Celebrating Equal opportunities For Women In Buddhism

Celebrating Equal Opportunities for Women in Buddhism

The full moon day of September is of great significance to the female disciples of the great sage, The Buddha Gautama. It is on such a day more than 2500 years ago that Gautama Buddha granted an ardent wish from his female disciples: to practice the Buddhist philosophy in search of liberation (Nirvana or full Enlightenment) as higher ordained nuns. The significance of this event is immense. 

This is perhaps one of the earliest known recorded instances of democracy or equal rights for women.

In a highly patriarchal cultural background, where women had little to no access to higher education or professional careers, lived under the shadows of their fathers, brothers, husbands and/or sons, and were not heard on equal terms with their male counterparts, the Buddha with boundless compassion for humankind opened the doors to a more equitable world: equal opportunity to learn if one so desired, regardless of one’s gender.

 On the full moon day of September, the Buddhist disciples celebrate this extraordinary win for women, recorded 2500+ years ago, and venerate the great Bhikkhunis who reached the bliss of liberation (Nirvana) in the Gautama Buddha’s dispensation.

How to live in the present moment

How can we live in the present moment without worrying about the future?

First of all, we have to realize that living in the present moment and focusing our minds on the present moment is not a simple thing. It is very hard, but also it is an achievable target. Our great teacher, the Supreme Buddha, taught us: “Atitam nānvāgameyya, nappatikankhe anāgatam”; we should not chase after the past and we should not make too many expectations about the future. The Supreme Buddha said: “Yadatitam pahinam tam, appattañca anāgatam”; what is past is left behind, it is gone, it is over now.

How to be kind

How to be kind without being weak

Now in society, we have heard some people may say: “being kind is a weakness”. “The people who become kind to others are weak.” We are going to find out how to be kind without being weak.

First of all, we need to know that kindness itself is not a weakness. Kindness is a virtue. It is a great quality that you can have in your mind. But people consider those who become kind to others, who are very compassionate, weak. But that is not the reality. How can you be kind without being weak? In a wonderful discourse of the Supreme Buddha’s teachings, it says if you can maintain your patience when you are more powerful than the other person if you can maintain your inner peace, when someone complains you or someone hurts you, even though you are more powerful than that person. That is the greatest patience that you can have in your life. Being patient, being silent doesn’t define you as weak.

You should not go to the side of negativity. It means you should not be patient out of fear. Also, you should not go to the side of aggressiveness. That means you should not be aggressive to others. Instead, you can be assertive. What does it mean in practice? Assertiveness means being kind and maintaining your inner peace without being aggressive. And still you can be confident. If you can be confident as well as kind, that is what you call assertiveness. When you are kind to other people, that does not mean that you are weak. What you have to do when you become kind, you have to be wise. Kindness mixed with wisdom is the best kindness.

What if those evil people or toxic people come to you and start hurting you again and again? You have to take yourself back. Stay away from those people. You should not fall into the same trap again and again. Instead, you can be away from them and that is what is called assertiveness. When you become kind and wise, you become assertive. That is what real kindness is.

What is important is not to let anyone control your inner peace. Don’t let anyone change your emotions and make you sad. Instead, choose to be assertive. You should maintain your inner peace and be confident and be patient and be kind to others. But never, ever be angry and hurt others.

Young girl gets jealous at her boyfriend

Discard Jealousy

Question: Do you know about the green-eyed monster? The green-eyed monster is nothing but the jealousy that arises within our hearts. So today we’re going to talk about how to deal with jealousy that arises within our minds.

Jealousy is one of the most hardest experiences and emotions that we have to go through in our life. It is very hard to admit. And also it is very hard to remove from our hearts. So how can we deal with this jealousy? First of all, let us see why we feel jealousy. We often feel jealousy when we hear or when we see that someone is better than us.

Someone is more capable than us. Someone is more smarter and genuine than us. Then we start to compare ourselves with that person, and we start to feel jealousy. So what is the reason for this jealousy? When we explore the emotion of jealousy, we can find the selfishness or self-centeredness is deeply rooted within this closeness.

