AN 4.131: bardo/antarabhava?

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Mr. Seek
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Re: AN 4.131: bardo/antarabhava?

Post by Mr. Seek »

rhinoceroshorn wrote: Wed Dec 02, 2020 11:14 pm
Mr. Seek wrote: Wed Dec 02, 2020 11:05 pm
rhinoceroshorn wrote: Wed Dec 02, 2020 11:01 pm

Do all suttas referring to attainments and fetters are later addition? :reading:
Some scholars have suggested that. To me at least it makes sense.

I wouldn't trust the sutta, although I wouldn't discard it either.

Compare what is universally accepted as an EBT sutta, e.g. something from Snp, with this. The difference is obvious.
Some time ago I suspected if attainments were really delineated by the Buddha. I got a bit skeptical about them, but there are so many suttas citing them it's hard not to believe them.
But recently I noticed a pattern in suffering which correlates with the fetters. When your desire and hatred subside, restlessness/worry, pride and ignorance take control of your mind more easily. And if you noticed, those two groups are exactly the lower and higher fetters. Maybe a taste of what an anagami's life is. :tongue:
The basis behind the 4 stages of enlightenment, i.e. kamma inclining towards unbinding, might be EBT. As for the fetters--sure, they weren't just forged out of nothing--these fetters are genuine fetters, most of them can be found in EBT suttas as individual issues to be dealt with, yeah. But the organized, systematic approach? 4 of this, 10 of that, 37 of this, 8 of that... whether that's EBT or not, perhaps only scholarly work can say.

Speaking of anagamis, I recall reading somewhere that the word anagami in some suttas is used as a synonym for arahant. Non-returner as in not returning to this world, or any world...

As for the sutta you referenced, I just read it. I don't know, is the translation OK? What's up with this paragraph?
What person hasn’t given up the lower fetters, the fetters for getting reborn, or the fetters for getting a continued existence? A once-returner. This is the person who hasn’t given up the lower fetters, the fetters for getting reborn, or the fetters for getting a continued existence.
How is that person a once-returner if he hasn't given up anything? I don't know... I mean yeah, by lower fetters they probably mean all 5 lower fetters, but still. No reference is made regarding the dropping of the first 3 fetters. Something is fishy.
Snp 5.11—"Having nothing, free of clinging: That is the island, there is no other."
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rhinoceroshorn
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Re: AN 4.131: bardo/antarabhava?

Post by rhinoceroshorn »

Thank you for your contribution, Mr. Seeker. :anjali:
Eyes downcast, not footloose,
senses guarded, with protected mind,
not oozing — not burning — with lust,
wander alone
like a rhinoceros.
Sutta Nipāta 1.3 - Khaggavisana Sutta
Image
See, Ānanda! All those conditioned phenomena have passed, ceased, and perished. So impermanent are conditions, so unstable are conditions, so unreliable are conditions. This is quite enough for you to become disillusioned, dispassionate, and freed regarding all conditions.
Dīgha Nikāya 17
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DooDoot
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Re: AN 4.131: bardo/antarabhava?

Post by DooDoot »

rhinoceroshorn wrote: Wed Dec 02, 2020 11:06 pm intermediate state between lives
Interesting idea but what exactly is practising Dhamma during this intermediate state between lives?

If this "intermediate state" has no eyes, ears, nose, tongue & body, it must only be the mind.

What are the sense objects of this disembodied mind because a mind requires sense objects to realise the dhamma (such as the impermanence of the five aggregates)?

:shrug: :shrug:
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confusedlayman
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Re: AN 4.131: bardo/antarabhava?

Post by confusedlayman »

DooDoot wrote: Thu Dec 03, 2020 1:50 am
rhinoceroshorn wrote: Wed Dec 02, 2020 11:06 pm intermediate state between lives
Interesting idea but what exactly is practising Dhamma during this intermediate state between lives?

If this "intermediate state" has no eyes, ears, nose, tongue & body, it must only be the mind.

What are the sense objects of this disembodied mind because a mind requires sense objects to realise the dhamma (such as the impermanence of the five aggregates)?

:shrug: :shrug:
I agree to this ...
I may be slow learner but im at least learning...
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Aloka
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Re: AN 4.131: bardo/antarabhava?

Post by Aloka »

DooDoot wrote: Thu Dec 03, 2020 1:50 am
rhinoceroshorn wrote: Wed Dec 02, 2020 11:06 pm intermediate state between lives
Interesting idea but what exactly is practising Dhamma during this intermediate state between lives?

