July 23, 2021 at 2:22 am #35160DanielStParticipant
Dear Lal and friends,
Recently I have been watching this video by Gregg Braden about the beginning of “homo sapiens sapiens” and the relation to other similar homo types that existed before that, e.g. Neanderthals and many more.
It seems that some scientists have doubt that that a natural evolution could have resulted in these rapid changes in DNA that lead to the modern human, because the speed of random mutations takes much longer. It is said as well in the video, that our modern human DNA didn’t change much at all from that time onwards.
Since we know from the Buddha’s Agañña Sutta, that the human gandhabba (or human bhava) is existing for much longer than a million years, because Brahmas and Devas are reborn in human bhava before being reborn as animals in the cycle of the solar system, I was wondering about an explanation of how homo sapiens sapiens came to be.
I had the following sketch:
In times, when there are extraordinary events affecting the planet, like solar flares or natural disasters, they could kill a big amount of species or embodied life, animals but also humans. Humans, over the millions of years, could also have had different forms of bodies, depending on the situation at that time. When such an event takes place, many beings will be living in the Gandhabba, because the nuclear radiations/solar flares/ floods have destroyed their bodies. Then, there might be some forms of animal life that have survived these kinds of catastrophies. I can imagine that it would be possible that the human gandhabbas could have been born in such animal wombs, and thus giving rise to new “embodied humans”, with some distinct new features. For example, human gandhabba entering a homo species to form a new kind of species, with special brain features and a sudden “quantum leap” in DNA compared to the old species.
More generally, the idea that Gandhabbas can adapt quicker due to the cultivation of sankharas changinf the blueprint, this could lead to a big diversification of species in times when most of the embodied life is extinguished.
I welcome your comments on these ideas.
July 23, 2021 at 2:46 am #35163TripleGemStudentParticipant
I understand that we’re curious beings and have our own interests and the things that we’re interested in.
My only comment on this topic is that, what you just wrote or what your asking. Does it help you see the world as Anicca, Dukkha, Anatta or Nibbana as Nicca, Sukha, Atta or help you put an end to suffering?
You don’t need to respond to my question, I’m just hoping you can see where I’m getting at. Anyways though, I’m at least glad to see that you’re thinking / contemplating on such topics instead raga, dosa, moha :)
July 23, 2021 at 8:00 am #35167LalKeymaster
I watched the video and the evidence is compelling.
Daniel wrote: “Since we know from the Buddha’s Agañña Sutta, that the human gandhabba (or human bhava) is existing for much longer than a million years, because Brahmas and Devas are reborn in human bhava before being reborn as animals in the cycle of the solar system, I was wondering about an explanation of how homo sapiens sapiens came to be.
I had the following sketch:
In times, when there are extraordinary events affecting the planet, like solar flares or natural disasters, they could kill a big amount of species or embodied life, animals but also humans. Humans, over the millions of years, could also have had different forms of bodies, depending on the situation at that time. When such an event takes place, many beings will be living in the Gandhabba, because the nuclear radiations/solar flares/ floods have destroyed their bodies.”
That is a reasonable explanation.
– Another possibility for ‘mass extinction” over large geographical areas is the following. It is possible for even a whole continent to “flip”, just like a coconut floating in water can flip. This was briefly mentioned in one of Waharaka Thero’s desanas. The life would need to “re-emerge” in a fashion that SEEMS TO BE compatible with Darwin’s evolutionary theory.
– We know that most archeological studies have been done in Africa. If that whole continent flipped a billion years ago, it is possible that life gradually emerged starting with microbes, plants, etc. Of course, that is not really evolution, but more in line with Daniel’s rough sketch outlined there.
– That means gandhabbas of lower animals would be reborn with corresponding physical animal bodies first as CONDITIONS become right (meaning enough vegetation present, etc.). Then larger animals can be born higher-up in the food chain, etc.
Another point is that there are 4 modes of production of physical bodies of humans and animals.
These are described in the “Mahāsīhanāda Sutta (MN 12)”
English translation there: “The Greater Discourse on the Lion’s Roar”
“Four Kinds of Generation
“Sāriputta, there are these four kinds of generation. What are the four? Egg-born generation, womb-born generation, moisture-born generation, and spontaneous generation.
