Right Association

revised on 2020-06-15

Dhamma Talks by Mogok Sayadaw; 22nd June 1962

[Based on a sutta from Sutta Nipāta; The Buddha taught associate with saddhā and paññā (faith and wisdom). No need to afraid of lobha-greed, dosa-anger and moha-delusion. As a worldling these mental states will arise with the mind, when the causes are there. These defilements are latent in it as a potentiality.

The important thing is when they arise, associated with saddhā and paññā to observe them. Saddhā here means trust in the Buddha and Dhamma. And these unwholesome mental states become friends. They give you knowledge (ñāṇa). Don’t forget, ehi-passiko — come and observe me!]

Every day I am talking about important things. Every day in society people are talking and acting with lobha, dosa and moha that most unwholesome dhammas arising among them. Not every unwholesome dhamma lead to painful existence. I will talk in accordance with the Buddha’s teaching.

So don’t be afraid of them. Just do what I’ll tell you. Dhamma of which dispels the unwholesome dhamma comes in, and you can’t fall into there. Before, most Buddhists take it as all unwholesome dhamma leads to painful existences. We have to make a clear note that there are unwholesome dhammas leading to painful existences whereas some are not. Also don’t think that every wholesome dhamma is good.

There are wholesome dhammas freeing you from dukkha and some are not. There are wholesome dhammas leading to Nibbāna and some are not. Normally it's even not easy to describe in this way. If there is disease and there is medicine. Not getting the method and we are afraid of what should not be afraid. And also we are not afraid of what should be afraid.

These things can be happened. All these dhammas are coming from wrong association. Here not means the wrong association with people but with the wrong dhammas. Have to associate with faith (saddhā). Here is not the faith of givings and offerings (dāna).

Faith in the all knowing power of the Buddha (sabbaññutā ñāṇa) and Dhamma can destroy kilesas. Also, have faith in the noble saṅgha (ariyas). So at first associate with saddhā. Have faith in that sabbaññutā ñāṇa knowing everything. Have faith in that his teachings can give the three kinds of happiness. (These are: human, celestial and Nibbānic happiness; in short, mundane and supramundane happiness).

Again, associate with paññā and observe the khandha. Then you’ll see the impermanence of the khandha. The Buddha also taught about it. You do not see it if you don’t believe (because you will not try for it).

In the Sutta Nipāta the Buddha taught that people associated with saddhā and paññā would see Nibbāna. Not only the dukkha of painful existences but also all the other dukkha will end. He said that all the five khandhas were impermanent.

Even you don’t know about it and have faith in it. After that with paññā and practice can’t you see impermanence? For example, you see a gem stone and greed arises. And you'll see its impermanence when you observe with paññā. At that moment greed is not greed anymore, instead becomes impermanent. Impermanence does not lead you to painful birth.

Only greed sends you there. It becomes anicca (not existing) and magga (knowing). It's also in accordance with the Satipaṭṭhāna Pali text. It was mentioned when greed, angry mind, etc. arise and have to know them. And then these lobha and dosa, etc. are not sending you to apāyas and instead leading to Nibbāna. Foes become friends, because you associate with saddhā and paññā. It creates magga to realize Nibbāna.

I am warning you don’t let lobha and dosa go its own ways. For worldlings unwholesome dhamma will arise when the causes are there. Therefore right association is very important. You will be in trouble if you are associating with clinging (upādānaṁ) and actions (kamma). So you have to associate with ñāṇa.

Even lobha and dosa are foes and they become our beneficial friends. Some people are not good in sitting meditation and when the hindrances are coming in; they get up and leave the place. Do you have to run away or associate with saddhā and paññā? The Buddha said that you were a worldling, lobha, dosa and moha dhammas would arise.

Have faith in it and observe with paññā and become magga. I am not teaching a strange dhamma. I am teaching you in accordance with the Pali Text. With the right association and will be free from all dukkha. With faith and knows the arising, associate with paññā and will know the impermanence. Do you have to be afraid of unwholesome dhamma? Are you afraid of association with bad companions?

This kind of knowledge is not easy to come by. So note this point very carefully. Association with saddhā and paññā and don’t with clinging, action, sorrow, lamentation, etc. With the right association and D. A. process is cutting off. Without it and the process will continue. It’s impermanent that without the I-ness. Lobha and diṭṭhi are together.

Lobha sends you to the realm of ghosts (peta). And diṭṭhi sends you to the realm of hells. Association with saddhā and paññā become insight right view (vipassanā sammā-diṭṭhi). In the beginning of practice it's only ordinary saddhā and paññā. After sometime it becomes the spiritual faculties (indriyas). With the maturity and become the power (bala).

With more mature and become saddhā maggan and paññā maggan. This is the end of the path. Why still we are not seeing Nibbāna yet? You have to know that it’s not mature yet. Therefore before going to teach someone, the Buddha had to observe the maturity of his/her spiritual faculties (Buddhists rely on the outside powers should contemplate this point seriously).

[Translator’s Note: Sayadaw had been to Rangoon (Yan-gon) (at that time the capital city of Burma) only once in his life time. This was the last year of his life (1962) for receiving the Aggamahāpandita title for his service to the Buddha Sāsana.

Staying in Rangoon (Yan-gon) for a week, he taught people and answered their questions. This period was 7th July to 14th July, 1962. He knew that he would pass away in that year. The people there requested him to come back again. He replied that his khandha would answer for them. And continued to say, they met him quite late.

At that time it was very close to enter the Vassa — Rain Retreat. He went back to Amarapura, spent his last Rain there, on the day of Kaṭhina Ceremony-Kaṭhina Cloth offerings, and passed away in a remarkable way. At here, it includes some of his talks in Rangoon (Yan-gon).]

revised on 2020-06-15; cited from https://oba.org.tw/viewtopic.php?f=22&t=4192&p=35960#p35960 (posted on 2019-02-16)

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