Life from what period

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Re: Life from what period

Postby robertk » Wed May 14, 2014 9:01 am

Ok good to hear that. Unfortunately whatever points you are making are beyond my limited comprehension abilities.
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Re: Life from what period

Postby Stephen K » Wed May 14, 2014 12:34 pm

Haven't read all the posts so far so don't know if it's already been linked to, but here is an article by Ajahn Brahm: When Does Human Life Begin in This Body?
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Re: Life from what period

Postby ArkA » Wed May 14, 2014 3:49 pm

David N. Snyder wrote: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.


Then, is it OK to go fishing -- even to the extent of using dynamite -- in a lake saying, "I can't see any fish here from the surface."? Or is it OK to drop an atomic bomb from thousand miles above Hiroshima saying, "I can't see a single human being."?

Is it possible for any of us to sincerely think that the 4 week old Embryo in the first picture (below) as not alive?

robertk wrote:There was a discussion in another thread which suggest that a monk believes that aborting a fetus that is less than 3 or 4 months old is not a problem and he thinks the Texts support this.

This is a view that may be acceptable in the "Modern Theravada" groups but the ancients saw it differently.


As per a real story from the mother of a friend of mine. In her college days, she got her self into an unwanted pregnancy. From early pregnancy tests she knew that she is 3.5 weeks pregnant. Her menstrual cycle stopped and within 2 more days (4 weeks of pregnancy) she experienced nausea and vomiting. She said, since the test became positive she had the perception that there is a living human being inside her, and never arose a question whether it has a consciousness or not. Unfortunately, when the pregnancy reached 6 weeks she did an abortion. However, at the end of the abortion she was remorseful for killing another human being, and it took more than 10 years to make peace with her self. Now as a 60-year-old woman she says, "if I'm in that situation again, I'll never do an abortion."

Let's think Ajahn Brahm told to this woman, "abortion is OK," and she followed that advice. The story goes to Buddha. According to the Canon (also here), there's not even a question about "a 3 or 4 months old fetus" or "just a lump of flesh". It's simply about mother is pregnant and she knows it.

Since Buddha is the smartest and the Master of the Dhamma-Vinaya, this is the best ethical guideline not only for the monk but also for the mother. Buddha knew better that there's no way to verify "when the consciousness" arive, of course, unless someone has divine eye.

I'm surprised to see how Buddhists argue supporting the abortion. In a way it's rejoicing a bad act (akusala kamma) too. Isn't Buddha said human life is very rare and precious, what if the aborted baby's next kammavipaka is towards a lower realm?

Sylvester wrote: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.


In Sri Lankan Sangha, 12 months are added. I know several cases for this, the least being a monk who was 19 years 3 months old at the higher ordination. He was give the higher ordination adding 9 months from the womb.

In Chinese culture (not only monks) a person's age is considered as since birth + 1 year from the womb. If you're 19 years old in America, it will be considered as 20 in China.


OK David, this is my last about this issue. :)
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Re: Life from what period

Postby David N. Snyder » Wed May 14, 2014 3:58 pm

ArkA wrote:
David N. Snyder wrote: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.


Then, is it OK to go fishing -- even to the extent of using dynamite -- in a lake saying, "I can't see any fish here from the surface?" Or drop an atomic bomb from thousand miles above Hiroshima saying, "I can't see a single human being?"


I am not sure why you are continuing this line of argument. As I mentioned in all my posts on this matter, that this does not in any way justify abortion. When someone goes fishing, there is intention to kill. When someone drops a bomb, there is intention to kill. When someone drinks a glass of water, does not see any living being, does not believe there is any living being in there, but there is; there is no offense.

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Re: Life from what period

Postby beeblebrox » Wed May 14, 2014 5:32 pm

I think it is still anachronistic (i.e., not correct in its historical context) to try to use modern medical technology to determine what these terms could be referring to. (Namarupa, vedana, etc.)

These terms were designated to match the observations, along with the knowledge, which were available to the people at the time.

Sylvester wrote: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.


If it is to be read as "descent into the womb," and not "descent of the embryo," then how does that change the relationship of the embryo's namarupa to the consciousness? (If there was any change?)

