A. Brahm's When Does Human Life Begin..?

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A. Brahm's When Does Human Life Begin..?

Postby Buddha Vacana » Thu Dec 08, 2016 8:44 am

So this is going to be yet another thread about abortion, but this time focusing specifically on A. Brahm's document:

When Does Human Life Begin in This Body?
http://www.dhammatalks.net/Books7/Ajahn ... _Begin.pdf

I am sure many fellow participants to this forum already know it, and it has already been partially discussed in several threads:
http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.ph ... 20#p245967
http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.ph ... 9e#p327605
http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.ph ... 60#p289515
http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.ph ... 80#p289519

The reason I am doing this is that I have seen people online spreading Ajahn Brahm's outlandish view (in terms of orthodoxy) which might become mainstream just because people like it. (in a similar fashion as how we could imagine some Mahayana teachings that directly contradict the Buddha's words may have taken root). So rather than relying on personal liking or reasoning based on appearances (both of which the Buddha rejected as wrong ways of finding out the truth, and yes you can call me a regressive dogmatist fort that, but you can't do it without recognizing you would have to accuse the Buddha of the exact same thing), I am then going to follow the famous advice that we find in DN 16:
"In this fashion, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu might speak: 'Face to face with the Blessed One, brethren, I have heard and learned thus: This is the Dhamma and the Discipline, the Master's Dispensation'; or: 'In an abode of such and such a name lives a community with elders and a chief. Face to face with that community, I have heard and learned thus: This is the Dhamma and the Discipline, the Master's Dispensation'; or: 'In an abode of such and such a name live several bhikkhus who are elders, who are learned, who have accomplished their course, who are preservers of the Dhamma, the Discipline, and the Summaries. Face to face with those elders, I have heard and learned thus: This is the Dhamma and the Discipline, the Master's Dispensation'; or: 'In an abode of such and such a name lives a single bhikkhu who is an elder, who is learned, who has accomplished his course, who is a preserver of the Dhamma, the Discipline, and the Summaries. Face to face with that elder, I have heard and learned thus: This is the Dhamma and the Discipline, the Master's Dispensation.'

"In such a case, bhikkhus, the declaration of such a bhikkhu is neither to be received with approval nor with scorn. Without approval and without scorn, but carefully studying the sentences word by word, one should trace them in the Discourses and verify them by the Discipline. If they are neither traceable in the Discourses nor verifiable by the Discipline, one must conclude thus: 'Certainly, this is not the Blessed One's utterance; this has been misunderstood by that bhikkhu — or by that community, or by those elders, or by that elder.' In that way, bhikkhus, you should reject it. But if the sentences concerned are traceable in the Discourses and verifiable by the Discipline, then one must conclude thus: 'Certainly, this is the Blessed One's utterance; this has been well understood by that bhikkhu — or by that community, or by those elders, or by that elder.' And in that way, bhikkhus, you may accept it on the first, second, third, or fourth reference. These, bhikkhus, are the four great references for you to preserve."


I think the core conclusion of A. Brahm's reasoning on appearances is this:
only when the embryo-fetus first shows sensitivity to pleasure and pain (vedana) and first shows will (such as by a purposeful shrinking away from a painful stimulus) has consciousness and nāma-rūpa first manifested and the new human life started.

Now since a baby generally starts moving around weeks 7 or 8, some people conclude based A. Brahm's views that abortion before week 4 or 5 should be ok. It even goes all the way down to this:
cooran Sat May 10, 2014 8:41 am wrote:I was at a talk by Ajahn Brahm in Brisbane a year or so ago. He told the same jokes I'd heard from him before, the same stories I'd read in his books - and then he said abortion was o.k. up to about 16 or more weeks. At that point quite a number of the audience walked out.


