Wrong Views and Characters

revised on 2021-07-28

Dhamma Talks by Mogok Sayadaw; 9th December 1961

Wrong views come from inversions (vipallāsa). Someone with the sassata nature is taking enjoyment in the life of existence. So it’s far from Nibbāna. Someone with uccheda nature appreciates Nibbāna. With sassata does not like Nibbāna. Uccheda prefers to be nothing is happening again. They believe in born only once and die only once in lifetime. It doesn’t make any difference to them. I urge people who have these wrong views must practice for themselves to see the reality.

The reality and the knowing have to fit together. The body whenever you observe, it exists only anicca, dukkha, anatta and dukkha sacca. If the reality of the body and the knowing mind fit together, it becomes cakkhumanto ca passanti—the person with eyes can see it.

You were born with blindness and will die with blindness. This was said by the Buddha in the Udāna Pali. Most Buddhists die without seeing impermanence, but they know only born once and die once in one lifetime. These people born in the darkness and die in the darkness. They can’t revolt the inversions (vipallāsa) that they are crazy and blind. This body exists as impermanent phenomena and not seeing this is blind.

But we take the not existing things as my son, my wife, etc. is crazy. So don’t want to become a crazy and blind corpse. If you want, then the king doesn’t go to the heaven and the monk doesn’t fly up to the heaven. (These usages in Burmese language are respectful ways of saying about the king and the monk are passing away).

Both of them suffer in woeful plane (apāyabhūmi; because of wrong views) and dive into the earth (i.e., hell). (And then Sayadaw told the story of a group of blind brahmins and an elephant). All of them didn’t know the whole elephant. In the same way human beings only know the outer forms as son, wife, etc. But they don’t know what happen inside and then die.

They die as crazy and blind people. Even you are a two rooted person, if you can practice and discern impermanence, then you will finish your goal in next life. (Regarding two rooted person in some of Sayadaw’s talks, he can’t discern anicca. May be it referred to the highest levels of anicca, or some of his listeners were already discerned anicca. So he encouraged them to continue their practice.

Anyhow yogis should not concern about the Dhamma duty or procedure. He should concern only practice rightly and checking his mistakes and correcting them). If you don’t work for practice and next life also will born in the darkness and die in the darkness again. You are not only living in the darkness but also crazy. Without cure your blindness and craziness, even a Brahma god can become a pig and an Universal Monarch a dog (anything can happen to a worldling). Everything could happen to a living being before but except Nibbāna. (it is because saṁsāra or the round of rebirths without beginning is very long to all beings.)

A person not in the middle way is going randomly and in the extreme. The two extremes are not free from ageing, sickness and death. And also can’t find the way of freedom. Without cure the blindness and craziness will be never in the middle way. Beings are moving like an earth worm. A chicken is waiting in front of it. It doesn’t know about this and going towards the chicken.

Therefore it becomes the food for the chick. In the same way living beings are eaten by the king of the Death. You can smile only when you are in the middle way. You can smile after seeing impermanence, disenchantment and the ending of the conditioned phenomena. Without these is only the smiling of a blind and crazy person.

Inversions of wrong view (diṭṭhi vipallāsa) over power us that we are always going towards the path of death. If you are looking at it with knowledge and this khandha is dying for many times within a day. So if someone became a sotāpanna and the Buddha referred to him as āloko udapādi—attained the knowledge of light. It will only become bright by getting the seed of Path Knowledge. After discerning anicca, you get the knowledge in accordance with the truth (sacca-anulomika ñāṇa).

It will see the real dukkha when this knowledge becomes mature. It’s difficult to talk people to appreciate these things. What they prefer is the path to good rebirths, because they have inversions with them. If your eyes can see, then you are in the middle way. You discern impermanence and it becomes the seed of a noble being (ariya). Most of us took rebirths as animals in our past lives because human existences were difficult to obtain (Some yogis could discern their past lives also supported this point).

Therefore the Buddha said that we should be disgusted and loathed to this khandha. If you have the khandha, and even will not kill by others, must bite to death by the four snakes within it (And then Sayadaw mentioned how the four great elements changed in the body and led to deaths).

The Buddha explained the characters of blind and crazy people. People held the view of permanence (sassata diṭṭhi) believe in next life and the result of good and evil. Prefer to do good and afraid of evil.

