What suttas support the classical Theravada view of immediate rebirth?

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cappuccino
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Re: What suttas support the classical Theravada view of immediate rebirth?

Post by cappuccino » Mon Sep 23, 2019 8:42 pm

zan wrote: Bhikkhu Bodhi seems to think the same
Bhikkhu Bodhi isn't Arya

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Re: What suttas support the classical Theravada view of immediate rebirth?

Post by zan » Mon Sep 23, 2019 8:47 pm

cappuccino wrote:
Mon Sep 23, 2019 8:42 pm
zan wrote: Bhikkhu Bodhi seems to think the same
Bhikkhu Bodhi isn't Arya
He's not? What disqualifies him?

Bhikkhu Bodhi aside, could you provide some quotes from the Abhidhamma that make it clear that I am misreading it and that consciousness is constant, and only it's content is inconstant?
Never read anything I write as an accurate statement about anything whatsoever. First, look to wiser ones than I. Look to wise texts. Unless you can confirm their accuracy from a reliable source, treat my writings like word games, nothing more.

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Re: What suttas support the classical Theravada view of immediate rebirth?

Post by cappuccino » Mon Sep 23, 2019 8:49 pm

zan wrote:
cappuccino wrote:
zan wrote: Bhikkhu Bodhi seems to think the same
Bhikkhu Bodhi isn't Arya
He's not? What disqualifies him?
he said in the past

maybe that changed but

I think Buddha has the answer

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Re: What suttas support the classical Theravada view of immediate rebirth?

Post by zan » Mon Sep 23, 2019 8:53 pm

cappuccino wrote:
Mon Sep 23, 2019 8:49 pm
zan wrote:
cappuccino wrote:

Bhikkhu Bodhi isn't Arya
He's not? What disqualifies him?
he said in the past

maybe that changed but

I think Buddha has the answer
Oh, I didn't know that, thanks. I was thinking the term had multiple meanings but maybe he used it in one specific one you are referencing. My Pali is not great.

Well, anyway, as far as I know the Abhidhamma teaches in no uncertain terms that consciousness is literally inconstant, if you know of some Abhidhamma quotes that clearly state that consciousness is constant, please post them.
Never read anything I write as an accurate statement about anything whatsoever. First, look to wiser ones than I. Look to wise texts. Unless you can confirm their accuracy from a reliable source, treat my writings like word games, nothing more.

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Re: What suttas support the classical Theravada view of immediate rebirth?

Post by cappuccino » Mon Sep 23, 2019 8:59 pm

your interpretation may be inaccurate

I suggest it is

but I won't try to convince you

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Re: What suttas support the classical Theravada view of immediate rebirth?

Post by zan » Thu Sep 26, 2019 12:57 am

Some, by a careless acceptation of the Sutta-phrase - ‘completed existence within the interval’ - held that there is an interim stage where a being awaits reconception for a week or longer. The counter-argument is based on the Exalted One’s dictum that there are three states of becoming only - the Kama-, the Rupa-, and the Arupa worlds.

points of controversy

8.2. Of an Intermediate State
Controverted Point: That there is an intermediate state of existence.

Theravādin: If there be such a state, you must identify it with either the kāma-life, or Rūpa-life, or Arūpa-life, which you refuse to do… .

You deny that there is an intermediate state between the first and second, or the second and third, of these.

You affirm, indeed, that is no such thing; how then can you maintain your proposition?

Is it a fifth matrix, a sixth destiny, an eighth station for reborn consciousness, a tenth realm of beings? Is it a mode of living, a destiny, a realm of beings, a renewal of life, a matrix, a station of consciousness, an acquiring of individuality? Is there karma leading to it? Are there beings who approach thither? Do beings get born in it, grow old, die in it, decease from it, and get reborn from it? Do the five aggregates exist in it? Is it a five-mode existence? All this you deny. How then can you maintain your proposition?

