Susīma the Wanderer

Dhamma Talks by Mogok Sayadaw; 28th to 31st, Jan.1960


(Sayadaw said, without developing the samatha practice separately can realize Nibbāna. He pointed out a commentary by Ven. Anurudhha-Namarupaparicheda Text. It was said that the light of the dawn was showing the sign of the sun would be come out very soon. Insight knowledge (vipassanā nyan) was liked the dawn period and the Path Knowledge was liked the sun comes out.) Vipassanā knowledge has the 5-factors of the path (5-magganga). (1)Right view (Sammā-ditthi ) (2)Right thought (Sammā-sankappa). These are wisdom factors. (3)Right mindfulness (Sammā-sati) (4)Right effort (Sammā-vāyāma) (5)Right concentration (Sammā-samādhi). These are samādhi factors. Because when you are discerning anicca these 5-factors are functioning together. Without these factors you can’t discern anicca. Therefore, without even developing samatha practice separately and with confidence start with impermanence in the way of practice here. I’ll also give you the story of evidence from the sutta. In this process of the practice wisdom is the leader and samādhi is the follower. Now is the age of short life span that don’t develop samādhi separately. If you discern anicca quickly it will end quickly. But you can’t get the psychic power. After become an arahant if you want to follow samatha practice even more easier. (Sayadaw did not mean have to follow it. For an arahant no interest in it.)

If your mind is restless, first using ānāpānasati – mindfulness of breathing develop some calmness. After that contemplate whatever feeling arises. (In this talk, Sayadaw used the contemplation of feeling explaining the practice.) The arising of feeling is the arising of paticca-samupadā. And the passing away of the feeling is the cessation of paticca-samupadā. Khandhand arises and khandhan ceases. It’s about knowing the nature of one’s khandhas. The arising is sankhāra (conditioned phenomenon) and the passing away is anicca (impermanence). Only sankhāra and anicca exist. Therefore, it’s the same as to the saying of Sabbe sankhāra anicca – All conditioned phenomena are impermanent. If you do not contemplate and when all the feelings are arising, then each pleasant, unpleasant and neutral feeling will connect with greed, anger and delusion. By seeing the passing away of the arising dhamma not create new dependent arising process. Seeing the old passing away does not create a new one. In this way not receive new dukkha. You can say dukkha ceases. Dukkha ceased is Nibbāna. Seeing the old one arose and ceased could be said knowledge came in. Insight knowledge comes in to cut off samudaya (here tanhā, upādānam and kamma) and dukkha (jāti, jara and marāna). This is cutting off samudaya sacca and dhkkha sacca. Cut off the next khandhas. The cause and result are cutting off. The cutting off dukkha and samudaya is the practice of vipassanā. This can’t be achieved by prayers and only by practice. This is a very sure practice. Start doing it and will be finished. Some say Nibbāna is far away. Some say it’s near. The one who says near without any insight knowledge is blindly near. The one who says far away without any knowledge himself can’t do anything for him.

If you can separate the two khandhas and it’s near. For example, after the feeling khandha, and will come the tanhā khandha. After tanhā, continues to upādānam, kamma khandha etc. We must know that we are alive by connecting khandhas. If you can’t contemplate the before khandhas will get the later khandhas. (Here is an interesting point to contemplate. Our present life khandhas are continuously arising because of the past kammas which are releasing by tanhā which kept the kammic energy with them. By practice we kill the latent tanhā and at the same time tanhā does not arise and no new khandhas arise in the future.) Therefore, vipassanā is the function of stopping the next khandhas arising. Without the next khandhas arise, then the two truths of round of existence have ceased to exist (vatta sacca, i-e samudaya and dukkha or kilesa vatta and vipāka vatta). Therefore, vipassanā practice is the working of liberation from the round of existence. Without samādhi the mind can’t know straight away towards impermanence. If you know it, then samatha and vipassanā are working together. The merit without the round of existence (vivatta kusala) is referring to vipassanā practice. Even making generosity (dāna) need to support by vipassanā. By developing insight is knowing one’s own importance of cutting off the dependent arising process. A knowledgeable person should firstly store away his own WOK (Here Sayadaw referred to one’s own Hell Wok created by unwholesome kammas.)(In this talk also said about dukkha with having and sukha without having are good for contemplation to understand the four meaning of dukkha and the peace of Nibbāna. This talk had a lot of profound Dhamma need for contemplation.)


