Immediate rebirth

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Immediate rebirth

Postby cooran » Sun Jun 28, 2009 9:03 am

Hello all,

I wonder if someone can clarify this for me please - what is the scriptural
basis for instantaneous rebirth? Is immediate rebirth mentioned anywhere in the
Sutta Pitaka?

metta
Chris
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Re: Immediate rebirth

Postby Ben » Sun Jun 28, 2009 10:10 am

Hi all

Just a reminder that in answering this question, please provide evidence exclusively from the suttas.
Many thanks!

Ben
Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.

Taṃ nadīhi vijānātha:
sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

Sutta Nipata 3.725

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Re: Immediate rebirth

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Jun 28, 2009 10:18 am

Ben wrote:Hi all

Just a reminder that in answering this question, please provide evidence exclusively from the suttas.
Many thanks!

Ben


It is likely, however, an Abhidhamma doctrine.
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: Immediate rebirth

Postby Ben » Sun Jun 28, 2009 11:05 am

Hi Tilt
Yes, I can put my finger on a reference in ACM, but I too would be interested to see if there is support for the concept of instantaneous rebirth in the Suttas.
Metta

Ben
Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.

Taṃ nadīhi vijānātha:
sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

Sutta Nipata 3.725

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Re: Immediate rebirth

Postby retrofuturist » Sun Jun 28, 2009 11:22 am

Greetings,

Does this count?

From...

MN 117: Mahacattarisaka Sutta
http://www.vipassana.com/canon/majjhima/mn117.php


"And what is the right view that has fermentations, sides with merit, & results in acquisitions? 'There is what is given, what is offered, what is sacrificed. There are fruits & results of good & bad actions. There is this world & the next world. There is mother & father. There are spontaneously reborn beings; there are priests & contemplatives who, faring rightly & practicing rightly, proclaim this world & the next after having directly known & realized it for themselves.' This is the right view that has fermentations, sides with merit, & results in acquisitions.


Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Immediate rebirth

Postby mikenz66 » Sun Jun 28, 2009 11:32 am

Hi Retro,

I believe "spontaneous" just refers to beings not born from a womb. I don't believe there is any evidence in the Suttas for instantaneous rebirth, which is probably why the different early schools disagreed, and have different Abhidhammas/Abhidharmas.

Metta
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Re: Immediate rebirth

Postby Jechbi » Sun Jun 28, 2009 6:05 pm

Chris wrote:I wonder if someone can clarify this for me please - what is the scriptural
basis for instantaneous rebirth? Is immediate rebirth mentioned anywhere in the
Sutta Pitaka?

Isn't it implicit in the sutta teachings regarding anicca and anatta? Such as this:
The perceiving of impermanence, bhikkhus, developed and frequently practiced, removes all sensual passion, removes all passion for material existence, removes all passion for becoming, removes all ignorance, removes and abolishes all conceit of "I am."

— SN 22.102

My question would be, what do we imagine might linger and not be subject to jaati? What do we imagine persists between jaati moments, and how long do we imagine it persists?
Rain soddens what is kept wrapped up,
But never soddens what is open;
Uncover, then, what is concealed,
Lest it be soddened by the rain.

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Re: Immediate rebirth

Postby cooran » Sun Jun 28, 2009 9:01 pm

Hello Jechbi,

I am specifically wanting to see where the Buddha clearly taught in the Suttas, that, on the death of the physical body, the taking up of another set of khandas is instantaneous.

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: Immediate rebirth

Postby David N. Snyder » Sun Jun 28, 2009 10:06 pm

Here, friend, as I was coming down from Mount Vulture Peak, I saw a skeleton moving through the air. Vultures, crows, and hawks, following it in hot pursuit, were pecking at it between the ribs, stabbing it, and tearing it apart, while it uttered cries of pain. It occurred to me: It is wonderful, indeed! It is amazing, indeed! That there could be such a being, that there could be such a spirit, that there could be such a form of individual existence!

