Four modes of birth
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The four modes of birth (Tib. སྐྱེ་གནས་བཞི་, kyené shyi, Wyl. skye gnas bzhi) — according to tantric theory, all forms of birth fall into one of four categories:
- womb birth (for humans and certain classes of animals and pretas);
- egg birth (for certain animals);
- spontaneous generation from warmth and moisture or heat-moisture birth (for certain “inferior” types of animals), and
- miraculous birth or manifestation (for all gods, hell beings, and beings in the intermediate state, as well as certain classes of preta and humans such as bodhisattva emanations).