Celibacy as a lay person and kamma

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
Tom
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Celibacy as a lay person and kamma

Post by Tom » Tue Jan 16, 2018 4:04 pm

Does maintaining celibacy as a lay person produce pleasant kammic results?

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Lucas Oliveira
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Re: Celibacy as a lay person and kamma

Post by Lucas Oliveira » Tue Jan 16, 2018 5:08 pm

when we are materialistic we talk about sex.

but when we study a little about spirituality we talk about sexual energy.

this energy can be used for many things, especially for the Buddhist path.

whether it is agreeable or not depends on how you are going to use that energy.

if you choose celibacy but still long for sensual pleasures it can cause suffering.

what is better to use this energy to penetrate sexual fantasies or penetrate the 4 Noble Truths?

Celibacy and Tantric Buddhism
https://dharmawheel.net/viewtopic.php?f=90&t=24497

Udana III.2
Nanda Sutta
The Buddha skillfully dissuades the Ven. Nanda, his half brother, to abandon the holy life
https://suttacentral.net/en/ud3.2


:anjali:
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2600htz
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Re: Celibacy as a lay person and kamma

Post by 2600htz » Tue Jan 16, 2018 5:24 pm

Hello:

It depends on a lot of aspects.

But some times people maintain celibacy for wrong reasons: to hide a pedophile inclination, porn and masturbation addiction, mental illness, fear of the opposite sex, lack of status and low self esteem, etc.

Regards.

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Sam Vara
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Re: Celibacy as a lay person and kamma

Post by Sam Vara » Tue Jan 16, 2018 5:46 pm

2600htz wrote:
Tue Jan 16, 2018 5:24 pm
Hello:

It depends on a lot of aspects.

But some times people maintain celibacy for wrong reasons: to hide a pedophile inclination, porn and masturbation addiction, mental illness, fear of the opposite sex, lack of status and low self esteem, etc.

Regards.
Good point. Years ago I was on retreat and the teacher asked "How many of you are currently celibate as part of your practice?"

A sizeable minority put up their hands, looking around with just a touch of smugness.

"Now how many of you are really celibate because you haven't managed to get laid for a while?"

justindesilva
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Re: Celibacy as a lay person and kamma

Post by justindesilva » Tue Jan 16, 2018 6:09 pm

2600htz wrote:
Tue Jan 16, 2018 5:24 pm
Hello:

It depends on a lot of aspects.

But some times people maintain celibacy for wrong reasons: to hide a pedophile inclination, porn and masturbation addiction, mental illness, fear of the opposite sex, lack of status and low self esteem, etc.

Regards.
Celibacy for buddhist priests is a descipline is s virtue or sila. In fact celibacy here mean staying away from sexual activities and marriage.
But lay buddhists who observe 5 precepts need not stay away from sex other than sexual misconduct. Even a sotapanna is said to be under sexual and sensusal desires. The lay buddhists over and above the 5 precepts take the oath Abrahma carya veramani sikkapadam samadiyami to stay away from sex.
The first obstacle for meditation is kamaccanda. Though kamaccanda means sensual desires here, sex remains highest in sensual desires which obstructs the mind in meditation. One who stay away from sexual activities are in an advantages stage to get samadhi or citta ekaggatha or one pointedness of the mind with less obstacles.
We must realise irrespective of religion that sexual desires for all beings arise in order that the beings who die as of impermanence (anitya) has to be replaced by a new set of beings for the need of the earth and not for mere pleasure. In fact sexusl desires are earthly desires and a mundane or a noble person will be a celibate.
Parabhava sutta too explains that unusual sexual desires are detrimental for progress of a lay person.
The best for even a lay married person after having children to be celibate which could leave many a social problem.
A celibate will never have the problem of social deceses too.

