Do you have faith in celibacy?

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… this does not seem to be what the Buddha taught or established.


How could you know this?

It seems that making harsh absolutist judgemental statements is reoccurring again and again in this thread. The Buddha established 4 sanghas by design, not by failure.

i am withdrawing from this thread. May greed, ill will, ignorance be eradicated with diligence. May all be happy, peaceful, liberated from suffering.


In reading this thread I notice that:

  1. those who have no faith in celibacy keep posting looking for loopholes.
  2. those who have faith in celibacy keep saying there are no loopholes.

So what exactly would be the resolution of this thread to answer the OP?



What does “faith” in celibacy mean?

I don’t think there is much doubt, based on the early texts, that the path to the end of suffering the Buddha prescribed includes the commitment to celibacy, or that the person who has successfully reached the end of that path has completely eliminated sensual desires and sexual lust.

But that leaves a lot of questions about how to achieve these aims. What is the best approach for a lay follower whose level of commitment goes beyond ritual practices and devotions, but who still lives in the world? What is the best practice for a monk? And how successful have the practices that are actually chosen proven to be, if examined carefully? Simply reciting a precept, or adopting an attitude of faith might assist in the process, but surely cannot be enough. It seems unrealistic to think the human reproductive drive can simply be turned off via an act of will - although people differ, and so maybe what is effective differs as well.

It shouldn’t have to be mentioned that some actual religious communities, committed doctrinally and institutionally to the practice of celibacy, have turned out to be in deep denial about how much celibacy is actually present in the community.


Agreed. And perhaps that should be the title of this post. @Noahsark was this your actual question or did you wish an infinite ramble about faith?


This is absolutely not what I would characterize myself as doing.

I am looking for appropriate rules for a layperson.

And yes, I know what the third precept is. I am aware that it is considered sufficient. I am asking myself about whether and how it might be beneficial to go beyond mere sufficiency while still remaining a layman. Part of this involves making sense of the existing training rules in my own mind. And part of that is questioning them.


Ah! Thanks. That is a tremendous help. I was getting worried that the thread might never end when in fact there is convergence. :pray:


Interesting. For me, I don’t see becoming celibate as setting sail. I see it as part of building the raft. A raft should be well constructed and made safe before one sets sail.

“Being celibate” requires little determination to restraint once there is realisation of what a sordid little enterprise “not being celibate” is.

Ah, the “no pain, no gain” approach. I see. For me, a little bit of wisdom is way more powerful than a lot of will power (and much more fun). But that’s just my temperament.

Many years ago when I stopped smoking there was no effort required. As soon as I had the insight that there was nothing beneficial, that was it. I was instantly a non smoker. Just as if I had never smoked a cigarette in my life. Zero cravings unlike my peers who used the will-power techniques. Poor suffering smokers trying to build their mental muscles to quit their habit. It’s not necessary to put oneself through the pain (unless you like the pain?). Instead of thinking in terms of giving something up, why not just become a non-smoker? Or in the case of celibacy, a non-sexer? The drawbacks of sex outweigh the pleasure by such a large factor that one might imagine that this might be a fertile place for investigation.


No it says ‘patimokkha’,but I was just being ‘genorous’ in terms of , trying to explain that a lay person can walk that gradual path also, by considering that ‘patimokkha’ as similar in meaning to ’ having precept boundaries’.

But the word ‘patimokkha’ stills stands there. And if one were to take that as the only meaning, then there is no going further on the gradual path unless you ordain.


@Noahsark thank you but I do not want your generosity; like all Buddhists, I have the Buddha’s, and I will follow that Dhamma.

“there is no going further on the gradual path unless you ordain.”
Also, not what the Buddha taught.


I think that it’s time to close this thread.