Body, Gandhabba & vice-versa

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    • #14276
      Embodied
      Spectator

      Hi all,

      “One cannot say there is “no-self” either, because one’s “gathi” or “āsava” are unique characteristics and are “one’s own” :

      – QUESTION : this “one’s own” rather than the body/image that we see in a mirror IS a gandhabba…? Or saying it differently : right now i’m a gandhabba that is using this very body to type…anyways that’s what i feel frequently ,like something in myself that observes me as an acting, thinking and talking body…this can even be a bit unsettling sometimes…

      Thanks

    • #14278
      y not
      Participant

      Embodied:

      Is there then no ‘gathi or asava’ in the 29 realms other than the human and animal ones? – for in those 29 realms there is no gandhabba. So the gandhabba can only ‘incorporate’ ,as it were, the gathi and asava when
      ‘one’ (whatever constitutes that, gathi/asava or some other’identity’,or gathi/asava in addition to some other identity)is in the human(or animal) realm.
      Who or what will you be then once in the deva or brahma realms?? Something that is present in you now will have to be present there, for otherwise there is no continuity.

      I had written a post to some lenght about the self/no-self topic, but I am unable to locate it for your reference.

      y not

      • #14279
        Embodied
        Spectator

        Y Not,

        “Something that is present in YOU now will have to be present there, for otherwise there is no continuity.” :

        – What I’m trying to convey is that this actual body is but temporarily such “YOU”.

    • #14280
      y not
      Participant

      Embodied!
      ‘– What I’m trying to convey that this actual body is but temporarily such “YOU”.’
      Yes indeed, we are agreed on that.

      I expanded on your.. ‘ i’m a gandhabba that is using this very body to type’,saying that you cannot be ONLY the gandhabba, for that will not be there when you are in the higher realms.

      Do you get me now, or would it be I who is not getting you? !!!

    • #14284
      Embodied
      Spectator

      Then what/who is “I” once in the higher realms ?

    • #14285
      y not
      Participant

      Embodied:

      Precisely. That is MY question.

      I welcome answers from you and from the rest.

      y not

    • #14289
      Lal
      Keymaster

      I was trying to find the key issue that “Embodied” and “y not” are trying to resolve. I think it could be in the following statement by “y not”:
      “I expanded on your.. ‘ i’m a gandhabba that is using this very body to type’,saying that you cannot be ONLY the gandhabba, for that will not be there when you are in the higher realms.”

      1.Beings in the higher realms, especially in the 20 brahma realms, have very fine “bodies” like our gandhabbas. These are not “bodies” that we can see.

      2. To get an idea, imagine diving the body of an ant to a hundredth of its size. We will not be able to see that. A gandhabba would be of size at least a million-fold smaller than that!
      – To put it another way, human cell is less than a billionth of a meter (millionth of a mm). A gandhabba descending to a womb merges with a single cell in the womb. So, you can imagine how small it is.

      3. So, all those brahmas have such fine bodies. So, they have ONLY their gandhabba; no other physical body. Yet they can see and listen, But they cannot type or touch, because they do not have solid bodies like ours.
      -They also have gathi and asavas.
      – These ultra-fine bodies are created by kammic energy. They are extremely complex, even though unimaginably small.

      4. Our gandhabbas have such fine bodies as those brahmas. Our gandhabbas have gathi and asavas too, even while in paralowa, i.e., when not inside a physical body.
      – Those gathi and asavas are certainly not in the physical body or even in the brain. The brain is just a very sophisticated computer that helps manage body movements.
      – This is why when the gandhabba comes out of a physical body, there is no visible change in the body, except that it is not alive anymore. But it has the same size as before.

      5. But that tiny gandhabba is the one making you type or speak, etc.. In fact, you are your gandhabba, the mental body. The physical body is just a huge outer layer! Speaking and body movements are done with the help of the brain. See, “Brain – Interface between Mind and Body

      6. Some gandhabbas can become more dense by inhaling aroma. Then they can be seen by those with supernormal powers, or even by some normal humans (there are very few with such capabilities). So, those “ghost like” figures shown in cartoons depict such “dense gandhabbas”.

