Agga Maha Pandita

Mogok Sayadaw

Samma ditthi series,

The First of Five Talks on Sammaditthi

28th Feb., 1960

Translated by U Cakkinda

Edited by Dr. Jenny Ko Gyi and Florian Dobson

If asked what the difference between fools and the wise is - fools don’t practice magga brahmacariya (the noble path practice), but the wise do. Therefore for the wise who practice magga brahmacariya, there will be no rebirth in future existences, and thus aging, ailing and death in future existences will be no more. For the fools who don’t practice magga brahmacariya, there will be rebirth in future existences and as consequences there will be ageing, ailing and death. It is the wise who practise magga brahma cariya, and so for them there will be no more suffering (dukkha) in the future; it is the fools for whom there will be continuation of suffering into the future. Magga brahmacariya practice is that based on right view (samma ditthi).

If it is not understood how many types of samma ditthi there are, then it is not right.

Samma means right, ditthi is view.

There are five types of samma ditthi : -

1 kammasakkata sammaditthi - right view believing in deeds and their results

2 jhana sammaditthi - right view in connection with concentration (tranquility meditation)

3 vipassana sammaditthi - right view in connection with insight practice

4 magga sammaditthi - right view in connection with insight path

5 phala sammaditthi - right view in connection with fruition of insight

Kammasakkata sammaditthi is the right view believing in kammic deeds and its results. Kammasakkata sammaditthi exists outside the [time frame of the] sasana*(when it is not the time of the appearance of Buddhas, and so the teachings of a buddha cannot be heard) and inside the sasana (when teachings of a buddha can be heard). Kammasakkata sammaditthi is giving donations/charities, and due to these good deeds there will be the resultant bhava sampatti, bhoga sampatti – resulting in fortunate existences, with abundant wealth. This right view exists (in times) both within and outside the sasana.

Jhana sammaditthi is the path of concentration practice – samatha - and as a result of practising it, one can attain psychic powers and rebirth in form-formless - rupa arupa - (higher) brahma spheres. ___ Again it will still be the truth of suffering, dukkha sacca, so the result is not of much value. It is sammaditthi, no doubt, it sees the truth but not the ultimate truth. This samma ditthi also can exist inside and outside of the sasana,

The last three sammaditthi - vipassana sammaditthi, magga sammaditthi, and phala sammaditthi (insight, the path, the fruition), exist only within the time of the sasana. The first of these three, vipassana sammaditthi[TG1], serves to dispel sakkaya ditthi[1]. Both The Buddha and I (The Mogok Sayadaw) boldly guarantee that, with this practice, rebirth in the lower realms[2] - will not take place. In this very life, with Vipassana practice, one can attain nibbana, and so can become a sotapanna (the first stage of entry into the stream of noble persons), and then a sakadagami (the second stage of entry into the stream of noble persons), an anagami (the third) an arahant (the fourth and final stage of deliverance from all suffering). [3]

After the third sammaditthi, the fourth sammaditthi will be discussed. The first and the second will not be mentioned because they can exist outside (the time of) the sasana and will not be of much help in the practice to be liberated from the round of suffering - dukkha. The important thing is the third sammaditthi. Here it will be discussed how it can be done and go into practice,


According to the samyutta[4] commentator:

Because Vipassana sammaditthi sees the impermanent, suffering, and non-self nature of conditioned things [5] in the Dependent Origination - Paticca samuppada[6], sakkaya ditthi – identifying aggregates khandha as ‘I’, etc., - can be thoroughly dispelled. [These characteristics of] impermanence, suffering, and non-self can be contemplated upon whatever khandha (the five aggregates – the aggregates of feeling, perception, prompting, consciousness, and matter) arises, whether it is in the beginning, middle or at the end of the Paticcasamuppada[7]. If impermanence or arising passing of the aggregates - dhamma is seen in this way, the three wrong views can be dispelled.

Vipassana sammaditthi - insight, can clear away the three micchaditthi (wrong views) - sakkaya ditthi, sassata ditthi, uccheda ditthi (the wrong views of self, eternalism, annihilation). Therefore, this third sammaditthi is the most important one. The fourth sammaditthi, the path - magga sammaditthi is relatively easy; it arises in place of what has already been paved [by insight - Vipassana sammaditthi]. Magga sammaditthi, the path, is the stage where keen wisdom arises and sees cessation of all suffering- nibbana. The third stage of right view, sammaditthi, is none other than insight meditation practice, Vipassana.

__ To practice vipassana, contemplate the arising and passing [the impermanent characteristic] the aggregate/phenomenon (dhamma) that arises. Any phenomenon that arises - feeling - vedana, or consciousness - citta, the desire to eat, sleep, or work, , or the wandering mind, whatever citta (consciousness) arises [it has the characteristic of arising-passing, impermanence] when this is contemplated it is vipassana.

Turn your attention toward arising-passing (impermenance) of dhamma/phenomenon, and it becomes vipassana sammaditthi. It may be any citta (consciousness). There is no set citta that is to be observed, whatever citta arises, contemplate [its characteristic]. The dhamma that arises is paticca samuppada, it is khandha - aggregate. Khandha arises to pass away, arising-passing; apart from this dhamma there is no other dhamma[8]. If no citta (consciousness) arises then there is death. Observe the consciousness - citta that arises with insight - vipassana sammaditthi.


Seeing impermance (arising-passing) –anicca- is the eradication of the ditthi (wrong view) that will send beings to lower planes. __[Seeing the dhamma/phenomenon] arising, then passing away, [it is concluded that] this is not I, not mine, and _sakkaya ditthi - the view of self, has no chance to take hold. It is now known that it is only the dhamma/phenomenon, arising and passing away.

By observing arising-passing of aggregates/phenomenon - khandha, the wrong view of self sakkaya ditthi is being dispelled. This is what is stated in the samyutta commentary.

[10:00]Formerly it was said ‘contemplate to see impermanence - anicca’; this is not wrong but what is the purpose? To dispel sakkaya ditthi, the wrong view of self, that will send beings to woeful states - apaya.

One may not have reached the end of arising passing. While one is still in the stage of contemplating the arising and passing away of khandha, if the life span is cut off by upacchedaka kamma[9] and if one dies, one can be assured he will not be reborn in the woeful planes – apaya. By observing the passing away of the dhamma, sakkaya ditthi and sassata ditthi[10] are dispelled. Seeing the arising of aggregates (khandha) sakkaya ditthi - the wrong view of self, and uccheda ditthi - the wrong view of annihilation [11]are dispelled.

