Gandhabba As Re-linking Consciousness: Three Events Coincide
- Dear Engaged Buddhist Friends
The following message (dhamma-list message 22247) is my reply
to John R Overman's message (dhamma-list message 22241). The subject
is a serious one. I thought you might find it useful, so I post it
Hope you enjoy it.
Dear John R Overman
How are you?
The Buddha's explanation is already complete and transparant. But, I
think you would like further comment on the translator's explanation
"gandhabba is not some disembodied spirit". By the way, this wasn't
actual wording in the MN commentary Pali. The commentary is merely
commenting on the expression "paccupatthito hoti" found in section
408 of Mulapannasa, Majjimanikaya original.
The expression "Paccupatthito hoti" can mean "is standing in front"
literally. But, this meaning does not apply to the re-linking
consciousness (patisandhi cittam)of the dead one. So the commentator
was forced to say the following.
" Paccupatthito hotiti na matapitunam sannipatam olokayamano
sammipethito paccupatthito nama hoti."
"Is standing in front" wasn't like "standing close-by (sammipethito)
while watching father and mother copulating".
Now, the above Pali comment became "gandhabba is not some disembodied
spirit" in the hands of the translator, I think.
In Pali Buddhism, the re-linking consciousness follows immediately
after the dying consciousness (cuti cittam). So when father and
mother are copulating while mother is ovulating, someone dies and his
re-linking consciounsess has a chance to conceive. All three events
coincide. That is all there is to it. The right timing is made
possible by the past actions of the father, mother and the embryo
(gandhabba now with body).
Re-linking consciousness is called "gandhabbo" in ordinary language.
I hope my message makes sense to you and all other dhamma friends.
Suan Lu zaw
--- In dhamma-list@y..., John R Overman <jonover@j...> wrote:
> In MN38, Bhikkhu Bodhi's translation, the last sentence of