- This topic has 1 reply, 2 voices, and was last updated 2 years, 5 months ago by Lal.
December 20, 2020 at 9:44 am #32815cubibobiParticipant
This is about the most recent post:
Antarābhava Discussion in Kathāvatthu – Not Relevant to Gandhabba
Thank you, Lal, for the last two posts on gandhabbas. I feel that these posts, along with other parts of the site about gandhabbas, put this matter to rest for me.
I have studied Buddhism for decades, yet did not pay attention to this concept until coming here. Below is my background on this in case it resonates with some of you.
My native country was predominantly Mahāyāna mixed with ancestry worshiping. Theravada was very small, although that is changing now.
When someone died, the Mahāyāna ritual would go something like this: weekly chanting by bhikkhus at a temple for 7 weeks (to make a total of 49 days), to help the deceased get reborn. There’s something special about the 49 days, but I don’t know why.
The Theravada bhikkhus said that this was pointless since the deceased would have been immediately reborn already.
I had a feeling this was not the case. There were so many stories of people with psychic abilities (some are bhikkhus) who see spirit beings. They can’t be all just made up. Although the Theravada bhikkhus were adamant on this point, I felt that the Mahāyāna bhikkhus got it right.
At the same time, I learned that Theravada was the closest to the Buddha’s teaching, so there was a contradiction here, but I put it aside as unimportant.
Coming here, Lal has many posts on gandhabbas, and it explained a good many things: conception, abortion, birth, bhava, etc. It was quite exhilarating to actually see this concept in the Tipitaka.
It was also a great experience to learn of the connection between gandhabbas and wrong views: not believing in para loka is a miccha ditthi (#6 among the 10 miccha ditthi).
Finally, a question and speculation about gandhabbas:
At any moment, there must be a lot more (if not infinite) gandhabbas waiting for limited wombs, since human wombs are finite; hence the importance of mother and father (as indicated in miccha ditthi #7 and 8).
Again, many many thanks for these posts.
December 20, 2020 at 10:19 am #32816LalKeymaster
Thank you for your perspective, Lang.
– Yes. Many Theravadins also have misconceptions about gandhabba.
– But understanding the gandhabba concept is CRITICALLY important. That will become even more clear in upcoming posts.
– The dense physical body is secondary and the gandhabba (mental body) is primary. Sensory EXPERIENCE happens in the mental body. The next post will be critical to understanding that point.
Your question/comment: “At any moment, there must be a lot more (if not infinite) gandhabbas waiting for limited wombs, since human wombs are finite; hence the importance of mother and father (as indicated in miccha ditthi #7 and 8).”
– That is absolutely right.
– There could be an uncountable human/animal gandhabbas waiting for a womb. That is more true for humans and “higher womb-born animals” than for “lower animals”.
– That is because one’s gati must roughly match those of the parents to get into a womb.
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