[11:10]In samyutta commentary, this vipassana sammaditthi is the dhamma that dispels sakkaya ditthi. Closure of the door to the four lower realms – apaya – starts here, with the seeing of arising-passing away (of the five aggregates - khandha). Vipassana samma ditthi cuts off sakkaya ditthi. Sakkaya ditthi is more important to be extinguished than the fire burning on your head. Even if there is a spear thrust in your chest, remove sakkaya ditthi first, becauses this is the dhamma that will hastily send beings to the woeful states. Even if magga nyana[12] is not attained, even if the supramundane lokuttara[13] nyana is not attained, if one dies with insight knowledge Vipassana nyana, in the next life one can be sure one will attain the first stage of enlightenment - sotapatti magga. This is mentioned in Anguttara Pali. In Anguttara contains teachings directly given by the Buddha, so pay close attention.

Don’t fail to develop insight - vipassana sammaditthi. It means trying to dispel the wrong view of self - sakkaya ditthi, don’t fail to dispel sakkaya ditthi. This is the dhamma (that can be found only) within the (time of) sasana.

The permanent residence for all beings is the woeful state - apaya, because of view of self - sakkaya ditthi. It is certain sakkayaditthi has never before been dispelled. It is certain Vipassana has never before been practised (in the many existences in the samsara cycle of death and rebirth).


Without dispelling sakkaya ditthi there is no time when one can take a rest and relax. Therefore keep aside all worldly attachments such as business, sons, daughters, family, and relatives. First dispel sakkaya ditthi. Don’t say [caring for] sons, daughters, relatives and business is [obligatory], the only thing that is obligatory is to dispel sakkaya ditthi. As a result of neglecting family and business [to follow Vipassana practice to dispel sakkaya ditthi], you may only be disliked. But you will not go to woeful states apaya. It is worse not to see arising-passing, not to dispel sakkaya ditthi, than to be hated.


In Anguttara commentary, it says he who has sakkaya ditthi is like a stone thrown into water. It will never come up. Being hated by [your] sons and daughters, or having no possessions is not [nearly] as important as sinking and not coming back up. They become your family, relatives, neighbours, possessions, only in this life. You are considerate of those but you don’t have compassion for yourself. Being considerate of others, it is like saying, ‘It’s alright if I have to result in woeful realms.’ You’re ignorant, you are unknowing and it is [such a pity/so bad]. Look at your age; you have one eye cocked toward the cemetery. You’re growing old. That is why in the Samyutta Pali the Buddha said, ‘Sakkaya ditthi is more important to extinguish than a fire on your head. Even if there is a spear in your chest, remove sakkaya ditthi first’.

How is this to be done?

Arising and passing away of the consciousness that has arisen is to be contemplated.

Differentiating mind and matter (namarupa) is dispelling wrong view through sannya (perception).

Contemplating the arising and passing away of mind and matter is (pannya – wisdom.


With vipassana insight knowledge, with vipassana sammaditthi, with right view that is insight, you are dispelling ditthi. Know your own affair. In all the world-cycles you have missed all the buddhas because you have been in hell. Who sent you to hell? Sakkaya ditthi sent you there. If sakkaya ditthi is not dispelled it is sure you will miss every buddha that appears in the world. Whatever wish you may make, if you don’t get rid of sakkaya ditthi you will not get it. Wishing is only ordinary but this sakkaya ditthi is the true thing that will send you to the lower realms. Pay heed to this dhamma that will definitely send you to woeful states apaya. You have made wishes to see the Buddha that will appear, or to give alms-donation to the Buddha that will be enlightened. But you have not done anything to stop this dhamma that will shield you from seeing the Buddha. What is this (dhamma)? (It is) sakkaya ditthi. Sakkaya ditthi has repeatedly been sending you to the four woeful states.


Throughout the samsara cycle of death and rebirth, how many buddhas have appeared? As many as the grains of sand in the Ganga river. Why did you miss them all? Because you were in woeful planes - apaya - sakkaya ditthi has been sending you to apaya throughout (the samsara). There will be as many future buddhas also, but if you don’t dispel sakkaya ditthi [you will miss them as well].

Don’t extinguish the fire on your head first. Your house may be on fire, your clothes may be on fire, (but) dispel sakkaya ditthi first. Because Vipassana was never practiced, throughout the samsara, you have repeatedly lived in the woeful states apaya – this the Buddha definitely taught us in Suttanipata Pali. If you do not start Vipassana practice now, (you) will find nothing worse than this. It is not important (if you) do not have enough for (a place to live), to eat, etc. Still having the seed that will send you to apaya in (you) is the important thing.


Because of sakkaya ditthi all sixty two wrong views ditthi are there. Because of this sakkaya ditthi you have missed the buddhas as many as the grains of sand in the Ganga River. And you have missed (their) teachings. You have lived with dukkha (suffering) all along. In this life, know the arising of aggregates or mind-matter -khandha, know the dependent arising - paticca samuppada[14]. Know the nature of khandha Paticcasamuppada that is arising and passing away. You have to know khandha paticca samuppada otherwise there will arise (wrong view perceiving mind matter or nama rupa as) man, and beings. For example, the ear consciousness [that is arising now,] this consciousness is the beginning of paticca samuppada. (You have to) know this is the Paticcasamuppada dhamma. You have to know this beginning, know it is [the arising of] dhamma. Only then it will not be perceived as ‘I’ or ‘others’. [Observe] from the beginning with nana (wisdom), then (perceiving as) ‘I’ and ‘others’ will be dispelled. It is [only the] dhamma arising, then the dhamma [passing away, knowing it is] anicca dhamma, there is no ‘I’ no ‘mine’.