Now, let's turn to what the suttas say:
MN 38
“tiṇṇaṃ kho pana, bhikkhave, sannipātā gabbhassāvakkanti hoti. idha mātāpitaro ca sannipatitā honti, mātā ca na utunī hoti, gandhabbo ca na paccupaṭṭhito hoti, neva tāva gabbhassāvakkanti hoti. idha mātāpitaro ca sannipatitā honti, mātā ca utunī hoti, gandhabbo ca na paccupaṭṭhito hoti, neva tāva gabbhassāvakkanti hoti. yato ca kho, bhikkhave, mātāpitaro ca sannipatitā honti, mātā ca utunī hoti, gandhabbo ca paccupaṭṭhito hoti — evaṃ tiṇṇaṃ sannipātā gabbhassāvakkanti hoti. tamenaṃ, bhikkhave, mātā nava vā dasa vā māse gabbhaṃ kucchinā pariharati mahatā saṃsayena garubhāraṃ.

"Monks, the descent of the embryo occurs with the union of three things. There is the case where there is no union of the mother & father, the mother is not in her season, and a gandhabba [8] is not present, nor is there a descent of an embryo. There is the case where there is a union of the mother & father, and the mother is in her season, but a gandhabba is not present, nor is there a descent of an embryo. But when there is a union of the mother & father, the mother is in her season, and a gandhabba is present, then with this union of three things the descent of the embryo occurs. Then for nine or ten months the mother shelters the embryo in her womb with great anxiety, as a heavy burden.

Here is A. Thanissaro's note about "gandhabba":
8. "Gandhabba" usually means a low level of celestial deva. Devas on this level are frequently represented in the Canon as obsessed with sexual desire. However, the Commentary here notes that "gandhabba" here does not mean a being standing near, watching the couple have sexual intercourse. Rather, it means the being, driven by kamma, who will take birth on that occasion. This interpretation is seconded by a passage in MN 93, which builds on the brahman assumption that a person maintains the same caste from one life to the next:
MN 93
“‘jānanti pana bhonto — yathā gabbhassa avakkanti hotī’ti?
‘jānāma mayaṃ, bho — yathā gabbhassa avakkanti hoti. idha mātāpitaro ca sannipatitā honti, mātā ca utunī hoti, gandhabbo ca paccupaṭṭhito hoti; evaṃ tiṇṇaṃ sannipātā gabbhassa avakkanti hotī’ti.
‘jānanti pana bhonto — taggha, so gandhabbo khattiyo vā brāhmaṇo vā vesso vā suddo vā’ti?
‘na mayaṃ, bho, jānāma — taggha so gandhabbo khattiyo vā brāhmaṇo vā vesso vā suddo vā’ti.
‘evaṃ sante, bho, jānātha — ke tumhe hothā’ti?
‘evaṃ sante, bho, na mayaṃ jānāma — ke mayaṃ homā’ti.

"[Devala the Dark (an ancient brahman seer):] 'Do you know how there is the descent of an embryo?'
"[Seven brahman seers:] 'Yes, master, we know how there is the descent of an embryo. There is the case where the mother & father have come together, the mother is fertile, and a gandhabba is standing present. The coming together of these three is the descent of the embryo.'
"'But do you know for sure whether the gandhabba is a noble warrior, a brahman, a merchant, or a worker?'
"'No, master.'
"'That being the case, do you know who you are?'
"'That being the case, master, we don't know who we are.'"


Then there also is this Vinaya story:
gabbhavīsūpasampadānujānanā - Permission for ordination twenty years from conception
tena kho pana samayena āyasmā kumārakassapo gabbhavīso upasampanno ahosi. atha kho āyasmato kumārakassapassa etadahosi — “bhagavatā paññattaṃ ‘na ūnavīsativasso puggalo upasampādetabbo’ti. ahañcamhi gabbhavīso upasampanno. upasampanno nu khomhi, nanu kho upasampanno”ti? bhagavato etamatthaṃ ārocesuṃ. yaṃ, bhikkhave, mātukucchismiṃ paṭhamaṃ cittaṃ uppannaṃ, paṭhamaṃ viññāṇaṃ pātubhūtaṃ, tadupādāya sāvassa jāti. anujānāmi, bhikkhave, gabbhavīsaṃ upasampādetunti.

