> Strange, as I read this message I thought you have sent this exact
> same message some months or years back.
I don't remember ever writing to the forum on this subject before.
> Saints clearly pass away and are reborn immediately (of course arhats
> are not reborn). However, others with less wholesome habitual
> tendencies will hold on to some familiar thoughts and places.
I see. So when you wrote...
> I am getting the impression that more and more serious Theravada
> practitioners (such as Ajahn Chah's lineage) are accepting both the
> immediate rebirth and intermediate state teachings, as they make
> better sense.
by "immediate rebirth teaching" you meant the claim that the rebirth of
saints is immediate; and by "intermediate state teachings" you meant
the claim that the rebirth of non-saints is preceded by a spell in an
intermediate state; is that correct? But then what did you mean by
"make better sense" ? Make better sense than what? I'm afraid I'm
having a hard time understanding just what it is you're trying to say.
And who are the "saints" you refer to? You distinguish them from
arahants, so are you perhaps referring to sekhas, or jhaanalaabhiis, or
>> Sorry, but I don't understand what you are saying. The immediate
>> rebirth view (nirantaraabhava-vaada) and the intermediate state view
>> (antaraabhava-vaada) are directly oposed to each other; how can these
>> "serious Theravada practitioners" accept *both* of them?
> They are directly opposed if generalized. They are
> logically combinable if we suppose that the process
> may be different from case to case.
If we are considering the two views as they existed in history, then it
seems to me that they are more or less directly opposed. The
antaraabhava-vaadins held that among those bound for rebirth certain
beings are reborn immediately (e.g., those bound for hell or for the
aruupa realms), while the rest pass through an intermediate state; the
nirantaraabhava-vaadins held that all beings are reborn immediately. So
the former can partially accomodate the view of the latter, but not
>> Saints clearly pass away and are reborn immediately
>> (of course arhats are not reborn). However, others
>> with less wholesome habitual tendencies will hold on
>> to some familiar thoughts and places.
> This could perhaps also be defined as a period in
> petaloka. What would be the difference between a short
> stay there and an "intermediary state"?
Again if we consider what was actually held by the antaraabhava-vaadins
as they are described in the Kathaavatthu (and later in the
Abhidharmako`sabhaa.sya), they did not accept that the antaraabhava
could be identified with any of the five gatis (destinies), i.e., hell,
animal, human, *peta*, or deva. They also in the Kathaavatthu deny that
it was any of the following:
* 3 states of existence (bhava - sensual, refined form, formless).
* a state in between the 3 states of existence.
* 4 matrices (yoni - viviparous, oviparous, moisture-born,
* 7 stations of consciousness (vi~n~naa.na.t.thiti - beings different
in body and in perception, different in body but equal in perception,
equal in body but different in perception, equal in both body and in
perception, in the sphere of unlimited space, in the sphere of
unlimited consciousness, in the sphere of nothingness).
* 9 abodes of living beings (sattaavaasa - beings different in body and
in perception, different in body but equal in perception, equal in body
but different in perception, equal in both body and in perception,
without perception and feeling, in the sphere of unlimited space, in
the sphere of unlimited consciousness, in the sphere of nothingness, in
the sphere of neither-perception-nor-non-perception).
If I remember right, some of them had modified their view somewhat by
the time of the Abhidharmako`sa, but the denial of antaraabhava being
the domain of petas still held good.