Does pornography leads to rebirth in a lower realm?

Buddhist ethical conduct including the Five Precepts (Pañcasikkhāpada), and Eightfold Ethical Conduct (Aṭṭhasīla).
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white wolf
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Does pornography leads to rebirth in a lower realm?

Post by white wolf »

Hello forum members. I know that porn is harmful. Sometimes I am watching anime porn. I think I have an anime porn addiction. I have a question. Should I make an effort to distance myself from anime porn? Does pornography leads to rebirth in a lower realm? Thanks for the answers.
SarathW
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Re: Does pornography leads to rebirth in a lower realm?

Post by SarathW »

Do you experience happiness or suffering after watching them?
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”
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Mahabrahma
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Re: Does pornography leads to rebirth in a lower realm?

Post by Mahabrahma »

Stay away from stuff like that AS MUCH AS YOU POSSIBLY CAN STOP WATCHING IT, IT IS EXTREMELY UNHEALTHY. I AM TYPING IN CRAZY CAPS BECAUSE I CARE ABOUT YOU. Anime is most of the time unhealthy anyway considering how it is drawn and what the anime people look like, with their bodily features (i.e. adult bodily features mixed with younger bodily features). Pornography can be unhealthy, but anime porn is especially unhealthy, and much of it is illegal. Don't blame yourself for having such a problem, but do your best to stay away from that stuff. It is drawn by rapists sometimes. Do something that will make you feel good about yourself. Develop a meaningful relationship, kiss a girl. Become centered on real people, because the issue you are having could put you in purgatory even in this life if you fall into sin (and yes, Guatama talked about purgatory). Arise to the Buddhist standard. I am sorry this is happening to you. Do your best to recover.
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Re: Does pornography leads to rebirth in a lower realm?

Post by Srilankaputra »

Mendicants, what you intend or plan, and what you have underlying tendencies for become a support for the continuation of consciousness.

Yañca, bhikkhave, ceteti yañca pakappeti yañca anuseti, ārammaṇametaṃ hoti viññāṇassa ṭhitiyā.
The consciousness of sentient beings—hindered by ignorance and fettered by craving—is established in a lower realm. That’s how there is rebirth into a new state of existence in the future.

Avijjānīvaraṇānaṃ sattānaṃ taṇhāsaṃyojanānaṃ hīnāya dhātuyā viññāṇaṃ patiṭṭhitaṃ evaṃ āyatiṃ punabbhavābhinibbatti hoti
The consciousness of sentient beings—hindered by ignorance and fettered by craving—is established in a middle realm. That’s how there is rebirth into a new state of existence in the future.

Avijjānīvaraṇānaṃ sattānaṃ taṇhāsaṃyojanānaṃ majjhimāya dhātuyā viññāṇaṃ patiṭṭhitaṃ evaṃ āyatiṃ punabbhavābhinibbatti hoti
The consciousness of sentient beings—hindered by ignorance and fettered by craving—is established in a higher realm. That’s how there is rebirth into a new state of existence in the future.

Avijjānīvaraṇānaṃ sattānaṃ taṇhāsaṃyojanānaṃ paṇītāya dhātuyā viññāṇaṃ patiṭṭhitaṃ evaṃ āyatiṃ punabbhavābhinibbatti hoti

Tañhi, bhikkhu, musā yaṃ mosadhammaṃ, taṃ saccaṃ yaṃ amosadhammaṃ nibbānaṃ.

Tasmā evaṃ samannāgato bhikkhu iminā 
paramena saccādhiṭṭhānena samannāgato hoti.

Etañhi, bhikkhu, paramaṃ ariyasaccaṃ yadidaṃ

amosadhammaṃ nibbānaṃ
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white wolf
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Re: Does pornography leads to rebirth in a lower realm?

Post by white wolf »

SarathW wrote: Tue Oct 06, 2020 5:39 am Do you experience happiness or suffering after watching them?
After watching them I experience mixed emotions. I enjoyed watching them but I recognize I have done a bad action. Feeling gulity.
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white wolf
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Re: Does pornography leads to rebirth in a lower realm?

