Bitten by Dogs

revised on 2024-07-09

Dhamma Talks by Mogok Sayadaw; 7th October 1962

In many lifetimes, our actions of two unwholesome and wholesome dogs are following behind us—all the time, the unwholesome dog is stronger. If we observe our mind processes in daily life, unwholesome minds are more prevalent than wholesome minds. Death, occurring as the expiration of kammas, is influenced by akusala (human birth arises with wholesome kamma or merit, but when death comes, it is unwholesome). There are a lot of wholesome and unwholesome (merits and demerits) that, instead of two dogs, a pack of dogs following behind us is more accurate. To consider it as free from dangers is quite foolish. Therefore, you all have to tread the path of freedom from dogs (magga) until you arrive at the destination of Nibbāna.

I’ll extract a story for this from a sutta (i.e., Subrahma Devata Sutta, Devaputtasaṁyutta) [Sayadaw told the story]. The Buddha couldn’t save him directly; only the Dhamma could save him.

(According to the story, Subrahma and his 500 celestial nymphs were destined to fall into hell due to their kamma. Some Buddhists have the mistaken view that chanting certain mantras of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas can save them from any dangers and misfortunes.)

The preceding anicca is dhamma and the following discerning of mind (ñāṇa) is also dhamma. You only know the dhamma and are able to practice, which can save you. Apart from the Dhamma, there are no other reliable things. Your bones, piled up to the height of 13 miles between two Buddhas, were bitten by dogs (i.e., by kamma). Apart from the task of maggaṅga, there are no other truly reliable elements. (According to the story, Subrahma and his consorts entered the stream by listening to the Buddha’s talk and the doors to hell were closed for them. This gives us some insights into the workings of kamma and the importance of the warning of the last words of the Buddha: “Vayadhammā saṅkhārā, Appamādena sampādethā”(All) conditioned things are subject to decay, strive on with heedfulness!”

revised on 2024-07-09

  • Content of Part 14 on "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。