Within the sasana, there is nothing more important than practicing vipassana,. Practicing Vipassana means dispelling sakkaya ditthi. Instead of having meals twice a day, eat once a day, if the roof is leaking, leave it, it doesn’t matter; it wont send (you) to apaya, getting wet will be the worst thing that can happen. But if sakkaya ditthi is not dispelled, the resultant rebirth will be in apaya. Don’t think this is a [minor issue], (sakkaya ditthi is) the root of all akusala (evil or unwholesome deeds). You say you are earning money ‘for myself’ ‘for my sons and daughters’. [Saying it is] ‘for myself’ is ditthi – wrong view, for ‘my sons and daughters’ is tanha - attachment. This is based on ditthi. Due to the power of this (wrong view) (you try to make money) till (you) become exhausted. And you don’t have a day’s rest, you are exhausted and becoming old. Diseases are (starting to torment you). Everyday you are in this (trying to make money), today, tomorrow and the next day. Because there is ‘I’, (you are) trying to make things mine. If ‘I’ ditthi is not dispelled, trying (to gain things and make them) mine will go on


Everyday you sit at your shop turning prayer beads[15]; you are doing this only because you want customers to come to your shop. You are doing this with craving - tanha. You are trying to make (riches become) mine. Even while taking refuge in the buddha, dhamma, and samgha [16], you will say business is doing well because of this (taking refuge in the buddha, dhamma, samgha), and sakkaya ditthi stealthily comes in - you take refuge [hoping] your business will be successful. So long as it is not dispelled, true wisdom - nana - will not be there, it will be mixed [at best]. And because of ignorance there will be conditioned ‘doing’ - avijja paccaya sankhara. Even wholesome actions - kusala sankhara [17], arise out of ignorance. Then follows sankhara paccaya vinnanam - dependent upon conditioned activities, there arises (rebirth) consciousness[18] and there will be jati – rebirth. You will fall into the crevice of rebirth - jati.

Even when building toilets (as donations in monasteries, public places, etc.), you will say this direction (for construction of toilets) is lucky[19] for me; you are choosing the lucky direction. Even when (you are) donating a toilet, you will say this is an unlucky direction for me, it will endanger my life. Even though these are wholesome/meritorious actions, they are conditional activities (sankhara governed by ignorance – not knowing mind matter, noble truths, etc.). And you will fall into the crevice of rebirth – jati. This is the work of sakkaya dhitti. If this (sakkaya ditthi) is not dispelled, any (thing) that is done will give an ugly result. You may want to donate a toilet, or a stand for drinking water pot[20], or an ornamental pillar near a stupa. Even while erecting a pillar for a stupa, etc., you are choosing an auspicious direction, (you) should be worried that (you) will become enemies of the dhamma. If sakkaya ditthi is not dispelled, whatever kusala is done, it is all mixed with akusala. Black spots in white is never a good sight to see[21].

So when (you get) results, they cannot be pure, because when you made good deeds, they were mixed with sakkaya ditthi. Then (you complain that you have bad results).


In every place when it (sakkayaditthi) is there, in no way will you attain nibbana. Why can (beings) not attain nibbana? Is it because of dana (donations/charity)? Dana can send you there (to nibbana), but sakkaya ditthi pulls you back down. Sila (morality, observing precepts) can also send you there but sakkaya ditthi pulls you down. ‘I will observe precepts to live a long life’, you say. If you want to live long, just live a long life, no need to go to nibbana. You will not attain nibbana by merely observing precepts. Who wants to live long? Sakkaya ditthi ‘I’ wants to live long. [In this way,] whatever you do it is mixed. When you are about to go up it pulls you down. ‘I am not saying dana and sila will not get you there, but if there is sakkaya ditthi you will never get there. Only if this sakkaya ditthi is dispelled, whatever you do – dana, sila - charity, morality, etc., - will be governed by nyana wisdom; micchaditthi (wrongviews) will be dispelled and sammaditthi arises.’


What is the thing to be done urgently?

It is to practice vipassana. Then it is very easy. What does Vipassana do?

Vipassana dispels sakkaya ditthi. The beginning of the path to nibbana is Vipassana; if you do not start from here, then you will be gone. The lord buddha himself told us this in Samyutta pali, ‘katamo ca bhikkhave asankhata gami maggo’... ‘which dhamma is the true dhamma that will definitely send you on the good path to nibanna?’ The answer is Vipassana.. This is the true path to nibanna because sakkaya ditthi is dispelled. Now you understand it, now it is important how you will contemplate khandha (mind-matter complex or the five aggregates). Now you know the work that is to be done without fail. (You) do not have to look for it elsewhere. Open your eyes and eye consciousness arises, observe (its) arising and passing away. Listen, and ear consciousness arises and passes away. Know it, this is dispelling sakkaya ditthi. At the nose, smell, and you cognize a good smell; observe its arising and passing away. On the body where it is itchy – unpleasant sensation, contemplate the arising and passing away of itchiness. Or where there is a cool breeze felt on the body– pleasant sensation – contemplate the arising and passing away of the pleasant feeling at that place. Pleasant or unpleasant, observe its arising passing and ditthi is dispelled. Knowing arising uccheda ditthi (wrong view of annihilation) is dispelled; knowing passing away sassata ditthi (wrong view of eternalism) and sakkaya ditthi are dispelled.


[In summary,] what do we say the path to nibbana to nibbana is? It is Insight - Vipassana. Why is Vipassana nyana (knowledge/wisdom) the path to nibbana? Because it dispels sakkaya ditthi.

If wrong view can be dispelled, right view arises [automatically]; you don’t have to wish for it to arise. Right view is [knowing] there is arising-passing only, and that there is no ‘I’, ‘others’, ‘man’ or ‘beings’. When samma ditthi comes in, (you) do not have to wish for attainment of nibbana. Vipassana it the true path leading to nibbana, the Buddha has said.

The third sammaditthi (Vipassana sammaditthi) is therefore very important. For how long are we to practise this third sammaditthi, you will ask.

Repeatedly contemplate the arising and passing away (of aggregates - khandha), then (you will come to) loathe (get bored with) it. Contemplate (the arising, passing away of khandha) more so that you will come to loathe it more. This will be the end of insight meditation wisdom (Vipassana nana).

Seeing arising-passing, then coming to loathe (get bored with) it, [one comes to] the end of the third sammaditthi. Then comes the fourth sammaditthi – magga sammaditthi (the right view of the path leading to the cessation of suffering).


Maggasammaditthi is the eightfold noble path (eight magganga), and this sammaditthi is the leader in the eight magganga[22].

How is magga sammaditthi different from Vipassana sammaditthi?

