Rely on Dhamma, Not Outside Power


revised on 2021-03-15


Dhamma Talks by Mogok Sayadaw; 7th October 1962

From many past lives, we had done many wholesome and unwholesome kammas. These two wholesome and unwholesome dogs are following us and the unwholesome dog is much stronger. Unwholesome minds are more prominent if we observe mind process of every day. With kamma used up and living beings die means killed by unwholesome dhamma.

There are many wholesome and unwholesome kammas exist in everyone. Therefore, instead of saying two dogs are following us, it’s more true to say that a pack of dogs following us. If we think it’s safe, then we are very foolish. Therefore, we have to walk on the way of freedom from dogs and will arrive to the place of Nibbāna free from dogs.

In regard to this, I’ll tell a story. [Sayadaw told about the story of Subrahmā Devata and his 1,000 celestial nymphs. The Buddha couldn’t save them directly by preventing them from falling into Hell. ] Only the Dhamma can save us (This point is different from some other Buddhists who rely on the outside power. Buddha and enlightened beings are not saviours. They only show the way to safety.).

And then Sayadaw talked on practice. In front is impermanent dhamma. The seeing ñāṇa behind is also dhamma (anicca/magga). It can only save you if you can practice and know the Dhamma. There are no other reliable things except the Dhamma. (i.e., outside powers, instead we have to develop inside power).

All your bones were piling up to 13 miles of height, between two Buddhas because you all had died from being bitten by dogs. Except with the practice of maggan (Noble Eightfold Path), there is no other real refuge.

[Subrahmā Devata’s story told us some important insight on the working of kammas. Because of craving for sensual pleasure and becoming (kāma taṇhā and bhāva taṇhā), most Buddhists rely on doing wholesome kammas for the round of existence.

But what they don’t know is taṇhā is like a drop of honey on the edge of a razor blade. So we always have to remember the warning of the last words of the Buddha — not living our lives with negligence. ]


revised on 2021-03-15; cited from https://oba.org.tw/viewtopic.php?f=22&t=4202&p=35996#p35996 (posted on 2019-02-21)


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