The Reality and The Knowing

Dhamma Talks by Mogok Sayadaw; 6th to 8th February 1961

[These 3 talks were based on the Tevijjavaccha Sutta of Majjima Nikāya. As I had already mentioned before, Sayadaw mostly used the suttas only to explain the Buddha’s teaching and the practice in more clearer and simpler ways. Maybe there were many Pali words in it but mostly known to the Burmese Buddhists.

He only took a few points from the suttas and used it for practice. People want to study a whole sutta must go back to the Nikāya itself. The 2nd and the 3rd talks were concentrating on the contemplation of mind. There were many important points in these talks for the practicing yogis.]


Cutting off the Dependent Arising is Nibbāna. The khandhas processes are Dependent Arising. The knowledge (nyan) comes in and cuts off the process. The original khandha process is the truth of dukkha. Broken-down the khandha process is the truth of the cessation of dukkha (Nirodha Sacca). (Sayadaw used the Dependent Arising Chart to explain the dhamma, see the 12 links).

Knowledge has to come in between section 2 and section 3 [Avijjā →saṅkhāra (section 1) →viññāaṁ→nāmarūpaṁ→salayatanaṁ→phassa→vedana(section 2)→tanhā→upadānā→kammabhava (section 3)→jati, jara, marana etc (section 4)

This is cutting off the khandha process. Don’t let the 5 factors and the 3 factors to be connected (From section 2 is 5 factors and section 3 is 3 factors). Because of the khandha process we are afraid of the 4 planes of misery (hell, animal peta and asura).

Even if you arise to the blissful plane khandha (sugati) will fall down again from it (Never forget the Buddha’s warning of the permanent homes of the living beings were the 4 planes of misery). Insight meditation is a types of contemplation for the result of no desire to the khandha. If you condense the 5 khandhas and it become mind and body. Condense it again it’s only impermanent.

In the real contemplation, you are not contemplating form, feeling and mind but their impermanence. If you are discerning impermanence and it was like the dawn time in the early morning. By continuous contemplation for sometimes the sun of Nibbāna will come out (From the Nāmarūpa-paricheda Text, a Commentary) Therefore the main point is working with impermanence.

Without the develop- ment of the insight knowledges no Path Knowledge or supramendane know- ledge (lokuttara magga) arises. For insight knowledge to arise is very important. Path Knowledge arises is not important. If you die with insight knowledge and will take rebirth in blissful plane and become a stream enterer (sotāpanna) there (From the Anguttara Nikāya).

If you die with the Path Knowledge near death even can become an arahant (may be refer to a very matured yogi and could be seen in some suttas). After become a stream enterer other stages are easy. (Sayadaw continued to talk about the Tevijja vaccha Sutta) At the time of discerning impermanence is discarding the fetters. (These are 10 fetters — samyojanā;

  1. sensual lust 2.attachment to rūpa-jhanas 3. attachment to arūpa-jhanas 4. aversion 5. conceit 6. wrong views 7. adherence to rites and ceremonies 8. doubt 9. restlessness 10. ignorance) Because at that moment not continue to craving and clinging.

Every form, feeling and mind arise let knowledge comes in behind them. Then craving, clinging, ignorance, volitional formation, sorrow and lamentation can’t arise. A person without practice can’t abandon the human fetters.


The Buddha reminded the monks for many times to stay with mindfulness of the khandha and observed with paññā. With mindfulness before and observed with paññā from behind. As example, in the physical body there are itches, pains and numbness etc… and mind states are arising.

We watch them with mindfulness and observed with paññā. With mindfulness before and observe with paññā from behind. And the khandha will tell you as I am impermanent. During you are observing them and get the 5 factors of the path. Because you have mindfulness and seen with wisdom (with mindfulness are 3 factors and seen with wisdom are 2 factors).

