Can intention of renunciation ever be unwholesome?

Discussion of ordination, the Vinaya and monastic life. How and where to ordain? Bhikkhuni ordination etc.
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Re: Can intention of renunciation ever be unwholesome?

Postby indian_buddhist » Fri Apr 25, 2014 6:54 am

Goofaholix wrote:If you read your text you are using words like desire, inclination, discontent. These kinds of emotional pulls probably have craving, aversion, and delusion at their root.

While the desire to awaken is always a wholesome thing, I don't think the desire to be a monk is always necessarily so. It's often fueled by aversion to one's current situation and the belief that the grass is greener on the other side, so aversion and craving. You may find once you get to the other side you might start to feel the grass is greener back where you came from.

.


I think he has beautifully put it.........Some people become Monk for ridiculous reasons......Noone should become a Monk to Escape the rigours of life. The Buddha's path is not to give up Suffering, but to use it to develop Wisdom.

And Wisdom (my opinion again) can be also gained by living a Layman life.
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Re: Can intention of renunciation ever be unwholesome?

Postby happylotus1 » Fri Apr 25, 2014 10:12 pm

Re: monks the only ones capable of attaining Arahant ?
Postby happylotus1 » Mon Apr 21, 2014 8:31 am

There are few instances mentioned in sutta where lay persons became arahant in the Buddha's time. One example I can remember is that of a minister who became arahant in lay cloth. However, after becoming arahant one cannot remain in lay life. Either they take pabbaja or they die due to their natural death. But as compared to thousands of monks who achieved arahanthood, the number of laypeople attaining arhanthood was very few which indicates that although it is possible to attain arahanthood in lay life, it is extremely rare.


Being in layperson and practicing dhamma is wonderful. But it is more wonderful to become a monk if we can get such opportunity. Buddha as I understood, praises highly for the monk-hood with right intention. The above quote reflects a reality that a household path is a dusty path as compared to that of a monk-hood. Monk-hood gives us a suitable environment where we can practice sense restraints and higher morality that results in better pace of Dhamma growth as compared to householder which has very limited opportunity of sense restraints and higher morality (such as 227 precepts).
Noone should become a Monk to Escape the rigours of life. The Buddha's path is not to give up Suffering, but to use it to develop Wisdom. And Wisdom (my opinion again) can be also gained by living a Layman life

Being a lay person or monkhood is a personal choice. People become monks due to various reasons. Please see the following two examples of Sutta.
So King Koravya sat down on the seat prepared. As he was sitting there, he said to Ven. Ratthapala, "There are cases where, having suffered these four kinds of loss, men shave off their hair & beard, put on the ochre robe, and go forth from the home life into homelessness. Which four? Loss through aging, loss through illness, loss of wealth, & loss of relatives... But Master Ratthapala has suffered none of these. What did he know or see or hear that Master Ratthapala went forth from the home life into homelessness?"


Then the monks who were companions of Ven. Nanda went around addressing him as they would a hired hand & a person who had been bought: "Venerable Nanda, they say, has been hired. Venerable Nanda, they say, has been bought.[1] He's leading the holy life for the sake of nymphs. The Blessed One is his guarantor for getting 500 dove-footed nymphs."


But for whatever reasons they become a monk, if they practice rightly and with good intention, the monkhood is certainly an ideal situation for practicing Dhamma. Whatever I have read on suttas and understood till now, there is not a single instance where the Buddha praised the householder path over to the monk-hood path, while the opposite is true. The householder path as compared to the monk-hood path is like "better than nothing"
A householder or householder's son, hearing the Dhamma, gains conviction in the Tathāgata and reflects: 'Household life is confining, a dusty path. The life gone forth is like the open air. It is not easy living at home to practice the holy life totally perfect, totally pure, like a polished shell. What if I were to shave off my hair & beard, put on the ochre robes, and go forth from the household life into homelessness?

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Re: Can intention of renunciation ever be unwholesome?

Postby Virgo » Fri Apr 25, 2014 10:37 pm

happylotus1 wrote:I have a strong inclination of ordination to live a life without any burden and responsibilities of mundane life :computerproblem: . This interest of my renunciation life started around 10 years back when I was introduced to the teachings of the Buddha.

Is it usually because of wisdom or aversion?

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Re: Can intention of renunciation ever be unwholesome?

