The Nature of Vipassanā

Dhamma Talks by Mogok Sayadaw; 22nd June 1961

I urge you to try hard in vipassanā practice. Why? If you have compassion to yourself and should do it. Tigers used to get their preys by hiding themselves. Only by hiding and catching can succeed. If chasing the prey can’t catch it. The nature of the khandha is changing.

You can’t see it normally. Only by watching and observing you’ll see it, for e.g, a mosquito bites you. If you are talking don’t know it. Only after itching and you know it. Because the mind is floating around somewhere.

If you contemplate on feeling; watch and catch it, and on mind, watch and catch it. They are arising by the contact of sense objects and sense doors. The arising phenomenon is the object of vipassanā contemplation. You have to aim at them with sati, samādhi and paññā.

Khandha will tell its nature. Arising & disappearing, anicca & magga-impermanence & knowing accordingly. Before you didn’t know, because of not watching & observing them. After sometime you don’t need to watch. Because the khandha is showing it nature again & again, at that time let go of the watching & observing only.

Feeling arises & by watching & catching it, not becomes vedana paccaya tanhā (feeling conditions craving). Instead it becomes vedana nirodha (with the cessation of feeling) & tanhā nirodho (craving also ceases). Here tanhā ceases by not arising at all. In the mind only path factors exist (magga).

By seeing impermanence, you do not find the feeling & craving. But only find out the feeling disappears & the path factors arise. With the substitution of the path factors, & craving can’t arise. Therefore vipassanā contemplating yogi truly becomes vedana nirodha – tanhā nirodho (with the cessation of feeling & craving also ceases).

In the practice if you are still seeing feeling is not right yet. These words are very important. Feeling arises & ceases but craving ceases by not arising. These are: the cessation of the arising & the cessation of non-arising (upādānirodho & anupādā-nirodho).

The main thing in vipassanā is knowing impermanence (anicca). Which one vanishing is not the main point (e.g, vedana or mind etc). Knowing about death is the main one. Practise without any doubt & practice in the morning will realize the Dhamma in the evening. And practise in the evening will realize the Dhamma in the morning. It’s very quick if you get the Yathābhūta Nyan (The knowledge of things as it really are, i.e anicca).

Looking for it in contemplation is thinking-vitakka (Like a tiger is chasing its prey). Knowledge & thinking are not the same. Following with chasing is vitakka. By knowing that it’s not there is right view. It’s knowing nirodha (Temporary cessation, so sometimes using as tadinga nibbāna).

By seeing the feeling arises & then you are alive with the feeling (at that moment). By seeing as it’s not there & then you are alive with magga (at that moment with the path factors). These are quite different. Vedana nirodha_tanhā nirodho = feeling ceases, so do craving ceases.

Therefore tanhā can’t arise. If the future causes are not dying away will connect to tanhā. Will get a new khandha. It’s a great fault, because it’s dukkha (Said by the Buddha in the Majjima Nikāya). By seeing impermanence, there is no solid and stable happiness. Perversions fall away is freedom. (Sayadaw continued to Channovada Sutta. Recounted the story of Ven. Channa who killed himself).

Ven. Sariputta asked to Channa on his experience of the practice. He answered that seeing the cessation of feelings & didn’t has tanhā, māna & ditthi (claimed as an arahant). This was one of the evidence of seeing nirodha is on the right track.

Therefore vipassanā contemplation is watching and observing of the cessation of phenomena. I am wanting you to see the cessation of all the saṅkhāra dhammas. In a Dhammapada verse the Buddha taught to the 1500 monk as-sabbe saṅkhāra aniccati-. All conditioned phenomena are impermanent. Here, he didn’t make any division on the khandha. Tanhā has to cease without arising. If after arising & ceasing, then becomes kamma. (continue to talk vipassanā on unpleasant and neutral feelings) In the Cha-chakka Sutta (Majjima Nikāya), The Buddha said that after the feeling without the cessation of lobha, dosa and moha, dukkha would never end.

This was another evidence. Seeing the arising and ceasing moment to moment is seeing one’s own death. It is Yathabhūta Nyan. After a long time and become disenchantment with it. It is Nibbida Nyan. Later making one’s own decision about it as the truth of dukkha and nothing is desirable.

With the contemplation of impermanence and the khandha vanishes. Nyan turns towards which is without arising and ceasing. This is seeing Nibbāna. During alive the khandha still exists (This seeing Nibbāna came from the Ven. Nāgasene’s answer to King Milinda.)

  • Content of "Dhmma Talks by Mogok Sayadaw"

cited from