Dāna and Nibbāna

revised on 2020-06-15

Dhamma Talks by Mogok Sayadaw; 5th December 1961

[A talk on dāna offering. U Kyaw Thein and Daw Tin Hla (a couple) offered a Dhamma Hall for practice. Sayadaw explained to them how to make dāna for a decisive support – upanissaya for Nibbāna.]

Dāna gives the rebirth – linking result (paṭisandhi) and present life result (pavatti). Pavatti result means to encounter with a good teacher and helping a decisive support for the cause of the path. It is leading to the path condition (magga paccayo).

To encounter a good teacher is the power of decisive support. Dāna is also a decisive support for the path condition. To arrive human world and encounter with the Buddha’s Teachings are upanissaya. Without upanissaya and having the ñāṇa ear to listen sacca dhamma is impossible.

The Buddha himself said that upanissaya helped the path condition and could let Path and Fruition Knowledges to arise. (Sayadaw talked about the five results coming from the offering of monastery buildings in the Aṅguttara Nikāya These are: Āyu, vaṇṇa, sukha, paññā and bala – long life, good looking, happiness, wisdom and power).

Wealth and properties can be changed at any time before death. It can be met with the five dangers of water, fire, king, thieves and one’s own family members. It can be also misused and spending them with one’s kilesa. Therefore, dāna offering is like taking things out from a house on fire. You can’t take it with you if you die, you have to leave behind.

(People who do not do dāna, merits and wholesome things are foolish indeed because human world is the most important place for living beings to cultivate goodness and practice for transcending dukkha. Instead most human beings are wasting their precious time and chances with sensual pleasure and unwholesome dhamma).

Dāna offerings are like taking things out from the burning house and save it as one’s own properties. You should not think it as reducing or spending your wealth. The thirty-one realms of existence are kilesa fire. So, they are burning with the fire of dukkha. The Buddha was admonishing us for not taking out things from the burning fire.”

(Even most people don’t know as these are burning with fire. And it’s worth to do it. Here Sayadaw mentioned a current news happened in Rangoon (Yan-gon) where a man was robbed and killed by robbers). His khandha and properties are burned down with fire.

(Again, Sayadaw talked about the last day of the Buddha. The Buddha laid down his burdened khandha at the sal-grove in Kusinārā. Because of the saṅkhāra dhamma and nothing was left there nowadays. All the grandeur was gone. It was quite a saṁvega story. It was not more than a dream).

By performing dāna and it finished with anicca. It is also the same nature if you don’t perform. Dāna offerings with the enriching of wisdom finished the same. But it is following with non-greed, loving kindness and wisdom (alobha, adosa and amoha). It follows with lobha, dosa and moha if you let it finishing by itself. The differences are one ends dukkha; and the other connecting dukkha. (We should think about this point seriously).

(Sayadaw talked about the six wholesome and unwholesome minds mentioned about with the D.A. process.) Offering dāna with alobha, adosa and amoha (paññā) is not connecting saṁsāra. Offering with seeing dukkha sacca and can’t connect dukkha. Not wanting is magga – alobha. Not wanting the khandha and properties are offering with magga. (He instructed the couple how to have right attention).

The khandha is always burning with eleven kinds of fire. To have the khandha is becoming fuels. Therefore, wanting to end the fuels (khandha) and extinguishing the fire (kilesa) that we are performing dāna. A dāna combines with truth (sacca) and volition (cetanā). Cetanā (kamma) has to follow behind knowledge.

(Sayadaw gave an example with the Buddha) The Bodhisatta (Buddha to-be), for many past lives (incalculable) had done a lot of great dāna pāramīs (perfection for givings), but only with the knowledge of becoming a Buddha. If his volitions (cetanā/kamma) had to follow him would not become a Buddha.

But only let cetanā following behind knowledge (ñāṇa) that became a Buddha, and attained Nibbāna. Ñāṇa as a predominant quality is seeing dukkha. Ñāṇa is as a leader, whereas cetanā as a follower. The kammic power becomes blunted even though ñāṇa is still making the kammic power. Therefore, it’s the dhamma cutting off kamma.

revised on 2020-06-15; cited from https://oba.org.tw/viewtopic.php?f=22&t=4362&p=36286#p36286 (posted on 2019-04-12)

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