Dukkha and Nibbāna

revised on 2019-11-05

Dhamma Talks by Mogok Sayadaw; 24th June 1960

In the Udana Pali Text, the Buddha said that Nibbāna did exist. If you ask; “How does it exist?” It does not exist for everyone. King Milinda asked Ven. Nāgasena; “What kinds of people have Nibbāna (realize)?”

Someone is developing the practice and knowing what should be known will get it. If you thoroughly penetrate DUKKHA will get it. You must remember this one (This point is very important. No one realizes Nibbāna by prayers and outside power without practice. Realization never happens without the practice of the four Noble Truths).

Someone thoroughly penetrates it as only impermanent dukkha sacca and will know that there is no sukha at all. Someone doesn’t penetrate dukkha sacca will not abandon samudaya sacca (i.e., taṇhā) and, not develop magga sacca (the Eight – fold Path). With the continuation of the dependent origination process will never realize it.

I am asking you to contemplate feeling (vedanā). And you’ll ask me; “Why seeing the arising and vanishing of it?” The reason is; after the feeling arises and before the contemplative mind (ñāṇa) comes in, there are a lot of bhavaṅga cittas (life continuum minds) arise between them (i.e., between feeling and ñāṇa).

(This is the cognitive mind process mentioned in the Abhidhamma). At the time ñāṇa comes in and seeing that the arising feeling is not there anymore. It is arising and vanishing and you only see that. And you’ll ask; “Isn’t contemplate the non-existence?” Non – existence is the concept of not really exist.

If you contemplate the not existing, and it’ll become contemplate the concept. In the text it also mentioned that vipassanā had to contemplate the present moment. Mind dhammas (nāma dhamma) are arising and vanishing in the rate of hundred thousand billions times within a wink of an eye. Therefore it’s sure that you’ll find it not there anymore.

When you come in for the contemplation, the arising feeling has appeared for sometime already. Therefore vipassanā means contemplate the not existing. There are two kinds of not existing: totally not existing and from existence to non-existence. Totally not existing is concept. From existence to non-existence is not concept.

(Sayadaw gave an example of an elephant. An elephant came to the compound of a house, roundabout at midnight. It slept there and left some droppings and went away in the very early morning. People of the house waking up in the morning saw the elephant’s foot prints and the droppings.

But at that time the elephant was not there anymore. Although the people knew that the elephant was sleeping here last night. You should know anicca in this way).

Feeling exists as the paramattha dhamma. Not existing is anicca (disbanding) which the contemplative mind sees it not there. It’s the knowledge of knowing the existence to non-existence. It’s not knowing the totally not existing. It becomes permanent (nicca) if you contemplate the existing.

It becomes concept (paññatti) if you contemplate the non-existence. It becomes the real vipassanā knowledge if you can catch on the existence to non-existence with the contemplation. Feeling is arising and also disappearing. You only find this.

It’s the contemplation of the dukkha of the vedanā. Magga only sees dukkha arising and dukkha ceasing. Vedanā’s anicca is dukkha sacca, knowing it is magga sacca, taṇhā – upādāna – kamma not arising is samudaya sacca and jāti – jara – maraṇa not arising is nirodha sacca.

By doing one and finish the four truths. Thoroughly penetrate dukkha sacca is your task. You can contemplate anyone which you appreciate (i.e., body feeling, mind and dhamma). If you see arising dukkha and ceasing dukkha and it’s right.

(Sayadaw continued to talk on Channovada Sutta, about Ven. Channa who committed suicide, MN.144 Channovādasuttaṃ). Someone succeeded with the practice of seeing impermanence, and at the time of death could change the rebirth sign.

(Here Ven. Channa became an arahant before passed away). It was becoming a habitual kamma – āciṇṇaka-kamma for him that with the practice he could change the rebirth sign.

revised on 2019-11-05; cited from https://oba.org.tw/viewtopic.php?f=22&t=4241&p=36220#p36220 (posted on 2019-04-01)

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