The Creator: The Deceitful Mind

revised on 2021-03-15

Dhamma Talks by Mogok Sayadaw; 1st to 5th. January 1961

(Sayadaw gave five talks on the mind. It’s very important to understand one’s own mind than any other things because it’s the creator of suffering and happiness to all of us. Without understanding the mind that human beings create a lot of problems, chaos and sufferings from the family level to international level.)


Nāma dhamma is the mind. No mind arises on its own. Except Nibbāna Dhātu; no other dhamma is free from the causes and effect relationship. Because of eyes and form, seeing consciousness arises. If you ask me to say it in the complete causes; there are four causes: eyes, form, the light and attention to see (manasikāra).

Therefore it’s not right to say I see and my mind because it’s nothing to do with you. I am helping you to dispel wrong view. Do the "I" and "me" can really come into the process? You can say I see it but nothing to do with the "I" and belong to the "I". Saying about it one thing and knowing about it is the other. It’s quite different.

So can you say this is me, this I am and this is mine? Seeing consciousness is only seeing consciousness. This is a mind arising by four causes. If one of the causes ceases and it also ceases (e.g., the eyes damage, no object, no light and no attention). The eyes are made by kamma.

Form and light are made by temperature (utu). Attention is made by the mind (nāma). If you know that this is not me, not I am and not mine and free from taṇhā, māna and diṭṭhi. And no kamma arises to connect with them and next birth will not arise. So you don’t encounter with ageing, sickness and death. You know it as mind arises by four causes; wrong view and doubt die away.

This die away is with the intellectual knowing and not by contemplation. It’s called cūḷa-sotāpanna. With this knowledge it's free from falling into the planes of misery for one life. Contemplate the impermanence of the seeing, its disenchantment and then its ending.

After with these process, you'll be free completely from the planes of misery. With intellectual knowledge, you'll be free from it for one life. And then with the contemplation of to the ending is free for the whole saṁsāra. Therefore you should not forget about this.

With the contemplation of impermanence taṇhā, māna and diṭṭhi die and free from saṁsāra. After you know it and become easy. (Important of teacher) You will die with taṇhā, māna and diṭṭhi if you don’t know. Seeing consciousness is arising very fast and if you can’t contemplate it, contemplate the color of the object. All of them are can be contemplated.

(continued to hearing consciousness). Hearing arises by four causes; sound, ear – base, air, attention. You can contemplate hearing consciousness (or) the sound (or) the type of sound (perception). Hearing consciousness is contemplating the internal. Sound is external and the type of sound is internal. Have to contemplate to catch on anyone of them. Then you’ll be safe from the four planes of misery. No need to worry about them.


(Continued the previous talk). Today I’ll start from the nose door. You'll be a cūḷa-sotāpanna if you know smelling – consciousness arises by four causes. And you'll be safe from one life to the planes of misery. Why is that? I smell it and it make me feeling good, etc. and having wrong view with it.

Smelling consciousness arises in the nose. It’s arising and vanishing. This is looking at the dead with the living. Anicca is dead and magga is alive. Every time with the arising and contemplate it. This is alive with the nose – consciousness.

If you don’t know this and don’t know what’s happening to you. You don’t know your own mind. Not knowing is ignorance; and then turning towards volitional formation (saṅkhāra) and birth (avijjā → saṅkhāra → viññāṇa). Paying attention to the in and out breaths and breathing in and out arise (one of the causes, i.e., attention). Knowing with the analytical knowledge of cause and effect is penetrating with the not-self (anatta).

The causes cease and the result also ceases, it means it is not perished by it's own. Arising and vanishing by itself has wrong view in it. Not contemplate this one only but also whatever arising of seeing, hearing, smelling, etc.

Whenever it’s arising with the contemplation and you will see impermanence. This is magga (the path factors). Magga means cutting off saṁsāra. Saṁsāra is the arising of khandha dukkha. It’s cutting off all these dukkha.

You get magga with the contemplation. Contemplate the smell or fragrance / smelly (i.e., perception) if you can’t contemplate the smelling consciousness. Contemplate to catch the impermanence of any – one of them. This is seeing the dead with the living.

This is knowing anicca with magga (the dead is anicca and the living is magga). Anicca is before and magga is after. Therefore you are seeing the already passing away with the non – perishing.

(This is not saying that the contemplative mind is permanent. Two minds can’t arise at the same moment. Sayadaw was very skillful in explaining dhamma in many different ways. This kind of qualities was very rare in teachers).

