Namo thassa baghavatho arahatho samma sambudhdhassa. @sujato, @Brahmali
Dear Dhamma Friends,
I just read the “singalowada suttha” and there it says:
"There are, young householder, these six evil consequences in frequenting theatrical shows. He is ever thinking:
(i) where is there dancing?
(ii) where is there singing?
(iii) where is there music?
(iv) where is there recitation?
(v) where is there playing with cymbals?
(vi) where is there pot-blowing?
if everyone starts following this. theatre, music and dancing will have no place in the world, so what should a Buddhist do?
I’m not trying to contradict buddha in any way, may buddha forgive me for this question.
Depending on how many precepts you practice to keep a lay person can enjoy such entertainments to a certain extent. As @LXNDR reminds us, we should work on letting go on our clinging.
The above quote warns of too much indulgence into such pleasures to where a person gets to only thinks about such things. It occupies the mind most of the time. Possibly to the extent of being so addicted to his/her shows that s/he is neglecting her/his responsibilities to her/him self and family members. Too much entertainment takes away precious time from ourselves and from our loved ones.
What should a Buddhist do? Follow the Lord Buddha, he liked being with nature. Nature is cool. There’s a lot of things nature can teach us. That’s why he was in the forest most of his life. Dhamma is found in nature all the time yet because we’ve distanced ourselves of what we’re a part of, we don’t see it at all.
Russell has got it right, and all I can do is to reinforce what he says.
The Pali says samajja-abhicarana, which is not a very common expression. Samajja seems to mean a “fair” or a “festival”, rather than simply a theatrical show. Abhicarana probably means “frequenting”, in other words visiting on a regular basis.
I don’t think the Buddha anywhere says that lay Buddhists should never enjoy entertainment. On the contrary, this is presumably one of the reasons people remain as householders. So this is more matter of how attached one gets to these things. If one’s life revolves around these sorts of entertainments, then perhaps one needs to step back a little.
in the Tālapuṭa sutta (SN 42.2) the Buddha explained the adverse effect theatrical performances have on a spectator
Any beings who are not devoid of passion to begin with, who are bound by the bond of passion, focus with even more passion on things inspiring passion presented by an actor on stage in the midst of a festival. Any beings who are not devoid of aversion to begin with, who are bound by the bond of aversion, focus with even more aversion on things inspiring aversion presented by an actor on stage in the midst of a festival. Any beings who are not devoid of delusion to begin with, who are bound by the bond of delusion, focus with even more delusion on things inspiring delusion presented by an actor on stage in the midst of a festival.