Momentariness and experiential understanding

from a discussion on dhammawheel
https://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?t=37169&hilit=momentariness
One question raised today on the zoom meeting was how Abhidhammic theory, which posits a universe that is radically momentary, can account for actual experience where things seem to last for seconds, minutes, days or years …

The first step before direct understanding has to be clear theoretical understanding, the foundation for anything deeper.

In the section on the development of vipassana in Vism.xx (the tika)

  1. First it has to be seen by inference according to the texts. Afterwards it gradually comes to be seen by personal experience when the knowledge of development gets stronger (Vism-mhþ 790)

So what obscures seeing this rapid arising and falling?

The Visuddhimagga(XV3)

“The characteristic of impermanence does not become apparent because when rise and fall are not given attention it is concealed by continuity”…However when continuity is disrupted by discerning rise and fall the characteristic of impermanence becomes apparent in its true nature”

Because each element is immediately replaced by a new, and often very similar element ( by conditions), this fact is obscured.
Not only that, but moha (avijja ignorance) and tanha - which we we all have plenty of, actively distract from the truth. It is why the path must be narrow and difficult to see.

We can’t stop seeing, hearing, tasting, touching, feeling, knowing, thinking; these dhammas are not ours and they arise by conditions. . The thing is that the more we look into this, and the more obvious dukkha thus becomes, I think the happier we become.
Possibly the more we see that right effort is a conditioned phenomena, anatta, the more vigor there is – because we are not wasting energy trying to have what can’t yet be had. Then there is detachment from the idea of a self who is doing anything – there is, the theory suggests, the gradual elimination of attasanna (self perception), the paticcasamupadda is being dismantled.

Sam vara: A quick question on this bit, if I may:
Robert: Because each element is immediately replaced by a new, and often very similar element ( by conditions), this fact is obscured
.
When we have the type of similarity of successive moments which gives rise to the perception of persistence, what governs the similarity? Is there some kind of law which means that one moment of a particular type must give rise to the next, of a very similar type? Going back to the example of the concrete in Retro’s street, does one moment of hardness have to follow another very similar moment in order for us to perceive the continued qualities of the concrete?

We need to delve more to explain this.
According to Abhidhammic theory what we call a block of concrete is actually a mass of trillions of kalapas (a group of matter), each with tiny spaces between them. And each of these kalapas arises and falls away instantly - but is replaced by new kalapas due to temperature (utu-samutthana) primarily in the kalapa that has just fallen away.
All matter outside the body is only composed of eight types of rupa yet the intensities of these eight can vary enormously and so we see a huge type of differing matter - water , snow, wood, plastic, flower, and thank god, coffee etc. So there is a kind of law that as you suggest “one moment of a particular type must give rise to the next, of a very similar type?” But of course this is very dependent and all sorts of events can happen so that deterioration in the conventional sense occurs…

Things like concrete or flower are said to be the shadow of what is really there (only evanescent rupas).

Bhikkhu Bodhi notes in his introduction to Mulapariyaya p14 That

“in the stage of full understanding of the known, the gross object is analysed into its constituent dhammas and each dhamma is delimited in its distinct characteristic, function, manifestation, and proximate cause. This procedure rectifies the common sense assumption of simple substantial units, disclosing in its place a world of composite wholes brought temporarily together through a concatenation of conditions”

This is also relevant to our discussion on zoom ( and doesn’t Bodhi come out with impressive turns of phrase). Because we live in a world of situations and concepts we miss the actual real and momentary elements - which are fully conditioned and behave according to their own nature - so we don’t see the anattaness . It is a magicians trick.

