The term “bhāva” (Skt. भाव, ‘status of being, a subjective becoming, states of mind’, from भू bhū, ‘to become’) is often translated as ‘feeling, emotion, mood, devotional state of mind’. In Buddhist thought, bhāva denotes the continuity of life and death, including reincarnation, and the maturation arising therefrom. In the bhakti traditions, bhāva denotes the mood of ecstasy, self-surrender, and channelling of emotional energies that is induced by the maturation of devotion to one’s ishtadeva (object of devotion).
In Buddhism, bhāva is the continuity of life and death, conditioned upon “grasping” (upādāna), the desire for further life and sensation. This bhāva is the condition for the arising of living beings in particular forms, through the process of birth (jāti).
Bhāva is listed as the tenth of the Twelve Nidānas, the links in the cycle of pratītyasamutpāda or dependent origination.
In the Jātakas, in which the Buddha didactically reminds various followers of experiences they shared with him in a past life, the hearers are said not to remember them due to bhāva, i.e. to having been reborn. read more…