Knowing and Seeing

revised on 2024-07-09

Dhamma Talks by Mogok Sayadaw; 16th September 1961

There are three reasons for the Buddha to give Dhamma talk: with request, without request, and depending on the situation. "Without request" is out of compassion and is unrelated to what is appropriate or inappropriate. Depending on the situation, it is, for example, a quarrel between relatives on both sides. Out of his loving-kindness (metta) and compassion (karuṇā) for all living beings, the Buddha revealed his teachings to the fools and the wise men in a non-requesting and adaptable way, so that they could be liberated from suffering (Dukkha). The Buddha had strong disgust to get another khandha. He was very glad and preferred not having a khandha. In the discourses (suttanta), D.A. process is expressed in series or online. Actually, viññāṇa, nāma-rūpa, saḷāyatana, phassa and vedanā, all are arising together (in Abhidhamma). In the book it mentioned three kinds of feelings arise. This is knowing with learning ñatta-pariñña. The actual desire is contemplation (practise)-tīraṇa-pariñña. In direct experience only one kind of feeling arises. At the time of its arising you must know it. Only with tīraṇa-pariñña pahāna-pariñña will be possible (practice leads to realization).

Phassa paccaya sukha, dukkha and upekkhā vedanās— Contact conditions pleasant, unpleasant and neutral feelings. You have to know it (arising) and also see it (contemplating). When the contemplating mind arises and it’s not there anymore (the arising vedanā). Why am I discussing this at the moment you are observing it, and it's not there anymore? Two kinds of feeling can’t be in parallel (can’t arise together). At the time of feeling, objects arising, the feeling of the contemplating mind can’t arise (contemplating knowledge-mind is always a neutral feeling— it’s good for contemplation on this point). vedanās are unable to be in parallel that only after the feeling object ceases, the contemplating knowledge or mind (vedanā) can arise. The vedanā object is anicca and the contemplating knowledge vedanā is Saṅkhāra (this also arises through conditioning). Observe anicca with Saṅkhāra. (contemplating the arising vedanā is from the heart (where it arises). Contemplate the arising anicca with new Saṅkhāra (the object is old Saṅkhāra). If the new Saṅkhāra also ceases can’t contemplate the object (i.e., the contemplating mind comes late). The reason is you can’t contemplate anicca with the anicca. The cessation is anicca and the arising is saṅkhāra. You have to contemplate with this saṅkhāra. Here is arising and at the time you contemplate it already ceases. With this cessation and this arising meet together.

If I don’t discuss this topic, what will happen to vipassanā practitioners? They’ll believe the contemplating mind is permanent, without perishing, and harbor sassata-diṭṭhi in their hearts. If you say the contemplating mind is looking at it, it will become sassata-diṭṭhi. It’s also saṅkhāra anicca. The arising dhamma is also saṅkhāra anicca.

You have to note it carefully. This is killing of diṭṭhi at both sides. Insight with no diṭṭhi falls away is useless vipassanā. The Buddha was very worry about of diṭṭhi not fallen away as an important matter. Some say they are contemplating it but don’t see it. It seems the contemplating dhamma is permanent. Contemplate anicca with saṅkhāra. This kind of Dhamma is quite difficult. It’s also quite right. If not explain them, at object (ārammaṇa) is anicca and the contemplating mind (ārammaṇika) is nicca. (i.e., sassata view. If it’s like this, even with full effort you can’t achieve it (because there was evidence in the suttas related to some disciples of the Buddha).

Saṅkhāre saṅkhāra vipassanti— saṅkhāra dhamma contemplates saṅkhāra dhamma. If not, it was like with the monk Sāti (Mahātaṇhā-saṅkhaya Sutta, MN 38), then it becomes sassata-diṭṭhi. According to him only other phenomena were died, but the mind viññāṇam not died. Sotāpatti magga cannot arise if diṭṭhi exists. When the object of contemplation is showing its anicca and the contemplative saṅkhāra mind contemplates it. Whatever pāramī you have if diṭṭhi resists will not achieve it. Sappurisa saṁsevo— approaching a good teacher (as mentioned by the Buddha) is a crucial factor for entering the stream.

To Sāriputta (SN 55.5)

Translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.

Then Ven. Sāriputta went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, having bowed down to him, sat to one side. As he was sitting there, the Blessed One said to him, “‘A factor for stream entry, a factor for stream entry’: This it is said. And what, Sāriputta, is a factor for stream entry?”

“Association with people of integrity, lord, is a factor for stream entry. Listening to the True Dhamma is a factor for stream entry. Appropriate attention is a factor for stream entry. Practice in accordance with the Dhamma is a factor for stream entry.”

He was a short-lived Buddha that left behind many Dhamma for us (this is the differences between long life Buddha and short life Buddha, e.g. Kassapa Buddha and Gotama Buddha).

(Sayadaw explained the wise and the fool with the D.A. Chart). The wise cut off the D.A. process within two lives (i.e., past and present) and the fool connects to three lives (i.e., past, present and future). If there are three lives, it is like the feet of a centipede. It has many feet and will keep moving forward. You must contemplate the anicca of arising with magga saṅkhāra. Knowledge must stay with the khandha. If the sassata view from the contemplating object and the contemplative knowledge falls away and is not very long, one will attain the path knowledge. It doesn’t matter how many bhavaṅga cittas exist between them (i.e., between object and contemplative mind). Bhavaṅga citta is not kilesa mind. If lobha, dosa, moha dhammas are coming in between them and it takes longer times for the practice. There is no fault with bhavaṅgas between and with kilesas it will take long for the practice.

revised on 2024-07-09

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

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According to the translator— Ven. Uttamo's words, this is strictly for free distribution only, as a gift of Dhamma—Dhamma Dāna. You may re-format, reprint, translate, and redistribute this work in any medium.

據英譯者—鄔達摩比丘交待,此譯文僅能免費與大眾結緣,作為法的禮物(Dhamma Dāna)。你可以在任何媒體上重新編製、重印、翻譯和重新發布這部作品。