SuttaCentral

Renouncing honor and popularity


#1

Possessions, honor, and popularity are brutal, bitter, and harsh. They’re an obstacle to reaching the supreme sanctuary. So you should train like this: ‘We will give up arisen possessions, honor, and popularity, and we won’t let them occupy our minds.’ That’s how you should train. Dāruṇa Sutta

Renouncing possessions is one thing. But how can we renounce honor, social status, and popularity? Do any suttas elaborate on this?


#2

How about this? This is something I’ve been listening to over and over again for some time and found it very beneficial! :star_struck:

(Thanks, @karl_lew, for pointing to it. :anjal:)


#3

It’s also a matter of giving up the unskillful things that possessions, honor, and popularity might cause one to do. Sometimes you’ll find yourself in a position of honor and popularity. What’s one to do? Like AN8.6 points out (thanks @sabbamitta!), practice equanimity.

AN4.25 advises that you remember why you embarked on the spiritual path: to put an end to suffering—not to get caught up in things that age, grow ill, and die.

MN30 says a bit more:

Next, take a person of good family who has gone forth… thinking: ‘I’m swamped by rebirth, old age, and death; by sorrow, lamentation, pain, sadness, and distress. I’m swamped by suffering, mired in suffering. Hopefully I can find an end to this entire mass of suffering.’ When they’ve gone forth they generate possessions, honor, and popularity. They’re not happy with that, and haven’t got all they wished for. They don’t glorify themselves and put others down on account of that. They don’t become lazy and slack regarding their possessions, honor, and popularity, but generate enthusiasm and try to realize those things that are better and finer. They become accomplished in ethics… [etc.]


#4

I have found that frequent reflection on impermanence counteracts the craving for honor and popularity. Just like material goods, the goods of social status and esteem are transient and vain.

But also, we are social animals subject to certain kinds of social emotions and behaviors - envy, contempt, resentment, pride, submission, dominance - and the more one gets in touch with one’s emotional responses through meditation, the more they are in some way deconstructed.