“What is egg-born generation? There are these beings born by breaking out of the shell of an egg; this is called egg-born generation. What is womb-born generation? There are these beings born by breaking out from the caul; this is called womb-born generation. What is moisture-born generation? There are these beings born in a rotten fish, in a rotten corpse, in rotten porridge, in a cesspit, or in a sewer; this is called moisture-born generation. What is spontaneous generation? There are gods and denizens of hell and certain human beings and some beings in the lower worlds; this is called spontaneous generation. These are the four kinds of generation.”
Even though humans are normally born via “womb-born generation” the other modes can be active especially in a situation like above. Here it is mostly the spontaneous generation.
– Same for animals.
One last point about “moisture-born generation.” This is when the correct chemical composition, like a zygote (which normally takes place in a womb) forms so that a gandhabba can start a physical body, can happen under the conditions given above, i.e., rotten meat, etc.
– That is in effect how ‘test-tube babies” (or Dolly the sheep) are born outside a womb.
I think I discussed some of these in the first few posts in the series on “Origin of Life”
Finally, I think there should be more archeological studies in India and Sri Lanka. It is unlikely that such a calamity happened in that region. We know, according to the Tipitaka, that teachings of Buddha Kassapa were transmitted (in a distorted form) via Vedic teachings. So, there seems to be an unbroken human timeline from Buddha Kassapa to Buddha Gotama.
Again, I don’t want to spend too much time researching these ideas. But my feeling is that such things could be uncovered by more archeological studies.
P.S. The relevant part in Pali in the above sutta:
“Catasso kho imā, sāriputta, yoniyo. Katamā catasso? Aṇḍajā yoni, jalābujā yoni, saṁsedajā yoni, opapātikā yoni.
Katamā ca, sāriputta, aṇḍajā yoni? Ye kho te, sāriputta, sattā aṇḍakosaṁ abhinibbhijja jāyanti—ayaṁ vuccati, sāriputta, aṇḍajā yoni. Katamā ca, sāriputta, jalābujā yoni? Ye kho te, sāriputta, sattā vatthikosaṁ abhinibbhijja jāyanti—ayaṁ vuccati, sāriputta, jalābujā yoni. Katamā ca, sāriputta, saṁsedajā yoni? Ye kho te, sāriputta, sattā pūtimacche vā jāyanti pūtikuṇape vā pūtikummāse vā candanikāye vā oḷigalle vā jāyanti—ayaṁ vuccati, sāriputta, saṁsedajā yoni. Katamā ca, sāriputta, opapātikā yoni? Devā, nerayikā, ekacce ca manussā, ekacce ca vinipātikā—ayaṁ vuccati, sāriputta, opapātikā yoni. Imā kho, sāriputta, catasso yoniyo.”
July 23, 2021 at 8:54 am #35169DanielStParticipant
Thank you both for your valuable comments.
Just a short question to Lal:
Soontaneous birth is something that I usually mostly accounted for the Gandhabba state. But I heard something about Angels who are able to use a real human physical body sometimes to communicate with us. I say angels because I heard about it from a Christian context. It should be Deva, I assume.
But spontaneous birth can also mean that the physical body is born instantaneously (not Gandhabba), similar to how Angels can create one to use. I understand you, Lal, in this second way, when I read your writing.
July 23, 2021 at 9:42 am #35174LalKeymaster
Daniel wrote: “But I heard something about Angels who are able to use a real human physical body sometimes to communicate with us.”
– Not in Buddha Dhamma.
Spontaneous birth of a human refers to the birth of a baby instantaneously, without starting with a zygote. Information on the zygote at, “Buddhist Explanations of Conception, Abortion, and Contraception,” one of the posts in the “Origin of Life” series.
– That happened at least once or twice during the time of the Buddha. I don’t remember the sutta. But there are no records of such birth in modern times.
– However, that is how the first set of human gandhabbas get hold of a “manussa kaya” or a “physical human body” after a human population is wiped out due to a natural disaster over a large region. Once enough humans are born in that geographic region, they multiply via the normal mode (womb-born.)
P.S. This is the solution to the “chicken and egg problem” discussed in many discussion forums. The question there is “which came first, the chicken or the egg”? The answer is that chicken came first via such “opapatika” or instantaneous births.
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