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Dhamma Wheel • View topic - Life from what period

Life from what period

A forum for members who wish to develop a deeper understanding of the Pali Canon and associated Commentaries, which for discussion purposes are both treated as authoritative.

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Re: Life from what period

Postby beeblebrox » Tue May 13, 2014 2:50 pm

Hi NoBSBuddhist,

My only interest in here is in the way that this is being interpreted from the commentaries and what the Buddha said, as per the guideline of this particular forum. I do it to gain a better understanding for the rest of his teachings.

I don't do it to get judgmental about what other people end up doing... that's not my place. So, please don't worry about that.

:anjali:
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Re: Life from what period

Postby ArkA » Tue May 13, 2014 4:55 pm

David N. Snyder wrote:I forget the reference, but the Buddha mentioned that killing a being we can't see (such as a tardigrade) is not an offense.

This idea of "killing a being we can't see (such as a tardigrade) is not an offence" doesn't come in the whole Vinaya Pitaka or Vinaya Commentary. But according to one of my Japanese Mahayana friend, Mahayana has this story of a monk who looked into the water by divine eye. The monk saw small beings in the water, and was hesitant to boil it. The Buddha told the monk, "I asked you to boil the water, not to look!" The Mahayana says that the beings in the water are the ones in antarabhava. My friend said this story is a later addition and has several interpretations.

David N. Snyder wrote:An embryo or fetus cannot be seen, although the physician performing the abortion can see the embryo or fetus with the medical equipment and there is intention to kill. Definitely a difficult issue. I guess it can be focused down to when does a human (or animal) life begin?

Contrary to the modern days, in the time of the Buddha when the rules formulated, nobody saw the baby--whatever you call it--until the birth. Mother does an abortion because there is something to abort. When the signs like missing menstruation or morning sickness happening the mother knows that a new life began its journey in her womb. According to the 2nd fold of the Noble Eightfold Path, we should develop "ahinsa sankappa" (intention of non-violence).

I like to quote few paragraphs from Bhante Sujato's article about abortion.

There is clear support for this conclusion in the Vinaya. This states that a monk or nun should never, for the whole of their life, intentionally kill a human being, ‘even to the extent of causing an abortion’. Similarly, they should not have sexual intercourse ‘even to the depth of a sesame seed’. They should not steal ‘even as much as a blade of grass’. They should not lay claim to spiritual attainments ‘even by saying “I delight in an empty dwelling”’. So abortion is clearly regarded as intentional killing of a human being; yet it is the least serious act of this kind.

However we do not accept that it can be proved that the inception of consciousness takes place only after three or four months. This is an ethically arbitrary date which simply marks the present day limits of scientific knowledge, but tells us nothing about the moral status of the embryo. I would very much like to see a study of the effects of abortion on the emotional landscapes of women, and a comparison between women who decided to have an abortion and women who had unwanted pregnancies but decided to bear a child. How do they feel afterwards? Five years later? Ten years later? How many mothers would, when their child had grown up, say that they wished they had had an abortion?

- When Life Begins, Bhikkhu Sujato


Finally, this is all I have to say, as the tagline of the movie "Horton Hears a Who! (2008)":

After all, a person is a person, no matter how small.*


* I don't watch movies, this given by my sister.
I'll restart my yearlong meditation retreat on 15th June 2014, hence will not be here.

"Bhikkhus, there are these three things that shine when exposed, not when concealed. What three? (1) The moon. (2) The sun. (3) The Dhamma and discipline proclaimed by the Tathagata."
- Anguttara Nikaya, 3.131, Paticchanna Sutta

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Re: Life from what period

Postby David N. Snyder » Tue May 13, 2014 5:58 pm

ArkA wrote:
David N. Snyder wrote:I forget the reference, but the Buddha mentioned that killing a being we can't see (such as a tardigrade) is not an offense.

This idea of "killing a being we can't see (such as a tardigrade) is not an offence" doesn't come in the whole Vinaya Pitaka or Vinaya Commentary.


