Arahants and sexual desire

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Arahants and sexual desire

Postby chownah » Wed Sep 09, 2009 1:45 pm

Someone claimed that any topic with sex in the title would go at least 10 pages...so let's see:

In another thread someone posted, "an anagami (and arahant) has eradicated the fetter of sensual desire and thus such a person would never experience the arising of desire for sex." ......and I'm just wondering if this is true. Would an arahant not have the arising of sexual desire or might an arahant have a sexual feeling but simply just not identify with it or not form any intent (i.e. not make any kamma) as a result of the arising?...or something like that?

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Re: Arahants and sexual desire

Postby David N. Snyder » Wed Sep 09, 2009 2:06 pm

The Nine things an Arahant cannot do:

1. Store up possessions
2. Intentionally kill any form of life
3. Steal
4. Perform sexual intercourse
5. Tell a deliberate lie
6. Act improperly out of desire
7. Act improperly out of ill-will
8. Act improperly out of delusion
9. Act improperly out of fear

(from Anguttara Nikaya 9.7)

Not because he/she is unable, but because there is no longer the interest. The Arahant acts in accordance to the four Brahma Viharas (Anguttara Nikaya 9.7). Not doing sexual intercourse applies to non-returners too (Anguttara Nikaya 6.63).

A non-returner (anagami) has also eradicated all craving for sense desires.

The noble states of sotapanna and saka-dagami (stream-entrants and once-returners) can still have sense desires.
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Re: Arahants and sexual desire

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Sep 09, 2009 2:15 pm

chownah wrote:Someone claimed that any topic with sex in the title would go at least 10 pages...so let's see:

In another thread someone posted, "an anagami (and arahant) has eradicated the fetter of sensual desire and thus such a person would never experience the arising of desire for sex." ......and I'm just wondering if this is true. Would an arahant not have the arising of sexual desire or might an arahant have a sexual feeling but simply just not identify with it or not form any intent (i.e. not make any kamma) as a result of the arising?...or something like that?

chownah


The dreaded Stephen Batchelor here

http://www.audiodharma.org/talks/StephenBatchelor.html

in the talk Buddha Nature / Mara Nature (Part 1) has something interesting to say on that matter.
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: Arahants and sexual desire

Postby Ngawang Drolma. » Wed Sep 09, 2009 3:22 pm

chownah wrote:Someone claimed that any topic with sex in the title would go at least 10 pages...so let's see:


This is so funny :D
And I am that someone.
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Re: Arahants and sexual desire

Postby kc2dpt » Wed Sep 09, 2009 3:31 pm

chownah wrote:...and I'm just wondering if this is true.

Well, an arahant would be able to tell you first hand. But I don't know any arahants. I do, however, have supposed accounts of arahants, including the Buddha, and what they have to say seems pretty clear to me.

"And this, monks, is the noble truth of the cessation of dukkha: the remainderless fading & cessation, renunciation, relinquishment, release, & letting go of that very craving." — SN 56.11

"...the subduing of intoxication, the elimination of thirst, the uprooting of attachment, the breaking of the round, the destruction of craving, dispassion, cessation, the realization of Unbinding..." — Iti 90

"This is peace, this is exquisite — the stilling of all fabrications, the relinquishment of all acquisitions, the ending of craving, dispassion, cessation, Unbinding." — MN 64

And so on. The scriptures are extremely consistent on this point. Craving has been ended. And as we know from the 2nd Noble Truth...

"i.e., craving for sensual pleasure, craving for becoming, craving for non-becoming." — SN 56.11

...we are talking about craving for sensual pleasures (in addition to other cravings).

Would an arahant not have the arising of sexual desire or might an arahant have a sexual feeling but simply just not identify with it or not form any intent (i.e. not make any kamma) as a result of the arising?...or something like that?

There is an ambiguity here that will result in this thread going 10 pages: the word "desire" could refer to the passive arising of a pleasant feeling or it could refer to the active engaging with that pleasant feeling. This causes confusion in threads like this. For example, when I say "I desire ice cream" am I saying "My body is healthy and reacts in a normal way to stimuli and thus contact of the tongue with ice cream is pleasurable" or am I saying "I wish to get up and go out and find ice cream to eat"? Thus confusion.

What I meant was the active seeking of the object. Certainly, as long as an arahant's body is functioning normally it seems he will find a gentle caress pleasant, the smell of perfume pleasant to the nose, a symmetrical form pleasant to the eye, etc. But it also seems the arahant will not experience the wish to pursue that object, to possess it, to engage with it in order to increase and prolong those pleasant feelings.

