Only Dukkha Exists

revised on 2021-07-28

Dhamma Talks by Mogok Sayadaw; 28th October 1961

(Sayadaw told the story of Rohitassa devata)

The end of the world means Nibbāna. Only with knowledge (ñāṇa—i.e., Vipassanā knowledge and path knowledge) you arrive there and no other ways or methods.

Here the world is saṅkhāra-loka—conditioned world. This khandha body is saṅkhāra loka and we have it by conditioning. Loka—the world or the khandha is arising and vanishing moment to moment. You can’t arrive to Nibbāna with good kamma, but with good knowledge (ñāṇa) will arrive there. It’s clear that Nibbāna is the way of knowledge— ñāṇa. The action way (kamma path) leads to 31 realms of existence. There are three paths—kamma path, jhānic path and ñāṇa path (the ways of action, absorption and vipassanā). Kammic path is the far cause, jhānic path is the near cause and ñāṇa-patha (the path of knowledge) is the direct way.

(Here Sayadaw used ñāṇa-patha as the direct way instead of the cause, Nibbāna is not arising by causes because it is free from the three universal characteristics.)

Now human life span is very short (average 75 years); if you want to reach Nibbāna quickly, you must follow the ñāṇa-path. In the two-armed length khandha, follow it with knowledge and observe with it. Follow with one which you prefer it among the four satipaṭṭhāna. If you are able to discern feelings with knowledge, then observe feelings; if the mind then observe the mind, etc. contemplate their arising phenomena with ñāṇa on the arising and vanishing of the conditioned world (saṅkhāra loka), it is insight practice (vipassanā).

The Buddha taught that the four Noble Truths existed in the khandha. Except greed (lobha or taṇhā—craving) all the other name and form (nāma and rūpa) is dukkha sacca. It’s the cessation of dukkha-nirodha sacca if no taṇhā exists. When I ask you “Do the khandhas disappear?”; it is loka nirodha sacca—the truth of the cessation of the world or mind and body.

(Sayadaw had the skill of using the Pāli language in many forms to describe the experience.)

Sutavā ariya-sāvaka—the learned disciple of noble being’s (here the yogi) eye is magga sacca—the truth of the path. While observing it the world—loka will tell you as “I am dukkha sacca.” The khandha will tell you as—“I am anicca, I am dukkha, and I am nirodha.” Khandha is the teller and ñāṇa is the observer. It’ll tell you what it has to say. It will not tell you any more if it has nothing to say.

The observer will see the ending of it. The ending of the khandha is Nibbāna. Birth and death are loka, arising and vanishing are loka, arising dukkha and vanishing dukkha are loka. You have to decide it as in the 31 realms of existence have no happiness at all. If you ask me, how long do I have to contemplate it? This is difficult to say; however, it is also easy to say. It’ll take long if the kilesa is thick. If kilesa is thin, with the practice in the morning and you can realize it in the evening. Don’t talk about perfection (pāramī). What happens to me? Do I have pāramī? Don’t think about it. You have to increase your faith and energy. You see the truth if you discern impermanence. It’s only listening to the sacca dhamma and to see sacca—the truth by observing it.

(Sayadaw talked about the practice on feeling)

There are no times without feeling. During the pregnancy in the womb is dukkha. After birth is also dukkha. At the time of death is dukkha. Except dukkha arising and dukkha ceasing there is nothing exists. You’ll see it clearly as it’s only dukkha. Dukkha disappears if khandha disappears, it disappears under the observing mind. Nibbāna exists at the ending of khandha. It will arrive to the end by following its process. You’ll see Nibbāna by developing it with bhāvetabba—contemplating many times. It’ll never appear by waiting for it with good kamma (including with prayers as some Buddhists and other faiths). It’ll only arise by waiting and observing with good ñāṇa. The ending of the world—loka means one’s own loka–khandha. With the not wanting mind arises for the khandha and loka—the world comes to an end (all the three worlds will come to an end for the arahant).

revised on 2021-07-28

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