      I know that it is hard for one to visualize this situation. I have given these details in a number of posts. If you are really interested on the subject, you should do a search using the key word “gandhabba” and print out and read all of them.

      It is not possible for me to go over all that. But if you can then ask questions based on those posts (give the post and bullet numbers), then I can clarify in more detail any unresolved issues.

      • #14291
        Johnny_Lim
        Participant

        Hi Lal,

        “Some gandhabbas can become more dense by inhaling aroma. Then they can be seen by those with supernormal powers, or even by some normal humans (there are very few with such capabilities). So, those “ghost like” figures shown in cartoons depict such “dense gandhabbas”.”

        I strongly believe in this. Many years ago, one of my family members had some problem with her health. Doctors could not do much about the situation. So, through someone’s recommendation, we brought this person to see a guru. This guru could see the gandhabba of a young girl without any clothes on. He said that the little girl is causing health problems to our family member because she was aborted by her, and that she needs to do merits and transfer to her for the issue to be resolved. We were shocked! This guru knew the cause of the problem and the details without us telling him! So, how did the aborted foetus grew to a full sized adult if not for taking in ahara? How did the guru know about these undisclosed family secrets if he does not have supernatural abilities? These things helped me boost a lot of confidence in Buddha Dhamma. True enough, after merits were done and transferred, my family member’s health recovered tremendously.

    • #14298
      y not
      Participant

      Hello Lal:

      Thanks for your reply.

      This question, along with some others, arise out of inconsistency of the words and terms applied to convey an idea, or the loose or vague use of them – the ‘sweep’ is too wide.

      Your #3 has the whole in true perspective, and is as much I can make out myself. But you will recall that in the gandhabba posts it is stated, and more than once, quite simply that the gandhabba exits only in human and animal realm, which statement, taking the gandhabba (again in #3) ‘So, they (Brahmas) have ONLY their gandhabba;’is not consistent. And statements like (again in #3) ‘So, they have ONLY their gandhabba; no other physical body. Yet they can see and listen’ imply that they ARE NOT the gandhabba in actual fact’ THEY only have it; like when I say ‘I have skin, bones, head, arms’ implies, correctly, that I AM not those, I only have them. As stated, it means: They (whatever they may ultimately consist of) HAVE their gandhabba! Why not say flatly ‘ So, they ‘ARE’ ONLY their gandhabba’ rather than ‘have?

      This is where language may create difficulties when one goes deep into the details. Or is that ‘too deep’? I remember my parents and elders ‘correcting’ me saying ‘Oh, you are too complicated. Keep things simple. I do not know. It is so ‘ whenever I asked existential or philosophical questions.

      y not

    • #14300
      Lal
      Keymaster

      “y not” said: “But you will recall that in the gandhabba posts it is stated, and more than once, quite simply that the gandhabba exits only in human and animal realm”.

      What I meant was that the word “gandhabba” is used to describe the “trija kaya” that is created at the cuti-patisandhi moment for animals and humans only. “Trija” means with three “kaya“.

      Both gandhabbas and brahhmas have a “trija kaya“, but a brahma kaya is NOT referred to as a gandhabba.

      Four types of bodies or “kaya” are possible, see, “Manomaya Kaya (Gandhabba) and the Physical Body“.

      There is a key reason why only the “trija kaya” of a human/animal has a special name of gandhabba. The word gandhabba comes from gandha“ + “abba” or “inhaling aroma” (gandhabba means “aroma”). See #6 in my previous reply. This is why brahma kaya is NOT referred to as a gandhabba; brahmas do not do “gandha abba“.

      Even if a gandhabba is born with a trija kaya at the cuit-patisandhi moment, it is likely to acquire the fourth kaya. There may be different gandhabbas out there with “different densities of the fourth kaya“. Another point is that when a “gadnhabba descends to a mother’s womb”, any fourth kaya it may have comes off, and only the “trija kaya” merges with the zygote in the womb; see, “What does Buddha Dhamma (Buddhism) say about Birth Control?“.