If you discern anicca, samatha and vipassanā are together. There are three ways for vipassanā practice: based on samatha practice, based on vipassanā practice and based on samatha/vipassanā together. (Here Sayadaw explained it as Yugananda way.) With khanika samādhi (momentary calmness) develop insight. With ānāpānasati develop calmness and contemplate impermanence. The Buddha gave instruction to Susīma the wanderer. First contemplate impermanence, after that come the ending of impermanence which is the Path Knowledge. He said only that much, do not include samatha practice. Susīma dissatisfied with the Buddha’s answer. He said that he did not understand it. The reason today I use this Susīma’s story is to support my teaching here. So I tell you to practice with full confidence without any doubt about it. If you do it will find out what I have been said. The Buddha also supported about it. If you can’t get the result, it’s not the fault of the Dhamma. It is the fault of one’s over grown defilements. This is the only conclusion to make. If the forest of kilesa is over grown can’t do anything. You can’t arrive to Nibbāna by samatha practice. This is the result of vipassanā practice.


The duty for the Buddha’s Teaching is the contemplation of impermanence of the mind & body process. Follow the Teaching of the Buddha without deviation. (Continued to talk about the qualities of a sotāpanna.) In the Buddha’s time, there were dhammas on practical vipassanā practice. The Buddha himself instructed Susīma on practical insight practice. Susīma came from a group of wanderers who held wrong view. The Buddha helped him first to dispel his wrong view. In the Anguttara-Nikāya it mentioned that people held wrong view couldn’t penetrate the 4-Noble Truths. The Buddha used the 5-handhas to teach him, because except the 5-khandhas there is nothing to talk about. He said many things to Susīma. Here I will use only feelings(vedanā). By faculty (i.e indriya – eye, ear…mind faculty) there are 5-kinds of feeling. Pleasant feeling in the body (sukha vedanā), pleasant feeling in the mind (somānassa). unpleasant feeling in the body (dukkha vedanā), unpleasant feeling in the mind (domānassa) & neutral feeling (upekkhā). There is no period without any feeling, even during the sleep we are changing our bodies by turning around. Free from feeling is only in Nibbāna (So people don’t like it.)(Sayadaw gave a simile of a fish to demonstrate how the different feeling is functioning.) A fish sees a hook with a bait (neutral feeling). And then swallows the bait (pleasant feeling). The fisherman pulls the hook back on the boat and beats the fish head with a stick and it dies (all these are dukkha vedanā). The fish dies because of the 3-feelings (Living beings are suffering because of these, especially human beings. You can contemplate all human problems and suffering from family life, society, country, politic, economic, culture, environmental problems etc. connection with feelings.) In the Vedanā Samyutta, the Buddha said that if someone could contemplate all the feelings tanhā will not arise and leading to Nibbāna. If you ask, “Is it the ending of impermanence is Nibbāna?” Cool and peacefulness is Nibbāna, because all dukkhas are ceased. In the heart it is cool and peaceful. Knowing it is the Path Knowledge.


Sayadaw mentioned the Susīma’s story. He said that the Buddha taught him by questions and answers, nothing to do with samatha practice. Actually every realization from sotāpanna to arahant always include vipassanā jhana or super-mundane jhana. Therefore, they enjoy the fruition state in their lives. He explained the 5-magganga with simile. Discerning anicca is sammā-ditthi and sammā-sankappa. Here sammā-sankappa as a lense. Samādhi factors are helpers of wisdom factors. Sati, viriya, samādhi are liked 3 persons plucking a fruit on a tree. Sīla factors come only at the point of discerning the end of dukkha. It becomes a magga sīla. During the time of penetration of dukkha, the 3 sīla factors come in and dukkha end. Dukkha ceased is Nibbāna. The 8-factors completed is the Path Knowledge. After that comes Fruitions. Fruitions also see Nibbāna. After Fruitions ceased reviewing knowledge arises (Paccavekkhana Nyan). It also sees Nibbāna. Seeing Nibbāna 3 times in the whole process.

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