Post by white wolf »

Mahabrahma wrote: Tue Oct 06, 2020 5:40 am Stay away from stuff like that AS MUCH AS YOU POSSIBLY CAN STOP WATCHING IT, IT IS EXTREMELY UNHEALTHY. I AM TYPING IN CRAZY CAPS BECAUSE I CARE ABOUT YOU. Anime is most of the time unhealthy anyway considering how it is drawn and what the anime people look like, with their bodily features (i.e. adult bodily features mixed with younger bodily features). Pornography can be unhealthy, but anime porn is especially unhealthy, and much of it is illegal. Don't blame yourself for having such a problem, but do your best to stay away from that stuff. It is drawn by rapists sometimes. Do something that will make you feel good about yourself. Develop a meaningful relationship, kiss a girl. Become centered on real people, because the issue you are having could put you in purgatory even in this life if you fall into sin (and yes, Guatama talked about purgatory). Arise to the Buddhist standard. I am sorry this is happening to you. Do your best to recover.
It seems it is even worse than pornography. Thank you for your reply.

I let you know that I am female. I would like to develop a meaningful relationship but it is complicated. I have a female body and I have lots of male traits. I want to develop a relationship with a female. I am not much interested in men. I am living in Europe. Some lesbian and bisexual individuals have interest in manly women. They do not practice any religion and they do not keep the five precepts. They are engaged in intoxicants, they kill insects. The Mangala Sutta advices do not associate with individuals who do not keep the five precepts. Association with individuals who do not keep the five precepts affects our minds negatively. It can makes us to fail keeping Sila. I think I will not find a suitable partner in this lifetime. This is an issue, this is a struggle. I want a relationship. I will try the best to stop watching anime porn.
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Mahabrahma
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Re: Does pornography leads to rebirth in a lower realm?

Post by Mahabrahma »

Believe in yourself. And you will by far find a meaningful relationship and a significant other. Love is more powerful than anything and the Universe will help you find someone to be with. You will not be by yourself all your life. Just try being social, and in fact engage in many Spiritual activities with Buddhists, and even preach Buddhism to other people. It sounds like you understand a lot about the practice, so keep at it, never give up. Your Spirit desires the best things for you. And eventually you will get them. Have faith in yourself. :anjali:
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white wolf
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Re: Does pornography leads to rebirth in a lower realm?

Post by white wolf »

Mahabrahma wrote: Tue Oct 06, 2020 8:33 am Believe in yourself. And you will by far find a meaningful relationship and a significant other. Love is more powerful than anything and the Universe will help you find someone to be with. You will not be by yourself all your life. Just try being social, and in fact engage in many Spiritual activities with Buddhists, and even preach Buddhism to other people. It sounds like you understand a lot about the practice, so keep at it, never give up. Your Spirit desires the best things for you. And eventually you will get them. Have faith in yourself. :anjali:
Thank you for your advices. I appreciate your help.

:heart:
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greenjuice
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Re: Does pornography leads to rebirth in a lower realm?

Post by greenjuice »

It doesn't. Only the dasa akusala kamma / ten unwholesome actions can lead to rebirth in lower realms. The ten are:

Wrong bodily conduct:
1 Killing and violence: "being a killer of beings, bloody-handed, given to blows and violence, not having compassion".
2 Stealing: "taking what is not given, taking as a thief another's possession and property in the town or in the forest".
3 Sexual misconduct: having intercourse with minors, prisoners, those who are unwilling, monastics, or those who are in a closed marriage or a closed pre-marital relationship with someone else.

