Seeing Nibbāna with the Pure Mind

revised on 2019-12-02

Dhamma Talks by Mogok Sayadaw; 23rd August 1962

You must know about Nibbāna in practicing dhamma to Nibbāna; to know about the place of the destination and try to practice for arriving there. If not, you will not try for it. King Milinda wanted to know the following six questions and he asked Ven. Nāgasena.

① Phenomena arisen by kamma
② Phenomena arisen by causes
③ Phenomena arisen by temperature – utu
④ Phenomena not arisen by kamma
⑤ Phenomena not arisen by causes
⑥ Phenomena not arisen by utu.

① Cetanā – volition – kamma causes living beings to arise. Kamma causes mind and matter to arise. ② Seeds, trees and forest fire arisen by causes (fire, seeds) ③ Temparature causes earth, water, air and mountain to arise. Sky and Nibbāna phenomena are not arisen by kamma, causes and temperature.. Nibbāna is not the path of kamma; you have to remember it as the path of knowledge (ñāṇa) instead.

(Sayadaw made a critical view on people asking Nibbāna with prayers and merits). If you try to attain Nibbāna with kamma will not get it. I want you to try it with ñāṇa. You can’t connect it with cause and effect. Therefore every day I am talking to you searching with knowledge.

You must regard knowledge (ñāṇa) as the main point/factor. Nibbāna is the way with the path factors of right view – sammādiṭṭhi maggan. Nibbāna is ñāṇa way. Therefore the Buddha was searching Nibbāna with knowledge and leaving kamma behind. You have your own ageing and death. Can you separate ageing and death with you?

Ven. Nāgasena explained Nibbāna to King Milinda. It’s not arising at the present. If arising at the present and everyone’ll see it. Also it not had arisen. This is not the kind of dhamma arisen by others; not the past dhamma, and not the present dhamma, also not a future dhamma.

Some people makes prayers such as “may we realize Nibbāna in the end of our lives”. (Sayadaw corrected their mistakes) The ending of becoming never happens without practice. This is the same as “may we never realize Nibbāna”. Don’t put the words of at the end of my life in your prayers. It should be only “may my practice supports the realization of Nibbāna”.

You have to make it yourself if you want to end it. It is wrong if you take it as it will end by itself. It will end if you want to end it by practice and meeting with a spiritual friend – kalynamitta. You have to correct your traditional view. It will never end if you leave it by itself (i.e., it's important of the practice and not only rely on kamma). It’s not a kind of dhamma made by other. Therefore the Buddha said, “Teaching people is my task. Practicing is your duty.” Nibbāna is free from three periods of time (had arisen, is arising and will arise).

If, it’s free from the periods of time, should we take it as not existing? We can’t know it with the five sense doors of the eye, body, etc., among the six senses doors. We can only know and see with the mind door. Do you satisfy with the saying of looking with the mind? Sleeping and thinking are also the mind. So you can ask me as does every mind can see Nibbāna? With a clear question and will appreciate the answer.

You can see it with the pure mind whereas you can’t if it’s not pure; only with the mind not mixed with kilesa. Your mind is still not pure if you're still not seeing Nibbāna. If practicing, we are the disciples of the ariya. Don’t mix-up with the five hindrances.

Knowledge(ñāṇa) becomes quite sharp with the discerning of impermanence and disenchantment. But it’s still in the āsava of the sense sphere. Vipassanā knowledges are still mixed with kilesa; still not free from the sphere of āsava. There are three types of mind (mano): ① mano mixed with kilesa ② ñāṇa mind in the sphere of kilesa ③ mano free from kilesa.

The mind will see Nibbāna when it thoroughly penetrated dukkha and not wanting of it. It will be free from kilesa, and seeing Nibbāna only when magga citta arises. Even the arising of insight knowledges are still under the influence of ignorance. The pure ñāṇa is lokuttara ñāṇa. It's still not pure if not arriving to the Path Knowledge. It's still not pure after the disenchantment and not ending of it. So this is about pure knowledge and not kamma.

At the time the mind is pure will see Nibbāna. This is the thing of a noble person (ariyan). So it’s free from the three periods of time. Today we know about ourselves. Nibbāna does not accept someone who has the leprosy of kilesa. People don’t want to go Nibbāna. Instead they are wanting to be near the fire.

They have the kilesa leprosy so that they can’t close to Nibbāna (This simile came from the Māgandiya Sutta). Nibbāna has nothing to do with the place. The mind is pure at the time can see it at anywhere and at any time. Purity and impurity of the mind depend on sharp or not sharp knowledges.

So insight knowledges arise for this process. Also has connection with far or not far from kilesa. In the Dhammacakka-pavattana Sutta – the First Discourse mentioned three knowledges; ① Udayabbaya ñāṇa – or Yathābhūta ñāṇa – the knowledge of rise and fall ② Nibbidā ñāṇa – knowledge of disenchantment ③ Magga ñāṇa – the Path Knowledge.

It had arranged for kilesa; ① Knowing anicca, dukkha and anatta are not yet disenchanting to the mind and body. ② is the Knowledge of the middle level. ③ Seeing Nibbāna with the freedom from the sphere of dukkha. ① and ② are saṅkhāre passati – seeing saṅkhāra dhamma ③ is Nibbānaṁmaggasa – nibbānaṁphalasa – seeing Nibbāna with Path and Fruition Knowledges.

revised on 2019-12-02; cited from (posted on 2019-04-12)

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