Now at that time the venerable Kassapa the Boy1 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,2 and I am twenty years from my conception. Now am I ordained3 or am I not ordained?” They told this matter to the Lord. He said: “When in his mother’s womb the first thought has arisen, the first consciousness appeared,4 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.”

Notice here that the word "gabbha" is the same that the one used at MN 38 in the compound "gabbhassāvakkanti", after which it is stated that life in the mother's womb lasts for nine or ten months. So according to early scriptures, there is really no room for a several weeks period during which a new life would not have already started and I think there is a pretty strong case to reject A. Brahm's views.

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Re: A. Brahm's When Does Human Life Begin..?

Postby binocular » Thu Dec 08, 2016 10:22 am

The discussion about when a human life begins isn't relevant to the discussion of abortion, inasmuch as those who pursue an abortion are acting with the intention to kill a human. Some people say that performing an abortion is about "removing unwanted tissue" and such; but what they really want is that a human wouldn't come out of that tissue; as such, for all practical intents and purposes, they are acting with the intention to kill a human.

This remains the same, regardless of what the actual status of an unborn is (whether it's alive or not, whether it's human or not, whether it feels anything or not, etc.).
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Re: A. Brahm's When Does Human Life Begin..?

Postby santa100 » Thu Dec 08, 2016 5:22 pm

Not sure if Ven. Brahm's seen some staggering figures here. If he did, he'd probably be a lot more prudent with his words and claims. Being a Dhamma teacher carries tremendous responsibility. For not only s/he has to be careful about the truthfulness of their words, but also how that truth will influence the final take-away message that his followers perceive and implement. Bad enough for a person to head toward a cliff alone, but it'll be disastrous for him to lead thousands of others down with him.

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Re: A. Brahm's When Does Human Life Begin..?

Postby Mr Man » Thu Dec 08, 2016 8:49 pm

Hi Buddha Vacana

From the quote by Ajahn Thanissaro -

However, the Commentary here notes that "gandhabba" here does not mean a being standing near, watching the couple have sexual intercourse. Rather, it means the being, driven by kamma, who will take birth on that occasion.


So from the moment of conception a new human comes into existence? There is a being, which is called a ""gandhabba" (is this some kind of transitional being?) and that being combines with the egg at the moment of fertilisation to create a new human?

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Re: A. Brahm's When Does Human Life Begin..?

Postby Mr Man » Thu Dec 08, 2016 8:57 pm

This is reputed to have come from Ajahn Mun
'When the generative elements of the mother and father are combined, the body comes into being. When it is born from the mother's womb, it is nourished with rice and bread, and so is able to develop and grow.' Na is the mother's element; mo, the father's element. When these two elements are combined, the mother's fire element then heats the combination until it becomes what is called a kalala, a droplet of oil. This is the point where the connecting cognizance (patisandhi-viññana) can make its connection, so that the mind becomes joined to the namo element. Once the mind has taken up residence, the droplet of oil develops until it is an ambuja, a glob of blood. From a glob of blood it becomes a ghana, a rod, and then a pesi, a piece of flesh. Then it expands itself into a lizard-like shape, with five extensions: two arms, two legs, and a head.


Does anyone know where these terms come from and have more details of the meaning? Where would Ajahn Mun come across this idea?

kalala, a droplet of oil
ambuja, a glob of blood
ghana, a rod
pesi, a piece of flesh

Is patisandhi-viññana the same as Gandhabba?

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/thai ... eased.html

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Re: A. Brahm's When Does Human Life Begin..?

Postby Buddha Vacana » Thu Dec 08, 2016 9:58 pm

Mr Man wrote:So from the moment of conception a new human comes into existence? There is a being, which is called a ""gandhabba" (is this some kind of transitional being?) and that being combines with the egg at the moment of fertilisation to create a new human?

That is what it looks like indeed.

Mr Man wrote:Does anyone know where these terms come from and have more details of the meaning? Where would Ajahn Mun come across this idea?

They almost certainly come from Abhidhamma.

Mr Man wrote:Is patisandhi-viññana the same as Gandhabba?

Apparently, yes.

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Re: A. Brahm's When Does Human Life Begin..?

