Urging for Pleasure
is a Burning Obsession!
is the foremost and deepest mental hindrance (Nivarana).
The texts given below aim at illustrating
how this obsessive and addictive
sensing only pleasure in the form of sights, sounds, smells, tastes
and touches arises, ceases,
and is finally cured. The present-day dominance
of the porno
and entertainment industry speaks -in itself- clearly of this
problem's all too common abundance among
human beings today...
Buddha once said:
On this occasion the Blessed One was
staying at Gaya's Head, together
with a thousand Bhikkhus. There the
Blessed One told these Bhikkhus
"Bhikkhus, all this is burning! And
what, Bhikkhus, is that All that is
The eye, ear, nose, tongue, body and
the mind is burning. All forms,
smells, flavours, touches, and
mental states are also burning!
sensation that is
also burning! Any feeling arisen
caused by that
contact, whether pleasant,
painful or neutral, that too is also
Burning with what? I
tell you: Burning with the
fire of lust, hate &
birth, ageing, death, sadness,
disappointment, frustration, and
The Fire Sermon
Samyutta Nikāya. Book IV 19-20
First priority: Noticing Sense-Desire (kāma-chanda) makes it fade away:
Herein, Bhikkhus, when sense-desire is
present in him the Bhikkhu notes:
"There is sense-desire in me," and when sense-desire is absent, he
"There is no sense-desire in me." He also understands how
any yet unarisen
He understands how to leave behind any already arisen
sensual desire, and he
left sense-desire will not ever arise
again in the future.
What is the feeding cause that makes
There are attractive and alluring features and aspects of any object...
irrational and unwise attention to them, this is the feeding
the arising of unarisen
sense-desire, and also the feeding cause
of the increase and expansion of
any sense-desire, that
already has arisen.
What is the starving cause that makes
There are disgusting and repulsive features and aspects of any
rational and wise attention to them, this is the starving cause
non-arising of yet unarisen
sense-desire, and the starving cause of the
decrease and shrinking
of any sense-desire that already has arisen.
cures Sense-Desire, so that it
does not re-arise?
These six things lead to
the gradual elimination of sense-desire:
1. Learning how to
meditate on ugly
and disgusting objects.
and intense meditation on disgusting objects.
Guarding the sense doors.
4. Moderation in eating.
5. Noble friendship with one who knows how to quell sense-desire.
6. Suitable conversation on the disadvantages of
all out hedonism.
Commentary to the
1. Learning how to meditate on disgusting
Meditation on disgusting objects produces
repulsion towards attractive
objects as a result.
This reduces the
lust & greed for
The 32 inner organs of the body; A skin-sac of bones with 9 oozing
Herein, Bhikkhus, a Bhikkhu reflects on just this body, confined within
skin and full of manifold ugly impurities from the soles upward and from the
the hair downwards in this way: "There is in this body: head and
hair, nails, teeth, skin, flesh,
sinews, bones, marrow,
kidneys, heart, liver,
pleura, spleen, lungs, intestines, bowels, stomach,
excrement, bile, pus,
blood, sweat, fat, tears, lymph, spit, slime, snot, joint-fluid, urine
the brain in the skull..."
The 9 Corpse Contemplations:
The Bhikkhu goes to a cemetery to
see a corpse one day, 2 or 3
Bloated, livid, putrid, rotting, stinking &
festering, he applies this
to his own body in this way: "This
body, too: Such is its nature and its future,
such its unavoidable
He meditates as if he were seeing a corpse
cast away in a cemetery,
picked at by crows,
vultures, and hawks, by dogs,
hyenas, and various other animals ... a skeleton
with flesh and
blood, connected with sinews ... a fleshless skeleton
smeared with blood,
connected with tendons ... a skeleton
without flesh just as a chain of bones
tendons... as white bones all detached from their tendons,
scattered in all directions;
here a hand bone, there a
foot bone, a shinbone,
there a thigh bone,
here a hip bone,
there a back bone, here a
rib, there a
chest bone, here a shoulder
bone, there a neck
bone, here a jaw bone,
there a tooth, here a skull... He
contemplates his body as bones whitened,
as bones somewhat like
the colour of sea-shells ... as bones piled up in a heap
more than a year old ... as bones rotting
into black powder...
This is Awareness focused on
the body merely as a putrid and rotting form!
As inspiration for the fine
acquisition of this sign of disgust
curing any greed
have a collection of corpse pictures been deposited at the
It can only be viewed
by adults > 18 years
Good autopsy video of shot
Such memorized images
of disgust are
then remembered whenever lust re-arises.
If the memorized image is vivid, then this urge of desire instantly
since disgust and
feverish desire cannot co-exist in the mind at the same time.
Even just noting the desire can cure it, since such
occur simultaneously in combination with detrimental thoughts of lust.
Therefore, at the exact time of knowing the sense desire, that arose in the
preceding moment, that sense desire
no longer exists, but only the event of
looking at this desire, knowing
it just as it is...
3. Guarding the
"And how, Bhikkhus, does one guard the doors
of the senses?
Seeing a form with the eye, one does neither get caught
up by any of the
nor does one become obsessed with any particular detail
of this captivating
Hearing a sound with the ear, one does neither get caught by any of the
nor does one become infatuated with any specific detail
of this sweet sound...
