SuttaCentral

Fun 😎


#1

What is the Buddha’s version of “fun”?
Is there any place for fun in Buddhism?
What is the Buddhist equivalent of fun?

The Buddha often cleverly re-defined pop-culture terms:
How might he have re-defined fun?


#2


#3

The Buddha didn’t need to have fun. He’d gone beyond suffering. We use fun things/ activities to distract ourselves from suffering. That’s my take on it, anyway.


#4

Indeed👍


#5

Is there a beneficial equivalent of this in Buddhism?
Or is Buddhism simply not fun at all? :sweat_smile::rofl:


#6

You can achieve first or second jhāna to have pīti, which could be taken as fun (sort of).


#7

What context was this Pali word for “fun” used in the Dhamma-Vinaya, if at all?


#8

Well, the word “fun” is used in a refrain monks should frequently recollect: “I use alms food not for fun…”

But my favorite usage is in the Subhājīvakambavanikātherīgāthā:

“You’re young and flawless—
what will going-forth do for you?
Throw away the yellow robe,
come and play in the blossom grove.
Everywhere, the scent of pollen wafts sweet,
born of the flowering woods.
The start of spring is a happy time—
come and play in the blossom grove.

“This carcass is full of carrion, it swells
the charnel ground, for its nature is to fall apart.
What do you think is so essential in it
that you stare at me so crazily?”

“Your eyes are like those of a doe,
or a pixie in the mountains;
seeing them,
my sensual desire grows all the more.
Set in your flawless face of golden sheen,
your eyes compare to a blue lily’s bud;
seeing them,
my sensual excitement grows all the more.
Though you may wander far, I’ll still think of you,
with your lashes so long, and your vision so clear.
I love no eyes more than yours,
O pixie with such bashful eyes.”

The pretty lady ripped out her eye.
With no attachment in her mind at all, she said:
“Come now, take this eye,”
and gave it to the man right then.


#9

:man_facepalming:t3:

:sweat_smile:

Thank you, Venerable, for sharing the story of Venerable Subha.

That seems to be the nonBuddhist version of fun.

What is the Buddhist equivalent of the various nonBuddhist versions of fun?!

:pray:t3:


#10

What do you mean by “equivalent”?


#11

I think a Buddhist idea of fun may be practicing generosity.

A devout Buddhist, much like monks, will find fun in helping others, and cultivating their own mind.

As the mind is more inclined towards the practice, being helpful becomes more fun than idle entertainment like TV or music.


#12

I’m not sure about “fun”, but I think a good sense of humour goes a long way. Ajahn Brahm springs to mind. :yum:


#13

I think, it would be helpful to define what you personally understand as “fun”. I mean, some people might say hunting is fun to them, while even many non-buddhist might not see it as fun. A lot of people might say practicing martial arts is fun. And again a lot of people will probably disagree. Drinking alcohol and taking drugs is something that many people consider to be fun.

But clearly non of these things would be considered even wholesome let alone fun from a Buddhist perspective.

What do you mean, when you say “fun”?


#14

The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language defines “fun” as “a source of enjoyment, amusement, or pleasure.” Those are actually three separate and distinct, albeit related, concepts. Might I suggest this is an example, which is common in many discussions in this forum, where language is limited in its ability to convey a complex idea, in this case, the idea that Enlightenment implies releasing attachment to things that cause suffering?

People may have attachments to things that bring them enjoyment, amusement, or pleasure. Those attachments are a source of suffering, and thus are impediments to achieving Enlightenment.

However, a separate question arises: Can an Enlightened individuals experience enjoyment, amusement, or pleasure without forming the sorts of attachments that cause suffering? On a purely theoretical level, I would think the answer is yes. Buddhist teachings advise that sensations be met with equanimity, that is, mental composure which militates against attachments. Again, on a purely theoretical level, it seems logical, using the principles of Buddhist teachings, for an Enlightened person to, say, enjoy eating an apple, or find pleasure from feeling the warmth of the sun, meet those responses with equanimity, not become attached to them, and therefore not experience suffering when the apple is consumed and gone or the sun is replaced by a cold rain.


