will Buddhism finally ended up as a self-deceiving religion like others

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
Srilankaputra
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Re: will Buddhism finally ended up as a self-deceiving religion like others

Post by Srilankaputra » Sat May 11, 2019 9:09 am

sentinel wrote:
Sat May 11, 2019 7:56 am
Look at it another way , all the Buddha disciples such as Kasyapa , Sariputra , Assaji etc were either a samana , brahmin , or jain ascetic and sadhu , sanyasi , bairagi , sant , yogi , muni , rishi , etc , if we forsake them because they have wrong view , all these arhats would not be arhat at all . Similarly it is like saying superstitious beliefs of many buddhist fellows and ala carte western Buddhists having wrong view therefore should be banned .
By the way , many of us were having wrong view previously .
Well said !
a wise person would not be too sure of themselves,
until they have attained the end of suffering
.

Na ca appatvā dukkhantaṃ,
vissāsaṃ eyya paṇḍito.
https://suttacentral.net/thag10.6/en/sujato
O seeing one,we for refuge go to thee!
O mighty sage do thou our teacher be!

Paccuppannañca yo dhammaṃ,
Tattha tattha vipassati

“Yato yato mano nivāraye,
Na dukkhameti naṃ tato tato;
Sa sabbato mano nivāraye,
Sa sabbato dukkhā pamuccatī”ti.

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Aloka
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Re: will Buddhism finally ended up as a self-deceiving religion like others

Post by Aloka » Sat May 11, 2019 9:19 am

Hi Polo,

Don't worry too much, people can sometimes have a variety of different opinions in internet groups.

I went to this talk a few years ago and found it very helpful : "Who Needs Enlightenment When I Have My Opinions"

https://www.amaravati.org/audio/who-nee ... -opinions/

With metta,

Aloka


.

SarathW
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Re: will Buddhism finally ended up as a self-deceiving religion like others

Post by SarathW » Sat May 11, 2019 9:57 am

I DJ on Saturday nights. I play pop, dance, disco and retro music from the 70's, 80's and 90's. I know quite a lot of music from this era, and I know plenty of really good songs that no one has ever heard of. However, I need to play these songs very sparingly, otherwise people would be confused, leave, and possibly not come back. So, to avoid that situation, I predominantly play popular "mainstream" music that everyone in the room knows and can instantly recognise. This makes people happy, it keeps them on the dancefloor, they have a good time, and they will likely come back again.
Good analogy Retro.
:twothumbsup:
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Dan74-MkII
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Re: will Buddhism finally ended up as a self-deceiving religion like others

Post by Dan74-MkII » Sat May 11, 2019 10:23 am

SarathW wrote:
Sat May 11, 2019 9:57 am
I DJ on Saturday nights. I play pop, dance, disco and retro music from the 70's, 80's and 90's. I know quite a lot of music from this era, and I know plenty of really good songs that no one has ever heard of. However, I need to play these songs very sparingly, otherwise people would be confused, leave, and possibly not come back. So, to avoid that situation, I predominantly play popular "mainstream" music that everyone in the room knows and can instantly recognise. This makes people happy, it keeps them on the dancefloor, they have a good time, and they will likely come back again.
Good analogy Retro.
:twothumbsup:
Yes, well said!

SarathW
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Re: will Buddhism finally ended up as a self-deceiving religion like others

Post by SarathW » Sat May 11, 2019 10:50 am

Yes, well said!
When you have accumulated a lot of knowledge, it is very difficult to listen to the repetition over and over again.
I listen to hundreds of recorded Dhamma talk (youtube etc) with the hope that I will learn something new but with disappointment sometimes.
As retro said it is not the monk's fault. Monks also like DJ's, and you have to play to the audience.
That is why Buddha was reluctant to teach Dhamma to average people and decided to teach Dhamma to five ascetics who are already advanced in their meditative attainments.
I know there is a very good Sri Lankan monk who teaches advanced Dhamma. But his visitors are only about 600 in five years.
But there are some monks play to the beginner gallery and they have thousands of followers.