Postby happylotus1 » Fri Apr 25, 2014 11:03 pm

I guess it is both. As venerable bhikkhu Pesala had pointed out:

I think there can always be mixed motivations when we do anything wholesome.
A householder or householder's son, hearing the Dhamma, gains conviction in the Tathāgata and reflects: 'Household life is confining, a dusty path. The life gone forth is like the open air. It is not easy living at home to practice the holy life totally perfect, totally pure, like a polished shell. What if I were to shave off my hair & beard, put on the ochre robes, and go forth from the household life into homelessness?

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Re: Can intention of renunciation ever be unwholesome?

Postby Virgo » Fri Apr 25, 2014 11:29 pm

happylotus1 wrote:I guess it is both. As venerable bhikkhu Pesala had pointed out:

I think there can always be mixed motivations when we do anything wholesome.

At different moments, sure. But which one is the path and which one is not the path?

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Re: Can intention of renunciation ever be unwholesome?

Postby indian_buddhist » Sat Apr 26, 2014 3:31 am

Ok I dont know if I should be coming in....

The Dhamma is not a Dogma. You cannot pick and choose verses which suit your liking. The Dhamma has to be first understood in Totality and after understanding it in full it has to undergo a rigorous test of our own Discernment and analysis. Kalama Sutta comes to mind immediately.

Like I said ......what you consider being Wholesome (Becoming a Monk leaving behind your wife) just to follow the Path is not wholesome according to my discernment.

You can do what you wish ......Its just my view.
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Re: Can intention of renunciation ever be unwholesome?

Postby happylotus1 » Wed Apr 30, 2014 6:37 pm

Excerpts from Latukikopama Sutta: The Quail Simile seems to be relevant here

" Suppose there were a poor person, penniless & indigent, with a single little shack — dilapidated, open to the crows, not the best sort; and a single bed — dilapidated, not the best sort; and a single pot of rice & gourd seeds — not the best sort; and a single wife — not the best sort. He would go to a park and see a monk — his hands & feet washed after a delightful meal, sitting in the cool shade, committed to the heightened mind. The thought would occur to him: 'How happy the contemplative state! How free of disease the contemplative state! O that I — shaving off my hair & beard and donning the ochre robe — might go forth from the household life into homelessness!' But being unable to abandon his single little shack — dilapidated, open to the crows, not the best sort; his single bed — dilapidated, not the best sort; his single pot of rice & gourd seeds — not the best sort; and his single wife — not the best sort — he wouldn't be able to shave off his hair & beard, to don the ochre robe, or to go forth from the household life into homelessness. And suppose someone were to say, 'That single little shack... that single bed... that single pot... and that single wife — not the best sort — by which that man was snared, which he was unable to abandon, and because of which he couldn't shave off his hair & beard, don the ochre robe, and go forth from the household life into homelessness: for him they were a weak snare, a feeble snare, a rotting snare, an insubstantial snare.' Would the person speaking that way be speaking rightly?"


"Now suppose, Udayin, that there were a householder or householder's son — rich, prosperous, & wealthy — with vast amounts of gold ingots, vast amounts of grain, a vast number of fields, a vast amount of land, a vast number of wives, and a vast number of male & female slaves. He would go to a park and see a monk — his hands & feet washed after a delightful meal, sitting in the cool shade, committed to the heightened mind. The thought would occur to him: 'How happy the contemplative state! How free of disease the contemplative state! O that I — shaving off my hair & beard and donning the ochre robe — might go forth from the household life into homelessness!' And being able to abandon his vast amounts of gold ingots, his vast amounts of grain, his vast number of fields, his vast amount of land, his vast number of wives, and his vast number of male & female slaves, he would be able to shave off his hair & beard, to don the ochre robe, and to go forth from the household life into homelessness. Now suppose someone were to say, 'Those vast amounts of gold ingots... and a vast number of male & female slaves by which that householder or householder's son was snared but which he was able to abandon so that he could shave off his hair & beard, don the ochre robe, and go forth from the household life into homelessness: for him they were a strong snare, a thick snare, a heavy snare, an unrotting snare, and a thick yoke.' Would the person speaking that way be speaking rightly?"
A householder or householder's son, hearing the Dhamma, gains conviction in the Tathāgata and reflects: 'Household life is confining, a dusty path. The life gone forth is like the open air. It is not easy living at home to practice the holy life totally perfect, totally pure, like a polished shell. What if I were to shave off my hair & beard, put on the ochre robes, and go forth from the household life into homelessness?

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Re: Can intention of renunciation ever be unwholesome?

