Transcending of Time


revised on 2020-06-25


Dhamma Talks by Mogok Sayadaw

[ There are a few talks on time and timeless by Sayadaw; totally ten talks in the compilation. I had translated two talks only. I want to include the others talks here but not in completed forms which I had transcribed only in points for personal use. All these talks reminded human beings how to deal with time; even still we can’t transcend time, but we should treat it properly. In today's world, air pollution has become very serious, the Earth becomes warmer. Therefore, there has been a lot of natural disasters arisen nowadays and will arise in the future too if we do not restraint our greed out of ignorance. We can’t retreat back if the problem reaches to the critical point. Global warming has great effect on human life, life span and health which we already have experienced. Our physical world (the animate and inanimate things) is conditioned by action, mind, temperature, and nutriments. All these phenomena are inside the time limit. Human being should treat the mother Earth with respect and gratitude instead of harming her. If not, it will lead to our own destruction. To transcend time is impossible if we can’t even deal with it properly. ]


29th March 1960

“Time (kālika) is the periods of indulgence in sensual pleasure. Sandiṭṭhika (directly visible which is one of the qualities of Dhamma) is the periods of contemplation to see the impermanence of mind and body. The female deity asked Ven. Samiddhi to follow the way of sensual pleasures (She fell in love with him by seeing him in the light of early dawn. See Devatāsaṃyutta, SN 1. 20, Samiddhisuttaṃ ). Samiddhi rejected her proposal with respond that he feared for kālika; so, he followed the way of sandiṭṭhika.

(Sayadaw gave the example of Peya – a layman in the time of Buddha Kassapa; he missed the chance of realization because of the worldly matters. Sayadaw encouraged his disciples to practise hard for the realization.)

It is the great chance now (future is uncertain)! You’ll finish the practice if seeing the blips of impermanences. It’s only tihetuka (three wholesome roots) person can discern it; as a duhetuka person (someone has only two wholesome roots – non-greed and non-hatred but without the root of wisdom – non-delusion) could not. If you can discern it, don’t be relaxed and careless.”


19th April 1960

“After the morning period, coming the night; it is nothing to be joyful. (This referred to people having free time and taking rest or indulgence in sensual pleasures by wasting their precious time.) Because the physical body was eaten and chewed by time and all the good things were gone and leaving with bad ones. The outcome is only in loss, and without profit. Time comes into existence by living under the sun and the moon (It’s interesting that the Chinese yang and yin energies which are positive and negative represented by them.) The good kammas and ñāṇa of human beings are consumed by it all the time. At last, all of them become without any refuge. Therefore, you have to force yourself out under the control of time (kala). There are no sun and moon in Nibbāna element.

For the Buddha and arahants, time was consumed by them. Even becoming a stream enterer (sotāpanna), a lot of time (kala) was consumed by him/her. He has only left for seven lives for kala to consume.

[Here Sayadaw told the origin of the time and timeless dhammas teaching. It was delivered by the Buddha to the 500 monks who were brahmins before their ordinations. They also had connection with the Buddha in one of their past lives. At that time the bodhisatta was their teacher. They were too conceited so that the teacher asked them a puzzle question which also connected with time (kala).]

After death, taking rebirth (jāti) is like a stick fallen on the wound. It’s getting dukkha again after dukkha. (Sayadaw used the Anāthapiṇḍika’s story to teach vipassanā.) Don’t make the khandhas as this is ‘me’, this is ‘I am’ and this is ‘mine’. Contemplate them as impermanent, suffering and not-self. Here the Noble Eightfold Path is timeless dhamma.”

(Time is referring to saṃsāra and timelessness to Nibbāna. The source of time is sun and moon; without it, it’s timelessness. With time, we’re eaten by it, so that our life span is becoming shorter. According to the Dependent Arising, direct order (anuloma) is eaten by time and the reverse order (paṭiloma) is eaten by us. So Nibbāna is timelessness and the Noble Eightfold Path is timeless Dhamma.)


3rd February 1961

“It’s important to know what happening to one’s own khandha. Our bodies are consumed by morning and night periods. Its youthful form disappears and old form increases. Whichever realms of existence we go, we will be eaten by time. Only by going to live in Nibbāna which is no sun and moon; we are free from time. After becoming arahant and passing away (parinibbāna), he/she is not consumed by time (kala).

People pray for becoming eating stuffs for others if they don’t know the Dhamma (here by time and becoming animals for foods). In past lives we had used our time as eating stuffs for time (kala). Today I’ll show you the way for consuming kala. (Sayadaw continued to teach on contemplation of feeling – vedanānupassanā for ending kala – time.) ”


23rd June 1961

“You may ask ‘What is the fault to practice without Dhamma at home?’ The answer is: you are creating causes for getting khandhas every day. With every arising of lobha, dosa, and moha, you make kamma (see the D. A. chart). These are looking for King of the Death. The khandhas are results and if you look for the causes; these are: avijjā → saṅkhāra → taṇhā → upādāna, kamma → soka, parideva, dukkha, domanassa which lead to miserable khandhas. (The whole series refer to the twelve links of D. A. process which leads to Dukkha.) Therefore, the Buddha said that only very few arriving to the blissful planes of existence.

