Is Wanting To Be Muscular Greed?

Question: Is desire for a muscular body considered greed in the Dharma perspective?

Answer: Actually, it takes a lot of maintenance to keep the body muscular. It is not a one-time effort to get ‘there’ once and for all. As long as there is reasonable effort to keep fit regularly, so as to have a healthy body as a good vehicle to learn and practise the Dharma, this should suffice.

Being rippling with muscles is not a must unless one is a professional body-builder. We have to remember that all physical muscles will waste away eventually due to ageing and death. Not a single muscle can be brought to the next life. Our mind and karma will be our only ‘luggage’.

We must take care of the body but to overdo it out of vanity means we care more for it than our mind. Yet, one might still become muscular naturally via usual exercise anyway, without excess deliberation. Whatever it is, we should remember to prioritise for training the mind with Dharma learning and practice as our time is limited.


  • As a Buddhist my views, we know that all conditions are impermanence, include our body will aged and die and not to have an attachment, cling on to form and get suffering because of the muscular body.
    What is most important to us is to cultivate our mind to find perfection and happiness and not go to the lower realms when we die.

  • If the purpose of being muscular is for having greater physical strength to benefit more sentient beings in physically demanding activities, then of course, it is good and should not be classified under greed. This act is an example for ( 我力,他利). This may also be reducing one’s ego ( or self ) by helping others. (selflessness/emptiness) However, if intention is for attractiveness, then this would becomes an attachment. Consequently, suffering would befall to one later on when the conditions change.
    Ultimately, training our mind to help others is, still above all, the best and most useful method in all situations. The innate wisdom’s sword in all of us will slashes all phenomena into their true and same nature like it. Thank you. Hope that this comment of empty nature have helped you to create some constructive and good bodhi thoughts or conditions. With metta. 🙂

  • ‘Is desire for a muscular body considered greed in the Dharma perspective?’ – Looking at the way the question is asked, the questioner is most probably not thinking of beefing up to help more. The focus was on becoming muscular; not becoming strong. It is possible to have strength of will and energy without being muscular, just as it is possible to be weak-willed and lazy over the right things despite being muscular.


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