The 9th International Conference Buddhism & Australia
Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia Illustrations
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Some people assert that after Death, Consciousness is suspended for a while before being reborn. This is called the in-between state (Antarabhava). Some claim that this state lasts for seven days, others for 14 and yet others for 49 days. The in-between state is mentioned nowhere in the Tipiṭaka but we can assume that there is a pause of some duration before re-embodiment and the subsequent Rebirth. The available fertilized eggs could not possibly correspond with the number of people who have just died and the Consciousness seeking re-embodiment, and thus some period of waiting must occur. Antarabhava (Pali, for the intermediate state) is rejected by the Abhidhamma, but in the Suttas there is the indication that there may be an intermediate state between lives in the rebirth process.