Sutta about not listening to music

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Sutta about not listening to music

Postby pedro1985 » Tue Dec 27, 2011 10:29 am

Is there a sutta why it is better to not listen to music?
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Re: Sutta about not listening to music

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Dec 27, 2011 11:11 am

Unless one is a monk, I certainly hope not.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Sutta about not listening to music

Postby Khalil Bodhi » Tue Dec 27, 2011 11:27 am

Hello,

The Uposatha Sutta includes not seeking out music or entertainment as one of the training rules of the eight precepts and may be found here: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an08/an08.041.vaka.html

I'll look to see what I can find but this may be it. Mettaya!
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Re: Sutta about not listening to music

Postby Alobha » Tue Dec 27, 2011 2:02 pm

What's the reason the buddha had for recommending not listening to music? I tried finding out in the patimokkha but didn't find anything except for the uposatha rule.
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Re: Sutta about not listening to music

Postby Beneath the Wheel » Tue Dec 27, 2011 9:14 pm

I had a look through Thanissaro's "The buddhist monastic code".

It looks like most references to singing, dancing and music are based on the Rona Sutta

There is a dukkata for going to see dancing, singing, or music. According to the
Commentary, dancing includes going to see even peacocks dancing. It also includes
dancing oneself and getting others to dance. (The Rona Sutta—AN 3.103—notes that, in
the discipline of the noble ones, dancing counts as insanity.) Singing includes drama
music as well as “sadhu music,” which the Commentary to Bhikkhunı Pc 10 defines as
songs sung “at the time of the total Unbinding of a noble one, connected with the
virtues of the Triple Gem.” The Sub-commentary to Cv.V.36 defines it as music dealing
with Dhamma themes such as impermanence. Other religious music would come under
this prohibition as well. The Commentary adds that “singing” also includes singing
oneself and getting others to sing. The same holds true for “playing music.” (The Rona
Sutta also notes that, in the discipline of the noble ones, singing counts as wailing.)
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Re: Sutta about not listening to music

Postby Otsom » Wed Dec 28, 2011 12:17 pm

.
Last edited by Otsom on Thu Feb 09, 2012 12:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Sutta about not listening to music

Postby alan » Thu Dec 29, 2011 2:54 am

In the Buddha's time, you would have had to make a journey to seek out music, and it is fair to say that passions and attachments would inevitably result. Makes sense to ban it for monks.
Having said that, I can't see any reason for a lay person to avoid music.
In fact, I think some music is actually helpful if it brings joy and is motivational.
Jazz, anyone? I love it. If Louis Armstrong is bad, then I don't want to be good.
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Re: Sutta about not listening to music

Postby danieLion » Thu Dec 29, 2011 5:54 am

Hi pedro1985,
I used to listen to music a lot. Now, if I'm not careful (practice some restraint) songs get stuck in my head and play like loops, including while I sit.
Sorry it's not a sutta reference.
Daniel :heart:
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Re: Sutta about not listening to music

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Dec 29, 2011 5:56 am

Otsom wrote:So don't crave for pleasant details in variation in air pressure. Stop listening to music. :smile:
Don't enjoy anything and avoid any thing that might bring any sort of enjoyment, pleasure, happiness, and satisfaction.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Sutta about not listening to music

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Dec 29, 2011 5:59 am

danieLion wrote:Hi pedro1985,
I used to listen to music a lot. Now, if I'm not careful (practice some restraint) songs get stuck in my head and play like loops, including while I sit.
Sorry it's not a sutta reference.
Daniel :heart:

If a song gets stuck in your head while you are sitting, what do you do? Is it an occasion for negative feelings in response to the this bit of mental music?
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Sutta about not listening to music

Postby danieLion » Thu Dec 29, 2011 7:03 am

tiltbillings wrote:
danieLion wrote:Hi pedro1985,
I used to listen to music a lot. Now, if I'm not careful (practice some restraint) songs get stuck in my head and play like loops, including while I sit.
Sorry it's not a sutta reference.
Daniel :heart:

If a song gets stuck in your head while you are sitting, what do you do? Is it an occasion for negative feelings in response to the this bit of mental music?

