With Faith Transcends Wrong View

Dhamma Talks by Mogok Sayadaw; 6th December 1960

[Sayadaw based this talk on the Ālavaka Sutta of Samyutta Nikāya & Sutta Nipāta. It was an interesting sutta & traced it source to the previous Buddha Kassapa. He only used 2 factors from the sutta; faith (saddhā) & mindfulness (sati). Only with faith (saddhā) people can start to practise & realize first Nibbāna & their faiths become fixed. This stage transcends wrong view & doubt & faith becomes unshakable. May be in the beginning it needs some trust & interest in the Buddha’s teaching to start for it. A few years ago there was a book in the west called “Buddhism Without Faith”. Many scholars criticized this book. “Buddhism Without Blind Faith” is the Buddhist faith & encourage the freedom of enquiry.

Without any faith & trust, nobody will has the interest to study & practice, but you need to have an open mind. All the Buddha’s teachings could be verified by oneself because it came from the direct experiences of the Buddha and the natural phenomena & laws of nature. Sayadaw gave a very good analogy for saddhā. A man wants to dig out the root of a tree has to use a tool. The root of the tree is like ditthi (wrong view) & it connects with the water of dugati (the 4 painful rebirths). The branches are like tanhā and māna (craving & conceit) which grow out from the root.

The tool is paññā (wisdom) & the hands are faith (saddhā). Without the hands the tool can’t dig out the root. Sayadaw also emphasized the important of sati & it was leading all the other factors. Faith can transcend the lower round of existences; i.e, the 4 painful rebirths. With sati can transcend all the upper saṁsāra; i.e from the human existence to the highest Brahma Gods.]

The Buddha taught Ālavaka in the discourse that with faith could close the doors of 4 painful rebirths. Because of wrong view beings fall into the 4 painful rebirths, with faith can cross over the flood of wrong view (ditthogha). You have to believe that it can enter the stream of the path (sotāpatti magga). Why you want to practise the Dhamma? You have faith in the Buddha’s words & also the words of the teacher, so you are practising it. He had been said that you must discern impermanence, & if you practice accordingly will discern it. You discern it because you have faith & practice it. After discerning impermanence do you have any idea of this is my permanent mind process? Wrong view takes it as permanence. In practice let faith is leading you. Another point the Buddha taught was appamāda-diligence with mindfulness can transcend the 4 floods (oghas). Mindfulness is greater than faith. Whatever is arising (mind states, feelings etc.) watching with mindfulness. If you are seeing the arising dhamma & also will see the cessation of it.

Watching at the candle light & you’ll see it going out. As example, mind with greed is arising & you are watching with mindfulness & it’s passing away. At that time is there any clinging come in? Without it you are free from the flood of sensuality (kamogha). By watching & observing the mind & body phenomena & seeing impermanence do you want any kind of becoming? Then you are free from the flood of becoming (bhavogha).

If you are let the mindfulness dhamma leading you & wisdom (paññā) will follow behind it. Mindfulness knows the arising dhamma & wisdom knows the anicca. All these knowing are leading by mindfulness. Therefore the Buddha called it Satipatthāna (the function & object of mindfulness).

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