Ending of Dukkha; Need Only One

revised on 2024-06-09

Dhamma Talks by Mogok Sayadaw; 19th to 20th December 1961

Tape 1

In the Rādha Sutta (SN 23:1), he asked the Buddha, "What is called the King of Death (Māra)?" The Buddha replied, "Form (rūpa) dhamma will kill you because you have to die as long as form exists. If you can contemplate the impermanence (anicca) of form as the king of death, that is beneficial; if you can't, it will kill you across many lives. If you can contemplate and lose interest in the king of death and its end, you have conquered the evil of 'khandha mara'—the evil of 'khandha'. Feeling (vedanā) is also the king of death, as are perception, mental formations, and consciousness (i.e., the other nāma khandhas of saññā, saṅkhāra, and viññāṇam)."

The five khandhas will kill someone who received them by prayers. Death from bodily stiffness is caused by the earth element (paṭhavī).

Death from overflowing with urine and blood is caused by the water element (āpo dhātu), death from overheating by the fire element, and death with the body bloated and swollen by the air element (vāya). Dying while eating something that is not good, but perceived as good, involves the perception khandha (saññā).

(Sayadaw continued it with each of the other khandhas). You’ll not see the five khandhas as free from dangers. The killer is not far away from you; it’s inside of you. The five khandhas always oppress (pīḷanaṭṭha) beings without any pity. When you're alive, they ask you to do things for them, and you overwork yourself, which ultimately leads to your demise.

(This point is very good for contemplation by using the four meanings of dukkha and four meanings of its cause. Because all beings live with dukkha and Samudaya all the time throughout their lives.) Discerning anicca is seeing the dhamma which kills you. Only then will you shun away from it. You're freed from death only by discerning the dukkha sacca. You have to truly seek liberation from Death, but most people are looking for Deaths. They are looking for the killers or murderers to kill them (i.e., to acquire khandhas—quite stupid indeed). Not only do they not see the khandhas as enemies, but they also care for them (quite foolishly).

For the insight practitioner—I am breaking you down into pieces! In Samatha practice, they are still looking for the killers to kill them. Thus, they do not attain Nibbāna. We cannot transcend the dukkha sacca without seeing Nibbāna. Success can only come by thoroughly understanding dukkha sacca. To be freed from Death, you have to "kill" the khandhas, but throughout the whole of saṁsāra, you have been killed by them.

Tape 2

Whatever prayers of becoming (bhāva) are inviting the King of Death (even nearly all Buddhists not only the later Buddhists). You’re living together with the five khandhas of the five Kings of Death. The form (rūpa) khandha oppresses you before Death (the worst is at dying). When contemplating form (rūpa), it can be used as a template for the dying dhamma and oppressive dhamma. People are asking about the causes of death such as— what kind of feeling (vedanā), eating something which is not right (saññā), etc. There are people who die while traveling (i.e., saṅkhārakhandha), unable to control the mind (viññāṇam) because of suicide. People are praying for the khandhas (by making merits) with kamāsava, bhavāsava, and avijjāsava (i.e., taints of lust, becoming, and ignorance). Don’t desire the khandha and invite the king of death. Near death, they are crying and calling for help— Oh! Help me.

You don’t need to be afraid of killing you but of bhāvataṇhā— craving for becoming. You have to accept dukkha sacca by practicing samudaya sacca. Pushing you from behind are āsava and the killers are the five khandhas. Do you want to become a corpse inside someone’s mouth (as an animal) or want to become a corpse in the ground? Whatever way we talk about it, it comes to anicca (there are 40 ways to talk about the three characteristics). If you can discern anicca, you will gain the knowledge of the way as it is (yathābhūta ñāṇa). Continue toward the knowledge of disenchantment (nibbidā ñāṇa). Continue to meditate with the contemplation until you no longer want it, and in this way, the five aggregates disappear.

Then you find the undying place, Ñāṇa crossing into the side of undying. Try to find it out. (encouragement and guarantee).

I am giving you the method. From the dying element, it is crossing into the undying element (Nibbāna). The place of undying arises and let ñāṇa stay there. Don’t look for the place of cessation. The cessation of dukkha is only this much because it’s still not yet. Conquer the khandha— māra (i.e., the evilness of the khandha). Examine it with the reviewing knowledge— paccavekkhana ñāṇa. If you attain it with a lot of examination and it stays with the cessation of dukkha (Nirodha).

Seeing the inconstant is insight knowledge, and seeing Nibbāna is path, fruit, and reviewing knowledge respectively. With the First Path Knowledge, Diṭṭhi Kilesa and Diṭṭhi Khandha vanish. (Sayadaw's use of Dhamma words or phrases is very precise and good for contemplation.) Reducing a quarter (1/4) of kammāsava, bhavāsava, and avijjāsava respectively. The axle of Ditthāsava is totally or wholly breaking down and can’t revolve anymore (totally stopped). Therefore, a stream enterer will never fall into apāya forever.

With the second and third path knowledge, the axle of kamāsava is totally broken down, and with the fourth path knowledge, bhavāsava and avijjāsava are broken down. Now, you all are complete with upanissayapaccayo—decisive support condition (having the three wholesome roots of non-greed, non-hatred, and non-delusion, i.e., Tihetuka Person, having the potential for enlightenment). For the liberation from the three rounds of existence—three vaṭṭa, try to do the Path Condition (maggapaccayo). You have enough 23 conditions and are only left with the Maggapaccayo. This point is very, very important!

To give an example—an analogy—all food (23 conditions) is ready; you only need salt (Maggapaccayo)! (So don’t become a foolish Buddhist.)

revised on 2024-06-09

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

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