The experience of celibacy for 12 years

Buddhist ethical conduct including the Five Precepts (Pañcasikkhāpada), and Eightfold Ethical Conduct (Aṭṭhasīla).
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daverupa
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Re: The experience of celibacy for 12 years

Post by daverupa » Fri Oct 04, 2013 5:56 pm

beeblebrox wrote:Hi Dave,

When a person is in sensual heaven, do you think it's easier or more difficult to stay with one's practice? If it's more difficult, then why is it called a heaven? If the Buddha called it heaven, then is that a lie?

:anjali:
I'm not really sure what you're asking, but I've been looking at these three questions for a while now.

What I think you're aiming for is that you're wondering if the Buddha, in offering this nymph-gambit, wasn't perhaps opening the door for that man to enter into an even more difficult practice situation. Indeed, you seem to assume that if it is called 'heaven' and yet things aren't easier there, it must not be heaven at all, and if this is the case, the Buddha saying it's a heaven of any kind is simply wrong.

Yes/no/other?
  • "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.

- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]

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Mr Man
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Re: The experience of celibacy for 12 years

Post by Mr Man » Fri Oct 04, 2013 6:06 pm

My perception of heaven is a place of refinement and happiness but lacking in wise reflection (do heavenly beings possess Sampajañña?). To call it heaven isn't a lie because it is pleasant.

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beeblebrox
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Re: The experience of celibacy for 12 years

Post by beeblebrox » Fri Oct 04, 2013 7:24 pm

daverupa wrote: I'm not really sure what you're asking, but I've been looking at these three questions for a while now.

What I think you're aiming for is that you're wondering if the Buddha, in offering this nymph-gambit, wasn't perhaps opening the door for that man to enter into an even more difficult practice situation. Indeed, you seem to assume that if it is called 'heaven' and yet things aren't easier there, it must not be heaven at all, and if this is the case, the Buddha saying it's a heaven of any kind is simply wrong.

Yes/no/other?
Kind of.

Venerable Dhammanando seems to be saying that since the practice of celibacy will lead one to heaven, that must mean it's a good thing. I wanted to challenge that assumption.

The way I understand it myself, I think celibacy only leads to that kind of appearance... no more, no less. That seems to match my experience.

If the Buddha was saying only this, then I don't think he was being deceitful.

He wasn't dangling a piece of carrot, either... like a donkey trainer.

If I recall correctly, when the Venerable Nanda found out what being in the heaven would entail, he became frightened and then begged the Buddha to take it back. What does that say about the heaven?

Anything that is constructed is always going to be unsatisfactory, and then it will turn into a burden. It will also degrade.

I think Mr Man's view makes sense, for sensual heaven at least.

:anjali:

boris
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Re: The experience of celibacy for 12 years

Post by boris » Fri Nov 08, 2013 5:31 pm

beeblebrox wrote: Venerable Dhammanando seems to be saying that since the practice of celibacy will lead one to heaven, that must mean it's a good thing. I wanted to challenge that assumption. The way I understand it myself, I think celibacy only leads to that kind of appearance... no more, no less.
You are perfectly right. Drinking alcohol leads to hell, but it does not mean that it is a bad thing. :smile:
The man who wants to avoid grotesque collapses should not look for anything to fulfill him in space and time.

Nicolás Gómez Dávila

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Alex123
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Re: The experience of celibacy for 12 years

Post by Alex123 » Tue Jul 29, 2014 5:57 pm

Here is what the suttas say about sensual pleasures:
"Now there are these five cords of sensual pleasure, student. What are the five? Forms cognizable by the eye that are wished for, desired, agreeable, and likeable, connected with sensual desire and provocative of lust. Sounds cognizable by the ear...Odours cognizable by the nose...Flavours cognizable by the tongue...Tangibles cognizable by the body that are wished for, desired, agreeable, and likeable, connected with sensual desire and provocative of lust. These are the five cords of sensual pleasure.

The brahmin Pokkharasati is tied to these five cords of sensual pleasure, infatuated with them and utterly committed to them; he enjoys them without seeing the danger in them or understanding the escape from them.
That he could know or see or realise a superhuman state, a distinction in knowledge and vision worthy of the noble ones - this is impossible." - MN99 Bhikkhu Bodhi translation

"One should not pursue sensual pleasure (KÂMA-SUKHA), which is low vulgar, coarse, ignoble and unbeneficial; and one should not pursue self-mortification, which is painful, ignoble and unbeneficial. So it was said. And with reference to what was this said? The pursuit of the enjoyment of one whose pleasure is linked to sensual desire - low, vulgar, coarse, ignoble and unbeneficial - is a state beset by suffering, vexation, despair and fever, and it is the wrong way. Disengage from the pursuit of the enjoyment of one whose pleasure is linked to sensual desire - low, vulgar, coarse, ignoble and unbeneficial - is a state without suffering, vexation despair and fever, and it is the right way. The pursuit of self-mortification… is the wrong way. Disengagement from the pursuit of self-mortification… is the right way… The Middle Way discovered by the Tathàgata avoids both these extremes… it leads… to Nibbàna."

(Ven Bhikkhu Bodhi's translation of the Buddha's words in The Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha, p.1080f)

To forestall possible objection that some people can use:
  • "I engage in sensual pleasures but I do not cling to them"


MN22 says:
  • "For a person to indulge in sensual pleasures without sensual passion, without sensual perception, without sensual thinking: That isn't possible."

Also:
"In the same way, Magandiya, sensual pleasures in the past were painful to the touch, very hot & scorching; sensual pleasures in the future will be painful to the touch, very hot & scorching; sensual pleasures at present are painful to the touch, very hot & scorching; but when beings are not free from passion for sensual pleasures — devoured by sensual craving, burning with sensual fever — their faculties are impaired, which is why, even though sensual pleasures are actually painful to the touch, they have the skewed perception of 'pleasant.' MN75

With best wishes,

Alex
"Life is a struggle. Life will throw curveballs at you, it will humble you, it will attempt to break you down. And just when you think things are starting to look up, life will smack you back down with ruthless indifference..."

lonewolf
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Re: The experience of celibacy for 12 years

Post by lonewolf » Thu Oct 30, 2014 5:50 am

Being celibate is the right thing to do, and spiritually beneficial, it's too bad the latent tendency is so hard to weaken, never mind uprooting sexual desire altogether. Like the wise man said, keep on keeping on.

mario92
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Re: The experience of celibacy for 12 years

Post by mario92 » Tue Feb 17, 2015 3:47 am

faraway wrote:
Dhammanando wrote:
SarathW wrote:I do not consider simple observation of celibacy constitute a virtue.
I'm not sure what you mean by simple observance of celibacy. In the suttas it's stated that practising the brahmacariyā is a condition for rebirth in the sensual heavens, even where the person who practises it does so very miserably. This seems to imply that there is something intrinsically good in deliberately undertaken abstention from sex.

Presumably the principle would not apply to someone who abstained solely out of physical incapacity (which would be the proper analogy for your blind man).
Banthe,

Could you show me the sutta where it's stated explicitly that practising the brahmacariyā is a condition for rebirth in the sensual heavens, even where the person who practises it does so very miserably?

:anjali:
If this is posible? someone who experiments pain, grieve, the worst mental states, but he practises renunciation, living a simple life, i think i identify with that as when i practised meditation wit great effort but my family didnt liked it and after that i experiwnced bad kamma, stress and mental illness would it be a cause of good kamma in the future? Or does i still bad? This is the cause they diagnosed esquizofrenia, by my own negligence of my wellbeing, and future destination.
Good morning, have a nice day

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