- [EDITOR'S NOTE: There is a process, a verb, becoming, rather than a "being" moving through time and space. What we call a "being" is not at all what it seems, for while it seems enduring and eternal, it is actually a radically impermanent impersonal process incapable of finding the satisfaction it searches for in sensual pursuits. In other words, all things being marked by the Three Universal Marks or Characteristics of Existence, are impermanent, unsatisfactory, and impersonal. How could what is impermanent be "self"? How could what is impersonal be "self"? If it is unsatisfactory and ultimately disappointing, why are we clinging to it? It is because of ignorance, that is, failing to see these three universal marks. When the mind/heart sees how radically impermanent all things are, how they are hurtling toward destruction, it lets go and is momentarily freed from the craving, grasping, and clinging that usually obsesses it. Then it is possible to see things as they really are, and this Truth of how they are sets us free. This is the process of enlightenment achieved by practicing meditation on Dependent Origination.]
|Buddhist monks in Ancient Greece/Bactria/Scythia ("Shakya Land"), Central Asia|
|King Menander I Soter = King Milinda.|
"Now, Ven. Nāgasena, the one who is reborn, is he the same as the one
who has died, or is he another?"
"Neither the same nor another." (Na ca so na ca añño).
"Give me an example."
"What do you think, O king: are you now, as a grown up, the same you had been as a little, young, tender babe?"
"No, venerable sir. Another person was the little, young, tender babe, but
quite a different person am I now as a grown-up person."...
"Is perhaps in the first part of the night one lamp burning, another one
in the middle part, and again another one in the last part of the night?"
"No, venerable sir. The light during the whole night depends on one-and-the-same lamp.''
"Just so, O king, is the chain of phenomena linked together. One phenomenon
arises, another vanishes, yet all are linked together, one after the other,
without interruption. In this way one reaches the final state of consciousness
neither as the same person nor as another person.''
- 1. ahetu-patisandhika: a "being reborn without root-conditions," is a being whose consciousness at the moment of rebirth was not accompanied by any of the three noble root-conditions (greedlessness, hatelessness, undeludedness, see mūla), that is, selflessness, kindness, intelligence. Such beings are found in the four lower [subhuman] worlds (apāya), in which case the function of rebirth is exercised by the class of consciousness listed in Tab. I as No. 56. But if such beings are reborn in the Sensual Sphere as humans, they will be crippled, blind, deaf, mentally deficient, and so on. (Rebirth-consciousness = Tab. I, No. 41).
- 2. dvihetu (or duhetu)-patisandhika: a "being reborn with only two (noble) root-conditions, that is, greedlessness and hatelessness. (Rebirth-consciousness = Tab. I, Nos. 44, 45, 48 or 49).
- 3. tihetu-patisandhika: a "being reborn with three (noble) root-conditions." Such a being can be found only among humans. (Rebirth-consciousness = Tab. I, Nos. 42, 43, 46, or 47) and higher celestial [deva] beings.
punabbhava, "renewed existence," and
abhinibbatti, "arising," or
both combined as punabbhavābhinibbatti. (Appendix: patisandhi).
- The Path of Purification (Vis.M. XVII, 133f, 164f, 189f, 289f; Vis.M. XIX, 22f.)
- Karma and Rebirth by Ven. Nyanatiloka Thera (Wheel No. 9, BPS.lk)
- The Case for Rebirth by Francis Story (Wheel No. 12/13)
- Survival and Karma in Buddhist Perspective by K. N. Jayatilleke (Wheel 141/143)
- Rebirth Explained by V. F. Gunaratna (Wheel 167/169)