That is why we feel jealous all the time. So selfishness means that if someone is thinking only about that person, and if he is thinking that he is the greatest person of all, so chances are very high for that person to feel jealousy on people who are better than that person. So how can we deal with this and how can we stop this zealousness?

There are a few things that you can do, right? The first thing that you should do is to admit that you are in jealous of that person. And most of the time when we feel jealous, we refuse to admit that we are jealous of that person. We hide our emotions and we make excuses for our own evil emotions. So what you have to do is be humble and admit that I am jealous of that person.

Okay. Then only you can identify the real emotion and a real state of your mind. So the first thing that you have to do is to admit that you are jealous of that person. The second thing that you have to do is to realize that we all are different from one to another. For an example, there are four elements in this world the water element. The Earth element. Air element. And the fire element. These are the four elements that prevail in this world. So if I asked you, which one is the best element out of these four? What is the answer of yours? You may say that we cannot compare these four elements because these elements are unique from one to another. They serve differently to this world.

So we cannot compare. We cannot say which one is the better, better one. The same goes for our human lives. We are different from one to another. They are no same and identical people in this world. Even the identical twins are different from emotions and feelings. So that is why we should not compare ourselves with others. Right? We all are different.And also you have to realize there is a person always in this world who is better than you, right?

You can be the best in the world sometimes. But remember, there will be always a person who has the potential to beat you instead of competing with others in the society. Let’s try to compete with ourselves, right? Let’s try to battle with ourselves and let’s try to improve ourselves and bring the better version of ourselves daily. Right?

So that is what we have to do. Your competition should not be with the people who are around you, but your competition should be with the person who is inside yourself. Right. Try to bring the better version of yourself every single day when you are competing with yourself. There is no competition with others in the society and you will never feel jealous of them. Right?

And also, this is a special practice that our great teacher Supreme taught us to do when whenever you feel jealous. What is that? It is one of the most coolest practices in Buddhism. It is called MUDITHA. It means appreciating with joyfulness or in another word, the sympathetic joyfulness. When you practice moody to you will have the ability to wish the well-being of the people around you.

Whether he or she is better than you or lower than you. You can have the ability to wish the well-being and the development and the success of the people. Right. That these are the thoughts of Muditha. So how can we practice these thoughts of Muditha? There are a few simple things that you can do, right? Try these out every single day, whenever you get up from bed in the morning.

Right. Just don’t rush into distractions quickly. Just sit on the bed, close your eyes, and wish the well-being and development, and success of all the beings in this world equally. Right. You can close your eyes and think, May all beings in this world be well and happy. May they be successful in their life. May they be developed with the successes.

When you think and when you mean these emotions from your heart, you can do all of them all the time within you. And when you are going to this society and when you see the people who are better than you, who are more capable than you, then automatically the thoughts of Muditha will come to you and it will take control of your emotions.

Right? So never let that green-eyed monster of jealousy to take control over your mind instead of that. Let’s practice the Muditha and let’s wish the well-being of the people right. So be a big fan of watching people and being happy by seeing they are growing up day in their life and by seeing they are becoming successful in their life. Because at the end of our life, we all have to leave this world and we take nothing from this world, Right?

So that is why we need to collect more good deeds and practice more good emotions within our hearts. Okay, So never be jealous at people because there is nothing good that we can gain from by mere being jealous on other people. Right. So practice Muditha to appreciate it and be happy by seeing the people growing up in their life. Then you become happy by seeing the success of others. You can be happy about yourself.

tips to make 2023 the best year of your life.

How to make 2023 the best year of my life.

Since we are still at the beginning of 2023, We thought to give you a few tips based on the Buddha’s teachings to make this the best year of your life. 

First and foremost, We should learn our lessons from 2022. 

