Becoming and Eight Faults


revised on 2021-01-11


Dhamma Talks by Mogok Sayadaw; (no date)

[Sayadaw based this talk on a sutta called the Simile of the Great Log, Saḷāyatana-Saṃyutta. This sutta is quite well-known because many monks using it to talk lay people. Once the Buddha was dwelling at Kosambī on the bank of the river Ganges. A great log being carried along by the current of the river and the Buddha pointing the log to the monks and delivered this talk. It was simple but has profound meaning in it. A very significant person in the audience was a cowherd Nanda because after the talk he asked the Buddha for permission to become a monk. After becoming a monk, Venerable Nanda dwelt alone and practiced diligently; he became an Arahant.]

Rounds of existence—Saṃsāra birth, aging and death are going in a round continuously (i.e., jāti, jarā and maraṇa). Three or four bad things (plus vyādhi—sickness) are in a series which is called Saṃsāra. (Sayadaw talked about the simile of the great log) The saṃsāric traveller is like a great log. A yogi who has not attained Nibbāna is one who has never before contemplated with insight (vipassanā) on the six bases of internal sense, such as the eyes, ears and nose, etc. Having affection to them was like the log veers towards the near shore. You’ll not have affection to them if contemplating with insight. Then it’ll not veer on towards the near shore. Again, the yogi had affection for the six external sense objects of sight, sound, smell, etc. It was like the log veers towards the far shore.

Sinking in the mid-stream is sunk by taṇhā-rāga (craving and lust). Getting cast up on high ground is mana—conceit or has conceit. It can continue to float in the stream of current by contemplating all of them with insight. Getting caught by human beings means don’t want to separate with family members and wealth (here Sayadaw referred to his audience. In the sutta the Buddha referred to monks.) After freeing from here getting caught by devatas—non-human beings. Before the realization of Nibbāna, you would have the aspiration and desire to enjoy the happiness of heavens and brahma worlds.

(Sayadaw made a lot of effort in many of his talks to change his audience’s wrong inspiration and desire or traditional mistaken ideas and views of common Buddhists. One of these is that many Buddhists make merits for the worldly happiness that they pray and inspire for these enjoyments before arriving at the Nibbāna.)

The log continues by floating down getting caught in a whirlpool. It was sucking in by the whirlpool of five cords of sensual pleasure. Inward rottenness is a person who does not have sīla. The Saṁsāric traveller who has not reached the Nibbāna is caught up in one of these eight faults. By contemplation of impermanence to one’s khandha, one will be free from all these eight faults. Do it for the penetration of one truth (i.e., dukkha sacca).


revised on 2021-01-11


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