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Sam vara: but how then to explain the fact that if all things are subject to causes and conditions, why some of them appear to be more amenable than others? Raising my arm seems under my control, whereas (say) altering the orbit of Jupiter isn’t. And - to bring in a point that Mike has alluded to - studying the Dhamma also seems to be within my sphere of control. I can’t understand much (evidently! ) but I do seem to be able to form the intention in an autonomous way. I believe you said that we are lucky enough to find the Dhamma due to our past interest and progress in previous lives. If so, wasn’t that activity somehow efficacious in bringing about a favourable result?

it is all a magic show as I understand the texts. From the Samantapasadika (note 194 of Bodhi Connected discourses):

Consciousness is like a magical illusion (māyā) in the sense that it is
insubstantial and cannot be grasped. Consciousness is even more transient and
fleeting than a magical illusion. For it gives the impression that a person comes
and goes, stands and sits, with the same mind, but the mind is different in each of
these activities. Consciousness deceives the multitude like a magical illusion.

Why are there movements like raising the arm or standing up, sitting down, putting food in the mouth. It is simply materiality arising because of mental activity. usually in a day most mental activity is conditioned by lobha (tanha/desire)… And that lobha is conditioned to arise by long accumulations of similar lobha. And so there is the belief that I am going to the refrigerator, I am choosing milk or tea…But it is a chain of empty processes -devoid of self.
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/aut … tml#eating

Within there is nothing called a soul that robes itself. According to the method of exposition adopted already, only by the diffusion of the process of oscillation born of mental activity does the act of robing take place. The robe has no power to think and the body too has not that power. The robe is not aware of the fact that it is draping the body, and the body too of itself does not think: “I am being draped round with the robe.,” Mere processes clothe a process-heap, in the same way that a modelled figure is covered with a piece of cloth.

Visuddhimagga XVIII 31

Therefore, just as a marionette is void, soulless and without curiosity, and
while it walks and stands merely through the combination of strings and wood,
[595] yet it seems as if it had curiosity and interestedness, so too, this mentality-materiality
is void, soulless and without curiosity, and while it walks and stands
merely through the combination of the two together, yet it seems as if it had
curiosity and interestedness. This is how it should be regarded. Hence the
Ancients said:
The mental and material are really here,
But here there is no human being to be found,
For it is void and merely fashioned like a doll—
Just suffering piled up like grass and sticks.

Once Mara questioned Bhikkhuni sela about this

Mara: By whom has this puppet been created?
Where is the maker of the puppet?
Where has the puppet arisen?
Where does the puppet cease?”

Then the bhikkhuni Sela, having understood, “This is Mara the Evil One,” replied to him in verses:

“This puppet is not made by itself,
Nor is this misery made by another.
It has come to be dependent on a cause;
With the cause’s breakup it will cease.

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From a discussion on zoom with Sujin Boriharnwanaket

https://groups.io/g/dsg/message/164414
A. Sujin: We live in darkness, not understanding what is there now, it’s just like a dream, not awakening yet, because of no understanding of what is there as: just a moment, very very rapid, it’s just like now, like seeing and hearing, there are many cittas in between, unknown. Even that which does appear is not the object of understanding clearly yet, because it’s gone. That’s why the understanding of no self has to be firm, developed from moment to moment, until it’s so great, so skillful that it does not move to anything else: just that which appears can be directly understood with direct awareness only.

So now we know that we’re talking about seeing but no direct understanding with awareness of that which experiences as not anyone, not anything at all, just a moment of conditioned reality. But that can be experienced only by high understanding, that’s why it needs the intellectual understanding to understand that: the object now does not appear well as it is at all, because of no right understanding of any of them yet. For example, touching now, no understanding that is only a reality experienced, and when is not the moment of experiencing hardness it’s not there anymore, but the idea of things, people, by memory, sañña, marks it and keep thinking about it as permanent, as always there.

Do you know that Khun John died this morning? If you don’t know you’d think that he’s still here, in this world, and that is only thinking, as long as any of them do not appear it’s only memory and marks and thinking about that, but actually, in reality, nothing is left, even this moment, so there is khanika marana, marana is death and khanika is moment, is momentary death, each moment gone completely, unknown. So we just know when someone dies that: no more, but even now is no more, whatever appears.

