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

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

Post by Buddha Vacana » Fri Dec 09, 2016 8:27 pm

Bakmoon wrote:
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.
Could you clarify your argument? I am having a hard time trying to make sense of it. Is it this that you find redundant: "from the mind’s first appearance in a mother’s womb, from the first manifestation of consciousness"? If that is the case, there is a pretty simple explanation for such redundancy: explaining things in various ways makes them clearer, and this technique is used pretty often in the suttas.
Also, how does your argument even relate to your conclusion?
And even if your point is correct, it still doesn't invalidate the conclusion that is supported by "hard" textual evidence in the O.P. If fecundation and "conception" do not happen at the same time, the position that accords with the texts would be to consider that they are not very far apart in time.
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Re: A. Brahm's When Does Human Life Begin..?

Post by Bakmoon » Sat Dec 10, 2016 1:45 am

Buddha Vacana wrote:Could you clarify your argument? I am having a hard time trying to make sense of it. Is it this that you find redundant: "from the mind’s first appearance in a mother’s womb, from the first manifestation of consciousness"? If that is the case, there is a pretty simple explanation for such redundancy: explaining things in various ways makes them clearer, and this technique is used pretty often in the suttas.
Also, how does your argument even relate to your conclusion?
And even if your point is correct, it still doesn't invalidate the conclusion that is supported by "hard" textual evidence in the O.P. If fecundation and "conception" do not happen at the same time, the position that accords with the texts would be to consider that they are not very far apart in time.
If the Vibhanga intended to convey that a human is a human from the moment of conception, adding the passage about the arising of mind doesn't make it clearer but makes it more confusing, because the passage in question tells us nothing about when that takes place. If the author wanted to say that it is defined as a human from conception, the clear way of saying that would be to say something like "A human being: from the coming together of father and mother until the time of death" or something like that.
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Re: A. Brahm's When Does Human Life Begin..?

Post by Buddha Vacana » Sat Dec 10, 2016 7:37 am

Bakmoon wrote:
Buddha Vacana wrote:Could you clarify your argument? I am having a hard time trying to make sense of it. Is it this that you find redundant: "from the mind’s first appearance in a mother’s womb, from the first manifestation of consciousness"? If that is the case, there is a pretty simple explanation for such redundancy: explaining things in various ways makes them clearer, and this technique is used pretty often in the suttas.
Also, how does your argument even relate to your conclusion?
And even if your point is correct, it still doesn't invalidate the conclusion that is supported by "hard" textual evidence in the O.P. If fecundation and "conception" do not happen at the same time, the position that accords with the texts would be to consider that they are not very far apart in time.
If the Vibhanga intended to convey that a human is a human from the moment of conception, adding the passage about the arising of mind doesn't make it clearer but makes it more confusing, because the passage in question tells us nothing about when that takes place. If the author wanted to say that it is defined as a human from conception, the clear way of saying that would be to say something like "A human being: from the coming together of father and mother until the time of death" or something like that.
So in the sentence "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.”" it makes more sense to consider that "from the mind’s first appearance in a mother’s womb" and "from the first manifestation of consciousness" refer to two different things rather than one and the same. And this argument is strong enough to reject MN 38 and the kind of statement we see in the Khandhakas.
:rolleye:
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Re: A. Brahm's When Does Human Life Begin..?

