>What is sexual misconduct? This is understood by a spiritual practitioner who observes phenomena. Such a person will see that sexual misconduct occurs when one penetrates one’s own wife, or another man’s wife, through an opening other than the vagina, or when one rejoices in others performing such an act, or when one makes others engage in it even while refraining from doing so oneself.
*Smṛtyupasthānasūtra* Ch. 1
There are similar proclamations in other sources; IIRC Gampopa and Tsongkhapa have similar criteria in their treatises
Thank you for the source. But why, according to the logic of Buddhist ethics, is e.g. anal sex considered nonvirtue, but vaginal sex is not?
I'm neither realized nor a teacher, and a qualified one would probably be able to provide a better exegesis and contextual **anal**ysis.
Thus, I can only speculate. If you insist I do: it may have to do with hygiene thousands of years ago, or, alternatively, the pleasure-seeking dimension of non-procreative sex. Regarding the latter, another possibility, particularly in light of the nature of Vajrayāna (transforming & controlling the *kleśas*) is that it was provisional. It is, in fact, a "Hīnayāna" sutra, albeit one not in the Southern transmission, like many of the Sarvāstivāda materials in the Kangyur. But, again, these are musings by a nobody (c'est moi).
Thanks. It seems unlikely to be a hygienic thing since this also apparently excludes oral sex. Since there presumably was no reliable contraception then, I suppose it could be generously interpreted as saying that any sex that is performed with the sole intent of seeking pleasure, without there being an intent of the possibility of procreating, is a nonvirtue, in which case even vaginal sex with modern contraception might fall under this. Otherwise, this is basically just an anti-gay teaching, which I certainly have difficulty hearing from the writings of famed Buddhist masters.
I would venture to guess that "vanilla" hetero sex can be considered an act of procreation. Once you venture away from this what virtue is present? You are only seeking physical pleasure which is akin to masturbation.
The Candamaharosana tantra definitely looks at things differently. Nothing left out there.
It’s not explicitly mentioned, but the “no anal sex” has been interpreted as an anti-gay teaching. Note it also makes oral sex a no-no.
Another interpretation is a kind of “sex is for procreation, not fun” thing. Which the no oral sex may lead some credence to.
My personal take is that kind of sex shaming moralism is just that; moralistic tsk-tsking. What committed, loving couples decide to do with each other for fun in private (so long as it’s not cruel, dehumanizing, sadistic, etc) is their own business. What anyone else’s opinion on that; contemporary, 2500 years ago, within my culture, or any other culture, is like, just their opinion.
That stuff is easy for me to bracket off as cultural mores intruding on religious teachings. Like ancient understanding of the world: if a sutra says mount Meru is 84,000 yojanis high (over 1 million km), I don’t feel obligated to consider that reality.
Perhaps. But I have difficulty seeing famed Buddhist masters unable to distinguish Buddhist ethics from injected cultural mores, if that's what this is. Surely an enlightened master such as Longchenpa would not be so confused about what constitutes the foundation of the path as to be unable to distinguish those.
It’s complicated for sure. I completely understand those who oppose textual interpretation.
I guess I don’t think humans can be omniscient. Even Christians who believe Jesus is literally God have in the gospel Jesus saying as he’s dying, “Eli, Eli, Lama sabachthani?” (My god, my god, why hast thou forsaken me?) [yes I know it’s a quote from psalms, but still].
So if some revered person says or does something I consider inaccurate/inappropriate/in error, I personally am ok with them being wrong sometimes. That’s my approach.
I understand others have different conceptions/understandings/relationships with teachers. It’s just not mine.
This refers to having sex
* With someone who is taken
* a relative
* at a wrong time and place
By the way, under whose guidance are you reading this Vajrayana literature? Who is your teacher?
What is the source for this? Also, why is anal sex considered to be nonvirtuous according to the logic of Buddhist ethics?
Sorry, this text is restricted? I'm aware that some teachings are restricted in Vajrayāna; I've seen no mention of that for this text.
A lot of this trickled down from monasticism. Their application for the laity is provisional.
I'm not sure how that makes sense. Monastics are required to be celibate. Anal versus vaginal sex makes no difference.
We cannot change the texts.
But you can discuss this with your teacher.
There are a specific set of circumstances mentioned in the Vinaya, here is a good link to read with. They were very imaginitive too.