Darkness to Light

revised on 2024-06-09

Dhamma Talks by Mogok Sayadaw; 17th November 1961

Only with effort (viriya) and no wisdom in the practice, it becomes poor (no progress). Listening to the talk with both effort and wisdom, observing the khandha, makes a difference. If you know your foolishness as foolish, then you’re wise. Taking your foolishness as wise leads to becoming even more foolish (e.g., some politicians and economists).

(For these points, Sayadaw told the story of two pickpockets from the Dhammapada stories. One became a stream-enterer after listening to the Buddha’s teaching.) The Buddha asked the monks about the differences between the wise and the fool (a discourse from Saṃyutta Nikāya).

If you know your foolishness as foolish, you will realize the path and fruit knowledge. If not, you won’t realize it. Coming to listen to a Dhamma talk means you acknowledge your foolishness and come here to become wise. People who didn’t come are considered more foolish → avijjā → saṅkhāra → viññāṇam.

For viññāṇam, one must consider all five khandhas. Those who are not practicing vipassanā are the fools, and those who practice are the wise. The duty of a teacher is to lead someone from darkness to light. We must make the vipassanā task compulsory. Returning from darkness to darkness is like being an earthworm or a snail. You can’t find light aside from practice.

(Many people came for the Dhamma talk, and it was also very hot. Sayadaw encouraged them to be patient with the heat and crowded conditions, comparing them to the sufferings of hells.) He also urged people to work hard in their practices.

In the past, it was difficult to hear this kind of talk. (It’s quite true. Sayadaw was a gifted person who could deliver these kinds of talks with skill and penetration.)

(Sayadaw, using the five khandhas, gave the instruction. He described how the five khandhas change differently with examples.) If the khandhas are arising and not vanishing, they will pile up, becoming larger than Mt. Meru. For example, the five khandhas of wanting to sleep, five khandhas of waking up, etc. You have come to this human world to conquer death. If you are truly happy, you will not encounter death for a moment. This is illustrated by the five aggregates (khandhas). It’s overwhelming. In short, there are only mind and form. If reduced further, there would be only "impermanence" (anicca) - arising and passing away. When you truly contemplate it, you will not find mind and form, but only anicca. Reducing it further yields only one dukkha sacca.

(Sayadaw asked them to contemplate whatever mind arises as anicca—dukkha sacca.) With avijjā, the darkness prevents discerning anicca. Now that you discern anicca, there is no more avijjā.

Āloko udapādi—attaining of light, even though coming from the darkness, now you have the light. If you continue with the contemplation, seeing more deaths and becoming disenchanted, then deaths come to an end. No more deaths arise—this is Nibbāna. You've come from the darkness and will never return to it again. This is the difference between the Fools and the Wise (one of the long talks—1hr 15 minutes).

revised on 2024-06-09

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

  • Content of "Dhamma Talks by Mogok Sayadaw"

  • Content of Publications of Ven. Uttamo

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。