Five Kinds of Right View
revised on 2021-07-28
Dhamma Talks by Mogok Sayadaw; 26th Feb 1960 to 2nd March 1960 (In Mandalay)
(Sayadaw explained the 5 kinds of right view one by one.)
(In this talk, Sayadaw gave the instruction on Vedanānupassanā. According to the Sayadaw, in the Satipaṭṭhāna Sutta the Buddha separated the 5-khandhas into four groups for sati to the suttanta way. Actually they arise and cease together. Yogi usually does not clear about these. We should mindful whatever khandha is clear to us. Sayadaw said: the 5-khandhas always starting from consciousness (viññāṇa) and easy to discern. The first stage of realization (entering the stream) is destroying wrong view and doubt. Most people take the mind as a permanent soul (also most of the religions), so the important of cittānupassanā. Sayadaw taught how to develop insight. By watching and observing whatever arises will discern anicca. But it does not mean that we see the arising and ceasing at the same moment. With sati we see the arising (saṅkhāra) and then by observing or contemplating it’s not there anymore. Knowing the object of arising and observing the object can’t arise together, because two minds could not arise together or at the same moment. Every time seeing anicca is killing the wrong views.)
Vipassanā Sammādiṭṭhi means seeing rightly. Seeing rightly on what? It's seeing the beginning of the Dependent Arising (Paṭiccasamuppāda). If you can’t catch on the beginning must be in the middle. Do not contemplate the past ignorance (avijjā) and rebirth consciousness (paṭisandhi viññāṇa) but the present moment consciousness (pavutti viññāṇa). The beginning of the khandha is consciousness or the 6-consciousness. In the Satipaṭṭhāna Sutta mentioned separately. I am talking about their combination. When they are arising and passing away not in separately. As an example, when hearing consciousness arises, with hearing consciousness, feeling, perception, volitional formation; the four mind khandhas (nāmakkhandha) are arising together.
If you contemplate the most prominent one and all the other four are included. Why I ask you to contemplate consciousness? Because it’s clear and no need to search for. (In this talk Sayadaw was using feeling to explain the practice.) If you are contemplating the arising of feeling will see the disappearance of it. Insight knowledge (vipassanā ñāṇa) is seeing the impermanence of conditioned phenomena (saṅkhāra). By conditioning it is arising and disappearing. In conclusion when you see the arising and passing away, is it like the light going out and becoming darkness? If you see in this way, then it becomes 2-minds. You will see it as not there. It is in this way that using the words arising and passing away (udayabbaya). We are using it because it is arising and disappearing. In reality seeing the arising is not there. You meet the non-existence. The past moment conditioned dhamma is not there anymore. If the yogi sees in this way, the identity view (sakkāya diṭṭhi) to painful rebirth is falling away. The Buddha asked to kill the seed of painful rebirths. Contemplate the conditioned dhamma of existence and non-existence is the right view of vipassanā knowledge (vipassanā sammādiṭṭhi). Seeing it as exist and not exist is without the wrong view. Therefore, wrong view is falling away by practice. This is seeing the impermanence of phenomena (dhamma) without any person and being. What is the benefit of insight knowledge? Wrong view is falling away. It can dispel the 3 types of wrong view that insight knowledge is very important (i.e., identity view, permanent view and annihilation view).
Let someone dies after seeing impermanence will not fall into painful rebirths (hell, animal, ghost-peta). Because of the falling away of wrong view and in the next life will realize the path of stream-entry (sotāpatti magga). It was mentioned in the Aṅguttara Nikāya. Analyzing the mind and body is dispelling wrong view by perception (saññā). By discerning of anicca is wisdom (paññā). If wrong view is not dispelled, and it’s like a stone has fallen into the water, never come up again. We missed many Buddhas as much as sand grains in the River Ganges were because of wrong view. This is the root of all unwholesome dhammas. In the Saṁyutta Nikāya the Buddha said that the Dhamma to Nibbāna was vipassanā. If you ask why it does so, then the answer is the falling away of sakkāya diṭṭhi. By seeing the arising and passing away and contemplating up to disenchantment of it. Then vipassanā will come to an end.
