On many occasions the Buddha, after enumerating the various akusala actions (the breaking of any or a number of the 5 precepts) said that what will follow will be a birth in the apayas; in contrast, a happy destination awaits those who engage in kusala actions (the keeping of the precepts):
In both instances, that is preceded by “…at the BREAKUP OF THE BODY, after death” (kāyassa bhedā paraṁ maraṇā). It is natural to imagine that his listeners could have thought of no other body involved than the present physical one – param marana – after the death of the present body (surely not of the mental body, the manomaya kaya). And that would mean that the vast majority of humans go to the apayas at the very first jati in a human bhava. Now the Buddha has said that most human ‘births’, understood as ‘bhava’, are in the apayas. Accepted. But if most humans did in fact go to the apayas, as it would appear, after the death of the present physical body, how to account for children, especially children, being able to remember their last birth, in some cases even recent births? It would be impossible for them to do so, for they would not have returned here to tell us about it in the first place.
So how does it come about that the the phrases ‘kayassa bheda’ and ‘param marana’ are employed in this context? (to clarify: …and not something like ‘manomayakaya bheda’,or ‘param manussabhava marana’ ,if you would excuse my fragmentary ‘knowledge’ of Pali !
Metta and Merit to all Beings