We should indulge in sensual pleasures to realise Nibbana?

In the following video Ven. Samanthabadra from Sri Lanka suggests that we should enjoy sense pleasure before we attain Nibbana. He said that Viska was dancing in the street when the day she donated the Purvarama to the Sangha. Basically, he advises his followers to first enjoy the sense pleasure . (the way I understood sex, drug and rock, and roll)

Perhaps there is some truth in his statement considering Buddha enjoyed much sense pleasure as a layperson. However; I feel there is something lacking in this advise.
So what is your opinion on this?

From SN 1.20:

Then, when the night had advanced, a certain devatā of stunning beauty, illuminating the entire hot springs, approached the Venerable Samiddhi. Having approached, she stood in the air and addressed the Venerable Samiddhi in verse:

“Without having enjoyed you seek alms, bhikkhu,
You don’t seek alms after you’ve enjoyed.
First enjoy, bhikkhu, then seek alms:
Don’t let the time pass you by!”

“I do not know what the time might be;
The time is hidden and cannot be seen.
Hence, without enjoying, I seek alms:
Don’t let the time pass me by!”

Then that devatā alighted on the earth and said to the Venerable Samiddhi:“You have gone forth while young, bhikkhu, a lad with black hair, endowed with the blessing of youth, in the prime of life, without having dallied with sensual pleasures. Enjoy human sensual pleasures, bhikkhu; do not abandon what is directly visible in order to pursue what takes time.”

“I have not abandoned what is directly visible, friend, in order to pursue what takes time. I have abandoned what takes time in order to pursue what is directly visible. For the Blessed One, friend, has stated that sensual pleasures are time-consuming, full of suffering, full of despair, and the danger in them is still greater, while this Dhamma is directly visible, immediate, inviting one to come and see, applicable, to be personally experienced by the wise.”

I think that if one really understands the drawbacks and dangers of delighting in sense pleasures, how they are inextricably bound up with dukkha; how they are fleeting and unsatisfying, leaving one immediately wanting the next sense stimulation; how they strengthen the habit of desire and dissatisfaction and of looking outside one’s own mind for happiness; how they reinforce the construction of the self; and how they lead one away from true freedom, then the answer is clear.

And, as Samiddhi indicates when he says, “I do not know what the time might be; The time is hidden and cannot be seen”, who knows when we might die? Can we really plan our lives so that we can enjoy pleasures when young and then follow the path when older? Even if we could plan that, if one really felt that nibbana was a worthy goal, why would one want to spend years making it harder to attain by going in the opposite direction?


One way that I approach this question is to ask whether the activity supports samadhi and jhana, or runs counter to the cultivation of jhana. As jhanas are the final step on the Eightfold Path toward liberation, any activity that frustrates or compromises the cultivation of jhanas is unskillful, or at the very least, unhelpful. So, while there may be mundane merit in some sensual activities, these activities run counter to the cultivation of liberation, and one must be mindful of that while being in the world.

To me it’s a bit like wishing to be an Olympic athlete, a decathlon champion. Each day the athlete trains, and with every moment of indulgence in unclean eating, time spent entertaining oneself, or lack of time on the track or in the weightroom, or with every drink of alcohol or puffed joint, one’s progress toward the goal is suppressed or inhibited. Many will train for the Olympics, and very few achieve the goal, and even fewer reach champion status. Fewer than this number will reach liberation in this lifetime. So, as with precepts, sense pleasures, and the goal, all we can ask ourselves is whether our conduct is bringing us closer to that goal, in this life or the next, or whether we are taking a step back, or shaving a point or two off of our “score” with every misstep in our training. Just as I see the precepts as training rules, and not laws punishable by sanction, we must decide how to live our lives, and determine if our conduct with sense pleasures is bringing us closer to, or further away from, the finish line.


The happiness of the five sense pleasure:

Ānanda, there are these five strands of sense-pleasures. What are the five? Material shapes cognisable by the eye, agreeable, pleasant, liked, enticing, connected with sensual pleasures, alluring. Sounds cognisable by the ear, agreeable, pleasant, liked, enticing, connected with sensual pleasures, alluring. Smells cognisable by the nose, agreeable, pleasant, liked, enticing, connected with sensual pleasures, alluring. Tastes cognisable by the tongue, agreeable, pleasant, liked, enticing, connected with sensual pleasures, alluring. Touches cognisable by the body, agreeable, pleasant, liked, enticing, connected with sensual pleasures, alluring. These, Ānanda, are the five strands of sense-pleasures.

About corruption, there are some fine suttas.
And about sensual pleasures, I suppose SN 21.8 says it all.

Corruption of the Dhamma: SN 20.7
Corruption of the Saṅgha: SN 16.8

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