revised on 2021-07-28

Dhamma Talks by Mogok Sayadaw; 17th, 18th, 20th & 21st June 1961


We have to correct our mistakes on the khandha with our own knowledge. There are twelve inversions (vipallāsa). All living beings in daily life are reflecting on the five khandhas with the twelve mistakes (These are: perceive things as permanence, happiness, self and beautiful; knowing things as permanence, happy, self and beautiful; viewing things as permanence, happy, self and beautiful.).

Therefore these are twelve inversions always surrounding the five khandhas. We were in many lives in such situations. It has been like surrounded by walls. The inner part is the khandhas and 31 realms are the outer walls. According to the truth these are dukkha and samudaya (the cause).

Fuels and fire are together. So beings are becoming fire ghosts. In the awaken times, people are always burning with the kilesa fire. In the sleeping times they are always burning with the fire of aging. It was like burning all the times with fire in the security prison.

It was surrounded by the twelve walls of ignorance. If we don’t know our worst situations will never find the way out. These mistakes come from the khandha. By clearing away the khandha and it will disappear.


To understand the inversions are very important. Don’t think that these dhammas are only relates to the living khandha. It also has connection to lifeless objects. Human beings are born inside the inversions. They are happy and joyful with aging, sickness and death.

The matter of knowing these dhamma is not an ordinary thing. The Buddha himself had to know them for the correction of living beings. He had to fulfill the pāramīs (perfections) for the four incalculable aeons (asaṅkheyya kappa) and hundred thousand aeons (kappa).

To expand the five khandhas it becomes the four satipaṭṭhāna and by condensing, it becomes only impermanence (i.e., rise and fall).

In the 31 realms of existence, there are only saṅkhāra and anicca. The twelve inversions have to be destroyed with their own path knowledge accordingly. By seeing impermanent wrong perceptions and views are gone.

Therefore should not take the khandha as a reliable thing. With impermanence the inversion of view falls away. After discerning of impermanence and die even without seeing the ending of it will become a sotāpanna after death. Why does that happen? Because by discerning impermanence has no wrong view.

You might ask why he becomes sotāpanna quickly arising in the heaven; it's because a heavenly being doesn’t have mucus and dirty matters in the body which can cover up the knowledge (ñāṇa). (You know how dirty and foul human bodies are. Heavenly devatas never come down to earth for this reason. They can’t bear this smell.)

Ñāṇa becomes clear and has the power of penetration. Heavenly beings can see far distances with their eyes are also this point. The importance of impermanence is more than that. After becomes a sotāpanna; of the twelve walls of inversions, eight of them are broken down and destroyed.

(The eight inversions sotāpanna eradicated are: ① The views of permanence, happiness, beauty and self ② the perceptions of permanence and self ③ The knowing-knowledge of permanence and self).

If reborn again as a human being, never become a leper, blind and deaf etc. (physical disability); never be born in a family with wrong views and in a place where the teachings of the Buddha is out of reach. Become only as higher class human being and heavenly being. For the higher Path knowledge, also start again from impermanence.


The majority of people blame the problems on kammas (either good or bad). In reality the inversion of dhammas control over kammas. Therefore crazy kammas are under the control of a crazy dictator. So, nothing is good. Due to wrong views → become attachment to views → create kammas under the control of wrong views.

Without wrong views fall away every kamma creates is crazy kamma. Because of wrong views kammas become unstable kammas. Therefore beings create kammas out of desire. So, beings are falling down randomly, in the round of existence. Don’t be afraid of kammas. You have to fear of diṭṭhi and taṇhā.

After destroy diṭṭhi has a stable rebirth (Never fall into the planes of misery; can’t interfere by negative kamma). By examining the different types of characters of living beings can know crazy kamma or not. For example, Queen Mallikā fell into hell for short period was the cause of crazy kamma.

For worldlings all their kammas are crazy kammas. Not knowing the truth people become crazy. For good kamma, first have to cure our craziness. How can it be good kamma because the twelve lunatics are controlling over kamma? By seeing the khandha rightly craziness will be cured. Condense the five khandhas become three universal characteristics — anicca, dukkha and anatta.

Condense it again, anicca vata saṅkhāra — all conditioned phenomena are truly impermanence. Know the truth of dukkha by seeing impermanence. The khandha always has this only. Know it by yourself — sandiṭṭhika. Know the truth more and more by continuous practicing. At the time, you can make a firm decision as it’s real dukkha and then craziness will gone.

We take kamma as father and mother before. (i.e., rely on them as a small child relies on his parents. Mot Buddhists rely on good kammas. But Sayadaw usually said it was wrong. We should rely on knowledge; ñāṇa father and ñāṇa mother instead of kam father and kam mother. Here kam is the Burmese word for kamma.)


It will send you to Nibbāna if you know how to use the khandha. Without it the distorted dhammas arise and send you to old age, sickness and death. (Sayadaw explained on this point, gave the simile used by Ven. Nāgasena the simile of a boat).

The boat was the five khandhas. Boat man was the practising yogi. The other shore was Nibbāna. The khandha was like the boat; without it and the vipassanā knowledge, you couldn’t reach toward Nibbāna. If you know how to look at the khandha, it will send you to Nibbāna. Don’t know how to look at it will send you to old age, sickness and death.

You have to look at it like a boat man. He always look after the boat with mindfulness. Have to observe the khandha continuously. Don’t let oneself becomes over tired. Over tired is an extreme (atta-kilamatha). Feelings are arising and disappearing.

This is their nature. The reason we don’t realize Nibbāna is our knowledge not reaching into the nature of khandha. Also inversions grow out and our knowledge can’t penetrate them. The task of the yogi is looking for a quiet place and not losing the track of the knowledge.

The Buddha asked to look for bodily seclusion — kāyaviveka. With it and then becomes mind seclusion — cittaviveka. And then the mind becomes in calmness. With this, the cessation of the khandha — upadhi-viveka comes. To make his simile clear Ven. Nāgasena used Ven. Sāriputta’s verses of instruction on practice, i.e., Kāyaṃ imaṃ Gāthā.

It wants to get rid of inversions for today's talk, so that showing you the practice. Listening to talk is changing to ariyan eyes — noble eyes; so that you know how to look at it with the ariyan’s disciple eyes and knowing the truth. You thought as this khandha was nice to have it before. Now you know it as the real dukkha.

[ Note on saṁvega: Ajahn Thanissaro wrote on this Pali word in his essay — "Affirming the Truths of the Heart". "saṁvega was what the young Prince Siddhartha felt on his first exposure to aging, illness, and death. It's a hard word to translate because it covers such a complex range — at least three clusters of feelings at once: the oppressive sense of shock, dismay, and alienation that come with realizing the futility and meaninglessness of life as it's normally lived; a chastening sense of our own complacency and foolishness in having let ourselves live so blindly; and an anxious sense of urgency in trying to find a way out of the meaningless cycle."

The Pali word saṁvega became a Burmese word like anicca, dukkha and anatta, but usually used as saṁvega nyan (nyan is for the Pali word of ñāṇa). So it is a kind of knowledge which is very important for Buddhists to develop. This needs study or listening of Dhamma and frequent contemplation. For some people whose sense of saṁvega is so strong that they want to abandon any worldly matters and even give up their lives for the path to the end of dukkha. People will live a meaningful life for themselves and others if they have the sense of saṁvega. "So the Buddhist attitude toward life cultivates saṁvega — a clear acceptance of the meaninglessness of the cycle of birth, aging, and death — and develops it into pasāda: a confident path to the Deathless." ]

revised on 2021-07-28; cited from (posted on 2019-01-11)

  • Content of Part 6 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。