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One of the 10 wrong views is the view that there are no spontaneously reborn beings.

The preceding 2 wrong views in the sequence of 10 are "there is no mother" and "there is no father".

  1. Now beings born on earth mostly see beings coming to existence due to a mother and father. Most will never see a "spontaneously reborn being". So how does one form the view that there ARE spontaneously reborn beings when one has never seen such beings? Or is it adequate to simply not reject the possibility of the existence of such beings, but not form the view that there are such beings?
  2. Also, if one has the view that there is a mother and father, how does one reconcile these 2 views with the view that there are spontaneously reborn beings, which we are also told are born without a mother and father? Further, say if all the beings we encounter were born spontaneously, how can we form the view that there is a mother and father? Or do the words mother and father mean something other than the biological parents or the first pair of primary carers, e.g. DP verse 294?
  3. Why is this view included in the 10 wrong views? The other 9 views does provide a framework for beings to avoid evil and do good. Rejecting this wrong view and accepting its opposing view that there indeed ARE spontaneously reborn beings requires a stretch of the imagination for many. What is the moral purpose?

Once again these questions are asked only for academic interest.

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A view is when you affirm a certain thinking to be true. Simply having a thought of doubt doesn't qualify as having a view, even though it's still unwholesome.

A human taking the view that there are no spontaneous beings solely based on his inability to see them points to a flaw in his thinking. I.e. thinking that anything that cannot be seen does not exit. If a born blind person has the same thinking, he might even deny the existence of the sun and the moon. This is similar to taking the view that the earth is the only place with sentient beings in the whole universe because we haven't seen any aliens yet. The same line of thinking can make a person take the view that Nibbana does not exist, because he hasn't seen it.

Not believing in father and mother is more about thinking that there's no use in caring for them, which is wrong and detrimental. It's about biological parents.

  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. – Lanka Jun 21 '17 at 14:34
  • "A view is when you affirm a certain thinking to be true." at what point does one make this affirmation? I assume we are to keep to the grounds of not accepting something based on the criteria mentioned in the Kalama Sutta. – Kaveenga Wijayasekara Jun 21 '17 at 16:54
  • @KaveengaWijayasekara whether you follow the Kalama sutta or not, whenever you believe something to be the truth, it becomes a view. ex: belief of a God. – Sankha Kulathantille Jun 21 '17 at 23:50
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The Pali is 'sattā opapātikā'. 'Sattā' means 'beings' (plural). The singular is 'satto' ('a being').

SN 23.2 defines what 'a being' ('satto') is, which is, importantly, a state of suffering:

Satto, satto’ti, bhante, vuccati. Kittāvatā nu kho, bhante, sattoti vuccatī?

'A being,' lord. 'A being,' it's said. To what extent is one said to be 'a being'?"

Any desire, passion, delight, or craving for form, Radha: when one is caught up there, tied up there, one is said to be 'a being.'

Any desire, passion, delight, or craving for feeling... perception... fabrications...

Any desire, passion, delight, or craving for consciousness, Radha: when one is caught up there, tied up there, one is said to be 'a being.'

Just as when boys or girls are playing with little sand castles: as long as they are not free from passion, desire, love, thirst, fever, & craving for those little sand castles, that's how long they have fun with those sand castles, enjoy them, treasure them, feel possessive of them.

This is confirmed by SN 5.10, which states the arising of the view of "a being" is the arising of suffering:

Why now do you assume 'a being'? Mara, have you grasped a view? This is a heap of sheer constructions: Here no being is found.

Just as, with an assemblage of parts, The word 'chariot' is used, So, when the aggregates are present, There's the convention 'a being.'

It's only suffering that comes to be, Suffering that stands and falls away. Nothing but suffering comes to be, Nothing but suffering ceases.

'Sattā opapātikā' is also explained in MN 12. Importantly, MN 12 differentiates physical birth from the mental birth of 'a being' or 'beings'.

Sariputta, there are these four kinds of generation. What are the four? Egg-born generation, womb-born generation, moisture-born generation and spontaneous generation (opapātikā yoni).

What is egg-born generation? There are these beings born by breaking out of the shell of an egg; this is called egg-born generation. What is womb-born generation? There are these beings born by breaking out from the caul; this is called womb-born generation. What is moisture-born generation? There are these beings born in a rotten fish, in a rotten corpse, in rotten dough, in a cesspit, or in a sewer; this is called moisture-born generation. What is spontaneous generation? There are gods and denizens of hell and certain human beings and some beings in the lower worlds; this is called spontaneous generation. These are the four kinds of generation.

Therefore, a 'sattā opapātikā' is merely a state of attachment or self-view that immediately arises as immediate results of acts of kamma.

For example, as soon as a person performs an ethical action, they spontaneously arise as a 'human'; as soon as a person performs a compassionate action, they spontaneously arise as a 'god'; as soon as a person has strong craving or addiction, they spontaneously arise as a 'hungry ghost'; as soon as a person performs an unethical or unreflective action, they are spontaneously born as a 'animal'; as soon as a person is angry or sufffering, they are spontaneously born as a 'hell being'.


As for 'mother & father', this teaching is not about physical birth but about recognising you have benefactors. In other words, the right view of 'there is mother & father' creates gratitude & the right view that reciprocal or obligatory actions (kamma) must be performed in return towards mother & father and towards any other benefactors, such as teacher, student, employer, employee, etc.

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