Two Causes for Wrong View

revised on 2019-09-12

Dhamma Talks by Mogok Sayadaw; 23rd October 1961

Due to being afraid of dukkha, people are listening and practicing dhamma. In the Dhammacakka Discourse (the First Discourse, SN 56.11 Dhammacakkappavattanasuttaṃ), the Buddha mentioned some of the dukkhas. But among the many the most frightening to you all are dukkhas in the planes of misery. Dukkha is the resultant dhamma.

What is the cause you need to think about it? Taking the five khandhas as this is mine, this I am, this is myself. Diṭṭhi is the cause of it. If wrong view is abandoned the biggest root of dukkha to the planes of misery is destroyed. Even the Buddha said: Extinguish the head fire later but kill Diṭṭhi quickly. The chest pierced by a spear was also in this way. Piercing with a spear only dies once. You'll die for uncountable time if having wrong view.

(Sayadaw continued the story of Anāthapiṇḍika and the outsiders. They were discussion on dhamma.) Anāthapiṇḍika gave the answer to them on the causes of wrong view. ① Unwise attention (ayonisomanasikāra) ② Listening to the wrong teachings. There are many causes for diṭṭhi to arise.

These two causes are the most important points (There were eight causes, but he answered them used only 2) ① With the first cause, one falls into the planes of misery is by oneself ② With the second cause, one falls into the planes of misery by others. (In nature, there are two major causes, i.e. internal and external causes.)

The Buddha said; our homes were the four planes of misery. Let us deal with the first one. We'll get the 32 parts of it if we separate the body. Hair of the head, bodily hairs, teeth, bones, etc. And diṭṭhi becomes a little bit shaken. The perception of the pretty and beautiful body from the taṇhā dies out but diṭṭhi does not fall off.

If you ask whose hairs it is, diṭṭhi coming in as my hair, my teeth, etc. Then you still can’t do it with the 32 parts of the body (contemplation with bodily parts). It’s quite terrible. It will still come as my father’s bones, my father’s grave. Differentiate it into mind and form. We attach to the mind as me. Attach to the voice as me, etc.

This diṭṭhi is also very unshakable. Divide the five khandhas into the four satipaṭṭhāna and see the five khandhas as impermanent dukkha sacca, and then diṭṭhi is fleeing. Until not seeing impermanence diṭṭhi is sticking to it, and still not falls apart. It’s very difficult for diṭṭhi to fall off without the practice of vipassanā. (Just look at the Brahma gods. They attain jhānas but still have diṭṭhi.) Anicca (impermanence) and aniccānupassanā ñāṇa (knowledge of the contemplation of impermanence) join together only, diṭṭhi falls off.

People are looking into the mirrors and diṭṭhi arises. Using the mirrors is terrible. There was a story of a lion looking into a mirror and then died. If he showed its teeth, the shadow in the mirror also showed its teeth. If he was roaring at it, also the shadow there was roaring back.

Taking its shadow as another lion and ended up in death. Here also looking into the mirror wrongly that end up in the planes of misery. (Sayadaw’s talk became humorous). The mirror is reflecting on its own but you have the mind of a lion, unable to differentiate the shadow and the person.

Taking the great elements (the four great elements) as me, diṭṭhi arises. Don’t think that looking into the mirror is easy because of the mirror you will be in sorrow and lamentation. You have to look at the mirror in this way. Is the shadow in the mirror one oneself or other? If you say myself, then the one outside the mirror will be other. If it’s other, it should be not look like you.

The mirror has the clearness of the great elements that shadow appears. It’s difficult if you don’t know how to say about it. The second cause is listening to the wrong teaching. For an example, it was done by the permanent God (The Creator), etc. Also with the Buddhist view of kammassakatā ñāṇa,

I do it and I get it (kamma and kammic result), diṭṭhi not falls away. It becomes sassata diṭṭhi (view of eternalism); believing in the views that there were no wholesome and unwholesome dhammas and a country had been come into ruin. (Referred to a jātaka story of the wrong teaching and view which destroyed the country. We may find this kind of incidents in today's world.)

If you can look at the khandha and āyatana as suññatā (void or emptiness) diṭṭhi will fall away. I’ll give you the way of knowledge. Still not penetrate at suññatā and diṭṭhi will not fall off. Therefore suññatā dhamma is very important. The five khandhas only have the cause and effect of D. A. process. It only exists as dukkha and samudaya.

Diṭṭhi will fall away only listening to this kind of talks. (Anāthapiṇḍika answered to the outsiders in this way). “My view on the five khandhas is these are saṅkhata dhamma (conditioned phenomena). They have the characteristics of impermanence, dukkha and not-self. Therefore I don’t take them as this is 'I', this is 'mine' and this is 'my self'.”

Someone who doesn’t practice is not knowing it. Someone discerns impermanence and taking them as this is mine, this I am and this is my self are impossible. You are not listening to wrong teachings, and don’t have unwise attention. So, contemplate impermanence with perseverance. It has the power of destroying the root to the planes of misery for you.

You should do this with satisfaction. What the meaning of just for eating and going to the planes of misery is! (This warning was hitting to the heart. Most living beings were born here as human beings and just doing for these. They are using their good kammas just for doing stupid things). Do the main work for the happiness of freeing oneself from the saṁsāric dukkha. Going downstream is not difficult.

Do you only concern for the stomach or want to end saṁsāric dukkha? For not becoming unwise attention you have to contemplate impermanence at any time. Also it is necessary for listening to suññatā dhamma. In this way you will be freed from the four planes of misery.

revised on 2019-09-12; cited from (posted on 2019-01-14)

  • Content of Part 7 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。