Buddhist Studies story of the buddha
Buddha Dharma Education Association & BuddhaNet

29. Trying the ascetic practices

29. In those days, there were many wandering monks who belonged to various cults. They had left their families to become ascetics. They believed that by starving themselves or tormenting their bodies (asceticism) they would be reborn in heaven. Their belief was that the more they suffered in this life, the more pleasure they would receive in the future. So some ate extremely little food, some stood on one foot for a long time, and others slept on boards covered with sharp nails.
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