Understanding of Insight Practice

revised on 2021-01-27

Dhamma Talks by Mogok Sayadaw; 18th Nov.1960

To get the first Path Knowledge (Magga Ñāṇa) must kill wrong view. Wrong view is sticking in the 5-khandhas. Wrong view arises because of not knowing the anicca khandhas and the dukkha khandhas. First, strip off wrong view by perception (saññā), later dispelling them by contemplation. Hence, these are the 3-stages of practice; i.e., intellectual, practical and realization knowledges (ñāta pariññā), (tīrāṇa pariññā) and (pahāna pariññā). You want to help someone for stripping away wrong view. For this purpose, you have to explain for him about the five khandhas. To understand the 5-khandhas need to know the Dependent Arising (Paṭicca-samuppāda). Without knowing it, then you'll have doubt about the source of the khandhas. Dependent Arising has two kinds; i.e., in the book and in the present khandhas. You must know the present Dependent Arising. Wrong views and doubts are sticking within the 5-khandhas. It happens because of not knowing their arising and ceasing. It happens because not understand the law of Dependent Arising. Dependent Arising of the past was already gone so nothing to do with us now. Future also does not arise yet. Only the present is important. Everybody's khandhas are the process of cause and effect. So, only explain about mind and body is not enough. According to the book to kill ignorance and volitional formation (avijjā and saṅkhāra) is right, but this body is the cause of past Dependent Arising. The real has to kill is the present arising of avijjā and saṅkhāra. By knowing the present Dependent Arising, then ignorance becomes knowledge (avijjā becomes vijjā). Without ignorance will not make saṅkhāra. So have to practice become vijjā and asaṅkhāra (knowledge and not compounded). To prevent the fruits of ignorance and formation to arise, start from the present khandhas. In this way no new khandha tree grows out. Without this then it will never end. So, you have to know the present arising khandhas. For example, eyes contact with the physical form, and eye consciousness (seeing) arises. The eyes are the present arising material phenomena and the physical form also. New eyes and new physical form, new mind, new feeling, new perception and the volition of wanting to see also a new one. All these new 5-khandhas are arising now. These new 5-khandhas are nothing to do with the past and future. From sense-consciousness to feeling; i.e., the 5-khandhas are arising together. In the text writing it down in separately, but in the real process appear together. So the present 5-khandhas are not the 5-khandhas gave birth by mother, also not created by God.

Only knowing the khandha which is now arising will know the khandha which is now passing away. You all don't know how to watch a movie. When you are looking at the pictures on the movie screen, you think it's permanent. In reality, what happens is that many pictures are arising and passing away within a minute. These can be only known by looking at the role of film in the machine. The material phenomena of the eye caused by the past kamma were already ceased. Now is the new material phenomena caused by the new kamma. (Sayadaw also mentioned an important point that when the 5-khandhas are arising we only aware of the most prominent one.) For example, in a soup when salt is more prominent than the other, and we say it's salty. But in reality inside the soup including other tastes also, such as sweetness, spicy etc. Within the 5-khandhas of the seeing mind, consciousness and feeling are more prominent, but the other three khandhas also arise together with them. (And then Sayadaw explained each one of them and the connection of cause and effect.) Eye-base and physical form elements are the causes (paṭicca-samuppāda) and the four mind khandhas are the results (paṭicca-samuppanna).

So, there are no personality and living being, only cause and effect process phenomena. Do you have any wrong view and doubt as where I come from? Material phenomena are only material elements, don't come and confuse it. Mind phenomena are only mind elements, don't come and confuse it. Material phenomena are conditioning by kamma, citta (mind), utu (temperature) and āhāra (food), not created by Mahā Brahma and God. By knowing the causes, doubt is overcome. Knowing that there are only mind and body phenomena, can wrong view come and stick with it? No, in this way wrong view and doubt fall away. This is only in intellect and not by practice. There are three ways to dispel them; i.e., by intellect, practice and extermination (study, practice and realization). The 5-khandhas are arising and passing away, and replace by another new khandhas etc. in this way without end. (The past kammic energy support these continuations.) For contemplation no need to concentrate all the 5-khandhas, only one of them. It's the contemplation of impermanence and also one's own death. After you have seen your own death all the times and do you still want it? The Buddha said that if you are looking for the beginning of a being, it will never end. Why is that? Because all these deaths can never come to an end. When every khandhas is arising, but it can't be contemplated, then Dependent Arising continues and will receive future khandhas continuously; whereas it will not (receive) by contemplation.

Vipassanā is contemplating one's own death. After seeing your own death, do you have any affection to them? In this way of discerning impermanence, the Buddha and worldling (puthujjana yogi) are not the same rate. For example, the Buddha in each moment for the mind is hundred thousand billion times/sec and matter five thousand billion times/sec. These rates were after become a Buddha; he could not discern that much before enlightenment. Even the Buddha and Ven. Sāriputta are not the same rate. (This talk was delivering to U Tan Daing and his friend U Tun Yin. They came from Rangoon (Yan-gon) and made inquiry on practice. Later U Tan Daing became a very close disciple and propagated Sayadaw’s talks around Burma by establishing Mogok Vipassanā Centre in Rangoon (Yan-gon).)

revised on 2021-01-27; cited from https://oba.org.tw/viewtopic.php?f=22&t=4031&p=35607#p35607 (posted on 2018-12-15)

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