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Then the question arises as to the position of consciousness on such occasions as when perceptual activities are apparently completely still, such as in deep, dreamless sleep. What would explain the uninterrupted continuity of the life process? Hence it is very likely that, as Sarathchandra observes, it was as a solution to this problem that the theory of bhavanga came to be developed.
To this we may add another reason. This has reference to the Buddhist teaching on sannavedayita-nirodha . This is the attainment of the highest level of concentration, when all sense-activity comes to a complete end. In such a situation what happens to the mind? If nirodha-samapatti means the suspension of all mental activities, how could one who has attained it emerge from it? This was a problem that confronted the various schools of Buddhist thought, and it was as an answer to this that the Sautrantikas posited a suksma-citta , a subtle consciousness that persists during the nirodha-samapatti . That the theory of bhavanga was intended as a solution to both is clear from the Milindapanha. Here, in an answer to a question raised by King Milinda, Nagasena says that on two occasions the mind does not function in the body ( sarire cittam appavattam hoti ), i.e. during deep sleep and during nirodha-samapatti . It is therefore maintained that when a man is in deep sleep his mind has 'gone into bhavanga ' ( cittam bhavangagatam ). This implies that the same is true of nirodha-sampatti
Alex123 wrote:So asannasatta beings and meditator in nirodha-samapatti have bhavanga occuring, right?
Alex123 wrote:What sort of bhavanga process happens in asannasatta beings and in nirodha-samapatti?
...there are nineteen types of bhavanga-citta ...The different names which denote these bhavanga-cittas do not represent different functions; bhavanga-cittas have as their only function to keep the continuity in the life of a being ...
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