What is the Most Important Thing in Life?
revised on 2019-08-12
Dhamma Talks by Mogok Sayadaw; 25th June 1961
To know the truth is the most important thing. The Buddha didn’t say the truth of giving (dāna sacca), the truth of virtue (sīla sacca) and the truth of serenity (samatha sacca). For insight practice (vipassanā) he used it as truth.
You don’t know Nibbāna and not seeing Nibbāna if you don’t know the truth. Truth is connecting with the khandha. Therefore Nibbāna is connecting with the khandha. Khandha is truth of dukkha. So, Nibbāna is also connecting with dukkha (From the Kathāvutthu).
After you find the khandha and you will find Nibbāna. Knowing the truth is more important than worshipping the Buddha. This was the reason why the Buddha dispelled Ven. Vakkali away, out of concerning for his knowing the truth (AA. i. 140f).
The Buddha compared the benefit of knowing the truth to the fault of not knowing it. He gave a simile of a lake with the length, width and depth of one yojana (13 miles) each, it's compared filling with full of water to the seven droplets of water.
(Here in this simile, the suffering created for oneself due to not knowing the truth is similar to the volume of water in the whole lake. On the other hand, the suffering which is still left for the sotāpanna is only like the seven droplets of water).
(Sayadaw continued to talk about the state of the mind of people in daily life according to the D. A. process. And then he compared it with people doing goodness. The numbers of goodness are incomparable to the numbers of unwholesome mental states. So not knowing the truth is quite terrible.)
Of the five khandhas, knowing anyone of them very well is knowing the truth. The way you all are knowing it is; for example, the body is itchy. You know it with displeasure (domanassa), such as why so itchy! In the khandha all the arising dhammas are the process of dukkha sacca and continuously happen.
The Buddha was only pointing to it. They are happening all the times in the khandha. Dukkha sacca are arising and we do not know it. There are numerous of truths in the khandha. Not following with the knowledge that it becomes worthless. The dukkha we know before are bitten by dog, hungry for food etc.
These are unpleasant mind (dosa), displeasure mind (domanassa). These are not knowledge mind. You know the foulness (asubha) of a dead body. The asubha have to spend money on it (funeral). But you do not know the born and die asubha in the khandha (impermanent asubha).
These are asubha and also dukkha. It becomes dukkha nirodho hoti — the cessation of dukkha if craving, clinging and action are not following behind. This is knowing impermanent dukkha. Whatever arising in the khandha and knowing it as dukkha sacca, it becomes contemplation on dhamma (dhammānupassanā).
The thing to save you all is the knowledge of knowing the truth. The knowledge of knowing the truth of impermanent dukkha protecting you from the present action (kamma) arising. So, future khandha cannot arise. Not getting the future khandha, the kammas we had done a lot in our past lives cannot follow anymore.
Only you have the khandha they can follow you. Therefore the Buddha gave the example of a lake. The water in the lake dries up is like the past kammas. Also not filling the lake with water again and it dries up. This like not create kamma in the present. Therefore if you want to end dukkha have to work for knowing the truth.
Knowing the truth becomes knowledge (vijjā). People are worrying about the past unwholesome kammas, and also the unwholesome kammas of present life. They can give the results to us at any time. If you don’t want to be like this have to be worked very hard to know the truth.
revised on 2019-08-12; cited from https://oba.org.tw/viewtopic.php?f=22&t=4084&p=35734#p35734 (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.