The Right Association
revised on 2019-08-12
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 explain 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 reaching 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 Saṅgha. Have to believe in the all knowing power knowledge (omniscience) of the Buddha (Sabbaññuta Ñāṇa). Have to believe in the teaching of the Buddha which can give the three 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 and the Saṅgha 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 and paññā. Believe in what the Buddha had said that in the khandha only anicca existed. Saddhā can’t see it unless after one's observing with paññā. In this way, one will be free from the planes of misery and all dukkha. You have to know your own D. A. process.
For example, the greedy mind arises, you must observe with sati and paññā (mindfulness and wisdom). It can’t send you to the planes of misery; instead it will send you to Nibbāna by seeing the impermanence of the greedy mind. The enemy becomes friend. These were according to the Sutta Nipāta. I am warning you of don’t let greed on its own way (i.e., should contemplate its impermanence).
Treat it in this way if dosa arises. That is association with paññā. It becomes a problem if you are in association with clinging and action (upādāna and kamma). Associate with knowledge and wisdom (ñāṇa/ paññā). This is not a strange dhamma. It was also coming from the contemplation of mind in the satipaṭṭhāna sutta. Such as greedy mind, angry mind, etc. arise and know them.
If you have faith will know the arising. With the association of paññā and 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 and 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 and associate paññā no need to fear it. It becomes insight right view (vipassanā sammā diṭṭhi)
In the beginning of the practice saddhā is an ordinary one. It becomes the faculty of faith (saddhā indriya) after it’s mature. Then after more mature, it becomes the strength of faith (saddhā bala). Finally, after the most mature stage, it becomes the unshakable faith (saddhā maggan). It will develop in stages with a lot of contemplation.
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.
revised on 2019-08-12; cited from https://oba.org.tw/viewtopic.php?f=22&t=4084&p=35732#p35732 (posted on 2019-01-11)
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