Watching and Observing

revised on 2021-03-15

Dhamma Talks by Mogok Sayadaw; 31st March 1961

This teaching was leading the preacher and all the listeners becoming arahants (referred to the Khemaka Sutta, SN.22.89 Khemakasuttaṃ). I remind you as the ears listen to the talk and ñāṇa pay attention to the body. This reference came from this kind of story (There were many in the Nikāya). The body will show you what it has to show.

Anicca exists and shows anicca. Dukkha and anatta exist and shows dukkhas and anatta. Ears and ñāṇa are going around in turn. It is not the main point whether you like it or not because you have the three mistakes of saññā; citta, and diṭṭhi vipallāsas are with you.

[Vipallāsa is inversion. There are twelve of them; inversions of perception, knowing and view. These three are concerning with four things. Take impermanence as permanence, dukkha as happiness, not-self as self and loathsomeness as beauty. So totally there are twelve inversions].

You have to follow what the Buddha taught and what the khandha telling you as a confirmation. Don’t follow your own desire. You are crazy, so don’t like it. But the nature of the Dhamma is true. For example, the majority of people don’t like the teachings of loathsomeness and not-self. You’ll not like all of them if the three mistakes are gone. It’s the same as a sick man; not liking whatever medicine you give him. He doesn’t like it because of the illness.

(Sayadaw continued to give instruction on practice based on the teachings from Ven. Sāriputta and the Buddha). For the practice: (Then he recited the verses by Ven. Sāriputta) “Kāyaṃ imaṃ sammasatha, parijānātha punappunaṃ; Kāye sabhāvaṃ disvāna, dukkhassantaṃ karissathā.”.

Watching the body and observe it. How long have to be observed? You watch at it with a normal breathing. Sāriputta said that had to be watched and observed it again and again. Then the khandha will tell its nature. I’ll tell you the nature of impermanence, dukkha, not-self and loathsomeness.

What the Buddha taught and what the khandha told you were the same thing. Whatever arising and disappearing are impermanent. Khandha arising and khandha disappearing are neither a person nor a being. It’s paining here and disappearing here. Hearing is at here and it disappears at here. Smelling is at here and disappears at here. You can make the decision with practice as it’s true and it becoms right view. It’s not the dhamma for using the rosary beads.

The dhamma is for watching and observing. This is a practical dhamma. Sāriputta said that if we saw this and dukkha would end. It’s not according with your view and disappears there.

The person with watching and observing will see it. Whatever is arising and following after with knowing is watching. I am explaining to you clearly because I am worrying about your mistaken idea in the letters. My worry is you are taking the watching with the five path factors (five maggan) and anicca appears after. The reality is anicca appears first and ñāṇa follows behind or after.

For an example, gaccamitova gaccamiti paccanati—if going just knowing it as going; in this phrase, going is before and knowing is after. What the preceding dhamma shows you and know it behind with the watching. Persistent with mindfulness and observe with paññā (viriya, sati, paññā/the same as samādhi and paññā).

The first point may be difficult to catch. If you can catch up with one of them and become easier. What the Buddha taught and the khandha shows you are in accordingly and becomes right view. It is not alone but together with the other four factors. This is vipassanā knowledge. The khandha is always telling you. But the difficulty is we don’t listen to it.

(Note: The four verses of practice by the Buddha were:

1. Sabbe saṅkhāra aniccati—All conditioned phenomena are impermanent.
2. Yada paññāya passati—When it shows its impermanence and then observe with paññā.
3. Attha nibbindati dukkhe—By understanding dukkha and become disenchantment with it.
4. Esa maggo visudhiya—After disenchantment and dukkha will end. This is the way to the purification or Nibbāna.)

(Sayadaw recited the first and second verses) “Sabbe saṅkhāra aniccati— Yada paññāya passati” These are in practice equal to the object of insight and the contemplative mind. For insight practice these Pali verses are very good. First, you watch the in breath and out breath. When the khandha shows you leave the breath and observe whatever arises. If nothing arises do the ānāpāna (watching the breath).

The body will show you anicca. If nothing is clear just do the ānāpāna. By watching the breath, the body may be itching here and aching there or the mind is running away. These are the khandha calling at you. At that time, yada paññāya passati—contemplate with paññā.

You need to ask as; “How long I have to follow it?” If you become disenchantment with it, is enough. First you discern impermanence with the five path factors (maggaṅga). After that become disenchantment with the five path factors. At the time when you don’t want it and the Path Knowledge arises with the eight path factors.

At the time you don’t want it and what will you see? This khandha will disappear. The five khandhas disappear and Nibbāna arises. Esa maggo visudhiya—you get the purification or Nibbāna.

revised on 2021-03-15; cited from (posted on 2019-01-10)

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