You admit that every one of these categories or notions applies to each of the three planes of life named above, the only difference being that the first two—kāma life and Rūpa-life—are five-mode existences; the last— Arūpa-life—is a four-mode existence (that is, without material qualities). If then there is an intermediate stage of life, you must be able to predicate some or all of these notions or categories of it. But you say you cannot… .

But you deny also that there is an intermediate life for all beings. Hence your proposition is not universally valid.

For whom then do you deny the intermediate state? For the person whose retribution is immediate? If you assent, to that extent your proposition is for you not true. Or is it for the person whose retribution is not immediate that you affirm this state? Yes, you say. Then you must deny it for his opposite.

You deny it also for one who is to be reborn in purgatory, in the sphere of unconscious beings, in the immaterial heavens. Therefore to that extent your proposition is not universally valid. Nevertheless, you maintain that there is an intermediate stage of life for one whose retribution is not immediate, for one who is not to be reborn in purgatory, nor among the “unconscious beings,” nor in the immaterial heavens. Concerning these you have yet to state in what respect, as a plane of life, it resembles, or differs from, the three named by the Exalted One.

Pubbaseliyas and Sammitīyas: But are there not beings who “complete existence within the first half of the term?” If so, are we not right?

Theravādin: Granted that there are such beings, is there a separate interval-state between any two recognized existences? Yes, you say. But granted that there are beings who “complete existence within the second half of the term,” is there a separate state of life corresponding thereto? If you deny, you must also deny your proposition since you rest it on this basis.

The same argument applies to such cognate terms as “beings who complete existence without,” and again, “with difficulty and striving”

-Pali Canon, Abhidhamma, Kathavatthu
It is often stated that the Gandhabbas preside over conception; this is due to an erroneous translation of the word gandhabba in passages (E.g., M.i.157, 265f) dealing with the circumstances necessary for conception (mātāpitaro ca sannipatitā honti, mātā ca utunī hoti, gandhabbo ca paccupatthito hoti).

The Commentaries (E.g., MA.i.481f ) explain that here gandhabba means tatrūpakasatta - tasmim okāse nibbattanako satto - meaning a being fit and ready to be born to the parents concerned. The Tīkā says that the word stands for gantabba.

-Dictionary of Pali Proper Names, G.P. Malalasekera
Never read anything I write as an accurate statement about anything whatsoever. First, look to wiser ones than I. Look to wise texts. Unless you can confirm their accuracy from a reliable source, treat my writings like word games, nothing more.

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Re: What suttas support the classical Theravada view of immediate rebirth?

Post by SDC » Thu Sep 26, 2019 5:03 pm

zan wrote:
Mon Sep 23, 2019 6:47 pm
If it does exist in the suttas, then it must have zero importance and be something irrelevant that cannot be interacted with or changed in any way; something that skirts the issue entirely and doesn't require us to equate it with these states from other traditions. Otherwise the Buddha would have taught on it.

The utter deficit of information on this supposed state in the suttas points to it's non-existence at most, or it's total lack of importance at least. Realistically, I think it points to something like I've written above; the way it is interpreted is key and it need not be an intermediate state in the way that other traditions speak of one.
I think other traditions tend to mystify "life after death" and fail to see that any experience after death is already the next life. The Pali suttas leave plenty of room for all sorts of short, relatively insignificant states, however none are void of experience - none are described in a materialistic sense in which the Being is somehow suspended somewhere and yet has no experience whatsoever. That is just incoherent - the fact that they are suspended or in limbo or whatever, implies that they are in some way or another. Not only is it incoherent, but it is more along the lines of how the blissful immaterial states would be described - but those states aren't there as a matter of routine (after every death), they would have to be developed beforehand.

I just don't think anyone from a Theravadin perspective could support it with any sutta. Even if they could - like you said - it would make absolutely no difference. If suffering is still there, the work has not yet been done.

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Re: What suttas support the classical Theravada view of immediate rebirth?

