Why do many reject asceticism than indulgence ?

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thang
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Joined: Sat Sep 08, 2018 10:37 pm

Why do many reject asceticism than indulgence ?

Post by thang » Mon Mar 11, 2019 7:37 pm

In the first discourse Dhammacakkapavattana Sutta, the Blessed One states that a monk should avoid both asceticism and indulgence extremes.
Many modern Buddhists believe this nevertheless reject asceticism more than indulgence.

Yet several ascetics say that the asceticism extreme is relatively better than sensual-pleasures-extreme.
They say that generally the people came to practice Dhamma from asceticism-extreme are relatively more wise and capable of ending Dukkha than the people came from indulgence extreme.

Even in the Dhammacakkapavattana Sutta, there are more disadvantages of sensual pleasures than self-mortification.
“Mendicants, these two extremes should not be cultivated by one who has gone forth. What two?

Indulgence in sensual pleasures, which is low, crude, ordinary, ignoble, and pointless.
And indulgence in self-mortification, which is painful, ignoble, and pointless.

Avoiding these two extremes, the Realized One woke up by understanding the middle way, which gives vision and knowledge, and leads to peace, direct knowledge, awakening, and extinguishment.
What do you think?
Is indulgence the very reason to reject asceticism highly than the indulgence.
Last edited by thang on Mon Mar 11, 2019 9:08 pm, edited 2 times in total.
"Bhikkhus, whatever the Tathāgata speaks, _ all that is just so and NOT otherwise."

budo
Posts: 1752
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Re: Why do many reject asceticism than indulgence ?

Post by budo » Mon Mar 11, 2019 7:56 pm

The Buddha prefers you err on the side of asceticism rather than luxury (he prefers asceticism).
Suppose that I had eaten and refused more food, being full, and having had as much as I needed. And there was some extra alms-food that was going to be thrown away. Then two mendicants were to come who were weak with hunger. I’d say to them: ‘Mendicants, I have eaten and refused more food, being full, and having had as much as I need. And there is this extra alms-food that’s going to be thrown away. Eat it if you like. Otherwise I’ll throw it out where there is little that grows, or drop it into water that has no living creatures.’

Then one of those mendicants thought: ‘The Buddha has eaten and refused more food. And he has some extra alms-food that’s going to be thrown away. If we don’t eat it he’ll throw it away. But the Buddha has also said: “Be my heirs in the teaching, not in material things.” And alms-food is a kind of material thing. Instead of eating this alms-food, why don’t I spend this day and night weak with hunger?’ And that’s what they did.

Then the second of those mendicants thought: ‘The Buddha has eaten and refused more food. And he has some extra alms-food that’s going to be thrown away. If we don’t eat it he’ll throw it away. Why don’t I eat this alms-food, then spend the day and night having got rid of my hunger and weakness?’ And that’s what they did.

Even though that mendicant, after eating the alms-food, spent the day and night rid of hunger and weakness, it is the former mendicant who is more worthy of respect and praise. Why is that? Because for a long time that will conduce to that mendicant being of few wishes, content, self-effacing, easy to look after, and energetic. So, mendicants, be my heirs in the teaching, not in material things. Out of compassion for you, I think: ‘How can my disciples become heirs in the teaching, not in material things?’”
-mn3

santa100
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Joined: Fri Jun 10, 2011 10:55 pm

Re: Why do many reject asceticism than indulgence ?

Post by santa100 » Tue Mar 12, 2019 12:48 am

thang wrote:In the first discourse Dhammacakkapavattana Sutta, the Blessed One states that a monk should avoid both asceticism and indulgence extremes.
Many modern Buddhists believe this nevertheless reject asceticism more than indulgence.
It's not asceticism, it's self-mortification. Two completely different terms:
SN 56.11 wrote:Bhikkhus, these two extremes should not be followed by one who has gone forth into homelessness. What two? The pursuit of sensual happiness in sensual pleasures, which is low, vulgar, the way of worldlings, ignoble, unbeneficial; and the pursuit of self-mortification, which is painful, ignoble, unbeneficial. Without veering towards either of these extremes, the Tathagata has awakened to the middle way, which gives rise to vision, which gives rise to knowledge, which leads to peace, to direct knowledge, to enlightenment, to Nibbāna.

thang
Posts: 241
Joined: Sat Sep 08, 2018 10:37 pm

Re: Why do many reject asceticism than indulgence ?

Post by thang » Tue Mar 12, 2019 2:03 am

budo wrote:
Mon Mar 11, 2019 7:56 pm
The Buddha prefers you err on the side of asceticism rather than luxury (he prefers asceticism).
... it is the former mendicant who is more worthy of respect and praise. Why is that? Because for a long time that will conduce to that mendicant being of few wishes, content, self-effacing, easy to look after, and energetic. So, mendicants, be my heirs in the teaching, not in material things. ...
-mn3
Thank you for the excerpt.
Are those benefits mentioned, results of "asceticism" or "abiding to the Buddhas advice" or "readiness to give up a comfort if necessary" ?
santa100 wrote:
Tue Mar 12, 2019 12:48 am
It's not asceticism, it's self-mortification. Two completely different terms:
I thought. But after seeing some uses the words interchangeably, I guessed both might contain a similar meaning in some aspects.
Thank you.
"Bhikkhus, whatever the Tathāgata speaks, _ all that is just so and NOT otherwise."

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