There are three kind of death: khanika marana, temporary death, and then sammuti marana, like Khun John who died this morning and then samuccheda marana, no birth after death at all, the death of an arahatta. So we can say that his was not samuccheda marana, because there must be birth, so we can say than now he is born already, after death. And each moment is like that: never to return at all, as long as kamma still produces result it goes on, until death, and then kamma again, another one, conditions the birth, instantly: patisandhi citta. Bhavanga and birth are the same kind of citta, conditioned by kammma.

So it’s not fearful at all, because while one’s fast asleep nothing appears, and patisandhi citta at that moment is not known, like cuti citta (death): just a moment, think about a moment and after that is patisandhi citta, it’s not fearful at all, it can be any time, because now there are many bhavangas: it can be the end of bhavangas, by kamma, any time, and patisandhi follows it, instantly, no gap in between at all, just like now. And this is life, birth and death, and before death so many experiences, but arising and falling away all the time, unknown, and keeping on thinking that it’s true, that it’s real, but nothing is there once it’s fallen away instantly all the time.

And this is the difference between sleep and wakefulness, as long as there is no understanding of this moment it’s just a dream, in a dream there are so many things but when one wakes up: nothing, because it’s just thinking about whatever appears, like now: thinking about what appears as something, all the time. And this is the way dhamma is, by conditions, no one there at all.

So this moment can be understood from intellectual understanding, and it develops on and on, not “I” but the sankhara khandha: the cetasikas which are sankhara khandha are now working, all the time, unknown, no one there, at this moment of hearing, and then there is the understanding, because of cetasikas which are sankhara, arise and fall away, unknown, and pañña, right understanding, is there. So what is there is just like what the magician makes up. So it’s just understanding, not thoughts about satipatthana or vippassanañana, since where are they? not now

From the Sāratthapakāsinī (Samyutta nikaya commentary by Buddhaghosa)
II 99,30-31

Ekasmiṃ hi accharā-kkhaṇe anekāni
citta-koṭi-sata-sahassāni uppajjanti

“in the timespan of a finger-snap many hundred
thousand of koṭis of minds arise and pass away.”

Moreover, it is also clearly put in the Sutta-pitaka:
Mahāniddesa 42

Life, person, pleasure, pain — just these alone
Join in one conscious moment that flicks by.

Devas, though they live for eighty-four thousand kalpas,
Are not the same for two such moments…

Breakup of dhammas is foredoomed at their birth;
Those present decay, unmingled with those past.
They come from nowhere, break up, nowhere go;
Flash in and out, as lightning in the sky.

Nina Van Gorkom wrote about this
https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/dha … ics/113770
The Expositor deals with many meanings of the term arisen, uppanna.
We read:<Of these, all that is endowed with (instants of) genesis,
decay, and dissolution is termed ‘arisen as existing at the present
moment.’>

Thus, kha.na does not refer to life period, nor to serial presence.
It refers to moment in the ultimate sense, namely arising, presence,
and dissolution.

Text Vis. 190: (d) ‘<According to moment’: what is included in the
trio of moments, [that is to say, arising, presence, and dissolution]
beginning with
arising is called ‘present’. At a time previous to that it is ‘future’.
At a time subsequent to that it is ‘past’< .


We read in the Dispeller of Delusion (p. 8): <<> em>And here only the

exposition beginning with the moment (kha.na) is literal
(nippariyaaya) (cf. M.A. I, 89). The rest are figurative (sapariyaaya) .>

Conclusion: When we consider the meaning of kha.na, moment, we are
reminded that the processes of cittas succeed one another extremely
rapidly. In one process seeing arises, and it seems that we
immediately think of a concept of what is seen, of a person or thing.
However, several processes have elapsed before a concept is
experienced in a mind-door process. There is no person who can exert
control over the cittas that arise, perform each their own function
and then fall away immediately.

