SN 42.2 Tālapuṭa Sutta: To Tālapuṭa the Actor

The head of a troupe of actors asks the Buddha “If an actor entertains people with truth and lies, he goes, after death, to the laughing heaven”.

The Buddha gives no answer but is asked three times so he says:

“In the theatre or arena, among beings who are not yet free from lust, an actor entertains them with titillating things that excite them even more strongly to lust, […] infuriating things that excite them even more to hatred, […] bewildering things that excite them to even more delusion. Thus being intoxicated and negligent himself and making others intoxicated and negligent, after death he is reborn in the hell of laughter. If he thinks he is going to a heaven then that is also ‘wrong view’ so he either goes to hell or the animal realm.”

Tālapuṭa is distraught, ordains and becomes an arahant.

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