I believe it might be this reference:

pacittiya 61. Should any bhikkhu knowingly deprive an animal of life, it is to be confessed.
pacittiya 62. Should any bhikkhu knowingly make use of water with living beings in it, it is to be confessed.

"Deliberately killing an animal — or having it killed — is [an offence of Confession]."(Summary Paac. 61; BMC p.423)

'Animal' here is paano, literally 'having breath.' The Commentary explains that it includes living beings down to the size of a bedbug. Elsewhere the texts forbid the killing of "even an ant."

◊ One of the bhikkhu's requisites is a water filter. This is employed to prevent the killing of (visible) waterborne creatures when making use of water from a well or stream. Practically, this also leads bhikkhus to take extra care that they cover water jars or regularly change water so that mosquito larvae do not have opportunity to breed. This shows how the Vinaya Rule emphasizes care and forethought as 'preventive medicine.'

There are two rules concerned with bhikkhus and their use of water:

One of these offences was originally perpetrated by the notorious 'group-of-six' monks who used water that contained living beings. It can be summarized:
"Using water, knowing that it contains living beings that will die from one's use, is [an offence of Confession.]" (Paac. 62; BMC p.424)

In the second offence the monks of AA.lavii were doing repairs and 'sprinkled grass and clay' with water that they knew contained life. It is summarized:
"If a bhikkhu knows that water contains living beings but still pours it out onto grass or earth it is [an offence of Confession.] Also pouring — or having it poured — into such water anything that would kill the beings therein is [an offence of Confession.]" (Paac. 20; See BMC p.319)

Intention is an essential factor here. For example, if a bhikkhu only intends to sweep a path but accidentally kills ants in the process, there is no offence because it is not deliberate. However, ordering an animal to be killed (and it is) is an offence.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... guide.html


The water filter is to take out any visible forms of life, such as insects. And obviously there is no intention with any killing of unseen animals.
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Re: Life from what period

Postby TheNoBSBuddhist » Tue May 13, 2014 7:00 pm

Oh dear....

I emptied my rainwater butt the other day because it had drainfly larvae in there.....:shrug:

:weep:
:namaste:

You will not be punished FOR your 'emotions'; you will be punished BY your 'emotions'.



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‘Absit invidia verbo’ - may ill-will be absent from the word. And mindful of that, if I don't respond, this may be why....
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Re: Life from what period

Postby ArkA » Wed May 14, 2014 1:30 am

As advised by the Buddha, this is the third advice I heard just after receiving my higher ordination, so does any bhikkhu.

"When a monk is ordained he should not intetionally deprive a living thing of life, even if it is only an ant. What ever monk deprives a human being of life even down to causing abortion, he becomes not a (true) recluse, not a son of the Sakyans. As a flat stone, broke, becomes (scmething) not to be put together again, even so a monk, having intentionally deprived a human being of life, becomes not a (true) recluse, not a son of the Sakyans. This is a thing not to be done by you as long as life lasts."

- Vinaya, Mahāvagga, 1. Mahā Khandhaka (The Book of Descipline IV, page 125)


David N. Snyder wrote:
ArkA wrote:
David N. Snyder wrote:I forget the reference, but the Buddha mentioned that killing a being we can't see (such as a tardigrade) is not an offense.

This idea of "killing a being we can't see (such as a tardigrade) is not an offence" doesn't come in the whole Vinaya Pitaka or Vinaya Commentary.


I believe it might be this reference:

pacittiya 61. Should any bhikkhu knowingly deprive an animal of life, it is to be confessed.
pacittiya 62. Should any bhikkhu knowingly make use of water with living beings in it, it is to be confessed
...


Let me quote the relevant passages straight from the Cannon, which clearly prove that it's not about see or not, but a case of "a living thing" and having the perception "that is a living thing". And for a bhiikhu, when there is a living thing, there is an offence even he doubt "whether it's a living thing or not."

"Whatever monk should intentionally deprive a living thing of life, there is an offence of expiation."

Intentionally means: a transgression committed knowingly, consciously, deliberately.