Post by atipattoh » Sun Dec 11, 2016 3:31 am

Buddha Vacana wrote: So in the sentence "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.”" it makes more sense to consider that "from the mind’s first appearance in a mother’s womb" and "from the first manifestation of consciousness" refer to two different things rather than one and the same. And this argument is strong enough to reject MN 38 and the kind of statement we see in the Khandhakas.
:rolleye:
Are you serious in taking this
when there is the union of the mother and father, and the mother is in season, and the gandhabba is present, through the union of these three things the descent of the embryo takes place
to support you view against Brahm's?
If there is a perspective that gandhabba is no different from the view of Sati, please enlighten me BuddhaVacana, in a way that many laymans like me can understand.
I would appreaciate if you could teach me a way to interpret this gandhabba that it is not a seed for eternal self/citta view, and how does it supports the rest of the whole chunk of text in MN 38; and what is your understanding on "union of these three THINGs"
Bare in mind that this
when there is the union of the mother and father, and the mother is in season, and the gandhabba is present
Literally as it is (regards interpretation without taking knowledge that is already available), if not as union of eggs and sperm, is already a mistake in timing as in:
The fastest swimming sperm can reach a female’s eggs in about half an hour (some says 45 minutes) while others could take a couple of days to get there.
Is this low level 'deva' being, going to wait for a few days if all swimmers are slow swimmer?
Afaisi, that word is a rotten apple in the basket.
Another question is how would you see, other than the quote above especially 'gandhabba'; that
Depending on this [heart-base]matter, mind-element and mind-consciousness-element arise. That matter is related to mind-element, mind-consciousness-element and their associated phenomena by presence condition.
contradict the rest of the content in MN38
Last edited by atipattoh on Sun Dec 11, 2016 4:35 am, edited 1 time in total.

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

Post by robertk » Sun Dec 11, 2016 4:26 am

The whole of the Abhidhamma (for instance) can be evidence that there is no lasting being. There is only a never ceasing stream of arising and ceasing moments, each conditioned by the last.
Upon cuti citta (death moment), without any pause the patisandhi citta arises : and this is the beginning of the new 'being' - whether human, animal, or peta etc.

In the human and animal realms there usually must be a material basis where the patisandhi citta arises.


A while back I cited the Visuddhimagga :
http://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f= ... us#p354199 and here we see the materila basis in humans is quite tiny -
visuddhimgga VIII
30. Herein, firstly the span has no sign because there is no definition such as:
Just so much must be lived, no more than that. For beings [die in the various
stages of the embryo, namely], at the time of the kalala, of the abbuda, of the pesi, of
the ghana, at one month gone, two months gone, three months gone, four months
gone, five months gone … ten months gone, and on the occasion of coming out
of the womb. And after that they die this side or the other of the century.



XVII
1
52. But when that minimal amount arises in the two kinds of generation
termed egg-born and womb-born, it amounts to no more than a drop of cream of
ghee on a single fibre of new-born [kid’s] wool, and it is known as the “embryo
in the first stage”
(S I 206).


But as Buddha vacana said the texts don't specify that there is an exact time when the patisandhi arises : it could be immediately upon the fertilisation of the egg or hours after- but , as I read it, before the embryo is implanted in the womb.

This extract from Abhidhamma in Daily life explains in an easy to understand way:
http://www.viet.net/anson/ebud/nina-abh ... bhi-10.htm

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

Post by pilgrim » Sun Dec 11, 2016 4:41 am

From my literal reading of the parajika rule as quoted earlier, parajika is committed when murder occurs as a result of a monk procuring an assassin or arranging for an abortion. Or a person commits suicide as a consequence of a monk speaking in praise of it. Neither of this 2 conditions apply for a monk who speaks in favour of abortion. It becomes applicable only when one extends the rule beyond its literal description.

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

Post by atipattoh » Sun Dec 11, 2016 4:44 am

Thanks Robertk!
that why i stated
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)
Lets see BuddhaVacana's view of how that contradict the rest of MN 38.

