Ignoble and Noble Searches

revised on 2019-12-02

Dhamma Talks by Mogok Sayadaw; no date noted

[There were four warnings from the Buddha. These were:

① The body is not following our own desires, but with ageing, sickness and death. These are its nature. It’s leading towards ageing, sickness and death. The yogi is practicing to escape from ageing, illness and death.

② When dukkha vedanā arises in the khandha and we can’t rely on anyone. Nobody can give us comfort. We’re practicing for refuge or reliable dhamma to counter feeling (vedanā). And it’ll give us comfort.

③ Whatever fortunes we have by hard working, none of these are ours. If we die and have to leave everything behind with the corpses (Even our physical bodies are not belonging to us and no need to talk about external things). Practicing dhamma is making it becoming ours.

④ Taṇhā is asking you to do anything, never giving you satisfaction and also never ending. We’re practicing dhamma to free ourselves as slaves from taṇhā. We need to contemplate them very often.]

In the Aṅguttara Nikāya, the Buddha taught the monks to reflect on these four points of dhamma.

① This khandha is always leading towards ageing, sickness and death. Therefore, the nature of khandha is different from our desires. It does its duties. Our duties are to escape from it.

Practicing dhamma is to escape from the future ageing, sickness and death; to escape from the four painful births (hell, animal, ghost, etc.). Saying with one word, it's to escape from all future dukkha. We should reflect on this point before the practice. With this purpose, we may encourage and inspire or uplift our spirits.

② When sickness and disease arise (all the physical and mental unpleasant feelings) and family members (wife, children, relatives, etc.) can’t do anything for us. All are only in confusion, and can’t rely on anyone. And nobody can give you comfort. Therefore practicing dhamma is searching for refuge and comfort. With this in mind and must practice hard. Feeling is mind dhamma (nāma). Therefore who can help you?

③ Gold, silver and wealth are not your own properties. Therefore we have to practice for Nibbāna and it’ll become our own properties. Practicing dhamma is to free ourselves as the slave of taṇhā. Working for taṇhā will be never finished.

You make dukkha sacca as your own property (no.①) if you’re not free yourself from birth, ageing and death. We got the khandhas which are unreliable and give us no refuge. Practicing dhamma is searching for refuge and reliability (no.②). Everything we have searched with greed is not our own property.

These ways of searching are wrong. All these things will perish and disappear. Only Nibbāna is our own property and can’t be perishable.

④ Whatever you’re doing is for taṇhā. You do have the mind of a slave if you do not want to practice dhamma. Whatever you’re doing for taṇhā is like to fill a water pot with holes in it. This is the working of a blind person. It’s not the fault of taṇhā but the one filling it. Another point is whatever you fill from the mouth into the body and it comes out again from the eyes, ears, noses, mouth and body.

So you can never fill it up (If we contemplate this point and can see human beings are quite funny and foolish. In our whole life, we’re feeding the body by working hard. And whatever coming out from it are stinking, disgusting and useless – asubha). It will release its nature only by thinking carefully. We even not only have no satisfaction with our body holes but also we’re filling for the family members. Therefore, practicing dhamma is to free ourselves from the slavery of the mind.

Let’s continue our yesterday dhamma on cause and effect connection. We have birth, ageing and death and falling into woeful planes; all these things happen because of the existence of the khandhas. If you’re afraid of these things must abandon greed (lobha).

Firstly, you have to abandon wrong view and doubt. You can abandon lobha only after you can abandon them (wrong view and doubt. You can abandon all dukkha by abandoning lobha. Wrong view and doubt are latent in the five khandhas. It has to be in the right way (sammā-paṭipadā) to abandon it. It is the wrong ways (micchā-paṭipadā) to follow accordingly to the D.A. processes.

It becomes (sammā-paṭipadā) if ñāṇa comes in. You’re afraid of birth, ageing and death. This is the fear of an animal. (e.g., throwing a stone at a dog and it fears of the stone) You’re fear of the result. You have to be afraid of the cause which is the wrong way (micchā-paṭipadā). If you’re afraid of ageing, sickness and death do not let it becomes micchā-paṭipadā. The task of impermanence is the right way (sammā-paṭipadā).

revised on 2019-12-02; cited from https://oba.org.tw/viewtopic.php?f=22&t=4362&p=36306#p36306 (posted on 2019-04-12)

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