Living thing means: it is called a living thing that is an animal (tiracchānagatahaṇo).

Should deprive of life means: if he cuts off the faculty of life, destroys it, harms its duration, there is an offence
of expiation.

If he thinks that it is a living thing (pāṇasaññī) when it is a living thing, (and) deprives it of life, there is an offence of expiation.
If he is in doubt as to whether it is a living thing, (and) deprives it of life, there is an offence of wrong-doing.
If he thinks that it is not a living thing when it is a living thing, there is no offence.
If he thinks that it is a living thing when it is not a living thing, there is an offence of wrong-doing.
If he is in doubt as to whether it is not a living thing, there is an offence of wrong-doing.
If he thinks that it is not a living thing when it is not a living thing, there is no offence.

- Vinaya, Pācittiya 61 (The Book of Descipline II, page 1-2)


"Whatever monk should knowingly make use of water that contains living things, there is an offence of expiation."

He knows means: he knows by himself or others tell him.

That contains living thing means: if, knowing (this), he makes use of it knowing that "will die from (this) use," there is an offence of expiation.

If he thinks that it contains living things when it contains living things (and) makes use of it, there is an offence of expiation.
If he is in doubt as to whether it contains living things (and) makes use of it, there is an offence of wrong-doing.
If he thinks that it does not contain living things when it contains living things (and) makes use of it there is no offence.
If he thinks that it contains living things when it does not contain living things, there is an offence of wrong-doing.
If he is in doubt as to whether it does not contain living things, there is an offence of wrong-doing.
If he thinks that it does not contain living things when it does not contain living things, there is no offence.

- Vinaya, Pācittiya 62 (The Book of Descipline II, page 3)
I'll restart my yearlong meditation retreat on 15th June 2014, hence will not be here.

"Bhikkhus, there are these three things that shine when exposed, not when concealed. What three? (1) The moon. (2) The sun. (3) The Dhamma and discipline proclaimed by the Tathagata."
- Anguttara Nikaya, 3.131, Paticchanna Sutta

"Silence is the language of God; all else is poor translation."
– Rumi

Introduction: http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=20572
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Re: Life from what period

Postby mikenz66 » Wed May 14, 2014 2:43 am

Hi Venerable,
ArkA wrote:As advised by the Buddha, this is the third advice I heard just after receiving my higher ordination, so does any bhikkhu.
"When a monk is ordained he should not intetionally deprive a living thing of life, even if it is only an ant. What ever monk deprives a human being of life even down to causing abortion, he becomes not a (true) recluse, not a son of the Sakyans. As a flat stone, broke, becomes (scmething) not to be put together again, even so a monk, having intentionally deprived a human being of life, becomes not a (true) recluse, not a son of the Sakyans. This is a thing not to be done by you as long as life lasts."

- Vinaya, Mahāvagga, 1. Mahā Khandhaka (The Book of Descipline IV, page 125)

I don't think anyone is disputing that. But to me the interesting question is what the vinaya, suttas, abdhidhamma, and commentary say about when life begins for a human embryo.

Personally, I would probably tend to err on the side of caution, and use conception as the starting point, but the question is, I think, worth discussing.

:anjali:
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Re: Life from what period

Postby David N. Snyder » Wed May 14, 2014 2:47 am

ArkA wrote:If he thinks that it is not a living thing when it is a living thing, there is no offence.
- Vinaya, Pācittiya 61 (The Book of Descipline II, page 1-2)


There it is right there in your quote. If he thinks it is not a living thing, i.e., does not visibly see it and does not believe there is any living being there; there is no offence.

I am not in any way saying this justifies abortion. It was just something I mentioned earlier and also mentioned that the physician does in fact see the fetus with the aid of medical equipment, indeed, even seeks it out to intentionally destroy it.

The question remains, still unanswered conclusively, when does the stream of consciousness enter the womb? Is it right after conception? Is it after about 8 weeks when it becomes a fetus? Or some other time? I don't know.

edit: (was posting at same time as mike) Yes, what Mike said ^ Thanks.
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Re: Life from what period

Postby Mkoll » Wed May 14, 2014 2:57 am

mikenz66 wrote:Personally, I would probably tend to err on the side of caution, and use conception as the starting point, but the question is, I think, worth discussing.


