The Importance of Anicca

revised on 2021-03-15

Dhamma Talks by Mogok Sayadaw; (no date)

You all have been listened to dhammas (Suññātā dhammas, sacca dhammas etc.). You understand them, and also have seen impermanence. With the cessation of contact (phassa) and feeling (vedanā) ceases. For example, bitten by mosquito and become itchy. Bitten by mosquito is contact and itchy is feeling.

Phassa paccaya vedanā — contact conditions feeling. No mosquito bites you and the itch also ceases. Phassa nirodha vedanā nirodho — with the cessation of contact and feeling also ceases. With the cause conditions and result arises. With the cause ceases and the result also ceases.

You have to understand these things without any doubt. Then your wrong view falls away. You don't need to be afraid of it even though you die with the painful feelings — dukkha vedanā because wrong views and doubt fall away during your practice. You get the purification of view and doubt (diṭṭhivisuddhi and kankhāvitarana visuddhi).

It falls away with the insight knowledge but still not with the Path Knowledge yet. When you are seeing impermanence, the body not disappears. Only with the cessation of impermanence and the body will disappear. Wrong view and doubt are the two dhammas sending beings to painful births.

Therefore, I advise you to die courageously near death (i.e., discerning impermanence with practice). Yesterday talk I was leaving this point. So today I am adding it here. (Yesterday Sayadaw gave a talk based on the Sotanugati sutta of Aṅguttara Nikāya.)

Today I’ll continue to talk from the Saṃyutta Nikāya. Why did the Buddha enter into parinibbāna (i.e., passing away)? Because his direct disciples were not left anymore. (i.e., Buddha’s Vineyya) (They were from the Pañcavaggi — the first five disciples to his last disciple Subhadda, who only needed his direct helps).

But there are still people with their teachers (This is also one of the reasons the Teaching still exists). It’s necessary for you to have ears to listen and have someone to teach you. Near the end of his passing away, the Buddha reminded us that mind and body dhammas were having the nature of arising and passing away. Therefore, don’t forget them.

I also teach impermanence. The Buddha taught them for 45 years. Only by seeing impermanence can realize Nibbāna. Impermanence is dukkha sacca. By penetrating of dukkha sacca, realize Nibbāna. Your body is also impermanent. You will see impermanence if you look at the 31 realms of existence. Not seeing impermanence is like a blind person. Your reliable dhamma is impermanence.

You will realize Nibbāna in this life if you discern impermanence very well. If this not happen, it will be sure in next life. The Buddha gave this guarantee in the sutta in the Aṅguttara Nikāya. If you discern impermanence, greed, hatred, and delusion never arise. The Buddha never taught as anicca paccaya lobha, dosa, moha — impermanence conditions greed, hatred, and delusion.

If you are discerning impermanence, it becomes jhāna paccayo and magga paccayo. It has the five path factors = three samādhi factors + two paññā factors. If you do only jhāna, there are no wisdom factors. By doing paññā and is including jhāna. The practice I teach you include jhāna and paññā together. Jhāna and magga are together in every vipassanā contemplation. Outside the Buddha teaching (sāsana) only jhāna exists; whereas inside the sāsana, don’t do this only.

Jhāna and magga have to be combined. Someone who practices jhāna should stabilize the object of contemplation. For the asubha object (loathsomeness), not let the asubha disappears. For the paṭhavī object (earth), not let the paṭhavī disappears. Therefore, It is clear that jhāna itself does not lead to Nibbāna.

The way of jhāna and magga together was mentioned in the Saṃyutta and Aṅguttara Nikāya as yuganandha way — harmonious way. Jhāna is samatha and magga is vipassanā. Samatha has to straighten it. And vipassanā has to discern it. In the five jhanic factors not include magga. Straighten the mind towards vanishing phenomenon is jhāna. And to discern its vanishing is ñāṇa (ñāṇa). It’s the way of jhāna and ñāṇa.

In front is arising and vanishing. And following behind is jhāna and magga. What is the benefit of discerning anicca? It is moving out kilesa. If not seeing impermanence, the mind is latent with kilesa. Devadatta had been swallowed by the earth because it was heavy with kilesa for him; not because he was fat. Your khandha boat is heavy with kilesa. You have to cut out the kilesa for its lightness.

In this way your khandha boat will become light and can cross over the taṇhā river to the other shore. I am urging you every day to contemplate impermanence. Because I am worrying that you’ll be swallowed by earth. Do you have any pity for yourself? Except this job, there is no other work can free from it. The Buddha taught the way with samādhi and follow with paññā.

revised on 2021-03-15; cited from (posted on 2019-02-26)

  • Content of Part 9 on "Dhamma Talks by Mogok Sayadaw"

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