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

Post by Buddha Vacana » Sun Dec 11, 2016 6:15 am

atipattoh wrote:Are you serious in taking this
when there is the union of the mother and father, and the mother is in season, and the gandhabba is present, through the union of these three things the descent of the embryo takes place
to support you view against Brahm's?
Why not? The suttas are more authoritative than anyone's opinion, unless there is a solidly substantiated way involving comparative studies and philology to prove otherwise.
If there is a perspective that gandhabba is no different from the view of Sati, please enlighten me BuddhaVacana, in a way that many laymans like me can understand.
I provide available material, and I do not draw far-fetched conclusions. If you are not convinced, that is up to you. Using logic to try to understand anatta at the average person"s general level (something to be understood at a very deep level) is something that will surely confuse you. Why did the Buddha use the words "I" and "you" if there is no self? and so on.
I would appreaciate if you could teach me a way to interpret this gandhabba that it is not a seed for eternal self/citta view, and how does it supports the rest of the whole chunk of text in MN 38; and what is your understanding on "union of these three THINGs"
I suggest you ponder over the whole matter quietly without being upset.
Bare in mind that this
when there is the union of the mother and father, and the mother is in season, and the gandhabba is present
Literally as it is (regards interpretation without taking knowledge that is already available), if not as union of eggs and sperm, is already a mistake in timing as in:
The fastest swimming sperm can reach a female’s eggs in about half an hour (some says 45 minutes) while others could take a couple of days to get there.
I take the suttas as authoritative unless there is a strong case to dismiss them. Your own logic is not enough to that effect.
Is this low level 'deva' being, going to wait for a few days if all swimmers are slow swimmer?
Nothing indicates that gandhabba as a "deva" or whatever supernatural being living in trees etc. is the same thing as the gandhabba mentioned in MN 38.
If fecundation and "conception" are not the same, it still does not contradict MN 38. It says that if that is so, they are not too far apart in time.
Afaisi, that word is a rotten apple in the basket.
Another question is how would you see, other than the quote above especially 'gandhabba'; that
Depending on this [heart-base]matter, mind-element and mind-consciousness-element arise. That matter is related to mind-element, mind-consciousness-element and their associated phenomena by presence condition.
contradict the rest of the content in MN38
Debunking an older text with a newer one is something that can only be done by a specialist, with convincing reasons to take the former over the latter.
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Re: A. Brahm's When Does Human Life Begin..?

Post by atipattoh » Sun Dec 11, 2016 8:03 am

Thanks but no thanks for your arguments, not helping at all!

This is not ending well, it seems.
I have this wild thinking and this question is to those that has authority in interpretation of pali.
what if the translation is taken as
zygot for gandhabba, established (現起) for paccupaṭṭhita

This discussion that involved me shall ends here!

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

Post by Bakmoon » Sun Dec 11, 2016 4:39 pm

Buddha Vacana wrote:So in the sentence "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.”" it makes more sense to consider that "from the mind’s first appearance in a mother’s womb" and "from the first manifestation of consciousness" refer to two different things rather than one and the same. And this argument is strong enough to reject MN 38 and the kind of statement we see in the Khandhakas.
:rolleye:
That's not what I'm saying at all. They are of course, synonyms. What I am saying is that if "the minds' first appearance in a mother's womb,...the first manifestation of consciousness" were to happen at the moment of conception, then why would the Sutta Vibhanga mention the starting point as being "the minds' first appearance in a mother's womb,...the first manifestation of consciousness" instead of just mentioning the coming together of father and mother? If they are simultaneous, then why does the Sutta Vibhanga go out of its way to use a verbose technical term that doesn't indicate a precise time rather than just using an easy to understand term (i.e. the coming together of father and mother) that is already found in the suttas?

And I'm not rejecting the statement from MN 38 at all. That sutta just says that the descent of the embryo occurs based on the fertility of the mother, the coming together of mother and father, and the presence of the gandhabba. But the text says nothing as to whether or not the gandhabba's presence is simultaneous with fertilization or not.
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The cleansing of one's own mind:
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Re: A. Brahm's When Does Human Life Begin..?

Post by ieee23 » Sun Dec 11, 2016 4:50 pm

santa100 wrote:Not sure if Ven. Brahm's seen some staggering figures here.
You might want to make your point with a link that everyone can read.

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

Post by santa100 » Sun Dec 11, 2016 7:38 pm

ieee23 wrote:
santa100 wrote:Not sure if Ven. Brahm's seen some staggering figures here.
You might want to make your point with a link that everyone can read.
Not sure why you still don't see the obvious point. Regardless of all the armchair philosophical debate about what/when human life begins, the ongoing brutal fact is that every year, there're ~800,000 potential human lives being terminated, far more than the number of firearms-related deaths, deaths from the ongoing Syrian civil war, and on par with the Rwandan genocide of 1994. Frankly speaking, it's sheer hypocrisy for any venerable, especially world renowned senior ones, to approve or endorse abortion, particularly up to 16-week abortion, while at the same time preaching about compassion and respect for the life of all sentient beings from tadpoles to elephants!

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

Post by robertk » Tue Dec 13, 2016 4:52 am

dear All
Someone sent me some privately some excellent questions and comments about this topic..

