Dhamma Talks by Mogok Sayadaw; 21st April 1962
[There are 2 causes for yogis not realize Nibbāna. 1. Not following the practice to the end. 2. Association with bad companions. These yogis are sure for enlightenment because they have the potentiality for it. But the above 2 factors spoil their realization.
In the Kandaraka Sutta, Majjima Nikāya, the Buddha taught Pessa, the elephant driver’s son on the 4 kinds of person found in the world. 1. Doing things torments and tortures oneself. 2. Doing things torments and tortures others. 3.
Doing things torments and torture oneself and others. 4. The one who torments neither but lives a truly holy life. What are these things? 1. Someone has lobha, dosa and moha and doing things effect oneself and nothing to do with others.
For example, extreme ascetism. 2. Wrong livelihood – micchā ajiva, such as fishing, animal farming, stealing, robbering, etc. 3. Sacrifice of animals for spirits. 4. Satipaṭṭhāna practice. After giving this talk in gist and the Buddha asked Pessa’s opinion on it. He gave answer for the 4.
And the Buddha began to explain in details for them. But as that time someone came and informed him on business. He got up and left the place. After he left the Buddha said to the other listeners that Pessa was in great loss. Because if he continued to listen the talk and in the end would enter the stream (Will become a sotāpanna).
(Here was quite an instersting point to contemplate. The Buddha had great compassion for living beings and why he didn’t stop Pessa to get up and let him continued to listen his talk. Pessa had the potentiality for enlightenment if he continued to listen, may be his mind couldn’t concentrate in the talk.
So the Buddha couldn’t do anything about it. Some Buddhists are making vows to encounter outside powers for their enlightenment. But, the sure thing for enlightenment is to rely on one’s own power. Because Buddha and arahats are only showing the way).
In Pali, it was kariya parihani – declining in actions which should has to be done. For the second cause of association with bad compassion and destroy one’s own potentiality of enlightenment was King Ajjatasattu. He killed his father King Bimbisara because of Devadatta’s advice.
Sayadaw taught how to practice vipassanā. The yogi must know 3 points; 1. Anicca – impermanence 2. Anicca lakkhana – characteristic of impermanent 3. Anicca lakkhana – The knowledge of the characteristic of impermanent. He said, during watching with sati and whatever arises know it as anicca.]
The Buddha taught; sabbe saṅkhāra anicca; 1. Therefore, whatever dhamma arises is anicca. 2. After arising and passing away and not existing is anicca lakkhana 3. After anicca and ñāṇa can follow behind is anicca lakkhana. Anicca and ñāṇa can’t happen at the same time. Ñāṇa can’t parallel with anicca. Ñāṇa must parallel with lakkhana. Practitioner has to catch on lakkhana with observing.
Only lakkhana and ñāṇa can be in parallel. Dhamma (The arising dhamma) shows its lakkhana and ñāṇa knows it. Only the arising dhamma not exists and ñāṇa can come in. If the lakkhana and ñāṇa (the knowing) are in parallel, and to become a stream enterer is easy.
Only the contemplative object not exists is its lakkhana. The differences between anicca and lakkhana are become clear. Anicca lakkhana means without the khandha is its characteristic. Asking you contemplate the not existing lakkhana. But it’s not asking you to contemplate not existed thing which is abhava paññatti (a thing not really exists, only exists as a concept).
Asking you to contemplate lakkhana is concept or ultimate reality? If you contemplate the concept can’t see Nibbāna. Asking you to contemplate from the existence to non-existence is not concept. For example, in contemplation of the mind, contemplative knowledge (ñāṇa) is aggregate of mental formation (saṅkhārakkhandha). Two khandhas can’t in parallel.
Only viññāṇakkhandha disappears and saṅkhārakkhana can come in. Two minds can’t in parallel that you can’t see the lakkhana at the same time. You can follow after with ñāṇa and this is the lakkhana of not existing. You can’t catch the anicca but only the lakkhanas. (The arising phenomenon is anicca, and after disappearing is lakkhana).
What are the benefits of lakkhana? It abandons khandha and taṇhā. Infront no khandha exists and behind taṇhā can’t come in. No khandha and taṇhā is Nibbāna. Therefore discern anicca is like a momentary Nibbāna. Khandha extincts is Nibbāna. Abandon taṇhā also Nibbāna. Therefore, during the time of seeing impermanence is getting momentary Nibbāna.
(So, what are the differences between momentary and permanent Nibbāna?) (These are the explanations from the Saṃyutta Nikāya Commentary. You have to continue the contemplation. At the time of khandhas are ended, abandon khandha and taṇhā and experience Nibbāna.
If all the khandhas are ended will experience Nibbāna Element clearly. This is path knowledge. Lokiya vipassanā magga and lokuttara magga are different in this way. (i.e. mundane insight knowledge and supramundane Path Knowledge).
In this life, even people have the potentiality to get the path and fruition knowledges; by not following the dhamma to the end, and association with bad friends, with these 2 reasons can’t realize the Dhamma. ( Sayadaw told the stories of Pessa and King Ajjatasattu, referred to these 2 points.
The Buddha discussed 4 kinds of persons found in the world to Pessa the elephant driver’s son and Kandaraka the wanderer) Doing things torment and torture oneself. With lobha, dosa and moha dissatisfy with oneself. Wasting time by doing unsatisfactory practices. It’s nothing to do with others.
Give you an example, the Hindu practices of diving in the river, sitting near fire, etc. (extreme ascetism) by tormenting and torturing oneself. At first, the Buddha told it in gist and wanted to comment in detail. But at that time someone came and informed Pessa on his home business.
How anicca appears in knowledge (ñāṇa)? Watching and observing the khandha, and it arises as a blip. Note the arising dhamma as anicca. Because the 5 khandhas are anicca. What is anicca lakkhana? Does the arising dhamma disappears and still exists? After disappears and not exists is anicca lakkhana. The not existed nature is anicca lakkhana. The arising dhamma is anicca but not shows its lakkhana yet. After the disappearance and its lakkhana appears.
Therefore, knowledge can’t parallel with anicca. Only can paralleled with lakkhana. Anicca lakkhana means not the dhamma still exists, but not exists. Refer to the object of contemplation not exist anymore is anicca lakkhana. If you contemplate totally non-existing things are not anicca lakkhana. To contemplate from the existing thing is anicca lakkhana. Concept is totally not existing dhamma.
For example, contemplation on mind, the arising is viññāṇakkhandha and the contemplative mind is saṅkhārakkhandha. Two khandhas can’t be in parallel. If you contemplate the existence, ñāṇa can’t follow behind. Therefore, the existence is anicca, vanishing is lakkhana and knowing is ñāṇa. You cannot catch on anicca but only on lakkhana. The comtemplative knowledge extinguishes khandha and taṇhā.
The root is still not cutting off yet. But you get the momentary Nibbāna. It’s abandoning khandha and taṇhā. You are getting the forerunner of Nibbāna. Therefore, insight knowledge has great benefits. The path knowledge abandons khandha and taṇhā and at the sametime seeing Nibbāna.
cited from https://oba.org.tw/viewtopic.php?f=22&t=4192&p=35941#p35941 (posted on 2019-02-14)
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