Day 11: 27th October, 2002 (Eighteen Days In Solitude-- Instructional Dhamma Talks in Retreat)

revised on 2019-12-05

Today change the way of contemplation on the khandha arising. We have to ascend the insight process like a ladder. And you must know these natures (i.e., the process of insight knowledges). You are on the way of the path factors (magga) if you’re discerning impermanence. This is the knowledge of rise and fall (udayabbaya ñāṇa) or yathābhūta ñāṇa (the knowledge as it really is). In discernment of impermanence has two parts; immature and mature levels. At the time seeing the material elements are changing in many different ways. From the immature stage to ascend the mature stage have to cross over through a level. This is a difficult point (level). The yogi can have light appearing like in samatha practice (i.e., obhasa, these two are different kinds). It’s brilliant and bright. It’s also like pointing at you with a bright light. Or it like under the sun and moon light.

Therefore light can appear. Rapture (pīti) can arise also. Tears can come out by seeing things never seen before with rapture. Gooseflesh can arise. Tranquility (passaddhi) can arise. The whole body becomes light and comfortable, etc. These dhammas are corruptions (upakkilesa) and forbid the path and fruit. All these things, such as coolness, mind and body become happy, joy and seeing light, etc. can be taken as attaining the Dhamma. And then you can be stopped at there. Sometimes sitting meditation is quite good and you like it. This becomes attachment (nikanti / taṇhā) when you expect this experience again while sitting next time. Taking pleasure in it is the worst thing. Contemplate their impermanence if these things arise.

Let me tell you an incident. Last week a layman was practicing standing meditation. From behind the ankle a very cold energy arose. It went up to the leg, the lap and the head. He never had an experience like this before in his life. It didn’t come up like a spread. Instead it ascended like a cold bar and he fell down on the floor. At the time of falling down he didn’t know about it. And he only knew it after on the floor. At that time he also felt very cold. He made a conclusion as attaining the Dhamma (i.e., realization of Nibbāna). But impermanence was still there. The cold sensations itself are impermanent. He made the conclusion without knowing its phenomena. He was waiting for me to report his experience. I told him that tomorrow we could make a test and could enter into the fruition state. I told him how to do it, and he couldn’t. In this kind of things, not the Path Knowledge can be taken as the Path K. if these things arise just contemplates their impermanence.

Again, we’ll climb up another mount. After seeing impermanence and will climb up another level of the disenchanting of impermanence. The way of Mogok Sayadaw was climbing with three knowledges, as mentioned in the First Discourse of the Buddha (also in many other suttas). The first is sacca ñāṇa – knowledge of seeing the truth. After that come kicca ñāṇa – functional knowledge of seeing the truth. What’s the function of the khandha? Kata ñāṇa – the ending of the impermanent khandhas, attaining the Path Knowledge. Mogok Sayadaw expressed all these knowledges as seeing impermanence, disenchanting of impermanence and the ending of impermanence respectively.

There are stages of insight knowledges. These are:

1. Knowledge of rise and fall of formations – udayabbaya-ñāṇa.
2. Knowledge of the dissolution of formations – bhaṅga-ñāṇa.
3. Knowledge of dissolving things as fearful – bhaya-ñāṇa.
4. Knowledge of the fearful things as dangerous – adinava-ñāṇa.
5. Knowledge of disenchantment with all formations – nibbidā-ñāṇa.
6. Knowledge of desire for deliverance – muñcitukamyatā-ñāṇa.
7. Knowledge of reflecting contemplation – paṭisaṅkhā-ñāṇa.
8. Knowledge of equanimity towards formations – saṅkhar’upekkha ñāṇa.
9. Knowledge of conformity – anuloma-ñāṇa.
10. Knowledge of changing of lineage – gotrabū-ñāṇa and the Path Knowledge – magga-ñāṇa.

Mogok Sayadaw said it was not necessary going into these ten stages. (Knowledge 1 to 9 is impermanent. It’s like sharpening a knife. It’s becoming sharper and sharper but only the same knife.) The yogi himself can’t know all of them. Here the yogi really can know are three stages. These are seeing impermanence (udayabbaya ñāṇa), disenchantment with impermanence (nibbidā ñāṇa) and not wanting this khandha and the ending of all impermanence (Path Knowledge). All these impermanence come to an end and the body becomes cool. It happens extraordinarily two times. This is the Path Knowledge (magga-ñāṇa). (This last point here was mentioned in his autobiography.)

Today we’ll climb up to the level of disenchantment with formations. We contemplate on the changing knowledge. [We contemplate the process and it is changed by itself (the mind). We make the causes and the result comes itself (not the God).] How is the process going? The tension, stiffness, etc. arise in the khandha are khandhas arising. Mosquito bites and pain arises also khandha arises. After contemplating of impermanence and going on to nibbidā ñāṇa.

Sabbe saṅkhāra anicca'ti, yada paññāya passati; Atha nibbindati dukkhe, Esa maggo visuddhiya: All conditioned phenomena are impermanent, when one sees this with insight wisdom, one becomes weary of dukkha (i.e., the khandha). This is the path to purity.

We have to contemplate to see the impermanence of dukkha sacca. If you get this khandha, ageing, sickness and death are with it. Because of ignorance and craving that we get it. We get the horrible khandha. It’s suffering khandha. Why impermanence becomes dukkha sacca? We must know how to reflect the nature of dukkha. As dukkha, we see everything as not good. It’s not like this.

In the First Discourse of the Buddha it mentioned that pañcupādānakkhandhā dukkha. – clinging to the five khandhas is dukkha. Clinging to the five khandhas, dukkha arises. Due to not knowing the arising and vanishing phenomena, you want to own this khandha; to make it "me" and "mine". It’s wrong view; trying to get it with clinging. Let’s say buying a car. Before the buying, in the shop it’s not mine. After buying and making it mine, it becomes mine. During the time of using it and has an accident. It damages and the mind suffers. Because taking it as mine and don’t know it’ll be perished.

Mogok Sayadaw said there was nothing crazier than making something which did not exist as mine. If you make things which can be perished as mine and will suffer. One time a female anesthetist came with a nun and asking for help. She lost one of her diamond earrings. The nun told her that this monk could get it back for her. Who was beating her and crying? The mind attached to the diamond earring was beating her. A businessman his only son died and became sorrow and lamentation. The son was filial and third year medical student. He had a lot of hope and expectation for him that suffered so much. In the world people are suffered because they have strong desire and attachment to things as mine. They are suffered because of impermanence. If don’t know how to reflect rightly and wisely have to be suffered.

There’re three types of dukkha. (i.e., dukkha-dukkha, saṅkhāra dukkha and vipariṇāma dukkha). The first one is dukkha which comes with birth. For example, dukkha for eating food; you have to eat every day. We can’t live without eating. It’s suffering. Could you live without drinking? You couldn’t and it’s suffering. These things are there, you don’t have to create. It’s come with nature. This is original dukkha. When you’re sitting very long and becoming painful and aching. So, these are called dukkha-dukkha. We create dukkha for the welfare of the mind and body is conditioned dukkha (saṅkhāra dukkha).

As example, for comfort in sitting we buy sofas and using it. What we’re doing every day, all of them are dukkha. We get the khandhas and have these dukkha. Therefore saṅkhāra dukkha is to want to be free from dukkha-dukkha and we have to condition it. The last dukkha is changing dukkha (vipariṇāma dukkha). For example, you buy a bunch of bananas and leaving there. It becomes perishing day by day.

revised on 2019-12-05; cited from (posted on 2018-12-14)

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