Conception is no more than just carry on the nature of endosymbiosis of bacteria. Sperms can swim, react to environment, they are obviously more alive than newly conceived egg, why aren't we consider them as beings? If we do, then man can not have sex anymore

It is because according to Theravada sperm are not alive, they are merely rupa..The visuddimagga makes it clear that there is no chance of citta arising until after fetilization..

On the issue of intermediate beings please read over this topic at
http://www.abhidhamma.org/forums/index. ... wtopic=148

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

Post by ryanM » Wed Dec 14, 2016 8:05 pm

A Buddhist Guide To Making Difficult Ethical Decisions, a recent talk given by AB. It centers a lot around abortion. I think it's a good watch for anyone who enjoys AB's talks.
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Re: A. Brahm's When Does Human Life Begin..?

Post by atipattoh » Thu Dec 15, 2016 2:40 am

:oops: double post
Last edited by atipattoh on Thu Dec 15, 2016 2:50 am, edited 1 time in total.

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

Post by atipattoh » Thu Dec 15, 2016 2:40 am

Decision of not getting involved seems not appropriate.
In the human and animal realms there usually must be a material basis where the patisandhi citta arises.
That seems to be the point that Brahm's view is base on too.

***********************************************************

In MN38's if gandhabba to be taken as an antarabhava being that is 'a being ready to take new existing' contradicting the whole sutta. I find it hard to see the validity of beings in the woeful realm, same as human, celestial being, all get to this antarabhava stage of celestial existence.

Now lets say that gandhabba as 'deva' interpretation is valid and regarded as being since day one of conception, we will have 1 question to answer; ie, what is this being doing prior to zygot is formed?
Is it enjoying sublime arupa jhana or continuously hallucinating?
It is not in jhanic experience, that is for sure. Now, can it be hallucinating, i doubt that is possible too without brain activity, else every one can remember their past life easily.
If to consider it as having mind but no rupa, we have to accept it as arupa being. Wow!!
No mind no rupa, so no consciousness.
If we consider it as having mind and rupa, then we have to accept bacteria as being. If we were to take bacteria as being, then plant that evolves from bacteria thru endosymbiosis like creatures will have to be accepted as being too. Now, 1st precept can not be kept. Abortion is no longer an issue.

Conception is no more than just carry on the nature of endosymbiosis of bacteria. Sperms can swim, react to environment, they are obviously more alive than newly conceived egg, why aren't we consider them as beings? If we do, then man can not have sex anymore :rofl:

So the point is “Heart-base” that makes the different.

Back to abhidhamma.
B Brahms go boldly dare to make such a talk; must have means something.
When half set of human cell chromosome combined with another half set, does not necessarily means that heart-base can arise. But where does heart base located. It is said that heart-base is located at a minute dot; a non measurable location at the bottom of the heart.

So at zygot stage that heart is present, the unfortunate part is that heart-base dot is not possible to be located by science. However, It is not having this heart-base that, being is unable to take birth in bacteria; else we are back to bacteria and plant issue.

However, we need to look into sutta as well.
The supporting sutta is MN 38 and MN 93, so it seems solid.
To break the myth, we have to look at sutta 93 prior to MN38.

The whole discussion between Buddha and Assalāyana is concerning outcome, result, product. Skipping most of it, I shall concentrate on 'union' issue.
What do you think about this, Assalāyana? Suppose a noble youth were to consort with a brahman girl and as a result a son were born to them. Would that son of the noble youth and the brahman girl be like his mother and also like his father, and should he be called ‘noble’ and also ‘brahman’?”
“Whatever son, good Gotama, were born to a noble youth with a brahman girl, he would be like his mother and also like his father, and he should be called ‘noble’ and also ‘brahman.’”
“What do you think about this, Assalāyana? Suppose a brahman youth were to consort with a noble girl and as a result at a son were born to them. Would that son … and should he be called ‘noble’ and also ‘brahman’?”
“Whatever son, good Gotama, were born to a brahman youth and a noble girl, he would be like his mother and also like his father, and he should be called ‘noble’ and also ‘brahman.’”
“What do you think about this, Assalāyana? Suppose a mare were mated with an ass and as a result a foal were born of this mating. Would that foal of the mare and the ass be like the mother and also like the father, and should it be called ‘horse’ and also ‘ass’?”
eg. noble girl + brahmin → what?
mare + donkey → what?

