Should Buddhists(lay) be virgins till marriage?

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Training of Sila, the Five Precepts (Pañcasikkhāpada), and Eightfold Ethical Conduct (Aṭṭhasīla).
culaavuso
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Re: Should Buddhists(lay) be virgins till marriage?

Postby culaavuso » Sun Jul 13, 2014 8:14 pm

LXNDR wrote:well, to understand his answer the Milinda's question must be taken into consideration

what is of greater demerit, conscious or unconscious?

the answer is - unconscious is of greater demerit

which, again, contradicts Vinaya principles for example


Being unaware of the nature of what is being grasped is being unconscious of the consequences and nature of the action. It is precisely this unawareness that serves as a condition for unskillful conduct resulting in greater harm. This does not seem to change the grasping itself being an intentional action.

The Vinaya does not seem to be an exact mapping to the results of kamma, but appears to have other considerations in the origination of the rules. If the Vinaya were solely a description of the results of kamma, then it seems there would not be rules whose origin stories were based on the conduct of arahants. One example of this is Pācittiya 38.

Buddhist Monastic Code vol. 1 (p. 326) by Ven. Thanissaro Bhikkhu wrote:This is one of the few rules where the original instigator was an arahant: Ven. Beḷaṭṭhasīsa, Ven. Ānanda's preceptor and formerly the head of the 1,000 ascetics who attained Awakening on hearing the Fire Sermon (SN XXXV.28). The origin story here reports that he made a practice of keeping leftover rice from his alms round, drying it, and then moistening it to eat on a later day. As a result, he only rarely had to go out for alms. Even though he was doing this out of frugality rather than greed, the Buddha still rebuked him. The story doesn't give the precise reasons for the rebuke. Perhaps it was because the Buddha saw that such behavior would open the way for bhikkhus to avoid going on alms round, thus depriving themselves of the excellent opportunity that alms-going provides for reflecting on their dependency on others and on the human condition in general; and depriving the laity of the benefits that come from daily contact with the bhikkhus and the opportunity to practice generosity of the most basic sort every day. Although frugality may be a virtue, there are times when other considerations supercede it.


Additionally, if the goal were merely the enforcement of the cause and effect of kamma then the Vinaya would seem to be superfluous.

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Re: Should Buddhists(lay) be virgins till marriage?

Postby Mkoll » Sun Jul 13, 2014 8:34 pm

AN 4.77 wrote:"There are these four unconjecturables that are not to be conjectured about, that would bring madness & vexation to anyone who conjectured about them. Which four?

"The Buddha-range of the Buddhas[1] is an unconjecturable that is not to be conjectured about, that would bring madness & vexation to anyone who conjectured about it.

"The jhana-range of a person in jhana...[2]

"The [precise working out of the] results of kamma...

"Conjecture about [the origin, etc., of] the world is an unconjecturable that is not to be conjectured about, that would bring madness & vexation to anyone who conjectured about it.

"These are the four unconjecturables that are not to be conjectured about, that would bring madness & vexation to anyone who conjectured about them."
[my emphasis added]

I think another reason for this, other than what is stated, is that in not knowing the precise working out of the results of kamma, one is more inclined to avoid doing even the slightest bad kamma. Or at the very least, one sees a good reason to avoid doing so.
Peace,
James

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Re: Should Buddhists(lay) be virgins till marriage?

Postby LXNDR » Sun Jul 13, 2014 9:01 pm

culaavuso wrote:Being unaware of the nature of what is being grasped is being unconscious of the consequences and nature of the action. It is precisely this unawareness that serves as a condition for unskillful conduct resulting in greater harm. This does not seem to change the grasping itself being an intentional action.


unawareness is neither intention nor action and, though unwholesome mental state, by itself cannot produce kamma, whereas intention is what kamma is according to Buddha

unintentional unskillful action is by no means always of greater harm than intentional one, it's all up to chance, it can be either of a greater, of a lesser or of an equal harm, but it must be intention behind it which determines its gravity

conscious and unconscious i understand not as a mode of awareness of consequences (similarly to the principle 'ignorance of the law is no excuse') but as a mode of harmful action, premeditated or not

when for example you punch someone by accident it's done with lesser force than a punch landed consciously to specifically inflict harm and so the accidental punch is less harmful, it's also easily forgivable, and thus must be of lesser demerit

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Re: Should Buddhists(lay) be virgins till marriage?

Postby Dr. Dukkha » Wed Jul 16, 2014 9:57 am

David N. Snyder wrote:
Shaswata_Panja wrote:Did the Buddha ever say anything about premarital sex? Did he recommend virginity till marriage? Did he discourage virginity till marriage? Did he have nothing to say on this?


It wasn't much of an issue in ancient India. The Buddha and other males and females of the time married around the age of 16 or earlier. There wasn't much time before that (age) to do dating or anything. Even until fairly recently, this may have been the case in India. My tour guide in India was a 65 year old Hindu man. He and his wife were married at the age of 15.

As that article linked above suggests, I think there can be some middle way. I am kind of conservative in this area so I especially like the admonition against:
Having sex with those still in the care of their parents/guardians;


If a person wants to engage in adult actions, then they should take on adult responsibilities, that is pay their own rent some place, mortgage, bills, etc. It is not about age or marriage (in my view) and more to do with taking on responsibilities and showing maturity. Today many people do not get married until age 25, 30 or even later so expecting complete abstinence until then is not realistic, however, expecting them to take responsibilities seriously is, in my opinion.


What would be specified as "the care of parents/guardians?" I live on my own but my parents help me a little with rent and they pay my car insurance, health insurance, and medical bills. Should I not have sex until I'm completely independent from them?
"There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way, and not starting."