Post by zan » Thu Sep 26, 2019 10:28 pm

SDC wrote:
Thu Sep 26, 2019 5:03 pm
zan wrote:
Mon Sep 23, 2019 6:47 pm
If it does exist in the suttas, then it must have zero importance and be something irrelevant that cannot be interacted with or changed in any way; something that skirts the issue entirely and doesn't require us to equate it with these states from other traditions. Otherwise the Buddha would have taught on it.

The utter deficit of information on this supposed state in the suttas points to it's non-existence at most, or it's total lack of importance at least. Realistically, I think it points to something like I've written above; the way it is interpreted is key and it need not be an intermediate state in the way that other traditions speak of one.
I think other traditions tend to mystify "life after death" and fail to see that any experience after death is already the next life. The Pali suttas leave plenty of room for all sorts of short, relatively insignificant states, however none are void of experience - none are described in a materialistic sense in which the Being is somehow suspended somewhere and yet has no experience whatsoever. That is just incoherent - the fact that they are suspended or in limbo or whatever, implies that they are in some way or another. Not only is it incoherent, but it is more along the lines of how the blissful immaterial states would be described - but those states aren't there as a matter of routine (after every death), they would have to be developed beforehand.

I just don't think anyone from a Theravadin perspective could support it with any sutta. Even if they could - like you said - it would make absolutely no difference. If suffering is still there, the work has not yet been done.
Yeah, well said, it's kind of a moot point. One would have to go well beyond the vinaya, suttas and abhidhamma to even find or invent in depth practices or comprehensive details on such states, at which point the suttas are irrelevant, as one has already moved completely past them. If one wished to stay firmly within the suttas one would just have to say "Such a state exists." or "No such state exists.", and either way, then just stop, because the Buddha gave zero detail and instruction on such state. So there's nothing to do with the state regardless of one's opinion about it, unless one wanted to go outside the Pali Canon which would be irrelevant to this discussion.

That said, I think the Theravadins made some good points in the above posted Point of Controversy about this issue and I'm content with leaving it at that and with our agreement that it is irrelevant, or, to use your well chosen words, that it would make absolutely no difference.
Never read anything I write as an accurate statement about anything whatsoever. First, look to wiser ones than I. Look to wise texts. Unless you can confirm their accuracy from a reliable source, treat my writings like word games, nothing more.

zan
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Re: What suttas support the classical Theravada view of immediate rebirth?

Post by zan » Thu Sep 26, 2019 11:09 pm

The text in the above post originally had what appeared to be a possible sutta reference at the end of the first paragraph, but it was garbled to the point of appearing to possibly be just random text and numbers, and so I assumed it was an error and not supposed to be there at all. Then I saw another version of the same quote where the sutta reference is proper, in pts format as: "(SN ii, 3 etc)" and so I realized I omitted it incorrectly. Here is the quote, with the sutta reference where it originally was*:
Some, by a careless acceptation of the Sutta-phrase - ‘completed existence within the interval’ - held that there is an interim stage where a being awaits reconception for a week or longer. The counter-argument is based on the Exalted One’s dictum that there are three states of becoming only - the Kama-, the Rupa-, and the Arupa worlds. (SN ii, 3 etc).

points of controversy

8.2. Of an Intermediate State
Controverted Point: That there is an intermediate state of existence.

Theravādin: If there be such a state, you must identify it with either the kāma-life, or Rūpa-life, or Arūpa-life, which you refuse to do… .

You deny that there is an intermediate state between the first and second, or the second and third, of these.

You affirm, indeed, that is no such thing; how then can you maintain your proposition?

Is it a fifth matrix, a sixth destiny, an eighth station for reborn consciousness, a tenth realm of beings? Is it a mode of living, a destiny, a realm of beings, a renewal of life, a matrix, a station of consciousness, an acquiring of individuality? Is there karma leading to it? Are there beings who approach thither? Do beings get born in it, grow old, die in it, decease from it, and get reborn from it? Do the five aggregates exist in it? Is it a five-mode existence? All this you deny. How then can you maintain your proposition?