A monk teaching Dhamma for the beginner. 56000 views



Nibbana by Bhikkhu Bodhi. 159 views for two years.

“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

Laurens
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Re: will Buddhism finally ended up as a self-deceiving religion like others

Post by Laurens » Sat May 11, 2019 11:28 am

polo wrote:
Sat May 11, 2019 5:22 am
I really hesitate to put forward this view because I don't want to be shot down by more intellectual members of this forum. They could shoot me point blank then I would fall off my chair away from the keyboard feeling really awful.
Nevertheless I really want to get on with it. From my personal experience when I first went to a Buddhist temple to listen to some talks by monks, right from the beginning I got this impression that it was no big deal just like other religions some simple talks on kindness, blah, blah, blah. I walked away from the temple with a feeling of emptiness. Later after some contemplation a sense of disappointment descended on me. I heard so much good thing about Buddhism and this is all I get? No, that can't be true. No, no, no I said to me self this can't be true.
On top of that I find it disgusting whenever I see people praying to the statue of Buddha asking for good health, wealth, good luck in business or exams . The idea that you could get something from Buddha by praying to him really get on my nerves. So, is Buddhism after all a self-deceiving religion like the other religions?
I was lucky though I found some books on insight meditation (vipassana) as well as books on Abhidharma. That was when I felt I found Buddha's teaching.
Then it dawn on me that people who really search for the teaching of Buddha is just a small group of people. The rest of the people who called themselves Buddhists are really praying and deceiving themselves. Pathetic is an understatement here.
Last but not least I find members of this forum are really hardcore Buddhists. This forum has given me knowledge that I needed. But this group of hardcore Buddhists is so small. A handful?.
In the long run Buddhism will become a self-deceiving religion like others?
The thing with the Buddha's path is that it is hardcore. To follow it to it's goal you have to give up everything. How many of even the sincere practising Buddhists are willing to do that?

Monastics in Buddhist countries require the sustenance provided by those who are not so hardcore about things. Monks need almsfood, they need people to offer them by-and-large everything they have. So this creates a space for a watered-down version of Buddhism that works for the devotees who support the monastics. Is the Buddhism-lite offered always in line with the actual teachings? Probably not, but I don't think it's necessarily a bad thing for Buddhism as a whole. So long as people aren't teaching evil in the Buddha's name I fail to see how it's a bad thing, these people are sustaining the monastic Sangha so the merit they generate from doing so is going to benefit them greatly. I don't think its such a big deal that they pray to the Buddha to help them out. A lot of people get benefits from prayer and devotion. I also don't think any of this is new, so there is not necessarily basis for believing things to suddenly be in decline. I don't think it's that useful to think of these people as pathetic just because they have a different take on things.

So long as the Buddha's teachings exist in writing you can always access them and put them into practise for yourself based upon your own understanding of them, aided by the understanding of other people more deeply realised in them than you. All things are subject to change, decay, and ultimately death, so of course Buddhism as a religion will change over time too, and one day it will die out. But there's nothing you can do about that. There's nothing you can do about the culture that surrounds Buddhism, or the things others do in the name of Buddhism. In the long run Buddhism will change, it will decay, and it will die out. It is to be expected, no big deal. No need for disappointment.
"If only it were all so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?"

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

SarathW
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Re: will Buddhism finally ended up as a self-deceiving religion like others

Post by SarathW » Sat May 11, 2019 11:55 am

So this creates a space for a watered-down version of Buddhism that works for the devotees who support the monastics. Is the Buddhism-lite offered always in line with the actual teachings? Probably not, but I don't think it's necessarily a bad thing for Buddhism as a whole.
This is a very good point.
I was disappointed when Ven. Kiribathgoda Gnananda told his followers to aim for Deva world instead of Nibbana as it seems hard to achieve this age.
However, I do not think many of the followers (very old generation) will understand the hardcore teaching anyway.
Whether this is the right thing is subject to debate.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

budo
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Re: will Buddhism finally ended up as a self-deceiving religion like others