I would agree with you there.

~~~

I said before that there will always be an element of uncertainty as to when consciousness enters the womb. We'll only ever be able to observe signs of consciousness as outside observers. The embryo can't communicate with us and say: "Hey, I'm here now! I'm conscious!" Even though it may be conscious without showing any indication of it.
Peace,
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Re: Life from what period

Postby Sylvester » Wed May 14, 2014 3:27 am

robertk wrote:
3c. The Buddha consistently stated that human life in this body
begins when consciousness first manifests inside the mother’s
womb. The Pāli word here rendered as “manifest” is Pātubhūta,
which also means to be open, visible, apparent. To be precise,
human life in this body begins not when consciousness first
exists in the mother’s womb, but when it first shows its
existence in the mother’s womb (these two events, I believe,
are simultaneous).

http://www.dhammatalks.net/Books7/Ajahn ... _Begin.pdf
How does consciousness first manifest its existence? Point 2d,
above, states that when consciousness first manifests then
nāma-rūpa also shows its first appearance. Two essential parts
of nāma-rūpa are vedana (feeling, the ability to distinguish
between painful or pleasurable or neutral sensations) and
cetanā (will, deliberate reactions to such sensations). So, when
vedana and will first manifest in the unborn being, then one
knows that nāma-rūpa has first manifested; and when nāmarūpa
has first manifested, then consciousness has first
manifested and human life has begun anew!
In conclusion, only when the embryo-fetus first shows
sensitivity to pleasure and pain (vedana) and first shows
will (such as by a purposeful shrinking away from a
painful stimulus) has consciousness and nāma-rūpa first
manifested and the new human life started


This idea from the article by teh venerable Bhikkhu
that consciousness only "manifests" or arises in an embryo when one can perceive the embryo reacting to pain "such as by a purposeful shrinking away from a
painful stimulus" is not supported by the texts .

The term Pātubhūta, manisfests , is just a way it say it appears or arises. We see in the quote given by Kevin that
Vsm (Visuddhimagga) Chapter XVI.32 wrote:

"Now, this word birth (játi) has many meanings...

...In the passage, “His birth is due to the first consciousness arisen, the first cognition manifested, in the mother’s womb” (Vin I 93) it is rebirth-linking."
In fact I seem to remember other passages note that in the early stages of life in the womb the being is mostly in bhavanga, deep sleep, and no reactions would be noticed at all. Also when the embryo is still very tiny would any reactions be easily seen by an outside observer.


Hi robert and Kevin

Let's see what the Vinaya passage which Ajahn Brahm relies on really says -

Tena kho pana samayena āyasmā kumārakassapo gabbhavīso upasampanno ahosi. Atha kho āyasmato kumārakassapassa etadahosi – ‘‘bhagavatā paññattaṃ ‘na ūnavīsativasso puggalo upasampādetabbo’ti. Ahañcamhi gabbhavīso upasampanno. Upasampanno nu khomhi, nanu kho upasampanno’’ti? Bhagavato etamatthaṃ ārocesuṃ. Yaṃ, bhikkhave, mātukucchismiṃ paṭhamaṃ cittaṃ uppannaṃ, paṭhamaṃ viññāṇaṃ pātubhūtaṃ , tadupādāya sāvassa jāti. Anujānāmi, bhikkhave, gabbhavīsaṃ upasampādetunti.

Now at that time the venerable Kassapa the Boy* became ordained twenty years after his conception. Then it occurred to the venerable Kassapa the Boy :
"It is laid down by the Lord that an individual who is under twenty years of age should not be ordained,^ and I am twenty years from my conception. Now am I ordained ^ or am I not ordained ?"

They told this matter to the Lord. He said : " When in his mother's womb the first thought (citta) has arisen (uppanna), the first consciousness (viññāṇa) appeared (pātubhūta),' his birth is (to be reckoned as) from that time. I allow you, monks, to ordain one who is twenty years of age from his conception."

trans. Horner, Book of Discipline, Vol IV, pp.119 - 120.