If there's actually a change in their relationship... do you think that this is still necessarily in favor of Ven. Brahm's argument?

For me, it doesn't seem to be...

For example: there is a descent of the rebirth-linking consciousness into the womb... it does that because of the namarupa that it perceived there, which it then attaches to as an embryo.

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Re: Life from what period

Postby mikenz66 » Wed May 14, 2014 8:07 pm

beeblebrox wrote:I think it is still anachronistic (i.e., not correct in its historical context) to try to use modern medical technology to determine what these terms could be referring to. (Namarupa, vedana, etc.)

Quite.

Equally, the timing for the beginning of sentient life deduced from the suttas and commentaries is unlikely to agree with modern medical measurements.

However, that deduction is the subject of this thread.

:anjali:
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Re: Life from what period

Postby Mr Man » Wed May 14, 2014 9:35 pm

Except there does seem to be (to me) undertones of an anti-abortionist agenda rather than a purely scholarly interest.
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Re: Life from what period

Postby Mkoll » Wed May 14, 2014 9:45 pm

Mr Man wrote:Except there does seem to be (to me) undertones of an anti-abortionist agenda rather than a purely scholarly interest.

When it comes to contentious issues like abortion, gun control, global warming, etc., I don't think there's such a thing as purely scholarly interest. Everyone has an agenda and everyone has views, including scholars.
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Re: Life from what period

Postby Virgo » Wed May 14, 2014 9:56 pm

Sylvester wrote:What descends into the womb, if not the stream of consciousness?

:anjali:


There is no descent.

Vissudhimagga wrote:Text Vis. 162: So it is a mere material and immaterial state, arising
when it has obtained its conditions, that is spoken of, saying that
it comes into the next becoming; it is not a lasting being, not a
soul. And it has neither transmigrated from the past becoming nor yet
is it manifested here without cause from that.


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Re: Life from what period

Postby tiltbillings » Wed May 14, 2014 11:03 pm

Virgo wrote:
Sylvester wrote:What descends into the womb, if not the stream of consciousness?

:anjali:


There is no descent.


    “These are the Four Noble Truths" - that is the Dhamma taught by me, which is unrefuted, untarnished, unblamed and uncensured by intelligent ascetics and brahmins. . . . Now, on account of what was it said that the Four Noble Truths are the Dhamma taught by me? Based on the six elements there is descent into the womb." Such descent taking place, there is name-and-form." With name-and-form as condition there are the six sense bases; with the six sense bases as condition there is contact; with contact as condition there is feeling. Now it is for one who feels that I make known, "This is suffering", "this is the origin of suffering", "This is the cessation of suffering", "This is the way leading to the cessation of suffering". - AN 3 61.
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.

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Re: Life from what period

Postby Virgo » Wed May 14, 2014 11:18 pm

Hi Tilt;

tiltbillings wrote:there is descent into the womb." Such descent taking place, there is name-and-form." ] - AN 3 61.

The Commentary explains further. Here are some quotations from it...

In Dhammastudygroup Yahoo Group, Nina Van Gorkom wrote:

"Visuddhimagga Ch XVII, 161, 162, 163.

Intro: in the preceding sections the death-consciousness and the
rebirth-consciousness were compared, being classified as similar or
dissimilar as to the khandhas, objects, destiny, accompanying hetus,
feelings and jhaanafactors.
We think of the life of a person that ends and is then followed by
another life. In reality the dying-consciousness is a citta and this
is followed by another citta, the rebirth-consciousness. The dying-
consciousness of the life that is ending is of the same type of citta
as the rebirth-consciousness of that life and of all bhavangacittas
of that life. The bhavangacittas keep the continuity in the life of
an individual. When rebirth-consciousness arises one is no longer the
same individual even if one is born in a similar plane of existence
and experiences a similar object.
In the following sections the Visuddhimagga describes the process of
human death and rebirth. There are only naama and ruupa that are
reborn when there is rebirth in a five khandha plane.
---------
Text Vis.161:
A mere state that has got its conditions
Ushers in the ensuing existence;
While it does not migrate from the past,
With no cause in the past it is not.
---------