We had to face some bad consequences of some of the bad decisions we made with the influence of defilements in our minds.  And we missed some opportunities because of the negative states in our minds. We should not repeat those things again in 2023. We should understand the defilements or negative states that cause those problems, and we should determine to get rid of those defilements. 

And also we got wonderful results of decisions that we made with positive & wholesome states of our minds. We should acknowledge those decisions. And should identify and develop those positive states of our minds. 

We should not bring the unpleasant & sad moments of 2022 to 2023. Especially Don’t give space in your mind to people who you think make trouble in your life. How do we give space for them in our minds? We think & picture them angrily in our minds. And we picture the unpleasant or sad moments in our minds. Then we think according to it. It doesn’t do any good for us. It just destroys the energy we need to have for 2023. We should just let them go. 

All of you had wonderful & pleasant moments in 2022. But they are over now. We should not try to live with those memories. If we do, we will forget to embrace 2023. Instead of trying to have fun thinking about past memories, be grateful for those moments. Be grateful to the people who made those moments nice & wonderful.  

Then we all should have a goal for 2023. If we don’t have a goal, then there is no certain direction for us to move. It’s not a mere dream. It’s an aim that we set up with a strong purpose in our minds today. Don’t be afraid to think big.  Take some time to think and set up a big goal for 2023. 

  • Develop the skills & talents that you need to achieve your goal. 
  • We all should get rid of procrastination & laziness. We should maintain our willpower. Will Power is not a permanent thing. It’s a conditional and impermanent thing. It’s like a rechargeable battery with the capability of expanding its limit. When we feel a lack of willpower, we should recharge the battery of willpower. 
  • We should be well organized. 
  • We should be innovative and do research & experiments to achieve our goal.

    Sometimes we have an irrational fear of doing new things. We like to stay in our comfort zone. Because we think it’s safe & wise. But we should get rid of those fears to achieve our goal. 

There is another huge obstacle on our way toward success. That is the thought of “I know it” or “I know everything.” That thought keeps us from improving our life. It’s connected with our ego. That’s why buddha advises us to think, “I don’t know.” And Steve Jobs, the co-founder of Apple, says, “Stay hungry, Stay foolish.”  If we think our Cup is full when it’s not, we will die due to the thrust.

We should always seek knowledge. 

Because sometimes we think there is no way to do it. It’s not possible. No one has done it before.  But actually, it’s all about the lack of our knowledge. Before we come to the conclusion that we can’t do it, we should do our research. Most of the time, the solution is just a google search away.

  • We should associate with good friends. 

Nowadays, It says you become the average of five people you surround yourself with. Buddha also says always associate with good & noble friends. So if we want to make 2023 the best year of our lives, we should associate with friends who help us practice healthy habits and achieve our goals. 

  • You should have a good financial plan. Buddha says you should balance your income & expenses. 

Many people try to live rich while having a poor income. Buddha doesn’t praise such a life. And some rich but stingy people don’t consume their wealth, even for their well-being. Buddha neither praises such a life. There must be a balance of income & expenses. Once, buddha gave a financial plan for his lay disciples. 

The Buddha said you should save 25% of your income. You should invest another 50% of your income. And you are only allowed to consume 25% of your income. 

I know this is challenging to implement in your lives. I have been wondering, too, if this plan is applicable today. But when I learned about a wonderful finance book, that doubt faded away from my mind. Yes, of course, this is not easy, but if someone tries to implement it, then their lives become financially stable. You can’t implement this overnight. But at least if you accept this plan and have a positive mind toward it, slowly but surely, you will be able to implement it in your life. 

We should spend some time improving our physical strength. 

 And also we need to have good mental strength. Without mental strength, we can’t do any of these things. To improve our mental health,

Start your day with a positive mind.

how to make 2023 the best year of my life.

If you want to make 2023 the best year of our lives, we should make today one of the best days of our lives. Then eventually, 2023 will become the best year of our lives. So everyday morning after we wake up I will make today one of the best days of my life. During the day we can remind ourselves I should make today one of the best days of my life. 

