Craving Overrules Actions

revised on 2021-03-15

Dhamma Talks by Mogok Sayadaw; 18th December 1961

You were sent by craving to this human world. You may ask, “Isn't it because of good kamma becoming human being? Isn’t it sent by kamma?” Don’t take it in this way. Craving (taṇhā) overrules on action (kamma). Taṇhā → upādāna → kamma → jāti — craving conditions clinging, clinging conditions action, action conditions birth. Actions are doing things with the instruction of craving.

Take them as like the house owner and the carpenter. According to the house owner’s desire and the carpenter has to build the house. You all are carrying away by the taṇhā water. Dāna is not the main point and I am giving you the source of the answer. Wherever you are arriving and attaching to the khandha there. On the way of carrying away in the taṇhā water, you grasp and hold on to the things which are unreliable. (i.e., family members and wealth, etc.).

You don’t know yourself of holding on to the stable or unstable things. In this way and you are getting old. They are like the trees on the edge of the river bank and unstable whatever things you hold on to. The edge of the river banks are eroded by water and the roots of the trees are exposed.

When it falls on you and you have to cry for it. In the round of existences, how many parents, sons and daughters we had already before. But do you have any thought arising as I’ll never grasp and rely on them again? The Buddha taught this Nadi Sutta (from the Khandhasaṃyutta, SN.22.93 Nadīsuttaṃ). With dissatisfaction, you get hold on them and it falls on oneself and sink.

Khandha is impermanent, dukkha and not-self phenomena and so whatever khandha you are grasping will suffer. You don’t know what to do if you don’t have something to cling on to. You understand the knowledge of not-self if you know it’s unstable. Now you are suffered by the pulling of the self knowledge. Not grasping on things before you are a floater.

After the grasping and becomes a sinker. Which one do you like? When you are suffered and blame it on kamma as unfortunate. Isn't it true? You are holding on to them by clinging to sense pleasures and wrong views (kāmupādāna and diṭṭhupādāna). The clinging objects of mind and body are impermanent so you have to shed tears.

The Buddha taught anicca for getting the Path and the Fruition Knowledges. But when things are showing anicca, you all shed tears. You get the insight knowledge if you know anicca. These things happen because you don’t rely on things which should be relied on, and instead rely on things which shouldn’t be.

So, don’t rely on one’s own and others’ khandhas. Crying is not the source. The source is grasping or holding on to. Kamma also ceases if only clinging ceases. Upādāna nirodho nibbānaṁ — Cessation of clinging is Nibbāna.

In this sutta the Buddha taught mainly on clinging. The floater gets the raft (maggan raft) if he may contemplate its anicca while thinking arises for grasping. The Buddha gave us three cups of impermanence, suffering and not-self medicines. In the world the real existence is these three cups of medicines. The medicines you like are none of them here.

You like the permanent, happiness, self medicines. In the past you all were stuck with the medicines you like and missed many Buddhas had arisen. You didn’t like the Buddha’s medicines and never drank it before. Therefore it's still very difficult to save beings if the Buddha had arisen. You should never rely on permanent, happiness and self (nicca, sukha and atta).

You get the maggan raft (path factors raft) if you know not‐self as not‐self. It’s you yourself making the axle of the taints and turning around it. And then die in the 31 realms of existence. With the wrong grasping and taints arise (This talk is connecting with the previous talk). All the taints and realms of existence are making by oneself.

So, D. A. process is one’s own process. Have to contemplate one’s and others’ khandhas as not-self. We are constructing spokes of kamma on the axle of the taints. From the six senses doors construct the spokes of kamma. You also can’t make the spokes if you don’t make the axle.

Without the spokes, the outer most wheel of ageing, sickness and death can’t exist. Therefore, for not grasping contemplate impermanence of whatever arises from the six senses doors.

revised on 2021-03-15; cited from (posted on 2019-01-18)

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