Craving and Suffering

revised on 2021-07-28

Dhamma Talks by Mogok Sayadaw; 21st January 1961

During the Contemplation and you will see the impermanence of the arising dhamma. The arising dhamma is dukkha sacca, by itself is without any knowledge. Also take the contemplative mind as dukkha sacca, by itself is with knowledge.

The contemplative mind is dukkha because of its impermanence. Therefore, impermanent dhamma observes the impermanent dhamma. This is dukkha dhamma observes dukkha dhamma. So, dukkha with knowledge (i.e., contemplative mind) can end dukkha of without knowledge (i.e., objects).

Why is that? Because the D.A. process is cutting off. Dukkha sacca means: duk—disgusting, kha—useless, sacca—truth; the truth of disgusting and useless. Therefore it’s dukkha sacca. What’s the power of dukkha? It's oppressing without any concern to the person with prayers for the khandha.

It’s happening not with misfortune but it appears by taṇhā. There are two kinds of oppression: Oppression with still having the body (i.e., the arising phenomenon); Oppression with until the body disappears. (i.e., the passing away of phenomenon).

Only the body disappears that knowing the real dukkha (i.e., impermanent dukkha).There are two kinds of dukkha; dukkha with khandha not disappears and dukkha with khandha disappears. Dukkha with khandha disappears is the real dukkha. Put the kind of dukkha with the khandha not disappears in the maraṇa dukkha (dukkha of death).

Dukkha with khandha disappears is dukkha sacca – the truth of dukkha. Marana dukkha supports the samatha practice. Dukkha sacca supports vipassanā practice. These are paññatti dukkha and paramattha dukkha. – conceptual and ultimate dukkhas. Marana death is close to dukkha sacca.

It's easy to realize Nibbāna if you have strong perception of death. It's easy to discern dukkha sacca for a person with strong maraṇa, listening to sacca dhamma. Why is that? Because it’s a decisive support – upanisaya paccayo to dukkha sacca. You have few dukkha if you have few affection. Therefore before vipassanā practice reflection on death – maraṇanusati has great benefit.

Dukkha sacca is oppressing more for someone with more craving (taṇhā, samudaya). Someone with few craving has few dukkha. There are two kinds of oppression: bodily suffering and mental suffering – kayika and cetasika dukkhas. At first, it's torment with body suffering and then with mental suffering.

The oppression is with their companions; such as 96 kinds of diseases, 25 kinds of dangers, etc. Wanting to change the bodily postures very often is bodily dukkha. From impermanence to arrive at dukkha sacca you must contemplate a lot.

In this way will arrive to the end. Why? Impermanence is still at anicca, dukkha, and anatta. Still not yet arrive to the stage of oppression. In this way taṇhā is becoming thinner; with more knowing and become thinner. Today I am talking about the differences between seeing anicca and sacca.

The differences are; kilesa is momentarily thinning – out and uprooting. Arriving at kicca ñāṇa and the knowledge becomes sharp. Why? Because you know the oppressive nature. You will suffer like this if you have the khandha, and then kilesa thins out.

Only arriving at kata ñāṇa and you will see Nibbāna. Asking you to contemplate impermanence is for the developing of kicca ñāṇa and kata ñāṇa respectively (i.e., to know dukkha sacca and seeing the end of dukkha sacca).

At the time of seeing anicca, kilesa is not very thinning out yet. Only at the time of seeing dukkha and kilesa becomes very thin (at the time of seeing the oppressive nature). At the time of seeing anicca, dukkha is still bearable because it is seeing dukkha momentarily.

Kilesa dies out only by seeing the oppressive nature. You can see the developing of dukkha sacca only by seeing anicca. Knowing sacca is sacca ñāṇa. Knowing the oppressive nature is kicca ñāṇa.

With the maturity of kicca ñāṇa and will arrive to the kata ñāṇa (the ending of dukkha.) These are the three knowledges. If sacca ñāṇa becomes mature and will arrive to kicca ñāṇa. Seeing the impermanence of dukkha is sacca ñāṇa.

After kilesa thins out continue with the practice and the knowledge of not wanting arises. It becomes kata ñāṇa with its cessation. The teacher is wrong if he can’t teach these stages. The disciple has not yet discerned that these three stages are also not Nibbāna.

How many kinds of kicca ñāṇa? In the four meanings of dukkha sacca:

  1. Pīḷanāṭṭha (Pīḷana-aṭṭha) – oppressive nature, mind/body oppress and torment the person. It’s the active part.
  2. Saṅkhatāṭṭha (Saṅkhata-aṭṭha) – conditioning by taṇhā – craving. It is the passive part.
  3. Santāpāṭṭha (Santāpa-aṭṭha) – khandha is always burning with kilesa fire.
  4. Vipariṇāmāṭṭha (Vipariṇāma-aṭṭha) – khandha always has the changing nature.

The builder of the khandha is taṇhā. For example, taṇhā is like a manager (employer). And kamma is like an employee. So kamma is working for taṇhā. Who is the more fearful one? Therefore taṇhā is more fearful than kamma (Human beings are in the opposite and worshipping taṇhā)

Taṇhā is saṅkhārakkhandha. Even it arises and ceases, its power (energy) is leaving behind. Therefore the Buddha called it taṇhā – the carpenter, the builder and not referred to kamma as such. Kamma can’t reject it as – I don’t want to do it if taṇhā is still existing. So the Buddha used it as taṇhā samudaya sacca and not kamma samudaya sacca.