Wrong verbal conduct:
4 False witness: Speaking falsehoods, especially testimony "when summoned to a court or to a meeting and questioned as a witness, then, not knowing, one says 'I know,' or knowing, one says 'I do not know'."; consciously speaking lies.
5 Divisive speaking: Speaking maliciously about someone, backbiting, slander, spreading what one has heard for the purpose of causing conflict, creating divisions, enjoying conflict and division.
6 Unkind speaking: Speech which is rude, harsh, bitter, abusive, angry, not calm; speech that is not kind, not soft, not affectionate, not polite, not agreeable, not wanted, not pleasant (to those it is spoken to).
7 Worthless speaking: talk which is inappropriate (with regards to when or where it is spoken), which is not factual, which is untruthful, unethical, or detrimental in some way.

Wrong mental conduct:
8 Greed, including especially envy, coveting of or begrudging another's property, or their status or popularity.
9: Malevolence: having a mind of ill-will, a mind affected by hate, especially wanting harm or death to others; being irritated when criticized; in general being angry, ill-disposed, resentful, ill-tempered.
10: Wrong view, ie moral nihilism: thinking "There is no point in doing good deeds, there are no rewards and punishments in the afterlife, there is no afterlife, there is no morality".

Immoral deeds are divided in three categories: 1 the worst acts, grave offenses: killing a human, sexual misconduct sex, grand theft, or religious lies, 2 very bad acts, serious faults: maiming /injuring a human, theft of something of middle value, lesser sexual misconduct (such as kisses and caresses), falsely accusing or slandering people, insulting or mocking someone, and starting conflicts (divisive speech), and 3 just bad acts, wrongdoings: dishonest gain, minor theft, killing animals (or having them killed), hitting humans, lying, unkind speech, worthless speech, being greedy, being stingy, and moral nihilism. Of course there are nuances with regards to context (eg killing a large animal is worse than killing a small animal), but this is enough of explanation for here.

The point is is that pornography doesn't violate any of these (except if it's pornography where the sex is unwilling or with minors, etc). Pornography in itself is not immoral.

But - having an addiction to it, like any addition and strong attachment - is problematic in practical sense, it can make a person waste time or energy or money they don't want to waste, and it certainly makes the person unhappy.

For any such issue, one should practice meditation in the right way, and train oneself in having things in one's mind (whether in the focus or in the periphery of consciousness) and be detached from them. What does this mean?

When doing focused attention meditation, we focus eg on breath, and whatever comes to our mind, we don't try to push it away, but we also don't focus on it, we leave it in the periphery of consciousness and focus on the breath. When doing open monitoring meditation, we just focus on whatever appears in our mind (perceptions, sensations, memory, image, verbal thoughts, emotions, etc) we don't push them away but we also don't get pulled away by them, we just sit and watch things appear and go away, watch them flow through.

When we get trained in these two practices of meditation, we can then apply these approaches to addictive thoughts and desires and impulses when they appear.

When applying this we train ourself to NOT feel aversion to such thoughts, we don't try to push them away, we just either watch them, or just leave them in the periphery of consciousness as we focus on something else (it can be breath meditation, or it can be just regular daily focus, eg on doing some work or chores, or whatever). If we hang on to aversion towards those thoughts, if we try to push them away, that will be counterproductive, it will only make them stay. It's like saying to yourself "I shouldn't imagine pink elephants, I shouldn't imagine pink elephants, I shouldn't imagine pink elephants, ..." - that is a sure way to continue imagining pink elephants. So, we train ourself to detach from the thoughts, to let them come, let them stay, and let them go, without trying to push them away and without being lead by them. When we get used to this, to being detached, then such thoughts stop being a problem. And through time - when they appear again and again, and we are detached, and we choose to not indulge in them nor to act on them, they then start to reduce in frequency and intensity, and we thereby start doing away with the addiction / strong habit.
SarathW
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Re: Does pornography leads to rebirth in a lower realm?

Post by SarathW »

white wolf wrote: Tue Oct 06, 2020 7:20 am
SarathW wrote: Tue Oct 06, 2020 5:39 am Do you experience happiness or suffering after watching them?
After watching them I experience mixed emotions. I enjoyed watching them but I recognize I have done a bad action. Feeling gulity.
Why do you feel guilty?
Who said it is a bad action?
In which way it is a bad action?
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”
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white wolf
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Re: Does pornography leads to rebirth in a lower realm?