Text Vis. 162: So it is a mere material and immaterial state, arising
when it has obtained its conditions, that is spoken of, saying that
it comes into the next becoming; it is not a lasting being, not a
soul. And it has neither transmigrated from the past becoming nor yet
is it manifested here without cause from that.
----------
N: As to the conditions, the Tiika states that ignorance and so on
are the cause.
So long as ignorance and clinging have not been eradicated, there is
a cause for rebirth.
As to the expression, �it comes� (upeti), this, according to the
Tiika, is an expression of conventional language (vohaara). Therefore
he said, � it is not a lasting being, not a soul.� The meaning is
that there is arising of citta in a next life so long as there are
conditions for it.
------------
Text Vis.163: We shall explain this by the normal process of human
death and
rebirth-linking. When in the past becoming a man near to a natural or
violent death is unable to bear the onset of the unbearable daggers
of the joints in all the limbs, his body gradually withers like a
green palm leaf lying in the glare of the sun, and when the faculties
of the eye, etc., have ceased and the body faculty, mind faculty, and
life faculty remain on in the heart-basis alone, then consciousness,
which has as its support the heart-basis still remaining at that
moment, either occurs contingent upon some kamma classed as
'weighty','repeated', performed 'near' [to death] or previously,
--------
N: The Tiika explains as to garuka kamma, weighty kamma, that this
may be matricide, etc. or mahaggata citta, ruupa-jhaanacitta or
aruupa-jhaanacitta.
As to repeated kamma: what has been always or repeatedly done.
Of 'near' kamma Pm. says, 'It is that performed next to death, or
which is conspicuous in the memory then, whenever it was
performed' (Pm. 617).
--------
Text Vis.: in other words, the formation that has obtained the
remaining conditions,
-------
N: The Tiika explains that this is ignorance etc. Ignorance
conditions formations, sa"nkhaara, akusala kamma, kusala kamma and
imperturbable kamma (aruupa jhaana).
----------
Text Vis.: or contingent upon the objective field made to appear by
that kamma, in other words, the sign of the kamma or sign of the
destiny.
--------
N: Note from the translator, taken from the Tiika:
' "Sign of the kamma" is the event (vatthu) by means of which a man
accumulates kamma through making it the object at the time of
accumulation. Even if the kamma was performed as much as a hundred
thousand aeons ago, nevertheless at the time of its ripening it appears
as kamma or sign of kamma. The "sign of destiny" is one of the visual
scenes in the place where rebirth is due to take place. It consists in
the visual appearance of flames of fire, etc., to one ready to be reborn
in hell, and so on as already stated' (Pm. 617).
-----------
Text Vis.: And while it is occurring thus, because craving and
ignorance have not been abandoned, craving pushes it and the
conascent formations fling it forward on that objective field,
----------
N: Note 30, taken from the Tiika; 'Owing to craving being
unabandoned, and because the previously-arisen continuity is
similarly deflected, consciousness occurs inclining, leaning and
tending towards the place of rebirth-linking. The "conascent
formations" are the volitions conascent with the impulsion
consciousness next to death. Or they are all those that begin with
contact. They fling consciousness on to that place of rebirth-
linking, which is the object of the kamma and so on. The meaning is
that they occur as the cause for the establishment of consciousness
on the object by rebirth-linking as though flinging it there'.
-----------

Text Vis.: the dangers in which are concealed by ignorance.
---------
N: Ignorance conceals the danger of rebirth, of being in the cycle.
It also conceals the danger of clinging.
----------
Text Vis.: And while, as a continuous process [31], it is being
pushed by craving and flung forward by formations, it abandons its
former support, like a man
who crosses a river by hanging on to a rope tied to a tree on the near
bank, and, whether or not it gets a further support originated by kamma,
it occurs by means of the conditions consisting only in object
condition, and so on.
---------------------------
N: Note 31, taken from the Tiika:. 'As a continuous process
consisting of death, rebirth-linking, and the adjacent
consciousnesses' (Pm. 617).
This shows that cittas arise and fall away and succeed one another
without interval, in continuity (santati). Dying-consciousness,
rebirth-consciosuness and the following cittas in the next life
succeed one another extremely quickly.

