Dependent Origination at Home
revised on 2019-07-02
Dhamma Talks by Mogok Sayadaw; 16th the December 1960, 29th to 30th September &1st October 1961
[Sayadaw taught about how to listen Dhamma.]
The ears are listening to the Dhamma and the mind is observing the khandha. In this way the mind is becoming sharp. By delivering the truth of the Dhamma and in the end realized the Path and Fruit knowledges. Ven. Ānanda told the Buddha that Dependent Origination was easy. The Buddha responded as not easy. (Sayadaw also said it was not easy).
But if you can cut off the process will realize Nibbāna. Today I will talk about Dependent Arising at home. You all are making wealth but for whom? We can say for the sake of the khandha. By clinging to the khandha that craving arises for the search. If ask again for the sake of which of the khandhas you are seeking for wealth? For the sake of happiness and health, so it’s for the aggregate of feeling (vedanākkhandha).
We are seeking wealth for a better life. We are seeking for money everyday means we are tortured by feeling. Dependent Arising at home means from our home we are going towards the planes of misery (apāyabhūmi). Feeling conditions craving—vedanā paccaya taṇhā. It is unwholesome. By theory, Dependent Arising seems to be easy. In the real khandha process it is not really easy. Even people don’t know that it’s happening. (Sayadaw mentioned some of the processes in daily life with humorous examples).
The record in the text and the khandha experiences become the same only it’s valuable. Because of craving the business of seeking or search (pariyesanā) arises. By depending on craving the business of craving arises. From seeking comes acquisition (lābha). It becomes the gain of craving. Therefore craving connects with craving. From acquisition comes ascertainment (vinicchaya).
It becomes the ascertainment of craving to make decision on how to use the money. For common people they think these things as ordinary processes. From ascertainment comes desire and passion. From desire and passion comes attachment. From attachment comes possessiveness. After that comes stinginess. By the torturing of feeling all these dhamma arise. After stinginess comes defensiveness. For the safety of wealth, becomes defensiveness. The Buddha said that without the contemplation of pleasant, unpleasant and neutral feelings greed, hatred and delusion would not die and not realize Nibbāna.
Staying at home without mindfulness and wisdom, still can go to the four planes of misery. Therefore the Buddha taught Dependent Arising at home. It’s like a thief comes into a house and steals the properties will make the family members suffer. In the same way thief of defilement comes into a house will make a big trouble. People makes money for the sake of eating good and living good, but it's just for the pleasant feeling and wanting to be happy. (Sayadaw explained about how people seeking for the pleasant feeling of each of the six sense doors).
The masters are the six types of feeling and the slave is only one. We are under the control of feeling. You all know only one type of unpleasant feeling. Don’t take feeling as insignificant. It’s the master of craving; when you are in healthy situations under the control of pleasant feeling. If you don’t know feeling arises and will also don’t know under its torture. Not knowing is the most difficult thing to deal with. Which feeling is the more fearful one between pleasant and unpleasant feeling? Which one is more terrible? For happiness, people want to do anything. Most of them were killed by pleasant feeling. Dependent Arising at home is starting from pleasant feeling.
This house and that house are busy because they want happiness. Pleasant feeling is giving order to people for business that they don’t dare to revolt. If they revolt all will be in Nibbāna now. It doesn’t give happiness to old folks either. People seeking wealth with unlawful means are falling into the planes of misery is the cause of pleasant feeling. I am old now, but if I want still can do it. You are a real slave indeed. People become slaves because of pleasant feeling.
Feeling can over power on everything. Unpleasant feeling also asks for seeking medicines. This life is so many sufferings (human life). Therefore try to reach heaven in next life. Reaching in heavens also find this dukkha. Torture living beings without any pity is feeling. Just seeing, hearing, smelling and tasting are neutral feelings (Sayadaw gave examples to each of them). The pleasant feelings in the heavens (just mentioned) are better than in human realm.
So people are making merits for that. After arriving there also encounter ageing, sickness and death. Pleasant feeling ask you to do things that you have no free time (for enjoying sensual pleasure). (Sayadaw gave the simile of a fish by the Buddha to explain the three feelings). You have to go somewhere there is no feeling at all. If you have the khandha even die still never free.
Therefore the Buddha urged you to disgust this body, for disenchantment and not took pleasure in it. But most of you think about these words as just ordinary and insignificant. We all are killed by these three feelings. Pleasant feeling is deceitful, whereas unpleasant feeling torture and kill you. After that it sends you to the grave yard. These three feelings have the nature of torturing. So it’s the truth of dukkha.
Every time feeling arises contemplate as the torturing nature of dukkha sacca and it becomes the contemplation of Dhamma. If you thoroughly penetrate dukkha, craving can’t follow behind feeling. Kamma can’t send to next life. This is arriving to Nibbāna. If you don’t contemplate feeling it will give order to do this and to do that, and later kill you. It conditions to all these things and continue to the process of nine causes and effects (see the 12 links).
There are two types of greed (lobha); greed for seeking and enjoyment. There is the cause for the samudaya lobha to arise. You all who listen to the talk are the feelers of vedanā. You are healthy that can come here. If you are a feeler of dukkha vedanā, then you can’t come to here (In Burmese everyday language vedanā by itself refers to unpleasant feeling). Feeling aggregates are listening to this talk.
This is dispelling wrong view. Insight meditation is every time feeling arises by knowing it, and also knows its passing away. If you don’t know then you are an ignorant person. Because you don’t know what’s happening. But even you know, know the pleasant feeling with greed and unpleasant feeling with anger; and know neutral feeling with delusion. All these knowing develop the Dependent Arising process. It’s ugly knowing. Why are you seeking for wealth? Because you are tortured by feelings. Pleasant, unpleasant and neutral feelings are leading to greed, hatred and delusion. It’s quite terrible.