Postby atipattoh » Fri Dec 09, 2016 4:36 am

Bacteria & Archaea are not Being

From Wikipedia:
Plants and animals both owe their origins to endosymbiosis, a process where one cell ingests another, but for some reason then fails to digest it. The evidence for this lies in the way their cells function. Both plant and animal rely on structures called mitochondria to release energy in their cells, using aerobic respiration to produce the energy-carrying molecule ATP. There is considerable evidence that mitochondria evolved from free-living aerobic bacteria: they are the size of bacterial cells; they divide independently of the cell by binary fission; they have their own genome in the form of a single circular DNA molecule; their ribosomes are more similar to those of bacteria than to the ribosomes found in the eukaryote cell's cytoplasm; and like chloroplasts they are enclosed by a double membrane as would be expected if they derived from bacterial cells engulfed by another cell.


Prokaryotes bacterial evolved into eukaryotes, and:
1. Eukaryotes --> first green plant with chlorophyll
2. Eukaryotes --> first animals call Ediacaran
Both evolution occur due to failure of endosymbiosis, for unknown reason, one fails to digest the other.

Chlorophyll (more complicated cell) evolved into trees
Other slightly complicated cell organism evolved into creatures.
So if bacteria is a being, is it logical for it to evolve into tree that is not a being?
That is why when you have wound, it is perfectly alright to apply antibiotic cream to KILL bacteria.

There are matters that is within the domain of Samma Sambuddha; seeing the big picture. That's why Buddha allow bhikkhu to decide if they want to remain pure vegetarian or not. However, we are lucky that recent generation is able to comprehend the knowledge of scientific findings with the efforts of many individuals.

We take antibiotic, use antibiotic cream. Bhikkhu also does that. The very 1st precept could never be possible to be observed. Should a bhikkhu disrobed if he takes antibiotic? If bacteria is a being; is it possible for us cultivating sila vissudhi?

If you cut out a piece of your flesh, within a short time if it is being discern, does it has sign of fire element? It does, it takes time to cool down until the remaining oxygen and/or nutriment is depleted.

The question is does it has consciousness that has self view? No!

If the oxygen level is still remained and the flesh is put back onto you, it will survive. If by separating it would create a new consciousness that possess new self view, when it is put back on to you, do you carry a stranger with you or having 2 of you now?

Our skin cells with nucleus structure are more complicated than bacteria. If you cut out your skin and culture it in laboratory with proper nutrient feedings, multiple divisions occur on the cells and it grows. It appears to be 'alive', but does it has consciousness that possess self view? So, after a burn patient is being cured with another person skin cells, will this patient has 2 personalities now? And another question that one should ask himself; does cancerous cell has self view? Does cancer patient carry thousand of beings with? A cell that is able to multiply does not make them, being called a being!

These are the matter that we have to explore; a few points from many more that we can reflect on.


Since a few months ago I have been asking myself, at what point does an embryo has consciousness?
2 weeks ago I was discussing the above matter of 'Is bacteria a being?' with a relative; and it seems some of the arguments can be useful, so I just paste on top.

Thanks for sharing the link to B Brahm's article. As least now I know that there is a bhikkhu, does look into this issue as well. The question arise because of the notion that consciousness is at the Heart-base. What borders me is that embryo do not have a heart at the early stage. Even if one says consciousness is at a small dot at the bottom of the heart, still that dot do not exist at early stage. Brain can be damaged but life still goes on as long as heart still pumping, it ends when heart stops; though consciousness stays for some time until all sense doors are shut down. So heart-base still acceptable as far as I'm concern.
After reading Brahm's article, a search on the net found this.

“The fifth week of pregnancy, or the third week after conception, marks the beginning of the embryonic period. This is when the baby's brain, spinal cord, heart and other organs begin to form. “

random search and borrow part of the write up found on this site:
http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifes ... t-20045302
Week 4: Implantation
….... reaches the uterus, the rapidly dividing ball of cells …... has separated into two sections.
The inner group of cells --> embryo. The outer group --> the cells that nourish and protect it.