Only anicca exists and anicca arises. Closed your eyes and contemplate, you can’t find hand, feet, ear and nose but only anicca. Anicca exists, but die without never seen it before will be a corpse with double blindness. You are moving liked an earthworm.

(So eaten by bird or chicken). In the whole saṁsāra our knowledge and the natural reality were not the same. (How much deluded living beings are? Only a Buddha had arisen we all have the chance to know the reality of nature)

So, we were ending up at other’s sayings and making many prayers (including merits), such as became human beings and celestial beings would be good. Anicca exists and you know anicca saṁsāra will be cut off.

(Sayadaw continued to talk on the contemplation of mind. So in the following, I insert his system in the contemplation of mind and let the readers to understand clearly what he said in these talks. Sayadaw’s favorite contemplation was on the minds. There may be some reasons behind it. One of the reasons may be he himself was an Abhidhamma expert and even as a very young novice had great interest in this subject).

Contemplation of the mind

Contemplation of the mind

(unpleasant and pleasant experiences—itches, pain, etc.)

6-Internal guest mind

1. breathing in mind and 2. breathing out mind (2 host minds) The 2 host minds are the primary objects for contemplation. If other minds (all the guest minds) are arising have to contemplate them.

I’ll give you the contemplation of mind. Whatever you are seeing mind conscious ness arises. Hearing and hearing consciousness, smelling and smelling consciousness, tasting and tasting consciousness arises respectively. They are arising here and passing away here.

In the physical body there are itches, pains, etc regarding to the unpleasant sensation with the knowing of the unpleasant physical phenomena. Also regarding to the pleasant sensations with the knowing of the pleasant physical phenomena.

(So regard to the physical body 2 types of knowing consciousness) Totally are 6 consciousness. They only arise sometime. Therefore these are external guest minds. Sometimes from the mind base can arise lobha, dosa, moha, alobha and adosa. All 5 are internal guest minds. Not including non-delusion (amoha), because it’s the contemplating mind (5 maggangas).

There are 2 host minds always exist; breathing in and breathing out minds. Therefore, in contemplation of mind, totally 13 types of mind have to be contemplated. Contemplate with amoha; i.e The 5 maggaṅgas. If you are discerning the passing away, the 5 maggaṅgas arise naturally.

Among the 11 guest minds; if one of them arise, follow with the 5 path factors. If nothing of them arise follow the host mind with the path factors. The host minds are always there. Every following go with anicca and magga.

So kilesa can’t come in between them. The Buddha taught as, if you practice in the morning and became a stream enterer in the evening. And practiced in the evening and became a stream enterer in the evening. This was a teaching to Prince Bodhirajakumara. And then why most people can’t realize it? Because the reality and the knowing are not fitting in.

The reasons are; don’t know the way of practice and not pay attention to it. Therefore we are far from the Path and Fruition Knowledges (Magga and Phala) and Nibbāna Every time it’s arising and no contemplation, for an example, by seeing an object become wanting, clinging, action and birth which continue the D.A process.

Then will only get dukkha. Can’t follow with knowledge and will turn around with dukkha. And then we are trying for the arising of dukkha. “Don’t we have any parami or not doing the practice?” (We are not doing the practice, Ven. Sir). If you have compassion to yourself, just do the practice. Once time King Pasenadi Kosala asked the Buddha;

“People are sending metta and praying for their happiness. But in reality they are following behind lobha, dosa, and moha. Are they really love themselves?” The Buddha answered his question in negative.

Every mind arises you discern impermanence and see your own death. So, to tell the truth we are always alive with one mind only. Vipassanā is contemplating one’s own death.

For example, after you are breathing out and the mind wanting to breath in not arises you are dead. Death is subha or asubha? (Asubha, Ven. Sir) [Here the usage of asubha may be had the general idea of unpleasantness because death is unpleasant to the dying person and others.]

Therefore, originally you don’t have any lucky sign with you. (Sayadaw continued to explain how to practice insight came from the Milinda’s Text, the Spider Method.)