Morning and night periods consume or extract our life span, physical form, strength and power from us. We have to make khandhas for them.

All these are looking for one’s own dukkha. Bodily and verbal actions can’t protect us from mental kammas (i.e., the province of sīla). Mental actions are building the khandhas. Doing action to get khandhas is not beneficial if we really think about it. The Buddha taught us the way to deal with it. The vipassanā practice is the one who consumes time (kala). In this way, the periods (kala) of birth, old age, sickness and death do not arise. You have to consume lobha, dosa and moha with ñāṇa fire. By checking the root, lobha, dosa and moha are the culprits making the khandhas. Therefore, vipassanā practice is the task of saving oneself.

Today I’ll talk about the contemplation of the mind. Lobha, dosa and moha minds are supporting the time (kala). Contemplate their impermanence if they come in.

Also contemplate the impermanence if other neutral minds such as seeing and hearing minds, etc. arise. (These are not delusion minds, they are only neutral minds; just seeing, just hearing.) No contemplation, and it becomes ignorance (avijjā), then will connect the D. A. process. Moha mind is the moving mind and doubting mind (vicikicchā). Whatever mind arises, just observe it. How to observe them? Observe them as they do still exist or not exist. It arises first for the observation. The observation comes in later. How do you think what will arise? You’ll see it does not exist, talking in short-observing one’s own mind; but after arising, you cannot find it is impermanent (anicca). Worldlings (puthujjana) are crazy and any state of mind will arise. It’s good enough if you observe whatever arising. It’s dukkha sacca that you see your own death. Therefore, impermanence is dukkha sacca; Knowing is magga sacca. At the time, the end of dukkha is nirodha sacca.”


7th December 1960

“All the worldly affairs are time consuming (kālika). It is towards akālika (timelessness – literal meaning is immediate) that no craving and clinging (taṇhā and upādāna) arise with insight contemplation (vipassanā). Working for craving is kālika and doing for ñāṇa task (i.e., the Noble Path) is akālika. The arising of many, many dukkhas: sorrow, lamentation pain and grief is kālika. The cessation of dukkha is akālika. The reason why we possess the miserable ageing, sickness and death comes from indulgence in kālikas. Many, many dukkhas (sorrow, lamentation pain and grief) will come to end if we follow the way of akālika. All these teachings come from Saṃyutta Pali Text.

(Sayadaw told the story of Ven. Samiddhi in the sutta. He gave a very good example of the dangers coming from kālika; i.e., many dukkhas and worry arose from a family life.)

(The Buddha answered to the female deity:) From the beginning of human existence (see the Aggañña Sutta, DN.27 Aggaññasuttaṃ), human race used concepts of man and woman, husband and wife, son and daughter, etc. which all were based on wrong view (diṭṭhi). Human beings take these as reality and then their greed, hatred and delusion (lobha, dosa and moha) are increasing. From these unwholesome dhammas, many many dukkhas and worries arise. Human beings do only end up with concepts or signboards; so they don’t know the existence of the reality.

(All these super-ignorance or delusion create the unsustainable Earth situation nowadays, which comes from material developments. Out of greed and delusion, man was exploiting the Earth without proportion, leading to nowadays situation of global warming. It is the real danger for human race now. One of the weapons of mass destruction is advertisement and consumerism deceive and delude people becoming over-greedy and super-glue. All these are signboards which delude people becoming ignoramus.)

Therefore, kālika matters become chaotic. Signboards are man and woman, but the reality of existence is impermanent mind and matter. We have to go to the Kingdom of Death if we are in chaos with kālika. From today onwards, you have to separate between the signboards (unreal) and the real existence of mind and matter. You all have to correct yourselves and there is still have time for it.

Without or no correction is forever and with correction is now. (This is Burmese proverb.) It has been already quite a long time till now that we are in no good.

It is necessary of wanting to correct and encounter with a good teacher. You also need to have the desire mind for correcting yourself. We came here with mistakes and faults (i.e., avijjā, saṅkhāra from past lives). Therefore, we die again with mistakes and faults (no correction). There are only mind and matter by condensing the five khandhas. Furthermore, there only impermanence exists with condensing of the mind and matter. Seeing impermanence by contemplation, the kālika dhammas of craving and clinging can’t arise. One can contemplate it to see it by oneself (sandiṭṭhika) and it becomes akālika while craving not arising.

Kālikas are arisen by following the desire of the khandhas. Therefore, you have to give up kālikas and follow the akālika (i.e., the Noble Path.).”


revised on 2020-06-25


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