Buddhism just like, Christianity, is a religion or philosophy that encompasses a variety of traditions, beliefs and spiritual practices that are based on the teachings attributed to Gautama Buddha or famously known as “the awakened one.” The religion traces its roots to India, but has, over the years spread to other countries like; China, Burma, Tibet, Japan and other nations in the southern Asia. Buddhists, as is with Christians, have some principles or guidelines that govern on moral living. These are referred as the precepts, which are identical to all the Buddhist traditions. Undertaking these precepts is practiced by both lay Buddhist initiations and lay Buddhist devotionals. The precepts are five in number and do include; commitments to abstain from harming living beings, stealing, sexual misconduct lying and intoxication.
To the Buddhist, the five precepts are supposed to act as some guideline for the betterment of the purity of the soul. Just like in Christianity, there are the Ten Commandments against which if a person leads a life, they are considered sinners, Buddhism also find the five precepts there pathway to explain meditation and life’s enlightenment that ends all suffering.
However, as Christianity uses commandments as laid down rule to be followed, the precepts in Buddhism are not rules that must be followed. They are just provided for them to use in training for enlightenment, and it is upon each and every Buddhist to either choose to follow them or not. They believe that it is upon each person to develop their constructive attitude. We now need to understand the third precept into much detail.
Just like in every society and religion in the world, Buddhists also do have some views as far as sexuality is concerned. Sexuality is the third of the five precepts that this religion was provided with by their founding father, Gautama Buddha. On the precepts, Buddhists are urged to desist from sexual misconduct. The sexual misconducts include; rape, paraphilia, adultery, sexual pervasions and promiscuity.
Buddhism does not see the sexual practice as a bad thing, but rather what happens after the sexual act. For the Buddhists, the sexual act can have a possible of three consequences. There is the constructive impact, destructive and neutral effects. The sexual pleasure in itself is not evil, but the desire or craving for sexual desire that is in itself wrong and needs to be fought for one to be free of. When one is engulfed by such desires or attachments, they need to work hard to get rid of them, that is, renunciation.
A sexual act in Buddhists is considered destructive when one is driven by greedy desire and attachment. For example, when a person rapes a woman. It focuses on the impact this will have to the rapist. It believes that the rapist will suffer emotionally and should, therefore, consider renunciation to get rid of the desire that drove them to commit the rape in the first place.
Another destructive attitude the Buddhist believe is the seeking for a perfect partner in a relationship, or even perfect orgasm. When a person haves sex seeking for a perfect orgasm or perfect partner, there is the possibility of dissatisfaction rising. The attitude of dissatisfaction is considered to be destruction because of the unfulfilled desire within the person. This causes frustration and makes the person miserable. In this case, the person should get rid of the feeling of the perfect partner or perfect orgasm to enjoy sex.
There is also the case of extramarital affairs and the sex out of marriage. According to Buddhists, having sex with another person’s partner is also destruction. The sexual act is not condemned, but the consequences. It is viewed that extramarital sex is fuelled by the attitude of dissatisfaction by a partner in a relationship. It is the Buddhists take that extramarital sexual relation cases a lot of unhappiness to the partner, which can destroy a marriage. It is, therefore, important for the individual to fight such desire. Or, to avoid hurting a partner, one should keep their affairs very secretive. When such affairs take place, the perpetrator should be aware of the consequences, which also include divorce.
There is also sexual practices that involve unmarried individuals. This is also blamed on dissatisfaction that arises from the sexual desire for attachments. Buddhism is also against this for the consequences that may occur. Sex within non-marriage is also destructive given Buddhism. This kind of sexual practice may cause unwanted pregnancies or even diseases. Also, abortion is also a possibility.