Nagasena Bhiksu Sutra 2.48

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T 1670B Nāgasena Bhikṣu Sūtra

Part 2: Dialogues 2.48. Rebirth

The king asked Nāgasena, “Is the old body not reborn when a person dies?”

Nāgasena replied, “When a person dies, he receives a new body, the old body is not reborn.”

Then Nāgasena gave a simile, “It is just like the interchange of two wicks of a lamp, the old wick still remains, and the new one is lit. It is the same with regard to the body of a person. The old body does not transmigrate, but he receives a new body.”

Then Nāgasena asked the king, “Have you, great king, learned the ancient scriptures from a teacher when you were a boy?”

“Yes,” said the king.

“Great king, when you learned the scriptures from your teacher, did your teacher still have the knowledge of these scriptures when he comes across these scriptures?”

“Yes, my teacher still has the knowledge of these scriptures.”

“So is the body of a human being. It gives up the old body and takes the new one.”

“Excellent, Nāgasena.”