Now, I will talk about magga-sammādiṭṭhi. It means The Noble Eightfold Path. It’s the leader of right view. If you ask what is the difference between No. (3) and No. (4) (vipassanā right view and Path right view). No. (3) is ending up in impermanence (anicca). Its ability is seeing impermanence and the functioning of dispelling sakkāya diṭṭhi. The magga-sammādiṭṭhi is not seeing impermanence and has the function of seeing Nibbāna. To become No. (4) have to work with No. (3) for many times. Don’t think Nibbāna as like the circular sun and moon, it’s the cessation of impermanence, peaceful and cool nature. The knowing of it is the Path. It's quite a different view.
King Milinda asked Ven. Nāgasena: “Please explain to me the seeing of Nibbāna by practice.” “Nibbāna exists, but not in the 3 periods of time (past, present, future)” answered Nāgasena. The King responded, “If it’s free from the 3 periods of time, it can’t be existed.” I’ll give an example. Normally there is no fire in these 2 pieces of bamboo. But if you are rubbing them together for a longer period of time and fire will come out. In the same way, if you contemplate impermanence for many times, then Nibbāna appears. For the one who is practicing, it exists. You don’t need the pāramīs. You have the qualities which were mentioned in the Aṅguttara Nikāya. First with vipassanā knowledge contemplating impermanence and then later it will mature. At last, ñāṇa (mind or knowledge) is turning towards the no arising and passing away. That’s Nibbāna.
Five kinds of right view came from Aṅguttara Nikāya. Without the No. (3) you can’t get the No. (4). The meaning here is without falling away of wrong view, you can’t get the Path. Give an example; when you do the farming, first you have to clear up grasses and weeds, and then collecting them together for burning. Clearing the grasses and weeds and collecting them are like insight knowledges, and burning them is like the Path (magga). Insight knowledges kill the coarse defilements. The Path kills the latent disposition (anusaya). The insight right view is more important than the Path right view. Today I’ll explain it from the Majjhima Nikāya. Don’t take it that without the dawn period the sun will come out. It’s impossible. Insight right view comes before Path right view and it will follow later (after). Vipassanā right view is preceding right view (purecārika ñāṇa), the first knowledge has to develop. Have to contemplate the impermanence of the conditioned phenomena of the mind-body process. Wrong view has 3-stages; the coarse, the mild and the refined stage (active, stimulated, latent). Impermanence can stop only the coarse and the mild ones, can’t deal with the refined one. This is leaving for the Path to do the job. (Sayadaw explained the 3-stages of wrong view with examples.) You want me to knock your head! The angry mother scolds her naughty boy. This comes out from the stimulated one. In the real knocking of the head becomes the coarse one. The one practices vipassanā, the coarse and the mild ones not arise. But the latent wrong view of thinking such as "this is my son" is existing. Only the Path can uproot this one. It’s difficult to shave the hairs on the baby head. The hairs on the man are easier to shave. Path Knowledge is like shaving the hairs of a baby. It’s like also after clearing up the forest and uprooting the trees. I’ll tell you what happen in the body during the arising of the Path Knowledge. Not seeing the arising and passing away of the khandhas. Dukkha nirodho – Dukkha is ceased. It’s like using 1,000 pots of water pouring on the body and the heat element is cooling down, experiencing as all the coolness pile-up and a peaceful nature. It seems in this way. You don’t know the khandhas exist but happiness only. If, it is appearing in this way, the real Path Knowledge, nothing exists but the existence of peaceful nature, without any kind of burden but lightness only. Seeing dukkha ceases and not knowing the khandhas exist. The reason for the peacefulness is the heat element of diṭṭhi kilesa (defilement of wrong view) has been extinguished. The view is peaceful and the knowing is cool. Nibbāna is near. It’s far because you don’t go straightly. If defilements come in and deceive you, then it's not straight anymore. Kilesas are burdened living beings by disturbing them on the straight way to Nibbāna. Whatever suffering is the working of defilements. There are 16 kilesas. If you do sitting meditation increase the time span and sit with determination (adhiṭṭhāna). The Buddha mentioned that by contemplating impermanence was the straight way to Nibbāna.
