Different Types of Patisandhi-citta - Mindfulness of death
We read in the 'Itivuttaka' ('As it was said', the Ones, Ch. III, par. 6, 'Khuddaka Nikāya') that the Buddha said to the monks: 

 

 'Monks, if beings knew, as I know, the ripening of sharing gifts

they would not enjoy their use without sharing them,

nor would the taint of stinginess obsess the heart and stay there.

Even if it were their last bit,

their last morsel of food,

they would not enjoy its use without sharing it,

if there were anyone to receive it....' 

 

Kusala kamma can cause a happy rebirth, but the end of birth is to be

preferred to any kind of rebirth. If one cultivates the Eightfold Path and

attains arahatship there will be no more rebirth. The dying-consciousness

(cuti-citta) of the arahat is not succeeded by a patisandhi-citta. The Buddha

often reminded people of the dangers of birth and encouraged them to be

mindful, in order to attain the 'deathless' which is nibbāna. We read in the

'Gradual Savings' (Book of the Eights, Ch -VIII, par. 4) that the Buddha, when

he was staying at Nādika, in the Brick Hall, said to the monks: 

 

 'Mindfulness of death, monks, when made become,

when developed is very fruitful, of great advantage, 

merging and ending in the deathless. 

                

And how, monks, is it so.... 

                

Take the case of a monk who, when the day declines and night sets in,  

reflects thus: 'Many indeed are the chances of death for me.

A snake or scorpion or a centipede might bite me 

and might cause my death;

that would be a hindrance to me.

I might stumble and fall; 

the food I have eaten might make me ill;

bile might convulse me; 

phlegm choke me;

winds (within me) with their  scissorlike cuts give me ache;

or men or non-humans might attack me and might cause my death.

That would be a hindrance to me.’ 

                

Monks, that monk must reflect thus:

'Are there any evil and wrong states within me

that have not been put away 

and that would be a hindrance to me were I to die tonight?

If, monks, on consideration

he realize that there are such states...

then to put away just those evil and wrong states,

an intense resolution, effort, endeavour, exertion, struggle,

mindfulness and self-possession must be made by that monk.

Monks, just as a man whose turban is on fire,

or whose hair is burning would make an intense resolution,

effort, endeavour, exertion, struggle,

mindfulness and self-possession to put out his (burning) turban or hair;

even so, monks, an intense resolution,

effort, endeavour, exertion, struggle, 

mindfulness and self-possession must be made

by that monk to put away just those evil and wrong states. 

                

But if that monk, on review,

realize that there are no such states within him 

that have not been put away 

which would be a hindrance to him,

were he to die that night--

then let that monk live verily in joy and gladness, 

training himself day and night in the ways of  righteousness. 

                

Take the case, monks, of a monk who reflects likewise… 

when the night is spent and day breaks.

He must reflect in the same way... 

Monks, mindfulness of death

when so made become so developed is very fruitful,

of great  advantage, merging and ending in the deathless.'  

Topic ID  184
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