At ending session:
‘But do you, sirs, know how there is conception?’
‘We do know, sir, how there is conception. There is here a coitus of the parents, it is the mother’s season and the gandhabba is present; it is on the conjunction of these three things that there is conception.’
‘But do you, sirs, know whether that gandhabba is a noble or brahman or merchant or worker?’
‘We do not know, sir, whether that gandhabba is a noble or a brahman or a merchant or a worker.’
‘This being so, do you know, sirs, who you are?’
‘This being so, sir, we do not know who we are.’
The issue that we have to address now is the translation of the word 'paccupaṭṭhito' that is taken as 'present'. Now if we look at eg. the translation of 'sati paccupaṭṭhita', 'establish mindfulness/mindfulness established' is used.
Now we shall try to replace the word 'established' instead of 'present'; what do we see?
Gandhabba is also a result, a product. Now we see male + female → what?

Here is the confusing part, the question that Asita Devala ask prior to the conception question seems to ask the uncertain root of brahman that can be very misleading.
‘But do you, sirs, know whether their mothers consorted only with brahmans, not with non-brahmans?’
‘No, sir.’
‘And do you, sirs, know whether their mothers’ mothers back through seven generations consorted only with brahmans, not with non-brahmans?’
‘No, sir.’
‘And do you, sirs, know whether their fathers consorted only with brahman women, not with non-brahman women?’
‘No, sir.’
‘And do you, sirs, know whether their fathers’ fathers back through seven generations consorted only with brahman women, not non-brahman women?’
‘No, sir.’
We have to take note that in the later part, the questioner is Asita Devala (sage) and NOT the Buddha Himself; but, is similar in nature related to many of Buddha's questions. If without many other question that Buddha ask prior to this one, we might easily take that gandhabba as 'source' entity. Look at Asita Devala question, only 2 source entities:
[their mothers] consorted only with [brahmans, not with non-brahmans]
[their mothers’ mothers] back through seven generations consorted only with [brahmans, not with non-brahmans]
[their fathers] consorted only with [brahman women, not with non-brahman women]

Now to conception:
[Father] + [mother]; what is the product? Gandhabba! so where is gandhabba? In its mom's womb!
The question of Asita Devala is if the brahmans are unable to know for sure that they are pure for 7 generations, then how can they be sure of the baby in the womb is of pure blood? Therefore the 'product' of the union has to be 'neutral' without caste.

We have to notice as well that the union section is mentioned by the 7 brahmans, this is to say that the conception part is a common knowledge to the ancient brahman.
Man+woman-->baby, 'it' (a gross definition at this moment) for gandhabba, no celestial being, no intermediate being, no birth consciousness arising involves as far as text is concerned. It is purely an ancient 'medical science'! By replacing 'present ' to 'established'; the whole text in MN 93 is more cohesive.

Lets look at the landscape of the ancient time and we shall assume a hypothesis. Say that there are miss-carriage cases in ancient time as well. Our present day, we call zygot and use to call it 'it'. In ancient time they do not have advance equipment, if the discharge is a zygot that may be seen by naked eye that it has slight human resemblance; a label will be given as a common sense. Now if discharged is just a minute flesh/'ghee' that do not appear to be early stage human at all, in present day, we call it a piece of flesh, a period; but for ancient time, it would unlikely meant anything qualified to be labeled specifically. We know what it is now, but unlikely to be in ancient time to identify a ghee to be an ambryo. Imagine your position at the ancient time, what would you call the discharge that is a droplet of oil or a glob of blood due to miss carriage, but a zygot is not yet form? Just a period. So in this sutta, for gandhabba to be qualified to be discussed in and general manner, it has to be something that obvious to the naked eye. We should not regards non Buddhism as Buddhism, superstitiously holding a view prior to reading this sutta. Therefore, 'Gandhabba' is likely to be an equivalent for zygot as a development and gandhabba is probably the early stage zygot in ancient time. AFAISI, this sutta is meant to establish 1 point, there is no intermediate being, but it seems unfortunately that MN 93 has been interpreted oppositely; suggesting an intermediate being does exist! An object in ancient time, can be differentiate by naked eye or conceptualized concept, then only deserve a label. In this case, it is a seen by naked eye object.

