The Nature of Dukkha

revised on 2020-12-30

Dhamma Talks by Mogok Sayadaw; (no date)

The Buddha taught us not attached to the present khandha and not wishing for the khandha of the future to come, by dying in this way was the best way (from Majjhima Nikāya).

A wanderer asked Ven. Sāriputta on dukkha and sukha (from AN. 10.65 Paṭhamasukhasuttaṃ, AN. 10.66 Dutiyasukhasuttaṃ). Sāriputta answered him that taking rebirth again was dukkha and not taking rebirth was sukha. One will attach to the khandha without insight ñāṇa. Praying for the khandha is to become the eating and chewing stuff of ageing and death. It was the same as chicken, pig, etc. are becoming the eating and chewing stuff for human beings. Only the fools are doing this thing. Another point is that death is just an increase of earthly soil in vain.

[This point supports what the Buddha had said in the Anamatagga Saṃyutta, Mount Vepulla discourse (SN 15. 20 Vepullapabbatasuttaṃ)—from the Buddha Kakusandha to the Buddha Gotama between the four Buddhas, its height decreasing—i.e., Mount Vepulla.]

It’s not increasing your own well-being. The new one changes and the old one vanishes is the working of the khandha. The khandha’s nature is arising and vanishing. This is the dukkha nature of the khandha. It happens all the time. Vipariṇāma lakkhaṇaṃ dukkha saccaṃ—the characteristic of change is truth of dukkha.

You observe it with ñāṇa and will talk about its changing and vanishing. It has only dukkha sacca, and with a lot of observing the time will come for no affection to the khandha. This only comes to someone who observing it intensely.

Only by knowing the present dukkha and no desiring and wishing for the absent (future) dukkha. It’s becoming clear that not doing vipassanā to know very well about this khandha that having affection to the present khandha and desiring for the absent khandha. It continues to show its changing and vanishing with many observing. Vedanā shows like water bubbles arise on water when rains fall on it. You get the knowledge of as it really is—yathābhūta ñāṇa. Continue to observe, and you’ll know its oppressive dukkha—dukkhassa–pīḷanāṭṭha. It oppresses without pity to a person who has affection with it.

Only by knowing the changing and vanishing that has no affection to the present khandha. You get yathābhūta ñāṇa if seeing the changing and vanishing in details.

They show it in the way of non-stop, not seeing them is andha-puthujjana—a blind worldling. Because one even doesn’t know about oneself. No vipassanā is like someone born in darkness and die in darkness. If you arrive to this stage of yathābhūta ñāṇa from the blind worldling you become good worldling (kalyāṇa puthujjana). After that you’ll see it as the dukkha machine is revolving. This is seeing its function. It’s rising up to the knowledge of seeing it as disgusting and wearisome. It becomes nibbidā ñāṇa—knowledge of revulsion. Furthermore, it’s closer to the stage of not wanting this khandha. After that, all the dukkha ceases and becomes nirodha and magga—cessation and path knowledge.

revised on 2020-12-30

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