Post by white wolf »

SarathW wrote: Tue Oct 06, 2020 9:08 am
white wolf wrote: Tue Oct 06, 2020 7:20 am
SarathW wrote: Tue Oct 06, 2020 5:39 am Do you experience happiness or suffering after watching them?
After watching them I experience mixed emotions. I enjoyed watching them but I recognize I have done a bad action. Feeling gulity.
Why do you feel guilty?
Who said it is a bad action?
In which way it is a bad action?
I feel guilty because watching porn is harmful. In porn women are sex objects. In slavery peoples are work objects. By watching porn I can not develop Brahmaviharas well.

I think watching porn is a bad action. It is bad action because I feed my mind with something harmful.

When I feed my mind with something skillful it is good action. For example practicing meditation is a good action. Reading a sutta is a good action.
Last edited by white wolf on Tue Oct 06, 2020 9:39 am, edited 1 time in total.
SarathW
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Re: Does pornography leads to rebirth in a lower realm?

Post by SarathW »

white wolf wrote: Tue Oct 06, 2020 9:36 am
SarathW wrote: Tue Oct 06, 2020 9:08 am
white wolf wrote: Tue Oct 06, 2020 7:20 am

After watching them I experience mixed emotions. I enjoyed watching them but I recognize I have done a bad action. Feeling gulity.
Why do you feel guilty?
Who said it is a bad action?
In which way it is a bad action?
I feel guilty because watching porn is harmful. In porn women are sex objects. In slavery peoples are work objects.

I think watching porn is a bad action. It is bad action because I feed my mind with something harmful.

When I feed my mind with something skillful it is good action. For example practicing meditation is a good action. Reading a sutta is a good action.
Why this is more unskillful than, over eating, listening to music or any other sense indulgence?
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”
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white wolf
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Re: Does pornography leads to rebirth in a lower realm?

Post by white wolf »

greenjuice wrote: Tue Oct 06, 2020 8:57 am It doesn't. Only the dasa akusala kamma / ten unwholesome actions can lead to rebirth in lower realms. The ten are:

Wrong bodily conduct:
1 Killing and violence: "being a killer of beings, bloody-handed, given to blows and violence, not having compassion".
2 Stealing: "taking what is not given, taking as a thief another's possession and property in the town or in the forest".
3 Sexual misconduct: having intercourse with minors, prisoners, those who are unwilling, monastics, or those who are in a closed marriage or a closed pre-marital relationship with someone else.

Wrong verbal conduct:
4 False witness: Speaking falsehoods, especially testimony "when summoned to a court or to a meeting and questioned as a witness, then, not knowing, one says 'I know,' or knowing, one says 'I do not know'."; consciously speaking lies.
5 Divisive speaking: Speaking maliciously about someone, backbiting, slander, spreading what one has heard for the purpose of causing conflict, creating divisions, enjoying conflict and division.
6 Unkind speaking: Speech which is rude, harsh, bitter, abusive, angry, not calm; speech that is not kind, not soft, not affectionate, not polite, not agreeable, not wanted, not pleasant (to those it is spoken to).
7 Worthless speaking: talk which is inappropriate (with regards to when or where it is spoken), which is not factual, which is untruthful, unethical, or detrimental in some way.

Wrong mental conduct:
8 Greed, including especially envy, coveting of or begrudging another's property, or their status or popularity.
9: Malevolence: having a mind of ill-will, a mind affected by hate, especially wanting harm or death to others; being irritated when criticized; in general being angry, ill-disposed, resentful, ill-tempered.
10: Wrong view, ie moral nihilism: thinking "There is no point in doing good deeds, there are no rewards and punishments in the afterlife, there is no afterlife, there is no morality".

