Who enjoys more pleasure? A King or the Buddha?

We now ask you, venerable Gotama:  Who lives in greater pleasure: King Seniya Bimbisara of Magadha or venerable Gotama?’

“‘In that case, Niganthas, I will question you in return. Answer as you like.

What do you think: Can King Seniya Bimbisara of Magadha — without moving his body, without uttering a word — dwell sensitive to unalloyed pleasure for seven days & nights?

“‘No, friend.”

“‘… for six days & nights… for five days & nights… for a day & a night?’

“‘No, friend.”

“‘Now, I — without moving my body, without uttering a word — can dwell sensitive to unalloyed pleasure for a day and a night… for two days & nights… for three… four… five… six… seven days & nights. So what do you think: That being the case, who dwells in greater pleasure: King Seniya Bimbisara of Magadha or me?

“‘That being the case, venerable Gotama dwells in greater pleasure than King Seniya Bimbisara of Magadha.'”

That is what the Blessed One said. Gratified, Mahanama the Sakyan delighted in the Blessed One’s words.

Source:  “Cula-dukkhakkhandha Sutta: The Lesser Mass of Stress” (MN 14), translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu. Access to Insight (version 2013.12.02.17), 2 December 2013, http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.014.than.html . Retrieved on 14 December 2013.

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One thought on “Who enjoys more pleasure? A King or the Buddha?

  1. How can this be so? Because we usually think that monks have to follow strict rules and deny themselves the pleasures of the world – and so we assume that all monks live a dreary life. But this is not so with the monks who have some real accomplishment.

    It’s because the pleasures that an ordinary person experiences is experienced through the senses – and so, is impermanent and subject to fluctuations. The pleasure that a Buddha experiences is NOT dependent on the senses.

    The Buddha’s other lesson here is that if someone has not found this happiness beyond the sense realm – that is apart from sensual desire, ill-will, lethargy, restlessness, remorse and doubt – if they have not found this within themselves, then they will still be able to be tempted by sensual pleasures and the drawbacks that come with them.

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