You admit that every one of these categories or notions applies to each of the three planes of life named above, the only difference being that the first two—kāma life and Rūpa-life—are five-mode existences; the last— Arūpa-life—is a four-mode existence (that is, without material qualities). If then there is an intermediate stage of life, you must be able to predicate some or all of these notions or categories of it. But you say you cannot… .

But you deny also that there is an intermediate life for all beings. Hence your proposition is not universally valid.

For whom then do you deny the intermediate state? For the person whose retribution is immediate? If you assent, to that extent your proposition is for you not true. Or is it for the person whose retribution is not immediate that you affirm this state? Yes, you say. Then you must deny it for his opposite.

You deny it also for one who is to be reborn in purgatory, in the sphere of unconscious beings, in the immaterial heavens. Therefore to that extent your proposition is not universally valid. Nevertheless, you maintain that there is an intermediate stage of life for one whose retribution is not immediate, for one who is not to be reborn in purgatory, nor among the “unconscious beings,” nor in the immaterial heavens. Concerning these you have yet to state in what respect, as a plane of life, it resembles, or differs from, the three named by the Exalted One.

Pubbaseliyas and Sammitīyas: But are there not beings who “complete existence within the first half of the term?” If so, are we not right?

Theravādin: Granted that there are such beings, is there a separate interval-state between any two recognized existences? Yes, you say. But granted that there are beings who “complete existence within the second half of the term,” is there a separate state of life corresponding thereto? If you deny, you must also deny your proposition since you rest it on this basis.

The same argument applies to such cognate terms as “beings who complete existence without,” and again, “with difficulty and striving”

-Pali Canon, Abhidhamma, Kathavatthu

*I think it may actually be SN 12.2, if we use the more modern, common classification system for the suttas, I couldn't find an SN ii, 3, only SN ii, 2 and SN ii, 4, and the only sutta near there that mentions the three bhavas is SN 12.2. For the sake of accurate quoting, I left it the same.
Never read anything I write as an accurate statement about anything whatsoever. First, look to wiser ones than I. Look to wise texts. Unless you can confirm their accuracy from a reliable source, treat my writings like word games, nothing more.

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Re: What suttas support the classical Theravada view of immediate rebirth?

Post by SDC » Fri Sep 27, 2019 2:12 pm

zan wrote:
Thu Sep 26, 2019 11:09 pm
*I think it may actually be SN 12.2, if we use the more modern, common classification system for the suttas, I couldn't find an SN ii, 3, only SN ii, 2 and SN ii, 4, and the only sutta near there that mentions the three bhavas is SN 12.2. For the sake of accurate quoting, I left it the same.
Yes it is SN 12.2.

Correct, "SN ii, 3" is the the older volume/page numbering system. The "ii" indicates that it is the second volume/chapter of the SN, the Nidāna Vaggasaṃyutta. And the "3" is the page number, not the sutta number.

The modern numbering for SN indicates a group and sutta number, the AN, a book and sutta number.

zan
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Re: What suttas support the classical Theravada view of immediate rebirth?

Post by zan » Fri Sep 27, 2019 2:23 pm

SDC wrote:
Fri Sep 27, 2019 2:12 pm
zan wrote:
Thu Sep 26, 2019 11:09 pm
*I think it may actually be SN 12.2, if we use the more modern, common classification system for the suttas, I couldn't find an SN ii, 3, only SN ii, 2 and SN ii, 4, and the only sutta near there that mentions the three bhavas is SN 12.2. For the sake of accurate quoting, I left it the same.
Yes it is SN 12.2.

Correct, "SN ii, 3" is the the older volume/page numbering system. The "ii" indicates that it is the second volume/chapter of the SN, the Nidāna Vaggasaṃyutta. And the "3" is the page number, not the sutta number.

The modern numbering for SN indicates a group and sutta number, the AN, a book and sutta number.
Thanks for confirming!
Never read anything I write as an accurate statement about anything whatsoever. First, look to wiser ones than I. Look to wise texts. Unless you can confirm their accuracy from a reliable source, treat my writings like word games, nothing more.

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