The Buddha (siddhartha, as per me) was a human being. He felt pain, happiness, dullness, recession for himself, his family(age-wise) and other one's and etc. How he retained his awareness? Was there some moments when he (himself) got distracted by worldly behaviour ? Please consider tags while starting wishing to answer my question.

  • 2
    By dullness do you mean boredom? Enlightened beings don't get bored. Commented Apr 17, 2015 at 8:48

2 Answers 2


As well as extraordinary personal qualities, I suspect that one of the things which helped him to be free of "distraction by worldly behaviour" was 'renunciation'.

For example, Tapussa Sutta: To Tapussa:

"So at a later time, having seen the drawback of sensual pleasures, I pursued that theme; having understood the reward of renunciation, I familiarized myself with it. My heart leaped up at renunciation, grew confident, steadfast, & firm, seeing it as peace. Then, quite withdrawn from sensuality, withdrawn from unskillful qualities, I entered & remained in the first jhana: rapture & pleasure born from withdrawal, accompanied by directed thought & evaluation.

"As I remained there, I was beset with attention to perceptions dealing with sensuality. That was an affliction for me. Just as pain arises as an affliction for a healthy person, even so the attention to perceptions dealing with sensuality that beset me was an affliction for me.

It's worth reading that whole sutta. It describes a series of deepening revelations. He practices (practices 'renunciation' to begin with), reaches a stage, ... but it isn't complete, his "heart doesn't leap", until he thinks or realizes something which completes that state and sees him enter the beginning of the next.

Also there are many adjectives in that sutta which seem to me to describe desirable or pleasant mental states; for example, "confident", "internal assurance", "equanimity", "pleasant abiding", "peace", "infinite space / non-resistance", etc.

The Buddha had a keen sense of dukkha (the first noble truth). Assuming that he found a way to escape or avoid dukkha, to find states of being/mind which are 'better' than unsatisfactory, that seems to me a strong and perpetual incentive for him to remain enlightened (i.e. not distracted, and his living as a monk means there is also not worldly behaviour).

My idea is that the Buddha found his 'awareness' to be rewarding; for example, Kimattha Sutta: What is the Purpose? starts,

"What is the purpose of skillful virtues? What is their reward?"

"Skillful virtues have freedom from remorse as their purpose, Ananda, and freedom from remorse as their reward."

"And what is the purpose of freedom from remorse? What is its reward?"

"Freedom from remorse has joy as its purpose, joy as its reward."

... and ends ...

Dispassion has knowledge & vision of release as its purpose, knowledge & vision of release as its reward.

"In this way, Ananda, skillful virtues lead step-by-step to the consummation of arahantship."

My guess is that:

  • If his awareness is rewarding and gives him positive feedback I think that's a reason why he would keep it.
  • Our mundane awareness (chasing sense-objects and mental formations) is, comparatively, not very satisfactory (it's dukkha and impermanent), which is a reason why we don't retain it.

As with any enlightened person (Buddha, Arahath) you cannot get "distracted" after getting enlightened. So no the Buddha would have not got distracted at all.

There might have been such cases during the aspirant stages, which in his final birth can be divided into two parts.

  1. Before renunciation
  2. After renunciation

Before renunciation there would have had some degree of distractions but due past practice over countless lifetimes his awareness would have been beyond any average person. Also he developed concentration as a child which would mean that the level of distractions would be limited though not absent.

After renunciation with the development of high absorption concentrations his awareness would have increased substantially but would have been slightly short of perfect. The perfection of awareness would have been at Buddhahood.

Also one thing to not is that awareness is just one ingredient in requisites for enlightenment though an important one. You have to develop the others as well. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bodhipakkhiy%C4%81dhamm%C4%81

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .