Twelve Perversions

revised on 2019-08-12

Dhamma Talks by Mogok Sayadaw; 3rd & 4th August 1961

[There are twelve inversions (vipallāsas): i.e., three wrong attitudes to the four subjects (3x4=12); three wrong attitudes are: wrong perception, wrong knowing and wrong viewing. The four subjects are: Taking impermanence (anicca) as to be permanence (nicca), suffering (dukkha) as happiness (sukha), not-self (anatta) as self (atta), and foulness (asubha) as beauty (subha); ]

Without knowing the mistakes we are constructing perversive walls again and again and it become taller and darker. The Buddha gave an example of throwing a pebble upwardly to the sky and it stays a moment in the mid air and then falls down again.

In the same way living beings come to this human world for a short moment like the pebble in the mid air. But falling into the planes of misery is longer like the pebble staying on the ground. Your business and wealth are becoming useless after you die.

Every day you have to make adjustment to the khandha and request for long life, using foods, medicines and other things, etc. We get the khandha for making these three mistakes. You'll become an arahant if you transcend them all. You'll get the first Nibbāna if you can eradicate the third mistake. (i.e., diṭṭhi vipallāsa). You will become sakadāgāmin and anāgāmin if you can overcome the first mistake (i.e., saññā vipallāsa); becoming an arahant if overcoming the second mistake (i.e., citta vipallāsa). The first Path Knowledge eradicated eight factors of inversion (i.e., view of permanence, view of happiness, view of beauty, view of self, perception of permanence, knowing of permanence, perception of self and knowing of self).

The second and third Path Knowledges eradicated two factors and the fourth Path Knowledge eradicated two factors. One can’t get the first Nibbāna without eradicated wrong view. One can’t get the second and third Nibbāna without eradicated wrong perception. One can’t realize the fourth Nibbāna without eradicated beauty and happiness (subha and sukha) (according to the Aṅguttara Nikāya).

I’ll explain about the practice. In your khandha originally exists is impermanence, suffering, not-self and foulness. To these four subjects multiply with wrong perception, wrong knowing and wrong viewing factors and become twelve inversions.

These dhammas are happening uncountable in everyday life. Kamma can’t send you to Nibbāna but Ñāṇa can. There is no good kamma directly to Nibbāna, but with good ñāṇa will get it. There were many Buddhas had arisen uncountable in the world. But living beings were for many lives surrounded themselves with many walls of inversions that Buddhas couldn’t enter to them. And light of Dhamma couldn’t enter through them.

Jhānas, Path and Fruition Knowledges can’t be attained by practicing with dāna, sīla and prayer; they only can be attained with direct practice of samatha and vipassanā. If you still can’t get Nibbāna even with direct practice, then your kilesas are thick.

Do not express it to people. If you do it, then there is no shame about it. So, just only try harder. And do not complain of wrong view. So, I will talk about it first. By talking before about inversions of perception and knowing, it misses the target.

(Recounted the story of Subrahmā Devata) 500 celestial nymphs were died instantly and fell into the hell. This was because of without eradicated wrong view and the seeds of hell were with them in the heaven. Destructive kamma (upaghātaka kamma) came in and struck them and fell into hell, even their life spans were not finished yet.

(This point is interesting because most of us may think; it can live for its life span as a devata. They did not have chances for developing good kamma there and only for enjoyments.

So saṁsāra is not good and very dangerous.)The Buddha could not save them directly but instead could stop it by giving the way of practice (To the other 500 celestial nymphs and Subrahmā Devata).

revised on 2019-08-12; cited from (posted on 2019-01-11)

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