Dependent Arising and the Taints
revised on 2021-03-16
Dhamma Talks by Mogok Sayadaw; no date noted
The Buddha taught in the Saṁyutta Nikāya; someone who knows (jānāto) and sees (passato) will free from the taints (āsavas). It seems to be a lot to describe with words. If condense it, they are only with greed, delusion and wrong view (lobha, moha and diṭṭhi).
If you can’t abandon delusion, D.A. process starts from the beginning. Avijjā paccaya saṅkhāra…..and continue to dukkha. (Moha is the same as avijjā). For greed, it starts from the middle and arriving to the end of dukkha and restarts again from the beginning (wrong view and greed are starting in the middle). Therefore, these three taints are turning like a whirlpool (i.e., avijjāsava, kāmāsava and diṭṭhi-āsava).
Remember it as a dukkha whirlpool. If you possess with impermanence and it’ll cut off the D.A. process which starts in the beginning of avijjāsava and in the middle of kāmāsava respectively. Diṭṭhi also falls away in the middle.
Therefore, if you can contemplate impermanence thoroughly the four taints cease. D.A. process starts at any point will come back to the beginning. How did we live before? We must say control by the taints.
In the khandha an itchy sensation arises. And observe, it’s not telling you as vedanā, after it arises and passes away. This is the cessation of ignorance. Vedanā is saṅkhāra dhamma. Impermanence is dukkha sacca. It becomes dukkhe ñāṇaṁ – knowledge of knowing dukkha. Avijjā is cutting off in the beginning.
Saṁsāra comes to the end if it's cut off in the beginning. Without the beginning is also without the middle. And also saṁsāra stops without the end. Dukkhe ñāṇaṁ is vijjā. It becomes vijjā and avijjā ceases. You have to contemplate to discern impermanence.
Whatever dukkha is, it's from avijjā. Whenever with the discerning of impermanence, avijjā and dukkha are cut off. Normally we think it as only the contemplation of impermanence. In the body whatever phenomena appear except the arising and passing away; “Do it have anything?” To get this knowledge the Buddha had to fulfill the pāramīs/perfections for four incalculable aeons + 100000 aeons.
So don’t take it as easy. People who don’t know impermanence are really quite pitiful. It's nobler even dying with seeing one impermanence than living 100 years without seeing it. (Sayadaw was quoting the Pali in the Dhammapada). Knowing these things mean you’re a person with great power and good fortunes.
(This referred to many wholesome kammas someone had cultivated in the past. Most Buddhists do not know these things so that they waste their precious lives and times with useless and fruitless things. Instead of ending of their sufferings, they create more sufferings for the future.)
The ignorance of dukkhe añāṇaṁ – not knowing dukkha is disappeared. Dukkhe ñāṇaṁ is vijjā – Knowing dukkha is knowledge. With the knowing that ignorance falls away (This is passato). Not by what others are telling you. It’s by seeing the impermanence of vedanā.
Vedanā nirodha taṇhā nirodho – with the cessation of feeling and craving also ceases. And it becomes dukkha samudaye ñāṇaṁ – knowledge knowing the dukkha, the cause of dukkha and samudaya ceases (i.e., the cessation of taṇhā).
So you get the two Noble Truths. At the time of contemplation of impermanence, taṇhā not arising and you gain the knowledge. You become a stream enterer if you penetrate the four Noble Truths. You can only hear these things for some time. You don’t find it in the books. Dukkha samudaye ñāṇaṁ – you get the knowledge of knowing the cause of dukkha.
Taint of sensuality (kāmāsava) and taint of becoming (bhavāsava) cease (by seeing impermanence). D.A. process is cutting off in the middle. So only one taint left (i.e., diṭṭhi-āsava). This is you don’t know how to take it. I’m feeling good, I’m suffering, etc. not arise (i.e., on vedanā).
Why did the Buddha say; jānāto passato āsavakkhayaṁ vadami? I say; someone contemplates and discerns impermanence all the taints are vanished. By discerning impermanence becomes right view and taint of view (wrong view) not exists.
The knowledge of the way for the cessation of dukkha arrives in your heart. Dukkha nirodha gamini partipadaya ñāṇaṁ—you get the knowledge of the way to the cessation of dukkha. You will attain Nibbāna if the taints are gone. Still dukkha nirodhe ñāṇaṁ left. The four taints are the cause of āsavas.
If they cease still dukkha can arise? Khandha not arises and then becomes dukkha nirodho – the cessation of dukkha. Dukkha nirodhe ñāṇaṁ – you get the knowledge of the cessation of dukkha. With the contemplation and seeing impermanence you get the four knowledges.
Continues with the contemplation of impermanence and dukkha disappears. And it becomes dukkha nirodhe ñāṇaṁ – knowledge of the cessation of dukkha. You have to practice carefully up to this point.
By seeing impermanence and get the following three knowledges.
① Dukkhe ñāṇaṁ – the knowledge of knowing dukkha.
② Dukkha samudaye ñāṇaṁ – the knowledge of knowing the cause of dukkha.
③ Dukkha nirodhe gamini pati-padaya ñāṇaṁ the knowledge of knowing the way to the cessation of dukkha. If you can follow to the ending of impermanence and it becomes: ④ Dukkha nirodhe ñāṇaṁ – the knowledge of knowing the cessation of dukkha, and then fulfill the four Noble Truths at the same time. Therefore, knowing the four Noble Truths is impermanence.
With impermanence, the four taints are abandoned; and it cuts off the D.A. process in the beginning, in the middle and in the end; and then fulfills the four Noble Truths. These are not by knowledge from book. It is right by direct seeing. You can make this decision that impermanence covers all of them.
In the 31 planes of existence only anicca and saṅkhāra exist. Only impermanence exists. Therefore, I am talking them base on impermanence. For the Buddha it took four incalculable and 100,000 aeons, Ven. Sāriputta and Ven. Mahā-moggallāna each took one incalculable and 100,000 aeons to fulfill their pāramīs for this impermanence.
You can’t become a stream enterer to arahant if you don’t get this knowledge. They all practiced for the searching of this impermanence (It’s easy to say about this. But all living begins are swimming in the ocean of dukkha saṁsāra very firmly without ending is not seeing this one). You all must have to practice firmly with the four right exertions (sammā-ppadhāna) on this impermanence.
If you can follow impermanence will reach beyond the 31 planes of existence. It only exists ageing, death, arising and dissolution in the 31 planes of existence. Beyond is without them. It refers to Nibbāna. You will not see dukkha if you don’t discern impermanence. You will see Nibbāna if you’re seeing dukkha. Without seeing impermanence, you can’t see the ending of it.
Don’t take the 31 planes of existence with mathematical numbers. If you condense them all only get two, the arising and the passing away. Condense again these two and get only one – the ending of the arising dukkha and the passing away dukkha (i.e., one Nibbāna Element).
revised on 2021-03-16; cited from https://oba.org.tw/viewtopic.php?f=22&t=4371&p=36313#p36313 (posted on 2019-04-13)
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