Humans Love for Khandha and Taṇhā

revised on 2024-07-09

Dhamma Talks by Mogok Sayadaw; 30th April and 1st May 1962

A person who contemplates to discern anicca is wise, whereas someone who doesn't even know what exists in the khandha is a fool. (These talks are interesting as they show how Sayadaw handles family affairs with Dhamma. It appears that some couples mentioned their children's problems to him. He advised them not to be overly concerned but to simply fulfill the parent’s duties). You're doing merits and also go to apāyas. Looking after the children is a kind of merit (This point is important for Buddhists, and many people overlook the benefits of it. In a family, the wife or mother often has more merits than others. Her many duties give her opportunities to make merits. Nowadays, modern women are increasingly staying away from these opportunities more than ever before. Many of them neglect the duty to educate and train their children in wholesome directions.)

If you are displeased with them, it becomes demerits (akusala). With affection comes sorrow, lamentation, pain, and grief (Sayadaw told the story of a Brahmin whose only son died, causing sorrow and lamentation. The female boss Visākhā is a very good example. Even a sotāpanna experiences it). Therefore, Taṇhā oppresses you (still human beings have great love for Taṇhā, even some Buddhists, with coming and going, plead with Taṇhā 'Beat me! Beat me!'). According to the D.A process: Taṇhā, upādāna, soka, parideva, etc. You must detach your affection from it, but not from the children’s khandhas. You have to contemplate your own khandhas. What do they have except the arising and vanishing? Is it the practice of the holy life (brahma cariya) that causes sorrow and lamentation? Whatever dukkha you experience comes from samudaya sacca — lobha. Lobha is an unwholesome dhamma. One’s khandha is anatta — not belonging to oneself. The children’s khandhas also are anatta — not belonging to them. It’s only craziness to quarrel with each other with no ownership. You’re the first one in foolishness by clinging to the khandha. With anger, it's like throwing excrement that soils you first. Besides the practice of the holy life, there are no other reliable things.

In everyday life, thorough investigation of children and business matters is not useful. It's only for a lifetime. You are not able to investigate for many lives to come. Not connecting for many lives of suffering that the Buddha taught about the right way of thorough investigation (from Nidānasaṁyutta). Ageing, sickness, and death exist in the khandha. You must investigate them with knowledge. You must always investigate what exists in the khandha. In the body, there are phenomena that cause ageing and lead to death. For example, the heat element (tejo-dhātu); if it's warm, it makes you old; if cold, it can cause death. Smiling about children and business matters is the smile of not wanting to see the king of death. It’s smiling in front of the death messenger. Even if the killer’s knife is on your neck and you're still smiling, it indicates madness. Therefore, now is still not the time for smiling. You're living with the heat element, which is leading you towards death. Where do all these things come from? Because the khandha exists. It is the one that accepts ageing, sickness, and death. It was like looking for the base of a tendril; we have to find the cause of it. What you're smiling at now is just looking at the tip of the result. The process in reverse order is: Khandha ← influenced by taṇhā (affection for the khandha) ← taṇhā ← affection for property, one's khandha, and other khandhas, etc.

Upāsakas and upāsikās often say they have a nature of affections (i.e., a friendly nature). They lack the knowledge of Dhamma and make all these mistakes, and they don’t even realize that they are seeking their own Dukkhas. All affectionate things are the main cause of the king of death. You must contemplate them with insight.

The Buddha said: Humans are quite similar to vultures! A vulture likes the putrid body of a dead dog (carcass). They fight each other for the putrid carcass (similar to corrupt politicians and some leaders vying for power and wealth in today's world). Humans also fight and vandalize for the affectionate things, of which there are many. When we're looking for the greatest thing, it is our own khandhas. (Every being loves oneself more than others.) There is no other way to free oneself from ageing and death except to contemplate one’s khandha with insight.

revised on 2024-07-09

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

  • Content of "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。