And also, we can start our day with the practice of meditation. It’s wonderful to spread love & compassion toward all being in this world everyday morning. Then we set up the tone for the day. We can start our day with a happy, energetic, and blissful mind. 

Practicing Gratefulness.

Another thing we can do to strengthen our minds is practicing gratefulness. We should be grateful to everyone who helped us and supported us in our lives. Everyday we should spend some time practicing gratitude.

We can practice Generosity.

We can practice generosity. We should be generous with our time, energy, and wealth. Generosity helps us to get rid of Stinginess, Jealousy, and some fears that we have over our wealth because people have some fears of losing what they have. Generosity is a blessing for our lives. It’s a good karma that gives us good results. And it helps us to have healthy relationships with others. People like to associate with someone who is generous. 

Then we should practice at least one meditation every day.

We should always eliminate negative thoughts and develop wholesome thoughts in our minds. The negative thoughts weaken our minds. The positive thoughts strengthen our minds. 

 (If you participate in our programs, you can learn how to do it)

We should understand the impermanence of this world. It’s the most important thing we should practice to develop our mental health. We should realize everything is subject to change. Nothing is permanent.  That understanding helps us to face any situation in front of us. It helps us to stay positive always.  In any situation, we should remind ourselves, “This too shall pass.” 

Last but not least, We should go to sleep with a happy and calm mind. Before go to bed, we can think about all the positive things that we did throughout the day. And we can practice gratefulness. We can think about people who helped us during the day. We can practice a short meditation like loving-kindness meditation. Then we can go to sleep with a happy, calm mind with the energy to wake up early the next day.

We wish you all the best in making 2023 the best year of your life. 


The magical power of love & compassion.

As we live in this century, we experience such a close relationship with our loved ones, and nowadays, we make so many friends with ease thanks to the invention of technology. 

There is a magical quality we should all have to have a healthy relationship with our beloved ones & friends. That is love & compassion. When the world is filled in with compassion and kindness, it is always protected and secure to live. 

The very first day that we were born into the world, the very first moment that Our mother gave us so dear look with a heart filled with compassion that was enough to make us feel comfortable with life. From there on, we grew up with all the care and protection from people around us. Do you remember when you met one of your friends and how secure and protected you felt? It’s excellent protection that nothing but compassion brings to this world. It warmed our hearts. Healed when we were worried. It Protected us in every situation! friendliness is a synonym for compassion. The unconditional compassion filled with friendship brings so much care to the entire world.

Because we were fortunate to experience true friendship immersed in compassion,  it gave us all the care we needed from people around us. In the words of the Supreme Buddha, when someone maintains a genuine friendship with others, those people will easily receive hospitality.    Wherever they visit, everyone becomes dear to him because he doesn’t have enemies in his life, and he never sees anyone who is against him. all people come to him with a pleasant mind. With much ease, he makes friends.

A Heart with a genuine friendship easily tends to conduct generosity. They can quickly abandon what they have for their friend’s happiness.

Once, the Supreme Buddha expounded that we should never forsake the friend who gives what is hard to give. Because they do that out of strong compassion toward us.

All of us like to listen to the truth. When one always speaks the truth, others will trust their words. so anyone whose mind is full of love & compassion always says the truth. Because of that, Even the Kings trust him. Wherever they go, people like to associate them. They always have a good reputation. 

When our inside is filled up with joy which comes from genuine friendship will also lead to overcoming any sadness that may arise. It’s true that everything is not always dear to us. We receive both praise and blame from time to time. The person who maintains a heart of love and compassion makes great happiness by considering how much compassion they have for the world. 


Learning to let go & the Danger of not being Mindful

Learning to let go & Danger of not being Mindful
Finding a low-stress job may be difficult or impossible for many people. A more realistic choice would be handled with issues with the wise strategies taught by the Buddha to reduce stress at work.

