Are You the Wise or the Fool?

revised on 2021-01-27

Dhamma Talks by Mogok Sayadaw; 5th and 6th March 1962

There are three culprits making the khandhas; i.e., ignorance, craving and action (avijjā, taṇhā and kamma). Therefore, everyone with the possessing of the khandha is a fool. In this life, continuing to create ignorance, craving and action is like a stupid again (Sayadaw compared them as poisons).

In the past lives, people had drunk these poisons and now have sufferings. It is foolish if drinking it again in this life; and if not, it’s wise. Going the way of feeling conditions craving — vedanā paccaya taṇhā is a fool.

Going the way of feeling conditions wisdom — vedanā paccaya paññā is a wise person. Avijjā and taṇhā are the two ring leaders of the fools. If you can make them not come to you is a wise person. According to the D. A. process, if section ② connects with section ③ is a fool (i.e., vedanā → taṇhā).

It is a wise person if stop at section ② (i.e., stop at vedanā, see the twelve links of D. A. process). It’s unnecessary to teach for getting a dying body again. Possessing a dying body, but people don’t know what to do for not getting it. If you connect with section ③ and section ④, it will come to you is inescapable (i.e., kamma → birth).

Knowing the mistake as wrong and still can become a wise person. A fool can’t make you suffer. Yourself is a fool making you suffer (This point is important and also connect with believing in cause and effect. If we blame our dukkha on others can’t solve the problems and have to correct ourselves).

The dhamma of the world and the dhamma of the Buddha are not the same. These family members you encounter are only temporary. You must take it as temporarily and don’t attach to them. Not accepting this and it becomes wrong. (This talk was to a family couple who were very close to Sayadaw).

Whatever kinds of khandha people have all are the fools. Association with the foolish dhamma in oneself is called a fool (i.e., associate with lobha dosa, moha, etc.) The fool and the wise are nothing to do with association with people. Instead associate with unwholesome dhammas and becomes a fool.

Taking the matter as association with the dhammas and become a fool and wise. The meanings in the Maṅgala Sutta (Discourse on the Blessings) didn’t mean with the person or being but with the dhammas. Don’t take it as association with the concepts but with the ultimate realities. In the heart fills with unwholesome dhamma is a fool and with wholesome dhamma is a wise person.

If you ask for a standard as taking the personality or the dhamma, then take the dhammas. In this way, you are free from wrong views. How many times a fool or a wise can be known by checking oneself each day! Associating with wrong dhammas becomes a fool. For example, someone has a very bad habit.

If you know it as foolish, then make it wise. If you don’t know your foolishness is foolish and becoming worse. By the contact of sense objects and sense doors unwholesome dhammas arise and you have to correct it.

And if you know yourself as foolish becomes vipassanā. The foolish mind is anicca and the knowing mind is magga. It becomes the contemplation of the mind (cittānupassanā). If a wise mind arises, also contemplate its impermanence. It becomes right view and it’s paññā. This becomes association with the wise.

If you don’t know impermanence, it becomes ignorance. This is association with the fool. Vipassanā doesn’t mean going to a meditation centre for practice. Have to contemplate your khandha. You have to practice to know yourself. Practising insight is association with the wise and without it with the fool.

Puja ca pūjaniyanaṃ — with the practice is worshipping to the Dhamma. This is maṅgala-uttamaṃ — the great blessing. After the enlightenment, the Buddha himself took the Dhamma as a refuge, because there was no one greater than him. With the practice of maggabrahmacariya (path of the holy life) the wise ends dukkha. Without its practice the fool returns to dukkha.

revised on 2021-01-27; cited from (posted on 2019-02-13)

  • Content of Part 8 on "Dhamma Talks by Mogok Sayadaw"

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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.

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