June 22, 2021 at 7:48 am #34731
Dear Lal, dear friends,
This is my first post on the forum, but I have been a reader for the past year. In that time, I have learnt so much, profited so much from your webpage, that it cannot be really measured in anything. Thank you, Lal.
I am also a physicist (or have been) and so I can easily connect to your way of thinking.
Thr more I learn, the more I am also able to share with my friends, and today we had a Dhamma discussion about the Gandhabba.
I read one of the posts abput Gandhabba, namely this one:
I noticed a small thing: You say that in Brahma realms, there is a Bhava dasaka. When I came to that point, I was a bit unsure and skipped it. When I checked Ven. Bodhi’s Book on Abhidhamma, it is mentioned that there is no Bhava dasaka (sex property) in the Brahma realm.
And one more question:
Here in Myanmar I heard about a few cases of people that seem to have had a gender change from man to woman from their past life to this life. I was wondering: According to my understanding of Abhidhamma, and your explanation, a gender change can only happen with a cuti-patisandhi transition, or, a new bhava. The same holds for a transition from dihetuka to trihetuka (two-rooted Bhavanga to three-rooted Bhavanga). Is that correct?
Since you argue that a human bhava is very rare, it should be assumed that such gender changes should not happen very frequently.
I am looking forward to hear from you all.
June 22, 2021 at 10:35 am #34739
You wrote: “I checked Ven. Bodhi’s Book on Abhidhamma, it is mentioned that there is no Bhava dasaka (sex property) in the Brahma realm.”
Could you give the page number in the book?
– Bhava dasaka, in some books, is loosely translated as man/woman nature, but it encompasses many other features related to one’s gati or bhava.
– However, before I spend time on this, I like to read the text in Bhikkhu Bodhi’s book. I have the book.
Your other question is ” According to my understanding of Abhidhamma, and your explanation, a gender change can only happen with a cuti-patisandhi transition, or, a new bhava.”
– I don’t think I said that sex changes cannot occur within a life. Could you point to bullet # and the post?
June 22, 2021 at 7:46 pm #34746
Here is the patagraph on page 257 of the book:
R³paloke pana gh±na-jivh±-k±ya-bh±va-dasak±ni ca ±h±raja-
kal±p±ni ca na labbhanti. Tasm± tesa½ paµisandhik±le cakkhu-sota-
vatthuvasena t²ºi dasak±ni j²vitanavakañ c± ti catt±ro kamma-
samuµµh±nakal±p±, pavattiya½ cittotusamuµµh±n± ca labbhanti.
In the fine-material world, the decads of nose, tongue, body, sex,
and the material groups produced by nutriment are not found. There-
fore, to those beings, at the time of rebirth-linking there arise four
material groups produced by kamma—the three decads of eye, ear,
and heart-base, and the vital nonad. During the course of existence,
material phenomena produced by consciousness and by temperature are found”
“The beings in the fine-material realms, being asexual, lack the two
decads of sex, and though they possess the physical forms of the nose,
tongue and body, these organs are destitute of sense receptivity.”
If Bhava dasaka encodes the sex property, or the heart-base encodes the two/three-rootedness, is it still possible for them to change during the bhava from one to the other?
I don’t have a post of you that makes a clear statement, I know only that on multiple pages you describe the evolution of the kammic body and which rupa/dasaka it contains. And since this is at the start of bhava, it should not fundamentaly change during the bhava.
- This reply was modified 5 months, 2 weeks ago by DanielSt.
June 22, 2021 at 9:53 pm #34749
OK. Yes. I see that in the book.
– I need to spend some time to find a reference in the Tipitaka. Bhikkhu Bodhi’s book is a translation of a Commentary and is not part of the Tipitaka. Yet, the material in the book is mostly correct.
As I remember, “itthi gati” and “purisa gati” do not necessarily have to match sex.
– For example, there are men with “feminine gati” and vice versa.
– So, even though Brahmas do not have sex organs, they may have different types of gati.
– I think it was Waharaka Theor who explained this in one of his discourses. Anyway, if I find a reference I will post it.
Regarding the other issue, I have never stated that sex change is not possible.
– When a human gandhabba is born by kammic energy, it will have either male or female sex organs (more correctly the blueprint for it). So, when it gets into a womb and is born a human baby it will have either male or female sex organs.
