Importance Of Knowing Oneself

revised on 2024-06-09

Dhamma Talks by Mogok Sayadaw; 15th October 1961

You must see your own mind. There are two kinds of seeing; eye seeing and ñāṇa seeing. The mind is a mind object (dhammārammaṇa) and is never seen with the eyes. You have to take it as ñāṇa seeing. I'm asking you to contemplate the mind which you can see only with ñāṇa seeing (According to Sayadaw U Candima only achievable with the 4th rūpajhāna or the 3rd bhavaṅga samādhi. Refer to my translation of Right Samādhi and Right Insight). If you’re asking me— “Do I have to contemplate the seeing, the hearing, etc.?” You have to follow whatever mind arises with ñāṇa seeing. If the seeing mind arises with the five path factors and you discern it, this is the seeing mind of number one, and this is the contemplating mind of number two. Observe the number one with number two—which I remind you of. Number one arises and passes away. Number two is present after number one no longer exists. At the time of seeing, number one no longer exists. Number one not existing is anicca; the seeing number two is magga—the path factors. Thus, observe your own mind. How many kinds of minds do you have? You have 13 kinds (for a worldling). There is only one kind arising at any time.

[Note: For the 13 kinds of mind in Mogok Sayadaw’s instruction— see my translation of The Reality and the Knowing, in Part 5.] You have to observe without fail whatever arises. You have to practice the vanishing and the magga fitting together (the same as practice to know it does not exist).

This point was taught by the Buddha to the monk—Moliya Sivali as it’s visible here and now (sandiṭṭhiko). This is how one sees or discerns one's own mind. He knew his mind's nature. This is knowing oneself. It’s knowing the nature of the birth and death process. Knowing it as it’s not my khandha. Before, we considered it as our khandhas. Now, knowing occurs after arising with causes, and it passes away. We thought this khandha would last for a hundred years. Now, it does not last for even a minute. This is how one knows about one’s khandha. How penetrative is this knowledge? A person's aggregate (khandha) is always in the midst of suffering (dukkha). Vipassanā is observing to discern one’s death. When someone sees their own death—Do they desire this kind of death? If someone sees their death and taṇhā dies out, future taṇhā has died. Will future khandha arise? What is the benefit of seeing one’s death? There is only the benefit of future taṇhā dying. At the moment of contemplation, diṭṭhi also dies. (if seeing anicca). So there are two benefits: at present, diṭṭhi dies and the future taṇhā dies. It’s not "MINE" that needs to be vanished. Could you stop it? This is a happy dying dhamma. The path knowledge has done three duties—it kills the preceding diṭṭhi; the following taṇhā; also, it prevents diṭṭhi and taṇhā from leading to apāyas which will lead to dukkha khandha in the future (i.e., the future apāyas khandha will not arise) [Here we should read the above sentence carefully. The path knowledge at the moment of arising, it abandons diṭṭhi-taṇhā of the present. It also eradicates diṭṭhi-taṇhā of anusaya (latent defilements), i.e., eradicates the apāya dukkha existences.]

It arises by sati and effort (i.e., discerning anicca). Diṭṭhi and future taṇhā die which is why I am urging you for contemplation. You have to listen to me with ñāṇa ears. To reach Nibbāna, you have to proceed with ñāṇa. Seeing, hearing, … thought consciousness, and whatever wholesome and unwholesome minds arise, you must contemplate them.

You see your khandha death. Thus, vipassanā is observing one’s death. Throughout saṁsāra, khandhas arise by diṭṭhi-taṇhā and live with Dukkha. Now, through this practice, the next khandha will not arise. Diṭṭhi and taṇhā fall away. I will explain how avijjā falls off. It’s also the water root of saṁsāra (associated with taṇhā). Without the contemplation of insight, you can’t discern anicca. Not seeing is avijjā. Previously, you didn’t see your death. Now, with the act of seeing, avijjā ceases and you discern with vijjā ñāṇa. Discerning the death of anicca, which is the right view, ends ignorance. What benefit does insight bring? Wrong view, craving, and ignorance die. Wrong view dies by recognizing that it does not belong to us. Ignorance falls away by discerning one’s own death, thus preventing taṇhā from arising. Therefore, avijjā, taṇhā, and diṭṭhi fall away.

According to the Buddha, discerning anicca even once was nobler than building a pagoda, ceti, and monastery. Why is that? This dhamma cuts off saṁsāra; ageing, sickness, and death can’t arise. So, it’s valuable, deep, and profound. I am also able to talk about it so that it becomes clear to you. You all have the perfection (pāramī) of knowing that much. You’ll never think of it as having that much benefit. Pāpañca dhamma (taṇhā, māna, and diṭṭhi) dies by discerning this point. As diṭṭhi and taṇhā are extinguished, māna will also be extinguished. You don’t have to make it happen. You only know what the khandha has told you. If you make it happen, then it’s not insight. You have to listen to what the dhamma is telling you. This is the matter of observation of whatever khandha tells you. Khandha tells the right thing. What you make is wrong. It’ll become one's own seeing by observing with ñāṇa the dhamma.

Vipassanā is observing anicca without break. Its process is also non-stop. The views of stable, constant, governable die away by discerning anicca. Ignorance ceases by seeing what has not been seen before. Not wanting this khandha and seeing only deaths causes taṇhā to die. It becomes visible here and now (sandiṭṭhiko) by seeing it yourself. The death of taṇhā, upādāna, and kamma is akāliko—non-temporal or without delay. On the other side, no khandha arises (birth, ageing, and death); this is Nibbāna. Ehi-passiko = Dhamma is calling you to come and contemplate me. The arising mind is the caller and you are the contemplator. It’s asking you to come and see what is happening to it. Dhamma shows us two points: first it shows you anicca and then it will show Nibbāna.

revised on 2024-06-09

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

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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。