Khandha Hospital

revised on 2024-07-09

Dhamma Talks by Mogok Sayadaw; 27th November 1961

[This talk is based on the Simile of the Six Animals Discourse and talk about seclusion (viveka)]

It is like a man covered with sores and wounds entering a forest of thorns and reeds. The eye, ear, … mind anywhere in the body has wounds and sores, and form, sound, … mind objects are thorns. Therefore, kilesa wounds are festering all the time. The injured patient's desire to enter the thorn bush will make the situation worse. Lobha, dosa, and moha are festering at the eye, ear, etc. People who don't want to stay in forests and mountains can't live there either. They only desire to stay in cities. That's why they want to be pricked. They are satisfied to have wounds and don’t want to be free from them (i.e., not appreciating body seclusion— kāya-viveka).

The reason for short life is kilesas thorns (It makes sense, and Sayadaw is right. Kilesas are unwholesome negative mental states or unwholesome energy which affect the physical world).

The cause of kamma is very few, if not become a kammavādī diṭṭhi— i.e., the view that kamma determines everything. (It’s very similar to God— the Creator.) The Buddha not only mentioned kamma but also talked about many other causes. For example, suicides (i.e., prick with mind or mental thorns). If you blame everything only on the past kamma, it’s kammavādī-diṭṭhi. Many Buddhists have this wrong view. Whatever may be, if there are inconveniences and you're blaming it on kamma. With anger and doing things blindly is pricking with thorns in the mind. Staying calm is a good thing. It’s becoming festering wounds by entering thorny bushes or places. Dying with fright is pricking with form object thorns (e.g., haunted by violent ghosts). If you die with poison, it is pricking with the taste of thorns, etc. You go to the thorny bush and wood and also don’t want to have wounds; this is never possible (even the Buddha can’t help).

If you stay with samatha and vipassanā, you will not be pricked by thorns. You don't want to die as a lone mouse, but among relatives. Why is that? Want to go to the apāyas! It means like this. (Die with upādāna-dhammas). Could it become upādāna or not by dying among the affectionate people? The Buddha’s preference and our preferences are back to back (i.e., opposite). The Buddha is for Nibbāna and you’re headed to apāyas (Therefore, it becomes our permanent homes). Whichever of the six objects is pricking you will become wounds and sores. In the Dhammapada Verse—A person with no wounds, even though handling the poison, nothing is happening to him. If he has wounds, he will die! After becoming a sotāpanna by entering the thorny troublesome (kilesa) forest, you will no longer be pricked by thorns. In the discourse of the Simile of the Six Animals, the Buddha mentioned these thorns and continued to talk about the six animals. Only in physical and mental seclusion can one become safe. Upadhi-viveka only comes by attaining the Magga—path knowledge (seclusion from acquisitions). Staying away from the sense-objects is body seclusion. With the calm mind contemplating anicca is mind seclusion (not letting the mind go towards sense-objects). If you have wounds on the hand and go to touch the poison, you will die! Therefore, I have to warn you to not play around with them. It’s not easy to talk about these kinds of Dhamma. The nature of these Dhammas is not the same as the preferences of beings. The preferences or desires of beings are to be pricked with thorns (not small ones, the biggest and most poisonous ones, especially politicians and economists). Dhamma is free from dangers (i.e., Nibbāna, no other thing is really free). What the Buddha taught was right. You have to make the decision that all your preferences are wrong. If becoming citta-viveka, contemplate with insight. The six animals are from Saṃyutta and viveka is from the Aṅguttara. If it’s becoming upadhi-viveka you’ll never be pricked by thorns. Kaya-viveka → citta-viveka → vipassanā → upadhi-viveka (Khandhas vanish/magga). Khandha is the place where wounds and sores grow out. There is no khandha in Upadhi-viveka (upadhi-viveka is equivalent to nibbāna.) If it disappears for five minutes, ten minutes, etc., there is no wound. Without the body there is no place for pricking. Therefore, in free times ariyas prefer to stay in fruitions (phalas). Only if you know these things, you prefer Nibbāna. Here, the fact that khandha is "rogato" (disease) becomes clear. This Khandha was like a Hospital with Patients (with many kinds of disease). Cessation of this Khandha is Nibbāna. Only you know that you have wounds and want to be freed from it. Now, you all know that you all have wounds. With practice and not wanting to stay with the big wounds, the path knowledge arises. Khandha is oppressive with no pity— Pīḷanaṭṭha and with 96 kinds of disease. It’ll oppress you with the sense objects of wounds. You have been oppressed with it because the khandha exists. So don’t include kammas in it. Then, upāsakas and upāsikas – “What is the most important thing for you?” (With no khandha existing, Venerable Sir.)

You’ll see the khandha grows out with wounds in blips (i.e., discern anicca). Continue with the contemplation and become disenchanted with it. With this, khandha exists and Nibbāna is covered up. Ñāṇa (knowledge) is covered up with defilements (kilesa). And then the khandha (i.e., Dukkha Sacca) is covered up by Nibbāna. If you know thoroughly that khandha has wounds and you don't want them, then ñāṇa does not turn towards upādāna; instead, it turns towards no upādāna Nibbāna (here upādāna is Khandhas).

revised on 2024-07-09

  • 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。