The Crooked Dhamma and the Straight Dhamma

revised on 2024-06-10

Dhamma Talks by Mogok Sayadaw; 1st October 1961

The Buddha taught Puṇṇa: By seeing a physical form, affection arises, and clinging to it as reliable—these are taṇhā, māna, and diṭṭhi, which are followed by upādāna and kamma. Then you’ll suffer. If you don’t have affection, then there is no suffering. Therefore, whether you choose to suffer is determined here, and if you choose not, it must also be corrected here. It’s easy to fall into this trap, but difficult to correct it, similar to a foolish patient who eats unsuitable foods, causing lobha, dosa, and moha sores to arise. These are mental afflictions. Mistaking things that are not wife and children to be wife and children. The mind door is deceiving you. These are sores of affliction. In reality, they are Saṅkhāra dhamma and anicca dhamma (i.e., sensual pleasures). You have been deceived by them. If you overcome these deceits, you will arrive at Nibbāna. Knowing that they are not affectionate and unreliable leads to Nibbāna. The three dhammas of taṇhā, māna, and diṭṭhi are deceiving you. The dhamma that does not deceive you is maggaṅga dhamma.

Maggan is the straight dhamma. You have to place it between the deceivers. Only with the deceivers do its companions of clinging and kamma follow behind them.

(Here we can see the importance of the Maṅgala Sutta, the first and the second blessings: Asevanā ca bālānaṁ – not consorting with fools; Panditanañ ca sevanā – consorting with the wise. We are consorting with the three foolish leaders – taṇhā, māna, diṭṭhi, and their thugs, all the time instead of with the eight wise-men.)

If the crooked dhammas arise, leading to sufferings, and the straight dhamma, leading to happiness (and peace).

Every time with seeing, hearing,... knowing, you must always have a critical approach as: “Is it straight dhamma or crooked dhamma?” If you have affection for them, it’s crooked dhamma. And if you recognize them as aniccas, they become straight dhamma. Taṇhā, māna, and diṭṭhi make you hot (they not only affect humans but also severely impact nature with climate change and all pollution), and Magga Dhamma makes you cool. You must reflect on them with your heart.

Note: The last paragraph is quite important for our daily life. We should always have a critical approach whether we are consorting with the fools or the wise.

This is appamāda – Heedfulness.

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。