As far as i understand the having opposing views about what happens between after you die until you are reborn again right ? or do they "sit together" some how ?

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    Can you give a citation or some reference, or maybe an example of what you heard?
    – Andriy Volkov
    Dec 22, 2017 at 21:22
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    i dont know much about this subject and im probably wrong about what i heared - but for example that in Theravada you reincarnate straight away (a few moments) and in Vajrayana there is the a journey before --- also im not sure what sects this belongs to but that a spirit of someone is next to the body for some days after also thats why you dont want to move the body much ? (and i am sure its a buddhist who said that not another religon)
    – breath
    Dec 22, 2017 at 23:00
  • ruben2020 just gave an answer which is what i heard more or less
    – breath
    Dec 31, 2017 at 19:31

5 Answers 5


From Wikipedia on the Tibetan bardos:

  1. Kyenay bardo (skye gnas bar do): is the first bardo of birth and life. This bardo commences from conception until the last breath, when the mindstream withdraws from the body.
  2. Milam bardo (rmi lam bar do): is the second bardo of the dream state. The Milam Bardo is a subset of the first Bardo. Dream Yoga develops practices to integrate the dream state into Buddhist sadhana.
  3. Samten bardo (bsam gtan bar do) is the third bardo of meditation. This bardo is generally only experienced by meditators, though individuals may have spontaneous experience of it. Samten Bardo is a subset of the Shinay Bardo.
  4. Chikhai bardo ('chi kha'i bar do): is the fourth bardo of the moment of death. According to tradition, this bardo is held to commence when the outer and inner signs presage that the onset of death is nigh, and continues through the dissolution or transmutation of the Mahabhuta until the external and internal breath has completed.
  5. Chönyi bardo (chos nyid bar do): is the fifth bardo of the luminosity of the true nature which commences after the final 'inner breath' (Sanskrit: prana, vayu; Tibetan: rlung). It is within this Bardo that visions and auditory phenomena occur. In the Dzogchen teachings, these are known as the spontaneously manifesting Thödgal (Tibetan: thod-rgyal) visions. Concomitant to these visions, there is a welling of profound peace and pristine awareness. Sentient beings who have not practiced during their lived experience and/or who do not recognize the clear light (Tibetan: od gsal) at the moment of death are usually deluded throughout the fifth bardo of luminosity.
  6. Sidpa bardo (srid pa bar do): is the sixth bardo of becoming or transmigration. This bardo endures until the inner-breath commences in the new transmigrating form determined by the "karmic seeds" within the storehouse consciousness.

Above, you can see that the fifth and sixth bardos are located between death and rebirth.

However, the Theravada view according to Ven. Narada Mahathera from his book The Buddha and His Teachings, chapter 28:

In the foregoing case, the thought experienced before death being a moral one, the resultant rebirth-consciousness takes for its material an appropriate sperm and ovum cell of human parents. The rebirth-consciousness (patisandhi vi?āna) then lapses into the Bhavanga state.

The continuity of the flux, at death, is unbroken in point of time, and there is no breach in the stream of consciousness.

Rebirth takes place immediately, irrespective of the place of birth, just as an electromagnetic wave, projected into space, is immediately reproduced in a receiving radio set. Rebirth of the mental flux is also instantaneous and leaves no room whatever for any intermediate state (antarabhava). Pure Buddhism does not support the belief that a spirit of the deceased person takes lodgement in some temporary state until it finds a suitable place for its "reincarnation."

From the above two excerpts, it appears that the Tibetan and Theravadan views are contradictory.


The orthodox Theravada view is that the mind cannot exist without form except in the formless realms. Even in the cases of people floating around like ghosts after death, there's no proof that the mind exist independently of form. If they can see, hear, feel things it's very likely that they have some form of subtle body.


Life in between, existence in between, would be existence as well, or? So to give it a special notion, this rebirth as well, does not make much sense aside of possible willing to serve the everywhere common cultural aspect of untrained people in the teachings of the Noble Ones, that there is a lasting, independent spirit, searching for new body.

As Upasaka Sankha Kulathantille told in his answere, there is no mind without matter, no being without object. That counts as well for the "non"-material states, which just have mind objects instead of classical matter as object.

After each death, decay, a rebirth follows, moment for moment, as well for lager appearences of aggregating, which are common taken as living being.

Many existences are very short or "fail" after boming into being in a womb, so that they are regarded as having come into being at large. There might be the mystery of this distinction be found.

In folk perceptions there is no difference, exept of time and traditions in detail, within different countries and cultures and can be traced in western world as well, even in modern stories and movies, my person guesses.

The "living being in search for becoming" accurs also in the Pali canon, thinking on the Karaṇīya Metta-Sutta and may serve here especially to catch all possible perception a person may have in regard of existence and living.

Bhūtā vā sambhavesī vā,

Those born as well as those seeking rebirth

Events for the "in between being individual" are celebrated in Theravada folk-near Buddhism and daily life as well, but mostly not really made to a doctrine derived from the Buddha, by serious teachers and monks. But similar, and also popular at large, can be found as well, as it gives favors in many aspects for those willing to buy and trade for the sake of becoming.

The main different between the tradition might be, that Vajrayana seems to be more devoted to the world and serve its desires and ideas, while Theravada seems to focus more on liberation it self. How ever, Buddhas Dhamma, the good teachings, serve both in it's best possible way, so actually not that much requirement to stick to much to later developed notions and to much to cultural aspects, althought they might also serve certain purposes in given circumstances.

May you soon no more come into being, may your rebirth end! :-) do you like it?

The Bardo-questions here, by the way, could still not be valid answered by the followers of certain sects.

[Note: This is a gift of Dhamma and not meant for commercial purpose or other low wordily gains by means of trade and exchange.]


No they do not.

31 Planes of Existence is cosmological theory valid across all Buddhist religions, Theravada, Mahayana, Tibetan (Vajrayana), and even new branches such as Nichiren Buddhism.

This wheel of rebirth is a basic fact of life accepted across all eastern religions actually and was common accepted knowledge in the time of the Buddha.

However, Tibetan Buddhism goes into the most detail of this post-mortem transmigration process with tips and tricks to help the noncorporeal spirit get closer to enlightenment (because it is easier to enlightenment at certain points in time when one is without this body).

  • and does theravada think that the reincarnation process is a few moments while tibetians think it can be days ?
    – breath
    Dec 23, 2017 at 18:10
  • Nope. Buddha talks about the gradual dissolution of the elements from the body which a smart person can correlate to the much more detailed after-life description of Tibetan's. They do not contradict but explain in more detail. This is the nature of of the Buddhist teachings--the COMPLEMENT each other and not COMPETE.
    – Ahmed
    Dec 24, 2017 at 15:27

In the Pali suttas, 'death' is the unenlightened ending of a state of attachment or acquisition, which is a form of sorrow & suffering. Therefore, what happens after death in the Pali suttas is sorrow & suffering. The Pali suttas say

As he explores he understands thus: ‘The many diverse kinds of suffering that arise in the world headed by aging-and-death: this suffering has acquisition as its source, acquisition as its origin; it is born and produced from acquisition. When there is acquisition, aging-and-death comes to be; when there is no acquisition, aging-and-death does not come to be.’

As he explores he understands thus: ‘Acquisition has craving as its source, craving as its origin; it is born and produced from craving. When there is craving, acquisition comes to be; when there is no craving, acquisition does not come to be.’

SN 12.66

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