True Refuge


revised on 2021-03-16


Dhamma Talks by Mogok Sayadaw; 14th January 1961

When someone is in drowning and the ship or the boat has already sunk. At that moment whom you have to rely on? You have to rely on yourself. Here you all are carrying away by taṇhā water; being asked by taṇhā and busy with the family and business matters.

You will reach to the four planes of misery if you’re sinking there. By wasting your time with these things and you must sink in the kilesa water. If you are looking at this house and that houses, all are carrying away by kilesa water. Yet they have nothing to rely on.

There is a maggan raft (path factors raft) to depend on. You even don’t get the five maggaṅga if you don’t contemplate (practice); still far away from the eight path factors. Someone is carrying away by water will end up in sinking. You will never appear again if you have sunk. Here yourself means the maggan (the path, the Dhamma).

You have to cross the water with your own maggan raft and will realize own Nibbāna. You can’t get it with dāna and sīla. It doesn’t mean not to rely on them (not enough). You must have your own maggan raft. Why I am urging you too much? Because you are now empty handed.

Every human business matter is carrying away in taṇhā water. You are in loss with stupidity. You are sending here by dhamma. There are three types of dhamma; wholesome, unwholesome and maggaṅga.

Wholesome dhamma sends beings to blissful destinations (sugati). Unwholesome dhamma sends beings to woeful destinations (dugati). Path factors send beings to Nibbāna. Therefore, beings are sending by dhamma to anywhere.

Dhamma is fixed order – niyama. Fixed order means, after winter and summer comes. It’s moving in accordance with the fixed order. Not by the wishes of human beings. This is the fixed order of temperature – utuniyama. The fixed order of kamma – kammaniyama means beings are taking rebirths in accordance with kamma.

Nothing is with your own power; therefore, you have to rely on the dhamma. After death beings have to go with the arrangements of dhamma. Human beings have differences are due to dhamma. All these things are fixed order of dhamma – dhamma – niyama.

What the Buddha said of attahi attanonatho – rely on yourself, it didn’t mean this body. He referred it to the Dhamma. But you all are using it wrongly in society. Such as, I have to rely on myself. This body is not-self – anatta. Who owns it? I’ll refer this to a story. Because I am worrying that you’ll take the wrong refuge.

(Sayadaw told the story of Ven. Kumāra-Kassapa’s mother in the Dhammapada; Verse 160 – One indeed is one’s own refuge; how can others be a refuge to one? With oneself thoroughly tamed, one can attain a refuge, which is so difficult to attain.)

When you’re still alive contemplate impermanence. At the time of near death also contemplate impermanence. The cessation of impermanence is here and the path factors will lead to Nibbāna.


revised on 2021-03-16; cited from https://oba.org.tw/viewtopic.php?f=22&t=4241&p=36201#p36201 (posted on 2019-03-29)


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