What did Buddha do to pass his time?

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SarathW
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What did Buddha do to pass his time?

Postby SarathW » Wed Apr 02, 2014 12:08 am

What did Buddha do to pass his time?
I just wonder what Buddha did to pass his time.

We watch TV, play sports, read books, travel, eat , listen to music, socialising, sleep, love making etc.
Are above action unwholesome?

Can Dhamma discussion or teaching be a pass time activity?

Should all monks do what Buddha did?
Should only Arahant do what Buddha did?


:thinking:

culaavuso
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Re: What did Buddha do to pass his time?

Postby culaavuso » Wed Apr 02, 2014 12:39 am

SarathW wrote:What did Buddha do to pass his time?
I just wonder what Buddha did to pass his time.


Several suttas describe the Buddha as sitting in seclusion during the day after his meal. This same pattern of behavior is described for various bhikkhus and bhikkhunis as well.

MN 66: Latukikopama Sutta wrote:I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying among the Anguttarapans at an Anguttarapan town named Apana. Then, early in the morning, having put on his robes and carrying his outer robe & bowl, went into Apana for alms. Having wandered for alms in Apana and returning from his alms round after his meal, he went to a certain forest grove for the day's abiding. Plunging into the grove, he sat down for his day's abiding at the root of a certain tree.

Ven. Udayin, too, early in the morning, having put on his robes and carrying his outer robe & bowl, went into Apana for alms. Having wandered for alms in Apana and returning from his alms round after his meal, he went to that forest grove for the day's abiding. Plunging into the grove, he sat down for his day's abiding at the root of a certain tree. Then, as he was alone in seclusion...


SN 22.80: Pindolya Suta wrote:On one occasion the Blessed One was staying among the Sakyans at Kapilavatthu in the Banyan Park. Then, after having dismissed the community of monks over a particular incident, he early in the morning put on his robes and, carrying his bowl and outer robe, went into Kapilavatthu for alms. After having gone for alms in Kapilavatthu, after his meal, returning from his almsround, he went to the Great Forest for the day's abiding. Plunging into the Great Forest, he sat down at the root of a beluva sapling as his day's abiding.

Then, as he was alone in seclusion...

Then the Blessed One, emerging from seclusion in the evening, went to the Banyan Park. On arrival he sat down on a seat made ready. ...


SN 5.2: Soma Sutta wrote:Setting at Savatthi. Then, in the morning, the bhikkhuni Soma dressed and, taking bowl and robe, entered Savatthi for alms. When she had walked for alms in Savatthi and had returned from her alms round, after her meal she went to the Blind Men's Grove for the day's abiding. Having plunged into the Blind Men's Grove, she sat down at the foot of a tree for the day's abiding.


This is consistent with the suggestion given to monks to spend their time meditating under trees:

MN 106: Aneñja-sappaya Sutta wrote:Now, Ananda, I have taught the practice conducive to the imperturbable. I have taught the practice conducive to the dimension of nothingness. I have taught the practice conducive to the dimension of neither perception nor non-perception. I have taught the way to cross over the flood by going from one support to the next, the noble liberation. Whatever a teacher should do — seeking the welfare of his disciples, out of sympathy for them — that have I done for you. Over there are the roots of trees; over there, empty dwellings. Practice jhana, Ananda. Don't be heedless. Don't later fall into regret. This is our message to you all.


SarathW wrote:We watch TV, play sports, read books, travel, eat , listen to music, socialising, sleep, love making etc.
Are above action unwholesome?

Some of the above are motivated by sensuality, some of the activities mentioned may or may not be motivated by sensuality, and some of the activities mentioned are necessary for survival but may also be motivated by sensuality. The practice of sense restraint in terms of the eight precept observance was suggested in AN 8.41. Guarding the doors of the senses is also described as a constant practice after stream entry.

There is a long discussion of the allure, drawbacks, and escape from sensuality in MN 13.

It's also worth noting that sensuality is part of the definition of wrong resolve:

MN 117: Maha-cattarisaka Sutta wrote:And what is wrong resolve? Being resolved on sensuality, on ill will, on harmfulness. This is wrong resolve.


