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In DN 31, the Buddha said a libertine is an evil companion leading to ruin.

There are, young householder, these six evil consequences in associating with evil companions, namely: any gambler, any libertine, any drunkard, any swindler, any cheat, any rowdy is his friend and companion.

These are the six dangers inherent in bad companionship: any rogue, drunkard, addict, cheat, swindler, or thug becomes a friend and colleague.

In the Tanhavagga, the Buddha taught craving, particularly when developed, leads to woe and suffering:

334. The craving of one given to heedless living grows like a creeper. Like the monkey seeking fruits in the forest, he leaps from life to life (tasting the fruit of his kamma).

335. Whoever is overcome by this wretched and sticky craving, his sorrows grow like grass after the rains.

342. Beset by craving, people run about like an entrapped hare. Held fast by mental fetters, they come to suffering again and again for a long time.

Therefore, if a person pursues and engages in sexual activity merely for sexual gratification, will they increase craving in both themselves and another?

If a man, for example, has sex with a woman because his has lust but has not personal commitment towards the woman, will not craving be created in the woman leading her to keep searching for a sexual partner?

Are those who are always searching for sex, love & companionship destined for rebirth in the hungry ghost world or even hell?

  • sexual gratification whether with or without commitment happens with hunger at its base. after too much of free sexual life lead, if the hunger diminishes then no worry ,but if it increases and one dies with same then it is obvious he will be in realm of hungry ghost. – Anchal Kate Jun 12 '18 at 10:48
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Let me present the so-called Tathagata Dhamma viewpoint, represented by Dhammadhatu. The answer is no, sexual liberalism doesn't lead to rebirth in the hungry ghost realm. You may want to want to read this answer to see why, according to this viewpoint, rebirth cannot fall into the dhamma of the Buddha. If there is no rebirth, then, logically speaking, there is no rebirth in the hungry ghost realm either.

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No, not "hungry ghost" (I think Ajahn Chah used "Hungry Shadow" which is better terminology), but animal realm, in specific the fowls species. This information can be found in the Chinese Canon. Modern scientific research found that fowls engage most frequently in sexual intercourse activities, with the duck family the crudest, rape and evolution of sex tools by both male and female to invade and defend; here, many many more in google. Pigeons are sex addicts, so are birds family, they are always starving in looking for food for it's very hard to sustain their vigorous physical activities, therefore it's a very tiring livelihood for them. Therefore sexual liberalism leads to rebirth in fowl kingdom of animal realm, most likely. And look at the battery chicken and speedy-grown-duck industries, I think never in history so many fowls existed on earth, perhaps a proof that it's true? They are in so sad a condition! For their strongest craving was sex but it all stripped human just lure after their meats keeping them in cages breeding from machines, they can never ever have sex in their entire lives! Gravest punishment!

Therefore, if a person pursues and engages in sexual activity merely for sexual gratification, will they increase craving in both themselves and another?

Yes.

If a man, for example, has sex with a woman because his has lust but has not personal commitment towards the woman, will not craving be created in the woman leading her to keep searching for a sexual partner?

Yes, very likely.

Are those who are always searching for sex, love & companionship destined for rebirth in the hungry ghost world or even hell?

Not sure. But definitely lower than human realm. Hungry Shadow is related to greed, hell anger, in general.


The Buddha's teaching is the practitioner should transmute the sexual desire this energy to greater love, to compassion. I heard some Buddhist sect(s) claiming can use sex-intercourse to reach Buddha-hood is questionable, others said it's contaminated by later Hindu-tantra tradition, or left-hand Daoist. The teaching in the Chinese Canon has this term: 菩薩有內觸妙樂, translate: Bodhisattva has the internal self-generated sublime bliss, that is a transmuted sexual energy giving the bliss. And it's related to Dhyana cultivation.

Sorry these are not Pali Canon but Chinese Canon knowledge, but I think it may be able to give some clues to your question.

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I don't believe sexual liberalism is the same thing as sexual misconduct. Sexual misconduct is a non-virtuous action and will thus have harmful fruits. Like all such non-virtuous actions, it can lead to rebirth in the lower realms.

So yes, sexual misconduct, like all non-virtuous actions can result in rebirth in the lower realms which include the realm of the pretas.

  • Re. the first sentence of your answer, the OP's pali-canon tag under the question implies that the OP is looking for answers based on the Pali canon. In general, the various tags are sometimes used like that e.g. a mahayana tag would imply the OP only wants answers from a Mahayana tradition. The absence of such a tag implies answers from any tradition. When there is such a tag, answers from another school's perspective may be deleted and must be especially careful to not disparage the OP's school (for example, here, you mustn't say that the Pali canon is wrong or obsolete). – ChrisW Apr 24 '18 at 15:34
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    Right. Although I'm a Mayahana practitioner I recognize the pali canon as authentic and very much the dharma. In other words, although I am a Mahayana practitioner I still believe the answer can be supported without any reference to strictly Mahayana practices or Sutras. That's why I was confused as to whether pali-canon tag should exclude answers such as mine... I'll let @Dhammadhatu decide – Yeshe Tenley Apr 24 '18 at 15:39

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