Can anyone outline the 3 lifetime interpretation of the 12 nidanas. To me there only seems like there are at most two lifetimes in there. One goes from ignorance to becoming then the other goes from becoming to death. I know this is a misunderstanding so I would appreciate anyone clearing this up for me.

1 Answer 1


Here is an excerpt from the source of the three life-times interpretation:

287. The past, the present and the future are its three times. Of these, it should be understood that, according to what is given as such in the texts, the two factors ignorance and formations belong to the past time, the eight beginning with consciousness belong to the present time, and the two, birth and ageing-and-death, belong to the future time.
-The Path of Purification (Visuddhimagga), p.600

            enter image description here

For additional information, I suggest reading the entire page from which the above excerpt was extracted and the pages that succeed it.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .