Too Crazy / Burning Oneself with Fire

revised on 2024-06-09

Dhamma Talks by Mogok Sayadaw; 14th September 1961

Tape 1

Expecting good kamma (similar to expecting good luck) is expecting Dukkha. Because the process (action) of becoming conditioned rebirth [kammabhāva paccaya jāti (dukkha sacca)]. Consulting an astrologer is asking, "When will I suffer?" (usually people consult an astrologer for their future good luck). You people are too Crazy! These kammas (good or bad or mixed) are oppressing people. It leads to the vipāka vaṭṭa—the round of results (existence or khandha). Most people love Dukkha. (Therefore, dukkha sacca is quite difficult to appreciate and understand by worldlings.) From having one child then you desire for two children, etc. The Buddha wants you to free from the round of existence but you all are expecting for it. Is it not opposite to the Buddha? You all prefer to hit with a big rock, if it’s a small rock and you don’t like it. These dhammas are governed by suññata dhammas. If you don’t understand suññata and sassata - diṭṭhi enters you (permanent view)— as example Dukkha is done by oneself.

(Sayadaw talked about the story of the naked ascetic Kassapa). If you have sassata diṭṭhi, you will become like a saṁsāric tree stump. Even though many Buddhas have arisen, they can't free themselves from Dukkha. People who are making dāna with kammassakatā sammā-diṭṭhi will not be free from diṭṭhi (i.e., wrong view of sassata). The Buddha talked about kamma with metaphors or metaphorically but taking the meanings directly that it becomes sassata diṭṭhi (see Dhammapada Verse 1 and two— the metaphors are the wheel of a cart and a shadow). Kamma arises and passes away. Diṭṭhi— wrong views are the province of the Taints (āsavas); can one arrive at Nibbāna? All dukkhas arise by D.A. processes. It doesn’t relate to any God or gods, Sakka and Mahā-Brahma (The God’s View of Nibbāna is Heaven which is Dukkha Sacca). Therefore, if you want to be free from all dukkhas you have to cut off D.A. process. That is following behind the khandha with magga. Contemplate saṅkhāra with insight. You have to take the objects of saṅkhāra. If you take the objects of a person and a being magga not arise (only kilesas arise— Therefore, identity view is like a weapon of mass destruction). If you focus on feeling and contemplate vedanā saṅkhāra, or focus on the mind and contemplate citta saṅkhāra. Don’t contemplate by mixing-up. At last all will converge at anicca— arises and passes away.

Tape 2

The fools who feed their khandha longer and longer lives are becoming worse and worse (i.e., increasing unwholesomeness— akusala). It is like increasing the flesh of a pig. What happens with the increment of the flesh? It'll be hit by the spear earlier. Here also the same if feeding the khandha with unwholesomeness will be hit by spears of apāyas. This is the way of feeding the khandha by fools. For the wise, they nourish the khandhas with wholesome qualities. By practicing the noble path with the khandhas, they can end suffering. It has the decisive support condition which sends to Nibbāna (upanissayapaccayo). There is no time limit for suffering in the apāyas. According to the Buddha these beings suffered according to their kammas, and no life span. Do not feed the khandha body for just one life's comfort.

When the Buddha appeared, the 31 realm of existence were burning with fire. The khandha body of living beings is burning with the fire of ageing, sickness and death, and also in the heart (mind) burning with the fire of greed, hatred and delusion. Therefore, the khandha is with fuel and fire together. It always has two kinds of fire with it, the fire of permanent burning (ageing and sickness) fire and burning with changing fire (changing of kilesas). Therefore, it’s good to extinguish the khandha fire. The ignorant who pray for the next khandhas (rebirth) are like those who burn themselves by changing fire. (They will eventually suffer in samsara.) The khandha fire is burning with force and strength, but humans worry of its extinction by doing merits and demerits (kusala and akusala) and then this is putting more fuels in it. To accumulate merits by praying for the khandhas is like adding fuel to the fire before it extinguishes (burning continuously non-stop; eventually, the karmic fire will burn one's body).

Therefore, it is becoming far from Nibbāna where the eleven types of fire are extinguished. We have to finish or stop the work of adding fuels in it.

You all have to do this under the power or arrangement of your master, taṇhā. Therefore, there are more wholesome and unwholesome under the power of taints— āsavas. All these things (Dhamma) can be talked about only inside the Sāsana. Outside the Sāsana, humans are only doing the job of refueling the fire. Humans doing this outside the teaching is let it be, but it should not happen now with the Dhamma teachings existing. If you do merit with vivaṭṭa-kusala— that is to do merit with the desire to be "free from Dukkha". Khandha is like a bonfire and the one who puts fire-woods in is like a fire-worshiper (a Hindu belief). The Buddha saw this and asked the brahmin why he did it. His answer was, “I want to extinguish the Fire.”

[I don’t know in the Sutta this brahman would answer like this— maybe like this; “I am worried it’ll die out.” Fire worship is a reunion with the Creator. In the Buddhist sense it’s worshiping of kilesa fire, so it increases defilements. So, Sayadaw made a joke here. There was an interesting story about a fire worshiper. Near dying he saw a bonfire as a mind object, so he mentioned it to the brahmins beside his death-bed. They reminded him to incline his mind there which they took as Heaven. After the brahmin died fallen into Hell.]

Dakar Kywe! Why are you busy everyday? “Yes, Venerable,” (not give the answer). Sayadaw gave the answer; “I am worrying that the fire will go out.” (Upāsaka U Kywe was a textile owner who was a regular Dhamma listener, an old man and sitting in front of Sayadaw). The majority of people will say any kind of merit is good. Merits with round of existence are adding fire woods or fuels. Merits stopping the round of existence is extinguishing the fire. Who is burnt by adding fuels? It’ll burn yourself. If all of you don’t have the chance to listen to this kind of talk, you will take it as a traditional job. (i.e., merits and demerits). You have pleasure on this khandha that searching for woods (i.e., affection on the khandha). If you recognize it as a bonfire, you will not search for it. Therefore, contemplation with insight to know the khandha as bonfire. With the contemplation you’ll find out the khandha is burnt up and perishing with birth and death fires (jāti and maraṇa).

At last, being enlightened by contemplation and not wanting it; then one will find Nibbāna where both fuel and fire cease or are extinguished.

revised on 2024-07-09

  • Content of Part 14 on "Dhamma Talks by Mogok Sayadaw"

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