The Buddha says there are three necessary conditions for conception. There has to be a union of the father and mother, the father to provide the sperm, the mother to provide the egg. Second, it must be the mother's proper season. If the mother isn't fertile, conception won't take place. Third, there must be a stream of consciousness of the deceased person, the flow of mind that is ready and prepared to take rebirth. This third factor he calls the 'gandhabba'. Unless all these conditions are met conception does not take place.

Does rebirth go on automatically and inevitably?
Is there any causal structure behind this process of rebirth? Does it go on automatically and inevitably? Or is there a set of causes that sustains it and keeps it rolling?

The Buddha explains that there is a distinct set of causes underlying the rebirth process. It has a causal structure and this structure is set out in the teaching of Dependent Arising, "paticcasamupada".

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