The types of problems at work

  • Physical Discomfort
  • Conflicts
  • Disorganization
  • Multi Tasking
  • Some people get stressed just by thinking about the work they have to do or responsibilities.
  • Then women could have more stress at work.
  • Noise
  • Fed Up With Your Difficult Co-Workers?
  • Co-worker has taken credit for all of your hard work again.
  • You’ve made a major mistake
  • You’re overwhelmed with work
  • The job you have is different from the one you applied for
  • You get a bad performance review


  • Giving up harmful attachment for things in life
  • Performing duties not for the sake of receiving praise
  • We should abandon the desire to be praised. Then a lot of problems are solved
  • Knowing that helping people is a good Kamma
  • For most of the problems
  • Learning to let go
  • Being mindful by knowing the things that distract the mind-objects

AN 9.64  Nivarana Sutta

This Sutta was taught to recognize the five things that distract our mind and find peace and happiness by dealing them with a confident mind-objects

“Monks, there are these five hindrances. Which five? Sensual desire as a hindrance, ill will as a hindrance, sloth & drowsiness as a hindrance, restlessness & anxiety as a hindrance, and doubts as a hindrance. These are the five hindrances.

AN 9.64 Nivarana Sutta

Lot of people do not know that their happiness is taken away by the five hindrances, therefore people end up developing them without recognizing the real cause for suffering and will put the blame on others for the suffering that you experience.

And also, to control the lustful thoughts in the mind, practice Asubha meditation.


The Beauty of Speaking the Truth

First of all, Hi! Hope you’re doing well. It definitely has been a good minute since I’ve got back here, in fact almost a year.. unbelievable how fast time goes..

So, you may have read this title and thought ‘Ah lies, it’s not a big deal to lie.. ‘ Whilst most of us are so used to telling lies, let me tell you the beauty of not telling lies. Before we go further, I’d like to share with you a few wise words uttered by the Buddha about ‘one who tells lies’.

“Monks, for the person who transgresses in one thing, I tell you, there is no evil deed whatsoever he would not do. What is that one thing? It is, monks, telling a deliberate lie.” (Itv 25)

In the above, note the word ‘deliberate’. Deliberate here refers to ‘intention’. If our intention in telling a lie is to deceive someone, hide something to someone, embarrass someone, there, that is the lie that should not be done. And of course, one who lies can do any evil deed and later on lie about their actions. What about white lies then you may ask? A white lie in the dictionary is defined as ‘a harmless or trivial lie, especially one told to avoid hurting someone’s feelings’. Is telling a white lie bad then, since our intention is good? If you think about it.. telling a white lie is also a lie since you’re hiding the truth from them in order to make them feel better.

Personally I would rather have someone be truthful if I asked them something, instead of them saying a white lie.. And if you’re the same, we can come to the conclusion that white lies also belong to lies after all.

And of-course it is difficult to tell the truth in situations where you don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings, but wise people can use tactical ways to utter the truth. This could be by either gradually changing the topic, or being simply polite and starting off with ‘“well, I’m going to be completely honest..” I know you must be thinking what about the fun pranks then? I’m sure you can still be a pretty fun person to be around if you just work on your sense of humour 


However, I admit, it is very difficult to speak the truth. But it is more difficult to do so if you don’t know the dangers of lying and if you’re surrounded by people who also lie. Trust me, once you believe in the dangers of lying and stand on your ground of virtue, it doesn’t matter what others say or do, you will eventually build that strength to say ‘sorry I don’t lie, so I can’t say/do this’. And from my experience, I have to tell you, that itself brings a great sense of pride in yourself. Personally I’m grateful in my path of spiritual practice, I found noble teachers, and the right friends or in Buddhism we say, ‘noble friends’ who share and understand the same values and interests.

