The Drawback of Sensual Pleasures

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Tom
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The Drawback of Sensual Pleasures

Postby Tom » Fri Feb 15, 2013 2:22 am

From http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html:
"So it is, Ananda. So it is. Even I myself, before my Awakening, when I was still an unawakened Bodhisatta, thought: 'Renunciation is good. Seclusion is good.' But my heart didn't leap up at renunciation, didn't grow confident, steadfast, or firm, seeing it as peace. The thought occurred to me: 'What is the cause, what is the reason, why my heart doesn't leap up at renunciation, doesn't grow confident, steadfast, or firm, seeing it as peace?' Then the thought occurred to me: 'I haven't seen the drawback of sensual pleasures; I haven't pursued [that theme]. I haven't understood the reward of renunciation; I haven't familiarized myself with it. That's why my heart doesn't leap up at renunciation, doesn't grow confident, steadfast, or firm, seeing it as peace.'

[1] "Then the thought occurred to me: 'If, having seen the drawback of sensual pleasures, I were to pursue that theme; and if, having understood the reward of renunciation, I were to familiarize myself with it, there's the possibility that my heart would leap up at renunciation, grow confident, steadfast, & firm, seeing it as peace.'

"So at a later time, having seen the drawback of sensual pleasures, I pursued that theme; having understood the reward of renunciation, I familiarized myself with it. My heart leaped up at renunciation, grew confident, steadfast, & firm, seeing it as peace. Then, quite withdrawn from sensuality, withdrawn from unskillful qualities, I entered & remained in the first jhana: rapture & pleasure born from withdrawal, accompanied by directed thought & evaluation.

How can one "see" the drawback of sensual pleasures?

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ground
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Re: The Drawback of Sensual Pleasures

Postby ground » Fri Feb 15, 2013 3:49 am

ccharles wrote:How can one "see" the drawback of sensual pleasures?

A drawback cannot be seen but either confirming thoughts can arise e.g. "{This or that} is a dawback of sensual pleasures." or non-verbal (non-conceptual) intuitions with that same meaning can arise after having been told that there is a dawback of sensual pleasures and having developed faith that what has been told is true. :sage:

Sylvester
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Re: The Drawback of Sensual Pleasures

Postby Sylvester » Fri Feb 15, 2013 4:48 am

ccharles wrote:How can one "see" the drawback of sensual pleasures?


This theme of "the drawback of sensual pleasures/sensuality" from the Tapussa Sutta is a very common theme in the suttas. The full explication of it can be found in many places, eg MN 13 - http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

What is sometimes translated as "drawback of sensual pleasures" or "drawback of sensuality" is the phrase kāmānaṃ ādīnavo. In MN 13, these drawbacks are listed as -

he faces cold, he faces heat, being harassed by mosquitoes & flies, wind & sun & creeping things, dying from hunger & thirst


The drawback of kāmā are therefore painful feelings.

On the other hand, the gratification/allure of sensual pleasures/sensuality (kāmānaṃ assādo) are -

whatever pleasure or joy arises in dependence on these five strands of sensuality, that is the allure of sensuality


The Tapussa Sutta's "having seen" (disvā) can therefore mean "fully experiencing", according to MN 13. However, experiencing unpleasurable feelings alone would probably not suffice, since one has to also understand (adhigacchati) the reward of renunciation.

Samma
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Re: The Drawback of Sensual Pleasures

Postby Samma » Tue Feb 26, 2013 11:48 pm

Also see AN10:60
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
[4] "And what is the perception of drawbacks? There is the case where a monk — having gone to the wilderness, to the foot of a tree, or to an empty dwelling — reflects thus: 'This body has many pains, many drawbacks. In this body many kinds of disease arise, such as: seeing-diseases, hearing-diseases, nose-diseases, tongue-diseases, body-diseases, head-diseases, ear-diseases, mouth-diseases, teeth-diseases, cough, asthma, catarrh, fever, aging, stomach-ache, fainting, dysentery, grippe, cholera, leprosy, boils, ringworm, tuberculosis, epilepsy, skin-disease, itch, scab, psoriasis, scabies, jaundice, diabetes, hemorrhoids, fistulas, ulcers; diseases arising from bile, from phlegm, from the wind-property, from combinations of bodily humors, from changes in the weather, from uneven care of the body, from attacks, from the result of kamma; cold, heat, hunger, thirst, defecation, urination.' Thus he remains focused on drawbacks with regard to this body. This is called the perception of drawbacks.


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