Knowing Dhamma is Knowing the Buddha

revised on 2024-06-10

Dhamma Talks by Mogok Sayadaw; 30th to 31st May 1962

It’s true that people are not listening to the Dhamma of liberation from death. So they are doing things which lead towards the cemeteries. In the whole of saṁsāra, it’ll be like this. The Buddha exhorts us to always stay with a Dhamma of freedom from death. This is staying with one of the satipaṭṭhāna dhamma.

(Sayadaw talked about how to train the six animals from the Discourse of the Simile of the Six Animals.) In the beginning of the sutta, the Buddha gave an example of a worldling. A man whose whole body was covered with sores. In this situation, he would enter a thorny wood. All these sores exist at the six senses of the door. He was not only having the sores but was also a double blind person (i.e., a worldling). He liked the thorny wood. The six sense objects were thorns.

You all like being free from dangers but go toward the places with dangers. The Buddha wants you all to cure the sores and does not want you to enter the thorny wood. He sees the dangers and has Great Compassion (mahā-karuṇā). He became Buddha with satipaṭṭhāna, and thereafter continued dwelling with sati. Therefore, to be freed from ageing, sickness, and death we have to stay with one of the satipaṭṭhāna. (Sayadaw mentioned the six senses of the door with its counterparts the six animals. The masters are six and the slave is one because he has to follow the desires of the six senses of the door. You lack the satipaṭṭhāna post and in every life follow the pulling of the six animals that die badly with dukkha. There was never stable dying (i.e., taking rebirths randomly, mostly in woeful existences).

Therefore, the satipaṭṭhāna post (sati post) is so important to us. For the safety of the sense faculties (controlling the six animals), mindfulness is very important. Only by striking a satipaṭṭhāna peg (post) will you be freed from Dukkha!

In teaching Dhamma, the Buddha uses two kinds of speech: it’s right and true, beneficial, but people don’t like it. People are unaware of the Dhamma they dislike. Nevertheless, the Buddha has to teach it because it’s beneficial for the person involved. He’ll wait for the right chance and time to teach. The second kind is – right and true, beneficial, and people like it. He also looks for the suitable time to teach the person involved. In the 45 years of his life (as Buddha), he only spoke these two kinds of speech. If it’s needed urgently, he’ll go quickly to teach them (when a person is near death). If there is enough time for someone, he’ll wait for him (we can see all these situations in the suttas). In both kinds of speech, there is compassion. Some people like the Buddha’s words. However, if his knowledge is not mature enough, he has to wait for it. When the time is ripe, he goes there to give the teaching. If a Dhamma leads to truth (sacca dhamma) which leads to liberation, and vice versa. As an example, consider the teaching Sāriputta gave his friend Brahmin Dhanañjāni. The teaching must go straight into the heart (leading to the knowledge of the khandha). The listener, while listening, also has to observe the khandha. Then, it will lead to the truth (sacca). (MN 97 Dhanañjānisuttaṃ)

The example of the first kind of speech is the simile of the six animals, which people don’t like because worldlings are immersed in defilements. It opposes the way most people are accustomed. Always being pulled by the six animals prevents attaining the stable, unmovable Nibbāna. Knowing the Dhamma is knowing the Buddha. Then you know the compassion of the Buddha. The six senses of the door are an extension of papañca dhamma. The path factors of satipaṭṭhāna dhamma kill papañca dhamma (nipapañca, it kills the six animals).

revised on 2024-06-10

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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。