I'm not sure why Ven Nanamoli rendered tadupādāya sāvassa jāti as he did, when the function of upādāya here is to show derivation, ie how birth is to be reckoned with reference to conception. I am not aware of any sutta or vinaya usage of upādāya as carrying a causative sense as suggested by Ven Nanamoli's translation of the Vinaya passage.

I accept the concept of the rebirth-consciousness as being grounded in the suttas, principally DN 15 -

Viññāṇapaccayā nāmarūpanti iti kho panetaṃ [PTS Page 063] [\q 63/] vuttaṃ. Tadānanda iminā petaṃ pariyāyena veditabbaṃ. Yathā viññāṇapaccayā nāmarūpaṃ. Viññāṇaṃ ca hi ānanda mātukucchismiṃ na okkamissatha, api nu kho nāmarūpaṃ mātukucchismiṃ samuccissathāti"?

"No hetaṃ bhante. "

"Viññāṇaṃ ca hi ānanda mātukucchiṃ okkamitvā vokkamissatha, api nu kho nāmarūpaṃ itthattāya abhinibbattissathāti"?

"No hetaṃ bhante".

"Viññāṇaṃ ca hi ānanda daharasseva sato vocchijjissatha kumārakassa vā kumārikāya vā, api nu kho nāmarūpaṃ vuddhiṃ virūḷhiṃ vepullaṃ āpajjissathāti'?

"No hetaṃ bhante. "

'Tasmātihānanda eseva hetu etaṃ nidānaṃ. Esa samudayo esa paccayo nāmarūpassa yadidaṃ viññāṇaṃ. "

"'From consciousness as a requisite condition comes name-and-form.' Thus it has been said. And this is the way to understand how from consciousness as a requisite condition comes name-and-form. If consciousness were not to descend into the mother's womb, would name-and-form take shape in the womb?"

"No, lord."

"If, after descending into the womb, consciousness were to depart, would name-and-form be produced for this world?"

"No, lord."

"If the consciousness of the young boy or girl were to be cut off, would name-and-form ripen, grow, and reach maturity?"

"No, lord."

"Thus this is a cause, this is a reason, this is an origination, this is a requisite condition for name-and-form, i.e., consciousness."

trans, Ven T on ATI


And DN 15 is the elephant in the room that forms the backbone of Ajahn Brahm's argument that nobody has actually bothered to address.

Fundamentally, this boils down to the question - WHEN DOES THE REBIRTH CONSCIOUSNESS DESCEND INTO THE WOMB?

And for this, the next passage in DN 15 proposes this -

Nāmarūpapaccayā viññāṇanti iti kho panetaṃ vuttaṃ. Tadānanda imināpetaṃ pariyāyena veditabbaṃ. Yathā nāmarūpapaccayā viññāṇaṃ: viññāṇaṃ ca hi ānanda nāmarūpe patiṭṭhaṃ na labhissatha, api nu kho āyatiṃ jātijarāmaraṇaṃ dukkhasamudayasambhavo paññāyethāti"?

"No hetaṃ bhante. "

"Tasmātihānanda, eseva hetu etaṃ nidānaṃ esa samudayo esa paccayo viññāṇassa yadidaṃ nāmarūpaṃ. "

"Ettāvatā kho ānanda jāyetha vā jīyetha vā mīyetha vā cavetha vā upapajjetha vā...

'From name-and-form as a requisite condition comes consciousness.' Thus it has been said. And this is the way to understand how from name-and-form as a requisite condition comes consciousness. If consciousness were not to gain a foothold in name-and-form, would a coming-into-play of the origination of birth, aging, death, and stress in the future be discerned?

"No, lord."

"Thus this is a cause, this is a reason, this is an origination, this is a requisite condition for consciousness, i.e., name-and-form.

"This is the extent to which there is birth, aging, death, passing away, and re-arising...


According to DN 15, there will be NO rebirth-consciousness, without the requisite nāmarūpa. This is the crux of Ajahn Brahm's analysis - the stream of consciousness cannot descend into the womb (gabbha) if the feeling component of nāmarūpa is absent.

In fact, I would go even further than Ajahn Brahm and the Vsm to point out that the Vinaya determination of conception has 2 qualifications, ie -

1. cittaṃ uppannaṃ (mind has arisen), AND
2. viññāṇaṃ pātubhūtaṃ (consciousness has been manifested).

What if citta were given its normal sense of mind as the emotional apparatus? What if there is only a "human being" when the foetus finally acquires its affective capacities?

:anjali:

PS - it should also be apparent from this, why Ajahn Brahm disagrees with BB's translation of gabbhassa avakkanti as referring to the descent of the embryo, when the Vinaya discussion indicates that gabbha is simply womb. This means that the -assa ending carries a dative sense, ie descent into the womb, not descent of the embryo.
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Re: Life from what period

Postby cooran » Wed May 14, 2014 5:37 am

Hello all,

I'm not sure if this will be add anything to the discussion, but it appears that even by eight weeks after conception, a foetus can feel pain - if not sooner :

http://www.lifenews.com/2013/05/23/expe ... t-8-weeks/

With metta,
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---
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Re: Life from what period

Postby tiltbillings » Wed May 14, 2014 5:47 am

cooran wrote:Hello all,

I'm not sure if this will be add anything to the discussion, but it appears that even by eight weeks after conception, a foetus can feel pain - if not sooner :

http://www.lifenews.com/2013/05/23/expe ... t-8-weeks/

With metta,
Chris
Considering the source, I certainly would not take this as a final or reliable word.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

dheamhan a fhios agam

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Life from what period

Postby cooran » Wed May 14, 2014 5:57 am

Hello Tilt,

I assumed Maureen Condic being a PhD and an Associate Professor of Neurobiology and Anatomy was a trustworthy source.
But you are saying she isn't?

With metta,
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---
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Re: Life from what period

Postby Mr Man » Wed May 14, 2014 6:02 am

cooran wrote:Hello Tilt,

I assumed Maureen Condic being a PhD and an Associate Professor of Neurobiology and Anatomy was a trustworthy source.
But you are saying she isn't?

With metta,
Chris


But isn't this topic exploring "Life from what period" from the "Classical Theravada" perspective?
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Re: Life from what period

Postby tiltbillings » Wed May 14, 2014 6:06 am

cooran wrote:Hello Tilt,

I assumed Maureen Condic being a PhD and an Associate Professor of Neurobiology and Anatomy was a trustworthy source.
But you are saying she isn't?

With metta,
Chris
I would not simply assume it to be the case either way, but like what we see here, predilections can drive assumptions and conclusions.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

dheamhan a fhios agam

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Life from what period

Postby Sylvester » Wed May 14, 2014 6:08 am

Since this is the Classical section, I'll cite something from the Comy interpretation of DN 15.

There are 2 propositions concerning consciousness and name-&-form in DN 15. For convenience, I'll call them Proposition A and Proposition B.

Proposition A

Viññāṇapaccayā nāmarūpanti iti kho panetaṃ vuttaṃ. Tadānanda iminā petaṃ pariyāyena veditabbaṃ. Yathā viññāṇapaccayā nāmarūpaṃ. Viññāṇaṃ ca hi ānanda mātukucchismiṃ na okkamissatha, api nu kho nāmarūpaṃ mātukucchismiṃ samuccissathāti"?
"No hetaṃ bhante. "

'From consciousness as a requisite condition comes name-and-form.' Thus it has been said. And this is the way to understand how from consciousness as a requisite condition comes name-and-form. If consciousness were not to descend into the mother's womb, would name-and-form take shape in the womb?"

"No, lord."


Proposition B

Nāmarūpapaccayā viññāṇanti iti kho panetaṃ vuttaṃ. Tadānanda imināpetaṃ pariyāyena veditabbaṃ. Yathā nāmarūpapaccayā viññāṇaṃ: viññāṇaṃ ca hi ānanda nāmarūpe patiṭṭhaṃ na labhissatha, api nu kho āyatiṃ jātijarāmaraṇaṃ dukkhasamudayasambhavo paññāyethāti"?
"No hetaṃ bhante. "

'From name-and-form as a requisite condition comes consciousness.' Thus it has been said. And this is the way to understand how from name-and-form as a requisite condition comes consciousness. If consciousness were not to gain a foothold in name-and-form, would a coming-into-play of the origination of birth, aging, death, and stress in the future be discerned?

