The Three Knowledges in the Suttas


Dhamma Talks by Mogok Sayadaw; 15th December 1961

Your body is conditioned aggregate (saṅkhāta khandha). And after the conditions (saṅkhāra) finish and it ceases. Before they finish we can listen talks, eating, selling and buying. We can die because of kamma. If not conditioning by temperature (utu), or not connecting with it or it finishes will also die.

After this mind moment and next mind not arises also will die. Kamma (past kamma), mind (citta), temperature (utu) and foods (ahara), if one of them ceases and must die. Before death they are supporting for it. Do you have the chance for relaxing? If foods not produce the food elements also die.

So we are eating foods and if the group of form (rūpa kalāpa) not develop and will die. It’s like the simile of a wooden doll (a puppet) with the 4 strings. If one of them going wrong will perish. Can you say the body is your own and belong to you. It’s conditioned body. It suffers according to their conditioning. From the side of the mind phenomena, they arise by sense objects and sense doors.

Therefore mind and body are conditioned aggregates (saṅkhāta khandha) and will end up with impermanence. So we had never been had a stable life. If can’t get out from conditions and we are just ready for death. By coming out from them will arrive to unconditioned Nibbāna. Have to contemplate a lot of the impermanence of conditioned phenomena (saṅkhāra anicca).

Arising is saṅkhāra and vanishing is anicca. One’s own khandha is these two. You are conditioning and vanishing. If you discern this and get the knowledge of as it really is (yathabhūta ñāṇa). Have to continue to contemplate its disenchantment. Seeing a lot of impermanence become disenchantment. For example, if a mother every time gives birth and the baby dies.

Does she has any desire for giving birth again? Yathabhūta ñāṇa become mature and develop to the knowledge of disenchantment. In the beginning it needs to discern saṅkhāra and anicca in the body. In the body doesn’t has anyone of the hand, feet, hair, etc., but only has impermanence. If you know this and get the yathabhūta ñāṇa. At the time of if you don’t want to see impermanence is developing into the knowledge of disenchantment.

If you develop to this point and I want to remind you beware for one thing. Your mind don’t want to continue the practice. Don’t get up and go away. Also don’t move from your place. Continue to contemplate with patience. Let the knowledge develop to until not wanting it.

If you contemplate patiently on disenchantment and it develops into the knowledge of not wanting it. Surely it will develop (It’s a natural process). The knowledge of not wanting is Path Knowledge. In anywhere of the Pali suttas the Buddha described the development with these 3 knowledges.

If you discern impermanence both of your eyes are gaining light. Your craziness and blindness is gone. With the becoming of disenchantment craving reduces. If becoming more and more disenchanted and the knowledge of not wanting will come. At that time impermanences disappear.

That is dukkha sacca disappearing, because impermanence itself is dukkha sacca. Dukkha nirodho nibbānaṁ – with the ending of impermanence of dukkha and Nibbāna arises. Contemplate anyone of them you prefer (i.e. one of the 4 Satipaṭṭhāna). If the form (rūpa) ends and the mind ends.

If the mind ends and the form ends. (They are arising together and vanishing together). At the time of seeing the ending and rising up to the 3 knowledges of Path, Fruit and Reviewing Knowledges (Magga, Phala and Paccavekkhana Ñāṇas) respectively.

(continued the Mahā-parinibbāna Sutta) At the Nādikā Village, Ven. Ananda asked the Buddha where about some of the lay disciples’ destinations after passing away (This was on the subject of Dhamma Mirror). A person after entering the stream and knows himself as never will fall into hells again. And also never becoming again as animals and hungry ghosts, that he knows it. Free from the dangers of uncertainty. (This is one of the terrible and frightening situation of the dangers of uncertainty).

A person who dukkha has ceased knowing himself. A very strong respect and veneration of mind arises to the Buddha, Dhamma and Saṅgha. With moral precepts (sīla), taking the life of beings and stealing things never arise. Wanting to take intoxicants never arise. It happens naturally. A person realizes the Path Knowledge knows it by himself. These are the mirror of the Dhammas, so knowing by oneself.

These are the check lists of a sotāpanna:

① Will never fall into the 4 planes of misery
② Unshakable faith and respect to the Buddha, Dhamma and Saṅgha
③ Stable in the 5 precepts (pañca sīla) in his whole life. Will never break it by knowingly.
④ By taking birth can never born in these 6 places.
(The 4 planes of misery: the place the Buddha’s teaching can’t reach, born into a family with wrong views).

After becoming a sotāpanna what should one has to do. Don’t worry, when the time come it will continue. It will be encouraged by the already gained Path and Fruit Knowledges. Only this Path Knowledge is important (i.e. sotāpatti magga). The higher levels of Path Knowledges are not important. If you don’t get this Path Knowledge yet and after die where are you going? You have to practice for making the sure decision of, if I die will never fall into the planes of misery.


cited from https://oba.org.tw/viewtopic.php?f=22&t=4091&p=35856#p35856 (posted on 2019-01-18)


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