Why suffer so much?

Dhamma Talks by Mogok Sayadaw; 10th March 1961

Why are we suffering so many kinds of dukkha? We have to remember about the 4 factors. ① On bad soil, ② we plant the bad seed, ③ pouring bad water, ④ and grows out a tree with bad fruits.

The soil of unwise attention (ayoniso- manasikāra)—for many lives we had the unwise attention of man, celestial being and Brahma god, and the mind and body were never appearing as the truth of dukkha. We had planted the ignorance (avijjā) seed. With unwise attention and ignorance follows behind it. Ignorance has the cause. It’s unwise attention.

It was said that the beginning of living being was ignorance. Also we must answer as the beginning of ignorance is unwise attention (ayoniso→avijjā). By pouring the tanhā water—attachment to things as sons, daughters, etc… We didn’t know the reality and attache to them. And a bad khandha tree grows out.

This is the truth of dukkha arises. Ayoniso→avijjā→tanhā→khandha. From a bad tree bears out bad fruits. These are dukkha fruits—aging, sickness, death sorrow, lamentation, etc many kinds of dukkha come out. Dukkha fruits fall on the soil and dukkha trees and fruits will continue.

This is the round of existence (saṁsāra). We have to make corrections start from the soil. From unwise attention to make it wise attention. The process will be—yoniso(wise attention) →vijja(knowledge)→alobha(non-greed)→sukha sacca(truth of happiness- i.e Nibbāna). Not wanting the khandha (dukkha) is Path Knowledge.

We have to destroy the root of ignorance. This teaching came from the Anguttara Nikāya. Wise attention is the most important one. Before we talk ignorance and craving (avijjā and tanhā) as the source. Now we know the source more earlier than ignorance. In the whole saṁsāra we were living with the big burdened load. And after death continue to birth (jati) and will never end.

If we make prayers for the khandhas, then we are praying for becoming a coolie. (like coolies carrying heavy loads). Let us do the wise attention. Let us practice to know the khandha process.

The contact of the mind base sensitivity (hadaya vatthu) and mind object (dhammāramana) condition for a thought to arise. The 5 khandhas are arising together. It’s not a person nor a being. After the thought passing away the mind of pleasure arises. After that clinging mind and kamma (bodily or verbal action) arises, etc…

All the ultimate phenomena (paramattha dhamma) are continuing arising. These are D.A dhammas. Therefore whenever you contemplate, this dhamma passing away and that dhamma arising, etc… (Sayadaw continued Anuradha) Anuradha had doubt (viccikiccha). Is there any being? After the being dies go to Nibbāna? (These were his doubts). Before, he was practising without wrong view and doubt fell away that, even staying near to the Buddha couldn’t realize Nibbāna.

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