As we read before (Vis. 136), with regard to the location of rebirth:
� being driven there by the force of defilements that have not been
cut off.�, these are the defilements such as ignorance and craving
(tanhaa), as the Tiika explains. It states that these are the
�attendants� (upa.t.thaana) of kamma and hence there is the inclining
to the succession of cittas in a following life. The pa.tisandhi-
citta is driven towards one location.

As to the expression, �whether or not it gets a further support
originated by kamma�, the Tiika states that when there is rebirth
with five khandhas (pa~ncavokaarabhava) there is the support of the
heartbase, whereas when there is rebirth with four khandhas
(catuvokaarabhava), there is no heartbase. In the latter case there
are only the four naamakhandhas, no ruupa.
As the text states: < it occurs by means of the conditions consisting
only in object condition, and so on.>
As we have seen, the kamma that will produce rebirth-consciousness,
conditions the last javanacittas and the object experienced by those
cittas. The object may be kamma, a sign of kamma or a vision of the
place of rebirth.

******
Conclusion: It is emphasized in the foregoing that not a person is
reborn, but that there are only nama and rupa arising and falling
away. The dying-consciousness is a citta and it is immediately
succeeded by the next citta which is the rebirth-consciousness. This
happens as it were in one continuity.

As we read, (162) � it is not a lasting being, not a soul. And it has
neither transmigrated from the past becoming nor yet is it manifested
here without cause from that.�
The Tiika refers to a text of the �Middle Length Sayings� (I, no 38),
�Greater Discourse on the Destruction of Craving�. The monk Sati
thought that �this consciousness itself runs on, fares on, not
another.� We read that the Buddha explained to him about citta that
arises because of its appropriate conditions. He explained that if
citta arises because of eye and visible object it is known as seeing-
consciousness, and so on for the other classes of cittas. There are
different types of cittas arising because of different conditions.
Not a person transmigrates from the past life to the present life,
and so long as there are conditions there will be rebirth.
What happens at the moments of dying and rebirth is not different
from wat occurs right now: citta falls away and it is succeeded by a
following citta. Nobody can control rebirth, it is conditioned by kamma.

******
Nina."
https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/dhammastudygroup/conversations/topics/74930

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Re: Life from what period

Postby SarathW » Thu May 15, 2014 12:05 am

How does identical twins are fitting to this discussion?
:thinking:
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Re: Life from what period

Postby mikenz66 » Thu May 15, 2014 12:23 am

Can someone shed some light on the word translated as "descent"?

SarathW wrote:How does identical twins are fitting to this discussion?

That's one of the issues addressed in Ajahn Brahm's article: viewtopic.php?f=19&t=20689&start=20#p289638
3b. A single embryo may split into 2 or more viable embryos after
a certain number of days. Prior to such an event, there cannot
be 2 s.o.cs. co-existing in a single embryo, nor can a single
s.o.c. split into two separate streams. Such propositions are
excluded by the Buddha’s doctrine of Paṭicca-Samuppāda.
Either a second s.o.c. enters one of the divided embryos after
the separation, or two karmically connected s.o.cs. enter the
twinned embryos at the same time shortly after division. In
either case, this shows that the s.o.c. can descend into the
mother’s womb several days after parental union.

:anjali:
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Re: Life from what period

Postby tiltbillings » Thu May 15, 2014 12:31 am

Virgo wrote:Hi Tilt;

tiltbillings wrote:there is descent into the womb." Such descent taking place, there is name-and-form." ] - AN 3 61.

The Commentary explains further.
The sutta is straightforward enough that your comment in response to Sylvester was wrong. And the commentarial stuff adds little if anything other than show that Sylvester was correct in what he said.
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.

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

Postby SarathW » Thu May 15, 2014 12:40 am

mikenz66 wrote:Can someone shed some light on the word translated as "descent"?

SarathW wrote:How does identical twins are fitting to this discussion?

