Meditation for BeginnersCommentorial Metaphors: Indulgence in sensual pleasures:A pig content to wallow in dung1. A pig content to wallow in dung: Indulging in sensual pleasures is rather like a pig, which spends all its life wallowing in the warm mud and dung of its pigsty because it thinks that this is the ultimate happiness. The Buddha also compared the pleasures of the five senses to sewerage, also beloved of pigs. He said that the pleasures of the senses are suitable only for householders and are not suitable for those leading the monastic life.2. A corpse abandoned to rot in a cemetery: Indulging in sensual pleasures as a state of being is base and unprofitable, comparable to a rotting corpse abandoned in a cemetery.3. A dog chewing on the bones of a fleshiless skeleton: Indulging in the pleasures of the five senses is comparable to a skeleton and the person who indulges in the pleasures of the five sense4s can be compared to a dog which enjoys chewing at the dry and fleshless bones of that skeleton. The dig feels a few moments satisfaction as the result of its chewing but the satisfaction is short lived.4. Enjoying a dream: The pleasures of the senses can. Be compared to a dream again because they are transitory and soon disappear.5. The red-hot glowing embers of a fire: The pleasures of the senses can also be compared to red-hot glowing embers and those who indulge in the pleasures of the senses are like someone who has fallen into the flames if the victim is not burned to death instantly, he will experience nothing but excruciating torture. In just the same way, those drunken with indulgence of their sensual desires will have to continue to endure the excruciating torture of rebirth in the cycle of existence.A road through dangerous territory6. Eating a poisonous fruit: The pleasures of the five senses can be compared to a poisonous of the five senses can be compared to a poisonous fruit. The hedonist, in his greed eats the fruit and must endure the ensuing pain and upset as the poison takes its effect and he may die as a consequence.7. Playing with a sharp weapon: The Lord Buddha compared the pleasures of the five senses as being like a sword, a foil, a spear or a javelin. Anyone who meddles with the pleasures of the five senses, will eventually be tortured or executed by sword, foil, spear or javelin. In the end there is nothing more than suffering. Ultimately, there is not even the slightest benefit from indulging the pleasures of the sense.8. A child playing with a top: The Buddha also compared the pleasures of the senses to a top (childrens’ toy). He said to play with a top is immature: i.e. appropriate only for those who are still thick with defilements.9. Discarded husks of rice: The Buddha also compared the pleasures of the senses to rice husks which are discarded in troughs as pig offal.10. A cemetery of rotting corpses: The Buddha also compared the pleasures of the senses to a filthy cemetery filled with rotting corpses which attracts stray dogs, crows and vultures.11. A latrine: The Buddha also compared the pleasures of the senses to a latrine or a toilet which is soiled with excrement.12. Excrement or Toilet rinsings: The Buddha also compared the pleasures of the senses to the water that has been used to rinse a toilet or the toilet bowl itself, which is soiled with excrement. He also compared the pleasures of the senses to human faeces which dogs like to spend their time sniffing.A crow feeding from a floating elephant carcassThus, the Lord Buddha taught that indulgence in the pleasures of the senses is shunned by the Noble Ones [ariyapuggala], just like a girl of the untouchable caste [candela] would be shunned by a Brahmin suitor for her vulgar manners, disposition and speech.Furthermore, indulgence in sensual pleasures is of absolutely no benefit on the contrary it attracts only damage and suffering to whoever indulges. Thus it has been compared to :13. A road through dangerous territory: The Buddha also compared the pleasures of the senses to a road whose route leads us through dangerous country threatened by ogresses [yakkhini], upon which no traveler can ever escape misfortune and death.14. Licking honey from a razor blade: The Buddha also compared the pleasures of the senses to a greedy person who tries to lick sweet tasting honey from a razor blade and suffers from the ensuing wounds and infection of his tongue.15. Denizens of hell blundering back into the fires of hell: The Buddha also compared indulging the pleasures of the senses to denizens of hell fooled into thinking they have reached a place that is a sanctuary from the suffering of hell, but instead are dropped anew into hell’s fires.16. A man who falls in love with an ogress: The Buddha also compared indulging the pleasures of the senses to a man who falls in love and co-habits with an ogress who he takes for a human maiden (but who will later become her victim).17. A crow feeding from a floating elephant carcass: The Buddha also compared indulging the pleasures of the senses to a crow feeding from a floating elephant carcass who thakes it for dry land (that will never sink) and is so concerned with feeding that the carcass floats so far out to sea that the crow cannot fly home, and eventually drowns from its folly.This last metaphor clearly illustrates how no benefit can be found by indulging in sensual pleasure. All these dangers of indulging in sensual pleasures are the reason why the Buddha taught in the Dhammacakkapavattana Sutta that those leading the monastic life must avoid the extreme of indulging in semsual pleasure.Enjoying a dream: The pleasures of the senses can.Furthermore, in the Mahadukkhakhands Sutta (The Greater Discourse on theStems of Suffering) (M.i.8.ff.), delivered at Savatthi, the Buddha expounds the dangers of sensual indulgence, in detail which exceeds even that of the Dhammacakkapavattana Sutta.