revised on 2019-08-12
Dhamma Talks by Mogok Sayadaw; 4th September 1961
The Buddha taught the ways to develop our practice without giving up. Before our practice, we need to contemplate that ageing and sickness are near to us. The danger of death is also not far away. (Actually sickness and death can happen to anyone at anytime.)
They are the cause of taṇhā. Only path factors can overcome it. Therefore we have to try hard to develop the path factors. There are four persons can get the path knowledge. They are; ① Difficult practice and slow realization, ② Difficult practice and quick realization ③ Easy practice and slow realization. ④ Easy practice and quick realization (From Aṅguttara Nikāya).
All of them can get to the Path Knowledge. But their ways of practice are different. You have to decide by yourself in which group you are in. There is nothing to be in low spirit. All of them get the Path and Fruit Knowledges. The differences are only in slow and quick realizations. Why has the first person difficulty in practice? In contemplation of impermanence kilesas come in between them. It takes times to move them out. With thick kilesa and the practice is difficult.
Faith (saddhā) is not sharp, effort (viriya) is not strong, mindfulness (sati) is not sharp, samādhi is not concentrate enough on the objects and wisdom is weak. If the spiritual faculties are weak have difficulties in the practice (The five spiritual faculties are just mentioned above). And also become slow in the realization.
In short to say, vipassanā wisdom is not sharp. Regard to the first person the Buddha said that he had a lot of kilesa and faculties were weak. The reason kilesa comes in is during the contemplations of impermanence, the mind moves to home or to somewhere else, etc.
It takes time to dispel the kilesa and difficulty in the practice. The way of correction is contemplating the impermanence of whatever kilesa comes in. In this way difficulty goes away and knowledge becomes sharp. Ehi-passiko — Every dhamma invites you to come and contemplate.
It does become the fourth person from the first. Knowledge is becoming closer if you can contemplate kilesa. The reason knowledge (ñāṇa) not sharp is there is a big gap between the knowledges. When ñāṇa is closer to each other, then faculties become mature. Vipassanā knowledges are becoming closer and closer. With more contemplations and ñāṇa becomes sharper. (So a lot of contemplations and practices are important). The first person becomes the fourth person.
The second person has more kilesa and his knowledge is sharp. So if he contemplates the impermanence of all kilesas come in, will become the fourth person. If overcome kilesa always has the quick result. Without a teacher’s corrections, blame on the pāramīs and giving up is a big mistake.
For example, Ven. Sāriputta’s disciple, the goldsmith was with the Buddha’s instruction and had a quick realization. The ways of instruction also made the differences. Encountering a good teacher means you have pāramīs. Can contemplate whatever comes in is not led to suffering.
With kilesa coming in between the practice is for the continuation of D. A. process. With contemplation and not continue the process. (Sayadaw mentioned that the goldsmith was Buddha’s disciple, only achieved realization with his help, and not by Ven. Sāriputta).
- A process cut off is Nibbāna. Every time it arises and can contemplate is closer to Nibbāna because taṇhā, upādāna and kamma extinct in Nibbāna. The third person has lesser kilesa. Therefore he is not difficult in practice. His slow realization is the knowledges are arising slowly. Seeing impermanence is far enough. This slowness comes with the relaxation in his effort. He must increase the effort.
Not difficult means practice in a relaxed way (This point is very important). With strong effort, you have to contemplate the impermanence of whatever arises. If death comes earlier it will be a great loss. Reflect in this way put great effort in your practice. It will come in even to the people who still have less kilesa.
Our life span is short. Only has the life span of each inhalation and each exhalation. You all prefer the fourth person. Your pāramīs are including respectively in all these four persons (Has connections with one of them). But with the help of a teacher becomes the fourth. There were more fourth persons during the time of the Buddha. Nowadays there are more first persons. Don’t forget the teaching until your death.
revised on 2019-08-12; cited from https://oba.org.tw/viewtopic.php?f=22&t=4084&p=35753#p35753 (posted on 2019-01-14)
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