Smelling a smell with the nose, one does neither get caught by any of the
nor does one become as if possessed by any particular
detail of this seducing
Tasting a taste with the tongue, one does neither get caught by any of the
nor does one become as if gripped by any peculiar detail
of this dazzling
Touching a thing with the body, one does neither get caught by any of the
common attributes, nor does one become as if fixated by any
of this fascinating tactile
Thinking a thought with the mind, one does neither get caught by any of the
nor does one become as if immersed in any particular detail
of this entrancing
Since, if one leaves the sense ability of the eye, ear, nose, tongue, body
mind uncontrolled, then
evil detrimental states of lust, greed and discontent
will immediately invade and degrade
Therefore does one practise
and gain control of the senses, one guards the doors
of the senses,
back the senses, one keeps the senses restrained, and in check..."SN 35:239
"Friends, there are these forms recognizable
by the eye, sounds recognizable
by the ear, smells
recognizable by the nose, tastes recognizable by the tongue,
by the body,
mental states recognizable by the mind,
which all are attractive and liked, wished,
longed and urged for,
thus provocative of both lust and greed. If one welcomes them, enjoys
and thus remains
clinging to them, delight arises. With the arising of delight,
tell you, there is also the
arising of craving.
When craving arises,
friends, be aware, then there is also the
arising of Suffering... !
However, if one does neither welcome, enjoy, nor cling
to any of these sense
objects, then delight ceases. With the ceasing of delight, friends, I tell you,
there is also the ceasing of all longing, all craving, all attachment, all clinging,
the ceasing of all addiction, of all
bondage, and the ceasing of all Suffering..."
How is a Bhikkhu moderate in eating? In this,
a Bhikkhu, reflecting rationally,
eats food neither for the sake of entertainment, nor for infatuation, nor
beauty, but exclusively
for the support and maintenance of
this body, for ending of discomfort, and
for assisting this
Noble life, simply
considering: In this way I will now end this old feeling, yet
feeling! Therefore will I remain healthy, blameless and in comfort...
as one anoints an open
wound, only for the purpose of making it heal,
or just as one greases an axle
only for the sake of
easy transport of a heavy
load, so does a Bhikkhu, who is moderated in eating,
eat food, while
meticulously reflecting rationally in this very way ...
5. Noble friendship
with one who knows how to cure sense-desire.
The entire holy life, Ananda, is Noble friendship,
and Noble association.
Of any Bhikkhu, Ananda, who has a Noble friend,
a Noble companion, a Noble
it is to be expected that he will
cultivate, practice and complete this Noble
8-fold Way. SN 45:2
6. Suitable conversation on the disadvantages of
Some examples spoken
by the Blessed Buddha:
If the mortal, longing for sensual pleasure, gets it, yes, then he is happy!
But when the
pleasures inevitably soon fade away, that person, longing,
is all shocked,
as if shot with an arrow... Sutta Nipāta IV, 1
Death carries off the man while distracted by gathering flowers of
exactly as a great tsunami carries away a sleeping village.
Sense objects give little satisfaction, but much urge, pain, panic and despair
This danger inevitably inherent in all pleasures is bigger than their joys!
Disguised as joy, appearing as attractive, falsely promising only pleasures,
but longing, frustration, and grief surprises and shocks the
one not aware!
Udana II - 8
With desire is the world tied and enchained.
With the overcoming of desire
is it freed. With the overcoming of sense-desire are all bonds
Sense-desire is like being in debt:
There is a man who has acquired a debt and has become ruined. Now, if his
creditors, when telling him to pay back the debt, speak roughly to him or
harass and beat
him, he is unable to put up any resistance, but will have to
accept it all meekly. It is his debt that causes
this feeble leniency. Similarly
with a man filled with sensual-desire for a certain person, full of craving for
that object of his desire,
be attached to it. Even if spoken to roughly
by that person, or even harassed or beaten, he will tolerate it all
His sense-desire causes that
shy and frail weakness! It is in this way, that
sense-desire is like being in debt...
Absence of sense-desire is like freedom from debt:
A man, having taken a loan, uses it for his business and comes to prosperity.
He then thinks: "This debt is a cause of worry." He repays the loan together
with the interest,
and has the loan papers torn up. After that, then he needs
neither send any letter to, nor bow
to his creditors... And why? He is not any
longer in debt to them or dependent on them in any way. Similarly a
thinks: "sense-desire is a cause of hindrance." He then
cultivates the things
above leading to its overcoming, and removes this hindrance of
Just as one who has freed himself of debt no longer feels
any fear or anxiety,
meeting his former creditors, so
one who has given up sense-desire
no longer attached and
bound to the object of his desire. Even seeing many
divine forms, then neither passions, nor lust will
ever assail or dominate him.
Therefore has the Blessed One compared the elimination of sense-desire to
from debt. Commentary on DN 2
Like Moths flying into the Flame!
More on the folly vanity of desire for
simple Sense Pleasure (Hedonism):
Blissful is being
without passions in this world,
Blissful is the overcoming of all sense-desires!
Udana II, 1
The Fire of Desire!
22 Dec 2016