Everyone Is a Thief


revised on 2019-12-02


Dhamma Talks by Mogok Sayadaw; no date noted

Saṅkhāra dhamma is the five khandhas. The five khandhas are conditioning by others. They don’t have any quality or power of one’s own. The five khandhas are relying on others. The khandha arises with the four conditions of kamma, citta, utu, āhāra. Let’s put aside the four mind khandhas for just now. Form is conditioning by kamma.

For example, it makes the eye sensitivity to arise (i.e., cakkhu pasāda). The other four sensitivity matters are also the same. Don’t take it as my eye, my ear, etc. With the observation, if the mind is clear and the physical form also becoming clear (If someone is very angry and the face becomes ugly).

If the temperature is hot and physical body feeling tired. By eating good foods and has a plump body. With poor in foods become thin. Can be touched and measured is form (rūpa), and has four causes. These are form saṅkhāra dhamma.

Adding with the conditioned mind dhamma and become special. If kamma is asking you to die and will die. And asking you to be alive and will be alive. The mind arises by object and sense-door (arom and dvāra).

For example, before two cymbals is not hitting each other and hearing consciousness not arises. And only after hitting together and it arises. Eye sensitivity (cakkhu pasāda), ear sensitivity (sota pasāda), etc.… are from the passive sides. Form, sound, etc.……are from the active sides. With both sides contact together (phassa), seeing consciousness, hearing consciousness, etc.….. arise respectively.

They all are arising by the conditioning of others. So remember them as saṅkhāra dhamma. The five khandhas or mind and body are the assemblage of saṅkhāra. Don’t let 'I' and 'me' interfere with it. With the interference you’re stealing other’s properties. I and me go interfere with it because you don’t know it as saṅkhāra dhamma.

I am not talking about interfere in speech. Don’t interfere with thought and view. Nothing can be said if you don’t use it in speech. You take them as me and mine for a long time not knowing about these things. Thinking with me and mine will fall away if you think about it and reflect on them.

Knowing it with the causes can make it fall away. Me is diṭṭhi and mine is form (rūpa). We steal things not belonging to us and fall into apāyas. Therefore, diṭṭhi is a thief. Taking things made by others as me and mine and with theft arriving to apāya.

In the whole of saṁsāra we were committing thefts and it was sure mostly in the apāyabhūmi. We’re not free from committing stealing with wrong view in any life. We were stealing in the human and heavenly worlds. We can’t abandon our habit of stealing and mostly in the apāya (woeful existence).

You will continue the stealing if no-one clears it away for you. Even with theft in the present punish by law. And it should be punished by dangers of saṁsāra. With wrong view and making it one’s own that will arrive apāya. Whenever you can’t abandon your stealing habit, you will not be free from saṁsāra.

Diṭṭhi is very bad indeed. With the Buddha arose in the world and met with a good teacher, and only sometime came as not me and not mine. Knowing it as not belong to you, the mind and body become not-self (anattā). People take it anattā only when a clay pot is broken.

Mind and body are not yours even you’re still alive. Mind and body are not yours even before perishing. Then you know anattā very well, but not on its sign, characteristic (lakkhaṇa). The Buddha taught as rūpaṁ anattā, vedanā anattā, etc. – form is not-self, feeling is not-self, etc. Therefore, it’s clear that the present five khandhas are not-self.

I’ll explain the lakkhaṇa. The Buddha not taught it as Anatta Sutta, but as Anatta Lakkhaṇa Sutta. Originally it is not-self. And abandon its original nature is lakkhaṇa. It is not finished yet for only knowing anattā. It will be good to arrive to the point of lakkhaṇa. At the time of arising is anattā and its dissolution is lakkhaṇa. With the combination of the two and anattā lakkhaṇa become completion.

Knowing them is anattā lakkhaṇa ñāṇa, getting the anattā lakkhaṇa ñāṇa and attā falls away. Knowing the arising and passing away is ñāṇa – knowledge of anattā lakkhaṇa. If you don’t know anattā, knowing lakkhaṇa is impossible.

So, you don’t know anattā when it shows the lakkhaṇa for your going to apāya. (For example, you become sorrow, lamentation, etc. when a dear one of yours dies.) Don’t know the original anattā, when it shows the lakkhaṇa and we quarrel with the Buddha and Dhamma.

Living beings are always living with atta diṭṭhi so that mostly in the woeful planes. At last anattā lakkhaṇa ñāṇa come back to the impermanent phenomena. Vedanā arising is anattā and its dissolution is lakkhaṇa. Seeing of them is ñāṇa. Combining together becomes anattā lakkhaṇa ñāṇa.

In the Chachakka Sutta, the Buddha explained it clearer (Majjhima N. MN.148 Chachakkasuttaṃ). The causes are anattā, so are the results. Anatta lakkhaṇa ñāṇa is the five maggaṅga. Of the five maggaṅga right view is the leader. When you’re making it me and mine and leading by wrong view. Diṭṭhi and taṇhā are mixing together. During the five maggaṅga arise and cutting off taṇhā, upādāna and kamma.

Therefore, anattā lakkhaṇa ñāṇa not only cut off diṭṭhi but also including taṇhā. D.A. process is cutting off in the middle. Avijjā becomes sammādiṭṭhi and also it cut off in the beginning. And become vijjā udapādi – knowledge arises. This is referring to Nibbāna.

Taṇhā nirodho – the cessation of craving is also Nibbāna. (Sayadaw continued to talk about Subhadda the wanderer, the last disciple of the Buddha) if someone knows anattā lakkhaṇa ñāṇa and at any time there will be always with sotāpanna, to arahant. Therefore, you all have to practice with faith.


revised on 2019-12-02; cited from https://oba.org.tw/viewtopic.php?f=22&t=4371&p=36327#p36327 (posted on 2019-04-16)


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