Post by budo » Sat May 11, 2019 12:09 pm

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:
Sat May 11, 2019 7:42 am
budo wrote:
Sat May 11, 2019 5:55 am
Just the other day I was listening to a dhamma talk by a respected monk and he said the Buddha is always in first jhana no matter what. I shook my head and disqualified that teacher.
Don't be so quick to judge. There is much truth in the statement.
A Discourse on the Hemavata Sutta wrote:The Buddha Never Neglected Jhāna
Hemavata asked whether Sātāgiri’s teacher, the Buddha, never neglected jhāna, or in other words, whether he was fully aware so that he could reject all lustful desire, which is an impediment to Arahant­­ship. Hanker­ing after pleasant things and indulging in pleasures is a basic impediment. If one is free of that, one is said to have attained the first stage of jhāna. Now this question is just a corollary to the question of lassitude. Thus, Hemavata had put these questions relating to misdeeds of a physical nature, namely, killing, stealing, and the sexual act. He then asked about jhāna.
...
The Buddha Entered Jhāna Very Rapidly
The Buddha was consistently in jhāna, and for that he is adorable. At the end of part of a discourse, while the audience exclaimed in one voice, “Sādhu! Sādhu! Sādhu! (Well said!),” the Buddha went into jhāna even during that brief interval. Then he resumed the discourse. Such consistency is really marvel­lous.
Source: http://www.aimwell.org/hemavata.html
Dear Bhante,

this isn't what the monk said, the monk said he is always in first jhana. And let me explain why the Buddha isn't always in first jhana.

First, the most obvious reason, if the Buddha was always in first jhana, he wouldn't have to enter first jhana. And yes, that isn't the case, the Buddha has to intentionally enter first jhana, regardless of how easy it is for him. Yet, when the Buddha is eating, he is not in first jhana, when he is walking he is not in first jhana, which leads me to the second point.

Yes, the Buddha does not have the 5 hindrances, which is only one part of the requirements for first jhana, the other part of the requirement is seclusion. As it is piti and sukha born of seclusion in first jhana. Whereas in second jhana the piti and sukha are born of composure.

One cannot be eating and have seclusion, one cannot be hearing noises and have seclusion, as noise is a thorn to first jhana.

The Buddha does not always have seclusion, an example:
At that time Ven. Rahula[1] was staying at the Mango Stone. Then the Blessed One, arising from his seclusion in the late afternoon, went to where Ven. Rahula was staying at the Mango Stone. Ven. Rahula saw him coming from afar and, on seeing him, set out a seat & water for washing the feet. The Blessed One sat down on the seat set out and, having sat down, washed his feet. Ven. Rahula, bowing down to the Blessed One, sat to one side.
-MN 61

There are many examples of the Buddha leaving places to attain seclusion, such as leaving crowded monasteries.

So no, the Buddha is not always in first jhana.
Last edited by budo on Sat May 11, 2019 12:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

budo
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Re: will Buddhism finally ended up as a self-deceiving religion like others

Post by budo » Sat May 11, 2019 12:32 pm

polo wrote:
Sat May 11, 2019 9:04 am
budo wrote:
Sat May 11, 2019 5:55 am
It already is. There are many Theravadan monks that have wrong views. You don't have to look far into Mahayana to see wrong views, there are wrong views espoused by many Theravadan monks.

And the relevant sutta:
“Monks, possessing five qualities, an elder monk is
acting for the harm of many people, for the unhappiness of
many people, for the ruin, the harm, the suffering of many
people, of devas and of humans. What five?

I. An elder is of long standing and has long gone forth.

II. He is well known and famous, and has a following of
many people, including lay persons and monastics.

III. He gains robes, alms food, lodging, and medical care.

IV. He has learned much, remembers what he has learned,
and accumulates what he has learned …

V. He holds wrong views and has a distorted perspective.
AN 5.88


Just the other day I was listening to a dhamma talk by a respected monk and he said the Buddha is always in first jhana no matter what. I shook my head and disqualified that teacher.

