What is the Most Important Thing in Life?

Dhamma Talks by Mogok Sayadaw; 25th June 1961

To know the truth is the most important thing. The Buddha didn’t say the truth of giving (dāna sacca), the truth of virtue (sīla sacca) & the truth of serenity (samatha sacca). For insight practice (vipassanā) he used it as truth.

If you don’t know the truth don’t know Nibbāna, & not seeing Nibbāna. Truth is connecting with the khandha. Therefore Nibbāna is connecting with the khandha. Khandha is truth of dukkha. So, Nibbāna is also connecting with dukkha (From the Kathāvutthu).

After you find the khandha & will find Nibbāna. Knowing the truth is more important than worshipping the Buddha. This was the reason why the Buddha dispelled Ven. Vakkali away, out of concerning for his knowing the truth.

The Buddha compared the benefit of knowing the truth and the fault of not knowing it. He gave a simile of a lake with the length, width and depth of one yojana (13 miles) each with full of water and the 7 droplets of water.

(Here in this simile, the fault of not knowing the truth and create suffering for oneself are similar to the volume of water in the whole lake. The benefit of knowing it as a sotāpanna, the suffering still left are like the seven droplets of water).

(Sayadaw continued to talk about the state of the mind of people in daily life according to the D.A process. And then he compared it with people doing goodness. The numbers of goodness are incomparable to the numbers of unwholesome mental states. So not knowing the truth is quite terrible.)

Of the 5 khandhas, knowing anyone of them very well is knowing the truth. The way you all are knowing is; as example, the body is itchy. You know it with displeasure (domanassa), such as why so itchy! In the khandha all the arising dhammas are the process of dukkha sacca and continuously happen.

The Buddha was only pointing to it. They are happening all the times in the khandha. Dukkha sacca are arising and we do not know it. There are numerous of truths in the khandha. Not following with the knowledge that it becomes worthless. The dukkha we know before are bitten by dog, hungry for food etc.

These are unpleasant mind (dosa), displeasure mind (domanassa). These are not knowledge mind. You know the foulness (asubha) of a dead body. The asubha have to spend money on it (funeral). But you do not know the born and die asubha in the khandha (impermenent asubha).

These ae asubha and also dukkha. If craving, clinging and action are not following behind and it becomes dukkha nirodho hoti- the cessation of dukkha. This is knowing impermenent dukkha. Whatever arising in the khadha and knowing it as dukkha sacca becomes contemplation on dhamma (Dhammanupassana).

The thing to save you all is the knowledge of knowing the truth. The knowledge of knowing the truth of impermenent dukkha protecting you from the present action (kamma) arising. So, future khandha cannot arise. Not getting the future khandha, the kammas we had done a lot in our past lives cannot follow anymore.

Only you have the khandha they can follow you. Therefore the Buddha gave the example of a lake. The water in the lake dries up is like the past kammas. Also not filling the lake with water again and it dries up. This like not create kamma in the present. Therefore if you want to end dukkha have to work for knowing the truth.

Knowing the truth becomes knowledge (vijjā). People are worrying about the past unwholesome kammas, and also the unwholesome kammas of present life. They can give the results to us at any time. If you don’t want to be like this have to be worked very hard to know the truth.

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