Immoral deeds are divided in three categories: 1 the worst acts, grave offenses: killing a human, sexual misconduct sex, grand theft, or religious lies, 2 very bad acts, serious faults: maiming /injuring a human, theft of something of middle value, lesser sexual misconduct (such as kisses and caresses), falsely accusing or slandering people, insulting or mocking someone, and starting conflicts (divisive speech), and 3 just bad acts, wrongdoings: dishonest gain, minor theft, killing animals (or having them killed), hitting humans, lying, unkind speech, worthless speech, being greedy, being stingy, and moral nihilism. Of course there are nuances with regards to context (eg killing a large animal is worse than killing a small animal), but this is enough of explanation for here.

The point is is that pornography doesn't violate any of these (except if it's pornography where the sex is unwilling or with minors, etc). Pornography in itself is not immoral.

But - having an addiction to it, like any addition and strong attachment - is problematic in practical sense, it can make a person waste time or energy or money they don't want to waste, and it certainly makes the person unhappy.

For any such issue, one should practice meditation in the right way, and train oneself in having things in one's mind (whether in the focus or in the periphery of consciousness) and be detached from them. What does this mean?

When doing focused attention meditation, we focus eg on breath, and whatever comes to our mind, we don't try to push it away, but we also don't focus on it, we leave it in the periphery of consciousness and focus on the breath. When doing open monitoring meditation, we just focus on whatever appears in our mind (perceptions, sensations, memory, image, verbal thoughts, emotions, etc) we don't push them away but we also don't get pulled away by them, we just sit and watch things appear and go away, watch them flow through.

When we get trained in these two practices of meditation, we can then apply these approaches to addictive thoughts and desires and impulses when they appear.

When applying this we train ourself to NOT feel aversion to such thoughts, we don't try to push them away, we just either watch them, or just leave them in the periphery of consciousness as we focus on something else (it can be breath meditation, or it can be just regular daily focus, eg on doing some work or chores, or whatever). If we hang on to aversion towards those thoughts, if we try to push them away, that will be counterproductive, it will only make them stay. It's like saying to yourself "I shouldn't imagine pink elephants, I shouldn't imagine pink elephants, I shouldn't imagine pink elephants, ..." - that is a sure way to continue imagining pink elephants. So, we train ourself to detach from the thoughts, to let them come, let them stay, and let them go, without trying to push them away and without being lead by them. When we get used to this, to being detached, then such thoughts stop being a problem. And through time - when they appear again and again, and we are detached, and we choose to not indulge in them nor to act on them, they then start to reduce in frequency and intensity, and we thereby start doing away with the addiction / strong habit.
:goodpost:

Thank you for your detailed reply.
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Mr Man
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Re: Does pornography leads to rebirth in a lower realm?

Post by Mr Man »

white wolf wrote: Tue Oct 06, 2020 9:36 am
I think watching porn is a bad action. It is bad action because I feed my mind with something harmful.

When I feed my mind with something skillful it is good action. For example practicing meditation is a good action. Reading a sutta is a good action.
Well I guess you you have answered your question

From the Dhammapada

"To avoid all evil, to cultivate good, and to cleanse one's mind — this is the teaching of the Buddhas."
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white wolf
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Re: Does pornography leads to rebirth in a lower realm?

Post by white wolf »

SarathW wrote: Tue Oct 06, 2020 9:42 am
white wolf wrote: Tue Oct 06, 2020 9:36 am
SarathW wrote: Tue Oct 06, 2020 9:08 am
Why do you feel guilty?
Who said it is a bad action?
In which way it is a bad action?
I feel guilty because watching porn is harmful. In porn women are sex objects. In slavery peoples are work objects.

I think watching porn is a bad action. It is bad action because I feed my mind with something harmful.

When I feed my mind with something skillful it is good action. For example practicing meditation is a good action. Reading a sutta is a good action.
Why this is more unskillful than, over eating, listening to music or any other sense indulgence?
I think some sense indulgences are more unskillful. Some are less unskillful. For example if you are listening to modern music you will hear lots of angry, violent lyrics. Modern music are more unskillful than a simple flute song. A flute song is probably less unskillful.
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