Dying All The Time

revised on 2024-06-09

Dhamma Talks by Mogok Sayadaw; 15th November 1961

You all are carried by the taṇhā water and arriving near the whirlpool to sink in. If you don’t listen and practice Dhamma, it means you have no sympathy for yourself. I am exposing this point just because of your ignorance. The process really works this way. Don’t give me reasons that will lead you to apāyas. If it’s like this, you don't have a way back to the human world (apāyas are becoming permanent homes).

You don’t have to follow the arrangement of kamma; instead, follow the arrangement of ñāṇa. Don’t be mistaken by the unreliable. I am especially urging you about this.

Kamma sends you towards the dangers of ageing, sickness, and death. Ñāṇa sends you towards freedom from ageing, sickness, and death. You have to follow the leadership of the right view. Apart from Nibbāna, there are no places free from diseases. (This point referred to Ven. Bākula, who had no illness or disease in his whole life.)

[Here, Sayadaw described humorously many foolish things done by most people.]

There are two kinds of death and dying; one that everyone knows and one that doesn’t. For example, a mind hungry for food arises. After arising, if it doesn't eat, it dies (vanishes). Previously, we thought one only dies once in a lifetime. Now, we see that it dies all the time. This is where you see yourself dying.

Vipassanā is practicing to see one’s own death. By seeing one’s own death, you don’t desire the next khandha. This is where taṇhā dies. The wrong view, which takes the khandha as stable and constant, also dies upon seeing one’s death. This leads to taṇhā nirodho nibbānam— the cessation of craving is Nibbāna.

Contemplating one’s own death is vipassanā. Knowing about oneself is vipassanā. We don’t know our deaths due to the stupidity of ignorance. Why don’t you stop your stupidity now that you are of this old age? This is what I have to criticize you for (to the old disciples). Because of ignorance, it connects to life (bhāva, see the D.A. chart).

You send metta—loving kindness (goodwill) and also perform the task of sympathizing with oneself. If not, you say one thing and do another.

When you send metta for yourself to be free from dangers, as in "ahaṃ avero homi" (may I be free from dangers), you do whatever Taṇhā asks of you for your family members.

When people are sick, nobody can save another; for example, if one spouse is sick. Only this practice can save oneself.

Dakar and Dakarma! (Burmese, male and female followers) Observing one’s death is not tiring at all. I am teaching you to observe death and its replacement.

You discern your death, its disenchantment, and its ending. If you can decide that it is truly Dukkha Sacca, then it is Nibbāna.

(This is a humorous talk on ignorance—avijjā.)

revised on 2024-06-09

  • 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。