Postby indian_buddhist » Wed Apr 30, 2014 7:18 pm

The statements that you make speaks of aversion towards mundane life. If you want to become a Monk simply because you have aversion to mundane life......you are going in the wrong direction.
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Re: Can intention of renunciation ever be unwholesome?

Postby Virgo » Wed Apr 30, 2014 7:44 pm


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Re: Can intention of renunciation ever be unwholesome?

Postby Sokehi » Wed Apr 30, 2014 8:32 pm

indian_buddhist wrote:The statements that you make speaks of aversion towards mundane life. If you want to become a Monk simply because you have aversion to mundane life......you are going in the wrong direction.


Who are we to judge which is the right or the wrong direction? We have to see for ourselves. I wouldn't go in the way and advise someone developed the aspiration to go forth to not do it, to raise doubts or to strenghten doubts that have already arisen... out of my own way, out of my own view on things, possibly out of ones own aversion towards the holy life or ones own doubt if certain monks have chosen to go forth for "wrong reasons". It's his khamma and I wish him well. If he becomes a monk and then practices accordingly, this is very good. If he will remain living the householders life, practicing dhamma, being a loving and caring husband and son, this is very good too.
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Re: Can intention of renunciation ever be unwholesome?

Postby Virgo » Wed Apr 30, 2014 8:50 pm

Sokehi wrote:
indian_buddhist wrote:The statements that you make speaks of aversion towards mundane life. If you want to become a Monk simply because you have aversion to mundane life......you are going in the wrong direction.


Who are we to judge which is the right or the wrong direction?


You mean aversion is wholesome?

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Re: Can intention of renunciation ever be unwholesome?

Postby Sokehi » Wed Apr 30, 2014 8:52 pm

I say being disenchanted with the world is wholesome.
Get the wanting out of waiting

What does womanhood matter at all, when the mind is concentrated well, when knowledge flows on steadily as one sees correctly into Dhamma. One to whom it might occur, ‘I am a woman’ or ‘I am a man’ or ‘I’m anything at all’ is fit for Mara to address. – SN 5.2

If they take what's yours, tell yourself that you're making it a gift.
Otherwise there will be no end to the animosity. - Ajahn Fuang Jotiko

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Re: Can intention of renunciation ever be unwholesome?

Postby Virgo » Wed Apr 30, 2014 8:57 pm

Sokehi wrote:I say being disenchanted with the world is wholesome.

So when it is because of wisdom then it is wholesome, but aversion is not the path, wisdom is.

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Re: Can intention of renunciation ever be unwholesome?

Postby Sokehi » Wed Apr 30, 2014 8:59 pm

Virgo wrote:
Sokehi wrote:I say being disenchanted with the world is wholesome.

So when it is because of wisdom then it is wholesome, but aversion is not the path, wisdom is.

Kevin


I found ven. Pesalas comments here very clarifying on that matter :anjali:
Get the wanting out of waiting

What does womanhood matter at all, when the mind is concentrated well, when knowledge flows on steadily as one sees correctly into Dhamma. One to whom it might occur, ‘I am a woman’ or ‘I am a man’ or ‘I’m anything at all’ is fit for Mara to address. – SN 5.2

If they take what's yours, tell yourself that you're making it a gift.
Otherwise there will be no end to the animosity. - Ajahn Fuang Jotiko

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Re: Can intention of renunciation ever be unwholesome?

Postby Virgo » Wed Apr 30, 2014 9:23 pm

Sokehi wrote:
I found ven. Pesalas comments here very clarifying on that matter :anjali:

There are mixed motivations when we do things that are wholesome and when we do things unwholesome. Why? because billions of cittas arise and fall away in a second.

The point is to have more understanding of our defilements. That is all I was getting at. :)

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Re: Can intention of renunciation ever be unwholesome?

Postby indian_buddhist » Thu May 01, 2014 7:13 am

Sokehi wrote:
indian_buddhist wrote:The statements that you make speaks of aversion towards mundane life. If you want to become a Monk simply because you have aversion to mundane life......you are going in the wrong direction.


Who are we to judge which is the right or the wrong direction? We have to see for ourselves. I wouldn't go in the way and advise someone developed the aspiration to go forth to not do it, to raise doubts or to strenghten doubts that have already arisen... out of my own way, out of my own view on things, possibly out of ones own aversion towards the holy life or ones own doubt if certain monks have chosen to go forth for "wrong reasons". It's his khamma and I wish him well. If he becomes a monk and then practices accordingly, this is very good. If he will remain living the householders life, practicing dhamma, being a loving and caring husband and son, this is very good too.


