From Ignorance to Knowledge

revised on 2021-03-15

Dhamma Talks by Mogok Sayadaw; 12th December 1960

[This talk is important. Sayadaw explained how anicca ñāṇa or vipassanā ñāṇas destroyed ignorance — avijjā which is the source of khandha processes. The twelve links in the D. A. process which represent of past, present and future is the right one as explained in the sutta.

Sayadaw explained this point in this talk also supported it. Some Asian and Western scholars cannot see it clearly and taking the three periods as wrong interpretation. ]

Paṭicca-samuppāda is the cause and Paṭicca-samuppanna is the result. Someone not practices taking the khandha as a man or a woman, me or him, etc. Someone practices not thinking in this way. A person without knowing it, ignorance is latent in the mind. Then ignorance arises. This is Paṭicca-samuppāda arising.

After that, with speech and body actions make volitional formation — saṅkhāra. At the time of not contemplating with impermanence is living with ignorance and making saṅkhāra. With saṅkhāra and consciousness − viññāṇaṁ arises. For example, with eyes seeing a person and hate this person with anger (dosa) and worry with sorrow arise (for unwholesome dhamma).

Unwholesome dhamma arises and continues to unwholesomeness. In accordance with the sīla standard this is not unwholesome. But in the mind this becomes unwholesome. Without any practice, the whole day all these things arise in turn. All arising is with ignorance — avijjā and returning to avijjā →saṅkhāra.

Therefore, the circles turning around in whole day are uncountable. So we are running in circle. Starting from ignorance and come back to ignorance. We are making dukkha sacca that the results of khandha dukkha sacca will arise in circle. Born and die born and die and etc. Khandha processes never stop. (It’s quite frightening).

Someone contemplates impermanence and next khandha not arises. If you live idly, khandhas are continuously arising. It becomes knowledge — (vijjā) with the contemplation of impermanence. The dhammas will follow it are cut off, and ignorance before it also cut off.

[Here Sayadaw emphasized two points. ① Stop section 1 (i.e., avijjā → saṅkhāra) ② Stop section three and four (i.e., taṇhā → upādāna → kamma → jāti)]

③ The cessation of the beginning, i.e., point ① and the cutting off behind, i.e., point ②.

Therefore, vipassanā is cutting off one’s bad causes by oneself. This dhamma is showing the cutting off avijjā. With contemplation, become knowledge — (vijjā), ignorance conditions volitional formation not arises — avijjā paccaya saṅkhāra. Avijjā becomes knowledge which cuts off one’s own root cause.

For example, Tin Hla has a cough because of the cold. Giving heat to the body, the cold disappears, no cough anymore (Daw Tin Hla was U Kyaw Thein’s wife. Both were Sayadaw’s close disciples). Present khandhas continue to arise are the causes of avijjā, saṅkhāra, taṇhā, upādāna, kamma of the past life.

With the vipassanā contemplation to these continuous arising khandha and not let the causes, taṇhā, upādāna, and kamma, for the future khandhas to arise. I am asking you to cut off the causes (the past and the present causes). The past causes are section of avijjā, saṅkhāra. The present causes for future are section of taṇhā, upādāna, and kamma.

The knowledge of contemplation of impermanence kills the causes. You are ending your own kamma. This is for someone who knows it, called a knowledgeable person. For someone not know is running in circle — an ignorant person. Making avijjā to become vijjā — ignorance becomes knowledge.

Therefore, vipassanā practice is cutting the beginning of D. A. process. (i.e., avijjā → saṅkhāra → viññāṇa) People don’t know the causes of dukkha and how to cut off. Not knowing impermanence is ignorance and dukkha arises because of it. Digging out the root of ignorance and no poison tree exists and not bears poison fruit.

Contemplation of vipassanā is for the knowledge of four noble truths. Impermanence is dukkha sacca and knowing of it is magga sacca. Not knowing the truth is ignorance — avijjā and knowing it is knowledge — vijjā. By killing the beginning of the cause (avijjā) and khandha can’t arise.

People not practice and connecting dukkha one by one in infinity. Vipassanā means the job of digging out the root of ignorance. (By listening many talks on D. A. process of Mogok Sayadaw, and understand some profound and subtle meanings hidden in it.)

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

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