“O! Monks! What is indulgence of the senses? The senses are five, namely: images seen with the eyes, sounds heard with the ears, aromas smelled with the nose, savours tasted with the tongue, physical touch registered by the body. The indulgence of these five senses is of a nature to tempt us to attachment. O! Monks! The pleasures and enjoyment which come from sense contact are what we call the indulgence of the senses.O! Monks! What are the dangers of sensual indulgence? The people of this world earn their livelihood in many ways: for example, some are farmers, some run busimesses, some tend dairy cattle, some are sokdiers, some are civil servants, some are elephant trainers, some are horse trainers. No matter which way one earns one’s living, one has to endure hardship. In the winter one has to tolerate the cold while working. In the summer one has to tolerate the warmth while working. Sometimes one has to tolerate the humidity. One’s skin becomes chapped in the wind and the sun. Sometimes, one has to tolerate pests such as gadflies, mpsquitos and other biting insects. Sometimes one is threatened by poisonous animals such as snakes. Sometimes one becomes emaciated because one lacks sufficient means of physical support.O! Monks! Whether one earns one’s livelihood by arts or by sciences, one cannot avoid the hardships imposed by nature. All these are the dangers of sensual indulgence the manifestation of suffering as we meet it in our lives all coming as the result of our wish to indulge the senses. Whenever a person strives to earn a living, to do business, but does not achieve the success he requires, he will be without benefit but it is all due to in dulgence of the sense pleasures.A child playing with a topEven though a person makes a success of earning his living and becomes wealthy, it is not an end to his suffering because now he must worry about how to protect his wealth from being taken away in taxes, taken away by robbers, damaged by fire, damaged by flooding, taken away by enemies so his suffering continuesIf it happens that his wealth is taken is taken away in taxes, or stolen by robbers, or damaged by fire or floods, or frittered away by fraudulent enemies then that person will be sorrowful, suffering in body and mind, lamenting his loss with the realization that ‘this wealth doesn’t really belong to me, it is out of my hands’. O! Monks! These are the dangers of sensual indulgence suffering that manifests itself as the result of the sense pleasures.O! Monks! Emperors fight one another, kings fight one another, Brahmins fight one another, householders fight one another, mothers fight with their children, children fight with their mothers, fathers fight with their children, children fight with their father, older siblings fight with younger siblings, big brothers fight with their little sisters, little sisters fight with their big brothers, friends fight one another and all because of attachment to sense pleasures.When people (of various social positions) such as emperors, fight amongst themselves, they try to hurt one another with their fists, by shoving, by punching, by stabbing, with weapons where either of the opponents might lose their life all these manifestations of fighting are consequences of attachment to sense pleasure.O! Monks! Futhermore, there are those who take a sword and a shield, or bow and arrow, or a flaming torch, instruments of torture with poisoned tips, wage war on the battleground, shoot at their enemy, throw spears, stab their enemy with swords, leaving victims dead on the battlefield or leaving combatants mortally wounded. O! Monks! The waging of war, the fighting to kill or wound one another, all comes as a consequence of attachment to sense pleasure.The Buddha also compared the pleasures of the senses to rice husks which are discarded in troughs as pig offal.O! Monks! Some warriors go to the troulble to erect defences of brick and mortar to stop their enemies being able to climb over, they fill their arsenals full of weapons. However, if the enemy should penetrate their defences, they will be kill be killed with guns, arrows, spears or swords or hanged. The attackers attempting to climb the defences might have boiling cow dung poured over their heads, or have their heads chopped off with a sword, or be mortally wounded. O! Monks! All this manifestation of suffering comes as a consequence of attachment to sense pleasure.O! Monks! Furthermore, there are burglars who go from house to house robbing them, some force their way into a house and threaten or kill the householder, some are highway robbers, some commit adultery with the wives of other men. When any of these criminals are caught by the king, they are punished by whipping, caning etc..O! Monks! All this manifestation of suffering comes as a consequence of attachment to sense pleasure.O! Monks! When those who commit wrongdoings of body, speech or mind die, the body breaks up but their spirit remains and will be reborn in any of the four unfortunate (hell) realms: the hells, the realm of hungry ghosts [peta], the monstrous [asura] realms or as an animal. O! Monks! All this manifestation of suffering comes as a consequence of attachment to sense pleasure.O! Monks! To restrain oneself from enjoyment of the sense pleasures, to avoid attachment to the sense pleasures both these are refuges from sense pleasure [kamanissarana] or in other words ]Nirvana].’.”It is for this reason that the Lord Buddha should want to start his sermon by instructing the ‘group of five’ that in dulgence of the senses is unsuitable, base, ignoble, without benefit, unsuitable for a Buddhist monk and should be shunned, not indulged or prized.to be continued...
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Commentorial Metaphors: Indulgence in sensual pleasures:
A pig content to wallow in dung: Indulging in sensual pleasures is rather like a pig, which spends all its life wallowing in the warm mud and dung of its pigsty because it thinks that this is the ultimate happiness.Dhamma Articles > Meditation Articles and Techniques > Meditation for Beginners
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