Ive already posted earlier, I say again. Buddhism is not about deciding whether to be a Monk or Layman. Buddhism is about walking the 8 fold noble path. The 8 fold noble path is both for Monks and Layman alike. If someone is disenchanted with the world sure he can become a Monk. But before that he needs to evaluate certain things like:-
1. Does he have a wife .
2. Is he in Debt with someone.
3. Does he have parents approval.

But the person who has posted this has said:-
1. He is recently married with a loving wife.
2. His parents are not particularly happy with his decision.

Further the various posts he has made, he shows an Aversion towards mundane life. I am sorry but Aversion is not 8 fold path.

There is a DIFFERENCE between being Disenchanted and being averse towards Mundane life. One can be disenchanted and still lead a Mundane life easily following the 8 fold noble path. He can follow the path and do his duty towards his parents and wife. He does not need to leave them alone (wife and parents) just to follow the path.

Buddha was justified to leave behind his wife and children because someone had to Rediscover the path. The poster has no such lofty goals. He merely has to follow the path.
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Re: Can intention of renunciation ever be unwholesome?

Postby happylotus1 » Thu May 01, 2014 9:37 am

1. Do you suffer from leprosy?
If you do, answer 'Yes, Venerable Sir', if you do not, answer 'No, Venerable Sir'.
2. Have you got boils?
3. Have you got eczema?
4. Have you got tuberculosis?
5. Do you get epilepsy?
6. Are you a human being?
7. Are you a man?
8. Are you a free man?
9. Are you free from government service?
10. Have you got your parents' permission to be ordained?
11. Have you a set of three robes and an almsbowl?
12. What is your name? (My name is Naga.)
13. What is your preceptor's name? (My preceptor's name is Venerable Tissa.)


The buddha set the standard set of questions to be asked for a prospective monk. Although from a humanistic point of view, one can ask his wife's permission to become a monk, it is not absolutely required from the standard set of questions from prospective monk's perspective. It certainly does not mean that one is authorized to disrespect her without taking her into consideration.

When assessing meditation practice in my lay-life, I found that it is very hard to get time for seclusive retreat. I am specially inclined to the monk's life for its far wide ranging opportunity of seclusion as compared to a lay life. The reason for my interest of becoming a monk is that I have a strong penchant for a reclusive life where one can live his life in seclusion amidst forest and nature with a far wide ranging ability for sense restraints.


There is a DIFFERENCE between being Disenchanted and being averse towards Mundane life. One can be disenchanted and still lead a Mundane life easily following the 8 fold noble path. He can follow the path and do his duty towards his parents and wife. He does not need to leave them alone (wife and parents) just to follow the path.


I have been disenchanted towards mundane life for a fairly long time. That is why I have been following the path for more than 10 years as a lay person attending many meditation retreats, visiting buddha related places, reading dhamma books since I first heard the teaching. I simply understand there can not be love for both life: Mudane life and reclusive life. I have to choose one at a single time.

I am not leaving them alone as there will be wife and parents in my family :smile: Just I will be alone. :quote:

Buddha was justified to leave behind his wife and children because someone had to Rediscover the path. The poster has no such lofty goals. He merely has to follow the path.


You mean "sangha", community of monks are not justified, as they merely has to follow the path?
A householder or householder's son, hearing the Dhamma, gains conviction in the Tathāgata and reflects: 'Household life is confining, a dusty path. The life gone forth is like the open air. It is not easy living at home to practice the holy life totally perfect, totally pure, like a polished shell. What if I were to shave off my hair & beard, put on the ochre robes, and go forth from the household life into homelessness?

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Re: Can intention of renunciation ever be unwholesome?

Postby indian_buddhist » Thu May 01, 2014 10:07 am

happylotus1

In the end you should do what makes you happy. If ordaining makes you happy then go ahead - It wont be unwholesome IMO if you reach your destination (i.e; various stages of enlightenment).

all the best to you.
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Re: Can intention of renunciation ever be unwholesome?

Postby happylotus1 » Thu Oct 16, 2014 9:12 pm

Hello friends,

I am still strongly looking for ordination but the situation is not that favorable. Recently, I visited Na Uyana and stayed there for about 3 months. I went there with a wish to ordain but the parental insistence and unhappiness along with some visa issue made me revert back to worldly life. Staying in such a peaceful place, seeing and experiencing monk's life made me more attracted towards the monastic life. What I am feeling now is that the marriage I have done is the biggest obstacle to the path of monkhood. Because monastery needs a support letter from wife which is very difficult to get for me. Foolish me....