      By the way, devas have all four “kaya“. They are born at the cuti-patisandhi moment with all four kaya, but the karaja kaya is extremely fine. It is said that numerous devas can fit in to an area of the size of a hole in a needle. So, you see the mechanisms are different in different realms.

      It will take time to sort out these issues. It is not possible to discuss all these details even with many posts. So, there could still be details that are not even in the posts. Even though these could, in principle, be explained in much more detail, I have time limitations and space limitations (the web site already has over 500 posts). Furthermore, I cannot anticipate all the questions people may have.

      But these are important issues to be cleared up. This is why it is important to have the discussion forum.

    • #14314
      Embodied
      Spectator

      Thanks Lal, Johnny, Y Not.

      Lal,
      just one more question related to this thread:
      – “there is a nervous system in the gandhabba that overlaps the physical nervous system.” Something to do with chakras and/or nadis and sushumna ?

    • #14315
      y not
      Participant

      Lal:

      Thank you for the elucidation, albeit that being to only a degree (as yet).

      It is a complex matter and you have time limitations. All the more I feel I should thank you for all your efforts.

      I still have the more important matter of listening to that fifth discourse,for which I have not yet found the proper moment.

      y not

    • #14373
      Alay
      Participant

      Hi Lal,
      This is a question about a person who is “Brain dead” due to a brain aneurysm. A friend recently suffered the above and from what I understand, he is being kept alive on a life support machine. Once the family members view the body, they plan to take him off life support.

      The questions I have are:

      1. Since the mind and “brain” are two different things, given the brain is not functioning anymore but the heart is still beating, I am assuming that the Gandhabba is essentially trapped with no way to enjoy any sort of sense pleasures. Given this, does the Gandhabba have the ability to “jump ship” and move out in the hope of finding another body to start over or does the Gandhabba have to wait for either a natural death due to other organ failures or the shutting off of the life support machine?
      2. In such situations, given the brain is non-functional, what is state of the mind? i.e. what happens to the thought process which I believe is also fuelled in part by the brain function and how does this influence the “dying thought moment”? Does the mind revert to the last “conscious” moment before the tragedy?
      3. Given the above, what is the karmic effect on the person (or persons) initiating the “shutdown process”?

      Thank you.
      Sincerely

      Alay.

    • #14382
      Lal
      Keymaster

      Hi Allay,
      Please don’t address questions to just to me. Keep them open. I encourage everyone to participate.

      1. Gandhabba cannot make decisions on that. Only gandhabba’s of people who have developed abhinna powers can come out of the body at will.
      – Actually, some people with “punna iddhi” (as vipaka of good kamma) have the ability to get the gandhabba or the mental body out of the physical body at will. Also, during heart operations, they may be ejected too. See, “Manomaya Kaya and Out-of-Body Experience (OBE)“.
      – Some other people with another type of punna iddhi can see some “dense gandhabbas“.
      – I hope some of them will volunteer to discuss their experiences at the forum.

      2. Even if the physical body is failing the gandhabba inside is fine. It just does not get any inputs from outside if the brain is failing (because the mana indriya is not working and “dhamma” from the mano loka are not coming in); see, “What are rūpa? – Dhammā are rūpa too!“.
      -Now, the death of the physical body does not necessarily mean it is the cuit-patisandhi moment. That happens when the kammic energy for the bhava runs out. So, when the physical body dies, gandhabba is ejected and has to wait for another womb; see, “Bhava and Jati – States of Existence and Births Therein“.

      3. This is a difficult personal decision for the one who has the authority to initiate the “shutdown process”. It is taking a life, but his/her compassion for the dying person may mitigate some of the bad consequences.
      – Let me mention the following account from the Tipitaka. One time the Bodhisatva was a captain of a ship. During a voyage, part of the crew plotted to kill him and most of the crew to take over ship. The Bodhisatva found out about the plot and killed the coup leader. That avoided a conflict which could have led to the loss of many lives. However, the vipaka for killing that person cannot be avoided.
      – This is another type of suffering associated with life in this world. Some actions have both good and bad kamma vipaka, and it is not easy to decide whether to do it or not.