So the dangers of lying as I learnt from the teachings of the Buddha are sometimes explained through similes. Firstly the Buddha explains, the worst consequences of lying are, it causes rebirth in the animal and ghost worlds. The least consequences on the other hand are, he who is reborn in the human world will be humiliated and insulted and accused for no reason. The beautiful simile said by the Buddha to explain one who lies is — a person who lies is like a vessel turned upside down. Just like that vessel cannot hold any water, a person who lies cannot hold any good qualities in them. They will continue to lie to cover their other lies and therefore there is no evil deed that person would not do.

In conclusion, I say that the beauty of speaking the truth is the rare quality of truthfulness in that person itself. There is beauty in their virtuous character, in their truthful speech, in their courage to stand on their ground of virtue and is eventually an attractive person to associate with, as he is trust worthy.

Therefore, I hope this article was of some value to you and helps you develop the quality of truthfulness. I shall see you next time, until then take care and stay safe 


The Happiness That Wipes Out True Happiness

The nature of our mind is, it gets attracted to pleasant things. With regard to this nature, the mind is unfulfilled with desires. With regards to pleasant things, the mind is unsatisfied all the time.

And people are caught up in a struggle to satisfy such a mind, a mind that is overpowered by desire. New inventions emerge every day, instant solutions for daily needs, competing with one another to find a place in our homes. Smartphones have brought the whole world under our fingertips. Doors for pleasant and agreeable form, sound, smell, taste and contact are just a little tap away. The world certainly has ‘developed’…or has it? 

Regardless of all the facilities out there, we are still discontent and unsatisfied. The mind is more agitated than before, the world has become restless and problems arise in every corner. Why is it so? Why has the world lost the very happiness it was pursuing? 

The ordinary lifestyle, the ordinary way of thinking is one thing; the truth is another thing. The ordinary way of thinking tries to find pleasure through pleasant things. But the truth is; pleasant things bring suffering. That’s the Lord Buddha’s marvellous realization. Because this is not understood, the world is agitated and faces troubles.

In this world there are various objects, among them there are beautiful things that arouse lust in our mind.  And thoughts of such nature agitate the entire human world.

Arahant Aññākoṇḍañña Maha Thera

This is an idea of a sage, who has attained the non-declining happiness through realizing the noble teachings of the Lord Buddha. Like said above, the ordinary way thinks pleasure can be gained through pleasant things. But the Lord Buddha says, the reason for our agitation is from the pleasant objects that we seek all the time. Why do these pleasant objects cause agitation? Because they arouse desire.  What are those objects that generate desire and make us agitate so much?

Bhikkhus, there are these five cords of sensual pleasure. What are the five? Forms cognizable by the eye that are wished for, desired, agreeable and likeable, connected with sensual desire, and provocative of lust. Sounds cognizable by the ear…Odours cognizable by the nose…Flavours cognizable by the tongue…Tangibles cognizable by the body that are wished for, desired, agreeable and likeable, connected with sensual desire, and provocative of lust. These are the five cords of sensual pleasure. 

Maha Dukkhakkhandha Sutta – MN 13

Isn’t the entire world seeking happiness by running behind these objects? Aren’t all these problems due to these things? Are these the real ‘sensual pleasures’ in the world? 

Now, you may think that if these are the sensual pleasures, how could we change the world? The good news is that these five things are not sensual pleasures, these are known as the five ‘cords’ of sensual pleasures. Then, where or what is this sensual pleasure that agitates the beings?      

Saṅkapparāgo purisassa kāmo,
Nete kāmā yāni citrāni loke;
Saṅkapparāgo purisassa kāmo,
Tiṭṭhanti citrāni tatheva loke;
Athettha dhīrā vinayanti chandanti.

The passion for his resolves is a man’s sensuality,
not the beautiful sensual pleasures found in the world.
The passion for his resolves is a man’s sensuality.

The beauties remain as they are in the world,
while the wise, in this regard,
subdue their desire.