I know there are today some teachers who maintain that "the wish to pursue" is never eradicated but merely resisted. I do not find this at all consistent with the scriptures. In one case, we have someone being led around on a leash and they are resisting. In another case, we have someone being led around on a leash but not resisting. In a third case, we have someone not being led around on a leash, free to go where they wish. While I think the second case is certainly better than the first case, and one who has attained such a state to be admirable, it is to my mind not better than the third case.
- Peter

Be heedful and you will accomplish your goal.
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Re: Arahants and sexual desire

Postby kc2dpt » Wed Sep 09, 2009 3:35 pm

Some more quotes (but really, the scriptures are chock full of these)...

"And what is unyoking from sensuality? There is the case where a certain person discerns, as it actually is present, the origination, the passing away, the allure, the drawbacks, & the escape from sensuality. When he discerns, as it actually is present, the origination, the passing away, the allure, the drawbacks, & the escape from sensuality, then — with regard to sensual objects — he is not obsessed with sensual passion, sensual delight, sensual attraction, sensual infatuation, sensual thirst, sensual fever, sensual fascination, sensual craving. This is unyoking from sensuality." - AN 4.10

"Monks, there are these four floods. Which four? The flood of sensuality, the flood of becoming, the flood of views, & the flood of ignorance. These are the four floods. Now, this noble eightfold path is to be developed for direct knowledge of, comprehension of, the total ending of, & the abandoning of these four floods." - SN 45.171

Vangisa: "I burn with sensual desire, my mind is enflamed (with passion). Out of pity please tell me the effective extinguishing of it."
Ananda: "Your mind is enflamed because of distorted perception. Shun the aspect of beauty associated with passion. See constructions as other, as painful, not as self, (and thus) extinguish strong passion; do not burn again and again." - Thag 21

"Monks, any desire-passion with regard to craving for forms is a defilement of the mind. Any desire-passion with regard to craving for sounds... craving for aromas... craving for flavors... craving for tactile sensations... craving for ideas is a defilement of the mind." - SN 27.8
- Peter

Be heedful and you will accomplish your goal.
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Re: Arahants and sexual desire

Postby clw_uk » Wed Sep 09, 2009 7:56 pm

I see no reason why they wouldnt have that urge (biology doesnt change with Arahantship) but the craving for such experience and clinging would be gone



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Re: Arahants and sexual desire

Postby EOD » Wed Sep 09, 2009 9:38 pm

clw_uk wrote:I see no reason why they wouldnt have that urge (biology doesnt change with Arahantship) but the craving for such experience and clinging would be gone

The objects of sexual desire are (in most cases) human bodies of the opposite sex. But ... When we engage in sexual fantasy or intercourse we regard the other body (and of course our own too) as (belonging to) a 'someone' or a 'self'. I think this is the 'magic' or 'secret' of sexual desire. Even someone who has sex with a blow-up doll certainly regards this thing as a 'someone' in his fantasy. I don't think the sexual urge is something which is just build-in in the body and comes out from time to time. No. It is based on imagination and fantasy, which an Arahat has not. For him the body of 'Miss Universe' is an ownerless 'dead' piece of meat, like his own body. For him the 'magic' of an encounter between two 'selves' or 'someones' doesn't exist, because he sees all things as anatta. For him it's only 'bodily contact' and not a contact between 'you' and 'me'. Sex or sexual desire is about the latter.

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Re: Arahants and sexual desire

Postby clw_uk » Wed Sep 09, 2009 10:04 pm

EOD wrote:
clw_uk wrote:I see no reason why they wouldnt have that urge (biology doesnt change with Arahantship) but the craving for such experience and clinging would be gone

The objects of sexual desire are (in most cases) human bodies of the opposite sex. But ... When we engage in sexual fantasy or intercourse we regard the other body (and of course our own too) as (belonging to) a 'someone' or a 'self'. I think this is the 'magic' or 'secret' of sexual desire. Even someone who has sex with a blow-up doll certainly regards this thing as a 'someone' in his fantasy. I don't think the sexual urge is something which is just build-in in the body and comes out from time to time. No. It is based on imagination and fantasy, which an Arahat has not. For him the body of 'Miss Universe' is an ownerless 'dead' piece of meat, like his own body. For him the 'magic' of an encounter between two 'selves' or 'someones' doesn't exist, because he sees all things as anatta. For him it's only 'bodily contact' and not a contact between 'you' and 'me'. Sex or sexual desire is about the latter.

EOD



My argument was more from the physical biological sex drive to pass on genes. I dont see how an arahant can remove that, however by not wanting or clinging to it then there is no dukkha its just a natural function thats there but not acted on, wanted or clung to

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