Now I am in a mindset that I will join monkhood without hurting anybody in mental level so i am looking to join monkhood when there is favorable situation. i.e. Parents and wife give permission happily....(Although there is very thin chance for that) There I met many wonderful friends around the world intending upon ordination and some of them ordained recently which is very inspiring to see (seeing lay men who were once lay friends converted into monks- members of Sangha).

Just sharing my experiences how difficult is to get ordain life. Previously in early age, I used to think that whatever I want I will do...But...for ordination it is not the case. I started thinking to ordain when I was 24 years and 10 years have already passed without realizing my inner desire to get fulfilled. Instead, new situations being created that lead to more hurdles and obstacles in the path of monkhood.

I have made a photo video of Na Uyana forest monastery and uploaded to youtube. Please watch it if you want to see what Na Uyana monastery looks like.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lNwz0T3 ... -D4eRxYu2b

Metta to all,
A householder or householder's son, hearing the Dhamma, gains conviction in the Tathāgata and reflects: 'Household life is confining, a dusty path. The life gone forth is like the open air. It is not easy living at home to practice the holy life totally perfect, totally pure, like a polished shell. What if I were to shave off my hair & beard, put on the ochre robes, and go forth from the household life into homelessness?

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Re: Can intention of renunciation ever be unwholesome?

Postby Modus.Ponens » Fri Oct 17, 2014 12:15 am

happylotus1 wrote:Hello friends,

I am still strongly looking for ordination but the situation is not that favorable. Recently, I visited Na Uyana and stayed there for about 3 months. I went there with a wish to ordain but the parental insistence and unhappiness along with some visa issue made me revert back to worldly life. Staying in such a peaceful place, seeing and experiencing monk's life made me more attracted towards the monastic life. What I am feeling now is that the marriage I have done is the biggest obstacle to the path of monkhood. Because monastery needs a support letter from wife which is very difficult to get for me. Foolish me....

Now I am in a mindset that I will join monkhood without hurting anybody in mental level so i am looking to join monkhood when there is favorable situation. i.e. Parents and wife give permission happily....(Although there is very thin chance for that) There I met many wonderful friends around the world intending upon ordination and some of them ordained recently which is very inspiring to see (seeing lay men who were once lay friends converted into monks- members of Sangha).

Just sharing my experiences how difficult is to get ordain life. Previously in early age, I used to think that whatever I want I will do...But...for ordination it is not the case. I started thinking to ordain when I was 24 years and 10 years have already passed without realizing my inner desire to get fulfilled. Instead, new situations being created that lead to more hurdles and obstacles in the path of monkhood.

I have made a photo video of Na Uyana forest monastery and uploaded to youtube. Please watch it if you want to see what Na Uyana monastery looks like.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lNwz0T3 ... -D4eRxYu2b

Metta to all,


Hello.

Regarding the recent post: Have you seriously pondered to go to a monastary, but live with the status of anagarika? You can live with the outer status of anagarika but practice the bhikkhu rules as well as you would if you were ordained. As far as I know there are monasteries that acomodate anagarikas for free. I'm sure there are other important things about being a bhikkhu, but what seems the most important for the training is to follow the lifestyle, not to have the title itself.
I know it's cliche to say not to pay attention to labels and titles, so I'm sorry for that. But in this case, the title "bhikkhu" seems secondary to the training itself of the bhikkhu. I'm not downplaying the importance of bhikkhus. I'm just pointing out that following the bhikkhu lifestyle is the most important thing about being a bhikkhu, imho.
If you are so enthusiastic about this lifestyle, adopt it, but to the extent of your possibilities.

Regarding the original post: When you love a woman, there is an aspect of that love that is similar to metta. And there's an aspect of that love that is sexual craving. One is wholesome, the other is not. So basicaly it's always mixed. It's impossible not to be mixed, really. So, when you want to ordain, there's an aspect of renunciation that aspires to be free of suffering and live happily. There's also an aspect of "grief for the world", of aversion to people, situations, etc. So basicaly it's always mixed. And it's impossible not to be mixed.

Be well. :)
And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Behold now, bhikkhus, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to vanish. Strive with earnestness!"


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