Our Number of births going into the past has to necasserily be finite not infinite.an infinite number of births without a first is logically infathomable.so why did we first incarnate?

  • just go with 'ignorance'... also, if we're talking about the desire realm, i guess something to do with hunger
    – user2512
    Jul 11 '20 at 7:03

Most suttas in SN 15 like SN 15.1, have the following ending:

Transmigration has no known beginning. No first point is found of sentient beings roaming and transmigrating, hindered by ignorance and fettered by craving. For such a long time you have undergone suffering, agony, and disaster, swelling the cemeteries. This is quite enough for you to become disillusioned, dispassionate, and freed regarding all conditions.”

From a different translation of the Tears Sutta:

From an inconstruable beginning comes transmigration. A beginning point is not evident, though beings hindered by ignorance and fettered by craving are transmigrating & wandering on. Long have you thus experienced stress, experienced pain, experienced loss, swelling the cemeteries — enough to become disenchanted with all fabricated things, enough to become dispassionate, enough to be released."

Please also see this answer.

  • I would agree and suggest further that the answer also relates strongly to some of the answers to the Unanswerable Questions which are presented as "unwise reflection" into the eternal/finite existence of the self.
    – GVCOJims
    Jul 17 '20 at 18:56

In the ultimate Truth there's no birth, past , present and future. birth is illusion. That is why the Buddha said there is no apparent beginning. As there's no beginning for the rat horn or a sky flowers.


In commentary, we born by avijjā. Avijjā arises by Kāmāsava, Bhavāsava, and Avijāsava. These 3 Āsavā originate Avijjā. It's non stop loop.

I can see only stronger and stronger unwholesome in the loop. And I don't think we can find the beginning.

Ignorant > Old and Death > Doing (Managing) > Old and Death > Nāma Rūpa Arise > Old and Death > Senses Arise > Old and Death > Meeting > Old and Death > Feeling > Old and Death > Remembering > Old and Death > Managing > Old and Death > Craving > Old and Death > Craving again and again > Old and Death > Doing (Managing) for New Nāma Rūpa Arise as in Memory > Old and Death > Born as Managed > Old and Death > Arising Old and Death > Arising Old and Death > Arising Old and Death > Unlimited.

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