Practical Knowledge of Dukkha

Dhamma Talks by Mogok Sayadaw; 29th ,30th June, 1st July 1961

[Sayadaw gave 4 talks on Kicca Nyan connection to the 4 functions of Dukkha Sacca; Pilanatha (oppressive), Sankhatatha (conditioning), Santapatha (burning) and viparinamatha (changing)]

[Sayadaw said; Kicca Nyan was vipassanā nyan. So had to develop for many times (bhavetabba). By seeing anicca at the same time and discern the 4 truths. Seeing the Khandha (anyone of the 5 Khandhas) arises is dukkha arising, seeing impermanence is magga nyan, tanhā not arising is samudaya, and not creating another khandha is nirodha.]

A person not knowing the truth is like a blind man moving around. Walking around with two of the wholesome and unwholesome legs. That is avijiā paccaya saṅkhāra – ignorance conditions volitional formation. (Here the blind man is ignorance, moving around with two legs are positive and negative actions).

Is it not every dāna (giving) can realize Nibbāna? If, it is leading by ignorance (including tanhā itself), then you will not get it (Nibbāna is without them). Therefore these two legs (wholesome and unwholesome) are moving towards dukkha in the whole round of existence (saṁsāra).

It is like a blind man moving around. Blind man walking around and falling down is dukkha sacca (jati). Because of avijjā and saṅkhāra receiving birth (jati) khandhas. After falling down and what happen to him? He gets injuries. Get it back again the sores of dukkha. Viññānaṁ paccaya nāma-rūpaṁ-rebirth consciousness conditions mind/body.

From nāma-rupaṁ paccaya salayatanaṁ-mind/body conditions 6 sense-bases. Six sense-bases are like infested wounds with pus and blood oozing out. These are happening in the 6 sense-bases. Phassa paccaya vedana-contact conditions feeling. Contact here means making your way in the thorny forest (Do not forget about the blind man is ignorance).

So, it is like a cane falling down on the wounds. And the feelings are arising. After knowing these things and the khandha’s nature you do not desire it again. Ignorance becomes knowledge (avijjā to vijjā). The mind become clean and pure. During listening the talk, I am showing you the

fault of the D.A process. And you don’t have pleasure & enjoyment in it. Become not desiring this khandha & not wishing a new khandha. At that time have to analyze the truth. In the mind, knowledge of non-greed arises. In Sacca Nyan have to know dukkha & Samudaya arise. And to know their cessation (ie, Nirodha). Knowing them is magga sacca. Every arising phenomenon have to know these four points.

Today I’ll talk about Kicca Nyam; Dukkha, Samudaya, Nirodha & Magga, all 4 of them. You have to ask; “What are their function?” To know about them is Kicca Nyan. This knowledge is more important than Sacca Nyan. This is a very rare opportunity to hear about it. During listening don’t let other mind states come in.

This is an important time (Recounted the story of layman Peya during the time of Kassapa Buddha) At that time his mind was clean & pure. And then the Buddha was in ready to talk about sacca dhamma. But at that moment he had some business & got up & left the place.

Because of that he missed the chance for realization (He had to wait for another chance to come quite a very long time. This was at the time of Gautama Buddha) It’s the time of turning your mind on the khandha for practice. So, turn your mind on it. Now, you have already listening to the talk for 45 minutes. Feelings are arising in the khandha. These feelings are oppressing the body/mind.

This khandha has the power of oppression – Dukkhasa Pilanatho: it has the nature of oppression. This feeling arising is for the oppression of other khandhas. Whatever arises in the khandha & know it as oppressive. Knowing it thoroughly as except has the oppressive function & no other matters.

At that time of knowing, samudaya not arises & dies away This is called cessation by not arising – Anupada Nirodho. The function of knowing (magga Sacca) is also doing the expelling function (of samudaya tanhā). This is tanhā nirodha (cessation of craving). Observing the oppression again & again is bhavetabba.

Because by contemplation with magga sacca for many times on the oppression of dukkha is bhavetabba. Kilesa also ceases for many times. At the same time is performing the 4 truths. Kilesa ceases by not arising is nirodha. Tanhā nirodho Nibbānaṁ-Taṅhā extinguished is Nibbāna. If you contemplate in this way will finish your task by practice & not by paramis.

In Sacca Dhamma; Sacca is truth and Dhamma also is truth. There is nothing truer than that. Other dhammas can be say as not truth. If you have done dāna (giving) and at some-time will give you the result. But if other unwholesome dhamma comes in and destruct, it will not give the result.

Practice sila (virtues) for long life but if other unwholesome kammas come in and becomes short life. (All these thngs are important for reflection. The functioning of law of kamma is not very simple. Only the Buddha fully comprehended it. If not we can be in misunderstanding and lost faith in it.

The situations can be changed if some conditions come in.) Samatha dhammas are also the same. (Sayadaw recounted back to the blind man simile in the first talk.) After the blind man is getting the different kinds of feeling and looking for medicines. Blind man looking for medicine and it will not be a good one. Vedana paccaya tanhā-Feeling conditions craving.

This is looking for medicines. Taking the wrong medicine and even the old wound is not cured, instead getting a new wound. Kamma paccaya jati-Action conditions birth. This is a new wound. Your situation is like a monkey, gets a wound on the body. The wound is not cured and even becomes worse by scratching.

If you can’t find or get a good teacher, then it is developing of wounds and nothing. (Majority of people are thinking that indulgence in sensual pleasure is development. So they find ways to indulgence for sensual pleasures. This is the outcome of modern science & technology, with inventions for sensual pleasure).