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Zom
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Re: Celibacy as a lay person and kamma

Post by Zom » Tue Jan 16, 2018 7:28 pm

Does maintaining celibacy as a lay person produce pleasant kammic results?
If we take a look at the suttas about Uposatha, then the answer is "yes", I think.

paul
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Re: Celibacy as a lay person and kamma

Post by paul » Tue Jan 16, 2018 8:08 pm

AN 4.159:
"This body comes into being through sexual intercourse. Sexual intercourse is to be abandoned. With regard to sexual intercourse, the Buddha declares the cutting off of the bridge."

It's logical that since the Buddha teaches the way out of the cycle of rebirth, then the means of rebirth must be abandoned.
From many years personal experience I can testify that practicing celibacy has a major beneficial kammic effect on the practice. The sexual urge is strong, and if it is replaced by celibacy then the effect on progress in the practice is of equal strength. The feelings not-of-the-flesh which arise from the insights contingent upon maintaining a position of celibacy are the main source of nutriment for the practice.

'From today onward I want you to know me as someone who practices the chaste life, the life apart, abstaining from intercourse, the act of villagers.'---AN 5.180
Last edited by paul on Tue Jan 16, 2018 9:09 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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Zom
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Re: Celibacy as a lay person and kamma

Post by Zom » Tue Jan 16, 2018 8:12 pm

"This body comes into being through sexual intercourse. Sexual intercourse is to be abandoned. With regard to sexual intercourse, the Buddha declares the cutting off of the bridge."

It's logical that since the Buddha teaches the way out of the cycle of rebirth, then the means of rebirth must be abandoned.
The subject is a) about lay people (not monastic) celibacy b) about kamma

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xofz
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Re: Celibacy as a lay person and kamma

Post by xofz » Tue Jan 16, 2018 8:19 pm

Paul speaks the truth and should be regarded as a fully-liberated consciousness; i.e., Arhat.
becoming aware!

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DooDoot
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Re: Celibacy as a lay person and kamma

Post by DooDoot » Wed Jan 17, 2018 3:43 am

Tom wrote:
Tue Jan 16, 2018 4:04 pm
Does maintaining celibacy as a lay person produce pleasant kammic results?
I doubt celibacy is much different for a layperson compared to a monk; apart from monks receiving lots of Sangha support. Certain monks can struggle with celibacy & subsequently disrobe, even after 10, 20 and 30 years of celibacy. Therefore, whether maintaining celibacy as a lay person produces pleasant kammic results probably depends on the individual. If the individual has clear grounds for celibacy, it will naturally bring pleasant results. The suttas say non-sensual pleasure is superior to sensual pleasure.
66. Bhikkhus, there are two kinds of pleasantness. What two? Sensual pleasantness and the pleasantness of giving up sensuality. Of these two, the pleasantness of giving up sensuality is better.

Sukkhavaggo

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LG2V
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Re: Celibacy as a lay person and kamma

Post by LG2V » Wed Jan 17, 2018 4:21 am

As far as mental experience goes, you gain a clearer mind, more mental energy, a more accurate view of the world, easier living, less drama, and less conceit about the body. I was celibate for 2 years.

The first year was so great that I tried it again for another year. The second year was stressful, so I gave it up after that year ended. It's worth a try, and I'll possibly do it again when I find a local community that does it as well. It's more difficult if you do it alone, but possible.


I would like to know more of the extended benefits of it, though. I presume that the likelihood of lower, and even human rebirths, is weaker, among other benefits. Can someone with more knowledge of the matter help us out?
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justindesilva
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Re: Celibacy as a lay person and kamma

Post by justindesilva » Wed Jan 17, 2018 4:43 am

DooDoot wrote:
Wed Jan 17, 2018 3:43 am
Tom wrote:
Tue Jan 16, 2018 4:04 pm
Does maintaining celibacy as a lay person produce pleasant kammic results?
I doubt celibacy is much different for a layperson compared to a monk; apart from monks receiving lots of Sangha support. Certain monks can struggle with celibacy & subsequently disrobe, even after 10, 20 and 30 years of celibacy. Therefore, whether maintaining celibacy as a lay person produces pleasant kammic results probably depends on the individual. If the individual has clear grounds for celibacy, it will naturally bring pleasant results. The suttas say non-sensual pleasure is superior to sensual pleasure.
66. Bhikkhus, there are two kinds of pleasantness. What two? Sensual pleasantness and the pleasantness of giving up sensuality. Of these two, the pleasantness of giving up sensuality is better.