Dhamma will arise from the six senses-doors accordingly. There are three points which can be contemplated. If you contemplate the smell is external (i.e., nose – consciousness) then breathing in and out consciousness are internal (mind consciousness at the heart base)

(Note: Knowing all the external objects are arising at two places. The five sense-doors; i.e., eyes, ears, nose, tongue and body doors and the mind – door/base). All dhammas arising in the khandha are anicca. Therefore, it’s the contemplation of anicca.

(Sayadaw continued to talk on the tongue – door) tasting consciousness arises by four causes; foods, tongue – base, saliva and attention. Contemplate impermanence if you want to become mahā-sotāpanna. By knowing intellectually is cūḷa-sotāpanna.

(It seems to be, a cūḷa-sotāpanna is someone who has the knowledge of khandha, āyatana, dhātu, D.A. process, suññatā dhamma and discerning impermanence. Some teachers, including Mogok Sayadaw said at least someone had the knowledge of mind and body – purification of view and knowledge of the conditions of mind and body – purification of overcoming doubt).

By seeing impermanence, its disenchantment and its ending and becomes mahā-sotāpanna. Can you say as all the minds are me, I am and mine? By knowing that they all are arising and vanishing, then taṇhā and diṭṭhi will fall away. Seeing impermanence is cutting of the dhamma connect with saṁsāra. Saṁsāra refers to the dangers of ageing, sickness and death.

You have to know taṇhā as connects this life to next life, i.e., to birth. Also it connects kamma to the result. And it connects to dukkha. Therefore taṇhā has three connections and like a tailor. It’s the connector of what is not good. It’ll do the connection of jobs until it dies out.

Now, you catch the culprit which connects saṁsāra. You all are worshipping taṇhā as a master (mentioned some of them). Taṇhā is asking you whatever he wants and after you die sends you to the planes of misery. You are not in pair with taṇhā, because of not knowing. Not knowing is Ignorance. Therefore you don’t know that taṇhā is controlling you.

(Continued to mention about taṇhā in daily life).


A dead body only has the matters of origination from temperature (utusamuṭṭhānarūpa). It doesn’t have the matters of origination from kamma. Therefore no mind arises in the dead body. Body consciousness (kāya viññāna) has four causes to make it arises.

The tangible elements (objects) – phoṭṭhabba dhātu, are earth, water, fire and air elements (paṭhavī, āpo, tejo and vāyo dhātu) + body sensitivity (body-base) + matters originating from kamma (kammasamuṭṭhānarūpa) + attention. Because of these four causes, pleasant and unpleasant body consciousness can arise.

This body consciousness is not made by me or other. Knowing as only by causes and doubt falls away. It’s not a person nor a being and only body consciousness and wrong view dies. This knowledge does not lead to painful birth for one life. Intellectual knowing is not enough yet and must practice.

Every time it arises, contemplate as anicca, dukkha, anatta and asubha. (with one of them) By watching and contemplating them as (perishing and vanishing). Contemplate it until to know its unstable nature. Contemplate it until you can disband the perception of its stable nature. If you can contemplate its finished point and all feelings disappear.

This is the medicine of the Buddha. Anger and displeasure (dosa and domanassa) will follow if you don’t contemplate and take it as painful. And it will connect to the saṁsāra. Why is that? This is your failure of can’t contemplate the pain until it disappears. If you can contemplate with magga and it must disappear. Each contemplation is magga. (Here the importance of sati is clear).

Without taṇhā arising, whoever could contemplate the ending of feeling would realize Nibbāna. (For this point, Sayadaw recited the Pali in the Khandhavagga Saṁyutta).

Taṇhā will arise and continue the D. A. process if you can’t contemplate painful feeling and want it to go away. If you don’t contemplate; avijjā and saṅkhāra arise (by losing sati). If you want it to go away; and taṇhā upādāna arises.

Then, there is no security for the body and you have to go to the planes of misery. At anytime, you can do vipassanā if you can contemplate whatever arising. It becomes medicine if you know how to use it. Whereas it’s for dangers if you don’t. (It becomes poison.)

(This was one of the Burmese Sayings. It’s a very important point for human to contemplate. Mostly human beings are using their bodies for creating unwholesome kammas all the times. We can see these things a lot in nowadays media. Mind pollutions and environmental pollutions are going together. Using it doing wholesome kammas for oneself and others are quite rare. No need to say about transcending it.)

