The world is filled with what we perceive to be sensual pleasure. However, most of us never attempt to understand the reason for things to be pleasurable to us. The Supreme Buddha understood sensual pleasure and explained to us the importance of understanding sensual pleasure, the reason for sensual pleasure, the various types of sensual pleasure, the cessation of sensual pleasure and the path to the cessation of sensual pleasure.
How is sensual pleasure stimulated?
The Supreme Buddha teaches that there are five ways sensual pleasure is stimulated. What are the five kinds of sensual stimulation? There are forms that we see with our eyes, the sounds we hear with our ears, the smells we smell with our nose, the flavors we taste with our tongue and the sensations we feel with our body. These sensual stimulations are pleasing, desirable and enticing for us. However, these are not what sensual pleasure is. These are merely sensual stimulations.
What is sensual pleasure?
A person’s desire is sensual pleasure. The beautiful things in the world are not sensual pleasure. Take for example an attractive man or woman. One person may find that man or woman attractive and enticing, but another person could find that same man or woman repulsive. When we see attractive people, we create sensual pleasure in ourselves through the five senses. Their smell becomes fragrant to us, their beauty entices us, their voice becomes attractive, and they start to become desirable. However, when one wisely considers what the body truly is, we can understand that it is a body filled with excrement. A body that constantly needs to be cleaned from the dirt it oozes out of its pores. A body that must be maintained and beautified with soaps, shampoos, makeup, perfumes, and creams in order to become appealing. It is a body made of flesh, bile, bones, nerves, sinew, and other repulsive components. When we examine it like this, we can begin to see that sensual pleasure is not in the external environment but within ourselves. We create sensual pleasures by contemplating the sensual stimulations we experience. Even if we remove all the beautiful things in the world, the sensual pleasure that occurs within our mind will not disappear.
The source of sensual pleasure:
So, what is the source of this sensual pleasure? Contact is the source. How does contact occur? For example, let us consider a beautiful song. When our ears, our ear consciousness and the song come together, contact occurs. This in turn leads to a feeling of pleasure or displeasure and our senses become stimulated. Now, an important question might have risen into your mind. If contact is the source of sensual pleasure, then how do we remove contact? Before we answer this, it’s important to understand why we should even attempt to remove contact. We need to learn the result of sensual pleasure.
Why should we remove sensual pleasure?
At every indulgence of sensual pleasure, a person creates a corresponding state of existence, either merit or demerit. For the majority of people in the lay life, sensual pleasure usually leads to demerit, which in turn leads to a rebirth in a bad destination. So now that we know why it is important to remove sensual pleasure and that removing contact is the way to do this. What is the path to remove sensual pleasure? The Supreme Buddha teaches us that the noble eightfold path is the way to do this. The noble eightfold path consists of: right view, right resolve, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness and right concentration.
We must strive to understand sensual pleasure, the reason for sensual pleasure, the various types of sensual pleasure, the cessation of sensual pleasure and the path to the cessation of sensual pleasure as disciples of The Supreme Buddha.