Descent of Gandhabba Into Womb

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    • #26733


      Can this descent into the womb also take place after a few weeks or a month after fertilization? Is a timescale somewhere mentioned in the Pali Canon?

      kind regards,

    • #26734

      I have not seen a time period in the Tipitaka, Siebe.

      However, according to science, it happens within a day or two.

    • #26735

      Hi Lal,

      I have heard a story of a woman who was pregnant, i belief for about a month, and she was a bit worried. Some day in bath she saw how a small light came towards her and entered her belly. She immedialtely knew she ‘received’ a boy and her worries about the pregnance were gone.

      Therefor i was wondering if this timescale of the gandhabba entering the womb really is a few days or might even be longer.

      Although i do not question the experience of the woman, ‘a descending gandhabba’ feels for me a little bit as an animistic belief, quit primitive. I also read the Brahmins had this idea. So maybe the Buddha copied this idea of the Brahmins.

      I do not know if we must take such images as ‘a descending gandhabba’ literally. I am quit sure you think we must, but i do not exclude the Buddha can have made use of such images as a descending gandhabba as a easy means for a much more complex process of rebirth.

    • #26736

      A “descending gandhabba” just means a gandhabba entering a womb. I am not sure why it is stated as “descending.”

      You wrote: ” So maybe the Buddha copied this idea of the Brahmins.”

      That means you have no idea who a Buddha is. A Buddha does not need to “copy” anything from anyone.

      You can believe or not believe anything. That is totally up to you. But refrain from making derogatory comments. Just ask a (sensible) question if you like.

    • #26750
      y not


      Among us humans it is the norm to use or’copy’ a prevalent and popular idea as a base, as the underlying ‘common factor’ understood by all, when we want to show something on the same lines but on a deeper level.

      But here we are talking about a Buddha. A Buddha is by definition the All-knowing One through self-perfection (among other things, most of which would be incomprehensible to us anyway). So the case will be quite the reverse.. it is in fact those brahmins who even unknowingly’made use’ of the knowledge proclaimed by a Buddha, by the Buddha Kassapa in this case, and incorporated that knowledge, rendered incomplete and distorted here and there through the passage of time, into the ‘body’ of their religion.

      Once that is appreciated, you will see that any ULTIMATE discovery or finding in any of the various branches of science will be found to accord with Buddhadhamma – as long as it one of the (few) things that the Buddha deemed fitting to reveal. Most of what He knew he did NOT teach. See Simsapa Sutta SN 56.31.

    • #26752

      Very good summary, y not.

    • #26753

      I think it is wise, and integer, to differentiate in what we personally really know and think to know based on the study of texts etc.

      Personally i feel ashamed when i pretend that i know something while there is only thinking to know. Knowledge of Dhamma is not really about thinking to know, right?

      All those models, what do we really know about it? Is it our direct knowledge? Who of us does really know about gandhabba and rebirth, other then in theory? It becomes really problematic when theoretical knowledge is seen and presented as direct and true knowledge.

      I think it is not foolish but wise to ask oneself in general..what do i really know?

    • #26755
      y not

      True Sybe,

      When I go to bed, in less than a minute all worldly thoughts are put aside – all events of the day and the ones to follow the next day, all my various physical ailments as well. Then I ask myself two questions:

      !. Was there anything I did today, or have been doing, that I should not have done? (This ‘doing’ is about speech and thought as well. Most importantly about thought, because from thought, speech and actions follow)

      2. Was there anything I did not do, or have not been doing, that I should have done?

      Hardly anything comes up at first. But with persistence, minor faults or misgivings are seen. Then I see how those may lead me or others into worse situations – I mean internal situations, but those, if unchecked, may well lead to outer behaviour. The supreme value of Dhamma is seen when we are face to face with ourselves. ‘Theoretical knowledge is seen and presented as direct and true knowledge’ Dhamma then becomes one’s own true knowledge in the sense of It being the benchmark by which we set standards for ourselves. Nature pulling one way, Dhamma pointing to another.

