Classical Hindu culture encouraged asceticism and celibacy in the later stages of life, after one has met his societal obligations.
Jainism, on the other hand, preached complete celibacy even for young monks and considered celibacy to be an essential behavior to attain moksha. There were, however, significant cultural differences in the various areas where Buddhism spread, which affected the local attitudes toward celibacy.
Not having assets of their own, women needed to be protected from the risk of their husbands' putting them on the street at whim.
In those times marriage was an economic matter He also points out that there are those "which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven's sake", but in the original Greek, the word εὐνοῦχος means "castrated person".
In this belief system, celibacy is given the utmost importance.
It is said that, as per the direction of the Supreme God those lead a pure and celibate life will be successfully able to conquer the surging vices.
In order to pursue an ascetic life, he needed to renounce aspects of the impermanent world, including his wife and son.
Later on both his wife and son joined the ascetic community and are mentioned in the Buddhist texts to have become enlightened.
A somewhat similar situation existed in Japan, where the Shinto tradition also opposed celibacy. Richard Sipe, while focusing on the topic of celibacy in Catholicism, states that "the most commonly assumed definition of celibate is simply an unmarried or single person, and celibacy is perceived as synonymous with sexual abstinence or restraint." Elizabeth Abbott commented on the terminology in her A History of Celibacy (2001): "I also drafted a definition that discarded the rigidly pedantic and unhelpful distinctions between celibacy, chastity and virginity".
In most native African and American Indian religious traditions, celibacy has been viewed negatively as well, although there were exceptions like periodic celibacy practiced by some Mesoamerican warriors. According to her definition, celibacy (even short-term celibacy that is pursued for non-religious reasons) is much more than not having sex.
It is more intentional than abstinence, and its goal is personal growth and empowerment.
An example is Higashifushimi Kunihide, a prominent Buddhist priest of Japanese royal ancestry who was married and a father whilst serving as a monk for most of his lifetime.
Gautama, later known as the Buddha, is known for his renunciation of his wife, Princess Yasodharā, and son, Rahula.