A Short Visit to Human Realm

revised on 2024-06-10

Dhamma Talks by Mogok Sayadaw; 2nd October 1962

Your permanent homes are the four apāyas. Human realm, heavenly realm, and brahma-god realm are only short visiting places. Why are you all falling into apāyas? Because you are unable to cut off the D.A process of the khandha so that it becomes your permanent home. You have to understand the D.A process. Diṭṭhi arises because you don’t understand it. With the cause of Diṭṭhi, beings fall into apāyas (This factor is very important for beings falling into apāyas. Becoming a sotāpanna, diṭṭhi is eradicated, and there is no more becoming in woeful existences — hells, animals, ghosts, etc.)

One day Ven. Ānanda went to Kuru Country and there he enjoyed the fruition state. (from the Nidānavagga, Saṁyutta N.) The fruition state involves contemplating anicca and, at the end of anicca, inclining toward the Nibbāna element. It means Nibbāna and phala-ñāṇa (fruition knowledge) are together. He was contemplating the object of Nibbāna with the cessation of Dukkha (here sotāpatti-phala). After that, he reflected on the paṭiccasamuppāda dhamma and then went to see the Buddha. He said to the Buddha that D.A dhamma was easy for him. The Buddha rejected his statement. In the apāyas, living beings are more overwhelmed than in other places because of their lack of understanding about D.A dhamma. From human realm and heavenly realm, living beings construct the hell realms according to the D.A process – i.e., diṭṭhi → diṭṭhupādāna → kamma.

Only with the understanding of the D.A process can you understand the practice. In the whole D.A process, only sec. two and sec. three are important because they relate to the present period. Ānanda’s understanding of D.A was only regarding stream entry. He had not yet understood the other D.A processes from once-returner to arahant. People who do not practice are kamma-samaṅgīs who are collecting kamma before death. Past lives' old kammas are following people, and they are also making new kammas in every present (if we think about it carefully, it's quite frightening).

To destroy the old kammas and to cut off new kammas, only the path knowledge is able to do it. These words are very important. We establish the five path factors to develop them into eight path factors. For example, you contemplate the hearing mind. If it’s just hearing, it is called abyākata-citta (neither wholesome nor unwholesome mind). The contemplative mind (ñāṇa) is a wholesome mind. The two can’t be in parallel. At the moment of abyākata mind, a wholesome mind can’t arise. Eka-citta-sampayutta – can exist with only one mind (at each moment). They have different time spans relative to each other. At the time of contemplating, you’ll see the hearing mind does not exist (already vanished). There are no other minds arising between them at the present. After the arising and vanishing, ñāṇa can enter or come in. Even though vipassanā magga analyses dukkha and abandons samudaya, it has still not yet seen nirodha. How to make this ñāṇa mature? With strong effort (viriya), ñāṇa can mature. Therefore, an ordinary disciple (pakati-sāvaka) does not need perfection (paramīs). [It doesn’t mean you don’t have any perfection from your past lives. Here, Sayadaw encourages people not to rely on paramīs alone.]

With strong effort, if you can make aniccas and maggas fit together, then the practice will be fulfilled (i.e., no kilesas will come between anicca and magga).

revised on 2024-06-10

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