Vipassana sammaditthi is observing arising-passing of khandha, and the potential [is limited to] dispelling sakkaya ditthi. The power of Vipassana sammaditthi ends here. Vipassana sammaditthi sees the arising and passing away of khandha and therefore sakkaya ditthi is dispelled. This is the function of Vipassana sammaditthi, don’t say this is ordinary right view. There are many kinds of right view.

What does magga sammaditthi do? It is also sammaditthi. Samma is right, ditthi is view – viewing rightly. How does this (sammaditthi) see? And how does the other (sammaditthi) see?

But with magga sammaditthi, arising-passing of khandha is no longer seen, and [awareness of] nibbana arises. That is the function of magga sammaditthi.

After Vipassana sammaditthi, (magga sammaditthi) is the point where wisdom takes hold of. The arising-passing of dhamma going on and on, like a Ferris wheel turning, is cut off. [At the time arising-passing is no more seen. It is left behind and the magga sammaditthi that sees nibbana arises. This is from Samyutta commentary.


The wisdom that sees nibbana, and not sees arising passing (of khandha), is magga sammaditthi. Magga sammaditthi does not see arising passing. If it still sees the arising passing away, then it will still be Vipassana samma ditthi. If (you are) seeing arising-passing, (you) will be turning attention toward sankhara (conditioned) dhamma[23]. Only then this will go in line with the Patthana Pali (The Teachings of Causal Relations) – nibbanam maggassa. Nibbana is arammana paccayena - object for insight path - magga. Nibbana is related to magga (path) (Nibbana is object - arammana, of magga ). Magga sees nibbana, magga sees the cessation of suffering/dukkha. This is magga sammaditthi right view of the path leading to the cessation of suffering. It is the wisdom that sees the end of arising-passing. The end of arising – passing is nibbana. The wisdom that sees the end of arising passing is maggasammaditthi – the path leading to the cessation of suffering. There is no need to wish for magga to be attained, you have only to diligently practice vipassana sammaditthi and, [as a result] magga sammaditthi will come [automatically]. Vipassana sammaditthi is the forerunner in attainment of magga sammaditthi. Only Vipassana sammaditthi is important; the others are not as important. Just go on practicing Vipassana. Whatever dhamma may arise in you, whatever citta (mind/consciousness) may arise in you, just go on contemplating its arising and passing away. Vipassana sammaditthi sees only arising and passing away (of aggregates – khandha). This is the only job of (Vipassana sammaditthi). When (contemplation of arising passing) is repeatedly done, wrong view is automatically being dispelled.

Magga sammaditthi doesn’t see arising, it doesn’t see passing away, it only sees extinction of vatta[24] that has been going round. You have been contemplating arising-passing. At one time arising-passing will no longer be seen, the vipaka vatta that is going round and round is not longer seen. Vipaka vatta is physical phenomena - rupadhamma - and mental phenomena - namadhamma - arising-passing. Repeated arising-passing is vipaka vatta repeatedly going round. When magga sammaditthi is about to arise this vipaka vatta wheel stops turning [which means]; arising-passing is no longer seen.__


Don’t think nibanna will appear like a grand luminous ball, it is only the cessation of arising and passing away. Knowing [experiencing] the nature of cessation is magga nyana[25].

Vipassana sammaditthi sees arising and passing away (of khandha) only.

But magga sammaditthi does not see arising and passing away, but sees nibbana.

The two views are very different.

For the meditiator (for you) to know better I will mention Milindapanha. Though Vipassana sammaditthi and magga sammaditthi are both sammaditthi, they are very much different. Vipassana sammaditthi seeing rightly is one thing; magga sammaditthi seeing rightly is another thing. King Milinda was a very wise king; even arahants had to flee because they could not answer his questions.

One day, the venerable Nagasena[26] came. They had fulfilled their respective wishes in the samsara.

King Milinda asked, 'Tell me how nibbana is seen. Because, venerable Nagasena, I believe you are an arahant and you have seen nibbana. Please tell me how to see nibbana, together with the method of practice.’

If the venerable did not give an answer, King Milinda would say there was no nibbana. Now this is concerned with five sammaditthi - vipassana and magga sammaditthi.

‘Does nibbana exist?’ asked the king.

‘Yes,’ replied Nagasena

‘Was it in the past, or is it in the present or the future?’

‘None of the three’.

‘Then, if nibbana is not in any of these periods, it doesn’t exist,’ claimed the king. To this the venerable answered,

‘If nibbana was in the past then only the people of the past could have experienced it. If it was in the future people of the present would only die (in vain) and only those in the future would experience it. Nibbana is kala vimutti, (nothing related

to/ or free of time factor), it is free from the three periods, yet it does exist.’

‘To give you an example, in the past there were no matches. Two bamboos had to be rubbed to get fire. Rubbing two bamboo sticks, you get fire. Is the flame from the past, or is it from the present or future? In the bamboo it is only bamboo, there is no fire. In the bamboo there never was fire. But because of effort (man exerts), (man) gets fire. If the (bamboos) are rubbed for a long time, (you) get fire.’

‘So also, if you practice vipassana, nibbana will appear, but it is not in the three periods[27]. If you do not practice, it will not come. If you only go and offer flowers and water to the Buddha’s statue and pray ‘please give me nibbana’, you won’t get it. Do the bamboo sticks produce flames automatically, or do you have to rub them together [vigorously]? If you just put the bamboo sticks on the ground, will the fire start? Only if you rub them until they reach the condition under which they will ignite, then you will have fire. Likewise, practice vipassana sammaditthi and observe arising-passing until arising passing ceases and nibbana appears.’


For those who practice until nibbana appears parami[28] is not needed, parami has already been fulfilled. This is from Anguttara pali (teachings about parami - fulfillments). For those who practice there is nibbana. Rubbing bamboo temporarily no fire will come. There is fire only because of the effort of the one who rubs the bamboo. This is the fire that is free from the three periods. For the Universal monarch, the monarch’s vehicle (which has the power to travel in the sky) does not appear automatically. The monarch, wearing white robes, has to observe the five precepts and radiate brahma vihara dhamma (metta, karuna, mudita, upekkha – loving kindness, compassion, joy, equanimity) toward all; and the wheel appears in the sky. It is not there beforehand. Only when the king practices the conditioning wholesome deeds, does the vehicle appears.

[50:00]Likewise, practice the dhamma that will help you attain nibbana.

