What is the Most Important Thing?
revised on 2020-06-15
Dhamma Talks by Mogok Sayadaw; 19th March 1961
[In this talk, Sayadaw used his own verses on the 4 Noble Truths to explain the practice. These verses are:
It’s important to know the truth. It’s like a stick throwing up to the sky and falling down again in a random way if you don’t know. Your destination of rebirth is random and without stability. Therefore, you have to practice and know the truth until your bones and skin are worn out.
At the time of encountering the sāsana and you must work hard. As the khandha is dukkha sacca and it needs to discern their oppressive nature. (pīḷanāṭṭha). (continued the story of naked ascetic Kassapa). Avijjā – ignorance is not knowing the truth (told some stories of the people fell into hells, animal realms, etc.).
Now, you can smile and also have to cry in the future. The practice of satipaṭṭhāna is the task of knowing the truth. For knowing the truth, avijjā – ignorance must become vijjā – knowledge. Only looking after the mind and body, when’ll you have the free time? It oppresses mercilessly to someone has affection for it. (It oppresses like the twin of blind and handicapped babies i.e., body and mind to the mother).
People didn’t have any affections were all in Nibbāna now. Except the task of becoming a noble person (ariya), all the other things are oppressing you. You must know that the khandha is the oppressive dukkha sacca. With more affection to it and more oppressive it’ll become.
If you are treating it well and do you still have free time? You must see its oppressive nature with knowledge. Observe the five khandhas with the five path factors.
① Every formation is impermanent; remember as dukkha sacca. If you’re discerning the impermanence of conditioned dhamma and seeing dukkha sacca. Arising is dukkha and vanishing is dukkha. In the khandha only the impermanence will arise. Pay more attention to discern impermanence than family and business matters.
Because in the Saṁyutta Nikāya, the Buddha was urging as if we had the chance for listening the truth (for enlightenment), even we should accept the spear inflicting on us.
(Every day in the morning time 300 spears, in mid-day for 300 spears and in the evening for 300 spears, respectively. Even though we may die for once only; we will die for many lives to come if we don’t know the truth. Also, many uncountable sufferings are waiting for us, such as in hells, as animals, as hungry ghosts, etc.)
Seeing, hearing, smelling, etc., whatever arises; they vanishes with change. With the blind and handicapped (i.e., body and mind) combine together, seeing, hearing, smelling, etc. are arising. After the arising, both are vanishing (mind and form). The mind is quicker and the form a little slower. Because of the changing and vanishing that it is dukkha sacca.
Contemplate form if you prefer kāya (form); contemplate mind if you prefer mind. You’ll end up with the knowing of dukkha sacca by seeing impermanence. Whatever you are contemplating only seeing impermanence, and knowing the truth (sacca).
② Taking the impermanence as me; remember as the cause of affection. If you not contemplate and become diṭṭhi/taṇhā and continue the saṁsāra. Beings are falling down randomly and it’s not good for happening. And it needs to abandon them. “I think Therefore, I am” is attaching to wrong views and arising everyday quite a lot.
You have to do this task very quickly as going towards the cemetery because you’re going towards death (i.e., closer to death every second). The saying of your becoming older means it’s closer to the cemetery. ① is for contemplation (i.e., saṅkhāra dhamma, the five khandhas). ② is for abandoning (diṭṭhi/taṇhā). What is Nibbāna? With the contemplation of impermanence, it becomes mature and with a blip mind, body disappears (even if you’re contemplating the mind). This knowledge (ñāṇa) is in contemplating but under the knowledge these are disappeared.
③ The ending of all the mind and matter; remember their cessation, as Nibbāna. Your destinations are becoming stable if you realize it (Will never fall back into the planes of misery). You will sure to realize it if your practice is also right with viriya (right effort) and you’re a tihetuka person (born with three wholesome roots of non-greed, non-hatred and non-delusion).
Here only ① and ③ verses are important. It’s like you get the train ticket at Mandalay Railway station and arriving at Rangoon (Yan-gon) Railway Station (compared to the 1.and 3. verses). You’re passing through the knowledges between them. (From impermanence to Nibbāna; it’s also the same as from Mandalay to Rgn. It will pass through other stations on the way.)
④ The knowledge of the cessation, remember as the Path Knowledge. After the lokuttara magga arises, ① and ② maggas cease (① is arising and ② is vanishing). After the Path Knowledge and Fruition Knowledge arises. And then you are becoming a sotāpanna.
After the Path Knowledge ceases and the Fruition Knowledge arises is akāliko – non-temporal/immediate. (This point was not accepted by some scholars. But the yogis know what they are talking about).
Don’t lose these four verses. These are the processes of the practice. Don’t mix-up the vibrations of impermanence with me (self). If the hungry mind arises and don’t let it become I am hungry. Watch and observe, it’ll disappear. If contemplating this way, do you still think as the saṅkhāra is me?
Wanting to sleep as me, wanting to eat also me and saṅkhāra will continue. Is it not terrible? Therefore, before the contemplation, it’s important to dispel sassata and uccheda diṭṭhi first. Are these saṅkhāra dhammas arisen by you or by others? Or by you and others (both)? Not at all.
It is arisen by avijjā and saṅkhāra. After dispelling diṭṭhi and practice with no. ① (i.e., the objects of contemplation or khandhas) then no.③ (i.e., Nibbāna) will arise. Then you’ll get no.④ (i.e., the Path Knowledge).
revised on 2020-06-15; cited from https://oba.org.tw/viewtopic.php?f=22&t=4362&p=36275#p36275 (posted on 2019-04-11)
- Content of Part 11 on "Dhamma Talks by Mogok Sayadaw"
- Content of "Dhamma Talks by Mogok Sayadaw"
- Content of Publications of Ven. Uttamo
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.