Knowing that the khandhas not exist is vipassanā sammādiṭṭhi. The practice of knowing the khandhas not exist is the function of insight. We had the desire, so we got it. Nibbāna is without the khandhas. If this knowledge becomes longer, Nibbāna is closer. (Insight knowledge seeing the khandhas not exist for momentarily and in the Path Knowledge the khandha is ceased. If khandhas exist in Nibbāna, it will become the Noble Truth of Dukkha (This point is very important for every Buddhist whatever his/her believed system and not to be confused.) Therefore, it was true in the commentary of Saṁyutta Nikāya that insight knowledge was the nearest to the knowledge of Nibbāna. Therefore, vipassanā ñāṇa is seeing Nibbāna partially. Nibbāna and insight knowledge, both of them see the non-existing of khandhas. Their differences are: Nibbāna always do not see the khandhas, and insight knowledge is not seeing momentarily. If you have developed insight knowledge, you can die happily. Continued to practice diligently will realize Nibbāna. Do you need pāramīs? You need only practice diligently with the 4-supreme efforts. (Sammappadhāna – see in the factors of enlightenment – Bodhi-pakkhiya-dhamma) It’s now clear on the ways of seeing. Therefore, insight knowledge disbanding the khandhas is true. In the Saṁyutta Nikāya commentary, it was mentioned more than that. During the seeing of anicca, craving and clinging have no chance to come in. Therefore, insight knowledge is disbanding the khandhas and also craving. It’s similar to carry 2 baskets with a pole. Disbanding the khandhas is seeing Nibbāna temporarily. Disbanding craving is cutting off the round of rebirth (saṁsāra). So the Buddha said, insight knowledge was many times excellent than ordinary wholesome dhamma. Path Knowledge is abandoning the khandhas and also defilements, and seeing Nibbāna which is without khandhas (3-functions). When the Path Knowledge appears, no need to ask others, you will see no khandhas. Seeing Nibbāna and no kilesa comes. Vipassanā Knowledge cannot see Nibbāna. The differences are 3-functions and 2-functions.
The khandhas disappear when the Path Knowledge appears. It's NOT "there is nothing". Knowing that dukkha is ceased and seeing Nibbāna. Vipassanā knowledge and supramundane knowledge (lokuttara ñāṇa) are quite different. Don’t go and asking for someone. The Buddha taught exactly. In the working process of vipassanā practice only 2 of the vipassanā knowledge and Path Knowledge exist. The other knowledges between them are the records of appearances and views. In reality all of them are vipassanā knowledge. (In one of the Sayadaw’s talks he gave a simile of sharpening a knife. Beginning to the end is the same knife but it becomes sharper and sharper.)
Now talk about the right view of Fruition Knowledge. There are 2 kinds of fruition. Fruition follows behind the Path Knowledge, and the other behind the insight knowledge. Fruition follows behind the Path Knowledge is automatic, therefore akāliko – giving the result without delay. It comes by itself – Dhammaniyāma – Dhamma procedure, similar to the kamma and the result. The Path is volitional kamma and Fruition is result. Nibbāna always exists. You will ask, “Does everyone can see it?” It exists for someone with the practice, without the practice not exists. Factors of enlightenment can happen only by practicing with the 4-supreme efforts. After the Path ceases the Fruition appears. What is the benefit for its appearance? What is it disbanding? You can ask these questions, no khandhas anymore so what it is to be disbanded for? The Path kills the coarse defilements and Fruition the refined one. To show an example, you pour a cup of water on a red burning charcoal and it becomes black. Don’t go and touch it. It’s still possessing with the heat power.
Fruition appears for cooling the heat power. All your defilements are very coarse. It kills the leftover refined kilesa vapour. So Fruition is more powerful than the Path. Seeing Nibbāna and killing the refined kilesa vapour (2-functions). Between the two; fighting at war and making peace, making peace is more difficult. I will tell the Fruition follows behind the Path. Yogi with the weak knowledge (ñāṇa) follows by 3-fruition mind moments. For the sharp one is 2-mind moments. And then followed by bhavaṅga cittas and reviewing knowledge (paccavekkhana ñāṇa). This is the Fruition follows behind the Path.