That's one of the issues addressed in Ajahn Brahm's article: http://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f= ... 20#p289638
3b. A single embryo may split into 2 or more viable embryos after
a certain number of days. Prior to such an event, there cannot
be 2 s.o.cs. co-existing in a single embryo
, nor can a single
s.o.c. split into two separate streams. Such propositions are
excluded by the Buddha’s doctrine of Paṭicca-Samuppāda.
Either a second s.o.c. enters one of the divided embryos after
the separation, or two karmically connected s.o.cs. enter the
twinned embryos at the same time shortly after division. In
either case, this shows that the s.o.c. can descend into the
mother’s womb several days after parental union.

:anjali:
Mike


there cannot
"be 2 s.o.cs. co-existing in a single embryo"
=======
Why not?
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Re: Life from what period

Postby beeblebrox » Thu May 15, 2014 2:02 am

Mr Man wrote:Except there does seem to be (to me) undertones of an anti-abortionist agenda rather than a purely scholarly interest.


Hi Mr Man,

I think that's unavoidable when a position is taken up.

My main interest is in what would the consciousness entail, and what would namarupa entail, and how would they relate with each other... with the intention that these understanding will help with my practice.

Of course, there is this aversion that I have to the possibility of a life being ended (in a personal sense, by myself). This is just a result of the beliefs that I've taken up over the past few years. It's not my intention to impose this on others.

:anjali:
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Re: Life from what period

Postby cooran » Thu May 15, 2014 2:11 am

Hello all,

This may be of interest:

Formation of Twins
http://www.pennmedicine.org/encyclopedi ... 58&ptid=17

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 David N. Snyder » Thu May 15, 2014 2:38 am

SarathW wrote:there cannot
"be 2 s.o.cs. co-existing in a single embryo"
=======
Why not?


That would be the Hindu view of 2 or more souls sharing the same body. In Buddhism it is anatta and apparently such a concept does not fit with paṭiccasamuppāda (DO).
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Re: Life from what period

Postby SarathW » Thu May 15, 2014 2:47 am

"Unlike the single baby, this fertilized egg cell will split into two separate embryos"
======
My comment:
Interesting to note that twin are called embryos only after splitting the egg.
Initially I thought embryos split into two!
I think "Nama Rupa" life start when it become an embryos.
I am more relived now.
However any intervention at any stage with attachment, aversion, ignorance is bad kamma.
:shrug:
PS:
By the way Chris, isn't this discussion Papanka? ;)
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Re: Life from what period

Postby Sylvester » Thu May 15, 2014 3:14 am

mikenz66 wrote:Can someone shed some light on the word translated as "descent"?



Hi Mike

In this passage -

Tiṇṇaṃ kho pana bhikkhave sannipātā gabbhassāvakkanti hoti: idha mātāpitaro sannipatitā honti, mātā ca na utunī hoti, gandhabbo ca na paccupaṭṭhito hoti, neva tāva gabbhassāvakkanti [PTS Page 266] [\q 266/] hoti. Idha mātāpitaro ca sannipatitā honti, mātā ca utunī hoti, gandhabbo ca na paccupaṭṭhito hoti, neva tāva gabbhassāvakkanti hoti. Yato ca kho bhikkhave mātāpitaro sannipatitā honti, mātā ca utunī hoti, gandhabbo ca paccupaṭṭhito hoti, evaṃ tiṇṇaṃ sannipātā gabbhassāvakkanti hoti.

Bhikkhus, the descent of the embryo/into the womb takes place through the union of three things. Here, there is the union of the mother and father, but the mother is not in season, and the gandhabba is not present—in this case no descent of an embryo/into the womb takes place. Here, there is the union of the mother and father, and the mother is in season, but the gandhabba is not present—in this case too no descent of the embryo/into the womb takes place. But when there is the union of the mother and father, and the mother is in season, and the gandhabba is present, through the union of these three things the descent of the embryo/into the womb takes place.

MN 38, per MLDB (with my alternative in italics for gabbhassa as carrying the dative sense, even though inflected in the genitive)


, "descent" is the substantive noun avakkanti. This is derived from the verb avakkamati.

Elsewhere, what has been translated as "descend" can be seen here -

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"?

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?"

DN 15, per Ven T on ATI


The verb in question is okkamati, here conjugated into the conditional okkamissatha.

Hey, wait a minute! Isn't okkamissatha a conditional plural? :stirthepot:
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