James Tan wrote: ↑
Mon Sep 17, 2018 7:10 am
In the paticasamuppada , the Jati link ie birth , referring to what exactly ? Is it birth of a physical body ? A thought take birth ?
Well, after searching a bit more on the issue, I can say that it can mean both. If we relay purely on suttas, I would say it is the physical birth what is ment. In addition to SN12.2, the Mahānidāna Sutta DN15 also seems to indicate this:
‘I have said: “Birth conditions ageing-and-death”, and this is the way that should be understood. If, Ananda, there were no birth at all, anywhere, of anybody or anything: of devas to the deva-state, of gandhabbas..., of yakkhas..., of ghosts... , of humans..., of quadrupeds..., of birds..., of reptiles to the reptile state, if there were absolutely no birth at all of all these beings, then, with the absence of all birth, the cessation of birth, could ageing-and-death appear?’
Seems clearly to point to physical birth.
By the way, when describing consciousness, in the Mahānidāna sutta Buddha says: "Or if consciousness, having entered (okkamati) the mother’s womb, were to be deflected, would mind-and-body come to birth in this life?" So, okkamati (okkanti) clearly can refer to a physical birth/conception (greetings, DooDoot). And there are two births in paṭicca samuppāda - during describing nāma-rūpa and during jāti. This is supported by Mahānidāna sutta.
But anyway, Vibhańga (which is probably the oldest among Abhidhamma books) does recognize that jāti in paṭicca samuppāda can also refer a birth of a thought:
when bad consciousness arises... because of ignorance there is activity; because of activity there isconsciousness; because of consciousness there is mind; because of mind there is the sixth base; because of the sixth base there is contact; because of contact there is feeling; because of feeling there is craving; because of craving there is attachment; because of attachment there is becoming; because of becoming there is birth; because of birth there is ageing and death. Thus is the arising of this whole mass of suffering.
Vibh 144,2: yasmiṃ samaye akusalaṃ cittaṃ uppannaṃ hoti ... tasmiṃ samaye avijjāpaccayā saṅkhāro, saṅkhārapaccayā viññāṇaṃ, viññāṇapaccayā nāmaṃ, nāmapaccayā chaṭṭāyatanaṃ, chaṭṭāyatanapaccayā phasso, phassapaccayā vedanā, vedanāpaccayā taṇhā, taṇhāpaccayā upādānaṃ, upādānapaccayā bhavo, bhavapaccayā jāti, jātipaccayā jarāmaraṇaṃ. Evam etassa kevalassa dukkhakkhandhassa samudayo hoti.
Notably, this mode of presentation speaks only of "name" instead of "name-and-form", and also only of the "sixth sense-sphere", as appropriate in an application to mind-moments (see Anālayo, Rebirth and the Gandhabba).
So, Abhidhamma does recognize birth in paṭicca samuppāda as being both: physical (I haven't cited this part from Vibh) and a birth of the consciousness.