Week 5:The embryonic period begins
The fifth week of pregnancy, or the third week after conception, marks the beginning of the embryonic period. This is when the baby's brain, spinal cord, heart and other organs begin to form.
The embryo is now made of three layers. The top layer — the ectoderm — will give rise to your baby's outermost layer of skin, central and peripheral nervous systems, eyes, inner ears, and many connective tissues.
Your baby's heart and a primitive circulatory system will form in the middle layer of cells — the mesoderm. This layer of cells will also serve as the foundation for your baby's bones, muscles, kidneys and much of the reproductive system.
The inner layer of cells — the endoderm — will become a simple tube lined with mucous membranes. Your baby's lungs, intestines and bladder will develop here.


In wikipedia ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prenatal_development ):
The embryonic period in humans begins at fertilization (penetration of the egg by the sperm) and continues until the end of the 10th week of gestation (8th week by embryonic age). The period of two weeks from fertilization is also referred to as the germinal stage.
The embryo spends the next few days traveling down the Fallopian tube. It starts out as a single cell zygot and then divides several times to form a ball of cells called a morula. Further cellular divisio is accompanied by the formation of a small cavity between the cells. This stage is called a blastucyst. Up to this point there is no growth in the overall size of the embryo, as it is confined within a glycoprotein shell, known as the zona pellucida. Instead, each division produces successively smaller cells.
The blastocyst reaches the uteru at roughly the fifth day after fertilization. It is here that lysis of the zona pellucida occurs. This process is analogous tozona hatching, a term that refers to the emergence of the blastocyst from the zona pellucida, when incubated in vitro. This allows the trophectoderm cells of the blastocyst to come into contact with, and adhere to, the endometrial cells of the uterus. The trophectoderm will eventually give rise to extra-embryonic structures, such as the placenta and the membranes. The embryo becomes embedded in the endometrium in a process called implantation. In most successful pregnancies, the embryo implants 8 to 10 days after ovulation. The embryo, the extra-embryonic membranes, and the placenta are collectively referred to as a conceptus, or the "products of conception


“The embryonic period in humans begins at fertilization” being stated as though life starts here, fulfilling laymen common understanding but later introduces the definition of zygot, converging towards random source that I obtained from the net “Week 5:The embryonic period begins”.
This image on wikipedia is a good illustration, Image

Cell mass differentiation occurs on day 9 (early 4th week), however; mesoderm spreading occur on day 18, so perhaps right on this day or a few days after this period that very first consciousness arises (but not s.o.c transmigration into this zygot/embryo, transmigration occurs only s.o.c is viewed as a whole/stream assuming that it is not an arising of consciousness)

B Brahm is not the only one, he is the first one. We never know if we are witnessing the view that is going to be an “orthodox interpretation” 1000 yrs from now.

However, at what stage does first consciousness arises in embryo and abortion are 2 different issues. I would reject abortion on 2 grounds.
Firstly, abortion would be like a person prepared a feast of delicious food on a table, and right before a guest could sit down on the chair, those food is being trashed into garbage bin.

Secondly, most people can not make up their mind at the very moment that they know they are pregnant. Furthermore, most ladies would do pregnancy test earliest on the 5th week, a few days after missing her period, whereby, heart has been beginning to be developed; which mark the new beginning of life.

However, interestingly science seems to tally with Abhidhamma!
:anjali:

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Re: A. Brahm's When Does Human Life Begin..?

Postby Mr Man » Fri Dec 09, 2016 7:50 am

Buddha Vacana wrote:
Mr Man wrote:So from the moment of conception a new human comes into existence? There is a being, which is called a ""gandhabba" (is this some kind of transitional being?) and that being combines with the egg at the moment of fertilisation to create a new human?

That is what it looks like indeed.



Hi Buddha Vacana

Do you know if this understanding would have been a prevailing view at the time of the Buddha?

It would be interesting also to hear, if there is any detail, at what time the "gandhabba" comes into existence (how long after death)?

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Re: A. Brahm's When Does Human Life Begin..?

