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I was reading about Buddhism in Wiki and I just am not able to make out if celibacy is a must for Buddhists?

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2 Answers 2

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Is celibacy intrinsic to Buddhism?

The answer depends as follows:

  • As a householder, no, celibacy is not required. It is only required to abstain from improper sexual conduct. And what is improper sexual conduct?

    He gets sexually involved with those who are protected by their mothers, their fathers, their brothers, their sisters, their relatives, or their Dhamma; those with husbands, those who entail punishments, or even those crowned with flowers by another man.
    -AN 10.176, To Cunda the Silversmith (Cunda Kammaraputta Sutta)

  • As a monastic, yes, celibacy is required. You can get a better understanding of monastic celibacy by reading this discourse (AN 7.50, which is at the bottom of the linked page).

This distinction, however, is not "set in stone" or "black & white" since householders are encouraged to be celibate if they feel inclined to do so.

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If you choose a way of a monk - you have to keep your vows so celibacy is a must for you.

If you choose to be a lay Buddhist, you should undertake 5 precepts and one of those is avoiding sexual misconduct. When two people love and respect each other they can generate lots of happiness through sex. In tantric Buddhism giving sexual pleasure is actually seen as a form of generosity.

One of the most important practices in Vajrayana Buddhism is meditating on Yidams (Buddha forms). Some of the forms represent male and female Buddhas in union. If Buddhas do it, there must be nothing intrinsically impure in sex.

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