[In one of his talks; Sayadaw mentioned that the Bodhisatta’s perfections were coming from the over four incalculable aeons – asankheyyakappa of cultivation. Therefore, his kammic energy is also incalculable. The Buddha’s power is one of the inconceivable. But after no more taṇhā and everything was finished for him. If he could come back again and again means still have taṇhā]

With the cessation of taṇhā, Nibbāna arises. Kamma is naturally going with it if taṇhā ceases. Even though taṇhā arises and ceases, its energy is leaving behind. Therefore, beings suffer with its arrangements (Gave the example of foot baller and the ball).

You’re going along the direction sent by taṇhā without your wishes. Until taṇhā not dies, it’ll never discard its power (gave another example of a tailor). Someone with latent taṇhā and it’ll connect only dukkha. Someone has a lot of inversion (vipallāsa) and think it as connection with happiness (sukha).

It’ll never connect to sukha but only dukkha. But we are talking about it as good kamma from death to connect with birth. After that comes bhavaṅga citta – life continuum mind. It’s dukkha sacca. Anantara paccayo – proximity condition, the result is without delay (no intermediate stage). This is giving dukkha without gap between them. Don’t take the cause and effect connection, but as dukkha connects to dukkha.

Taṇhā is ordering kamma; “Go and connect like this, connect like this.” There is not any good point in kamma. After birth with consciousness and bhavaṅga citta, after that adverting mind (āvajjana) arises. Taṇhā connects the mind with proximity condition – anantara paccayo, (without any gap).

Therefore whatever mind arises only dukkha sacca arises. Every mind arises and disappears. Put on the right thought glasses – sammā – saṅkappa on the right view eyes – sammā – diṭṭhi and will see clear. It is only dukkha continues.

Therefore the nature of taṇhā is like a tailor having the power of conditioning. It’s saṅkhata dukkha sacca. It arises with the condition of taṇhā and saṅkhata dhamma. It controls the 31 realms of existence. Your thought on taṇhā is as an ordinary small thing (So, all worldlings do not take it seriously and they suffer.).

It connects with dukkha and not sukha. Connection by impermanence and only impermanence arises. Eating is dukkha, bathing is dukkha, excreting and urinating is dukkha, etc. Its power is going up to the worlds of Brahma gods. There is no other thing except this connection of dukkha sacca. Therefore the Buddha said that I only taught dukkha and the cessation of dukkha.

[ Sayadaw continued to talk about taṇhā with kāmāsava and bhavāsava – taints of sensuality and becoming. Both of them are taṇhā. The differences are with the types of person who creates them: the one with big and the other with small taṇhās.

Kāmāsava created the realms below the Brahma gods, and bhavāsava creates the worlds of the Brahma gods' worlds. From sotāpanna to anāgāmin, they destroy kāmāsava by stages, and arahants destroy bhavāsava.]

Always reflect as all dukkha come from taṇhā. During the observing don’t reflect. What’ll happen if you reflect? And it becomes cintayamāna ñāṇa and not bhāvanāmaya ñāṇa (Reflection and Observing). They are different. Don’t be mixed up.

What are the differences between cintayamāna ñāṇa and bhāvanāmaya ñāṇa? With cintayamāna ñāṇa more bhavaṅga cittas arise and in bhāvanāmaya ñāṇa less bhavaṅga cittas. Bhavaṅga cittas take the objects of the past. Cintayamāna is thinking, planning, reflecting.

Let a time for the reflection. And let a time for observing. In this way it becomes quicker in the practice. It's cintayamāna to reflect on one’s own khandha with truths. Contemplation of impermanence is bhāvanāmaya. With these two practices kilesas not easily come in between the practice.

What’re the differences between less and more bhavaṅga cittas? It is a dukkha paṭipadā person (pracitce with difficulties) with more bhavaṅga cittas. It has connection with kilesas. Contemplation without reflection and the realization is slow.

[How to use cintayamāna and bhāvanāmaya ñāṇa? Sayadaw said cintayamāna was helpful to stop kilesas coming in during vipassanā. He encouraged yogis as before sitting should reflect dukkha or the dangers of taṇhā (i.e., cintayamāna and then sit for bhāvanāmaya. More bhavaṅga citta means with more kilesas or dukkha paṭipadā person.]

Taṇhā connects to kamma, to consciousness, to mind/body, etc. Except magga paccayo – path condition, everything is made and connected by taṇhā. Making it into a cycle and is called oghā – floods. Without thoughts and ñāṇa is not right. Including the Bodhisatta and wise people were also using it.

Taṇhā is tormenting someone with the prayers for the khandha. Connection of dukkha without breaks is also taṇhā. Vipassanā is looking at the injuries afflicting by taṇhā. It’s oppressive and conditioned in different ways that dukkha sacca.

Let the conditions be; “Do you want to be oppressed?” We have to think about these two points. Oppressed means for the passive side. Accept everything to come. Oppressive means the active side. The mind oppresses the mind and form oppresses form.

These are the two points of pīḷanāṭṭha – oppression. Saṅkhatāṭṭha (Saṅkhata-aṭṭha) – knowing that it’s happening according to one’s desire (i.e., desire for the khandha.).

revised on 2021-07-28; cited from (posted on 2019-03-31)

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