The Right Association

Dhamma Talks by Mogok Sayadaw; 22nd June 1961

Living in the society by selling and buying and sometimes greed (lobha) and hatred (dosa) arise. These are unwholesome minds and it can make us worry. And also we are afraid of becoming unwholesome with them.

I will help you to distinguish between them, which one leading to painful existence and the one not leading to it. I will explained it according to the Buddha’s teaching.

Not every unwholesome dhamma is leading to painful rebirth. Every Buddhist is afraid of it. There are greed falling into the planes of misery and some are not. Do not take it as every wholesome dhamma is good. Some wholesome dhammas are leading to dukkha and some free from dukkha.

There are wholesome dhammas arriving to Nibbāna and not arriving there. Normally people are not easy to distinguish them. Therefore carefully take note of it. Not knowing the way, we do not afraid of it. Do not be with the wrong association. I am not talking about association with people. But on the association with wholesome and unwholesome dhammas.

Firstly, association with faith (saddhā). Here means not the faith of generosity but in the attributes of the Buddha, the Dhamma and the Sangha. Have to believe in the all knowing power knowledge (omniscience) of the Buddha (Sabba ññuta Nyan). Have to believe in the teaching of the Buddha which can give the 3 kinds of happiness (Sayadaw did not mention it specifically).

These are the matters of saddhā. If you have unshakable faith in the Buddha, the Dhamma & the Sangha will not fall into the planes of misery. But still have lobha which can’t send you there. Secondly, associate with wisdom (paññā).

Therefore make companions with saddhā & paññā. Believe in what the Buddha had said that in the khandha only anicca existed. Saddhā can’t see it. After observe with paññā. In this way free from the planes of misery. And will free from all dukkha. You have to know your own D.A process. As example, the greedy mind arises & observe with sati & paññā (mindfulness & wisdom).

By seeing the impermanence of the greedy mind which can’t send you to the planes of misery. Instead it will send you to Nibbāna. The enemy becomes friend. These were coming from the Sutta Nipāta. I am warning you of don’t let greed on its own way (i.e, should contemplate its impermanence).

If dosa arises & treat it in this way. That is association with paññā. If you are in association with clinging & action (upadānā & kamma) & become a problem. Associate with knowledge & wisdom (nyan/ paññā). This is not a strange dhamma. It was also coming from the contemplation of mind in the satipatthāna sutta. Such as greedy mind, angry mind, etc arise & know it.

If you have faith will know the arising. With the association of paññā & know the vanishing. Without destroy it with the Path knowledge the unwholesome mind will arise by conditioning. Wrong view and greed are always together.

By contemplating the impermanence of the arising greedy mind & wrong view can’t send to the planes of misery. Greedy mind also can’t send you to the planes of ghost. Whatever kinds of unwholesome mind arise & associate paññā no need to fear it. It becomes insight right view (vipassanā sammā ditthi)

In the beginning of the practice saddhā is an ordinary one. After it’s mature become the faculty of faith (saddhā indriya). After more mature become the strength of faith (saddhā bala). After the most mature stage become the unshakable faith (saddhā maggan). With a lot of contemplation will develop in stages.

Ordinary faith starts seeing impermanence. With the faculty of faith, the enemy of defilement can’t close too much. With the strength of faith can’t close in. With saddhā maggan, kilesa is destroyed. During the practice if you don’t see Nibbāna means, it need more contemplation.

It’s not mature yet.

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