May be you all think him as a moral person. Even if he meets a good teacher and will stay away from practice to realize Nibbāna (There was a close disciple named U Mya, a wealthy business man. If he had the chance to meet Sayadaw would never stay longer, but only a few days for his talks. Sayadaw always asked him to stay longer for practice but he neglected and died unexpectedly).

These people (sassata) even if they met the Buddha would not do it and not giving up their views. Their faults are small but very difficult to transcend dukkha (Most of later Buddhists are this type. They have bhava taṇhā and also encourage others to do the same). They are very reluctant to cut off the khandha process. They can’t give up their sensual pleasure. They are gentle nature. Pretend to be moral people and don’t want to come out from the round of existence (vaṭṭa).

Therefore it’s difficult to help them for liberation. It’s refine and difficult wrong view. It's like the head hairs of a small baby difficult to shave. The faults of uccheda people are heavy, but they are easily to give up their views. They believe in life and kamma but don’t want to cultivate wholesome actions. They can do unwholesome things. They are easy to transcend dukkha if they listen to talks and have faith in it.

[A very good example was Thae Inn Gu Sayadaw (also named Sayadaw Ashin [Ajan] Okkatta, 1913 ~ 1973). He was a robber before. At the age of 46, he and his two followers robbed a house. The host knew about it and waited for them coming in. He was hit on the head with a long knife, but luckily he was wearing a hat. With the injury on the head, he and the others fled for their lives. After curing of his head injury, he had strong saṁvega; he took the book, which was about Soong Loon Sayadaw's biography, and practice with him to the monastery in his village. Soong Loon Sayadaw (1888 ~ 1952), see Jack Kornfield's book-- Living Buddhist Master. He took the nine precepts from the monk and closed himself in a room and practised diligently. He had the strong determination of if he died let him die or let defilements died. After the sixth day (i.e., 12th September 1959) he experienced the first realization. Later he ordained as a monk and continued his practice. He finished his spiritual journey on 20th May 1961. He was a rough character, so his practice also very tough.]

The difficult things is most of you are sassata people. If you have the eye sight both of these views will fall away.

Uccheda people even at the utmost can make a vow to become a bodhisatta. Between the two views, uccheda person is closer to Nibbāna. If you discern the impermanence of any khandha both wrong views are gone. By seeing the arising is uccheda view, with the passing away is sassata view and both will fall away. So discerning of impermanence is very beneficial. Go and study the Pali Suttas, most of them were talking about the rise and fall (udaya and vaya), i.e., impermanence. Why is that? Because it can revolt wrong views. Now, you have encountered the Buddha’s Teachings and must do this task.

If not you will incline towards one side. Therefore I am asking you very often that; "Do you discern impermanence?" The same as do you have the eye-sight yet? It doesn’t mean to see all of them. Here feeling arises and then not here. Mind arises and then not here. Know the overview of it! These are important so that I have to tell you. Even in the past lives before, you might be met one of the Buddhas, but one of these wrong views prevented you from liberation. Distinguish by characters sassata person is lust temperament (rāga carita). Uccheda person is hatred temperament (dosa carita).

Whatever reason he will not do it if he doesn’t want to do something. They are blunt people (If they have faith in the Dhamma can give up their lives for the practice). They are sharp and sassata people are soft. The Buddha taught a lot of things in details, and nothing was left behind (The Buddha never had a secret teaching or left some things behind for others to discover).

Even in the end he allowed the monks to adopt some of the minor rules for the practice. All of you do understand the Dependent Arising very well (Sayadaw taught many years to them by using D. A.). So don’t doubt about yourself as in the middle way or not? Dependent Arising teaches you the cause and effect of the impermanent phenomena. So you are in the middle way.

Only you need to take care of it ending. The khandha, like the flowing water, is always in the impermanent states. It tells you only these. It’s like as you are watching at one of the place of flowing river: the upper part of the water flowing in and the lower part of the water flowing away. The cessation of rise and fall (udaya and vaya) is Nibbāna.

revised on 2021-07-28; cited from https://oba.org.tw/viewtopic.php?f=22&t=4036&p=35626#p35626 (posted on 2018-12-19)

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