Nibbedika Sutta – AN 6.63

Which means, what we identify as ‘sensual pleasure’, is the lust that arises (mentally) for the five ‘cords of sensual pleasures’. This is the ‘sensual pleasure’ that made us suffer in this long journey of sansara. That’s why the Lord Buddha explained this sensual pleasure as a flood, a torrent. And also as a hindrance, as a fetter, as a taint, as clinging, as an underlying tendency, that tied us to the sansara. Our mind gets attracted to it very easily because the mind is used to getting attracted to sensual pleasures throughout the sansara. But it does not happen without a reason, without a cause. Letting it happen is our fault and is the reason. 

Bhikkhus, the Nature of the mind is like this, whatever a Bhikkhu frequently thinks and ponders upon, that will become the inclination of his mind. If he frequently thinks and ponders upon thoughts of sensual desire, he has abandoned the thought of renunciation to cultivate the thought of sensual desire, and then his mind inclines to thoughts of sensual desire. 

Dvedhāvitakka Sutta – MN 19

Observe yourself for a moment, isn’t this what happens? If we just take one day, how many thoughts are thought about pleasant things? The mind is inclined to sensual pleasures due to this reason. That happens because we are used to this pattern of thinking.

To get attracted to pleasant things, there should be happiness in sensual pleasures, isn’t it? Yes, in sensual pleasures there is some gratification. It is not devoid of pleasure. 

Now the pleasure and joy that arise dependent on these pleasant five cords of sensual pleasure are the gratification in the case of sensual pleasures.

Maha Dukkhakkhandha Sutta – MN 13

The mind is obsessed with this gratification. The world is running behind this gratification. The Lord Buddha compared this gratification to a bone, without flesh and blood, given to a dog, and to the gratification you get when you scratch a rash. 

All the gratifications, enjoyments born out of sensual pleasures, end with, or are followed by suffering because we are deceived by the distorted view; seeing suffering as pleasure. This is why all the pleasures in the world are followed by agitation, tiredness and panic, all because of the distorted view. Didn’t the Blessed One reveal the danger and how low sensual pleasures are, in the first Dhamma sermon at Baranasi?

Yocā’yaṁ kāmesu kāmasukhallikānuyogo hīno gammo pothujjaniko anariyo anatthasaṁhito

There is addiction to indulgence in sense-pleasures, which is low, coarse, and the way of ordinary people, not practised by noble ones, and is unbeneficial

Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta – SN 56.11

If we are running behind something very low, not meaningful, something ordinary and worldly, if we dedicate our entire life for it, how will we ever get something valuable in the end? How to go beyond worldliness?

Kāmāhi citrā madhurā manoramā,
Virūparūpena mathenti cittaṃ

Sensual pleasures, varied, sweet, delightful,
In many different ways disturb the mind

Arahant Raṭṭhapāla Maha Thera

The danger that is caused by sensual pleasures, that has only a little gratification and enormous suffering, is limitless. The Lord Buddha expounded in many suttas like Mahadukkhakkhanda sutta, Chula dukkhakkhanda sutta that the sorrow, the sadness, the grief that arise in this life is because of the sensual pleasures. Read those wonderful suttas that enlighten your minds from unawareness of life. Further, the Lord Buddha expounded that this sensual pleasure has the ability to lead you to more suffering in the life after death.

“Dear Bhikkhus, with sensual pleasures as the cause, sensual pleasures as the source, sensual pleasures as the basis, the cause being simply sensual pleasures, people indulge in misconduct of body, speech, and mind. Having done so, on the dissolution of the body, after death, they reappear in states of deprivation, in an unhappy destination, in perdition, even in hell.

“Dear Bhikkhus, Now this is a danger in the case of sensual pleasures, a mass of suffering in the life to come, having sensual pleasures as its cause, sensual pleasures as its source, sensual pleasures as its basis, the cause being simply sensual pleasures.

Maha Dukkhakkhandha Sutta – MN 13

The most worthy One, the supremely enlightened One revealed using many similes the deceiving nature of the sensual pleasures that lead beings to miserable states.

Sensual pleasures are like a ‘vulture carrying a lump of meat’. While carrying that lump of meat other vultures chase behind. So until it drops the piece of meat, it will suffer mentally and physically.