Gabbhas-sā-vakkanti is taken as embryonic development, so if i were to replace zygot for gandhabba, and change 'present ' to 'established'; it appears that the whole sutta MN38 is cohesive as well and gandhabba no longer similar to Sati's View. I hate to see a buddha; on his right hand holding a hammer hammering a nail, but at the same time another hammer on his left hand hammering his right hand. To regards an intermediate being in MN 38, how different is it from Sati's view in term of core concept of eternal self/citta?

So gandhabba, instead of being meant 'a being ready to take new existing' takes back its more meaningful and most logical definition of 'a being taken new existence'; which was most likely its original meaning. But when does patisandhi citta take place in embryonic development? In MN 93, it can only be referring to formed zygot, otherwise The Buddha would have clarify that; and He did in MN 38.
“Bhikkhus, consciousness is reckoned by the particular condition dependent upon which it arises. When consciousness arises dependent on the eye and forms, it is reckoned as eye-consciousness; when consciousness arises dependent on the ear and sounds, it is reckoned as ear-consciousness; when consciousness arises dependent on the nose and odours, it is reckoned as nose-consciousness; when consciousness arises dependent on the tongue and flavours, it is reckoned as tongue-consciousness; when consciousness arises dependent on the body and tangibles, it is reckoned as body-consciousness; when consciousness arises dependent on the mind and mind-objects, it is reckoned as mind-consciousness. Just as fire is reckoned by the particular condition dependent on which it burns—when fire burns dependent on logs, it is reckoned as a log fire; when fire burns dependent on faggots, it is reckoned as a faggot fire; when fire burns dependent on grass, it is reckoned as a grass fire; when fire burns dependent on cowdung, it is reckoned as a cowdung fire; when fire burns dependent on chaff, it is reckoned as a chaff fire; when fire burns dependent on rubbish, it is reckoned as a rubbish fire—so too, consciousness is reckoned by the particular condition dependent on which it arises. When consciousness arises dependent on the eye and forms, it is reckoned as eye-consciousness…when consciousness arises dependent on the mind and mind-objects, it is reckoned as mind-consciousness.
And these
Bhikkhus, there are these four kinds of nutriment for the maintenance of beings that already have come to be and for the support of those about to come to be. What four? They are: physical food as nutriment, gross or subtle; contact as the second; mental volition as the third; and consciousness as the fourth.
If I were to take this as a supporting argument alone, then it would be much later than 4/5 weeks.

So it says here that it need matter for consciousness to arise. Here in abhidhamma on paccayo.
21. Presence condition (atthi paccayo)
The four immaterial aggregates are mutually related to one another by presence condition.
The four great essentials are mutually related to one another by presence condition.
At conception, mind and matter are mutually related to each other by presence condition.
The phenomena consciousness and its mental factors are related to mind-born matter by presence condition.
The great essentials are related to derived matter by presence condition.
If we take this partially, it will leads us back all the way to point of conception, but atthi paccayo as a whole....
21. Presence condition (atthi paccayo)
The four immaterial aggregates are mutually related to one another by presence condition.
The four great essentials are mutually related to one another by presence condition.
At conception, mind and matter are mutually related to each other by presence condition.
The phenomena consciousness and its mental factors are related to mind-born matter by presence condition.
The great essentials are related to derived matter by presence condition.
Eye-base is related to eye-consciousness-element and its associated phenomena by presence condition.
Ear-base is related to ear-consciousness-element and its associated phenomena by presence condition.
Nose-base is related to nose-consciousness-element and its associated phenomena by presence condition.
Tongue-base is related to tongue-consciousness-element and its associated phenomena by presence condition.
Body-base is related to body-consciousness-element and its associated phenomena by presence condition.
Visible object-base is related to eye-consciousness-element and its associated phenomena by presence condition.
Sound-base is related to ear-consciousness-element and its associated phenomena by presence condition.
Smell-base is related to nose-consciousness-element and its associated phenomena by presence condition.
Taste-base is related to tongue-consciousness-element and its associated phenomena by presence condition.
Tangible object-base is related to body-consciousness-element and its associated phenomena by presence condition.
Visible object, sound, smell, taste and tangible object are related to mind-element and its associated phenomena by presence condition.
Depending on this matter, mind-element and mind-consciousness-element arise. That matter is related to mind-element, mind-consciousness-element and their associated phenomena by presence condition.
If we take the above plainly, it leads us to similar as sutta MN 38.

