On Nibbāna

Dhamma Talks by Mogok Sayadaw; 18th June 1962

If Nibbāna is made by kamma; kamma vanishes, and it also vanishes. It’s stable Nibbāna-duva-Nibbāna, and no connection with kamma, hetu(cause) and utu(temparature). If always exists why people can’t arrive there and see it? These are the questions for reasoning. This is not the cause and effect of kamma. This is the cause and effect Dhamma of knowledge (ñāṇa/ñānaṁ).

Therefore, you have to work with ñāṇa. This Nibbāna is not made by ñāṇa. If it’s so, and after ñāṇa vanishes and it will also vanish. This is Dhamma send by ñāṇa. Therefore it’s not the way of kamma, but the way of ñāṇa. Kamma is only a supporting factor (upathampaka). Buddhists are making merits and ask prayers as it will be the supporting of Nibbāna (it means with wholesome kamma realize Nibbāna).

You must note that only will get it by adding ñāṇa to kamma. Nibbāna Dhamma exists naturally. King Milinda asked Ven. Nāgasena, ‘‘Please explain for the characteristic (lakkhana) of ñāṇa.’’ He answered, ‘‘Lit a fire in the darkness. Light appears and darkness disappears. Now, with light and you see things.

So the lakkhana of ñāṇa is dispelling ignorance. Give you the light of wisdom and showing you the existence of Nibbāna.’’ The reason of why you can’t see Nibbāna is covered up with the darkness of ignorance and no light of widom. Therefore you can’t see the always existing Nibbāna.

Is it the work of prayer or knowledge (ñāṇa)? I must talk about the importance of ñāṇa. For example, Dukkhe ñānaṁ – the knowledge of knowing dukkha, Dukkha samudaye ñānaṁ the knowledge of knowing the cause of dukkha, etc.

The Buddha was using it as the knowledge of knowing the Four Noble Truths. These are sufficient evidence. With only kamma and no ñāṇa includes will be on the wrong way (we could see this in some monks and lay people at the time of the Buddha.

Because of their good kammas, they met the Buddha but not realized Dhamma). After arising to blissful planes (sugati) and later will jump into the woeful planes. For example, the 500 celestial nymphs of Subrahmā Devata were after death and falled into hell.

In the Paṭṭhāna-Conditional Relations was mentioned, Maggapaccayo-Path Condition. It was also taught about knowledge. Therefore, with kamma you must add knowledge in it. Then it will become ñānam udapādi – knowledge arises, vijjā udapādi – true knowledge arises, etc.

It was all talking about the ways of knowledges. Nibbāna is always existing Dhamma. Not made by anyone and anything. Then it must good to see it. Note it this way.

Nibbāna is covering up by ignorance, this is one of the covers. After uncover ignorance and it’s covering up again with the khandha. You can’t see the impermanent khandha is the cause of ignorance. After seeing impermanence and still you can’t see Nibbāna. Only the impermanent khandha not exists is khandha nirodho nibbānaṁ (which means the cessation of khanda is Nibbāna).

Therefore, Nibbāna is hidden by 2 dhammas. If you don’t move ignorance away and can’t see impermanence. Also if you don’t follow the impermanent khandha to the end.

First, you have to dispel ignorance away. Second, you have to follow the impermanent khandha to the end. Taṇhā ends Nibbāna and khandha ends also Nibbāna. It’s very rare for someone expresses this way (Indeed, Sayadaw was quite a rare teacher who could explain on practice very clear and profound theoractically and practically).

After uncovering ignorance and craving (avijjā and taṇhā) and you can’t find a man or woman, and only seeing impermanence. Originally only impermanence exists. Because,Sabbe saṅkhāra anicca-All condition phenomena are impermanent (Amazing Buddhas, without them none could teach the reality.

So all living beings are living with delusions and dying with delusions). Avijjā and taṇhā are samudaya sacca-ignorance and craving are the cause of the truth of dukkha. Impermanent khandha is dukkha sacca-Impermanent khandha is the truth of dukkha.

Therefore 2 Noble truths are covering up Nibbāna. The teacher must talk about the ways of uncovering of ignoracne and craving. (Instead some are teaching people to come back again and again for sufferings. Only people with kilesa can come back again and again without end).

Open up the mind door and close the other five doors. Penetrate the khandha with knowledge and a person or a being disappears and discover feeling, mind and impermanent khandha. Avijjā and taṇhā blow away and this is moving away one cover only.

Now, you start to see the khanda. Contemplate one of the four satipaṭṭhāna and don’t contemplate all of them. Watch and observe and see what the khandha will tell you. With the watching and observing, the khandha is arising and vanishing. And you see the anicca khandha.

You only get the inside knowledge yet. Follow the arising and observe its anicca. Impermanence is anicca, dukkha, anatta and asubha (because it dies). We give 4 names to it, but that observation is impermanent. Again Nibbāna is covering up with anicaa, dukkha, anatta and asubha.

Why is that? Because Nibbāna is nicca, sukha, anatta and subha. Nibbāna is anatta, because nobody can make it. (Also the Buddha’s words-Sabbe dhamma anatta-All dhammas are not-self, including Nibbāna.) Develop the impermanence by exercising it (i.e. bhāvetabba).

It will become maturity. Then you see that one’s own khandha is in dukkha. And you know it as real suffering. Knowing dukkha thoroughly is penetrating dukkha sacca. Wrong view and doubt fall away. Kilesa and khandha cease. It cut off 2 phenomena, i.e. kilesa and khandha. Cessation of dukkha is Nibbāna. Knowing the cessation is the path knowledge.

cited from https://oba.org.tw/viewtopic.php?f=22&t=4192&p=35957#p35957 (posted on 2019-02-16)

  • Content of Part 8 on "Dhamma Talks by Mogok Sayadaw"

  • Content of "Dhamma Talks by Mogok Sayadaw"

  • Content of Publications of Ven. Uttamo

This is only an experimental WWW. It's always under construction (proofreading, revising)!

According to the translator— Ven. Uttamo's words, this is strictly for free distribution only, as a gift of Dhamma—Dhamma Dāna. You may re-format, reprint, translate, and redistribute this work in any medium.