revised on 2021-03-15
Dhamma Talks by Mogok Sayadaw; 8th December 1961
There only are the views of eternalism and annihilationism (sassata and uccheda diṭṭhi) after analyzing the 20 kinds of identity view (sakkāya diṭṭhi). Someone who has sassata diṭṭhi on the cessation of life is stepping back from you (dislike with it) if you teach him; whereas for someone who has uccheda diṭṭhi is overreaching it.
They all were not in the middle way what the Buddha wanted to be. With teaching as the ending of name and form (mind and body) is Nibbāna and the eternalists don’t like it. There is no feeling, so what the use of it? He is taking enjoyments in life. Therefore, he steps back and says as "I’ll stay in life". He prefers to be continued and enjoyed the life of gradual elevated heavenly beings with the enjoyment in life even they become sotāpanna, for example, the female devotee Visākha. Their saying is like that; ‘‘It is good enough if I am free from the painful rebirth.’’
Most of these types of people are eternalists. Their words are describing the types of wrong view in their heart; by making the prayers such as: may I enjoy the life of human and heavenly being for many times; and they can’t reach towards Nibbāna because the view of eternalism prevents the realization. They are difficult to realize Nibbāna. People with attachement to life don’t like listening to Nibbāna dhamma and have no interest in it. They don’t want to pay attention to it. Majority of people have this wrong view. They prefer any of the khandha except the dukkha of painful existences.
So, wrong views prevent Nibbāna is becoming clear. They don’t want to try for Path and Frution Knowledges, because they are happy to be in life. The reason behind is not understanding and knowing dukkha sacca. It’s the same as for Nibbāna. View of eternalism is latent in their hearts. Making long prayers at the pagodas and Buddha images are these kinds of people. If they have the chance to get Nibbāna now and will not take it (They have strong bhava taṇhā).
If talking about the cutting off life, and have no interest in it. They don’t appreciate bhava nirodho nibbānaṁ — Cessation of life is Nibbāna. With this wrong view can’t listen and practice dhamma.
There were many Buddhas had arisen in the world, and at least we had met one Buddha. But we had not been freed from the existence of dukkha was having this wrong view. Every Buddha taught the ending of life (This point is very important for all Buddhists. Therefore, we should not let kilesa deceive us, especially by wrong view disguised as love and compassion. Māra — the Evil One is everywhere).
They will do it in a grand way if you ask these people to do dāna. They want to enjoy the fortune of life. But they will step back if you ask them to practice for Nibbāna. Except Nibbāna, they are ordered by wrong view and doing a lot of prayers without knowing it.
Women have more sassata diṭṭhi than men, because they have greed characters. Wrong view and greed are together. With a lot of concerning for others have sassata diṭṭhi, because they enjoy life. Whatever kind of life you get only fuels and fire. So they take enjoyment in dukkha.
Now, I’ll talk about the view of annihilation. A person with this view prefer cutting off life. He is overreaching. Nothing happen again is good for him. Dukkha ceases and sukha exists is Nibbāna. Therefore, the annihilationist (uccheda person) overreaches the nature of Nibbāna.
He knows that because of name and form there are a lot of dukkha. He prefers to be without name and form but not prefers Nibbāna. With this wrong view in the heart and practice can’t realize Nibbāna. It is not easy and difficult to follow the middle way between these two wrong views. They have strong disgust on life and prefer annihilation.
The reason why one can’t see Nibbāna is that he is covered up by name and form; so, he can’t overcome dukkha sacca in section ② and can’t see Nibbāna in there (i.e., viññāṇaṁ, nāma‐rūpaṁ, saḷāyatana, phassa and vedanā or the five khandhas). He can’t accept the existence of Nibbāna and prefers being without khandha.
Sometimes it perhaps is better to think as without this body in the state of anger, merely uccheda view arises. You have to go the middle of the two existences towards Nibbāna. You had never been in the middle way and never went straight before. You were wandering with these two extremes, and mostly with the view of eternalism in the whole saṁsāra.
We are taking happiness and joys in eternalism, and disappointment with annihilation. The day before I had explained about the paths of smile and grimace are these two extremes. With everything going well is sassata diṭṭhi and not going well is uccheda diṭṭhi. If I die everything will be solved. (This is the view of uccheda). No, you don’t.
You continue to have dukkha sacca if you still have kilesa. In miserable situations and killing them themselves are annihilationists! What the Buddha taught was (that) you could go only with the wisdom eye if you wanted to go in the middle way. And also it can see the way.
Therefore, I have to give you the wisdom eye (paññā cakkhu). You have to know the existence of these five khandhas, and have to practice to become disenchantment with it and not wanting of it. With these you are in the middle way. Starting to see impermanence is in the middle way.
At first, you have to practice to see the more clear one (i.e., anicca); later, to see its disenchantment. After that, you will not want its dukkha sacca. You'll have these three knowledges and become a person in the middle way if you can practice.
So, every day I am teaching you are about the middle way. Dāna and sīla are running towards eternalism and samatha jhāna towards annihilationism (For this point see the Brahmajāla Sutta of Dīgha Nikāya, DN 1). Therefore, samatha and vipassanā have to go together. With samatha only is going towards uccheda diṭṭhi.
Every worldling is following with the pulling. It’s like a blind man follows behind a walking stick. Do you still have any of your own decision of movement? It will give the result to Nibbāna after vipassanā practice and doing dāna, sīla and samatha. See (that) the arising phenomenon is dukkha sacca and its passing way is dukkha sacca too, and then do the danā and sīla.
Faith and wisdom are including with them and leading to Nibbāna. Wisdom eye means seeing anicca. Not seeing anicca is leaning towards one of the extreme of eternalism and annihilationism. By meeting a teacher of eternalism will lean towards eternalism. By meeting a teacher of annihilationism will lean towards annihilationism. These are like following behind a walking stick.
revised on 2021-03-15; cited from https://oba.org.tw/viewtopic.php?f=22&t=4091&p=35853#p35853 (posted on 2019-01-18)
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