Depends.
D :heart:
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Re: Sutta about not listening to music

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Dec 29, 2011 7:07 am

danieLion wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
danieLion wrote:Hi pedro1985,
I used to listen to music a lot. Now, if I'm not careful (practice some restraint) songs get stuck in my head and play like loops, including while I sit.
Sorry it's not a sutta reference.
Daniel :heart:

If a song gets stuck in your head while you are sitting, what do you do? Is it an occasion for negative feelings in response to the this bit of mental music?

Depends.
D :heart:
At least you will not have to worry about incontinence.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Sutta about not listening to music

Postby danieLion » Thu Dec 29, 2011 7:27 am

danieLion wrote:Hi pedro1985,
I used to listen to music a lot. Now, if I'm not careful (practice some restraint) songs get stuck in my head and play like loops, including while I sit.
Sorry it's not a sutta reference.
Daniel :heart:

tiltbillings wrote:If a song gets stuck in your head while you are sitting, what do you do? Is it an occasion for negative feelings in response to the this bit of mental music?

danieLion wrote:Depends.
D :heart:

tiltbillings wrote:At least you will not have to worry about incontinence.

:lol: Had a feeling that'd become a diaper joke but was too tired to edit it.
I'm going to bed with a copy of the Visuddhimagga to help me fall asleep.
D :heart:
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Re: Sutta about not listening to music

Postby Alexei » Thu Dec 29, 2011 8:14 am

Interesting case from DN 21:

...taking his yellow beluva-wood lute, he approached the Indasala Cave. Thinking: ‘As far as this is neither too far nor too near to the Lord, and he will hear my voice,’ he stood to one side. Then, to the strains of his lute, he sang these verses extolling the Buddha, the Dharma, the Arahants, and love:
[...]
When he heard this, the Lord said: ‘Pancasikha, the sound of your strings blends so well with your song, and your song with the strings, that neither prevails excessively over the other. When did you compose these verses on the Buddha, the Dharma, the Arahants, and love?’
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Re: Sutta about not listening to music

Postby Alobha » Thu Dec 29, 2011 2:20 pm

Beneath the Wheel wrote:I had a look through Thanissaro's "The buddhist monastic code".

It looks like most references to singing, dancing and music are based on the Rona Sutta

There is a dukkata for going to see dancing, singing, or music. According to the
Commentary, dancing includes going to see even peacocks dancing. It also includes
dancing oneself and getting others to dance. (The Rona Sutta—AN 3.103—notes that, in
the discipline of the noble ones, dancing counts as insanity.) Singing includes drama
music as well as “sadhu music,” which the Commentary to Bhikkhunı Pc 10 defines as
songs sung “at the time of the total Unbinding of a noble one, connected with the
virtues of the Triple Gem.” The Sub-commentary to Cv.V.36 defines it as music dealing
with Dhamma themes such as impermanence. Other religious music would come under
this prohibition as well. The Commentary adds that “singing” also includes singing
oneself and getting others to sing. The same holds true for “playing music.” (The Rona
Sutta also notes that, in the discipline of the noble ones, singing counts as wailing.)


The mentioned source in your quote, AN 3.103, is the Nimitta Sutta and it deals with Nimittas, not with music at all. I didn't find any Rona Sutta on accesstoinsight or palikanon.com.

However, i found something else:
DN.11 Kevatta (Kevaddha) Sutta

"So after some time he abandons his mass of wealth, large or small; leaves his circle of relatives, large or small; shaves off his hair and beard, puts on the ochre robes, and goes forth from the household life into homelessness.

"When he has thus gone forth, he lives restrained by the rules of the monastic code, seeing danger in the slightest faults. Consummate in his virtue, he guards the doors of his senses, is possessed of mindfulness and alertness, and is content.

The Lesser Section on Virtue

"And how is a monk consummate in virtue? [...]

"He abstains from dancing, singing, instrumental music, and from watching shows.

[...]

