Sick Bhikkhu and Vedanā

Dhamma Talks by Mogok Sayadaw; 28th November 1959

(Based on a sutta from Vedanā Samyutta)

The Buddha gave an instruction of how to die to a sick bhikkhu. When we feel the pain stay with mindfulness (sati) and clear comprehension or wisdom (sampajāna). Using the time with mindfulness and wisdom. Without the physical body no feeling arises. The mental feelings arise by depending on the mind base (i.e the heart area). The cause is impermanent that also the result, or they have the nature of passing away. By knowing in this way, doubt is overcome. Therefore, this way of contemplation is by knowing the cause doubt falls apart, and knowing the result wrong view falls off. Every time knowing feeling arise is sati and knowing the nature of passing away is sampajāna. Combine together is sati-sampajāna. If you can contemplate in this way, then greed, anger and delusion can’t come in. Mindfulness is just only knowing the arising. Can contemplate the passing away is sampajāna or wisdom mental factor. Mindfulness can’t do it. The physical pain is not horrible. The horrible thing is when pain arises and the reaction to it; i.e mental state of displeasure (domānassa). It’s more difficult to cure. As an example, in the darkness a man is cutting with a kusa grass. If you tell him that he was bitten by a snake and instantly in shock. Again you tell him that it’s not a snake only a kusa grass and instantly getting up. So when pain is arising at near death; if the patient can’t contemplate it, and will die with displeasure. If able to contemplate and dies with the knowledge of impermanence (It becomes anicca and magga). This is dying with the path factors mind. Every one dies with painful feeling will fall into the planes of misery. (It’s quiet frightening.)

Buddha and arahants had physical pains but didn’t have mental pains or dukkha. Therefore, they were ended the round of existence. Even you don’t have the Path Knowledge and die with the insight knowledge is safe. Every time feeling arises and knowing with sati and sampajāna, wrong view (ditthi), doubt (vicikicchā), greed (lobha), anger (dosa) and delusion(moha), all the 5 defilements are dying away. Ditthi and vicikicchā are extinct with the Path Knowledge. Lobha, dosa and moha die without any chance to come in. (Here Sayadaw mentioned the lobha, dosa and moha are connection with wrong view and doubt. Not 100% of them but only 25% of them.) If you follow up feelings until to the end, body and feeling disappear and the peaceful Nibbāna Element appears. In the yogi’s mind the physical body is disappeared. The 5-khandhas disappear and the Path Knowledge arises.

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