Khandha is always in the state of impermanence and dukkha sacca. How can it be a good fortune for us? However and whatever looking after your body, it's not free from dukkha sacca. One may go to the planes of misery from the body-door. But he also can close the doors to the planes of misery. It's not difficult if you are staying with the contemplation.

You don’t know how to use it and encounter with dangers. With the body – door there are a lot of sufferings going on and on (Sayadaw mentioned some of them. Most of the saṅkhāra dukkha are connection with the body). Only without it that you’ll live with true happiness. True happiness is Nibbāna.

You are not only concern for your body door but also for your wife and children. Does it appear to you the oppression come from the body door? Which one of the doors you have to spend most of the money? Does it still not appear to you the oppression of the body?

If you can’t close your body door and it’ll torment you wherever you are. You have to look after it and still have to fall into the planes of misery. People suffer in hell because they have the bodies. People are hungry because of the body. The sufferings coming from the body door are incalculable and no ending about it.

Whoever can make this body not exists is truly happy. People are doing merits for long life, healthy and fortunes in next life but not including of the realization of Nibbāna. They are just for the sake of the physical body. They are still not having enough for the oppression in this life.

Therefore they are looking for more oppression in next life. Isn’t it too much? You don’t understand the body very well. If you can contemplate the body as anicca, dukkha, anatta and asubha a lot, and do you still have the body to torment you? And you’ll be in peace and happiness. What I am talking about the body door is still little.


Mind base (manāyatana) exists in the heart base (hadayavatthu).

[The Buddha used mind base as vatthu. Hadayavatthu was used by Ven. Buddhagosa. It only used as vatthu in the Abhidhamma Paṭṭhāna. Hadaya sometimes used as heart, sometimes referred to as mind.

The mind base is in the blood of the heart (neither the heart nor the blood). The Buddha not mentioned a specific place for it. One teacher had suggested two possibilities; the heart area and the brain. We feel it at the heart if we have emotions. We are scratching the head if we think something]

There are three causes for mind consciousness arise; mind base, the mirror of mano dvara turning towards mental objects and then thoughts can arise. Thoughts can arise by three causes: mental object (dhammarammana) + mind base + attention.

If you turn the mind base towards the past, present and future mental objects and thoughts arise. If you are turning it towards the objects in the safe even can’t see it and still will appear to you. Therefore mind consciousness is the sharpest one.

If you turn the mind base towards gladden things and the gladden mind arises. If you are turning it towards unpleasant things and the unpleasant mind arises. If you are turning it towards the Buddha and the thought on the Buddha arises.

Why you all are happy and suffered? Because you all are turning the clear mirror of the mind towards the wrong directions. If you are turning towards impermanence and seeing impermanence arises. Turing your mind towards wife and children, sorrow, lamentation follow behind thoughts.

You don’t turn it towards good directions; mostly turning towards the bad directions. The shadows appear in the mirror are like thoughts. You are like a psychotic person who gets a mirror. After getting a mirror, turn it towards everywhere.

And then look into the mirror and smile (laughing), frown, and (crying). Does it appear by itself? Or turning towards wrong direction? If you are turning toward dukkha sacca and knowing dukkha sacca arises.

Don’t turn towards the wrong directions. If not, you’ll shed tears; even no one is beating you. All are turning towards not good, such as worries, concerns, etc. You should turn towards happiness if you want so.

Or turn it towards of knowing anicca, dukkha and anatta. Turning the mirror wrongly that all are in sufferings. You will become a good person if you know this one very well. For the Buddha; if someone had the potentiality of liberation and he would appear in his mirror.

If you are turning your mind to this tree which you heard as having ghost in it and frightening mind arises. This one mind is tormenting all living beings. For example, having a family may be good. So people were turning towards it and after the married life increasing more dukkha. This was making a big mistake.

Is it the cause of kamma or the mirror? Without listening to this kind of talk old man and woman are dying with turning the mirrors to wrong directions, such as worries and displeasure. Is it the past kamma or turning towards the wrong directions? The shadows in the mirror are tormenting them. It’s more painful than beaten with a stick.

(Sayadaw talked about how Ven. Ānanda became a sotāpanna. Ven. Punna taught to the monks by using the simile of the shadow in the mirror).

From today onwards turning your mind towards impermanent dukkha sacca and maggan will arise. Therefore don’t turn it towards the wrong directions.


