Making Decision with The Khandha

revised on 2024-07-10

Dhamma Talks by Mogok Sayadaw; (no date)

If you view kammas following behind you like a shadow, it is sassata-diṭṭhi. You can’t say "don't view it this way," or "view it that way," because both of these views are taught by the Buddha. All Buddhists rely on kammas. From the insight point of view, viewing kammas following like a shadow and having the nature of stability becomes sassata diṭṭhi. According to the Buddha, those with wrong views will not attain path knowledge. Viewing kamma as "my kamma" by relying on kammas becomes sakkāya and sassata diṭṭhis. Viewing it with the suttanta-method becomes a wrong view. Viewing with the Abhidhamma method, it doesn’t follow like a shadow.

In the time of the Buddha, these problems were already present. When kammasakatā ñāṇa is taken as stable and permanent, it forbids path and fruition knowledges. This was mentioned in the Mahāpuṇṇama Sutta, Majjhima Nikāya (MN 109). An arahant gave instructions to 60 monks, but no one attained Dhamma, and he took them to the Buddha. The khandha arises because of taṇhā. With the cessation of taṇhā, upādāna, and kamma cannot do anything. There are two kinds of taṇhā – with prayers and without prayers (with one’s effort and by natural processes). With the khandha, clinging arises and with clinging, you get the khandha. Therefore, they are not the same as the other. If you contemplate one of the five khandhas as anicca, sakkāya diṭṭhi will not arise. How to contemplate the khandha so it is free from taṇhā, māna, and diṭṭhi? If you can contemplate them as – "this is not mine, this I am not, and this is not myself," you will be free from them.

During contemplation, don’t let it become mine. This refers to the monk who had a wrong view on kamma with sassata-diṭṭhi in the sutta. In vipassanā practice, don’t make kamma the only reliable thing for you. In the making of merits, you can use it this way. Kammasakatā ñāṇa cannot dispel diṭṭhi. (According to Sayadaw, the 60 monks had sakkāya and sassata-diṭṭhis, which is why they did not attain any realization during the rain retreat.)

Cutting off kamma is necessary to arrive at Nibbāna; otherwise, it’s impossible. It’s clear that listening to Dhamma requires a good teacher. Arriving at the Brahma Worlds is not by kamma, but through samādhi. In dāna practice, volition or kamma is the leader.

In sīla, abstinence (virati) is the leader. In Samatha, samādhi is the leader. In the nibbānic path, wisdom (ñāṇa) is the leader. Taking everything as a result of kamma, if not known accordingly in its own place, is incorrect. Not everything is in the province of kamma. In the noble eight-fold path, kamma is included but not as the leader.

(Sayadaw continues to talk about the Dog Ascetic Discourse) The Buddha never spoke if there was no benefit. He knew that Seniya – the dog ascetic – would become an arahant. Ending at other people’s mouths (sayings or teachings) is a terrible thing; (by terrorists you die once, but with wrong views, you die forever and fall into apāyas)

If you do not see and know about the khandha with your own knowledge, then you may end up with other faiths. You have to arrive at the khandha. The khandha will never tell you anything wrong. Do the work of knowledge to penetrate the khandha!

revised on 2024-07-10

  • Content of Part 16 on "Dhamma Talks by Mogok Sayadaw"

  • Content of "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。