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Thread: Buddhism and Erotica

  1. #1

    Buddhism and Erotica

    My question is twofold: what is the relationship, if any, between Buddhism and erotic material? Secondly, what does the Buddha say about those who make a living distributing erotic material (i.e., films, books, art)?

    Thank you and have a nice evening!

    P.S. While I am interested in people's personal opinions, I'm much more interested in what the Buddha actually said. If at all possible, try to at least back up your personal sentiments with adequate references. Thank you.

  2. #2
    Administrator/ 5 Precept Keeper Senior Member Jerrod Lopes's Avatar
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    Rocky,

    I don't understand your first question so I'll only answer the second. "Trading in flesh" is said to be one of the wrong livelihoods set forth by the Buddha. If these films or books contain erotic images of living human beings, then it would be the product of that wrong livelihood. I've also read it as "trading in beings" which would include humans. You should also consider the Third Precept to refrain from sexual misconduct where it may correlate to your question. All the Buddha, none of me, except the rather poor paraphrasing. I'm hopeful that a more sutta-minded individual can give us sutta numbers, etc. Be well.

  3. #3
    http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipit....002.than.html

    Any beings who are not devoid of passion (aversion and delusion) to begin with, who are bound by the bond of passion (aversion and delusion) , focus with even more passion (aversion and delusion) on things inspiring passion (aversion and delusion) presented by an actor on stage in the midst of a festival...

    Thus the actor himself intoxicated & heedless, having made others intoxicated & heedless with the breakup of the body, after death, is reborn in what is called the hell of laughter.

    But if he holds such a view as this: 'When an actor on the stage, in the midst of a festival, makes people laugh & gives them delight with his imitation of reality, then with the breakup of the body, after death, he is reborn in the company of the laughing devas,' that is his wrong view. Now, there are two destinations for a person with wrong view, I tell you: either hell or the animal womb.


    ...............

    I think we could apply what the Buddha said in the sutta above to those involve in distributing erotic materials.

    With much metta,
    Last edited by Dheerayupa Sukonthapanthu; 12th-September-2013 at 02:35 PM. Reason: typo

  4. #4
    Moderator/Upāsaka Senior Member James Taeza's Avatar
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    with anjali and metta
    "Idaṃ kho pana bhikkhave, dukkhanirodho ariyasaccaṃ: yo tassāyeva taṇhāya asesavirāganirodho cāgo paṭinissaggo mutti anālayo."
    "Sukhino cittaṃ samādhiyati."
    "Khantī paramaṃ tapo titikkhā, Nibbāṇaṃ paramaṃ vadanti Buddhā."
    "Dhammo have rakkhati Dhammacāriṁ."
    "Laugh, Love, Live!!"

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Jerrod Lopes View Post
    Rocky,

    I don't understand your first question so I'll only answer the second. "Trading in flesh" is said to be one of the wrong livelihoods set forth by the Buddha. If these films or books contain erotic images of living human beings, then it would be the product of that wrong livelihood. I've also read it as "trading in beings" which would include humans. You should also consider the Third Precept to refrain from sexual misconduct where it may correlate to your question. All the Buddha, none of me, except the rather poor paraphrasing. I'm hopeful that a more sutta-minded individual can give us sutta numbers, etc. Be well.
    Much appreciated Jerrod; however, would you reference your "quotations"?

  6. #6
    Administrator/ 5 Precept Keeper Senior Member Jerrod Lopes's Avatar
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    Rocky,

    Sorry, I'm not much of a sutta person. I just happened to remember those few little bits rather than chapters and verses, from seeing them over the years. Having been raised Catholic, I tend to shy away from scriptural memorization. Maybe the below link(s) will be helpful.

    http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipit....177.than.html

    http://www.dhammawiki.com/index.php?...ong_livelihood

    I can see that the argument could be made that the Buddha did not specifically address business of human beings in a sex trade, yet we have to consider the ongoing theme in his teachings that intention is the key to kamma. Encouraging, praising or condoning unskillful acts produces kamma similar, if in lesser degrees, than the act itself. So encouraging someone to ignore the recommended Third Precept will produce kamma similar to that of willful ignorance of the precept yourself. In the sex trades, one is selling oneself, or at least renting oneself, yes? That would not bode well with the Third Precept. For purposes of your question the Buddha's teachings could easily be extrapolated accurately to correlate to your original question(s). You may have figured this out nearly instantly, but not everyone could, so I post for everyone who may be interested.
    Last edited by Jerrod Lopes; 13th-September-2013 at 02:35 AM. Reason: Addl information.

  7. #7
    Thanks for the reply Jerrod. Unfortunately, my Internet connection is down, so I won't be making any thorough comments. I'm actually typing this up on my phone for now, but I did want to clarify the question: I am not asking about prostitution or stripping. The comments so far seem to be written with the most extreme examples in mind. What I am talking about is, for instance, erotic art work (paintings, drawings, etc.), erotic literature and even mildly pornographic films. Hopefully this clears up some confusion, as I'm NOT talking about illegal activity such as the sex trade industry.

    Also, I did find a monk who was willing to address this topic. I can't copy and paste right now but if you look up ask a monk: porn and buddhism, you'll see the video I'm referencing.

  8. #8
    Administrator/ 5 Precept Keeper Senior Member Jerrod Lopes's Avatar
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    Rocky,

    Sorry to hear about your problem with the internet. So far as your questions go, I was thinking you were asking about the pornography business, both printed publications and video/film. That's what my replies were geared toward. I've used nude models myself for purposes of artistic drawings, but I wouldn't have characterized the drawings as erotic at all. I'm even more interested in that light as I can relate this to my professional life as well. I'll check out that video you referenced. Thanks for the reference. Be well.

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