Difficult to Know Dukkha and Vedanā

revised on 2019-12-02

Dhamma Talks by Mogok Sayadaw; no date noted

King Milinda asked Ven. Nāgasena; “Does everyone attain Nibbāna?” Someone who can know dukkha and penetrate dukkha will attain it. With these knowledges, it's the cessation of taṇhā. The cessation of taṇhā is Nibbāna. Here are two important points. These are: ① to know dukkha, ② and to penetrate dukkha.

No.② is not wanting dukkha, so taṇhā ceases. No.① is important to know about dukkha. No.② is important for no connection with dukkha. It has to be cut off with knowledge (ñāṇa). It’s important for a teacher to teach the student to know dukkha. It’s also important for the student not wanting dukkha by cutting off.

To know dukkha again and again and developing by not wanting it. The knowledge of not wanting will arise only by knowing about dukkha. If you don’t know, you’re wanting it. Vulture likes the putrid carcass of a dog because it’s with the vulture eye and knowing.

You must also change from the knowing of the vulture eye to the knowing of a human eye. Whenever you observe the khandha, it’s only asubha and dukkha (loathsome and suffering). You must change it from the worldling eye into an ariyan eye. Wherever we were before, we only made prayers and wishes for dukkha and asubha. And we only are clinging to dukkha and asubha. Vulture eye and its knowing refer to taṇhā, upādāna.

(Sayadaw continue to talk about the cause of dukkha by tracing the D.A. process in reverse order, starting from jarā, maraṇa dukkha.) Vedanā, taṇhā, upādāna and kamma are the real dukkha. We never complain about it as dukkha. Never complain about good to eat and live as dukkha (i.e., vedanā).

According to D.A. process, samudaya becomes dukkha and again dukkha becomes samudaya. For example, vedanā → taṇhā → upādāna = samudaya → dukkha/samudaya → dukkha, etc.

We never observe taṇhā arises and taṇhā dies away. Do we really know the real dukkha? When dukkha vedanā arises and wanting it to go away of taṇhā comes in, and continue to upādāna and kamma. For pleasant feeling (sukha vedanā) and the liking taṇhā arises and also continue to upādāna and kamma.

Even dukkha itself exists, do you still know dukkha? Even not knowing about dukkha is far from penetrating dukkha. So, we don’t attain Nibbāna. All you know is the very coarse dukkha (painful feeling). Vedanā is covering up Nibbāna. Pleasant feeling (sukha vedanā) is the biggest enemy. It’s the most affectionate thing for all of us.

Vedayita sukha and santi sukha are totally different (happiness come from feeling and peace). Vedayita sukha is oppressing and tormenting you. Happiness (sukha) of good feeling oppresses you so that you never attain peaceful happiness.

(For this point, Sayadaw gave the examples of ants die in honey and fishes die of baits) At last the fish dies with dukkha vedanā by beaten. In your whole life, or saṁsāra vedanā are taking in turn and oppressing you. Don’t say about of understanding dukkha sacca, even we’re falling in love with it. Not knowing dukkha sacca is the worst and the most stupid thing.

revised on 2019-12-02; cited from https://oba.org.tw/viewtopic.php?f=22&t=4362&p=36299#p36299 (posted on 2019-04-12)

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