It seems that cittas last, but the meaning of kha.na, moment, reminds
us of the impermanence of dhammas. As soon as a dhamma has arisen, it
is going towards its cessation, it is gone immediately. When paññaa
arises it does so for an extremely short moment and then it falls
away. However, a moment of paññaa is never lost, it is accumulated so
that there are conditions for its arising again. This exhorts us not
to waste the moments of which our life consists. There can be
accumulation of paññaa at this moment.

Thus, kha.na does not refer to life period, nor to serial presence.
It refers to moment in the ultimate sense, namely arising, presence,
and dissolution.

Text Vis. 190: (> d) ‘According to moment’: what is included in the

trio of moments, [that is to say, arising, presence, and dissolution]
beginning with
arising is called ‘present’. At a time previous to that it is ‘future’.
At a time subsequent to that it is ‘past’.


N: the first three are sapariyaaya (figurative) and the last one is
nippariyaaya (literal).The last one is in the ultimate sense only.
There were examples: extent, addhaa: a lifespan. Present lifespan,
this is different from the present moment of citta, kha.na.
We can think of death in conventional sense, the end of this
lifespan. But actually there is all the time momentary death,
kha.nika marana, when the present citta falls away. Looking at death
as kha.nika is very realistic! Continuity or serial present
(santati): utu keeps on producing heat and this impinges on the body.
it is a serial presence, but still, the characteristic of heat can be
object of insight.


The Tiika states that as regards feeling, the classifications
according to extent and period has not been spoken of. Feelings are
classified as past, future and present only according to continuity
and to moment.

Text Vis. 197> .> In the classification (i)-(iii) into ‘past’, etc., the past,

future, and present state of feeling should be understood according to
continuity and according to moment and so on.


N: Feeling is naama, and as the Tiika states, naama is quick to
change (lahuparivattino aruupadhammaa).


SN 1.11 Nandana
Translated by Bhikkhu Bodhi

http://suttacentral.net/sn1.11/en/

Thus have I heard. On one occasion the Blessed One was dwelling at Savatthi in Jetas Grove, Anathapiṇḍikas Park. There the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus thus: Bhikkhus!

Venerable sir! those bhikkhus replied. The Blessed One said this:

Once in the past, bhikkhus, a certain devata of the Tavatiṃsa host was revelling in Nandana Grove, < 11 > supplied and endowed with the five cords of celestial sensual pleasure, accompanied by a retinue of celestial nymphs. On that occasion he spoke this verse:

They do not know bliss
Who have not seen Nandana,
The abode of the glorious male devas
Belonging to the host of Thirty. [19]
When this was said, bhikkhus, a certain devata replied to that devata in verse:

Dont you know, you fool,
That maxim of the arahants?
Impermanent are all formations;
Their nature is to arise and vanish.
Having arisen, they cease:

Their appeasement is blissful.

The Blessed One said, "Monks, Sariputta is wise, of great discernment, deep discernment, wide… joyous… rapid… quick… penetrating discernment. For half a month, Sariputta clearly saw insight[1] into mental qualities one after another. This is what occurred to Sariputta through insight into mental qualities one after another:

"There was the case where Sariputta — quite secluded from sensuality, secluded from unskillful qualities — entered & remained in the first jhana: rapture & pleasure born of seclusion, accompanied by directed thought & evaluation. Whatever qualities there are in the first jhana — directed thought, evaluation, rapture, pleasure, singleness of mind, contact, feeling, perception, intention, consciousness, desire, decision, persistence, mindfulness, equanimity, & attention — he ferreted them out one after another. Known to him they arose, known to him they remained, known to him they subsided. He discerned, ‘So this is how these qualities, not having been, come into play. Having been, they vanish.’ He remained unattracted & unrepelled with regard to those qualities, independent, detached, released, dissociated, with an awareness rid of barriers. He discerned that ‘There is a further escape,’ and pursuing it there really was for him.