– However, that sex can change even during a lifetime as a kamma vipaka. There is a dramatic account in the Tipitaka of a wealthy person during the time of the Buddha who became a woman and switched back again to a man. He had seen an Arahant taking a bath in a river. That Arahant had a beautiful body and this person generated lustful thoughts and instantly became a woman (of course, he did not know it was an Arahant). After becoming a woman he realized what happened and was able to meet the Arahant and get the sex changed reversed!
– I don’t remember the name of the sutta. Hopefully, someone will know and post the name of the sutta.
June 22, 2021 at 10:46 pm #34750
Okay, that sounds interesting. It would be great if somebody finds the Sutta.
And after the gati has changed from male to female, for example, the gandhabba blueprint coming out of the body (in that same bhava) would also have changed, I assume?
How about the case of two-and three-rooted consciousness? Would it work similarly, or does this need a new bhava tramsition?
June 23, 2021 at 6:58 am #34751
“And after the gati has changed from male to female, for example, the gandhabba blueprint coming out of the body (in that same bhava) would also have changed, I assume?”
I did not say that the bhava dasaka necessarily changed in the above case.
– Change in the sex organs would not require a change in the bhava dasaka. As I explained above, bhava dasaka incorporates the “gati” (itthi gati or purisa gati). One with itthi gati is more likely to have female sex organs.
– In the account of that wealthy person whose sex organs changed, his bhava dasaka did not have to change.
I hope that point is clear. If not please ask.
DanielSt asked: “How about the case of two-and three-rooted consciousness? Would it work similarly, or does this need a new bhava transition?”
– No. Those do not change until a new bhava is grasped.
– So, the bottom line is that a human gandhabba would have the same “dasakas” lasting through the end of the bhava.
I welcome your questions, DanielSt.
– My goal is to have fully self-consistent (of course, consistent with the Tipitaka too) accounts at the website.
So, if anyone sees any inconsistency, please don’t hesitate to point them out. But it would make it much easier for me if the exact place in a post is referred and any external reference is also provided. That would be easier for me to make necessary revisions too.
June 23, 2021 at 9:05 am #34753
Thank you for your clarification, Lal.
So, are you saying that this man who saw the Arahant had a change in his (gross) body appearance similar to a change from man’s body to woman’s body? Because that is indeed dramatic.
Or is it mere the change of the Gandhabba energy flow?
There must be three layers : Gross body – Gandhabba blueprint (utuja kaya, cittaja kaya) – Kammaja kaya if I understand you correctly.
For the Bhava dasaka to incorporate gati, dependingly further matter is accumulated. This matter can be influenced by kamma vipaka. So the gandhabba blueprint can change, during a single bhava, to have blueprints for male, and (subject to change within a bhava) also female. This change is in terms of layer 2 and 3, not in terms of Bhava dasaka (layer 1 of Gandhabba).
Also, the physical body (layer 4) can change, as you argue from above story.
Is that how I should understand it?
June 23, 2021 at 9:28 am #34755
Yes. The account of that man in the Tipitaka is astonishing.
However, there are several such accounts in the Tipitaka. One Arahant instantly transformed some things into gold.
– Another could form a flame on his fingertip to see in the dark. There are several interesting deeds that bhikkhu did according to that sutta. He could make accommodations for many visiting bhikkhus, who showed up unexpectedly just to test his abhinna powers.
– The story of Ven. Cūḷapanthaka is famous. He once made 1000 copies of himself and got them to clean up the temple grounds.
I have discussed some of these. See, for example, “Buddhahood Associated Controversies”
Once one attains abhinna powers, manipulating “material objects” becomes quite easy, it seems. Maybe we should not spend too much time on such topics and focus on learning Dhamma concepts. But I wanted to illustrate that such seemingly miraculous deeds are perfectly consistent with science.
June 29, 2021 at 10:16 pm #34827
I just listened to the next Desana by Waharaka Thero that was uploaded this night. There, they speak about above account. The bathing Arahant was “Pilinda-Vacca”. I tried to find an english translation in the web, but couldn’t find any. If somebody should be more successful, I would still appreciate to read the story.
June 30, 2021 at 6:12 am #34836
OK. I am glad that you heard the story directly from Waharaka Thero’s discourse.
T did a search for “Pilindavaccha” and did not come up with a Tipitaka reference for that account. But sometimes Waharaka Thero accidentally gets the name wrong. It is possible the Arahant’s name is not “Pilindavaccha”.
– Also, this account may not be in a sutta, but in the Vinaya Pitaka.
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