"No, lord."


Let's see what the Comy says about Proposition A -

Samuccissathāti paṭisandhiviññāṇe asati api nu kho suddhaṃ avasesaṃ nāmarūpaṃ antomātukucchismiṃ kalalādibhāvena samuccitaṃ missakabhūtaṃ hutvā vattissatha.

"Take shape" - If there were no rebirth-linking consciousness, would the remaining bare mentality-materiality occur in the mother's womb, "taking shape" by developing through the various embryonic stages?

trans. BB, The Great Discourse on Causation: The Mahānidāna Sutta and Its Commentaries


I've highlighted in red above the existential locative absolute that is used in the Dependant Cessation formula. The function of this grammatical construction is to say that rebirth-linking consciousness is the necessary condition for nāmarūpa. Ergo, no rebirth-linking consciousness = no nāmarūpa.

Now, what about Proposition B? You can see what the Comy has to say about Proposition B. Although the existential locative absolute was not employed by the Comy to indicate that nāmarūpa is the necessary condition for the rebirth-linking consciousness, the Comy makes this necessity very clear as follows -

In the same way, as it were, mentality-materiality might say to consciousness: "Who is it that made you the rebirth-linking consciousness? Didn't we do so? If you could become a rebirth-linking consciousness without the support of the other three mental aggregates and the heart-basis, then we would see what kind of rebirth-linking consciousness you are.


Ergo, no nāmarūpa = no rebirth-linking consciousness.

So, are we still going to insist that a fertilised embryo without sensing faculties will qualify as the Abhidhammic nāmarūpa?
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Re: Life from what period

Postby cooran » Wed May 14, 2014 6:12 am

Hello Mr. Man,

It is modern science seeming to support what Robert quoted from the Visuddhimagga in the first few posts in this thread.

With metta,
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---
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Re: Life from what period

Postby tiltbillings » Wed May 14, 2014 6:17 am

cooran wrote:Hello Mr. Man,

It is modern science seeming to support what Robert quoted from the Visuddhimagga in the first few posts in this thread.

With metta,
Chris
And educated opinions on that vary, and certainly the article quoted, even the "full trstimony" does not establish without question Condic’s claim or the claim of the OP.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

dheamhan a fhios agam

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Life from what period

Postby Sylvester » Wed May 14, 2014 6:58 am

cooran wrote:Hello all,

I'm not sure if this will be add anything to the discussion, but it appears that even by eight weeks after conception, a foetus can feel pain - if not sooner :

http://www.lifenews.com/2013/05/23/expe ... t-8-weeks/

With metta,
Chris


Hmm, a coincidence or what? Both Condic and AB suggest 8 weeks as the threshold...
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Re: Life from what period

Postby robertk » Wed May 14, 2014 8:26 am

The idea expressed in some posts above that the classical Theravada position is that there are such elements of nama as vedana present but no citta (vinnana) is so unusual that I really think it would be a waste of space to go further on this line. Perhaps members who think that this is the case can start a new topic somewhere.
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Re: Life from what period

Postby Sylvester » Wed May 14, 2014 8:36 am

That's most startling, robert.

Where in the above posts has the suggestion been made that "there are such elements of nama as vedana present but no citta (vinnana)"?

I believe I've been very vigorous in complying with the Comy and Pali grammar in stating that it is not possible for viññāṇa to be present when nāma is absent.
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