Sensual pleasures are like ‘torch made of grass or leaves gathered together’. The person carrying it suffers from the heat it emanates. To be free from that suffering that person has to let go of the torch, throw it away.

Sensual pleasures are like a ‘dream’. Even though we receive so much wealth in dreams, when we wake up there is nothing. Similarly, at the time of death, the sensual pleasures we experienced seem like a dream.

Sensual pleasures are like ‘something borrowed.’ Something taken as a loan does not belong to us. The owner could take it back at any time.  In the same way we will leave everything at death.

Sensual pleasures are like ‘fruits of a tree.’ While a man eats fruits on the top of a tree, another tries to cut down that tree. So, if the man on top of the tree wishes to live long, should climb down as soon as possible to avoid great suffering or death.

Likewise in various ways the Lord Buddha revealed the dangers of sensual pleasures. Please read the Potaliya Sutta (MN 54).

If sensual pleasures are with this much horrific consequences, a person who seeks happiness should protect the mind from being overwhelmed by sensual pleasures. How to protect the mind from sensual pleasures? Even our great Bodhisattva in his last life, before becoming the Samma Sambuddha, did it with great effort. Our solution lies in the way how the Bodhisatta directed his mind; 

“Dear Bhikkhus, I abided thus, diligent, ardent, and resolute, a thought of sensual desire arose in me. I understood thus: ‘This thought of sensual desire has arisen in me. This leads to my own affliction, to others’ affliction, and to the affliction of both; it obstructs wisdom, causes difficulties, and leads away from Nibbāna.’ When I considered: ‘This leads to my own affliction,’ it subsided in me; when I considered: ‘This leads to others’ affliction,’ it subsided in me; when I considered: ‘This leads to the affliction of both,’ it subsided in me; when I considered: ‘This obstructs wisdom, causes difficulties, and leads away from Nibbāna,’ it subsided in me. Whenever a thought of sensual desire arose in me, I abandoned it, removed it, did away with it.

Dvedhāvitakka Sutta – MN 19

The blessed One said that when contemplating wisely in this manner, all thoughts connected to sensual pleasures were eradicated. Therefore, to protect our mind which is prone to be deceived by sensual pleasures, we should contemplate in the same way. Also by encouraging thoughts of renunciation we can pull our minds from running behind sensual pleasures. 

“Bhikkhus, whatever a bhikkhu frequently thinks and ponders upon, that will become the inclination of his mind. If he frequently thinks and ponders upon thoughts of renunciation, he has abandoned the thought of sensual desire to cultivate the thought of renunciation, and then his mind inclines to thoughts of renunciation.

Dvedhāvitakka Sutta – MN 19

By maintaining the mind in this manner, by making a cause in this manner, we will be able to free ourselves from sensual pleasures.

“Dear Bhikkhus, what is the escape in the case of sensual pleasures? It is the removal of desire and lust, the abandonment of desire and lust for sensual pleasures. This is the escape in the case of sensual pleasures.

Maha Dukkhakkhandha Sutta – MN 13

In this manner, the Lord Buddha perfectly expounded about sensual pleasure out of compassion. On one occasion, the Lord Buddha said to a Brahmin, by the name Janussoni, that if someone is unable to eradicate lust for sensual pleasures that person will grieve and suffer when facing death. 

But if a person has eradicated lust for sensual pleasures, he/she will not suffer at death. If someone eradicates lust for sensual pleasures by establishing him/herself in the Buddha’s dispensation, that person will be free from the sufferings of sensual pleasure for good. The Lord Buddha’s teachings have such power. 

The only reason behind your immense suffering, physical and mental, is the sensual pleasures. Hence, let go of the impermanent sensual pleasures. Do not fail to attain the supreme happiness by being caught up in small happiness. 

Arahant Sumedhā Maha Theri

May you gain the ultimate assurance of the great teachings of a Buddha!