More Fearful Than Five Heavy Kammas

revised on 2024-06-10

Dhamma Talks by Mogok Sayadaw; 27th to 28th May 1962

The Buddha, with his knowledge observing the world, noted that there is no other dhamma having a greater fault than the wrong view of taking the five khandhas as "me." It’s more fearful than the five heavy kammas.

(Here, the wrong view referred to is niyata-micchā-diṭṭhi — a fixed wrong view which denies the law of kamma. Sakkāya-diṭṭhi is like a seed, and the other wrong views are the outgrowths of it.)

(This Buddha’s Saying comes from the Aṅguttara Nikāya.) Why is that? Someone who committed the five heavy kammas (any one of them), even though falling into hells, if the world were to face destruction tomorrow, he would be freed from hell tomorrow. But for someone who has a fixed wrong view, they must move to other worlds of hell to continue with the overgrowth of sakkāya-diṭṭhi, which becomes a fixed wrong view. U Mya was also advised to address important tasks sooner rather than later.

(U Mya was one of the well-known businessmen in Burma. Sayadaw warned him many times to practice, but he postponed it. He was preparing to come and practice when he passed away unexpectedly. Time and tide wait for no man, including Death!)

I had also warned him in Amarapura. (This talk was in Mogok. U Mya was still alive. Even when Sayadaw was in Rangoon, he met him again and warned him. After Sayadaw returned to Amarapura for his last vassa, U Mya prepared for the journey and passed away suddenly.)

U Aung San Wai has no need to fear (i.e., for death and painful births); he has already discerned anicca very well. (U Aung San Wai was a retired politician in the same year General Ne Win took power and came under Sayadaw’s instruction for the practice. S. N. Goenkaji did the same; because of the military coup, he could not do any business in Burma and returned to India, spreading the Dhamma worldwide.)

Unfortunate things become fortunate for some people. Here both men had the chance to come closer to Dhamma, which leads everyone in the right direction. (See the causes for U Goenkaji on how a Hindu becomes a Buddhist.)

The beginning of wrong view (here refers to niyata micchā-diṭṭhi) starts from sakkāya diṭṭhi. In the Dhammahādaya vibhaṅga, the Buddha taught that someone with merits who takes rebirth in heavenly realms, but if he has a wrong view, will fall down again. Where does sakkāya diṭṭhi come from? (Sayadaw used the story of Anāthapiṇḍika to explain about wrong view) Mind and form dhammas arise from conditioning. If the conditions perish, mind and form also perish.

(Anāthapiṇḍika explained the causes of wrong views to outsiders). Not knowing about the saṅkhata dhamma – cause and effect phenomena – and with unwise attention (ayoniso), one develops wrong views. And also, listening to the wrong teachings (e.g., the creation and the creator) leads to wrong view. Only with the discerning of anicca does one achieve right attention (yoniso). There are four wrong attentions – wrong attention to the phenomena of anicca, dukkha, anatta, and asubha as nicca, sukha, atta, and subha. An example regarding wrong listening to teachings is – if you do it, you’ll receive it. You enjoy the results of the merit many times in the human world and heavens. This ends at the knowledge of the law of kamma – kammassakatā ñāṇa. This is a kind of ending based on what others say. This is the wrong way of listening to teachings (of the Buddha). [In the sutta, the cause for wrong views arising is listening to wrong teachings – such as other faiths]

The Buddha's use of similes, analogies, metaphors is for understanding and not taking them as literal (e.g., wholesome actions follow someone as a shadow).

(Sayadaw retold the Dhamma points in the first talk) After the preceding mind ceases and the following mind arises (This explains the death and birth process from this life to the next. The same kind of mind arises (the same kind but different mind because cuti citta and jāti viññāṇa are different minds but from the same kind of mind – online).

(Sayadaw gave the example of lighting the second candle from the first candle light to dispel the two wrong views of permanence and annihilation)

If the first candle light moves to the second candle, then the first candle light must cease. This demonstrates sassata diṭṭhi falling away. The same kind of light appears at the second candle. This demonstrates uccheda diṭṭhi falling away.

Dana with no enrichment of insight (or support with insight knowledge) becomes inferior dāna. (from Aṅguttara Nikāya) A Vipassanā yogi with the discernment of anicca and no desire for anicca, with this kind of making dāna, will not acquire another khandha again. The Buddha taught various types of dāna, and the last one was dāna supporting with insight. Starting with insight and following with dāna is not wrong (or the best way which Mogok Sayadaw teaches people all the time.) At last, the Buddha encouraged the monks to teach the lay community about dispelling wrong views for them with reference to Anāthapiṇḍika (see the original sutta).

revised on 2024-06-10

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

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