Postby Mr Man » Fri Dec 09, 2016 7:59 am

atipattoh wrote:
However, interestingly science seems to tally with Abhidhamma!


Hi atipattoh

Do you know of a good source for the abhidhamic (or traditionalist) view?

It seems that what has been presented so far is scant.

Is Ajahn Mun's explanation with the various stages (kalala, ambuja, ghana, pesi) taken directly from the abhidhamma?

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Re: A. Brahm's When Does Human Life Begin..?

Postby Bakmoon » Fri Dec 09, 2016 10:38 am

I'm not an expert on Abhidhamma, but I don't think that the idea of a gandhabba is found in the abhidhamma, but is exclusive to the suttanta presentation. In the Abhidhamma presentation, patisandhi-citta arises in the embryo or fetus immediately after the death consciousness occurs. If that is true, then there isn't any time for a gandhabba to travel all the way and enter into the fetus.

In all honesty though I don't know how these details really help resolve the issue. The real essence of the question is when does patisandhi citta arise or when does the gandhabba descend into the developing embryo or fetus. Do the texts give an answer to this question?
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The performance of what's skillful,
The cleansing of one's own mind:
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Re: A. Brahm's When Does Human Life Begin..?

Postby Buddha Vacana » Fri Dec 09, 2016 10:39 am

Mr Man wrote:Do you know if this understanding would have been a prevailing view at the time of the Buddha?

That's what it looks like. I doubt you can ever get a much better answer since the best sources of knowledge we have of those times are the Sutta and Vinaya Pitakas. Unless perhaps you consider the Abhidhamma to represent the views prevailing at the time of the Buddha.

Mr Man wrote:It would be interesting also to hear, if there is any detail, at what time the "gandhabba" comes into existence (how long after death)?

I am no specialist, but the word seems to be used in a wide range of contexts, sometimes to refer to a class of devas or at least supernatural beings. At AN 4.36 someone asks the Buddha whether he is a human, a deva, a gandhabba or a yakkha. At AN 8.19 and 20 they are listed with timis, timiṅgalas, timirapiṅgalas, asuras, nāgas, of which according to Ven. Bodhi, the first three are "legendary fish of gigantic size". AN 4.187 mentions a vassal of King Eleya bearing that name...

Mr Man wrote:Is Ajahn Mun's explanation with the various stages (kalala, ambuja, ghana, pesi) taken directly from the abhidhamma?

Yes
Abhidhamma Piṭaka, kathāvatthupāḷi, 14. cuddasamavaggo, (137) 2. saḷāyatanuppattikathā wrote:“paṭhamaṃ kalalaṃ hoti, kalalā hoti abbudaṃ.
abbudā jāyate pesi, pesi nibbattate ghano.
ghanā pasākhā jāyanti, kesā lomā nakhāpi ca.
“yañcassa bhuñjati mātā, annaṃ pānañca bhojanaṃ.
tena so tattha yāpeti, mātukucchigato naro”ti

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Re: A. Brahm's When Does Human Life Begin..?

Postby Buddha Vacana » Fri Dec 09, 2016 10:41 am

Bakmoon wrote:when does the gandhabba descend into the developing embryo or fetus. Do the texts give an answer to this question?

Yes right from the beginning, although the exact moment is not described with hairsplitting precision. Don't hesitate to read the O.P.
Last edited by Buddha Vacana on Fri Dec 09, 2016 11:30 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: A. Brahm's When Does Human Life Begin..?

Postby atipattoh » Fri Dec 09, 2016 10:56 am

Mr Man wrote:
atipattoh wrote:
However, interestingly science seems to tally with Abhidhamma!


Hi atipattoh

Do you know of a good source for the abhidhamic (or traditionalist) view?

It seems that what has been presented so far is scant.

Is Ajahn Mun's explanation with the various stages (kalala, ambuja, ghana, pesi) taken directly from the abhidhamma?


Hi Man,
I think you are trying to match the image with A Mun description. I think A Mun is trying his best and it appears to be good enough in those days.
I was looking from the direction of 'heart-base', other than that I don't take it seriously. Old description mostly unclear.

