Knowledge and Doubt

revised on 2019-06-14

Dhamma Talks by Mogok Sayadaw; 17th to 18th March 1959

[There are 8-causes for doubt (vicikicchā) to arise : (1) Doubt about the Buddha (2) Dhamma (3) Ariya Saṅgha (4) One’s own practice (5) Speculation on the past life with self-view (Sayadaw said only mind and body exist, they arise and cease according by the causes and conditions. In this way dispel wrong views of personality (identity), permanent and annihilated views.) (6) Speculation on the future life. If beings die with doubt, it is delusion (moha), so the rebirths will be the planes of misery. Teachers are very important to teach their disciples to have right views. (7) Speculation on the past and future, such as, where I came from and where I’ll go. (8) Doubt on the teaching of Dependent Arising – It’s dhamma procedure (dhamma niyāma), the process of present moment to moment of khandhas arising and passing away by causes and conditions.]


Investigation of things and phenomena seems like the knowledge and developing doubt. Knowledge can make a decision but doubt can’t, and the mind becomes like a fork road (Two states of mind and can’t make decision). It becomes doubt without the power or ability to think so that you must approach a teacher. Both knowledge and doubt have the nature of investigation in similarity. Doubt comes in for the hindrance of contemplation of impermanence. If it’s arising, then contemplate it. Destroy it with knowledge. (Talking about the 8-doubts). Vicikicchā is ignorance (avijjā). It can be a hindrance for the realization of Dhamma. It's quite different between "doing the practice with investigation" and "without its practice". Knowledge does the job after investigation and not becoming doubt. If you have doubt, approaching a teacher and clear up the doubt. If we don’t have faith in the truth of the teaching, these teachings will disappear first (He gave an example of doubt.). I am practicing quite a long time now. Why have I still not realized the dhamma yet? In reality defilements come in and the yogi doesn’t know it and has doubt. Only you can clear up all the defilements come in and will realize the Dhamma.


Regarding to the past life, we have doubt – where I came from? What happened to me in the past? It’s the investigation of the past. Without the ability to think is thinking with wrong views. In reality only mind and body happened before. This is never wrong. Any kind of thinking with a person or living being is leading to doubt. Thinking rightly is knowledge. Other faiths are thinking in the ways leading to wrong views and doubts, and after death fall into the planes of misery. It’s very frightening. Even some Buddhists died with wrong views and doubts. If you know that only mind and body exist is the middle knowledge or you are on the middle way. Identity view, permanent view and annihilation view are overcome. No. (6) doubt is: what happens to me after die? If you don’t realize Nibbāna, only mind and body arise and only mind and body pass away. With knowledge (ñāṇa) come in become magga (vipassanā knowledge), if knowledge can’t come in and have doubt. No. (7) doubt is where I came from and where I’ll go? All these people never practice. If you become a sotāpanna, you will only take rebirth not more than 7-times. If becoming an arahant, will know that no more birth again. They don’t have any doubt. No. (8) doubt is doubt in the teaching of Dependent Arising. The Buddha only discovered it and gave a name to it. Originally it’s natural procedure (sabhāva niyāma), and arising in all living beings. Therefore, have doubt on the Dependent Arising is not on Theory, but on one’s own khandha process.

revised on 2019-06-14; cited from (posted on 2018-12-14)

  • Content of Part 2 on "Dhamma Talks by Mogok Sayadaw"

  • Content of "Dhamma Talks by Mogok Sayadaw"

  • Content of Publications of Ven. Uttamo

According to the translator— Ven. Uttamo's words, this is strictly for free distribution only, as a gift of Dhamma—Dhamma Dāna. You may re-format, reprint, translate, and redistribute this work in any medium.

據英譯者—鄔達摩比丘交待,此譯文僅能免費與大眾結緣,作為法的禮物(Dhamma Dāna)。你可以在任何媒體上重新編製、重印、翻譯和重新發布這部作品。