Then the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus thus: Bhikkhus there are disciples who dwell having become vision, having become knowledge, in that a disciple can know, see, and witness such a sight. In the past, bhikkhus, I too saw that being, but I did not speak about it. For if I had spoken about it, others would not have believed me, and if they had not believed me that would have led to their harm and suffering for a long time [by not following the Path].

That being, bhikkhus, used to be a cattle butcher in this same Rajagaha. Having been tormented in hell for many years, for many hundreds of years, for many thousands of years, for many hundreds of thousands of years as a result of that kamma, as a residual result of that same kamma he is experiencing such a form of individual existence
.”
Samyutta Nikaya 19.1

In the above quote, the being is a "skeleton moving through the air." I suppose that could be interpreted in two ways:

1. The skeleton is some peta realm, suffering there.
2. The skeleton is the butcher "on his way" to the next realm, wherever that may be.

I think the Suttas seem to support the first option above as there are other stories of beings in the peta realms like that.

I suppose the old adage, "if it was that important, the scripture would mention it" might work here. If there was an intermediate realm, why didn't the Buddha talk about it more, i.e., at length and explain the process, what prayers if any could be used (like in Vajrayana) to assist the departed. But instead the Buddha is notably silent on any intermediate existence.

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Re: Immediate rebirth

Postby cooran » Sun Jun 28, 2009 10:08 pm

Hello all,

I'd be interested in your thoughts after reading this:

Is Rebirth Immediate - A Study of Canonical Sources ~ Piya Tan
http://74.125.95.132/search?q=cache:EXW ... lr=lang_en

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: Immediate rebirth

Postby thornbush » Mon Jun 29, 2009 3:12 am

I will answer the OP with a question from one Sutta I found.....
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
I designate the rebirth of one who has sustenance, Vaccha, and not of one without sustenance.
Just as a fire burns with sustenance and not without sustenance, even so I designate the rebirth of one who has sustenance and not of one without sustenance."

"But, Master Gotama, at the moment a flame is being swept on by the wind and goes a far distance, what do you designate as its sustenance then?"

"Vaccha, when a flame is being swept on by the wind and goes a far distance, I designate it as wind-sustained, for the wind is its sustenance at that time."

"And at the moment when a being sets this body aside and is not yet reborn in another body, what do you designate as its sustenance then?"

"Vaccha, when a being sets this body aside and is not yet reborn in another body, I designate it as craving-sustained, for craving is its sustenance at that time."

So it seems that reading this Sutta plus some of what others have supplied 'immediate' can range from one 'moment' or 'moments'....what do ya all think? :reading:

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Re: Immediate rebirth

Postby Jechbi » Mon Jun 29, 2009 5:42 am

Hi Chris,
Chris wrote:I'd be interested in your thoughts after reading this:
Is Rebirth Immediate - A Study of Canonical Sources ~ Piya Tan

After reading that, it seems to me that when the suttas make reference to how long rebirth takes, it's discussed in the framework of the being known as a "gandhabba" that is described in conventional terms as persisting for some time.

All of a sudden I remembered this thread.
A couple insights from Ven. Dhammanando lifted from that thread:
Dhammanando wrote:In conventional truth a gandhabba is a being who has just passed away with ignorance and craving unextinguished, and who is propelled by kamma to the ovum as it's being fertilized.
Dhammanando wrote:... the Theravada rejected the idea of an intermediate state at the Council of Patali.
Dhammanando wrote:... in the schools that teach the intermediate state, the being in this state is said to have all the aggregates.
Dhammanando wrote:I would say that conventional speech is not really adequate for describing the mechanism of rebirth, beyond the bare suttaic account of mum, dad and gandhabba. For more detail than that we need to frame the question and answer in abhidhammic terms.