      • #14383
        Johnny_Lim
        Participant

        “This is a difficult personal decision for the one who has the authority to initiate the “shutdown process”

        That’s why it is better not to ‘encourage’ people to give up living even if our intention is good. A filial son who pains to see his gravely-ill mother on the death bed might tell her to let go of everything and pass on. Big mistake. This act of ‘encouragement’ is instrumental to ending one’s life.

    • #14387
      Alay
      Participant

      Thank you all for your responses. It helped me gain a better understanding of the issues and to be aware of the consequences of each action.

      Kind regards

      Alay.

    • #16332
      y not
      Participant

      The question has to do with the relation and the interaction between brain and gandhabba

      Refer to Lal’s post above, March 3, 2018 at 7:24 pm:

      4– Those gathi and asavas are certainly not in the physical body or even in the brain
      5- But that tiny gandhabba is the one making you type or speak, etc.. In fact, you are your gandhabba, the mental body…. Speaking and body movements are done with the help of the brain.

      The question is this: when a decision is to be taken, this way or that, it is clear that the thought processes happen in the brain, but the brain is an organ or organism pertaining to the body along which it came into being in the present jati, but the gandhabba, in the case of a human bhava, may have existed through previous jatis in that same bhava. Now since any decision, either way, will affect the gandhabba also into the future jatis, it would seem ureasonable to suppose that the future of the gandhabba, in that bhava at least,should be determined by the functions of a meterial and temporary organ, the brain.

      Put simply: who is in charge here? Does the gandhabba in any way have influence over the decisions taken by the brain? Or does the brain function regardless? Now:
      ‘5- But that tiny gandhabba is the one making you type or speak, etc.’ Does it follow that the gandhabba is the one NOT making you type or speak when you are weighing the pro and cons of whether to do so – NOT to submit a particular post, as in this instance, for example, or NOT to say something to someone? Because the decision will affect the gandhabba not the brain. It is the gandhabba who will experience the effects, so it would seem odd, even unreasonable, if the gandhabba does not have, at the very least, an influence on the decisions taken by the brain – IF they ARE taken by the brain.

      Replies and comments greatly appreciated,

      y not

    • #16337
      Lal
      Keymaster

      Questions from y not:

      “Put simply: who is in charge here?”
      Gandhabba is ALWAYS in charge.

      “Does the gandhabba in any way have influence over the decisions taken by the brain?”

      Gandhabba MAKES decisions and those orders are carried out by the brain. However, the gandhabba gets information about the external VIA THE BRAIN. So, if the brain does not function well (due to brain damage or even via influenced by drinking/drugs), then the gandhabba will get “bad information” and make bad decisions.
      – This is an important point to understand. It is discussed in those posts; there are several related posts. I suggest to do a search on “gandhabba” and read all of them. It is complex issue.

      “.Does it follow that the gandhabba is the one NOT making you type or speak when you are weighing the pro and cons.”

      The critical point to understand is YOU are the same as GANDHABBA, the mental body. The physical body is just a “temporary housing”. Again, these issues could be resolved by reading all those posts at the website. Of course, ask questions if an explanation in a given post is not clear. But one needs to go through those posts. It is NOT possible to explain things in a single post.

      There are two main sections on gandhabba:
      Mental Body – Gandhabba” and “Gandhabba (Manomaya Kaya)“.

      I would start with those. There are other posts in other sections too, but that is a good start.

    • #16338
      y not
      Participant

      Thank you Lal,

      I had read the posts, perhaps not all, to be totally honest. I
      will go through them again. It is clear that I either missed something
      or that relevant points did not penetrate through.

      Still, you have resolved the underlying doubt as it is,and,without
      going into the details, it is a relief!

      Ever grateful,

      y not

    • #16376
      y not
      Participant

      In the post: Our Mental Body – Gandhabba:

      #12…those with iddhi powers can pull the manōmaya kaya out of the physical body.

