Following the Khandha with Knowledge

revised on 2024-07-10

Dhamma Talks by Mogok Sayadaw; 28th September 1961

Dhamma practice only appears in the Buddha-sāsana, so it’s very important. (even becoming a normal human being is quite difficult. Don’t waste the time). In the past, most people recited anicca with their mouths and wise anicca was very rare indeed. (Most elderly people are using the rosary beads to recite it.) If you don’t want to handle rosary beads, it is all right. If you follow the anicca khandha with ñāṇa, it is enough. If you practice in this way, it becomes anicca vipassanā or aniccānupassanā. There is great benefit from anicca vipassanā. You are cutting off your own dukkha (D.A process) and will arrive at Nibbāna. If you contemplate often in this way, the craving of "I want, I desire," etc. becomes thinner and thinner, and with long practice, it disappears. Taṇhā becomes thin if you develop anicca-saññā and also see it as disgusting. If you don’t want nor desire anything, you will know that taṇhā is becoming thinner. This happens because you discern a lot of arising and vanishing of anicca. Ñāṇa develops slowly as disgust and disenchantment. This comes from the Aṅguttara Nikāya.

I don’t want you to see anicca with your eyes. (even this, most people don’t know and can't see). With ñāṇa, discerning them in the khandha is like water bubbles bursting! Discerning the minds is like water foams.

This is killing of taṇhā, upādāna, and kamma. Then birth can’t arise. With the cutting off of the causes, the results are also cut. It’s the ending of one’s own dukkha, so you have to practice it without laziness. Before, it was your own making anicca. Now I’m showing you by asking you to discern the anicca that the Dhamma (khandha) displays to you. You contemplate it with ñāṇa as – "it’s right, it’s right." Taṇhā becomes thin by seeing it as disgusting. With the thinning of taṇhā, it at last ceases. By following the arising and vanishing of the khandha as it displays itself to you, you will arrive at Nibbāna. This is the result of diṭṭha-dhamma (direct seeing). In the Dhamma-guṇa, excellent qualities of Dhamma include akālika, which means giving the result without delay. Giving the result only by contemplating (developing). If you recite it, it is only Samatha. With contemplation, you attain magga. With recitation, you get samādhi. By seeing dukkha, dosa thins out and knowledge of fear arises. It is fearful to get this khandha. With the thinning of dosa, bhaya-ñāṇa arises (fearfulness). It’s certain that taṇhā and dosa become thinner by contemplating anicca.

If you know it as the arising and vanishing of dukkha sacca, you don’t want any realm and life, and become fearful. Only with the fear of khandha will you not get it. Non-self also can’t stop the arising and vanishing, which means not-self. On the khandha body, pleasure arises. You want it to stay longer, but it doesn't and disappears. By discerning anatta, taṇhā, māna, and diṭṭhi thin out. This point is mentioned by the Buddha in the Aṅguttara Nikāya. People who discern anicca are discerning all three of them (i.e., the three lakkhaṇas).

The Buddha teaches three lakkhaṇas according to three types of people. In reality, they are one. The Buddha taught them according to their past lives ' habitual formations – Vāsanā.

In reality, anicca vata saṅkhāra – all conditioned phenomena are impermanent; sabbe dhamma anatta – all dhamma are non-self; pañcupādānakkhandha dukkha – the five clinging khandhas are dukkha. You have to contemplate the five khandhas so that they are all the same. Therefore, if you contemplate anicca, it finishes the task. If dhamma shows you anicca, it becomes anicca-ñāṇa. If it shows dukkha, it becomes dukkha-ñāṇa. If it shows anatta, it becomes anatta-ñāṇa. Knowledge develops by itself and is not made by oneself. It’s developed by contemplation. (Sayadaw points to two plastic cups in front of him) This side of the cup is anicca (i.e., object). This cup is contemplative ñāṇa. Combining them together becomes the knowledge of anicca. Therefore, it’s not the name of contemplative knowledge. It’s the name of the object of contemplation. We’re following the name of the object of contemplation. It’s clear.

It's not about making it happen. Knowing it accordingly with the dhamma shows its true nature. Ñāṇa takes the name of the object of contemplation. Only what the dhamma tells you is right. It’s not right just by reciting. It becomes anicca and dukkha and anatta-ñāṇas respectively, based on the dhamma signs. It does not relate to ñāṇa. The nature of ñāṇa is only knowing. Therefore, if you still do not discern dhamma, do not contemplate as anicca. It becomes vipassanā ñāṇa only by what the dhamma is showing you. Do not take it from a book, which is only a record.

The practice of vipassanā is to know oneself (D.A process is about oneself). Not knowing oneself means that living beings are encountering many kinds of dukkha. This ñāṇa is made by dhamma (not by prayers). Wisdom perfection arises by contemplating dhamma (So Buddhism is not a blind faith. Confidence comes from direct experience without judgement and coloring. (Sayadaw continues on Sakka’s Questions). The Buddha-dhamma arrives in your body. This Ñāṇa ought to become a Dhamma–cetiya. Flesh, blood, bones are like bricks and cement. If you contemplate three types of feeling with their aniccas, and papañca dies → vitakka dies → …… issa/macchariya die (see the Sakkapañha Sutta, Dīgha Nikāya, DN 21).

revised on 2024-07-10

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