How do possessions, honor, and popularity obstruct meditation but not freedom of heart? SN 17.30

Hi, I would like to ask what is the meaning of SN 17.30. More specifically, how can one have “unshakable freedom of heart” while not having “blissful meditations”. I mean, meditation is a part of the path, right? How can freedom and liberation come without it and what did Buddha mean by all this? Thanks.


This sutta is referring to the arahants. So there’s no issue of attaining to things. Done what has to be done.

Normally we might think that hey, being famous is good for an arahant as there’s no more danger for the arahant to be attached to the fame or have conceit due to it etc. And indeed, that’s what the Buddha confirmed that these do not obstruct the freedom of the heart. There’s totally no attachments from the arahant towards these fame and gain stuffs.

However, these fame and gain stuffs means having to interact a lot with lay people. It means not a lot of time for the arahant to be immersed in Jhanas. The Jhanas function for the arahant as a break from samsara (as arahant still experiences unpleasant feelings and painful bodily feelings). Jhanas are the peaceful dwelling in the here and now. So for an arahant, the downside of being famous is to have less time to enjoy the bliss of Jhanas in the remaining time of his or her life.


Aaaah so it’s more about the time one has to spend in those things, not about the inner attachments and mental states, right? Many thanks for the answer!

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