New Publication: The Sūtra on Transmigration Through Existences


Toh 226

The Sūtra on Transmigration Through Existences

King Śreṇya Bimbisāra of Magadha approaches the Buddha and asks him how a past action can appear before the mind at the moment of death. The Buddha presents the analogy of a sleeping person who dreams of a beautiful woman and on waking foolishly longs to find her. He cites this as an example of how an action of the distant past, which has arisen from perception and subsequent afflictive emotions and then ceased, appears to the mind on the brink of death. The Buddha goes on to explain how one transitions from the final moment of one life to the first moment of the next, according to the ripening of those actions, without any phenomena actually being transferred from one life to another. The Buddha concludes with a set of seven verses that offer a succinct teaching on emptiness, focusing on the two truths and the fictitious nature of names.

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The Sūtra on Transmigration Through Existences

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