The Intermediate Section on Virtue


"Whereas some priests and contemplatives, living off food given in faith, are addicted to watching shows such as these — dancing, singing, instrumental music, plays, ballad recitations, hand-clapping, cymbals and drums, magic lantern scenes, acrobatic and conjuring tricks, elephant fights, horse fights, buffalo fights, bull fights, goat fights, ram fights, cock fights, quail fights; fighting with staves, boxing, wrestling, war-games, roll calls, battle arrays, and regimental reviews — he abstains from watching shows such as these. This, too, is part of his virtue.

"Whereas some priests and contemplatives, living off food given in faith, are addicted to heedless and idle games such as these — eight-row chess, ten-row chess, chess in the air, hopscotch, spillikins, dice, stick games, hand-pictures, ball-games, blowing through toy pipes, playing with toy plows, turning somersaults, playing with toy windmills, toy measures, toy chariots, toy bows, guessing letters drawn in the air, guessing thoughts, mimicking deformities — he abstains from heedless and idle games such as these. This, too, is part of his virtue.


Keep the context in mind, the buddha talked about the virtue of his disciples.
Otsoms quotes are fitting in the broader context, too. (Thanks Otsom!)
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Re: Sutta about not listening to music

Postby Beneath the Wheel » Thu Dec 29, 2011 5:45 pm

Very strange. I copied and pasted that directly from the "The Buddhist Monastic Code II". I wonder if he listed the wrong source?

Similar to what danieLion mentioned - I'm a musician, and one of the biggest barriers to my meditation practice comes from getting certain segments of songs stuck in my head, looping endlessly. I find this fades if I'm not actively working or rehearsing with a group, but random drumbeats and "hooks" will find their way into my mind at the strangest times. I guess that's why they call them hooks.
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Re: Sutta about not listening to music

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Dec 29, 2011 5:54 pm

Beneath the Wheel wrote:Very strange. I copied and pasted that directly from the "The Buddhist Monastic Code II". I wonder if he listed the wrong source?

Similar to what danieLion mentioned - I'm a musician, and one of the biggest barriers to my meditation practice comes from getting certain segments of songs stuck in my head, looping endlessly. I find this fades if I'm not actively working or rehearsing with a group, but random drumbeats and "hooks" will find their way into my mind at the strangest times. I guess that's why they call them hooks.
Unless it is What Friend we have Jesus or some equally annoying tune and lyric, I usually have no problem with such ear worms. It is just back ground noise, but during one's meditation, the question is: what do you do with it?
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Sutta about not listening to music

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Dec 29, 2011 6:14 pm

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Sutta about not listening to music

Postby Fede » Thu Dec 29, 2011 6:55 pm

Some specific types of music are permitted. encouraged, even.....

How do the Acariyas include listening in watching?
According to the Acariyas, the breaking of the precept lies in the effort exerted in going to watch shows. If we are standing, sitting or lying down in our own place, that is, if we do not put forth the effort to go and watch, and if such shows or entertainments come to us or pass by, it is not a breach of the precept for us, though the sila would be tarnished. But in any case, not to listen or watch is the best. The listening to or singing of songs is a breach of the precept, except with such ballads as contain Dhamma that causes faith to arise as well as arousing weariness with the suffering of our life. For example, one Thera (senior bhikkhu) heard a slave woman singing about life's troubles. When the Thera heard this, he saw the tediousness of suffering and achieved attainments on the Path. This type of song can be listened to and is not detrimental.


from here:

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... satha.html
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Re: Sutta about not listening to music

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Dec 29, 2011 6:58 pm

Fede wrote:Some specific types of music are permitted. encouraged, even.....

How do the Acariyas include listening in watching?
According to the Acariyas, the breaking of the precept lies in the effort exerted in going to watch shows. If we are standing, sitting or lying down in our own place, that is, if we do not put forth the effort to go and watch, and if such shows or entertainments come to us or pass by, it is not a breach of the precept for us, though the sila would be tarnished. But in any case, not to listen or watch is the best. The listening to or singing of songs is a breach of the precept, except with such ballads as contain Dhamma that causes faith to arise as well as arousing weariness with the suffering of our life. For example, one Thera (senior bhikkhu) heard a slave woman singing about life's troubles. When the Thera heard this, he saw the tediousness of suffering and achieved attainments on the Path. This type of song can be listened to and is not detrimental.


from here:

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... satha.html
In the context of keeping the 8 precepts.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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