And also polo, vipassana movement is also wrong view.
Budo, please don't say "vipassana movement is also wrong view" it helped me to get back from the edge of insanity. I was having hell lot of neurosis problems I thought I was going insane until I look into Vipassana and understood the origin of the problems which immediately lightened the burdens I was carrying and later stage got it off my back completely. It cannot possibly be wrong as far as I am concerned. May be it is for you perhaps because you made some mistakes along the way.
Would you be kind enough to enlighten me on what you said, i.e. wrong view. I really must get to the bottom of these two words.
Dear polo,

Vipassana movement is still better than a lot of other false Buddhisms, but it is still not right view. Would you accept a bowl of food with pieces of hair in it? Maybe if you had to choose between that bowl of food and eating cow dung, so vipassana movement is still better than cow dung, but it is still not right view.

And let me explain to you why Vipassana movement is wrong view.

First, there are monks within the vipassana movement that say you do not need jhana all the way to arahantship, but this isn't what the suttas say. The suttas say a non-returner has perfection of concentration (4 jhanas), and even a once-returner has attained jhanas. Perhaps only a stream enterer does not require all four jhanas, but still jhanas are required

The Buddha says a stream-enterer who does not attain jhanas lives negilently. And that samadhi is needed to understand the dhamma.
“And how does a noble disciple live negligently? Firstly, a noble disciple has experiential confidence in the Buddha … They’re content with that confidence, and don’t make a further effort for solitude by day or retreat by night. When they live negligently, there’s no joy. When there’s no joy, there’s no rapture. When there’s no rapture, there’s no tranquility. When there’s no tranquility, there’s suffering. When one is suffering, the mind does not become immersed in samādhi. When the mind is not immersed in samādhi, principles do not become clear. Because principles have not become clear, they’re reckoned to live negligently.
- SN 55.40

And furthermore, a foolish monk does satipatthana but does not attain jhana
“So too, monks, here some foolish, incompetent, unskillful monk dwells contemplating the body in the body, ardent, clearly aware, mindful, having removed covetousness and grief in regard to the world. While he dwells contemplating the body in the body, his mind does not become concentrated, his corruptions (i.e. hindrances) are not abandoned, he does not pick up that sign. He dwells contemplating feelings in feelings ... mind in mind ... Dhamma in Dhamma ... he does not pick up that sign. That foolish, incompetent, unskillful monk, does not gain pleasant dwellings in this very life, nor does he gain mindfulness and clear awareness. For what reason? Because, monks, that foolish, incompetent, unskillful monk does not pick up the sign of his own mind. ...So too, monks, here some wise, competent, skillful monk dwells contemplating the body in the body, ardent, clearly aware, mindful, having removed covetousness and grief in regard to the world. While he dwells contemplating the body in the body, his mind becomes concentrated, his corruptions are abandoned, he picks up that sign. He dwells contemplating feelings in feelings ... mind in mind ... Dhamma in Dhamma ... he picks up that sign. That wise, competent, skillful monk gains pleasant dwellings in this very life, and he gains mindfulness and clear awareness. For what reason? Because, monks, that wise, competent, skillful monk picks up the sign of his own mind.”
- SN 47.8


Furthermore, in the vipasssana movement there are monks that teach satipatthana without a single object, without unificiation of mind, which as the sutta above shows, is foolish, because one cannot attain jhanas without singleness of object and one pointedness. Instead they teach momentary concentration which goes against the suttas.
Unification of mind, friend Visakha, is concentration; the four satipatthana are the basis of concentration; the four right kinds of striving are the accessories of concentration; the repetition, development, and cultivation of these same states is the development of concentration therein.”
-MN 44

