Abhidhamma View : Signs & Mind at Time of Death
[Presented by Dr.Tep Sastri @ SariputtaDhamma/JTN/Mult]
CMA V, p. 221-222:
In the case of those who are about to die, at the time of death one of the following presents itself, according to the circumstances, through any of the six sense doors by the power of kamma:
(i) a kamma that is to produce rebirth-linking in the next existence; or
(ii) a sign of kamma, that is, a form, etc., that had been apprehended previously at the time of performing the kamma or something that was instrumental in performing the kamma; or
(iii) a sign of destiny, that is, a symbol of the state to be obtained and experienced in the immediately following existence.
[For an explanation of the three types of object presented to the mind of the dying individual, see Classifications by Way of Doors, CMA III, p. 136-139.] It should be stressed that this object presents itself to the javana process of the dying person, not to the death consciousness itself. The death consciousness(cuticitta), the final citta in a life term, apprehends the same object grasped by the rebirth consciousness and bhavanga of the existence that is about to end. The object of the last javana process then serves as the object of the rebirth consciousness and the bhavanga in the next existence, and becomes in turn the object of the death consciousness at the end of that existence.
Thereafter, attending to that object thus presented, the stream of consciousness --in accordance with the kamma that is to be matured, whether pure or corrupted, and in conformity with the state into which one is to be reborn-- continually flows, mostly inclined towards that state. Or that rebirth-productive kamma arrives at the door by way of renewing. That is, the kamma presenting itself does not appear as a memory image of something that was previously done, but it appears to the mind door as if it were being done at that very moment.
To one who is on the verge of death, either at the end of a cognitive process or at the dissolution of the life-continuum, the death consciousness, the consummation of the present life, arises and ceases in the way of death.
Immediately after that death consciousness has ceased, a rebirth-consciousness of the appropriate kind arises and is established in the subsequent existence, apprehending the object thus obtained, either supported by the heart-base or baseless; it is generated by a volitional formation that is enveloped by the latent ignorance and rooted in latent craving, as is appropriate. That rebirth-linking consciousness, is conjoined with the mental adjuncts, and acts as the forerunner to the conascent states as their locus(or foundation).
Love Buddha's dhamma,