Sīla And Vipassanā


Dhamma Talks by Mogok Sayadaw; 12th March 1959

[Sayadaw said we should use the clothes and foods by reflection to stop tanhā arose. We earn the money by right livelihood still without contemplation nothing wrong with sīla, but in vipassanā it’s negative.]

By contemplation on food, if disgusting and aversion (dosa) arise, it’s also not right. As example, don’t want to eat or stop eating. The result should be equanimity. Neither tanhā nor dosa should arise. (During the Buddha’s time some monks committed suicide by reflection on the repulsiveness of the body.) Yogi has wisdom faculty easy to develop the perception of food as loathsome, but don’t let aversion come in. The way of wisdom is developing (bhavetabba) and abandoning (pahatabba). Lobha, dosa, moha have to be abandoned not for developing. (Now modern men are doing just these things. It’s an important point. Therefore, Sayadaw very often mentioned in his talks about intellectual understanding – ñāta pariññā). If true wisdom, not taking pleasure on foods and drinks, but not become I don’t want to eat or drink and it becomes displeasure (domanasa). If it is wisdom, not continue to kamma, and only to Nibbāna. Dosa arises and continues to kamma (see the paticcasumupāda). Wisdom is white dhamma and dosa is black dhamma, can never mix-up together. By knowing their differences can do it right. Therefore, the important of contemplation on the mind is quite clear. If , it’s true patikula saññā (perception of loathsomeness) will not become lobha and dosa, but only wisdom.

Dosa also has their levels. Displeasure in something is domanassa. Becoming quarrel and fighting is aversion (patigha). These are refined dhamma taught by the Buddha. Both of them are dosa nature. The differences between them are becoming coarser. Here the Buddha wanted to teach was not for patigha, but wanted to know the subtlety of domanassa. It is difficult to know. (According to Sayadaw, mostly we have vyāpāda – ill-will to foods and clothes, and not become patigha. There was a true tragic story happened in Burma. A man used to have his meal everyday with chilies and without it couldn’t eat. But unfortunately, one day for some reasons or forgotten, his wife not prepared for it. At the dinning place he became very angry and instantly grabbed a fire wood near him struck the head of his wife and killed her. If we contemplate the suffering created for/by foods is quite a big problem. (e-g, pesticides, chemical, etc. in foods and other pollutions.) There was an important sutta in Nidāna-Samyutta called Puttamansapama Sutta – A simile of a son’s flesh – about the 4-nutriments, one is physical foods.) In human society, especially in family members there are a lot of vyāpāda happening between each other. But usually we say nothing and keep quite.


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