………
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak … .than.html

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https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak … .than.html

Consciousness, monks, is classified simply by the requisite condition in dependence on which it arises. Consciousness that arises in dependence on the eye & forms is classified simply as eye-consciousness. Consciousness that arises in dependence on the ear & sounds is classified simply as ear-consciousness. Consciousness that arises in dependence on the nose & aromas is classified simply as nose-consciousness. Consciousness that arises in dependence on the tongue & flavors is classified simply as tongue-consciousness. Consciousness that arises in dependence on the body & tactile sensations is classified simply as body-consciousness. Consciousness that arises in dependence on the intellect & ideas is classified simply as intellect-consciousness.

"Just as fire is classified simply by whatever requisite condition in dependence on which it burns — a fire that burns in dependence on wood is classified simply as a wood-fire, a fire that burns in dependence on wood-chips is classified simply as a wood-chip-fire; a fire that burns in dependence on grass is classified simply as a grass-fire; a fire that burns in dependence on cow-dung is classified simply as a cow-dung-fire; a fire that burns in dependence on chaff is classified simply as a chaff-fire; a fire that burns in dependence on rubbish is classified simply as a rubbish-fire — in the same way, consciousness is classified simply by the requisite condition in dependence on which it arises. Consciousness that arises in dependence on the eye & forms is classified simply as eye-consciousness. Consciousness that arises in dependence on the ear & sounds is classified simply as ear-consciousness. Consciousness that arises in dependence on the nose & aromas is classified simply as nose-consciousness. Consciousness that arises in dependence on the tongue & flavors is classified simply as tongue-consciousness. Consciousness that arises in dependence on the body & tactile sensations is classified simply as body-consciousness. Consciousness that arises in dependence on the intellect & ideas is classified simply as intellect-consciousness.

so we see that consciousness doesn’t have 2 objects at the same time - say hearing and seeing at the very same moment - although because of the rapidity of the rise and fall they may alternate and appear at roughly the same time.
Also venerable Subhuti’s book on Abhidhamma and computers helps in understanding this: (Abhidhamma Book Comparing Abhidhamma and Computers)

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Guhatthaka-suttaniddeso: Upon the Tip of a Needle

Translated by Andrew Olendzki.

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak … .olen.html

  1. "Life, personhood, pleasure and pain
  • This is all that’s bound together
    In a single mental event- A moment that quickly takes place.
  1. Even for the devas who endure
    For 84,000 thousand kalpas
  • Even those do not live the same
    For any two moments of the mind.
  1. What ceases for one who is dead,
    Or for one who’s still standing here,
    Are all just the same heaps
  • Gone, never to connect again.
  1. The states which are vanishing now,
    And those which will vanish some day,
    Have characteristics no different
    Than those which have vanished before.

  2. With no production there’s no birth;
    With “becoming” present, one exists.
    When grasped with the highest meaning,
    The world is dead when the mind stops.

  3. There’s no hoarding what has vanished,
    No piling up for the future;
    Those who have been born are standing
    Like a seed upon a needle.

  4. The vanishing of all these states
    That have become is not welcome,
    Though dissolving phenomena stand
    Uncombined through primordial time.

  5. From the unseen, things come and go.
    Glimpsed only as they’re passing by;
    Like lightning flashing in the sky

  • They arise and then pass away."

Kathaṃ ṭhitiparittatāya appakaṃ jīvitaṃ? Atīte cittakkhaṇe jīvittha,
na jīvati na jīvissati; anāgate cittakkhaṇe jīvissati, na jīvati na jīvittha; paccuppanne cittakkhaṇe jīvati, na jīvittha na jīvissati.

