If enlightened beings aren't bothered by pain, why did occasions happen where Buddha was unable to give a lecture because the pain was so severe or when he had to meditate to lessen the pain he was feeling.

Surely if the pain truly didn't bother him, he could have just continued as normal without needing to do anything special.



3 Answers 3


Enlightened beings are not bothered by pain. But if you try to sit through severe back pain, it could lead to further complications. The body requires lying down to recover from back problems. So it's the sensible thing to do. When the Buddha is resting, he usually resides in the Jhanas. Even when the Buddha is not resting, it is said that he enters the Jhanas between every sentence he speaks.


You may not bother raining. But you are still wet walking in a rain.

All people can see is you are wet, but they cannot conclude that you are bothered by rain solely from the fact that you are wet.

And Buddhism is a way to let you not bother raining, not a magic to let you walking in a rain and keeping yourself dry.

  • That doesn't quite answer the question, about why he wouldn't teach because his back was hurting.
    – ChrisW
    Commented Jul 29, 2017 at 10:10
  • @ChrisW He does not feel worried, anxious, or upset about (bother_1) his hurting back, but he does feel physical pain about (bother_2) his hurting back. The physical pain prevent him from teaching as normal. Enlightened beings are not bothered_1 by pain, but they are bothered_2 by pain. I take raining as an example because it is not difficult for people to learn how to not be bothered_1 by rain. And it is difficult to not be bothered_1 by pain, so some people turn to Buddhism for help.
    – weakish
    Commented Aug 6, 2017 at 3:52

Because focusing on dismissing the physical pain would distract him from providing his best lesson.

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