Three Knowledges of the First Discourse

revised on 2021-07-28

Dhamma Talks by Mogok Sayadaw; no date noted

[This was a talk on sacca ñāṇa, kicca ñāṇa and kata ñāṇa mentioned in the First Discourse of the Buddha. And it has to be related to all Buddhists whatever their traditions are. Sayadaw’s explanations were simple, profound and clear. And it was always for the practical purposes.

It made us to remember the teachings and the greatness of the Buddha’s chief and great disciples, such as Ven. Sāriputta, Ven. Mahā Kaccāyana, Ven. Puṇṇa-Mantāniputta, etc. A lot of gratitude is arisen from our heart to the Buddha, Dhamma and Saṅgha.

But some Buddhists took them as selfish beings, they were totally wrong and misunderstood the Dhamma. It was like saying as the purified mind was dark and ignorant, or totally purified water still had pollutants.]

To know the truth (sacca) is the most important. Others such as dāna, sīla, samādhi and insight knowledge are supporting factors. A person doesn’t know the truths only turning towards dukkha.

People are seeking things wrongly, even though the teachings on the truths do still exist. (These wrong seeking are; family matter, wealth, fame, etc.) You all are encountering the great things. You have a good teacher who can teach sacca dhamma. You have the ñāṇa ear for listening.

The Buddha Sāsana still exists. You are still alive. You have the kammas to attain the Path and Fruit with these four points. (To support his points, Sayadaw gave the simile of a blind turtle in the ocean and also mentioned the former two teachers of the Bodhisatta). I’ll talk about it and let you know the truths.

There are three knowledges:

① sacca ñāṇa – knowledge of the truths. It’s the lower level of the knowledge.
② Kicca ñāṇa – The functional knowledge. It is the middle level of the knowledge
③ Kata ñāṇa – the higher level of the knowledge.

① is knowing about the four truths.
② is the practicing knowledge of the development and the abandoning of defilements for the realization.
③ is the accomplishment of the practice.

Whatever dhamma arising and knowing as dukkha sacca is sacca ñāṇa (except lobha or taṇhā, greed or craving). Knowing about taṇhā is knowing about samudaya sacca. Knowing lobha or taṇhā arising is samudaya sacca. With taṇhā ceases and know as Nibbāna is nirodha sacca.

Whatever dhamma arising and knowing with the truths are sacca ñāṇa. (i.e., this is dukkha sacca; this is samudaya sacca, etc.) It is not contemplating with insight yet. Whatever dhamma arising and know the four truths with the analyzing. These were the knowledge of Koṇḍañña in the First Discourse. This knowledge is knowing with the analytical knowledge of whatever arising dhamma.

Let’s talk about the functional knowledge (kicca ñāṇa). This knowledge is important. Sacca ñāṇa is knowing in accordance with the teacher’s teachings. Whatever arising dhamma is, it knows both its arising and falling away. And then it is kicca ñāṇa thoroughly knowing them as dukkha.

There is only dukkha arising and dukkha falling away, nothing mixed up with it. This is knowing dukkha sacca with fully understanding (pariññaya). The impermanence of dukkha is the function of dhamma and knowing about it. The function of knowledge kicca ñāṇa is practical knowledge. Sacca ñāṇa is normal knowledge.

Kicca ñāṇa is penetrative knowledge. Whatever arising in the khandha thoroughly knowing as except dukkha and nothing exists, is kicca ñāṇa. Khandha is always telling about its function. But you don’t connect them with ñāṇa. Therefore, you don’t get kicca ñāṇa. You must have to connect with it.

Everyday it’ll tell you the uncountable functions. You attain the uncountable kicca ñāṇa if you’re connecting with it every time. For example, from the carcass of the putrid cow whichever part you cut it with the knife and only get the putrid meat.

(It was quite a strange simile, but it touched the point. Whichever part of the human body is beautiful? It’s only foul and loathsome; giving us a lot of troubles and sufferings. So Sayadaw translated dukkha as disgusting and useless, duk=disgusting, kha=useless).

In the same way, whatever the khandha is showing you it's with only dukkha, and not showing you as sukha.

revised on 2021-07-28; cited from (posted on 2019-04-16)

  • Content of Part 12 on "Dhamma Talks by Mogok Sayadaw"

  • Content of "Dhamma Talks by Mogok Sayadaw"

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