“Jīvitaṃ attabhāvo ca, sukhadukkhā ca kevalā;
ekacittasamāyuttā, lahuso vattate khaṇo.
“Cullāsītisahassāni, kappā tiṭṭhanti ye marū;
natveva tepi jīvanti, dvīhi cittehi saṃyutā.
“Ye niruddhā marantassa, tiṭṭhamānassa vā idha;
sabbepi sadisā khandhā, gatā appaṭisandhikā.
“Anantarā ca ye bhaggā, ye ca bhaggā anāgatā;
tadantare niruddhānaṃ, vesamaṃ natthi lakkhaṇe.
“Anibbattena na jāto, paccuppannena jīvati;
cittabhaggā mato loko, paññatti paramatthiyā.
“Yathā ninnā pavattanti, chandena pariṇāmitā;
acchinnadhārā vattanti, saḷāyatanapaccayā.
“Anidhānagatā bhaggā, puñjo natthi anāgate;
nibbattā ye ca tiṭṭhanti, āragge sāsapūpamā.
“Nibbattānañca dhammānaṃ, bhaṅgo nesaṃ purakkhato;
palokadhammā tiṭṭhanti, purāṇehi amissitā.
“Adassanato āyanti, bhaṅgā gacchanti dassanaṃ;
vijjuppādova ākāse, uppajjanti vayanti cā”ti.

Evaṃ ṭhitiparittatāya appakaṃ jīvitaṃ.

Some more sutta references:
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak … .than.html
Loka Sutta: The World

Then a certain monk went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, having bowed down to him, sat to one side. As he was sitting there, he said to the Blessed One: "‘The world, the world’[1] it is said. In what respect does the word ‘world’ apply?

"Insofar as it disintegrates,[2] monk, it is called the ‘world.’ Now what disintegrates? The eye disintegrates. Forms disintegrate. Consciousness at the eye disintegrates. Contact at the eye disintegrates. And whatever there is that arises in dependence on contact at the eye — experienced as pleasure, pain or neither-pleasure-nor-pain — that too disintegrates.

"The ear disintegrates. Sounds disintegrate…

"The nose disintegrates. Aromas disintegrate…

"The tongue disintegrates. Tastes disintegrate…

"The body disintegrates. Tactile sensations disintegrate…

"The intellect disintegrates. Ideas disintegrate. Consciousness at the intellect consciousness disintegrates. Contact at the intellect disintegrates. And whatever there is that arises in dependence on contact at the intellect — experienced as pleasure, pain or neither-pleasure-nor-pain — that too disintegrates.

“Insofar as it disintegrates, it is called the ‘world.’”

Notes
1.
Loka — also “cosmos.”
2.
Lujjati.

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At Savatthi. “Bhikkhus, a bhikkhu should dwell mindful and clearly comprehending. This is our instruction to you.

“And how, bhikkhus, is a bhikkhu mindful? Here, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu dwells contemplating the body in the body … feelings in feelings … mind in mind … phenomena in phenomena, ardent, clearly comprehending, mindful, having removed covetousness and displeasure in regard to the world. It is in this way, bhikkhus, that a bhikkhu is mindful.

“And how, bhikkhus, does a bhikkhu exercise clear comprehension? Here, bhikkhus, for a bhikkhu feelings are understood as they arise, understood as they remain present, understood as they pass away. Thoughts are understood as they arise, understood as they remain present, understood as they pass away. Perceptions are understood as they arise, understood as they remain present, understood as they pass away. It is in this way, bhikkhus, that a bhikkhu exercises clear comprehension.
>
“Bhikkhus, a bhikkhu should dwell mindful and clearly comprehending. This is our instruction to you.”
SuttaCentral

I include this sutta with Commentary note highlighted as it mentions succession of the aggregates. While we might think a self is born and dies and is reborn actually there is only this succession…
From SN 15.1:

Bhikkhus, this Samsara is without discoverable beginning.254 A first point is not discerned of beings roaming and wandering on hindered by ignorance and fettered by craving. Suppose, bhikkhus, a man would cut up whatever grass, sticks, branches, and foliage there are in this Jambudıpa and collect them together into a single heap. Having done so, he would put them down, saying [for each one]: ‘This is my mother, this my mother’s mother.’ The sequence of that man’s mothers and grandmothers would not come to an end, yet the grass, wood, branches, and foliage in this Jambudıpa would be used up and exhausted. For what reason? Because, bhikkhus, this sa˙s›ra is without discoverable beginning.

