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Mahātaṇhāsaṅkhaya Sutta

Sāti Thera, a fisherman’s son, went about saying that, according to the Buddha’s doctrine, one’s consciousness runs on and continues without break of identity. Hearing this several monks protested, but failed to convince him of his error. Sāti was therefore brought before the Buddha and acknowledged that he had spread such a view. The Buddha explains that he had always taught that consciousness arises only by causation and that, without assignable condition, consciousness does not come about.

There are four nutriments (āhārā), which either maintain existing organisms or help those yet to be:

  1. material food (āhārā),
  2. contact (phassa),
  3. intentional thought (manosañcetanā), and
  4. consciousness (viññāṇaṃ).

The derivation and birth of all four substances is craving — craving arises from feeling and so on. Three things must combine for a conception to take place:

  1. the coitus of the parents,
  2. the mother must be in season, and
  3. a being to be born (gandhabba) is present. M.i.256‑71.

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