Why Become Living Beings?

Dhamma Talks by Mogok Sayadaw; 9th October 1962

It need to ask the question; “Why become human and heavenly beings.” If living beings exist, ageing, sickness and death exist. If living beings don’t exist, ageing, sickness and death don’t exist. Craving to sense objects (ārammaṇa) and become living beings. Become living beings and ageing, sickness and death arise.

Therefore, the beginning of living beings is not knowing (avijjā) and craving (taṇhā). The culprits construct living beings are ignorance and craving. With the causes of avijjā and taṇhā, and the result of living beings come into existence. (Continued to talk the story of Ven. Radha)

Ven. Radha asked the Buddha, “Why is it called living beings?” The Buddha answered, “Craving to all the 5 khandhas is called living being.” After getting the 5 khandhas, craving arises. And then doing the causes for the 5 khandhas again. In this way the machine of samudaya and dukkha is turning on and on. If you are taking off the craving, living being will disappear. Therefore, the Buddha taught vipassanā dhamma.

The Buddha asked Ven. Radha to discern the impermanence of each of the 5 khandhas. Arising and passing away is dukkha sacca. Knowing it is magga sacca. In this way taṇhā in sec is cutting off. The nature of the khandha is always disintegrating and perishing. Seeing of this is the view of the path factors – right view. If not seeing it, then samudaya and dukkha are revolving.

A grown-up person is more foolish than a child. Because man and woman can’t throw things away. A child attaches to his or her things only in short time. Craving on whatever seeing is called living being, i.e. on oneself, others, and possessions. And after born attache to any place (i.e. round of existence)

Avijjā and taṇhā are like the axle of a wheel cart. Khandha is the body of the cart. It’s like the cart is moving around with the turning of the axle. Therefore, you can’t move what you like. You arrive to human world, heavenly world, etc.

Arriving at anywhere and will end up with ageing, sickness and death. Both of them are in the khndha and beings are suffered according to their arrangements. Don’t know how to break the axle of the taints (āsavas) that living beings are in random situations.

There are 4 āsavas. attachment to wife, children, home and possessions is kāmāsava – taint of sensuality. Taking pleasure in this and that worlds (round of existence) is bhavāsava – taint of becoming. Attachment to one’s own view is diṭṭhāsava – taint of view.

Without knowing the 4 Noble Truths and wasting time is avijjāsava – taint of ignorance. When the 4 wheels are moving and the body of the cart has to move with them. Kamāsava sends beings to sensual world. And diṭṭhāsava sends being to woeful planes. Avijjāsava sends beings to 31 realms of existences. Condensing the 4 āsavas; + + are taṇhā and is avijjā. (continued to talk about the contemplation of the mind).

Every time mind arises, have to contemplate and discern dukkha sacca. And have to contemplate and discern impermanence. If seeing impermancence, avijjā becomes vijjā and the axle of avijjā is broken. Without taṇhā, upadana, and kamma not arise. The 3 axles − , , and are also broken. So only by knowing the truth, āsavas will end.

Dukkha sacca is not my teaching. It was in the Pali Text. In the khandha, only arising dukkha and vanishing dukkha exist. Therefore, it doesn’t mix with any happiness (sukka) at all. Know dukkha sacca thoroughly and samudaya ceases. Also let nirodha sacca arises. So contemplate to know arising dukkha and vanishing dukkha thoroughly.

cited from https://oba.org.tw/viewtopic.php?f=22&t=4202&p=35999#p35999 (posted on 2019-02-21)

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