Mind base contact with thought object, also including attention (adverting – āvajjana) and then thoughts arise. So there are three causes for thought arises. The Buddha also had thoughts. There are two kinds of thought; good to think and not good to think. If you are turning towards worry and worrying mind arises.

These minds arising are not done by you. It arises by three causes. Then your doubt falls away. With a blip it arises from nowhere. After that it vanishes to nowhere. Arising by causes and vanishing by causes, it has the nature of impermanence.

Can you say that the perishing and vanishing nature is me and mine? The arts are made by this mind. Making the world beautiful or ugly is this mind. Cittena niyatiloko – the mind constructs the world. It’s the builder of the world. It is also this mind if you don’t want anything, only for Nibbāna.

Then you have to contemplate impermanence. It's also this mind if you want to end the world or to expand it. Go and have a look at the puppies. Their different forms are by this mind.

Kamma can make mind and body only. Different kinds of forms and decoration are made by the mind. The mind is leading everything by pulling the strings behind. If the mind is wanting the heavenly mansions to appear and it will appear.

The evil mind constructs hell woks and hell fire. You'll suffer accordingly with its arrangements if you are turning the mirror in the wrong directions. All living beings happen in accordance with the mind. All birds lay eggs. But hen egg becomes chick. Duck egg becomes duckling.

Eggs are the same, but because of the chicken mind and it becomes chick. Kamma only gives the mind and body. It happens accordingly, to the parents’ form because of the mind. It's not created by any God. It happens in accordance with the mind, the weather and the temperature.

The white and dark skins are in accordance with temperature. Different forms are in accordance with the mind. Therefore you have to make wholesome minds arise. If you are turning towards unwholesome and D.A. process continues. The wholesome mind arises if it's not turning towards wrongly.

Therefore how to turn the mind is the main point. If you are turning the mind wrongly and it’ll make arrangement for you this way. (This point is very important. What we think and what we are. Always has to check in one’s own mind. Mind one’s own business and not to others).

Turning on the mind is number one. Next, the mind making arrangement is number two. For example, because of the frightening mind and the body is sweating. (Sayadaw continued to give some of the examples.)

Human beings are like a psychotic who gets a mirror, always turning it towards things which are not good. (Therefore most living beings create unwholesome kammas. Most people are taking it as normal and even enjoying it.)

Wars are going on by turning the mind in the wrong directions. Therefore number one is important. The Buddha said that we had to turn our minds. Without sense objects and minds can’t arise.

(The Doctrine of mind is the only reality was not mentioned by Him. The Law of Dependent Origination also not supported this point.)

If you are not turning it and minds can’t arise. If you have no mind and you are dead. Using your mind is number two. What do you think who make the 31 realms of existence? Your mind builds your own hell.

If you want arriving to Nibbāna and turning your mind towards impermanent dukkha sacca. But now, you want to be in heaven and doing things to be there. Even forest, mountain and earth were made by the mind.

(He talked about how human beings effect the natural environments. Nowadays we see these things very clear; pollution, climate change, etc. We also know that how morality and immorality effect human life span and the environments – the natural world in some of the suttas.)

Saṁsāra is becoming a very extensive matter for people who can’t control their minds. Can you ever finish by running along the 31 realms of existence to and fro? Mind consciousness is very extensive (Sayadaw talked about things caused by science and technology).

Kamma is mysterious and so is the mind. With the mysterious mind and the result is also mysterious. So kamma and mind are mixed together. Without kamma and mind, the mystery will cease. Therefore has to practice insight on the mind. Whatever arising of good or bad minds, have to contemplate its impermanence.

It needs to contemplate to overcome it. And then continue to its disenchantment and ending. After that kamma can’t make arrangement and the mind can’t control anymore. There is no other refuge except the contemplation of mind. Husband and wife become disharmony is this mind. And making them in harmony is also this mind (mentioned the family life).

It’s called loka – the world, because of the arising and vanishing. The world made by the mind is always impermanence. With it and you’ll shed tears. Mind is anicca, and whatever its makings are also anicca. Whatever made by anicca is becoming anicca. In this way you’ll never come out from the province of anicca.

Therefore, there is no mind and no form made by it in Nibbāna. Without the mind and body is transcending the world. Mind is the cause of dukkha. Dukkha made by it is the result of dukkha. The happiness without them is NIBBĀNA.

revised on 2021-03-15; cited from (posted on 2019-03-08)

  • Content of Part 10 on "Dhamma Talks by Mogok Sayadaw"

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