The First Citta in Life - Happy rebirth is not assured I

Birth by way of the mother's womb is not the only way of birth. We learn

from the teachings that there can be birth in four different ways: by way of

the womb, by way of eggs, by way of moisture and by way of spontaneous



People would like to know when life starts in the mother's womb. We cannot

determine the exact moment. Life starts at the moment the patisandhi-citta

arises together with the rūpa which is at the same time produced by kamma.

A lifespan ends when the last citta, the dying-consciousness (cuti-citta) falls

away. So long as the dying-consciousness has not fallen away there is still

life. One cannot know the moment the dying-consciousness of someone else

arises and falls away unless one has cultivated the knowledge of the cittas of

other people. The Buddha or someone else who has cultivated this special

kind of knowledge could know the exact moment of someone's death.


We may wonder which kamma in our life will produce the patisandhi-citta of

the next life. Some people believe that by doing many good deeds in this life

they can be assured of a happy rebirth. But the kamma which produces

rebirth will not necessarily be from this life. We have in past lives as well as in

this life performed both akusala kamma and kusala kamma and these

kammas are of different degrees. Some kammas produce results in the same

life they have been performed, some produce result in the form of rebirth-

consciousness of a future life, or they produce result in the course of a future

life. We have performed deeds in past lives which could produce rebirth but

which have not yet come to fruition. We cannot know which kamma will

produce our next rebirth.

Topic 183