Merely beckoning to nibbana there will not be fruition, it will only cause others to smile. Consider it shameful. Previously, because you didn’t know, you thought nibbana was something to be wished for. Now you know, and you have to practice.

Does nibbana exist or not? It is there. With Vipassana sammaditthi, practice hard, practice diligently. Repeatedly contemplating arising-passing (of aggregates - khandha), is practicing vipassana magga (insight meditation path). At first it is contemplating arising-passing, then the observer wisdom/knowledge (nyana) turns toward cessation of arising-passing. At first it was Vipassana sammaditthi. Then it develops and turns toward cessation of arising passing. There is no arising. There is no passing away.

From arising-passing toward where there is no arising-passing, this is the attainment of nibbana. And you will be aware that there is no arising-passing - then there is no suffering/dukkha. Cessation of dukkha is nibbana. Is nibbana a town, a city or the cessation of arising-passing? Knowing the cessation of arising-passing is magga nyana. You have to practice so that Vipassana nyana develops to higher knowledges_.

There is no need to speculate which stage of insight you have attained. This is not like climbing a flight of stairs. If (you are) climbing stairs, (you will) say you have reached the seventh step, or the sixteenth. But with the progressive stages of insight wisdom, you won’t be able to distinguish them. [That can be done only by the venerable Sariputta[29]]. (The defining of stages) mentioned in patisambhida magga is what the venerable Sariputta describes his (own experience of) discerning insight wisdom. With development of insight knowledge - Vipassana nyana, it turns abruptly turns toward magga nyana – the ven. Nagasena says. The object of vipassana nyana is arising-passing; the object of magga nana is cessation of arising-passing.

While contemplating arising passing, the wisdom turns toward where there is no arising passing. This is Vipassana nana progressing on to magga nyana- this is the answer given by the Venerable Nagasena to King Milinda.

[1] The wrong view perceiving the mind-matter complex as ‘I’, ‘me’, man, woman, beings, etc.

[2] the realms of hell, animals, peta (or hungry beings), and asurakaya (where beings enjoy sensual pleasures during the day and suffer at night),

[3] contemplating the arising and passing away of mind and matter.

[4] Connected discourses of The Buddha

[5] the dhamma has a wide range of meaning – i.e., the Buddha’s teachings, the course of nature.

[6] The doctrine of dependent origination taught by The Buddha


[8] i-Contemplation of the arising and passing away of consciousness when sense object comes into contact with the corresponding sense door, e.g., the visible object with the eye, sound with the ear, etc.

ii contemplation of the arising and passing away of pleasant, unpleasant, indifferent feelings, thereby cutting off the link between feeling and desire.

iii-contemplating the arising and passing away of physical, verbal, mental actions, thereby cutting off the link between deeds and future rebirth.

[9] The kamma that cuts off a life-span, even though the full life-span has not been lived, i.e., sudden and violent deaths like drowning, death in plane crashes, car accidents, etc.

[10] the wrong view of eternalism. Forgetting to be mindful of the impermanence of mind matter, this wrong view takes place. It will be taken that it is the same ‘I’ as a child, that it is the same ‘I’ that was a teenager, and the same ‘I’ as an adult. Many Asian Buddhists do meritorious deeds believing it will be the same ‘I’ in future existences that will enjoy the fruit of good deeds done in this life.

[11] Wrong view of annihilation –that with death there is total cessation of mind matter nama rupa and thus there needs be no fear of having to pay back for the wrong doings committed in this life (wrong doings have been committed in all existences in the samsara – unending chain of life and rebirth) . With uccheda ditthi, there is wrong belief that one will not have to pay back for the evil deeds such as killing living beings (including small animals), cheating, adultery, etc.

[12] the stage of knowledge where one reaches the path leading to the cessation of all suffering.

[13] Supramundane stage, where one has achieved the state higher than worldly conditions.

[14] The law of dependent arising of the five aggregates (feeling, perception, prompting or volition, consciousness or mind; and matter – four mental and one physical or matter, hence the five aggregates). Mind arises dependent upon the contact or impingement of sense door and sense object, e.g., sound and ear door.

[15] A practice commonly seen in Myanmar Buddhists.

[16] Disciples of the buddha – Buddhist monks.

[17] Giving alms donations/charities, but governed by ignorance – not knowing the mind-matter aggregates, the noble truth, the dependent origination, etc. Then these good deeds will only condition future rebirth in happy abodes.

[18] Dependent upon conditional activities (governed by ignorance), there arises rebirth consciousness.

[19] many Asians believe in astrology, and choose things and directions according to their lucky stars, as suggested by astrologers.

[20] Another practice of donation, more commonly seen some decades ago in Myanmar.

[21] Akusala is taken as being synonymous with black, and so is called black kamma.

[22] According to the Teachings of the Ven. Mogok Sayadaw, magga sammaditthi [is observed with] eight magginga [whereas vipassana sammaditthi is observed with only five].

[23] Sankhara dhamma -

[24] the rounds of resultant rebirths, going on and on in the samsara cycle.

[25] magga nana – same as magga sammaditthi

[26] according to the respective wishes, made many existences ago, by the King Milinda-to-be, and the Ven. Nagasena-to-be, they resulted together in their last existences as the king and the arahant.

[27] Past, present, future.

[28] To fulfill deeds and practices in the many existences in the samsara cycle with the aim of attaining the final destination, such as buddhahood.

[29] The Buddha’s chief disciple, who, apart from the Buddha, possessed the highest wisdom amongst all.

