What's that permanent storage that stores infinite permanent past lives data?

because we can’t answer this question Buddhism got annihilated in india, do we need to raise white flag and declare that Hindu advaita philosophy can answer everything thus is superior to any religion or any philosophy on earth ?

while I think defilement is data in our mind I don’t think your simile fits bhante because
1.defilements are changeable, it’s different from past lives perception data which is unchangeable untemperedable
2.by defilements we are talking about current data, while past lives perception is old data not current data
3. defilements are finite while past lives perception data is infinite

furthermore not only i can retrieve my past lives data but others too could retrieve my past lives data, right ? so how could this happens without a shared centralized database or memory ?

thanks bhante

He turned around and looked back down the river.


Since I am seeing a lot of computer related terminology on here, here’s a timely reminder that Your brain is not a computer. Nothing “stores” your information.



Remember MN 2 Sabbasava Sutta, dont dwell in past, future, even present. Otherwise one will get trap into the thicket views and never get free from 3 low fetters, hence can’t enter the stream.

Also, not everyone has the capability to recall past even when one reach arahant level. Only certain arahant with certain faculties can remember it.

But trust me, no one will like the past or even a future. Who want to see how you born and die again and again. And it is like having a nightmare experience about the suffering over and over.

It is better to have a happy state at the present moment. :grinning:


That’'s what I meant in saying that there isn’t a storage agent, but rather the tanha and kamma of previous lives conditions bhava resulting in jati. As you said in a previous topic about bhava:

Many details about past lives might be superfluous, not leading to liberation, but the tanha, kamma and bhava of previous lives would be critical to recall to bring avijja to its end. So rather than storing past life data per se, do you think that the tanha, kamma and bhava is what is reborn and recalled?


Your question is actually NOT valid.

Let me ask you this question first before we can even start to discuss:
Is there such a thing (as you call it as “storage”) that is permanent while being also non-permanent (because it keeps adding new data)?

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I think this problem was the root of the controversies among early Buddhists about whether things (dharmas) exist in the past and future or only the present exists. If causes and conditions in the past cause the present and future events, and someone could know them, then it stood to reason they must actually exist in some fashion. This obviates the need for something to carried along with each present moment to provide the karmic causation.

It’s a bit like modern day speculations about whether people could travel through time with a time machine of some sort. The past and future would have to exist to do that.


since this storage contains infinite lives data since beginningless time therefore it’s permanent, if it’s impermanent it’s impossible for it to contain infinite data since beginingless time

now adding new data doesn’t change its state, ∞ + 1 = ∞ , both are undefined

Sure it does. What was done then affects how we are now. We can trace back conditions from present events to infer in the past. That’s what Sherlock Holmes did, and that’s what the Buddha did, only better.

One of the fundamental principles of the Buddha’s psychology is that things that we don’t yet know can be understood by looking more deeply into what we already do know. It’s all here. We don’t have to posit any special new substance or process to explain things.

An apple falls on your head. You go, “Ow!” Newton says, “Hey, I can explain the orbits of the stars and constellations by understanding how an apple falls!” (Yes, I know it’s apocryphal, don’t @ me!)

There’s no special substance, no storehouse, no extra things we need to posit. All we have been and all we might come to be is lying curled up right here, waiting for our insight to unfurl it.


I don’t think we need, it’s possible that an existing concept covers this case too, my current conclusion is nibbana is the shared memory of infinite past lives of infinite beings because I still couldn’t explain how someone can access someone’s else past lives without this permanent shared memory between us

i can access my past lives through past life regression therapy conducted by licensed therapist bhante I think we all could do it too

thanks bhante

Perhaps the information is transmitted from life to life. we do not know the potential of consciousness to record information.

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Yes indeed. Tri-temporal realism was an attempt to answer how kamma has effects across lives. Those who rejected it developed the Bhavaṅga theory instead, or one’s similar to it.


I have seen an interpretation that all former lives, i.e. past experienced rupa’s, past vedana’s, past sankhara’s, past vinnana’s and past sanna’s, any we ever experienced, are all together part of rupa-khandha, vedana khandha etc. So rupa khandha’s is not only rupa in this life but also any former rupa.
Any feeling we ever had in this life or former lives belongs to vedana khandha etc. Any we wil experience in the future will become part of vedana-khandha. Etc.

Khandha is in this view not limited to this present life.
So, this information of the past might be with us as a heap of information in the khandha’s.

Does that make sense?

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Personally, I use 4 terabyte USB external hard drive.

I use TimeShift to back up my /home directory and system files

If my system dies, I reinstall ( rebirth ), copy over my settings (karma) from TimeShift, and have my data ( past life memories ) accessible once I learn how to mount the external hard drive ( bhavanna ).


You keep insisting on the idea that such permanent storage is permanent. I repeat here that such storage CAN NOT be permanent.

Look at your equation, ∞ + 1 = ∞. Let me hear your answer to the following questions:

  1. “+1” means “adding new data”, correct?
  2. Is that “+1” a conditional change?
  3. Due to ∞ + 1 = ∞, the ∞ can ONLY keep its identity BECAUSE it keeps doing “+1”, correct?
  4. Will the ∞ BE EVER ABLE STOP doing “+1”?
    4.1. If No, that “+1” is the recipe for suffering because of conditional change.
    4.2. If Yes, what happens when the ∞ STOP doing “+1”? It will transform into something else, correct?
    4.2.1. If it transform into something else, that means it CAN NOT be permanent.
    4.2.2. If it does not transform into something else, you have contradiction with your own equation.
  5. If you say that “both are undefined” then we should not discuss on something not defined, correct? That means your question from the 1st post in NOT valid.
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This is going toooooo far… :sweat_smile:

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Akashic records - Wikipedia

You might be looking for this concept? I don’t think it’s needed for Buddhism, but at least I save you the trouble of reinventing it.

Bhante @sujato idea of reconstructing the past from the present is similar to the hologram storage technology.

Where given a small part of the hologram, we can mathematically reconstruct the whole of it, practically, the quality drops.


no it’s not, the state is still the same

no, even if it ceases adding new data it still is ∞, there’s no change there

it doesn’t transform into something else, even a Buddha still have infinite past lives, just because you stop it doesn’t mean it changes from infinite to finite

undefined here means limitless, you can’t measure it, it doesn’t mean it has no real existence

@Alaray This is wrong answer from you. “+1” is adding new data, this process is conditional. I am referring to the “+1” here.

@Alaray Again, this is wrong answer from you. Look again at the definition: “permanent storage that keeps adding new data”. If it does not add new data, it is now become as “permanent storage that does NOT adding any new data”. See any change? Change = NOT permanence.

I said it “transform into something else”, I did not say that “it changes from infinite to finite”. As long as it changes/transforms, that means it is NOT permanent.

@Alaray You used the word “undefined” with ambiguous/wrong meaning. When I say “undefined”, I mean “don’t/can’t define”. So, anything you fantasy/imagine about an “undefined” thing is just meaningless.

I repeat here, such a “permanent storage” that you fantasized/imagined with the characteristics of “keep adding new data” is purely out of wild imagination. IT DOES NOT EXIST.

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