My original post has mentioned on issue related to tissue, bacteria and plant. By having whole complete pair of chromosome, does not qualify for arising of consciousness as well, similar to sperm. Full sets of chromosome in cell is not qualified for arising of patisandhi citta, else cancerous cell would be qualified to be call a being. First consciousness unlikely arises at the moment of conception base on sutta MN38.

Another question that we may ask our self; why can't we remember past existence?
If patisandhi citta arises at a complete fully develop zygot, then we would have most likely able to remember past existence.

I purposely take out heart-base from the quote above, it should be
Depending on this [heart-base] matter, mind-element and mind-consciousness-element arise. That matter is related to mind-element, mind-consciousness-element and their associated phenomena by presence condition.
The word 'gandhabba' itself is not the important word that we should focus on, but 'paccupaṭṭhito' and 'heart-base'.
So with this heart-base, when the heart begins to be developed, together with early stage nervous system and neuron cells (not sure if neuron should be included); and with the four kinds of nutriment that the first patisandhi citta arises.

But where is this heart-base?
This is what we have to meditated on and find out for our self!
Don't thrust me, find out for yourself! Those are just word, it is meaningless if we can not discern this heart-base.

Recap:
“Heart-base is at the bottom of the heart, a minute dot non measurable by science equipment; can only be seen by the mind (heart), only mind can see the mind and locates it.”

Additional opinion on gandhabba.
I believe some of you do know that in Thailand, there were people practicing mummified zygote (kumanthong) half a century ago. In present days, kumanthong is made from clay or metal, and some Thai people still performing pooja to kumanthong today.
I won't be surprised, 2600 years ago when Buddhism use Brahman's medical knowledge as a mean to explain consciousness and there is no eternal self; the Brahman retaliate with intelligent tactic by reifying zygote into an 'angel'. By 100 hundred years with that kind of landscape, superstitiously transforming it into a new belief.
By the structure of MN 93, gandhabba can not be a celestial being. But after gandhabba is being reified to celestial level; by 100/200 years of Buddha's death, pressure will eventually build up and begin to corrupt the Buddhism knowledge.

edit
A very good research on gandhabba is found on the net; Rebirth and Gandhabba by Analayo, though the analysis seems to miss out in looking into the structure of MN 93 as a whole and in the perspective of 'ancient medical science'.
We are civilized, such knowledge is not a big deal for us, but 2600 yrs ago, this simple knowledge can be useful to the Brahman in establishing their status as knowledgeable not just spiritually but in medical aspect as well. We can still see this kind of relation in the present day, superstitious belief linking to medical, it is just a 'sales package'!
While looking into the word Gandhabba it self, i am unable to find abba in pali that link to father. We can find 'amma' in indian language for mother or lady. Instead of abba, it is appa for father, and the sound is very very close. Interestingly, we find 'Abba' taken to mean father in bible, and the Malay that develop many of Malay words from pali, they call their father 'abah' (however it can be rooted from Hebrew as well).
If I were to take abba as father, by seperating Gandhabba into 2 word, 'gandha' + 'abba', that would gives us the meaning of 'fragrance of father'. Looking in this direction, it still point to zygote in the old days! And it is unlikely to be referred to sperm, base on the structure of Mn 93.
Found the rest of the discussion on gandhabba Here

Edit.
Another article on Gandhabba that is worth reading:
http://jayarava.blogspot.my/2015/01/gan ... i.html?m=1
Last edited by atipattoh on Tue Feb 14, 2017 3:07 am, edited 5 times in total.

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

Post by Mkoll » Thu Dec 15, 2016 3:08 am

As Ven. Brahm says, consciousness depends on name-form. Without consciousness, no name-form and vice-versa. We could probably all agree that form exists as soon as the zygote arises so the question is: when does name (contact, feeling, perception, attention, and intention) arise?

Ven. Brahm says it arises when the embryo-fetus first shows its existence. I disagree with this because there may be a point when name has arisen but the being is unable to give an outward sign that it has due to the sequence of the nervous system's development, e.g. an immature neuromuscular system that's incapable of generating muscle movement to "show" that consciousness is there.