[TG1]Vipassana sammaditthi brings 100000 times more benefit than sammaditthi 1 and 2 [3:00]

(Dhamma talk to U Pe Win, Managing Director, Shan Bama Trading Company)
Translated by Dr. Jenny Ko Gyi
(Burma - Myanmar)
‘I am a follower of a different faith, venerable sir. I have asked questions about things I am doubtful of, to personnel from religious fields, and no one could answer well enough to satisfy me. From what I have heard, Buddhism teaches about morality. When I visited the west, I discussed religion, politics, economics, with the elite from the industrial sector. According to their faith, there can never be complete achievement when man practices, nibbana cannot be attained.
They say that for them, faith is the main thing. Only with faith in their God will there be salvation, (and) (heaven) will be reached. What I want to ask you is if man can attain nibbana through practice, or if (heaven) can be reached merely by practicing as stated in the bible.
To what extent can man practice? Practicing is good. But being in the world, evil mind predominates. Please explain so that I can understand, venerable sir.’
‘I’ll explain. Listen. Practically speaking, in faith, there is faith in others, faith in oneself. By saying ‘others’ it is none other than the ‘God’ that every religion believes in, or reverends, monks that are being revered locally. Then this faith ends in others. If you say ‘the eternal God’, then it ends in ‘the eternal God’. Because you have faith in Him, be it good or be it bad, it ends in ‘Him’, your own wisdom is not there. They end in words that have been handed down (through the generations). It’s alright if they really know it and say it. Look at the khandha (aggregates, or mind-matter complex). If he does not know, and if he is saying (things) from imagination, your wisdom ends at other people’s mouth (words). Your wisdom does not go beyond others’. Your path ends with what little knowledge he has. If you do not even know what he knows, then you will end up knowing less than he does.
The Buddha does not like (relying on) believing others. It is not enough with faith (alone). Take note that faith ends in other people’s mouth (words). It is not analysed whether this is the good mouth, or the bad mouth. Not analyzing (others’ words), it means you are not wise, that you do not know.’
‘Venerable sir, from what I know, their God says, ‘Have complete faith in me. If you have complete faith in me, then I’ll save you.’ ’.
‘Is this through your own wisdom, or from hearing what others say?’
‘From hearsay, venerable sir.’
‘Then is your own analysis there? Are your own thoughts that come through your own wisdom there?’
‘No, venerable sir.’
‘Then you end at others’mouth.’
‘Then only how will it be right, venerable sir?’
‘With your own knowledge, look at your own khandha (mind-matter complex). Then decide with your own wisdom what is happening in you (in your mind-matter complex). Only when you know it yourself, and believe it, then the truth is reached. (Believing what others say), you will not reach the truth. Let me ask you, if you do something, believing what others say, and believing after you have checked it yourself, which one will you believe?’
‘I’ll have faith in what I have checked myself, venerable sir.’
‘Then there comes a problem, ‘If your master (teacher) does not guide you, what will you do?’ There are two types of teachers, the true one and the false. Analyse yourself. Analyse with your own wisdom the truth that your teacher says. Whether your teacher tells you what is right or what is wrong, study it, check it with your khandha (aggregates or mind-matter). Accept what comes in line (with khandha) as being true. The teacher has to be there. You also have to check yourself. Only when it is balanced, accept it. Do you get the idea?’
‘I do, venerable sir. They give (me) examples. For the Burmese, it is nibbana. In Christianity, it is Heaven. The shore this side of the sea, and the shore on the other side. This side is mundane (lokiya), the other the supramundane (lokuttara), venerable sir. There is one who tries to swim and cross the sea. We are those trying to swim across the sea. Those who observe morality are like those trying to swim across the sea. (They say) he who is trying to swim across the sea will not make it without help. Their God says believing Him is like being on a raft that will definitely take them to the other shore. Practicing on one’s own in Buddhism, and swimming across the sea, will by no means be successful.’
‘In our ears, yours and mine, this might ring true. You take the raft which He can give you. You can ride His raft only with faith. You ask them what (He) uses, and (they will answer that) (super powers) are (His raft). With this raft that comes from super powers, you will get to the other shore.’
‘This is because they believe in creation, venerable sir. If (He) can create man, why can he not make us get to Heaven? The God that creates man says that if (we) believe Him, then it is very easy (for us) to get to Heaven. (They say) that in Buddhism, it is not mentioned that man is (taken to the other shore) by the (Buddha). (We) have to practice on our own, then how can (we) swim across the vast sea? (They say) their faith is very much reliable.’
‘Alright. Leave aside their religion and their faith. We’ll check them. Let us say that if (we) have faith in Him, then He can save (us) from all things. He cannot save those who do not have faith in Him. He cannot do anything about those (who do not have faith in Him). Does it not mean He will ignore them? Then you argue if He has mercy for all beings. Is it true that He has compassion for all?’
‘I did ask them, venerable sir. They say, poison, whether taken by those who know it or by those who do not know it, will cause death. Those who do not know their belief are like those who have taken poison, and therefore will not be saved. In their view, no matter how sinful they may have been, it is like parents forgiving their children. How could the God that created them not forgive them? God forgives sinners if the sinners rightly repent their sins.’
‘Let us take it this way. If, near death, this person remembers, he sins will be forgiven, and he will result in a good plane.’
‘Yes, venerable sir.’
‘In our faith, as a person approaches death, whether he believes the Buddha or not, he sees the path he is about to take. He who is about to result in hell sees hell fire. He who is about to become a peta (hungry being) sees (hunger-filled) forests, mountains, cliffs. He cannot in any way change this vision.
Nobody can save him. He is exhausted. Before death, he sees these. If (you) do not believe it, look at those who are about to die. If one who has lived his life doing evil is about to die, tears will flow from his eyes. Twisting and turning, he will find it unbearable. He cannot change it. ‘Things that I have done have been wrong. I will surely have to take this path.’ Now he knows the path he has to take. But at this time there will be no one to save him. There are words he wants to leave behind. But there is no time to say these – these are what the Buddha (Gotama) taught (us).’
‘I can refer to many discourses (true stories). One who will result in a happy existence (after death) will see happy signs. One who will result in a woeful plane will see frightful signs. I shall explain how he cannot remember anyone at this time. There are javana (near-death impulses 1-2-3-4-5). After this death consciousness, there arises consciousness in a new existence. At this time not even the Buddha can come to the rescue, no asking for forgiveness.
The consciousness that sees the path that is about to be taken. If good deeds have been done (in life), there will arise consciousness that sees the good path that is about to be taken. If evil have been committed (in life) there will arise consciousness that sees the frightful path that is about to be taken. After seeing these, there will be death.