      In: Sanna – what it really means:

      #5.. by separating his/her own mental body (gandhabba) from the physical body

      In the first case, who is doing the pulling? In the second, who is seperating? ….if we ARE the Manomakaya. There is only the brain, which we have seen to be just a mechanism apart from ‘YOU are the same as GANDHABBA, the mental body’ (Lal, last post above). Surely, there in no other. Otherwise, one may as well say: the manomakaya pulls itself out, and, our mental body (gandhabba) seperates from the physical body.

      I am saying this because I want to eject the ganndhabba out. Now who is this I/ (in line with the two quotes above)? Or eject myself out. Not to go on some kind of tour, but to leave this body with it brain behind, and not return. Is there a way?

      Comments and condemnations welcome

      y not

    • #16399
      Lal
      Keymaster

      This should be clear from my previous set of answers.
      It is difficult for most people to imagine a “me” without a solid body. One who has experienced OBE (Out-of-Body Experience) in a heart operation would know exactly what it means.

    • #16404
      y not
      Participant

      Thank you Lal:

      The question is: is this ‘me’ the gandhabba? I can imagine a ‘me’ without the physical body alright; in fact, I see the body as a hindrance in the way of ‘me’.

      Again, who is it who ‘with iddhi powers can pull the manōmaya kaya out of the physical body and who does the ‘separating his/her own mental body (gandhabba) from the physical body’? For the khandhas are in themselves, singly or collectively, insentient, and the body and the brain are only organisms.

      For then we have: a gandhabba ,and ‘one’ who pulls out or seperates this gandhabba from the physical body. Or, arguably, that it is the gandhabba itself doing this, but, if that were so, it would be simply stated so.

      Please clarify this.

      y not

    • #16405
      Lal
      Keymaster

      Y not asked: “Again, who is it who ‘with iddhi powers can pull the manōmaya kaya out of the physical body and who does the ‘separating his/her own mental body (gandhabba) from the physical body’? “

      No matter how many times you ask, that does not change the answer: It is the “one” who perceives “me” that comes out of the physical body. We cannot think of this in conventional terms. Both views “there is a self” and “there is no self” are NOT correct for anyone before the Arahant stage.

      As long as there are causes and conditions, there will be an entity perceiving a “self”, which is the result of those causes and conditions; but that “self” keeps changing because those causes and conditions keep changing. This is why I used the term “dynamic self”. There is an entity that perceives a “self”, until the Arahant stage.

      It is the “one” who perceives “me” that comes out of the physical body, which is just an inert “shell”. One could call it “the mental self” if that helps. If I try to explain it anymore, a lot more people may get confused.

      In ultimate reality, there is no “person”. Whatever one perceives to be “myself” keeps evolving: could be human in this life, could be an animal or a deva in the next. Even in this life, that “person” changes all the time (to put it in another way, one’s gati can change).

      This is a deep issue to comprehend. One thing I can say to everyone is that answers to these kinds of questions become clear when one focuses on the practice. These cannot be resolved JUST by reading. Reading the correct material is IMPORTANT, but contemplating and comprehending is EVEN MORE critical. However, in order to comprehend things, it is first NECESSARY to set the background for the mind by cultivating sila; see, “Sīla, Samādhi, Pannā to Pannā, sīla, Samādhi“.

      When one gets rid of the 10 types of micca ditthi things become easier to grasp. When one starts comprehending Tilakkhana, the change will be huge.

      Of course, I am not judging you or anyone else, because I don’t have any idea about each individual. But I hope everyone will read the above carefully and contemplate on it. Just reading this website will not be fully productive.

      P.S.The “mental body” above actually has a trace of matter: hadaya vatthu and five pasada rupa (called kammaja kaya), and also a very fine body.

      P.P.S. (6/13/18): Most important thing is that citta (thoughts) arise in the mental body (gandhabba), specifically at the hadaya vatthu. So, that is where the perception of “me” is.

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