Breaking the Collar

revised on 2019-09-12

Dhamma Talks by Mogok Sayadaw; 30th November 1961

[Sayadaw said; man was really foolish and took one’s own body as this was "mine", this "I am" and this was "my self" because the body was becoming old, sick and death. Beings attached to their bodies with wrong view and sensual pleasure.

The Buddha gave a simile of a dog circling to a post like living beings were roaming in saṁsāra. The post represented the khandha, the rope to taṇhā, the collar to diṭṭhi and the dog to a worldling. The dog couldn’t leave the post because the rope and collar attached to it.

Circling around the post was like the khandha saṁsāra. It could only escape from the post by cutting off the rope and collar. Living beings are revolving in saṁsāra like the dog running or circling around the post].

It’s more important to save oneself than to save others. Even you are lazy to save yourself, so it is an empty word to save others. We are like this. We ourselves have the dangers of ageing, sickness and death. We have to reproach ourselves. Do the practice is like running away from dangers.

If you say I’ll do what taṇhā asks me. Then it’s the same as saying I’ll go to the apāya (planes of misery). Which one should you follow; taṇhā or ñāṇa asking you? If you follow ñāṇa asking you, then listen to dhamma talks and practice. You are kilesa lunatic. You become happy with joy if you get money. Taṇhā only gives you the bad result. Dukkha sacca arises because of samudaya sacca. Looking at the D. A. chart (i.e., Sayadaw’s well know D. A. process chart). If taṇhā tells you that human world, celestial world and brahma world are good, don’t believe it.

Taṇhā only sends you to a place where corpses are piling up. Only ñāṇa sends you to Nibbānic happiness. You were cheating by taṇhā before that seeing hell fire near death. You have to look for the medicine before the sore grows out. After it grows, you can’t do it (This referred to painful births).

During the time of sickness, you are looking to be free from death and have to spend money (i.e., to see a doctor). During the time of you are healthy and looking for the freedom of death, no need to spend any money (i.e., for practice).

But don’t do what taṇhā is asking you because you are healthy. In real, the khandha is always unhealthy. Because you are always making the adjustment for it (If we are carefully observe and contemplate our daily lives can see the burden of saṅkhāra dukkha very clear. It is never at ease. Therefore it’s called disease).

(Sayadaw continued to talk about a dog with collar and rope bound to a strong post). Living beings are taking the khandha dukkha sacca as mine. They always spend their times with me and mine if not encountering with a good teacher. And they die with taṇhā and diṭṭhi. I / me are diṭṭhi and mine is taṇhā.

How do human beings die? What do you think where they will go? "To apāya, Ven. Sir." (Answers from the audience. Apāya is the short form of Apāyabhūmi — planes of misery). Worldlings are taking affection to their khandhas as me and mine. This is very true indeed.

Before how did you live your life? Became dog and then fell into the planes of misery again and again. You were living like a dog with a collar bound to a post. Therefore you didn’t have any freedom before. Why the worldlings become dogs? To be answered as they have the mind of a dog (This was like a prediction. Nowadays most human beings have dogs as pets. Therefore their minds are closer to dogs than ever before.)

It will become the life of an ariyan (a noble being) from a worldling if the collar and rope are falling off. By contemplating the impermanence of the five khandhas, you are cutting off the dog’s collar and rope.

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

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