commentary about when a person dies, theres a possibility that they will stay around there for 7 days/49days. How many days doesn't matter. The question is, since the person stays here to look at the ones he/she loved for that time of a period, what they appear as??? They are certainly not a hungry ghost, not a soul since anatta. And are they some conscious that remain here that sometimes those who closed to the passed away ones can see them?

With metta and curiosity
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Re: Spirit or Ghost???

Postby Individual » Thu Jan 20, 2011 12:48 pm

Could you please find that commentary?

In the absence of a soul, there is no "they" to assume which has continuity -- in this life and the next.

The basis for rebirth isn't well-understood or explained, but it is not worth pondering. See the four imponderables.
The best things in life aren't things.

The Diamond Sutra
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Re: Spirit or Ghost???

Postby unspoken » Thu Jan 20, 2011 4:25 pm

Sorry I couldn't find the commentary. But its roughly that idea

I am not really pointing at it as a rebirth sort of thing. Is just that, a person dies, he/she stays here in a certain period which sometimes misunderstood by calling them ghost or soul or spirit. I just need to know roughly what state are that person at that point where they can be seen maybe by people who are closed to that person. Ghost? Spirit? Conscious?
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Re: Spirit or Ghost???

Postby PeterB » Thu Jan 20, 2011 4:38 pm

waffle ?
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Re: Spirit or Ghost???

Postby David N. Snyder » Fri Jan 21, 2011 5:23 am

unspoken wrote:I think I read a commentary about when a person dies, theres a possibility that they will stay around there for 7 days/49days. How many days doesn't matter. The question is, since the person stays here to look at the ones he/she loved for that time of a period, what they appear as??? They are certainly not a hungry ghost, not a soul since anatta. And are they some conscious that remain here that sometimes those who closed to the passed away ones can see them?


I haven't read all of the Commentaries, but my understanding is that they lean much more toward the idea of instant rebirth. The 7 / 49 days is found more in Vajrayana / Tibetan Buddhism.

http://www.dhammawiki.com/index.php?tit ... ween_state
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Re: Spirit or Ghost???

Postby Taco » Fri Jan 21, 2011 6:50 am

unspoken wrote:I think I read a commentary about when a person dies, theres a possibility that they will stay around there for 7 days/49days. How many days doesn't matter. The question is, since the person stays here to look at the ones he/she loved for that time of a period, what they appear as??? They are certainly not a hungry ghost, not a soul since anatta. And are they some conscious that remain here that sometimes those who closed to the passed away ones can see them?

With metta and curiosity

I was just listening to Bhikkhu Bodhi's Majjhima Nikaya series and he talks about this in this talk, from 1:05:55 forward
http://bodhimonastery.net/courses/MN/MP ... MN-057.mp3

The "spirit" thing is based on this sutta (MN-38):
Bhikkhus, with the coming together of three things a descent to the womb comes about: Here the mother and father come together. It is not the season of the mother. The one to be born does not attend Then there is no descent to the womb. Here, mother and father come together. It is the season of the mother. The one to be born does not attend. Then there is no descent to the womb. Here mother and father come together. It is the season of the mother and the one to be born attends. Then there is a descent to the womb.
http://www.metta.lk/tipitaka/2Sutta-Pit ... ta-e1.html

"The one to be born" or "gandhabba" is some sort of an "disembodied being" or "stream of conciousness" and Ven. Bodhi tells a rebirth story he had read where someone remembers the time after death, can see the family, the sister wasn't aware of it but the dog sensed it and barked, later the "spirit" followed some women and then descented to the womb when "the mother and father came together". Or something like that...
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