With Taṇhā and Māna to Nibbāna

revised on 2019-10-02

Dhamma Talks by Mogok Sayadaw; 13 May 1962

There are also taṇhā and māna which yogis should have in practice. Mostly taṇhā and māna should not be possessed in most cases. For example, in practice of Dhamma, if someone can realize Nibbāna, I myself also can get it. You try with māna with the desire for Nibbāna. (For these dhamma talks, sayadaw told the story of Ven. Ānanda and a bhikkhunī).

The desire for consuming arises on consuming foods and drinks. But we have to reflect it as that consuming foods and drinks for the sake of practicing dhamma. In this way taṇhā is abandoning. This is consuming with the desire for practicing the holy dhamma. It’s controlling taṇhā with knowledge (ñāṇa). Some people can give the reasoning. Taṇhā has already arisen and it's black kamma.

So, it should give the black result. It’s right, but if it will give the result must be in this life and can’t follow to next life. It’s difficult to find someone knows how to consume foods. If not, it’s like eating poison. It's also all right if you want to eat with contemplation of impermanence. They are the same.

In a talk on foods offering, dated 22nd April, 1962, to the monks and lay disciples at Mogok Centre, Sayadaw taught them how to consume foods.

Today, dāna is offering for the realization of Nibbāna. During the eating don’t consume with lobha, dosa and moha. Spreading/ sending metta to the donors and eat the foods. If you eat in a usual way and go back home will pay your debts with the khandhas.

We consume foods with spreading metta and reflection/ contemplation are paying your debts. (He explained the reflection of foods by the monks). Don’t take it as only teaching for the monks. It relates to everyone. (In Thailand there are four reflections on the four requisites by monks and lay Buddhists as elements, foulness-asubha and not-self for every day reflection).

In this way including with metta and paññā, you are not in debts. If you eat and still find faults with the foods and become a fault. Another way of consuming is with vipassanā contemplation. Foods and tongue contact and taste consciousness arises. It arises by two causes. After arising and it disappears. Eating with the impermanence is also not in debts because it's not getting the khandha.

Therefore, whatever food you are eating, consume with metta and knowledge. We consume foods with the four noble truths. These were coming from the Saṃyutta Nikāya. We consume things with the goal of freedom from becoming a slave and arriving at Nibbāna.

Yogis should practice hard with māna. When you realize the Dhamma and it cut off māna. It’s like use poison as medicine. Without taṇhā and māna in the practice effort (viriya) becomes weak. If you don’t really desire Nibbāna you’ll not do it. With taṇhā and get Nibbāna and it also abandons taṇhā.

Practice without desire and the practice will be in normal way (not much development). It becomes slow. Practicing with strong desire can quickly realize it. Today it becomes clear why it takes very slow for the realization; because without the desire of taṇhā.

[In the 37 Bodhi-pakkhiya-dhamma, there are four bases of power — Iddhipāda. The first one is desire (chanda).] You have to understand māna also in this way. Don’t take it as only the path knowledge abandons taṇhā and māna. Insight knowledges also abandon them.

Even with the help of taṇhā and māna and still can’t realize Nibbāna, at least with the effort develops insight knowledges. Ñāṇa is cutting off them. In the beginning of practice yogis should work hard with taṇhā and māna.

revised on 2019-10-02; cited from https://oba.org.tw/viewtopic.php?f=22&t=4192&p=35942#p35942 (posted on 2019-02-14)

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