If craving arises, it will ask you for seeking. From pleasant feeling craving arises. From craving seeking arises. People who understand feeling are very rare. Most of them die without knowing it. I don’t want to die yet, and still very good in seeking wealth. Still good to be a slave of desire! If you can contemplate feeling no craving arises. Without its arising and there is no seeking.
That’s in Nibbāna where no seeking and no searching. If you don’t know about feeling should not be in at ease. The Buddha was never seeing the good side of it that taught contemplation of feeling in an extraordinary way. What is the most important thing he wants when someone is in painful feeling? He wants to be cured. Painful feeling conditions craving—dukkha vedanā paccaya taṇhā. In this case you have to look for the medicines. If not by yourself, you will have to ask someone to do it for you.
You do know painful feeling but not by knowledge. Instead you are knowing about it with craving. In the 31 realms of existence all living being are tortured by the ignorance of feeling. In the world, human beings only know how to teach people on developing feeling. But don’t know how to teach for the cessation of feeling (These points are very important for deep contemplation. Because human beings are nearly destroying the beautiful Earth by getting lost in feelings from the politicians, business people to all walks of life).
Neutral feeling conditions craving—upekkhā vedanā paccaya taṇhā. There are a lot of craving going on with the seeing, hearing, smelling and tasting. The Buddha taught us to know feeling every time it arises because of the suffering of seeking. Do you see the Buddha and Ven. Sāriputta are going for alms-round? All their feeling was ceased a long time ago. They were in Nibbāna which was no seeking and searching. Ending of feeling is a real happiness indeed.
If you can follow the ending of feeling then everything is finished. So don’t forget about the contemplation of feeling. If you are in negligence it will push you down (to the abyss of suffering). For example, you want to eat little and suffer little, but actually, you want to eat a lot, and then suffer a lot. All these unwholesome developments come from not overcoming of feeling.
Craving is very cunning, because of it there are a lot of seeking and searching going on. Why we are deceiving by the taṇhā? Because we don’t get the knowledge of the way as it really is (yathābhūta ñāṇa). We don’t know form (rūpa) as form, mind (nāma) as mind and impermanence as impermanence. So the Buddha reminded us to look for a teacher who could teach the truth of Dhamma for 32 times (in the suttas).
Wrong perception is wrong view, and attachment is craving. If you are deceiving by them will go to the planes of misery. Only by getting the Yathābhūta Ñāṇa and not deceive by them. This is an important knowledge. The knowledge closes the doors to the planes of misery and lead to Nibbāna. Don’t be lazy to listen Dhamma everyday. You have to practice to get this knowledge. When I am asking you, "Do you discern impermanence?"; it means "Do you get Yathābhūta Ñāṇa?". You are not free from the deception of diṭṭhi and taṇhā, if you do not get the knowledge, and then you will have an unfortunate death. Why don’t you get the Yathābhūta Ñāṇa? No learning (study or listening Dhamma), a worldling without any Dhamma learning is called asutavā puthujjana.
By getting the Yathābhūta Ñāṇa is becoming a part of the stream-enterer. You are practicing sīla for long life, and making dāna practices for good rebirths; after with all these good rebirths, and in the end realize Nibbāna etc…. (Saṁsāra will never come to an end with taṇhā). All these are (wishy-washy) just in deceptions. Most Buddhists are making dāna under the deception of craving. I (i.e., taṇhā) will follow you up to the Brahma Worlds.
This is the power of taṇhā. Without or little learning is leading to the planes of misery (Nowadays human societies have a lot of social problems and sufferings are due to lack of moral educations. Don’t know how to behave like a human). Why we have no learning? Not listen to the Sacca Dhamma, and not seeking for a good teacher or a spiritual friend (kalyaṇa-mitta or kalla-mitta).
Ven. Ānanda answered to the Buddha that one received half of the benefit because of a good teacher. But the Buddha responded that one couldn’t realized Nibbāna without a teacher. A task will be completed with a teacher. Why don’t we get a good teacher? Without the knowledge of examination (vicāraṇa). We can encounter pseudo-teacher, wrong teacher, and counterfeit teacher without it. We are tracing the source of the cunning taṇhā, and find a lot of them.
Why don’t we have the knowledge of examination? Without wise attention (yoniso-manasikāra) or unwise attention. In this case we pay a visit to the human world and return to the planes of misery. (According to the Buddha most living beings came to the human plane for temporary like a visit and after that returned to the planes of misery which were like their permanent homes)
Why unwise attention comes to be? It is the cause of ignorance. And then ignorance comes from the taints (āsava). Therefore when you are making offering (dāna) I teach you to follow me to recite the Pali words; “Āsavakkhayaṁ ahaṁ homi—Because of this merit all the taints are destroyed.” So āsava dhamma is the main source.
By arranging it in the direct order (anuloma): Taint (āsava) → ignorance (avijjā) → unwise attention (ayonisomanasikāra)—no knowledge of examination (nivicāraṇa) → do not have a good teacher → not listening to the truth of dhamma → do not get the knowledge of the way as things really are → deceive by craving → to the plane of misery.
In this way in the whole of saṁsāra beings are deceived by craving. Without the destruction of the taints will not free from the deception. How to destroy the taints? It’s easy. By discerning impermanence it will be destroyed. To contemplate everything existing in the world as impermanence, dukkha, not-self, loathsomeness (asubha) and truth of dukkha, and no taints will arise.
For the destruction of the taints must practice vipassanā. We are travelling in the very long of saṁsāra is under the deception. Who is deceiving us? They are craving and wrong view (taṇhā and diṭṭhi).
revised on 2019-07-02; cited from https://oba.org.tw/viewtopic.php?f=22&t=4036&p=35648#p35648 (posted on 2018-12-27)
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