Is this the time when forgiveness can be asked for? It is not. It has just been said that after doing evil deeds (in life), if there is repentance just before death, there can still be salvation. Think about this carefully. Could it be possible?
After seeing these five (near-death) impulses, one who has done good (in life) results in a good plane. There is one kind of belief, believing what others say. There is another kind of belief, believing after one has tested it oneself. Which should be put to use?’
‘That which has been tested and believed is the right one, venerable sir.’
‘True. The Buddha is only a guide. He is not a savior. The Buddha is a physician who guides (us). If (you) take the medicine that I give (you), (you) will be cured. (You) will not get a cure by (the Buddha) merely uttering, ‘be cured’. Here is a big difference. He (God) is a faith-healer. Here (Buddha) is a physician. I’ll give you medicine. Take it and there will be a cure. For one who has indigestion, digestive medicine is to be taken. One who is suffering from diarrhea is to take anti-diarrhoeal medicine. Merely saying, ‘let there be a cure’, will bring no cure. For one who has been bitten by a snake, antisnake-venom is to be given. Merely saying, ‘be cured’, will not do.’
‘They say (they) will get to (Heaven). We shall also have to say we shall attain nibbana. They will be sent to (Heaven) on a raft made by the eternal God. For us it is not like this. We shall have to make the raft ourselves, and will have to cross (the sea) on the raft made by ourselves.
Are ageing, ailing, death avoidable or unavoidable?’
‘Unavoidable, venerable sir’.
‘Now, we are on the path (where ageing, ailing, death) are unavoidable. Then, is there no other path apart from this path? If there is a path where there are ageing, ailing, death, then there must be a path where there is no ageing, no ailing, no death. If there is a disease, there must be a cure. Our Lord Buddha shows us two paths; apart from the path with ageing, ailing, death, there is another path where there is no ageing, ailing, death.’
‘This khandha (mind-matter complex, or aggregates) is constantly being tormented by ageing, ailing, death. Yet those who desire, after this life, another life which gives well-being as rich men, rich deities, take the path where ageing, ailing, death exist.’
‘Those who are not attached to this khandha (mind-matter complex, or aggregates) do not take the path where ageing, ailing, death exist. (You) are attached to this khandha. You will like it if you will have, in the next life, khandha that will fare better. If so, khandha in the next life will also be five aggregates (or mind-matter). What you have now also is khandha (five aggregates). All khandha (five aggregates) are ageing, ailing, death. Khandha (five aggregates) is the path of ageing, ailing, death. Not having khandha (aggregates) is the path without ageing, ailing, death. There are two paths. Which one will you take?’
‘The one without (ageing, ailing, death), venerable sir.’
‘I like it. Decide that you will know the dhamma (be enlightened) this life. No matter how well-off one may be in this life, if he does not know the way, khandha (five aggregates) will not become less. Then he will have ageing, ailing, death.’
‘Now you have come to dislike ageing, ailing, death. If you still have to age, to ail, to die, you will have to fear, you will have to be frightened. The Buddha says there are two paths, one which has ageing, ailing, death. The other which does not have these. Now I know which path you want to take. Even though you may have to live in a gilded mansion, if it is the path that has ageing, ailing, death, then you do not want it.’
‘The path of ageing, ailing, death is the micchaditthi path (the path of wrong view). The other is the path without ageing, ailing, death; this is sammaditthi path (the path of right view). Wrong-view path goes on to ageing, ailing, death. Right-view path is the one free from those. The path that likes ageing, ailing, death feels attached to khandha, and is therefore afraid to age, to ail, to die. There is attachment to khandha, yet this khandha is not free from ageing, ailing, death.’
‘He who is attached to this khandha, at death will throw down this khandha, but will have to bear the burden of another khandha. Then he will meet ageing, ailing, death again. He who is not attached to present khandha will not have future khandha.’
‘Ask from me the way not to be attached to present khandha. Then you will be free from ageing, ailing, death. The path that is not free from ageing, ailing, death, is attached to present khandha. There is desire for future khandha which will fare better than that in the present. Such an individual has two kinds of tanha (craving, attachment, desire). He who has these two kinds of craving will again have ageing, ailing, death in the future (existence). Not being attached to present khandha, there will be no attachment for future khandha. One who knows that the five khandha are ageing, ailing, death, will not have ageing, ailing, death again.’
‘When asked who creates khandha that has ageing, ailing, death, there will be no eternal (God). It is tanha (craving) that creates (these). Because of tanha (desire/craving), there is khandha which has ageing, ailing, death.’
‘Now the culprit has been found. It is neither the eternal (God) nor the Buddha that creates ageing, ailing, death. Tanha (desire/craving) that is attached to khandha creates them. Does the path (knowledge) end at others’ mouth (words), or do you know it yourself?’
‘Do you believe what others say, or do you know it yourself? Knowing it yourself is paccakkha knowledge. One’s own desire (craving) creates ageing, ailing, death. Making one’s desire to cease will lead to freedom from ageing, ailing, death. Getting rid of tanha (craving) is the most important. Now do you understand this?’
‘I do, venerable sir.’
‘If you understand this, you begin to understand sacca (the noble truths). You come to understand that samudaya sacca (the noble truth of the cause of suffering) is to be got rid of. Samudaya sacca is in fact craving (tanha). When tanha (craving) is cut off, our job is done. Now do you believe that cutting off craving (tanha) will help get your task done? Do not believe yet what the eternal (God) says. Do not believe yet what the Buddha says. Decide for yourself, and then believe it. Which one lasts longer, suffering due to hatred, and suffering due to attachment? Answer.’
‘Suffering due to attachment remains longer, venerable sir.’
‘That is right. When there is hatred, you leave (something behind). When there is attachment, you cannot cut (it) off. Being unable to cut off (something) is due to the tanha that lies behind (it). Not getting rid of tanha (craving), there will be khandha. If there is no attachment (for khandha), then (you) will not tire (yourself) for (this khandha). You will feed (this khandha) just enough to keep it going. Knowing that future khandha will also be ageing, ailing, death, will there be desire for it?’
‘(I) will not desire it, venerable sir.’
‘Not desiring it, will you make the usual wishes?’
‘(I) will not make (the usual) wishes, venerable sir.’
‘Not making wishes, (you) practice, and (you) get it. Then you will have to practice. You have sores, and others saying, ‘let there be a cure’ will not give you a cure. You have to use the right remedy, then there will be a cure’.
‘Therefore rely on your own self. During the Buddha’s time, there was the monk Vakkali who was so devoted to the Buddha that he would not leave the Buddha’s side. The Buddha told Vakkali not to remain near him, and that doing so would be fruitless. The Buddha drove him away telling him he had to practice on his own.’
