Can’t Rely on the Outside Power

revised on 2019-09-12

Dhamma Talks by Mogok Sayadaw; 23rd November 1961

[This talk was based on the 12 links of D.A. process to explain the teaching. So you need to use the D.A. chart to understand the explanation.]

Section ① : Past cause , Avijjā → saṅkhāra →
Section ② : Present effect , viññāṇaṁ → nāma/rūpaṁ → salāyatanaṁ → phassa → vedana →
Section ③ : Present cause , taṇhā → upadānā → kamma) →
Section ④ : Future effect , Jati, maraṇaṁ…

D.A. is the cause and effect connection of one’s own khandha process from one life to one life. It’s neither the connection of a person nor a being. These present results arose from the past causes. Avijjā and saṅkhāra do not follow to this side (from ① to ②).

We are taking with these five results as man or woman (i.e., no②). From the past life of no. ①, nothing came to this side of no. ②. Carefully note this point. It’s important. The doubt of "Where did I come from?" was solved. Doubt is called Vicikicchā.

In the cause and effect process, neither person nor being exists and identify view is falling away (sakkāya diṭṭhi). Doubt dies away by knowing the connection between cause and effect. You will not fall into the planes of misery if doubt falls away. The dhamma sending beings to the planes of misery is temporary falling away.

For one or two lives times not falls in there. These are unwholesome mind. These two also fell away from a sotāpanna. Yours fall away with intellectual knowledge is the same thing. For a sotāpanna it fell away from the heart with its root. Therefore you have to practice hard for them to fall away with the root. For example, you can’t practice and dies instantly.

But don’t be afraid and you can’t fall into the planes of misery. Even with the intellectual knowledge you can’t fall into the planes of misery for 1 or two lives. But you have to work hard to make it fall away by practice because wrong view and doubt will come back again if you meet with wrong parents and teachers in next life.

It’s better to be none of them exist in the heart. With these five (i.e., section ②, five khandhas or mind/body), seeing the impermanence of the mind/body process it will fall away. This is by practice. After entering the stream never fall into the planes of misery.

After that, continue again for the practice with impermanence and seeing three times (i.e., Nibbāna), the practice is finished. Wrong view falls off with intellect is a cūḷa-sotāpanna and with practice a mahā-sotāpanna.

If you prefer form (rūpa) and contemplate form; prefer feeling, mind and dukkha sacca (i.e., dhamma) and contemplate them respectively. You will see impermanence by contemplating one of them, and then comes disenchantment and later see as real dukkha sacca. With these, the impermanence of dukkha sacca ceases. Then you become a sotāpanna. You don’t need my help again. You will continue to work for the higher level of Path Knowledges without anyone’s encouragement. After your becoming sotāpanna, my duty as a teacher is ended. You all are afraid of falling into the planes of misery. For the matter of consuming of foods, you have to search for here and there. These are making you in exhaustion.

This practice does only need watching and observing the khandha. With great respect and compassion for yourself, do the job of seeing impermanence. I am urging you for the practice. And after you’ll never fall into the four planes of misery with the eight faulty destinations and can be relaxed

(The eight faulty destinations are: the four planes of misery — hells, animals, petas-ghosts, asuras; a place where the Buddha’s teaching can’t reach, born into a family with wrong views, born as disable person, such as blind, deaf and dumb etc.)

Now you are an untouchable golden bowl and with a little bit slanting off will fall into the planes of misery. (We should not forget the Buddha’s warning of our permanent homes were these miserable planes. It was very rare we came to human world).

I am urging you to practice for the unchanging and stable Path Knowledge. With the short human life span, don’t be in a relax situation. It will be without any benefit if you die earlier. There are too many personal matters. Don’t seek pleasure in dukkha. Even dāna matters are hindrances for the Path and Fruit.

(Sayadaw referred to most Buddhists just doing dāna and other merits for the enjoyments in saṁsāra. Instead of using the times and chances for transcend dukkha).

You are searching and spending, and times are consuming in this way. Don’t want to be free from dangers are very bad indeed. Tomorrow you may be died, but with happiness in the present is quite a crazy person. Thing can save you are only the Path Knowledge. You have to do it regularly just like eating foods.

Every day you are eating for 3-4 times. For the practice you are saying no time for it. Section ② is the objects for practice (from consciousness to feeling).

Practicing with it is developing insight. You can contemplate anyone of them. The Buddha also not making a rule for contemplating all of them (the five khandhas are like the five lemons. Impermanence or the three characteristics is like the sour taste of the lemon.

You eat one of them and know about the other four also the same. If you continue to eat more and more lemons become disenchanted with it. And at the breaking point you let go all of them. Then there is peace. Combine all of them we get the five khandhas. If you discern impermanence is seeing dukkha sacca. Disenchantment to impermanence is disenchantment of dukkha.

Ending of impermanence is ending dukkha. The ending is Nibbāna. It’s important to see the impermanence of one of them in section ②. It cut off the process to section ③. For the saṁsāric traveller ② and ③ → are connecting.

If not a saṁsāric traveller between ② and ③ are cutting off. Vedanā nirodha taṇhā nirodho — with the cessation of feeling and taṇhā ceases. Someone who can cut off it will arrive to Nibbāna. Path factors can cut off from one life to another life. It cut off kilesa and khandhas.

Cut off kilesa is samudaya dies (craving). Cut off the khandha is dukkha sacca ceases. If you still can’t cut off between ② and ③ and don’t take it on the safe side. Don’t be in sleep. The important place to practice is cutting off between ② and ③. If you are busy, it’s busy with crossing from ② to ③.

If you contemplate one of their impermanence and you don’t need to ask anyone what will happen to you. This dhamma can be observed by oneself. Don’t say blindly I am happy to die (Some Buddhists had done a lot of practice on merits in their lives and to rely on them).

You have to check at ② it connects to ③ or not. If you are connecting to ③ even the Buddha couldn’t help you. (Later Buddhists rely on Buddhas and bodhisattas, but not on the Dhamma.) If ② not connects with ③ then it’s in safety. Saṁsāra is cutting off. After becoming a sotāpanna and not continues for contemplation, ② and ③ are still connecting. But only connect with the blissful existence (sugati bhava) and not to painful births. It gives you a lot of ease.

The Buddha gave the example of sotāpanna’s dukkha as the soil on his finger nail. But dukkha abandoned by sotāpanna were as much as the soil on the earth. Can you get it by prayers? The Buddha couldn’t save you. (He was not a Saviour). You have to save yourself. If the Buddha could save Devadatta and he couldn’t fall into the Great Hell (Mahā Avīci).

He was the brother-in-law of the Buddha. Because of his unwholesome kamma painful birth appeared for him. So don’t continue the process. If you continue it, then you have kinship with Devadatta. Are you afraid of taṇhā or kamma? Taṇhā connects it, and kamma quite far from it. You have to be afraid of taṇhā. Without taṇhā and no kamma arises.

You are not afraid of the root, but the tip. You have to afraid of the cause, but instead to the result. It’s like a dog not afraid of the thrower, but to the stone. If you cut off taṇhā and kamma cut off by itself. You have to check yourself for how many times a day you are connecting with it. You can cut off only by practice (Not by outside power).

revised on 2019-09-12; cited from (posted on 2019-01-18)

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