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Immediate rebirth - Dhamma Wheel

Immediate rebirth

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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cooran
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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
---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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Ben
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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
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..

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tiltbillings
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Re: Immediate rebirth

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


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Ben
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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
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..

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retrofuturist
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Re: Immediate rebirth

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

"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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mikenz66
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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
Mike

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Re: Immediate rebirth

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


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cooran
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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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cooran
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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 ---

thornbush
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Re: Immediate rebirth

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


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Re: Immediate rebirth

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


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retrofuturist
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Re: Immediate rebirth

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

"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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Ben
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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
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..

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cooran
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Re: Immediate rebirth

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

---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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retrofuturist
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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. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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cooran
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Location: Queensland, Australia

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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Ben
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Location: kanamaluka

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
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..

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cooran
Posts: 8502
Joined: Tue Jan 06, 2009 11:32 pm
Location: Queensland, Australia

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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mikenz66
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Re: Immediate rebirth

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



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