Why Suffer So Much?

revised on 2019-07-25

Dhamma Talks by Mogok Sayadaw; 10th March 1961

Why are we suffering so many kinds of dukkha? We have to remember about the four factors. ① On bad soil, ② we plant the bad seed, ③ pouring bad water, ④ and it grows out a tree with bad fruits.

The soil of unwise attention (ayoniso-manasikāra): For many lives we had the unwise attention of man, celestial being and Brahma god, and the mind and body were never appearing as the truth of dukkha. We had planted the ignorance (avijjā) seed. With unwise attention, ignorance follows behind it. Ignorance has the cause. It’s unwise attention.

It was said that the beginning of living being was ignorance. Also we must answer as the beginning of ignorance is unwise attention (ayoniso → avijjā). By pouring the taṇhā water—attachment to things as sons, daughters, etc., we didn’t know the reality and attached to them. And a bad khandha tree grows out.

This is the truth of dukkha arises. Ayoniso → avijjā → taṇhā → khandha. From a bad tree, it bears out bad fruits. These are dukkha fruits—aging, sickness, death sorrow, lamentation; etc. Many kinds of dukkha come out. Dukkha fruits fall on the soil and dukkha trees and fruits will continue.

This is the round of existence (saṁsāra). We have to make corrections starting from the soil; making it from unwise attention to wise attention. The process will be: yoniso (wise attention) → vijja (knowledge) → alobha (non-greed) → sukha sacca (truth of happiness—i.e., Nibbāna). Not wanting the khandha (dukkha) is Path Knowledge.

We have to destroy the root of ignorance. This teaching came from the Aṅguttara Nikāya. Wise attention is the most important one. We talk ignorance and craving (avijjā and taṇhā) as the source before. Now we know the source earlier than ignorance. In the whole saṁsāra we were living with the big burdened load. And after death continue to birth (jāti) and will never end.

If we make prayers for the khandhas, then we are praying for becoming a coolie. (like coolies carrying heavy loads). Let us do the wise attention. Let us practice to know the khandha process.

The contact of the mind base sensitivity (hadaya vatthu) and mind object (dhammāramaṇa) condition for a thought to arise. The five khandhas are arising together. It’s neither a person nor a being. After the thought passing away the mind of pleasure arises. After that clinging mind and kamma (bodily or verbal action) arises, etc. …

All the ultimate phenomena (paramattha dhamma) are continuing arising. These are D. A. dhammas. Therefore whenever you contemplate, this dhamma passing away and that dhamma arising, etc. … (Sayadaw continued Anurādha) Anurādha had doubt (vicikicchā). Is there any being? After the being dies go to Nibbāna? (These were his doubts). Before, he was practising without wrong view and doubt fell away that, even staying near to the Buddha couldn’t realize Nibbāna.

revised on 2019-07-25; cited from https://oba.org.tw/viewtopic.php?f=22&t=4049&p=35713#p35713 (posted on 2019-01-10)

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