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What holy life did buddha try to live perfectly pure like a polished shell?

#1str8KnowledgePosted 1/22/2013 8:50:12 PM
I read at accesstoinsight.org that buddha shaved his head to live the homeless life because living the holy life perfectly pure like polished shell was hard at home. What rules was he trying to live by?
#2KNessJMPosted 1/22/2013 11:21:31 PM
I'm not entirely sure of what you're referencing, but it sounds kind of like a description of his period of asceticism. He spent some time living the ascetic life with other practitioners. They disavowed all of life's material constraints and devoted themselves entirely to their practice. They would go weeks, if not months, without food, and would maintain meditation positions for as long as their bodies could physically bear (sometimes years at a time).

Ultimately the Buddha decided that this wasn't the answer to his troubles, so he moved on and left the ascetic life behind. Shortly after this was when he meditated under the bodhi tree and attained enlightenment.
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Quote of the Week: "Awaken. Seek truth. Stumble. Begin again."
#3str8Knowledge(Topic Creator)Posted 1/23/2013 2:17:24 AM
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/search_results.html?cx=015061908441090246348%3Aal1bklhbjbi&cof=FORID%3A9%3BNB%3A1&ie=UTF-8&q=polished+shell&siteurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.accesstoinsight.org%2F
If you click on "suttas only" you will see a list that talks about living the holy life totally perfect totally pure like a polished shell.
And I actually should've asked Why would he do that instead of what was he trying to do.
#4KNessJMPosted 1/23/2013 6:20:53 PM
Hmm, I'm not sure, to be honest with you. These stories take place after the enlightenment, so it's not directly associated with the Ascetics. I'm not very familiar with the Vipassana teachings or the Pali Canon, I'm much more familiar with Zen teachings. My best guess is that he's referring to a certain code of rules for lay practitioners at the time, and that the practitioners wanted instead to take up the position of traveling beggars. It doesn't quite make sense to me though that the Buddha would impose such harsh ascetic standards, when he himself rejected the ascetic path as the best way to enlightenment.

So yeah, it's a bit of a mystery.
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Quote of the Week: "Awaken. Seek truth. Stumble. Begin again."