(After about the practice continued with the Vaccha Brahmin, Tevijjavaccha Sutta). The first question connected with lay person on practice. Can a lay person attains realization without discarding the fetters?

If human beings and the fetters (samyojanā) are connecting can’t realize Nibbāna It means khandha and tanhā, upadānā and kamma are connecting can’t realize it. If khandha and nyan (knowledge) are connecting will realize it. Therefore if people are doing the practice they are shaking off their fetters. This is during the period of practice.

Lay people like Anathapindika(billionaire), Visākkā (as 7 years old girl realized Dhamma) and Santati Minister were living among the fetters, but they had the knowledge to cut them off that realized Nibbāna. The second question was; “Do people arrive to blissful planes (good rebirths) by not discarding the fetters?” The answer was : “It can be”.


Whatever mind arises by watching and contemplating with sati and paññā is killing the 3 causes of tanhā, upadānā and kamma. So; it’s preventing the 3 results of jati, jara and marana. Vipassanā contemplation is cutting off the khandha process.

Magga (here the 5 maggangas) is cutting off the future causes and no future result arises. Yogis of vipassanā contemplation are cutting off samudaya and dukkha saccas. Whatever arises is dukkha sacca. (Sayadaw explained cittānupassanā of the 6 sense doors one by one)

Cittānupassanā is observing one’s mind. You have to observe it exists or not exists. Because 2 minds can’t exist at the same moment. After the arising mind passes away and the observing mind can arise. The minds have to be observed are not more than 45 types of mind. From the 45, only one of them arises in turn. The preceding mind is anicca and the observing mind is magga.

A person who has a lot of observation will get magga. With a lot of observation not only discern anicca but also turn into Dukkha Sacca. 45 types of mind are for a tihetuka person (A yogi can be enlightened in this life by practice).

37 types of mind are for a dve-hetuka person (A yogi can’t enlighten in this life even by practice, but develop the potential for next life. Ti-hetuka person born with non-greed, non-hatred and non-delusion—the three wholesome roots of the mind. Dve-hetuka person without the non-delusion mind).

(Sayadaw continued the Q&A between Vaccha Brahmin and the Buddha, stopped at yesterday talk). ① is observing by ②. ①will tell you not there and ② know it not there. Discerning of impermanence is seeing one’s own death.

Because without another mind arises from behind and become a dead person. With the connecting of minds we are not become a dead person. Our connection of deaths are Dukkha Sacca and by seeing them are Magga Sacca. Knowing Dukkha is Magga Sacca.

Therefore we are contemplating the truth. You’ll get the magga by your own contemplation. The matter of getting the magga is the matter of observation. By observing the 45 minds arise, during cooking and working you’ll get the magga. Also it is during selling and buying. Just only you are observing them.

Tanhā and upadānā and kamma are preventing Nibbāna, but not to sugati (blissful rebirths). By performing wholesome kammas as vivatta kammas (Kamma no desire for the round of existences) to realize Nibbāna. And it becomes a strong supportive cause for Nibbāna.

That is you done it without tanhā and upadānā. I’ll explain the last two questions as general knowledge. (Sayadaw mentioned wrong views and practices in ancient India during the time of the Buddha connected with these questions).

“Do Ãjivakas can realize Nibbāna?” They can’t. They are governing by wrong views that couldn’t realize it. Wrong views are always preventing Nibbāna. “Can they arrive to sugati?” “No, they can’t.

But I see only one person.” This was the Bodhisatta himself and during that time he was practicing as a Ājivaka. But at that time he believed in the law of kamma that after death born in sugati (good rebirth).

This is nothing to do with identity view (sakkāya ditthi). Identity view prevents Nibbāna but not sugati. Therefore the Buddha gave serious examples to destroy identity view was more important than your head was on fire and your chest was piercing with a spear (These situations are only die once, but with sakkāya ditthi will never free from dukkha). Identity view is the fetter of wrong views.

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