To Nibbāna without New Kammas

revised on 2019-10-02

Dhamma Talks by Mogok Sayadaw; 15th March 1962

[This talks based on Kammanirodhasuttaṃ of Saḷāyatanasaṃyutta, Saṃyutta Nikāya (15. Navapurāṇavaggo, SN.35.146). The original sutta was short and simple. Sayadaw talk was also simple but interesting and profound. It gave us a lot of contemplation on kamma connection with the practice. Without a good teacher’s guidance, we can even create good kammas to prolong our dukkha. We can see a lot of cases like this in the later Buddhist tradition.

The Buddha said that there were four dhammas on kamma.

1. Old kamma
2. New kamma
3. The cessation of kamma
4. The way to the ending of kamma.

Sayadaw emphasized that every teaching of the Buddha was for practice, if we know how to do it.

Old kamma: The eye, ear, nose, tongue, body and life continuum mind (bhavaṅga citta) are continuing to exist because of the old kamma or past kamma.

The bhavaṅga cittas continually exist after birth consciousness and up to death consciousness (birth and death consciousnesses are also bhavaṅga cittas). The embryo in the mother’s womb is alive with these cittas.

New kamma: Bodily, verbal and mind actions (kāya, vacī, and mana kammas). Base on the six senses doors and six senses objects and we create these actions all the times. All living beings create new kammas with the old kammas every moment. During sleep we are alive with the old kammas of bhavaṅga cittas.

The cessation of kammas: Nibbāna is never realized without the ending of new kammas. They will continuously give the results on and on without end. Without the cessation of new kammas and Nibbāna can’t arise. The way to the ending of kāmas: The Noble Eightfold Path. ]

The Buddha taught about the four things on kamma. These were old and new kammas, the cessation of kamma and the way to the cessation of kamma.

1. The old kamma
2. The new kamma
3. The place of the cessation of kamma
4. The practice on the cessation of kamma.

These are the dhamma for practice. There is no dhamma which is not connecting with practice. We don’t know how to put into practice that it becomes only teaching. On old kamma; eye, ear nose, tongue, body and mind, (i.e., the bhavaṅga citta) are made by old kammas.

Now you are listening to the talk with the result of the old kamma. The new kammas are now you are doing with bodily, verbal, and thinking, and planning of mental actions. These things are arising in this life. Now you are sitting here and not free from old and new kammas. You are alive with these kammas.

By thinking and planning you are alive with the mind. Going and moving is alive with the body. We are alive with verbal action when we are talking. With breathing is alive with the old kamma. Seeing with the eye is alive with the old kamma.

Therefore, when people are getting older, the seeing power is becoming weaker. You can say all these are kammic aggregates, it is not wrong. It is far from Nibbāna if present kammas are not ceased because mind and body still arise.

The Buddha taught that kamma gives the result. Waking up from the early morning these kamma are start coming. Without their cessation will never realize Nibbāna. Present kammas are arising like the mushrooms. The place of the cessation of the present kammas is Nibbāna.

Let it be the old kamma. Until the new kammas are not ceasing, the present and future results will keep coming up. (The last two sentences had connection; and they had some hidden meanings in them).

If the new kammas are not ceased Nibbāna will not arise. People are ignorant about this and think that it’s good to continue the new kammas. So, they are doing good merits. The Buddha was cutting off kammas. You all are connecting kammas.

So, you’ll only get dukkha sacca. Not knowing the dhamma, people are straying away from the path; even they are expecting the old good kammas (such as when I’ll have good luck). Cutting off kamma is Nibbāna, if not only connecting with dukkha. In today dhamma talk all these point are becoming clear.

People don’t know how to make kammas cease. And they are straying away from the path. They are not doing the practice which should be done. (Most Buddhists know the practice is wasting their precious times by doing many things which are useless and no essence.)

They are worry and afraid of the cessation of kamma. They have the desire of the connection of good kamma. So, they appreciate for the arising of dukkha. They want Nibbāna but what they are doing is dukkha sacca. Instead of relying on the knowledge (ñāṇa) as parents, they rely on kamma (as parents).

Therefore, they are swimming in the ocean of suffering. With the understanding of truth (sacca) can know these nature. If not you’ll not understand them. The Buddha also taught for relying on kamma. But not knowing the whole teaching and missing the most basic point.

The practice of the cessation of kamma is contemplating the arising of dhamma from the sense doors of the old kamma. These are every day I am teaching to you. In this way the bodily, verbal and mental actions are not arising and become cessation. Kamma not arising is the path factors.

Therefore, path factors are cutting off kamma. It doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t do the good and wholesome kamma of dāna, sīla, etc., but you should do it by leading with the insight knowledge. Kamma following behind and ñāṇa leading in front, it becomes the type of kamma sending to Nibbāna.

In the Satipaṭṭhāna Sutta, it also mentioned to contemplate wholesome mental states. Without vipassanā knowledge whatever you are doing is straying away from the main point. Even though path factors are called kamma, actually it’s leading as knowledge (ñāṇa).

revised on 2019-10-02; cited from (posted on 2019-02-13)

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