Sukkhavaggo
I have not seen any sutta where lay buddhists are advised to be celibate. Instead the 3rd precept as refraining from sexual misconduct was the advice of lord budda. Breaking of this precept means lower births from human status.
Lord buddha preached the " Yodajiva sutta (AN 5.75) to his monks in the need of celibacy and its way of achieving. In this sutta lord budda explains five types of warring soldiers and referring and equating them to five types ( psychologically) of monks where one type sensing
women around up to really meeting a woman nearby.
All these are hindrances to liberation from stress as it is fermentations of the mind with sensual desires.
Once fermentations are controlled it is said " with his mind purified and bright unblemished from five defects, he directs it to the knowledge of fermentation of stress origination of stress , and cessation of stress ."
" His heart knowing thus seeing the fermentation of becoming from ignorance released there is the knowledge . This is the victory of battle to win celibacy.
Here we must realise that fermentation or asava of desires can be eradicated by vipassana meditation.
Thereby we must realise that even as layman we must try to be celibates in the path of salvation and that will create positive karma. Metta bhana happens to be also a way of developing celibacy ( but is nof disussed here as it not relevant to this post).
Please also read Sabbaasava sutta in the need of eradicating fermentation of desires.

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Nwad
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Re: Celibacy as a lay person and kamma

Post by Nwad » Wed Jan 17, 2018 4:47 am

The most dificult in celibacy is to clean up your sleeping bad after night "accident". But if you practice good enoght even while dreaming you will understand that situation is "risky" and you will push off a woman (in your case) who will seek for sexual intercorse with you, or wake up...

I cant speak about kamma because iam not Buddha to see and understand it, but being a lay calibate person and living with a girlfriend who is celibate too i can see that relatiinship with oposite sex is more pure, and less "animal/instinctive" there is no "pollution" about it. And the most important - you save many time to practice and study Buddhadhamma :)

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DooDoot
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Re: Celibacy as a lay person and kamma

Post by DooDoot » Wed Jan 17, 2018 5:04 am

justindesilva wrote:
Wed Jan 17, 2018 4:43 am
I have not seen any sutta where lay buddhists are advised to be celibate.
While AN 5.180 provides an example of celibate lay people, I do not recall posting that lay people should be celibate.
justindesilva wrote:
Wed Jan 17, 2018 4:43 am
Instead the 3rd precept as refraining from sexual misconduct was the advice of lord budda.
This sounds like Judaism, Islam & Protestantism, who believe celibacy is wrong.
justindesilva wrote:
Wed Jan 17, 2018 4:43 am
Here we must realise that fermentation or asava of desires can be eradicated by vipassana meditation.
Thanks. I personally started celibacy before I knew about Buddhism, religion or meditation. Vipassana meditation is not required for celibacy.

Regards

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dylanj
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Re: Celibacy as a lay person and kamma

Post by dylanj » Wed Jan 17, 2018 5:47 am

Yes, it is virtue, one of three modes of merit.
susukhaṁ vata nibbānaṁ,
sammā­sambud­dha­desitaṁ;
asokaṁ virajaṁ khemaṁ,
yattha dukkhaṁ nirujjhatī


Oh! extinction is so very blissful,
As taught by the One Rightly Self-Awakened:
Sorrowless, stainless, secure;
Where suffering all ceases


etaṁ santaṁ etaṁ paṇītaṁ yadidaṁ sabbasaṅkhārasamatho sabbūpadhipaṭi nissaggo taṇhakkhayo virāgo nirodho nibbānaṁ

This is peaceful, this is excellent, that is: the stilling of all preparations, the relinquishment of all attachments, the destruction of craving, detachment, cessation, extinction.

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