AN 4.37: Aparihani Sutta wrote:"Endowed with four qualities, a monk is incapable of falling away and is right in the presence of Unbinding. Which four?

"There is the case where a monk is consummate in virtue, guards the doors to his sense faculties, knows moderation in eating, & is devoted to wakefulness.


This is described as the "practice for one in training" (sekha)

MN 53: Sekha-patipada Sutta wrote:Then the Blessed One — having spent most of the night instructing, urging, rousing, & encouraging the Kapilavatthu Sakyans with a Dhamma talk — said to Ven. Ananda, "Ananda, speak to the Kapilavatthu Sakyans about the person who follows the practice for one in training. My back aches. I will rest it."

Ven. Ananda responded, "As you say, lord."

Then the Blessed One, having arranged his outer robe folded in four, lay down on his right side in the lion's sleeping posture, with one foot on top of the other, mindful & alert, having made a mental note to get up.

Then Ven. Ananda addressed Mahanama the Sakyan: "There is the case, Mahanama, where a disciple of the noble ones is consummate in virtue, guards the doors to his sense faculties, knows moderation in eating, is devoted to wakefulness, is endowed with seven qualities, and obtains at will — without trouble or difficulty — the four jhanas that constitute heightened awareness and a pleasant abiding in the here-&-now.


One in training (sekha) implies at least a stream entrant, as explained in SN 48.53

SarathW wrote:Can Dhamma discussion or teaching be a pass time activity?

The Buddha mentioned ten topics of discussion that were suitable for monks, along with a list of unsuitable topics:

AN 10.69: Kathavatthu Sutta wrote:"Just now, lord, after the meal, on returning from our alms round, we gathered at the meeting hall and got engaged in many kinds of bestial topics of conversation: conversation about kings, robbers, & ministers of state; armies, alarms, & battles; food & drink; clothing, furniture, garlands, & scents; relatives; vehicles; villages, towns, cities, the countryside; women & heroes; the gossip of the street & the well; tales of the dead; tales of diversity, the creation of the world & of the sea; talk of whether things exist or not."

"It isn't right, monks, that sons of good families, on having gone forth out of faith from home to the homeless life, should get engaged in such topics of conversation, i.e., conversation about kings, robbers, & ministers of state... talk of whether things exist or not.

"There are these ten topics of [proper] conversation. Which ten? Talk on modesty, on contentment, on seclusion, on non-entanglement, on arousing persistence, on virtue, on concentration, on discernment, on release, and on the knowledge & vision of release. These are the ten topics of conversation. If you were to engage repeatedly in these ten topics of conversation, you would outshine even the sun & moon, so mighty, so powerful — to say nothing of the wanderers of other sects."

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David N. Snyder
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Re: What did Buddha do to pass his time?

Postby David N. Snyder » Wed Apr 02, 2014 1:58 am

See this good article by Ven. Dhammika:

http://buddhisma2z.com/content.php?id=163

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Re: What did Buddha do to pass his time?

Postby Sam Vara » Wed Apr 02, 2014 9:21 am

What did Buddha do to pass his time?


For most of us, "passing time" means that there is a problem of mild aversion, and we generate activities such as hobbies and "pastimes" which fill up the space before the next scheduled bit of happiness. The Buddha would not, of course, have had this problem - at least not in the same way as us.

As other posters have said, there is evidence that he sat in seclusion or meditation for a large part of each day. The huge volume and variety of suttas also implies that the Buddha probably spent a lot of his time teaching, instructing individuals, answering questions, sorting out disputes, and travelling.

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Re: What did Buddha do to pass his time?

Postby Ananda26 » Mon Apr 07, 2014 3:19 pm

SarathW wrote:What did Buddha do to pass his time?
I just wonder what Buddha did to pass his time.

We watch TV, play sports, read books, travel, eat , listen to music, socialising, sleep, love making etc.
Are above action unwholesome?

Can Dhamma discussion or teaching be a pass time activity?