If that last point is correct, then the answer to this ...
Chris wrote:I am specifically wanting to see where the Buddha clearly taught in the Suttas, that, on the death of the physical body, the taking up of another set of khandas is instantaneous.
... isn't likely to be found. But it appears the khandas would be understood to be already present if one takes a gandhabba as an intermediate being. The khandas already would be taken up, so the suttas interpreted that way would seem to support the instantaneous understanding. Unless I'm missing something here (and please let me know if that's the case!).

Metta

(p.s., where is Bhante these days?)
Rain soddens what is kept wrapped up,
But never soddens what is open;
Uncover, then, what is concealed,
Lest it be soddened by the rain.

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Re: Immediate rebirth

Postby retrofuturist » Mon Jun 29, 2009 6:08 am

Greetings Jechbi,

Jechbi wrote:(p.s., where is Bhante these days?)

Vassa.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


Dharma Wheel (Mahayana / Vajrayana forum) -- Open flower ~ Open book (blog)

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Re: Immediate rebirth

Postby Ben » Mon Jun 29, 2009 6:10 am

Hi Jechbi

Bhante has just started a four-month retreat at an Ajahn Naeb meditation centre for his vassa.
Kind regards

Ben
Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.

Taṃ nadīhi vijānātha:
sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

Sutta Nipata 3.725

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Re: Immediate rebirth

Postby cooran » Mon Jun 29, 2009 6:14 am

Hello jechbi, all,

Thank you for your efforts. I find it hard to understand why there is no mention of immediate rebirth in the Suttas themselves - what Ven. Dhammanando mentions is from later teachings. I don't feel that the question in the OP has been answered:
Is immediate rebirth mentioned anywhere in the Sutta Pitaka?


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: Immediate rebirth

Postby retrofuturist » Mon Jun 29, 2009 6:36 am

Greetings Chris,

Assuming for a moment that there is nothing in the scriptures that adequately answers your question, an application of the "if it was that important, the scripture would mention it" adage TheDhamma mentioned (which is of course supported by the Simsapa Sutta), begs the question of where the compilers of the Abhidhamma actually derived the idea. Is that by any chance the underlying question you're trying to answer?

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


Dharma Wheel (Mahayana / Vajrayana forum) -- Open flower ~ Open book (blog)

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Re: Immediate rebirth

Postby cooran » Mon Jun 29, 2009 7:56 am

Hello Retro,

Yes. Immediate Rebirth seems to have first been mentioned in later teachings like the Abhidhamma text Kathavatthu (Points of Controversy), Bk V111,2,”Of an Intermediate State’. This text was composed over 218 years after the Parinibbana of the Buddha by Moggaliputta Tissa.

I am not disputing that there may be immediate rebirth, but, as the article above by Piya Tan shows, the Sutta references and allusions are to the fact that shorter intermediate states were also included in the Buddha's teachings on rebirth. Abhidhammikas don't accept this, as far as I can see. So ~ this is why I'm asking about references in the Suttas.

It would be good if anyone knows if other respected scholars have also expressed their understanding of this topic, and we could have the benefit of their instruction.

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: Immediate rebirth

Postby Ben » Mon Jun 29, 2009 9:02 am

Hi Chris

I have something written by Bhikkhu Bodhi on the subject. As I have not had permission yet to distribute the text I'll wait until Bhante provides that.
Basically, Bhante says that there is evidence in the suttas of an 'intermediate state' and that rebirth is not instantaneous.
Sorry about enticing you all, but I'll post more later.
Metta

Ben
Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.

Taṃ nadīhi vijānātha:
sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

Sutta Nipata 3.725

Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR
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Re: Immediate rebirth

Postby cooran » Mon Jun 29, 2009 9:09 am

Onya Ben! :twothumbsup:

I'll look forward to it being posted here.

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: Immediate rebirth

Postby mikenz66 » Mon Jun 29, 2009 9:48 am

Ben wrote:Basically, Bhante says that there

I'm fairly confident that I've hear Bhikkhu Bodhi say that at least once in his talks on the Majjhima Nikaya. However, it's not so easy to search audio...

Mike


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