A Noble Life and Practice


revised on 2019-12-08


Dhamma Talks by Mogok Sayadaw; no date noted

T1

Ven. Bhadda asked Ven. Ānanda with two questions : ① The dhamma had to be practiced, and ② the ending of the dhamma which had practiced. (In the original sutta was, the holy life and the end of the holy life). The dhamma which has to be practiced is on the five khandhas. You must send the mind (ñāṇa) on them.

The path factors – maggan are the dhamma has to be practiced (For discerning impermanence need the five path factors). Khandhas are the places of defilement. Every time the causes are ready for there and it comes out from the khandhas.

The five khandhas are the hiding places of kilesa enemies. The practice comes to the end if the hiding dhammas die. (There are four stages to kill all the kilesas. For the first stage, entering the stream and practicing with the five path factors; and practicing with the eight path factors for the other higher three stages).

Kilesa will die away if you can attack the impermanent khandhas with ñāṇas (maggan). All the kilesas die when the practice comes to the end. For a stream enterer, wrong view and doubt dying away, the way towards the stream is coming to the end. He makes the residence of kilesas become the residence of knowledge (ñāṇa). These words are important.

Someone is called worldling (puthujjana) because diṭṭhi and vicikiccha – wrong view and doubt latent in it. Becoming the residence of knowledge is a stream enterer (sotāpanna). It sends to Nibbāna if ñāṇa conquers the battle, whereas it sends to woeful planes if kilesa conquers.

It’s important that knowledge can enter the place of kilesa. Diṭṭhi makes this khandha as this is me and this is mine. Knowledge replies as not you and not yours; it’s only anicca, dukkha and anatta and then occupies its place.


T2

There are dhammas which need to be practiced and cultivated. (i.e., dāna, sīla, samatha, etc.) Which dhamma is the noblest one? You also should want to know the end of this dhamma. There are the five path factors (for discerning impermanence), and ending with the eight path factors (To discern the ending of impermanence) for Dhamma having to be practiced and developed.

These are the answer for both questions. Our own perceptions about them are talking in long terms. We have to fulfill our pāramīs/perfection slowly. This is your old perspective. Don’t follow the long way. You have to follow the short way.

According to the Pali suttas and yogis’ experiences are sure about the short way (In the suttas, the Buddha sometimes used two knowledges and sometimes three knowledges. Two knowledges were; discerning impermanence and the ending of it. Three knowledges were; discerning impermanence, its disenchantment and its ending.

If you discern impermanence and it’s right view (sammā – diṭṭhi). Right thought (sammā – saṅkappa) is the pointer and shows you it’s there. There was a saying of no awareness even not seeing a cave. Without mindfulness/awareness is not seeing it. If you see it means including sati (mindfulness).

Samādhi can’t do anything and only aiming to the object (towards impermanence). Right effort (sammā-vāyāma) is urging and encourageing the other four factors.

In the beginning have to practice with these five factors (as the active part). Wrong view and doubt are hiding in the five khandhas. In the first place I am teaching about becoming a stream enterer (sotāpanna). Therefore it does not include other kilesas. At first, strip off diṭṭhi with the five path factors; and later, cut off its root with the eight path factors.

(Sayadaw continued to explain about caraṇa dhamma and vijjā dhamma. One of the Buddha’s attributes was vijjā-caraṇa-sampanna. Caraṇa means good conducts. There’ll be many levels from the Buddha and down to moral person. Sayadaw listed dāna, sīla and samatha, etc. in it. Vijjā means knowledge, paññā – vipassanā paññā.)

Diṭṭhi is making the five khandhas as I and me. But paññā responds as no/nonsense! It’s anicca. Vipassanā practice is the battle between diṭṭhi and paññā (between wrong view and right view). It knocks down the person to woeful planes of existence – (apāyabhūmi) if diṭṭhi wins.

It frees the person from woeful planes if wisdom conquers. You’re always making companionship with micchā diṭṭhi (wrong view). Each time only a Buddha had appeared in this world and right view came to existence (Even some Buddhists misunderstood this important point and took all other outside teachings were the same and they were only different in names).

By contemplating the khandhas and seeing impermanence and diṭṭhi dies away. For example, a man was hit with a bullet. Even it hits the body and the mind dies away. Vipassanā is like this. If the hell seed not falling off yet and don’t be in smile. What I am asking you for practice in discerning impermanence is to kill your biggest enemy. The practice is finished if diṭṭhi can’t hide out again.


T3

In the khandha an itchy sensation arises. Does it exist before or arising now? Itchy sensation is not changing in place. It vanishes there if it appears on the arm. And contemplate it as arising and passing away. If not, it becomes I am itching. It’s not I and not me that after arising and passing away. Then diṭṭhi dies away. These are the path factors can alleviate feeling (vedanā) and can kill wrong view (Here are the five path factors).