I do find it hard to disagree with the premise that a conscious human being can't arise without a sufficiently developed nervous system. Other forms of (or formless) beings may arise without one, but not a human being. The question is: exactly when does that happen? A developmental neuroscientist might be able to give a time window for it, but that still leaves ambiguity. There would certainly be individual variations in the timing.
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Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
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Re: A. Brahm's When Does Human Life Begin..?

Post by atipattoh » Thu Dec 15, 2016 3:59 am

Mkoll wrote:As Ven. Brahm says, consciousness depends on name-form. Without consciousness, no name-form and vice-versa. We could probably all agree that form exists as soon as the zygote arises so the question is: when does name (contact, feeling, perception, attention, and intention) arise?

Ven. Brahm says it arises when the embryo-fetus first shows its existence. I disagree with this because there may be a point when name has arisen but the being is unable to give an outward sign that it has due to the sequence of the nervous system's development, e.g. an immature neuromuscular system that's incapable of generating muscle movement to "show" that consciousness is there.

I do find it hard to disagree with the premise that a conscious human being can't arise without a sufficiently developed nervous system. Other forms of (or formless) beings may arise without one, but not a human being. The question is: exactly when does that happen? A developmental neuroscientist might be able to give a time window for it, but that still leaves ambiguity. There would certainly be individual variations in the timing.
Yes, looks to me either about 4th or 1~2 weeks later, and i would disagree too that it needs to be probe responsive then only consciousness can arise. Any support from neuroscience is preferred.
My original view does not include neuron cells, but i can not be certain as there are jhana experience of crystals surrounding, both dynamic and stationary, exactly resemble billions of neuron firing!

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

Post by Buddha Vacana » Thu Dec 15, 2016 5:33 am

Mkoll wrote:I do find it hard to disagree with the premise that a conscious human being can't arise without a sufficiently developed nervous system. Other forms of (or formless) beings may arise without one, but not a human being.
During his development, the human fetus goes through various stages where it looks like anything but human. How could one categorically reject the idea that it might also be the case in the earliest stages?

Also, as a general comment on the various contributions above, I think this should be borne in mind while participating in this thread:
AN 4.77
lokacintā, bhikkhave, acinteyyā, na cintetabbā, yaṃ cintento ummādassa vighātassa bhāgī assa.

"Conjecture about [the origin, etc., of] the world is an unconjecturable that is not to be conjectured about, that would bring madness & vexation to anyone who conjectured about it.
Trying to debunk canonical texts with conjectures and reasoning on appearances is generally not the way to go.
http://www.buddha-vacana.org/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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

Post by Mkoll » Thu Dec 15, 2016 8:02 am

Buddha Vacana wrote:
Mkoll wrote:I do find it hard to disagree with the premise that a conscious human being can't arise without a sufficiently developed nervous system. Other forms of (or formless) beings may arise without one, but not a human being.
During his development, the human fetus goes through various stages where it looks like anything but human. How could one categorically reject the idea that it might also be the case in the earliest stages?
I'm not sure what you're asking here. What is the case that you're arguing? That a human may exist without a nervous system?

What I'm saying is that I find it hard to disagree with (note that I'm wording it this particular way to indicate that my opinion is not to the strong degree of categorical rejection) the idea that there needs to be a mature and functioning nervous system for a human being to exist because without that, I don't see how a human-being's nāma and thus consciousness can come into being.

For example, consider a specific aspect of nāma, painful bodily feeling. This requires specialized receptors for pain (nociceptors) that sense a certain form of stimulus (e.g. heat, mechanical pressure) and relay that information through peripheral nerves, up the spinal cord, and to the brain where only then it can be felt. That's why when you stub your toe, it takes a moment for the physical pain to actually arise in consciousness because nervous signals can only travel so fast. If you block that nervous transmission, say via local anesthetic, no bodily pain will be felt, no bodily pain will arise in consciousness. This illustrates the dependence of nāmarūpa and consciousness.

In the case of an embryo or fetus, if those nerves and brain do not exist or have not matured to the point where they can transmit and receive signals, how could there possibly be human nāma and consciousness?
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa

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