Should all monks do what Buddha did?
Should only Arahant do what Buddha did?


:thinking:


Buddha activities: collecting his food and eating in the morning. Meditating. Buddha, a great speaker would often address the monks with Dhamma talks. People from around the world seek to ask Buddha questions. More meditation. Buddha encouraged the monks to meditate and he did plenty of meditation with meditation practice. Buddha was also a master of monastic discipline and kept order in the Sangha, with his being available to address disciplinary matters.

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Kim OHara
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Re: What did Buddha do to pass his time?

Postby Kim OHara » Mon Apr 07, 2014 9:45 pm

Ananda26 wrote:Buddha activities: collecting his food and eating in the morning. Meditating. Buddha, a great speaker would often address the monks with Dhamma talks. People from around the world seek to ask Buddha questions. More meditation. Buddha encouraged the monks to meditate and he did plenty of meditation with meditation practice. Buddha was also a master of monastic discipline and kept order in the Sangha, with his being available to address disciplinary matters.

Yes - all true.
We have to remember, too, that everyday things took longer in those days than they do now. Clothes were washed by hand, for instance, instead of being thrown into a machine and hauled out half an hour later. And they walked. Lots. The suttas often say where the teaching was given but don't mention the days of walking between one place and another.

:namaste:
Kim

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Kusala
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Re: What did Buddha do to pass his time?

Postby Kusala » Tue Apr 08, 2014 8:04 am

Image

Homage to the Buddha
Thus indeed, is that Blessed One: He is the Holy One, fully enlightened, endowed with clear vision and virtuous conduct, sublime, the Knower of the worlds, the incomparable leader of men to be tamed, the teacher of gods and men, enlightened and blessed.

Homage to the Teachings
The Dhamma of the Blessed One is perfectly expounded; to be seen here and now; not delayed in
time; inviting one to come and see; onward leading (to Nibbana); to be known by the wise, each for himself.

SarathW
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Re: What did Buddha do to pass his time?

Postby SarathW » Wed Apr 23, 2014 3:21 am

Some relevant info:

Then the Blessed One, having emerged from seclusion after the passing of
three months, addressed the monks: “Monks, if wanderers of other sects
ask you, ‘By means of what dwelling, friends, did Gotama the
contemplative mostly dwell during the rains residence?’: You, thus asked,
should answer them in this way: ‘It was by means of the concentration of
mindfulness of breathing that the Blessed One mostly dwelled.’ …

This means that right mindfulness functions not only as a factor of the path,
but also as a pleasant pastime for those who have fully developed the path and
tasted its ultimate fruit.

:reading:
Page 29

http://www.dhammatalks.org/Archive/Writ ... 120810.pdf

SarathW
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Re: What did Buddha do to pass his time?

Postby SarathW » Fri May 23, 2014 12:07 am

Some relevant info:
SN 22.122 is indeed interesting, but when the sutta is viewed in its entirety, it seems to be saying that all non-arahants ought to do some variety of satipatthana/vipassana meditation... And even though the arahant no longer needs to do so, because they're no longer tricked by such things (taking into account what Ven. Nanananda says about the aggregates and arahants in the earlier quote I provided), it would still be a pleasant abiding for them... like "flow", only better, because arahants are cool. 8-)
viewtopic.php?f=13&t=20775&start=20#p291113

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Aloka
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Re: What did Buddha do to pass his time?

Postby Aloka » Fri May 23, 2014 5:08 am

SarathW wrote:
We watch TV, play sports, read books, travel, eat , listen to music, socialising, sleep, love making etc.
Are above action unwholesome?



As I'm a lay practitioner, I don't find it all that helpful to compare lay activities with those of monks and nuns. The Buddha lived the life of a monk and many of the suttas begin with "Monks....."

However, as we know, he had lay students, as well as monks and nuns and advised them accordingly.

I think to live a life which isn't excessively indulgent, is non-harming towards other beings and which includes meditation practice and occasional visits to a monastery, is the best I can do at the moment.

:anjali:


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