On Insight Knowledge

Dhamma Talks by Mogok Sayadaw; 27th November 1960

[ Here Sayadaw delivered an interesting talk on insight knowledges. Usually he didn’t mention 10 or 16 knowledges as mentioned in the commentary on Abhidhamma. He only followed or talked about them which were mentioned in the suttas.]

(Told the story of Ven. Susima, who came in and ordained for the purpose of stealing the teachings)

Contemplation of impermanence is including samatha and vipassanā, because it has the 5 path factors (i.e., 3 samādhi factors + 2 wisdom factors). Insight knowledges come before and then follows after with The Path Knowledge.

In the Buddha’s Teachings samatha practices were not the main point. With insight realize Nibbāna. In the Patisaṁbhidā Magga; bhavetabba – developing was referring to lokiya magga – mundane knowledge or insight knowledges.

It’s the 5 path factors. In the 5 path factors are not including the sīla factors. Because the sīla are not stable, coming in and out.

Between the last insight knowledge (vipassanā magga) and the Path knowledge (lokuttara magga), even no bhavanaga citta comes in. it’s anantarapaccayo – proximity condition. Up to gotrabu ñāṇa – change of lineage (from a worldling to become an ariyan) are the the 5 path factors.

Because all of them are with the impermanence. Only at the Path Knowledge completed with the 8 path factors (5 path factors + 3 sīla factors). Because at that time sīla becomes stable. All the insight knowledges are only changing the views step by step. But the process is only with the 5 path factors.

The Buddha taught to Ven. Susima only had 2 stages of knowledge (i.e., insight knowledge and the Path Knowledge). In the Anattalakkhana Sutta – The Discourse on the Universal 3 characteristics, taught 3 stages of knowledge; i.e., discerning impermanence, its disenchantment and the ending of it.

In reality the knowledge is not changing but the views are. All insight knowledges are with impermanences, but the views are as danger, fear, disenchantment, not wanting, etc. You just doing the practice and kilesas will become thin out. (told the simile of the handle of an adze)

If kilesas are gone and you’ll have the Path Knowledge. Changing of views are taking as changing knowledges. I am concerning that you may taking it as your knowledge not develops (Because only just seeing impermanence). Kilesas become thinner means the development of knowledge.

Whatever view is changing and your duty is contemplating the impermanence of the saṅkhāra dhamma. After the knowledge becomes mature and it disappears in a blip and substitutes with the Path Knowledge. Whatever the object is showing andwe just doing the contemplation.

For e.g.; Did Suramutta (a drunkard layman) could know the insight knowledges? Suppabuddha the leper was also in the same situation. The insight knowledges were related to Ven. Sariputta because he had the sharp knowledge (second after the Buddha, but later Buddhists had looked down on him).

Nobody knows the process of the knowledges. Whatever object is showing only impermanence exists. (Sayadaw compare Ven. Sariputta with Ven. Mahā – moggallana) Ven. Sariputta took 2 weeks for full enlightenment and Ven. Mahā – moggallana only 7 days. Why was that? Ven. Sariputta had many records. He was analyzing the knowledges and it took longer time.

In the questions and answers between Ven. Sariputta and Ven. Mahā – kotthilhā; if you want to become a sotāpanna and start with impermanence. (also, up to arahantship.) Therefore you shouldn’t have many teachers and many ñāṇas processes. If people have ignorance – avijjā and with no shame and fear of wrong doing. (hiri – ottappa)

[the Buddha said hiri – ottappa dhammas were the protective Dhamma of the world lokapala dhamma. If we observe today modern world, human beings are going the way of no shame and fear of wrong doing.]

Only without ignorance (become knowledge – vijjā) has shame and fear of wrong doing (Sayadaw gave the story of Ven. PatācārāTherī. Here we can see the importance of wholesome education, including all medias)

The main point is reaching the top of the mountain. You are ascending there with 2 or 3 knowledges are not the main point. Ven. Sariputta said that he was the only one andshould not follow him (in regarding with the 16 knowledges).

cited from https://oba.org.tw/viewtopic.php?f=22&t=4241&p=36223#p36223 (posted on 2019-04-01)

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