Blind and Disable Person

revised on 2024-06-10

Dhamma Talks by Mogok Sayadaw; 16th May 1962

You all are worshipping Knowledge and Conduct (i.e., vijjā and caraṇa). This is the task of the practice (It's better than other beliefs which are avijjā – ignorance and delusion). Worship alone yields only merit and not the main point. Knowledge is like the eyes and conduct like two legs. So, it's more than worship; it’s the task to move towards Nibbāna.

(Blind and disabled persons – i.e., this metaphor refers to the body and the mind, as used by Mogok Sayadawgyi in his teaching on Dukkha Sacca, with one of the four meanings as pīḷanaṭṭha – oppressive. It was quite an excellent talk.)

[This talk was based on a sutta in the Aṅguttara N., the Qs and As between Upavāṇa and Sāriputta. AN 4.175 ]

The great wisdom of Sāriputta is evident in each moment as he can count the number of mental arisings in a person.

① Upavāṇa asks Sāriputta: With only knowledge (vijjā), can one arrive at Nibbāna? Sāriputta answers: No, one cannot arrive there.

② With only conduct (caraṇa), can one arrive there? Even with sīla and samādhi, one cannot arrive there.

③ With both knowledge and conduct, can one arrive there? One still cannot arrive there. This leaves everyone doubtful. If you are complete with vijjā and caraṇa, you are only observing Nibbāna. You have not arrived there yet because you still possess the khandha. Nibbāna is a state where no khandha exists. The khandha is dukkha sacca. Therefore, one has not achieved Nibbāna yet.

④ What about without both of them (i.e., vijjā and caraṇa)? One cannot arrive there. If cārāna is broken down, vijjā doesn’t perceive rightly. With the breaking down of sīla and samādhi, you cannot perceive it rightly. With the stability of caraṇa and sharpness of vijjā, one will arrive at Nibbāna. It is like being disabled and blind, one cannot reach the destination of the journey. Even if you have seen Nibbāna, your changing khandha is still there.

(Sayadaw told the story of Māgandiya the Brahmin’s daughter and the differences between the human body and a devata body. DhA. iii. 193ff.; SNA. ii. 542f)

Nibbāna does not accept the loathsome body (asubha khandha), because it’s subha Nibbāna (pleasant Nibbāna) – pleasant and peaceful Nibbāna. In accordance with point ④, all the worldlings will eventually arrive at Nibbāna. Therefore, you all have to look after your sīla securely. In the five path–factors which I teach you, completion is achieved with samādhi and paññā. If your discernment of anicca is complete with these two, samatha and vipassanā go together. The task of our practice is on the right track, so be careful with sīla (Sayadaw emphasized the importance of sīla in Samatha and vipassanā practice).

If your caraṇa is broken, you can’t discern anicca. This is the reason why anicca is not discerned. With stable caraṇa and sharpened vijjā, one becomes adept. Please remember these words carefully. With weak vijjā, you can’t see it rightly.

revised on 2024-06-10

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