Useless and Disgusting Khandha

revised on 2024-06-09

Dhamma Talks by Mogok Sayadaw; 28th November 1961

The Buddha gave talks by request and according to the situations that arose. Now, this talk was freed from these two matters and arose from his great compassion and delivered the Dhamma on Nibbāna and the way to it. Raga (lust), dosa (hatred), and moha (delusion) end in Nibbāna. These unwholesomenesses are craving and clinging, aversion to things and people, and not knowing or ignorance. Whenever contact with a sensual object becomes greedy and lustful, it is Raga; when it becomes unpleasant, it is Dosa; and when ignorance of impermanence, suffering, non-self (anatta), and the truth of suffering prevails, it is Moha. Except for Nibbāna, all is dukkha sacca. If you can end not knowing, that is Nibbāna. The cause of arriving at Nibbāna is the right view. It’s the way to Nibbāna if you rightly see anicca, dukkha, anatta, and dukkha sacca. Dependent co-origination teaching (desanā) has two kinds. If causes and effects are continuing, there is dukkha arising; and if the causes and effects are cut off, there is the cessation of dukkha or Nibbāna. These two are— khandha arising and khandha cessation. The D.A. connection is to dukkha, and the cutting of it is to Nibbāna. Therefore, not understanding the D.A. process means not understanding the cause of Dukkha and Nibbāna. Are you clear about it? If you don’t use D.A. as a manual, you can't understand it. Study and look at the D.A. chart carefully, and it’ll become clear to you. With the cause of sec. 1, Samudaya Sacca, and Sec.2, dukkha sacca arises. (Sayadaw explained sec. 1 and 2 in detail; we can also contemplate it ourselves). Because of our past foolishness and stupidity, we now have the result of foolishness. (Because of dukkha, samudaya gets the result of dukkha).

Do you get dukkha with good kamma? Or because of your past foolishness? You can’t take off ageing, sickness, and death. It appears to us, we get the useless thing. In any life, if you don’t know it as dukkha sacca, ignorance will arise again. Living happily with your wife and children means being happy wherever you are. Being happy with the things you have as good is Taṇhā. And not wanting to separate from your wife and children is clinging (upādāna), etc. (related to kamma). From dukkha (sec.2) and samudaya (sec.3), arises again. If you don’t do the task of insight, it is like you let samudaya grow in its own way. Section three is the present cause but can also be said as the future cause (it allows future khandha to arise). Section three will connect with section 4. If you don’t want it to connect, don’t let sec.3 arise from sec.2. If sec.3 arises, it’s the arising of the D.A. process and if it’s not, then the cessation of the D.A. process. It’s important, so take note of it carefully. If we reconnect with the above mentioned, from sec.2 not arising sec.3 is Nibbāna. With the cessation of sec.3 and sec.4, which are the cessation of Dukkha and Samudaya, so it’s Nibbāna.

Why don't you attain Nibbāna? Because from sec.2, sec.3 arises and you can’t get it. Your own fault becomes clear to you. In this way, you know about yourself and also can speak about others. Nibbāna is the cessation of sec.3 samudaya and sec.4 dukkha. Some think Nibbāna is like a place (i.e., Supreme Heaven).

[Some later Buddhists postulated special supreme Heavens and Buddha Lands for Atta-nibbāna for popular Buddhism.]

"Venerable Sir, could I attain Nibbāna in this life?"—if you ask some Sayadawgyis, they will answer you without solid answers. You’ll know it by yourself. If you ask others about your own knowledge, it becomes senseless. This is Diṭṭhā-dhammo—seeing or discerning by oneself and not by others’ sayings (one of Sotāpanna’s qualities). This is also sandiṭṭhiko—to experience it here and now. Do you know about yourself? Even someone who has supernormal power (abhiññā) can’t say it.

Taṇhā ends in Nibbāna, Khandha ends in Nibbāna. (i.e., Sec.3 and Sec.4 end). The Khandha D.A. process is talking to you. Don’t think blindly about whether others attain Nibbāna or not! None of them are true. All these are only thoughts (proliferation) and not about actual knowing. (Here, Sayadawji’s talk becomes humorous.) You have to make decisions with this as it’s a rāja day or a pyasadā day— (i.e., about whether it's a lucky day or an unlucky day.)

Note: The Burmese calendar follows the Buddhist tradition—each day is described as a rāja day (good day) or a pyasadā day (bad day). All these descriptions are made by astrologers. This tradition may have come from Indian Astrology. Hence, here, Mogok Sayadaw’s interpretation on good luck and bad luck from the Dhamma View. It is indeed true - without the end of Khandha Dukkha, all beings will always be in the day of bad luck (the day of Pyasadā).

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。