      One aspect I see of treading the Path is that of gradually rising above Nature. Our instincts are natural – greed, anger, sex – so there is nothing wrong or ‘sinful’ there, nothing that goes against the norm. It is all natural. But if we persist in this ‘normality’ we are also stuck there. And there is only suffering ahead, precisely because of indulging in and gratifying our ‘natural’ impulses. This is what Arahants achieve (and Anagamis to a lesser extent); they transcend Nature. Then instead of being slaves to Nature, Nature comes under their control, in cases even at their command. But a Buddha is needed to show the truth about this (future) suffering, because it is not easy at first to see that even apparently innocent, harmless pleasures lead to suffering in the long run.

    • #26762

      Personally i have experienced it this way that one is helpless without relating to ones own conscience. It has no real value when others have to tell you what is immoral and immoral, and wise and not wise. One has to be ones own guide. This knowledge we have to find in our own hearts.

      The real mirror of Dhamma is conscience. One knows inside oneself what is immoral and moral. A Buddha does not have to teach us this. We only have to acknowledge what is taught and it is nothing new. We often also feel we have to go in a certain direction, but do we listen?

      The issue is not our not-knowing but the real issue is, why don’t we listen to our conscience? Why don’t we use the mirror of the Dhamma in all our daily activities?
      Why is it not our daily focus, our guide, our calling? Why do we ignore our conscience and listen to impulses, to greed, hate etc?

      One day we will realise, (in what way is inpredictable), that listening to our conscience, the mirror of the Dhamma, is most important. Our cravings, our tanha, is not a messenger of the truth. It deprives us from our inner wisdom which is nothing other then the knowledge of the heart, our conscience.

      Our consciense also knows that any egoistic driven behaviour is ofcourse not pure. We know that, but again we do not listen? In fact, all we have to know to proceed, we allready know.
      But do we listen?

    • #26764

      One cannot ever KNOW everything, unless of course, one is a Sammasambuddha.

      However, one can make logical conclusions based on what one understands. When one starts understanding the depth of Buddha’s teachings, and the self-consistency, one will start building confidence that a Buddha is a unique human who is born only after long times. That is called building saddha!

      One cannot force oneself to have saddha. It comes through UNDERSTANDING. It comes through SELF-CONSISTENCY in the teachings. It comes through one’s own EXPERIENCE in seeing that one’s level of greed, anger, and ignorance diminish with time.
      – In fact, it is the last one that is the most important (one’s own EXPERIENCE).

      Let me just give a simple example. None of us has been to all the countries on Earth. But do any one of us doubt that any of those countries does not exist?
      – How do we know that any given country exists, even if we have no first-hand experience? We know that because there is ample indirect evidence (all self-consistent) for its existence.

      Anyway, enough on this topic.
      – Just keep in mind that it is dangerous to make derogatory statements regarding a Buddha. There is no need to. It will only serve to block one’s progress. It is OK to have doubts. It is fine to keep an open mind. But making such unnecessary statements can only be harmful to oneself.

    • #36128

      I had read in a post (it has been a while, so I cannot recall the post) that when somebody dies, he or she is born in the same area.
      I was wondering, if a gandhabba is a mental body, and if a person happens to die in Europe, but has a lot of attachments to his or her home continent ( family, friends, property, etc) then the gandhabba will tend to go to that area where the attachment is, and the mind can travel instantly to that area. Assuming that the person still has time left in the human bhava and has not done any significant kamma to be born in a deva realm or apaya realms.
      So even though a person may die in Europe, the next birth can happen in Asia or America (where ever the person had a deep attachment).

    • #36131

      Raj wrote: “I was wondering, if a gandhabba is a mental body, and if a person happens to die in Europe, but has a lot of attachments to his or her home continent ( family, friends, property, etc) then the gandhabba will tend to go to that area where the attachment is, and the mind can travel instantly to that area. ”

      It is true that a person dying may be born in a faraway location.
      – But it is not correct to say that the “mind travels.”
      – It is better to say that the rebirth will take place in a “matching location.”

      For example, if a human is to be born a Deva, he would be born instantly in a Deva realm (located far away).
      – The “place of birth” is according to the “gati” of that birth.

    • #36132

      Sir, thank you for the clarification and the prompt reply.

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