In this 31 realms of existence and having different kinds of birth are blind people moving around there. It is not easy to teach people on truth. Because they are blind for a long time now. Blind for many lives. It will be quite difficult to cure them. Now you are coming here for listening talk is looking for the medicine.

This time is the best. You have to take the chance for treatment. If you do not, then next time will be not easy. Maybe you will not find a good teacher. Even have a good teacher, maybe you will not live for long enough.

(Sayadaw continued to explain the truth by using Cittanupassana)

For e.g, seeing consciousness arises. Seeing consciousness is the wound with pus. This is dukkha sacca. Different kinds of mind arise and know them as dukkha sacca. Thoroughly know them as diseases (rogato) is Kicca Nyan.

To know them thoroughly as arising by the conditions of ignorance and craving of past life. The Kamma of past life made the arrangement to be here. Sankhatatho this is the dukkha sacca of condition by tanhā. The impermanence of minds are

dukkha & conditions by tanhā. Every time discerning impermanence is Kicca Nyan. It’s also conditioning by kamma. The eyes are becoming not clear (ageing) & become damaged, etc.. The khandha is talking about its function (Kicca). Knowing is Nyan. Therefore Kicca Nyan.

Do you still desire these kind of eyes? Tanhā, upadānā & kamma not arise. The 4 truths are including in the Kicca Nyan. So, just contemplate impermanence. Even you don’t know about them & all 4 truths are including in it.

The Buddha said that he was realizing enlightenment by knowing the causes of the arising of living beings & the cessation of them. It’s the arising of ignorance & the cessation of it. Today I’ll talk about the Kicca Nyan of Santapatho_Burning with kilesa fire. Dukkha Sacca of the khandha is always burning with kilesa. Beings are always burning with the kilesa fire (see the Fire Discourse to the Kassapa’s brothers of fire worshipping ascetics).

Mind/body are burning with fire. This khandha is burning with 11 kinds of fire (lust-raga, hatred-dosa, delusion-moha, birth-jati, ageing-jara, death-marana, sorrow-soka, lamentation-parideva, pain-dukkha, grief-domanassa, despair-upāyāsā).

So, it is dukkha sacca. It has the function of always burning with kilesa fire. Every phenomenon of arising & falling away have to be contemplated in this way. Prince Ajāta sattu was burned by kilesa fire of greed & hatred, & killed his father. So his perfection of to become a sotāpanna also burned down by it. His good kammas were nullified (became ahosi kamma).

Is there any dhamma not vanishing in the khandha? Contemplate every arising & vanishing phenomenon as burning with fire & disappearing. Then you get the Santapattha Kicca Nyan. You see the mind & body dhammas as after burning & vanishing is Kicca Nyan.

After that you don’t see any function of the burning process. The function of burning with fire are gone. This is seeing Nibbāna, the fuels (khandhas) are consumed & fire (kilesas) extinguished. It’s Kata Nyan.

Mind & body are not arising as before is the fuels are consumed. Craving & clinging are not following after is the fire extinguished. Kicca Nyan is seeing the fuels & fire are burning. In the Samyutta Nikāya the Buddha said; “If someone gets Kicca Nyan & Nibbāna is near to him.”

Arriving to the hell and the hell fire there is so strong that it nearly blinds the eyes. By hearing the crying of the hell beings and ears are nearly deaf. The smell there is also so terrible that the nose nearly falling off. The hell foods and drinks go into the mouth are burning the small and large intestines and falling out at the bottom. The clothes in the hell are touching the body also burn it down.

Even thoughts are burning in the hell. Nothing is good there. It is called Mahā Parihala Hell- The Hell of Great Burning. Even though the hell beings will still have the chances to be free from there. But not knowing the truth is more terrible than that. Why is that?

Because not knowing-ignorance (avijjā) is establishing these hells. These are not naturally appear. These are the works (kammas) of people who do not know the truths. The things in Hell and fall into it are creating by one’s own unwholesome kamma (not created by God). Wanting to go to Hell is very easy and also easy to cut it off.

Everything of arising must know as dukkha sacca. You have to be afraid of not knowing to cut off your own D.A process. Do not be afraid of the Hell. The doors to the planes of misery are closed by knowing the truths. Kammas are opening the doors and Nyan closing it. Kammas opened the doors did not mean it normally opened by itself.

Talking it as one’s own kammas are making ready for it. (This is one of the important point that we can change our kammas. For e.g Subrahma devata and his 500 celestial nymphs’ kammas were making ready for them to go there after death. They were listening to the Buddha’s teaching and nullified its result. In the same way by wholesome merits celestial mansions were appeared in the heaven, e.g Nandiya upasaka.)

One’s dukkha is establishing by one’s D.A process. By kamma alone can’t do anything. Kamma do the jobs with the arrangement of kilesas. Do not be afraid of kamma but to kilesas. For an e.g, the arrow and the shooter, arrow is like kamma and the shooter is kilesas. Between them have to be afraid of the shooter and not for the arrow.

The Buddha never taught not to think about things. But if you wanted just thought about the truths (for Nibbāna). Thinking with greed, hatred and harmfuluess, then craving, conceit and wrong view (tanhā, māna, ditthi) will arise.

Today I will talk about change (viparinama) in Dukkha Sacca. Change exists is Dukkha Sacca and not exists is Nirodha Sacca. Arising and vanishing are called viparinama-changing or discarding one’s nature. If you can observe the change becomes Kicca Nyan.

The arising and vanishing are the functions (KIcca) of the mind/body process. The knowing is Nyan. Changing and destruction are not happening without causes. It happen by aging and death (jara and marana) in itself.

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