If this "intermediate state" has no eyes, ears, nose, tongue & body, it must only be the mind.

What are the sense objects of this disembodied mind because a mind requires sense objects to realise the dhamma (such as the impermanence of the five aggregates)?

:shrug: :shrug:
:goodpost:
auto
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Re: AN 4.131: bardo/antarabhava?

Post by auto »

DooDoot wrote: Thu Dec 03, 2020 1:50 am
rhinoceroshorn wrote: Wed Dec 02, 2020 11:06 pm intermediate state between lives
Interesting idea but what exactly is practising Dhamma during this intermediate state between lives?

If this "intermediate state" has no eyes, ears, nose, tongue & body, it must only be the mind.

What are the sense objects of this disembodied mind because a mind requires sense objects to realise the dhamma (such as the impermanence of the five aggregates)?

:shrug: :shrug:
non-returner citta is liberated, what's there more to do is personally attain nibbana.
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bridif1
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Re: AN 4.131: bardo/antarabhava?

Post by bridif1 »

DooDoot wrote: Thu Dec 03, 2020 1:50 am Interesting idea but what exactly is practising Dhamma during this intermediate state between lives?

If this "intermediate state" has no eyes, ears, nose, tongue & body, it must only be the mind.

What are the sense objects of this disembodied mind because a mind requires sense objects to realise the dhamma (such as the impermanence of the five aggregates)?
Hi DooDoot!

I've been thinking a lot about these kind of issues, trying to understand some parts of the suttas that sometimes don't seem directly practical or related to dukkha.

I'm not stating anything in a definitive manner, but just opening myself to some possibilities.

One of these possibilities I've been considering is one concerning the conection between the end of one life and the beginning of another.

Being understood that nothing can be called 'I', 'me' or 'mine', I think the suttas could be trying to show that there are some causal and conditional conections that makes a new individual be what s/he will be. Genetics, physiology and anatomy are not the only things that characterize human beings and their behaviour.

The mind and its tendencies and modes of acting are also affected by the culture, and this is where I think the idea of 'rebirth' could apply: just like there's continuity of causes and effects of intentions during one life, there can be some tendencies that continue through lifes.

There's always interaction between beings (humans, animals, etc.) and between beings and their environments, and we are shaped by those interactions, and we shape others by interacting with them. Interaction is the way one life influences how a new life will come to be.

The way the interaction occurs and the way the effects come to be could be "ruled" could be called 'kamma-vipaka', i.e. one experiences the world according to one's past habits and tendencies of interpreting the information of the senses (and the mind).

Rebirth of tendencies could not occur inmediately after the death one individual; there could be cases when the tendencies are carried by still-living beings; they would carry the potential and the effects of dead individuals. And only when the right conditions come to be in contact (when the right genetics, physiology, anatomy and culture is present before a new life is beginning to develop), the effects of dead individuals, carried by living beings, come to fruition in the life of the new human to be born, continuing the tendencies of the past.

If we use this interpretation, there could be cases where the effects (carried by living beings that interacted with the noble ones) of non-arahants noble ones are extinguished after their death, and so, there is not a rebirth of their tendencies.

I know this could be convoluted and I could be just seeing things when they are not there. This could be just proliferation. But I think this interpretation could give our lives a part in a bigger picture that does not finishes with biological death, even to people skeptical to mysterious "streams of consciousness" that transfer our "kamma seeds" from one life to a new one.

I apologize if this is not clear enough. English not being my first language just makes these kind of explanations even harder than they would be by themselves.

Kind regards!
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Coëmgenu
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Re: AN 4.131: bardo/antarabhava?

Post by Coëmgenu »

Aloka wrote: Thu Dec 03, 2020 10:25 am
DooDoot wrote: Thu Dec 03, 2020 1:50 am
rhinoceroshorn wrote: Wed Dec 02, 2020 11:06 pm intermediate state between lives
Interesting idea but what exactly is practising Dhamma during this intermediate state between lives?

If this "intermediate state" has no eyes, ears, nose, tongue & body, it must only be the mind.

What are the sense objects of this disembodied mind because a mind requires sense objects to realise the dhamma (such as the impermanence of the five aggregates)?