If you develop to the level of vipassanā sammādiṭṭhi and become a small stream-enterer. And then develop up-to magga sammādiṭṭhi become a sotāpanna (The commentary used the term cūla-sotāpanna because both share the same view, but he/she is still unstable.) For the yogis to know what level in their practice, I will tell the mind of a sotāpanna beforehand, so that one can check for oneself. And then I will tell you about entering into the Fruition state. I will use the Saccaka Sutta from the Majjhima Nikāya (MN. 35 Cūḷasaccaka Sutta). “Ordinary people’s views are unstable. So they are changing religions. But the disciples of yours are not in this way. What is the reason of it?” Saccaka asked the Buddha. “My disciples do not hear from what others said but by seeing themselves directly. Therefore, their views are not changing and never convert into other religions.” answered the Buddha. I will tell the right view of a sotāpanna. (Sayadaw recited the Pali verses.) The Buddha taught them that mind/body phenomena were impermanent. They practiced accordingly what had been taught and realized it directly. Looking at one’s own khandhas or others’ khandhas and seeing that there was no person or being. And then they had the clear view and free from doubt – (1) Tiṇṇa-vicikiccho. At first, begin to have this right view. That is during the practice. In everyday activities the usages such as my children, my properties are not matter. People can’t dispel doubt that changing religion. There is no thinking with doubt – (2) Vigata kathaṃkatho. There is no such thinking as a person or a being exists. He can make a desision that it's only dhamma which is arising and passing away. It becomes fixed in destiny (niyata) to Nibbāna only and not anywhere. He becomes brave and has confidence – (3) Vesārajjappatto – making the brave or confident decision that there is no person or being. To get this knowledge is not difficult. You have the good teacher. I always teach you to this point. Every time mind is arising and feeling arising, it’s only mind and feeling. Is there any person or being with them? Only hearing consciousness is arising and disappearing. Is there anything with them? Every day I am teaching for entering the stream. Even in worldly matters we have to prepare for safety in livelihood. In the same way we should prepare for the supramundane (lokuttara). Even should be more care about it. I am teaching to you that there are only impermanence of mind-body process and the process of cause and effect. Now, you know these by indirectly. Not ending up at other people mouth. (4) Aparappaccayo – means directly experience and not from others. True dhamma is right which had been taught by the Buddha or by me. But it should be right from the personal knowing. One’s own decision is more important. With other saying is ending up at perception (saññā) and not wisdom (paññā). If a person equal to these 4-points, he is stable in the Buddha’s Teaching.
It's impossible to reverse him whatever religion come and whatever ways be used. He just fixes in Nibbāna without any changing. However rich with full of wealth and gems are not the real happiness. Even with these things can be in trouble and suffering. Only enter the stream is completed with the real happiness and gems of faith (saddhā), virtue (sīla), learning (suta), generosity (cāga), shame and fear of wrong doing (hiri and ottappa), wisdom (paññā) (the 7-jewels of a noble person).
These 4-points of view are always there whenerver someone becomes a stream enterer. This Dhamma is not difficult. The whole Kuru Country (during the Buddha’s time, and now is the New Deli area) practiced the Satipaṭṭhāna and had the good results. With right attention (yonisomanasikāra) will fulfill it. Every time when feeling is arising and knowing it as just feeling is right attention. If mind arising as mind and then with this right attention, it’s easy to contemplate impermanence from behind. It’s important to have right attention whatever is arising. The Buddha mentioned in the Aṅguttara Nikāya was by right attention whatever not increasing dhamma (phenomena) increase and whatever increasing dhamma develop. Even if you can’t give a label to the arising phenomenon and knowing that dhamma arising is good enough. By learning (pariyatti) can give the labels. How can you do it without learning? By knowing that dhamma arising is right attention. In the Buddha’s time Suppabuddha (Suppabuddhakuṭṭhisuttaṃ of Udāna, Khuddakanikāya) the leper and drunkard were no learning, but they had right attention. Knowing as dhamma arising is right attention. It’s not a person/ not a being and passing away. By following behind with this knowing is vipassanā. Follow behind the Path are 2 or 3 fruitions (phalas). Follow behind vipassanā knowledge are many fruitions. I will explain a little about in fruition state. At the beginning seeing dhamma arising and passing away but without analyzing the Noble Truths such as – this is the Truth of Dukkha (Dukkha Sacca) etc. And then all the impermanence suddenly ceases and changes into Nirodha Sacca. There is no Path Knowledge anymore. Instead the fruition mind stays with Nibbāna. Fruition minds are arising continuously but they are also changing, and seeing Nibbāna unaccountably. This is in fruition state. Yogi is staying with the fruition mind.
revised on 2021-07-28; cited from https://oba.org.tw/viewtopic.php?f=22&t=4028&p=35552#p35552 (posted on 2018-12-14)
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