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Re: Should Buddhists(lay) be virgins till marriage?

Postby Dr. Dukkha » Wed Jul 16, 2014 10:02 am

LXNDR wrote:
Cunda Kammaraputta Sutta (AN 10.176) wrote:Abandoning sensual misconduct, he abstains from sensual misconduct. He does not get sexually involved with those who are protected by their mothers, their fathers, their brothers, their sisters, their relatives, or their Dhamma; those with husbands, those who entail punishments, or even those crowned with flowers by another man.


Saleyyaka sutta (MN 41) wrote:He engages in sensual misconduct. He gets sexually involved with those who are [1] protected by their mothers, [2] their fathers, [3] their brothers, [4] their sisters, [5] their relatives, or [6] their Dhamma; [7] those with husbands, [8] those who entail punishments, or even [9] those crowned with flowers by another man.


as it appears, premarital sex of a non-betrothed adult person with another free, non-betrothed, mentally competent adult person will not constitute sexual misconduct


What is considered crowned with flowers?
"There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way, and not starting."

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Re: Should Buddhists(lay) be virgins till marriage?

Postby TheNoBSBuddhist » Wed Jul 16, 2014 10:13 am

Dr. Dukkha wrote:
LXNDR wrote:
Cunda Kammaraputta Sutta (AN 10.176) wrote:Abandoning sensual misconduct, he abstains from sensual misconduct. He does not get sexually involved with those who are protected by their mothers, their fathers, their brothers, their sisters, their relatives, or their Dhamma; those with husbands, those who entail punishments, or even those crowned with flowers by another man.


Saleyyaka sutta (MN 41) wrote:He engages in sensual misconduct. He gets sexually involved with those who are [1] protected by their mothers, [2] their fathers, [3] their brothers, [4] their sisters, [5] their relatives, or [6] their Dhamma; [7] those with husbands, [8] those who entail punishments, or even [9] those crowned with flowers by another man.


as it appears, premarital sex of a non-betrothed adult person with another free, non-betrothed, mentally competent adult person will not constitute sexual misconduct


What is considered crowned with flowers?


Engaged, betrothed. I believe it was a promissory ritual. Rather like having a diamond engagement ring.

It was a common ritual in many different cultures.
:namaste:

You will not be punished FOR your 'emotions'; you will be punished BY your 'emotions'.



Image

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‘Absit invidia verbo’ - may ill-will be absent from the word. And mindful of that, if I don't respond, this may be why....

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Re: Should Buddhists(lay) be virgins till marriage?

Postby Dr. Dukkha » Wed Jul 16, 2014 10:21 am

Are you sure it isn't really a metaphor for someone being in love with them and flirting with them and this lustful praise is being accepted? Or it could even mean not accepted. Who knows?
"There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way, and not starting."

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Re: Should Buddhists(lay) be virgins till marriage?

Postby TheNoBSBuddhist » Wed Jul 16, 2014 11:41 am

No. Given the amount of different cultures that use this symbolism as an indication of promissory betrothal, it is clear, from the Buddha's distinction and specific mention of this ritual, within his directions, that he meant this category of person. Otherwise he would have made further distinctions.
:namaste:

You will not be punished FOR your 'emotions'; you will be punished BY your 'emotions'.



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Pay attention, simplify, and (Meditation instruction in a nutshell) "Mind - the Gap."
‘Absit invidia verbo’ - may ill-will be absent from the word. And mindful of that, if I don't respond, this may be why....

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Re: Should Buddhists(lay) be virgins till marriage?

Postby Alex123 » Wed Jul 30, 2014 1:56 am

Shaswata_Panja wrote:Did the Buddha ever say anything about premarital sex? Did he recommend virginity till marriage? Did he discourage virginity till marriage? Did he have nothing to say on this?


Buddha recommended following Noble Eightfold path that avoids extremes of indulgence in self mortification or sensual pleasures.


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


This is scary thought...
"dust to dust...."

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Re: Should Buddhists(lay) be virgins till marriage?

Postby Mkoll » Wed Jul 30, 2014 2:12 am

Alex123 wrote:
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


This is scary thought...

I don't understand. What's particularly scary about that?
Peace,
James

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Re: Should Buddhists(lay) be virgins till marriage?

Postby Alex123 » Wed Jul 30, 2014 2:14 am

Mkoll wrote:
Alex123 wrote:
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


This is scary thought...

I don't understand. What's particularly scary about that?



It is so hard to let go of craving for 5 sense world which is an obstacle to the path.
"dust to dust...."

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Re: Should Buddhists(lay) be virgins till marriage?

Postby culaavuso » Wed Jul 30, 2014 2:55 am

Alex123 wrote:It is so hard to let go of craving for 5 sense world which is an obstacle to the path.


AN 9.41: Tapussagahapati Sutta wrote: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.'

"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.

"As I remained there, I was beset with attention to perceptions dealing with sensuality. That was an affliction for me. Just as pain arises as an affliction for a healthy person, even so the attention to perceptions dealing with sensuality that beset me was an affliction for me.


The allure, drawbacks, and escape from sensuality are discussed in detail in MN 13.

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Re: Should Buddhists(lay) be virgins till marriage?

Postby benzaiten » Sat Aug 09, 2014 9:40 pm

Actually it was common to be betrothed as small children.
Less room for unskillful behavior, modern or not, the result is the same.



waterchan wrote:I suspect that the people at the time of the Buddha had very different attitudes towards sexuality, some of which may come as a shock to our modern sensibilities.

I remember seeing what was probably an ancient Sri Lankan portrait of one of the Buddha's female disciples approaching an assembly with a breast hanging out. It's fuzzy and I could very well be wrong. Can anyone confirm or deny this?


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