Reply To: What stays after death?


Sotapanna Anugami: ” Yes we can discuss this approach but I think ‘Time’ should be kept out of the question because this life stream X never started!”

I do not understand that statement. The Buddha said there is no discernible beginning to the rebirth process.
– In fact, the principle of “cause and effect” (Paticca Samuppada) enforces that there cannot be a “beginning.”
– One can only end that process by cultivating panna (wisdom) eliminating avijja. That is Arahanthood and subsequent Parinibbana. The samsaric process ends there.

Christian: “The question is what is that X that transmigrates from each bhava in that lifestream..”

There is NOTHING (like a soul) that transmigrates! That is a critical point to understand!
– That is why the Buddha said it is wrong to say that there is a “self”. This is called “sassata ditthi” or the view that a living being transmigrates among different realms.
– However, as long as a mind has avijja, it ACTS AS IF it is a living being. No one can deny that all of us exist. That is why the Buddha said, it is wrong to say “there is no-self” either. This is “uccheda ditthi“. This is the materialistic view that life ends at the death of the physical body.
– For details, see the first several posts in, “Views on Life.”

Paticca Samuppada is just a process. As long as there are causes (avijja) AND conditions (most importantly tanha), there will be more jati (of a living being) followed by “jara, marana, soka, perideva..”

– When a given bhava ends, the lifestream grasps a new bhava at the “upadana paccaya bhava” step.
– When avijja is eliminated in ANY MIND that mind will not go through “tanha paccaya upadana” and “upadana paccaya bhava” steps. That is when the whole process ends and the rebirth process stops.

Take time and think deeply about the above. Don’t rush to respond. Take a day or two.

P.S. It is kammic energy that fuels a new bhava.
– If that energy is due to a good kamma, it will fuel a “good bhava” in one of the “good realms”.
– If it is a bad kamma, it will lead to a bad bhava (and births) in a bad realm (apaya).
– There is no END to that process until one SEES the futility AND danger of it. One must also SEE that most future births are in the apayas.