Mr Man wrote:Hi Ven. Dhammanando
The perspective I was thinking of was as a practice for monastics as part of a wider code of practice and way of training - not that lay people should be obliged to partake in sexual activity though.
I personally think the benefits of celibacy may be overstated and in some instances may be inappropriate (for the non monastic). Sensual pleasures are wide and varied. Some appear gross and some more subtle. Giving up the activity of sex is not synonymous with giving up sensual pleasures, It is just giving up one particular activity.
I do not regard the whole doctrine of kamma and rebirth as a superstition. I regard them as things to be investigated, considered and known. What I regard as superstition is that by performing (or not performing) a particular act one will be reborn in heaven. I'm not sure if this is your belief or not.
I do not agree that celibacy is intrinsically beneficial.
daverupa wrote:I think the cultural trappings gave an emphasis to the benefits of the practice, whereas earlier exegetical treatments emphasized the utter danger of sensual pleasures generally, sex being simply one among them.
The simile of bait-hook-escape describes benefits in a way that doesn't require reference to heavenly realms, while at the same time being in agreement with the general attitude of dispassion and the rejection of enmeshment with sensuality. The cultural motivation of heaven may no longer be appropriate for some, but the bait-hook-escape approach remains valid.
beeblebrox wrote:Do you think the Buddha bait anyone like that?
beeblebrox wrote:Hi Dave,
When a person is in sensual heaven, do you think it's easier or more difficult to stay with one's practice? If it's more difficult, then why is it called a heaven? If the Buddha called it heaven, then is that a lie?
daverupa wrote:I'm not really sure what you're asking, but I've been looking at these three questions for a while now.
What I think you're aiming for is that you're wondering if the Buddha, in offering this nymph-gambit, wasn't perhaps opening the door for that man to enter into an even more difficult practice situation. Indeed, you seem to assume that if it is called 'heaven' and yet things aren't easier there, it must not be heaven at all, and if this is the case, the Buddha saying it's a heaven of any kind is simply wrong.
beeblebrox wrote: Venerable Dhammanando seems to be saying that since the practice of celibacy will lead one to heaven, that must mean it's a good thing. I wanted to challenge that assumption. The way I understand it myself, I think celibacy only leads to that kind of appearance... no more, no less.
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