Don’t Let the Mind in Pain

revised on 2021-08-28

Dhamma Talks by Mogok Sayadaw; 17th to 18th January 1961


[In the beginning Sayadaw was warning his disciples for the time near the end of one’s life. A thought would come up where one would go after death? At that time we can’t rely on kamma which is like a foot ball going up and down. We must rely on wisdom (ñāṇa) which is the only true refuge. So everyone should prepare for the true refuge when we still have times and will die with smile on our face.

Sayadaw based this talk on a sutta in Khandhavaggasaṃyutta, Nakulapitā Sutta (SN 22. 1, Nakulapitusuttaṃ). One time the Buddha travelled to the Bhaggā State at Sumsumāragiri in the Bhesakaḷā Grove. He met Nakulamātā and pitā (an old couple who had strong kammic links with the Buddha).

They requested the Buddha to give them short instruction on practice because of their advanced age. The Buddha taught them, the physical body was never healthy. So when the physical body was in pain don’t let the mind in pain. After that the Buddha left them.

They were very pleased and went to see Ven. Sāriputta. Seeing their happy mood Sāriputta asked them the reason. They answered that they had just received teaching from the Buddha, but didn’t understand very well. So Sāriputta explained the teaching to them. ]

The question of where I will go is becoming clear at the last moments of thought near death (with or without practice, the same for everyone sure to know). During when you are busying with businesses and happy with family members of wife and children, it’s not arising. Without any practice to be on the safe side and you’ll die with the feeling of insecurity in accordance with your kammas.

This kind of situation is common to people without any preparation. Anyone who has the preparation is happy to be put down the burdened khandha. These two kinds of thought will come in. If you let kammas decided for your fate then your own quality is totally blunt. I urge you all for work hard in your practice so that let knowledge (ñāṇa) decide your fate.

The power of knowledge (ñāṇa) is powerful than kammas. The power of kamma is unstable, going up and down like a foot ball. Then you’ll become a human foot ball. Rely on the power of knowledge. It’s very important.

You must work for the Dhamma, which can protect you from falling into the planes of misery and will feel safe at near death. In the worldly matters people are searching for wealth for their security. In the same way in the saṁsāric journey we should prepare for security (more important than any searching)

In the Khandhavagga Saṃyutta, the Buddha taught the way to security. In our past lives we were falling into hells, to animal realms, to celestial and Brahma worlds due to the unstable kammas. The Buddha warned us many times, as near death not to die regretfully for our mistakes.

Even a small ant sees it destination before death. An ugly death is frightening (everyone who has the chances to see many dying persons know this). I’ll tell you the way of security from the dangers of painful births (planes of misery). (Sayadaw told the story of Nakulamātā and Nakulapitā, mother and father of Nakula).

The Buddha said if we had the khandhas and never free from sores, wounds and diseases. Let us see it as true or not. Because of cold and heat there are many changes all the times. And so we are using bandages to treat the diseases (i.e., changing clothes all the times) There are sores of defecation and urination.

We are changing our bodily postures all the times because of pains and aches. The body is the source of all diseases. The body is sure to be in pains and aches. But if your mind is not in pain will realize Nibbāna. Let the body pain but not the mind. Ven. Sāriputta gave instruction to them. Worldlings took this body as mine, I am and my self.

But the khandha would show you that it was not as what you had thought (Sayadaw explained the body and mind are in pains by using each of the five khandhas to describe it). This physical body is made by four causes; kamma, mind (citta), temperature (utu) and foods (āhāra). If we make these as mine, I am, myself the mind will pain.

It’s a strong clinging. The mind Dhammas are made by sense objects and sense bases (ārammaṇa and dvāra). Your mind is in pain when something changes, which you take it as mine but it after all does not belong to you. If you think you are the owner then you are in suffering.

For example, you find a dead dog on the road and the death of your dog are different things. As dog they are the same but have different feeling because of ownership and non-ownership. If you see arising and passing away you know very well that it’s not yours. Then your mind is not in pain.

In the whole saṁsāra we are living with the double blind eyes of this is mine, this I am and this is myself. It’s like a blind cock fights with blindness and takes it as mine. If I am not giving you the noble eyes (ariyan eyes) because of your attachment, you will be in sorrow, lamentation, pain, and grief.


Why sorrow, lamentation, pain and grief come in very often? You have to think about it. It always becomes sorrow, in tears and suffering because the view of me and mine is not falling away (atta and attaniya diṭṭhi). You think yourself as "me" and your wife, children and wealth as "mine", so that suffering arises.

This physical body is always changing with hot and cold. This is the nature of the body and you have to know it. Change is anicca and knowing mind is magga. And sorrow, lamentation, grief and pain not follow behind. This is because your eyes are transplanted with the ariyan eyes which know the original nature. Become the disciple of the ariyan your sorrow will be ceased. Without it when the body is in pain and the mind also in pain.

Contemplate the five khandhas as stranger (parato; parajana). If you don’t observe in this way never get the Path Knowledge. The five khandhas are changing and you have to look at them as stranger. They also tell you as a stranger, and sorrow, lamentation, grief and pain not arise. And it not becomes ignorance and volitional formation (avijjā and saṅkhāra).

If you know impermanence the mind is not in pain. At the present your mind is happy and also for the future the doors of the planes of misery are closed. The body in pain but not the mind in pain is the Buddha had arisen for you. If your mind is in pain then the Buddha had not arisen for you. In true the body is impermanent and not really painful.

revised on 2021-08-28; cited from (posted on 2019-01-07)

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