:shrug: :shrug:
:goodpost:
I'm curious why you "goodpost'd" this post. If you have received several empowerments for the bardo, I would think that you would know that there are eyes, ears, etc., and a body generally, in the bardo? Specifically, it is referred to as a type of gandharva body that takes the form of whatever you will be reborn as. At least, that is what Malcolm says, which lines up with what they teach at the Tendai Buddhist Institute of New York. Tibetan and East Asian esotericism are different enough for it to be significant when they agree IMO.
Then, the monks sang this gāthā:

These bodies are like foam.
Them being frail, who can rejoice in them?
The Buddha attained the vajra-body.
Still, it becomes inconstant and rots.
The many Buddhas are vajra-entities.
All are also subject to inconstancy.
Quickly ended, like melting snow --
how could things be different?

The Buddha passed into parinirvāṇa afterward.

(T1.27b10 Mahāparinirvāṇasūtra DĀ 2)
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rhinoceroshorn
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Re: AN 4.131: bardo/antarabhava?

Post by rhinoceroshorn »

Good point.
I recall when I shortly studied about Tibetan Buddhism that Tibetans chant Padmasambhava's instructions in Bardo Thodol to help people who just died and are in bardo. They can listen after death.
Bardo beings are also said to feed on scents, so Tibetans burn a lot of incenses for the deceased.
Bardo Beings: when our loved ones are in the bardos they are a Bardo Being, or “gandharva” or “scent eater”.
So, there seems to be body in Bardo states.
Last edited by rhinoceroshorn on Fri Dec 11, 2020 5:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Eyes downcast, not footloose,
senses guarded, with protected mind,
not oozing — not burning — with lust,
wander alone
like a rhinoceros.
Sutta Nipāta 1.3 - Khaggavisana Sutta
Image
See, Ānanda! All those conditioned phenomena have passed, ceased, and perished. So impermanent are conditions, so unstable are conditions, so unreliable are conditions. This is quite enough for you to become disillusioned, dispassionate, and freed regarding all conditions.
Dīgha Nikāya 17
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Coëmgenu
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Re: AN 4.131: bardo/antarabhava?

Post by Coëmgenu »

The scent-eating thing is interesting. The Sanskrit word "gandharva" sounds like "gandhārvati," meaning an "he eats of fragrances." Fragrances/smells are "gandhā." This (almost definitely incorrect) folk etymology from Abhidharmakośa is then taken literally by later followers.
Last edited by Coëmgenu on Fri Dec 11, 2020 5:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Then, the monks sang this gāthā:

These bodies are like foam.
Them being frail, who can rejoice in them?
The Buddha attained the vajra-body.
Still, it becomes inconstant and rots.
The many Buddhas are vajra-entities.
All are also subject to inconstancy.
Quickly ended, like melting snow --
how could things be different?

The Buddha passed into parinirvāṇa afterward.

(T1.27b10 Mahāparinirvāṇasūtra DĀ 2)
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rhinoceroshorn
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Re: AN 4.131: bardo/antarabhava?

Post by rhinoceroshorn »

Coëmgenu wrote: Fri Dec 11, 2020 5:09 pm The scent-eating thing is interesting. The Sanskrit word "gandharva" sounds like "gandhārvati," meaning an eater of fragrances, "gandhā." This (almost definitely incorrect) folk etymology from Abhidharmakośa is then taken literally by later followers.
:rofl:
Eyes downcast, not footloose,
senses guarded, with protected mind,
not oozing — not burning — with lust,
wander alone
like a rhinoceros.
Sutta Nipāta 1.3 - Khaggavisana Sutta
Image
See, Ānanda! All those conditioned phenomena have passed, ceased, and perished. So impermanent are conditions, so unstable are conditions, so unreliable are conditions. This is quite enough for you to become disillusioned, dispassionate, and freed regarding all conditions.
Dīgha Nikāya 17
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bridif1
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Re: AN 4.131: bardo/antarabhava?

Post by bridif1 »

bridif1 wrote: Fri Dec 11, 2020 3:27 pm ...
Just in case, I'm using this sutta as a reference for some of these ideas:

SN 44.9
"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."
These proposed interpretations on rebirth are useful because, if they make sense, we are no longer in need of positing some suttas as "brahmanistic", "later additions" or "counterfeit dhamma".

Kind regards!
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Coëmgenu
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Re: AN 4.131: bardo/antarabhava?

