Consciousness and Rebirth
The text is taken from a conversation between the Buddha and his favourite disciple and assistant Ananda. Rebirth is described as a natural consequence of a person's action, kamma (~). Every action will in due time "ripen" and "bear fruit" in the form of rebirth on a certain level. Three levels are usually mentioned in the literature: kamadhatu, the world of sensuality, rupadhatu, the world of form, and ariipadhatu, the formless world. In the process of rebirth, consciousness is "established" on a certain level: it is like a seed that is sown in a certain field; it grows because it has sap or talJ.M (craving). We might compare it to a stream of energy that passes over to a new medium and there produces a new individual. We find also this metaphor in the Pali literature, where the word vifmiJ].asota, "stream of consciousness", is used.