#15

“Now, it’s possible, Cunda, that wanderers of other sects might say, ‘The Sakyan-son contemplatives live devoted to the devotion to pleasure.’ When they are saying that, the wanderers of other sects should be told, ‘Which devotion to pleasure, friends?—for devotion to pleasure has many modes, many permutations.’

“There are four devotions to pleasure, Cunda, that are base, vulgar, common, ignoble, unprofitable, that do not lead to disenchantment, dispassion, cessation, calming, direct knowledge, self-awakening, or unbinding. Which four?

“There is the case where a certain fool finds pleasure and rapture for himself in killing living beings. This is the first devotion to pleasure.

“Further, there is the case where a certain person finds pleasure and rapture for himself in taking what is not given. This is the second devotion to pleasure.

“Further, there is the case where a certain person finds pleasure and rapture for himself in telling lies. This is the third devotion to pleasure.

“Further, there is the case where a certain person goes about endowed and provided with the five strings of sensuality. This is the fourth devotion to pleasure.

“These are the four devotions to pleasure, Cunda, that are base, vulgar, common, ignoble, unprofitable, that do not lead to disenchantment, dispassion, cessation, calming, direct knowledge, self-awakening, or unbinding.

“Now, it’s possible that wanderers of other sects might say, ‘The Sakyan-son contemplatives live devoted to these four devotions to pleasure.’ They are to be told, ‘Not so!’ They would not be speaking rightly of you. They would be slandering you with what is unfactual and untrue.

“There are four devotions to pleasure, Cunda, that lead exclusively to disenchantment, dispassion, cessation, calming, direct knowledge, self-awakening, and unbinding. Which four?

“There is the case where a monk, quite secluded from sensuality, secluded from unskillful qualities, enters and remains in the first jhāna: rapture and pleasure born of seclusion, accompanied by directed thought and evaluation. This is the first devotion to pleasure.

“Further, Cunda, with the stilling of directed thoughts and evaluations, the monk enters and remains in the second jhāna: rapture and pleasure born of concentration, unification of awareness free from directed thought and evaluation—internal assurance. This is the second devotion to pleasure.

“Further, Cunda, with the fading of rapture, the monk remains equanimous, mindful, and alert, and senses pleasure with the body. He enters and remains in the third jhāna, of which the noble ones declare, ‘Equanimous and mindful, he has a pleasant abiding.’ This is the third devotion to pleasure.

“Further, Cunda, with the abandoning of pleasure and pain—as with the earlier disappearance of elation and distress—the monk enters and remains in the fourth jhāna: purity of equanimity and mindfulness, neither pleasure nor pain. This is the fourth devotion to pleasure.

“These are the four devotions to pleasure that lead exclusively to disenchantment, dispassion, cessation, calming, direct knowledge, self-awakening, and unbinding.

“Now, it’s possible, Cunda, that wanderers of other sects might say, ‘The Sakyan-son contemplatives live devoted to these four devotions to pleasure.’ They are to be told, ‘That is so!’ They would be speaking rightly of you. They would not be slandering you with what is unfactual and untrue.
DN 29  Pāsādika Sutta | The Inspiring Discourse


#16

Here is the Buddha in some rendition of “fun” (teaser only)…

At one time the Buddha was staying near Mithilā in the Makhādeva Mango Grove.
ekaṃ samayaṃ bhagavā mithilāyaṃ viharati maghadevaambavane.

Then the Buddha smiled at a certain spot.
Atha kho bhagavā aññatarasmiṃ padese sitaṃ pātvākāsi.

Then Venerable Ānanda thought,
Atha kho āyasmato ānandassa etadahosi:

“What is the cause, what is the reason why the Buddha smiled?
“ko nu kho hetu, ko paccayo bhagavato sitassa pātukammāya?

Realized Ones do not smile for no reason.”
Na akāraṇena tathāgatā sitaṃ pātukarontī”ti.

mn83


#17

One idea of fun or a “good time” is a retreat :wink: what’s all that “delight in solitude” about? Blamesless buddhist fun I say!