Contemplate Anicca, Perceive Anicca & Know Anicca


Dhamma Talks by Mogok Sayadaw; 1st Feb. 1960

[Based on Sadanta Sutta, Anguttara-Nikāya. Five hundred Licchavi princes were talking about, “What are the most difficult things to come by?” They thought about the 5 things as: horse, elephant, jewels, woman and a rich person. They asked the Buddha and he answered the 5 rare things to encounter. These are:

1. To encounter the Buddha’s Sasāna
2. To encounter a teacher who can teach the Sacca Dhamma
3. By understanding of the Sacca Dhamma
4. After understanding and put into practice, and discern anicca(Dhammanu-dhammapaṭipātti)
5. Repay the gratitude by realization of the Dhamma-> (To the Triple Gems and the teacher)

This is an important discourse. Now, you all are having these rarities. So have to put effort for practice without giving up. Every time the mind is in despair check these factors and encourage yourself. Another discourse in the Anguttara; the Buddha taught about the way of practice for the realization. People who have these 5 rarities and practice in accordance with the way and have confidence must realize the Dhamma. I myself is teaching you the right things in accordance with what the Buddha had taught. The tradition of the Buddha was never talked 2 ways but only one true speech. (This point is very important for Buddhists who study the teaching of the Buddha, if not, they will confuse with what the Buddha had taught, because there were new ideas crept into his teachings.) He used to speak only what was beneficial. I’ll talk about the Buddha’s way of practice. The Buddha taught that whatever mind state arises, contemplate as anicca, perceive as anicca, and know as anicca. As example; lobha, dosa etc. mental state arise and by contemplating no clinging happen and no kamma create. So they all cease to come. (1) Whatever arising and contemplate anicca, (2) perceive as anicca. You have to contemplate quickly. If not, kilesa will take the upper-hand. This is the Dhammaniyama Natural Procedure. It’s happening all the times. Dependent Arising is natural procedure. If you don’t contemplate, it will continue. If you contemplate, it’s cutting off. It’s the natural procedure of the round of existence and must cut off with effort. You can stop the wheel of samsaric dukkha with the wholesome dhamma of insight. (3) Knowing it as anicca – This knowing create the wholesome dhamma. These 3 points were taught by the Buddha that I have to mention it. In the real practice by contemplation of impermanence and all are including in it. And then you can ask, “Can I realize the Dhamma in this way?” If you can contemplate by not letting kilesa comes into the practice will realize it.

When you are doing sitting meditation make a resolution – aditthana. As examples, “Within an hour I’ll not let kilesa come in and only continue with anicca. Staying with anicca and do not mix-up with other mental states.” Hence, will realize the peaceful sukkha Nibbāna in this life as guaranteed by the Buddha in the Sutta, try hard in the practice. I am worry that you may put the blame on the perfection – pārami. So I had talked about the 5-rarities beforehand. Concern with the kilesa which comes in and take it as an object of meditation. So contemplate it as anicca. Example, hearing a sound and contemplate the hearing consciousness. If you don’t then the kilesa mind of “What sound it is?” will come in. Whatever mind state comes in, it’s for the starting point of kilesa to follow behind. By contemplation of the first coming in mind state is cutting off the kilesa mind which will follow behind. If you ask, “When I’ll realize the Dhamma?” This is depending on you and nothing to do with the teacher. Depend on one’s own character and perseverance or kilesa volume and effort. Without kilesa comes into the practice will realize quickly. Anyhow you will realize it but do not reduce your effort. If you afraid of the dukkha as much as the drops of water in the lake of each side 50-yojana wide, length and depth, you must work hard (a simile used by The Buddha in the Saṁyutta-nikāya).


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