Post by Coëmgenu »

bridif1 wrote: Fri Dec 11, 2020 6:02 pm
bridif1 wrote: Fri Dec 11, 2020 3:27 pm ...
Just in case, I'm using this sutta as a reference for some of these ideas:

SN 44.9
"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."
These proposed interpretations on rebirth are useful because, if they make sense, we are no longer in need of positing some suttas as "brahmanistic", "later additions" or "counterfeit dhamma".

Kind regards!
Don't let the materialists get you down. Serious practitioner-scholars of the EBTs do not call rebirth and karma those things. Only frivolous dilettantes engage in those practices. Forum posters may or may not be frivolous dilettantes.
Then, the monks sang this gāthā:

These bodies are like foam.
Them being frail, who can rejoice in them?
The Buddha attained the vajra-body.
Still, it becomes inconstant and rots.
The many Buddhas are vajra-entities.
All are also subject to inconstancy.
Quickly ended, like melting snow --
how could things be different?

The Buddha passed into parinirvāṇa afterward.

(T1.27b10 Mahāparinirvāṇasūtra DĀ 2)
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DooDoot
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Re: AN 4.131: bardo/antarabhava?

Post by DooDoot »

bridif1 wrote: Fri Dec 11, 2020 3:27 pm One of these possibilities I've been considering is one concerning the connection between the end of one life and the beginning of another.
The suttas appear silent on this, which appears why you have been "considering" about this.
bridif1 wrote: Fri Dec 11, 2020 3:27 pmBeing understood that nothing can be called 'I', 'me' or 'mine', I think the suttas could be trying to show that there are some causal and conditional connections that makes a new individual be what s/he will be.
The suttas appear to say the same person or "being" ("satta") proceeds from the past to the future according to their kamma. It appears anatta is not related to these mundane teachings. MN 117 says there are two distinct types of dhamma but you appear to be mixing them up.
bridif1 wrote: Fri Dec 11, 2020 3:27 pmsome tendencies that continue through lifes.
What lives? Where do the suttas refer to tendencies (anusaya) transmitted from past to future "lives"? Thanks
bridif1 wrote: Fri Dec 11, 2020 3:27 pmIf we use this interpretation, there could be cases where the effects (carried by living beings that interacted with the noble ones) of non-arahants noble ones are extinguished after their death, and so, there is not a rebirth of their tendencies.
Very speculative.
bridif1 wrote: Fri Dec 11, 2020 3:27 pmI know this could be convoluted
:goodpost:
bridif1 wrote: Fri Dec 11, 2020 3:27 pm and I could be just seeing things when they are not there.
:goodpost:
bridif1 wrote: Fri Dec 11, 2020 3:27 pmThis could be just proliferation.
:goodpost:
bridif1 wrote: Fri Dec 11, 2020 3:27 pm But I think this interpretation could give our lives
But it was originally posted: "nothing can be called 'I', 'me' or 'mine'".
bridif1 wrote: Fri Dec 11, 2020 3:27 pm "streams of consciousness" that transfer our "kamma seeds" from one life to a new one.
Stream of consciousness is not found in the suttas (apart from one irrelevant place). Also, consciousness is defined in the suttas as cognition (MN 43). In other words, it is unlikely consciousness (sense awareness) can carry "seeds". In fact, the suttas say: "consciousness is the seed (viññāṇaṃ bījaṃ)" rather than the carrier of the seed.
bridif1 wrote: Fri Dec 11, 2020 3:27 pm I apologize if this is not clear enough. English not being my first language just makes these kind of explanations even harder than they would be by themselves.
Thank you. What you posted was clear enough however it appeared to be your own ideas rather than quotes from sutta.

Kind regards :smile:
There is always an official executioner. If you try to take his place, It is like trying to be a master carpenter and cutting wood. If you try to cut wood like a master carpenter, you will only hurt your hand.

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skandha
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Re: AN 4.131: bardo/antarabhava?

Post by skandha »

Whatever living beings there may be;
Whether they are weak or strong, omitting none,
The great or the mighty, medium, short or small,
The seen and the unseen,
Those living near and far away,
Those born and to-be-born
May all beings be at ease!

- Metta Sutta
Perhaps these beings that are "to be born" or "seeking rebirth" - sambhavesī, is an indication of the antarabhava.
Form is like a lump of foam, Feeling like a water bubble; Perception is like a mirage, Volitions like a plantain trunk, and consciousness like an illusion
- SN 22.95
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