MN 125 shows the purpose of satipatthana is to attain jhanas
“Having thus abandoned the five hindrances, corruptions of the mind that weaken wisdom, he abides contemplating the body in the body, ardent, fully aware, and mindful, having put away covetousness and grief in regard to the world. He abides contemplating feelings in feelings ... mind in mind ... Dhamma in Dhamma
... Then the Tathagatha disciplines him further: ‘Come, monk, abide contemplating the body in the body, but do not think thoughts of sensual desire. Abide contemplating feelings in feelings ... mind in mind ... Dhamma in Dhamma ...’With the stilling of thought directed and thought sustained, he enters upon and abides in the second jhana ... third jhana ... fourth jhana.
The Buddha only praised Jhana meditation, samadhi, not 'vipassana meditation", vipassana means contemplation of dhamma, not meditation.
“The Blessed One, brahmin, did not praise every type of meditation, nor did he condemn every type of meditation. What kind of meditation did the Blessed one not praise? Here, brahmin, someone abides with his mind obsessed by sensual lust, a prey to sensual lust, and he does notunderstand as it actually is the escape from arisen sensual lust. While he harbours sensual lust within, he meditates, pre-meditates, out-meditates, and mismeditates. He abides with his mind obsessed by ill will, a prey to ill will...with his mind obsessed by sloth and torpor, a prey to sloth and torpor...with his mind obsessed by restlessness and remorse, a prey to restlessness and remorse...with his mind obsessed by doubt, a prey to doubt, and he does not understand as it actually is the escape from arisen doubt. While he harbours doubt within, he meditates, pre-meditates, out-meditates, and mismeditates. The Blessed One did not praise that kind of meditation.

And what kind of meditation did the Blessed One praise? Here, brahmin quite secluded from sensual desires, secluded from unwholesome states, a monk enters upon and abides in the first jhana... With the stilling of thought directed and sustained, he enters upon and abides in the second jhana...With the fading away as well of delight...he enters upon and abides in the third jhana...With the abandoning of pleasure and pain...he enters upon and abides in the fourth jhana...The Blessed One praised that kind of meditation.”
MN 108


Furthermore, there are suttas where the Buddha gives examples of proper meditation like the sutta on focusing on a bowl on your head (single objectness) while someone walks behind you with a sword, if you drop some oil, you will lose your head. Or the suttas of 6 animals representing the 6 senses, tied to a post (one object).

Therefore momentary concentration is wrong because it is not single objectness, it is not one pointedness, it does not lead to jhanas, and as the sutta says, it is foolish because it is satipathana without concentration, without jhanas.

And lastly, the fourth jhana is considered purity of mindfulness.

And I have a lot more suttas to back up jhanas, but this is enough for now. I also have suttas that show what is really the awakening factor of mindfulness.

If you want to attain right view, read the suttas!

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JamesTheGiant
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Re: will Buddhism finally ended up as a self-deceiving religion like others

Post by JamesTheGiant » Sat May 11, 2019 9:23 pm

Yes, what Budo says about the Vipassana movement is correct. It's not complete, and changes and distorts some of the dhamma as taught by the Buddha.

But it is useful for many people, so you should keep doing it, if you get benefit.

Also, read the suttas for yourself.
Hardcore buddhists read the suttas, to find out what the Buddha really said. Don't rely on Vipassana teachers to interpret the dhamma for you.

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cappuccino
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Re: will Buddhism finally ended up as a self-deceiving religion like others

Post by cappuccino » Sat May 11, 2019 10:52 pm

JamesTheGiant wrote: Hardcore buddhists read the suttas, to find out what the Buddha really said.
Reading the scriptures is Buddhism :quote:

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Re: will Buddhism finally ended up as a self-deceiving religion like others