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Re: A. Brahm's When Does Human Life Begin..?

Postby Zom » Fri Dec 09, 2016 11:18 am

Is Ajahn Mun's explanation with the various stages (kalala, ambuja, ghana, pesi) taken directly from the abhidhamma?


No. This is from SN 10.1.

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Re: A. Brahm's When Does Human Life Begin..?

Postby Buddha Vacana » Fri Dec 09, 2016 11:39 am

:goodpost:

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Re: A. Brahm's When Does Human Life Begin..?

Postby Mr Man » Fri Dec 09, 2016 11:53 am

atipattoh wrote:
Mr Man wrote:
atipattoh wrote:
However, interestingly science seems to tally with Abhidhamma!


Hi atipattoh

Do you know of a good source for the abhidhamic (or traditionalist) view?

It seems that what has been presented so far is scant.

Is Ajahn Mun's explanation with the various stages (kalala, ambuja, ghana, pesi) taken directly from the abhidhamma?


Hi Man,
I think you are trying to match the image with A Mun description. I think A Mun is trying his best and it appears to be good enough in those days.
I was looking from the direction of 'heart-base', other than that I don't take it seriously. Old description mostly unclear.


Is there a clear description in the Abhidhamma or other texts? As I said, in my opinion, what has been presented so far is scant.

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Mr Man
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Re: A. Brahm's When Does Human Life Begin..?

Postby Mr Man » Fri Dec 09, 2016 11:56 am

Zom wrote:
Is Ajahn Mun's explanation with the various stages (kalala, ambuja, ghana, pesi) taken directly from the abhidhamma?


No. This is from SN 10.1.


Thanks Zom.

--

Here is a link

http://awake.kiev.ua/dhamma/tipitaka/2S ... ggo-e.html

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Mr Man
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Re: A. Brahm's When Does Human Life Begin..?

Postby Mr Man » Fri Dec 09, 2016 12:04 pm

Bakmoon wrote:I'm not an expert on Abhidhamma, but I don't think that the idea of a gandhabba is found in the abhidhamma, but is exclusive to the suttanta presentation. In the Abhidhamma presentation, patisandhi-citta arises in the embryo or fetus immediately after the death consciousness occurs. If that is true, then there isn't any time for a gandhabba to travel all the way and enter into the fetus.

In all honesty though I don't know how these details really help resolve the issue. The real essence of the question is when does patisandhi citta arise or when does the gandhabba descend into the developing embryo or fetus. Do the texts give an answer to this question?


Hi Bakmoon
And also when should this new life be designated as a Human Being (a fertilized egg is not a chicken, a tadpole is not a frog, a caterpillar is not a butterfly)?

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Mr Man
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Re: A. Brahm's When Does Human Life Begin..?

Postby Mr Man » Fri Dec 09, 2016 12:12 pm

On the more controversial side of this topic - abortion. In my opinion even if we take a "orthodox" view (and for monks in my opinion that is almost a necessity) I still think we should be careful in our judgement of others positions/actions + potential results.

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Re: A. Brahm's When Does Human Life Begin..?

Postby Bakmoon » Fri Dec 09, 2016 3:21 pm

Buddha Vacana wrote:
Bakmoon wrote:when does the gandhabba descend into the developing embryo or fetus. Do the texts give an answer to this question?

Yes right from the beginning, although the exact moment is not described with hairsplitting precision. Don't hesitate to read the O.P.

I find that understanding to be very unlikely because if you look in the Vinaya under the definitions under Parajika 3, it defines a human being as:

from the mind’s first appearance in a mother’s womb, from the first manifestation of consciousness, until the time of death: in between these— this is called “a human being.”
https://suttacentral.net/en/pi-tv-bu-vb-pj3


and if consciousness arises at the moment of conception, that would mean that the wording of the definition is redundant and superfluous. Why would the text specify that if it were unnecessary? The only way for the text to make sense is if consciousness arises some time after the meeting of the sperm and egg.
The non-doing of any evil,
The performance of what's skillful,
The cleansing of one's own mind:
This is the Buddhas' teaching.


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