And Commentary note:

Anamataggo ’yam bhikkhave samsaro. Spk resolves anamatagga into anu amatagga, explaining: “Even if it should be pursued by knowledge for a hundred or a thousand years, it would be with unthought-of beginning, with unknown beginning (vassasatam vassasahassam ñanena anugantva pi amataggo aviditaggo). It wouldn’t be possible to know its beginning from here or from there; the meaning is that it is without a delimiting first or last point. Samsara is the uninterruptedly occurring succession of the aggregates, etc. (khandhadinam avicchinnappavatta patipati).

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I still don’t understand how this relates to the title you added.

Dear Venerable
yes it is a bit oblique. I actually needed a place to park this excellent phrase and thought this will do for the time being.
There is a relation though: samsara is simply a stream of moments only one arising at a time before falling away. And as you explain in your helpful book Abhidhamma Book Comparing Abhidhamma and Computers) there can only be one at a time.
So when there is understanding of a moment or series of moments this is also understanding samsara…

Well this could go on with many ways… This DhpA story talks about how short the life of a human is compared to the Devas .

Book IV. Flowers, Puppha Vagga
Patipūjikāyavatthu (48)

IV. 4. Husband-Honorer (click link)

One day she gave alms, rendered honor to the monks, {1.364} listened to the Law, and kept the precepts, and at the end of that day died of some sudden sickness and was reborn with her former husband. During all that time the other celestial nymphs were decking the god with flowers. When the god Garland-wearer saw her, he said, “We have not seen you since morning. Where have you been?” “I passed from this existence, husband.” “What say you?” “Precisely so, husband.” “Where were you reborn?” “In a family of station at Sāvatthi.” “How long a time did you remain there?”

“At the end of the tenth lunar month I issued from the womb of my mother. When I was sixteen years old, I married into another family. I bore four sons, gave alms, and rendered honor to the monks, making an Earnest Wish to return and be reborn with you, husband.” “How long is the life of men?” “Only a hundred years.” “So short as that?” “Yes, husband.” “If men are reborn with so short a time as that to live, do they spend their time asleep and heedless, or do they give alms and render honor?” “What say you, husband? Men are ever heedless, as if reborn with an incalculable number of years to live, as if in no wise subject to old age and death.”

This will stir up a sense of urgency indeed…

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I wonder if we should build on a separate topic… but…Here is a quote from my daily readings from the saṃyutta saḷāyatana book.
Link is here

It should be noted, that while “Khaṇa” is translated as “opportunity”, it is really a word normally meant to denote momentary. So the opportunity is really just a rare moment in time.

2. Khaṇasuttaṃ

Opportunity

“Lābhā vo, bhikkhave, suladdhaṃ vo, bhikkhave,
“You’re fortunate, mendicants, so very fortunate,

khaṇo vo paṭiladdho brahmacariyavāsāya.
to have the opportunity to live the spiritual life.

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MN 111

The Blessed One said, "Monks, Sariputta is wise, of great discernment, deep discernment, wide… joyous… rapid… quick… penetrating discernment. For half a month, Sariputta clearly saw insight[1] into mental qualities one after another. This is what occurred to Sariputta through insight into mental qualities one after another:

"There was the case where Sariputta — quite secluded from sensuality, secluded from unskillful qualities — entered & remained in the first jhana: rapture & pleasure born of seclusion, accompanied by directed thought & evaluation. Whatever qualities there are in the first jhana — directed thought, evaluation, rapture, pleasure, singleness of mind, contact, feeling, perception, intention, consciousness,[2] desire, decision, persistence, mindfulness, equanimity, & attention — he ferreted them out one after another. Known to him they arose, known to him they remained, known to him they subsided. He discerned, ‘So this is how these qualities, not having been, come into play. Having been, they vanish.’