Someone contemplates with insight is disbanding the khandha and killing kilesa. (The five khandhas are arising and vanishing together. Here is vedanā and killing kilesa is diṭṭhi). Vipassanā has great power is becoming apparent. It’s disbanding the khandha and latent kilesa. It becomes vedanā paccaya taṇhā / feeling conditions craving if not disbanding the khandha.

Therefore you have to practice hard. Noble practice and life is referring to this. Let’s die with it. One will instantly enter the stream (as a devata) even not becoming a stream enterer after dying. The Buddha mentioned this point in the Aṅguttara Nikāya. The knowledge of a devata (heavenly being) is sharper than human being. (Sayadaw explained the reason behind it).

Do you have to be in low spirit? I am only worrying that you don’t practice. Dying with the five path factors in the human world instantly becomes eight path factors in the heaven. I am urging you to practice for the discerning of impermanence. It’s not vedanā, whereas it abandons vedanā by seeing impermanence.

The wrong view of I am feeling good also not arises (for sukha vedanā). So it disbands the khandha and kilesa. After arriving at the heaven without diṭṭhi and with the sharp knowledge it becomes the eight path factors and enters the stream.

The Buddha gave an example as in a scale, putting dāna, sīla and samatha practices at one side and putting the insight knowledge (i.e., knowledge of impermanence) the other side. Discerning of impermanence is better because dāna, sīla and samatha are not abandoning khandha and diṭṭhi.

Therefore vipassanā is the noble practice. By abandoning diṭṭhi will not fall into woeful planes. With the khandha and can’t see Nibbāna (not become nirodha/cessation of the khandha). Therefore vipassanā is nobler than dāna, sīla and samatha.

This dhamma is good to do for dying. You will be freed from wrong view in this life if you’re discerning it. It becomes a noble practice if you’re discerning impermanence. So don’t doubt about it. Even in this life busy with family and business matters, die with seeing impermanence and no need for worry.

Continue with the contemplation, impermanence becomes more and more prominent, even can’t put a tip of a needle inside it. Here and there are sensations like vibrations. Here and there are itches and pains. All these are impermanent.

You have seen a big lump of foamy water before. The bubbles are here and there. You will become disenchanted if you see them a lot for quite a while. You have to continue with the contemplation and don’t stop with it. You only see the arising dukkha and the vanishing dukkha. All will disappear if you know dukkha sacca very well.

It abandons the khandha and the diṭṭhi root is latent in the khandha also dies. Nibbāna appears in the place of anicca dukkha sacca. It has one more thing; not only abandoning khandha and kilesa, but also seeing Nibbāna. There is no more dukkha with knowing that. And it’s Nibbāna. The eight path factors are completed. The practice is coming to the end.

The significance of vipassanā and Path Knowledges are becoming clear for you. The five path factors are noble practice and the eight path factors are the ending of it. If you discern impermanence, you can make a sure decision that I’ll arrive there. You’re seeing it because of a tihetuka person (someone has three wholesome roots).

Someone not discerns it, and may be a duhetuka person (Born with only has two wholesome roots. It can also possible that not put enough effort in the practice and not discern impermanence). You have to make the khandha and ñāṇa become a pair together. Usually khandha and kilesa are pairing together (Here referring to diṭṭhi, but all the other types of kilesa also are included).

At first, the pair is the khandha with the noble practice of maggan (i.e., the five path factors). After that, it is the pair ending of the noble practice with the Path Knowledge. Isn’t Nibbāna far away or a very long journey?

[ Here “pair” or “pair off” does not mean they are working together. For example, anicca / magga pair means the object of arising disappears and the contemplative mind (path factors) come in. Nicca / magga means Nibbāna arises with the cessation of all anicca and the Path Knowledge see “it”. Here “it” refers to these kinds of pair; anicca / magga and nicca (Nibbāna) / maggaṅga. In this way, defilement cannot come in between.]

Don’t be confused with what others have said. You could decide that before not met a good teacher and could not attain the Path and Fruit Knowledges. Now, you meet with a good teacher and this life will be the ending of saṁsāra. With this view in your heart and should practice very hard.

I’ll tell you the result of it. Before there were kammas following you for pushing down to hells, and making you became animals. All these foolish faults, demerits and merits are following you. With the ending of noble practice and all the unwholesome kammas disappear. Kammas are uncountable for every one of us. (With the reflection on the D.A. process in our daily life can know clearly the danger and suffering of saṁsāra). The Buddha told Ven. Ānanda in a talk that it was a rich man in this life and it could be a dog next life. You have to repay your kammic debts with khandhas if you don’t practice.


revised on 2019-12-08; cited from https://oba.org.tw/viewtopic.php?f=22&t=4362&p=36302#p36302 (posted on 2019-04-12)


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