Post by santa100 » Sat May 11, 2019 11:41 pm

polo wrote:On top of that I find it disgusting whenever I see people praying to the statue of Buddha asking for good health, wealth, good luck in business or exams.
My advice would be not to judge too quickly. When people pray, they don't spell it out loud what's going on in their mind. Sure, some would ask for good health, wealth, or luck, but other might simply contemplate on the Buddha's virtues for sources of inspiration and strength. And quite frankly, even if a person does pray for health, wealth, or luck, but due to the strength of his plain old zeal and faith in the Buddha, was able to observe the Five Precepts, practice generosity, be a helpful member to his family and community, etc. then he'd already be a much better Buddhist than some Sutta/Abhidhamma scholar who, due to his vast knowledge, looks down at others and acts like a jerk. The Dhamma is like the rain. When it rains, it benefits trees and plants of all sizes. Those tall trees with huge trunks and leaves would get more water, these are like folks with higher capacity. But even those smaller trees with smaller trunks and leaves (folks with lesser capacity) would also get a proportional amount of water. That way, everyone and everything would get the benefit when it rains. In fact, the Lotus Sutra has a beautiful simile for that:
Ch. V wrote:A thick cloud spreads out, covering the three thousand great thousand worlds, raining on them equally everywhere at the same time, its moisture reaching every part. The grasses, trees, forests and medicinal herbs - those of small roots, small stalks, small branches and small leaves, those of medium-sized roots, medium-sized stalks, medium-sized branches, medium-sized leaves or those of large roots, large stalks, large branches, and large leaves and also all the trees, whether great or small according to their size, small, medium, or large, all receive a portion of it. From the rain of the one cloud each according to its nature grows, blossoms, and bears fruit."

SarathW
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Re: will Buddhism finally ended up as a self-deceiving religion like others

Post by SarathW » Sun May 12, 2019 1:37 am

I agree with Santa.
Saddha is the foundation stone of the path.
There are some Buddhist with blind faith and others have the verified confidence.
People with blind faith may move to verified confidence one day.
I had blind faith when I was a kind and pray to Buddha to pass the exams etc.
I think many of us (including monks )accept rebirth and Kamma Vipaka on blind faith.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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seeker242
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Re: will Buddhism finally ended up as a self-deceiving religion like others

Post by seeker242 » Sun May 12, 2019 1:56 am

Dan74-MkII wrote:
Sat May 11, 2019 6:52 am
Casting around and picking faults with others never got anyone very far.

Buddhism urges us to look at our own mind, our own actions, rather than worrying where others may or may not be going wrong. If you are in a position to help, help, otherwise it's just papanca - unnecessary mental proliferators, a waste of energy that can be used on something like practice.
:twothumbsup:

Dhammapada 50:
"Let none find fault with others; let none see the omissions and commissions of others. But let one see one’s own acts, done and undone."

form
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Re: will Buddhism finally ended up as a self-deceiving religion like others

Post by form » Sun May 12, 2019 10:06 am

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:
Sat May 11, 2019 7:42 am
budo wrote:
Sat May 11, 2019 5:55 am
Just the other day I was listening to a dhamma talk by a respected monk and he said the Buddha is always in first jhana no matter what. I shook my head and disqualified that teacher.
Don't be so quick to judge. There is much truth in the statement.
A Discourse on the Hemavata Sutta wrote:The Buddha Never Neglected Jhāna
Hemavata asked whether Sātāgiri’s teacher, the Buddha, never neglected jhāna, or in other words, whether he was fully aware so that he could reject all lustful desire, which is an impediment to Arahant­­ship. Hanker­ing after pleasant things and indulging in pleasures is a basic impediment. If one is free of that, one is said to have attained the first stage of jhāna. Now this question is just a corollary to the question of lassitude. Thus, Hemavata had put these questions relating to misdeeds of a physical nature, namely, killing, stealing, and the sexual act. He then asked about jhāna.
...
The Buddha Entered Jhāna Very Rapidly
The Buddha was consistently in jhāna, and for that he is adorable. At the end of part of a discourse, while the audience exclaimed in one voice, “Sādhu! Sādhu! Sādhu! (Well said!),” the Buddha went into jhāna even during that brief interval. Then he resumed the discourse. Such consistency is really marvel­lous.
Source: http://www.aimwell.org/hemavata.html
:goodpost:

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