‘May I ask you a short question, venerable sir?’
‘Go ahead’.
‘I want to know if I can get it (deliverance) through practice, venerable sir.’
‘To be able to do something, there has to be practice. Without practice, it cannot be done. And to do it, you cannot practice only once. You have to practice again and again. You go on and on so long as you have not become an expert. Think how (you) drive a car. If you do not practice, and if you cannot do it properly, you cannot drive (a car). If someone has practiced well, then when he starts driving (a car), he can do it instantly. Only when you have not done it well, you have to practice it again and again. But when your job is done, you need not practice further. Do you need (to practice further)?’
‘No, venerable sir.’
‘Among those who practice, those with sharp wisdom may get it after doing it only once. But those whose wisdom is not very sharp have to practice repeatedly. It varies dependent upon the intellectual level. The same cannot be expected of all those who practice.’
‘They say practice is not possible. Nibbana cannot be attained through practice. They say they can get to (heaven) only through salvation.’
‘Think. You are relying on what others say. Is your own effort there?’
‘You have prospered. You are respected. Is your prosperity given to you by others, or did you have to work for it?’
‘I prospered because I worked for it.’
‘Do you then have to believe the salvation others tell you about? If He can always save you, He will help you out of poverty. He will cure you of your ailments. He will save you so that there will be no ageing, no ailing, no death for you. Only then it can be said that he saves you. But can he stop the ageing, ailing, death, in you, so that there will be no ageing, ailing, no death for you? Then He does not have the power to save others.’
‘But sir, can man follow the practice the Buddha has mentioned? If man cannot practice, it’s no use talking about practice.’
‘Talking about practice, there are two kinds, mundane and supramundane practice. How many years did you have to work to get your bachelor’s degree? For one with high intellectual level, you had to work for about fourteen years. Did you not have to study again and again so that you would not forget (your lessons)? Did it happen because you said ‘let this happen’, or did you get it because you worked for it? Only when you work hard for it, you will possess such qualities.’
‘As you so practice (for worldly success), you also have to practice for the dhamma.’
‘This is what I want to know, venerable sir. I have been thinking for about a year about practice. I thought I could never practice with my own ability.
Studying can get (us our) bachelor’s degree. If we practice, why cannot we achieve this also? I want to know this clearly.’
‘I’ll explain it in another way. You get your bachelor’s and master’s degrees, you work with foreigners, you understand their language. You need not exert extra effort for the Burmese language as it is the language of your ancestors. Even then your parents first had to teach you, ‘this is father, this is mother, take your meal first, then take water.’ Then it becomes a habit.’
‘In every work, there has to be practice. There is a kind of practice taught by parents. There is another kind of practice taught by the Buddha. The one taught by parents is not free from ageing, ailing, death. The one taught by the Buddha is free from it all. So you follow the practice that is free from these.’
‘What I am saying is that everybody is practicing. But it is not achievable. Finally it is beyond reach. The path is there indeed. (We) take this same journey. But journey’s end cannot be reached. This is my assumption, venerable sir.’
‘Do not take it this way. It is not like this. Between a Buddha and the next, the earth surface rises one yojana. If earth is not destroyed, its surface rises thirteen miles. Is not it very high? One who is to become a Buddha has to practice till the earth’s surface rises thirteen miles. (If) you are not thinking about becoming a Buddha, if you only want to escape ageing, ailing, death, then if you start practicing in the morning, you may even get (emancipation) at night. I am only saying this in brief. The Buddha practises because He wants to save beings, and therefore takes long in His practice. But for (us, we practice) only to be free from suffering, therefore (our practice) does not take long.’
‘Then, venerable sir, it is easier to try for one’s own liberation. It takes longer to try to become a Buddha who wants to guide others to save themselves.’
‘Yes, it depends on grades. For a bachelor’s degree holder to get a master’s degree, (a student) has to study two more years. This is for him to become someone who holds a high position. For your own well-being, it will not take you long. But for you to guide others and save them, it will take you longer.’
‘For me this is important, venerable sir. It is not important (for me to save) others.’
‘Then you start practising in the afternoon. You will get (emancipation) the next morning. You will be on the path that is free from ageing, ailing, death. Earlier, you have caught the culprit. Get rid of this culprit. If you are attached to present khandha, if you also desire future khandha, the sequence of khandha will go on. If it is known that the present khandha is undesirable, future khandha is also known to be undesirable. If so, after this life, the task will be finished. Now you have found the culprit. Attachment is the culprit.’
‘You will have to get rid of this culprit. But you cannot suddenly drive it away. There will come excuses. Before you knew it, it was not easy. You said it yesternight. You want to heat (your skin) near fire because there is a sore. When the sore is cured, you do not want to heat it anymore. You will no longer want to go near the fire of children. All I have to do now is give you medicine that will cure you of your sores. You will have to take medicine yourself. Do you still have grandparents?’
‘No, venerable sir.’
‘Then you could not have saved them. Is it because you do not love them, or did you have to let them go despite your love for them?’
‘I had to let them go despite my love for them.’
‘There is nothing in the world that can save (us) from ageing, ailing, death. It exists only outside the mundane world. (We) only have to go to where there is no ageing, ailing, death. If there is heat, there is cold. If there is darkness, there is light. If there is winter, there is summer. If there is ageing, ailing, death, then there is that without ageing, ailing, death. This is the law of nature. What makes ageing, ailing, death? Tanha (craving), that desires future khandha, does it. Then get rid of this craving that is the culprit of ageing, ailing, death, and go to the supramundane which is free from these.’
‘To get rid of (craving), let us go back to the dhamma (that we have discussed). In khandha there are two called rupa and nama (matter and mind). Go to a secluded place where you do not hear your sons and daughters. Contemplate your khandha. Observe your mind. Observe your body (matter). Observe these two and accept what they tell you as being true. Believe it only when you see it yourself. I shall give you the method. It is the method of the Buddha. But when you practice, you have to develop you own view.’
‘What will you develop? Observe khandha. In khandha, there are only nama and rupa (mind and matter). Observe these two. Observing these two, (you will notice that) there arises the desire to eat, after some time there may arise the desire to sleep, then the desire to speak, then the desire to travel, and so on. Does the mind not change very often?’
‘It does, venerable sir.’
‘When (we say) the mind keeps changing, it means that a consciousness passes away, and only then does another consciousness arise. No two consciousnesses can arise simultaneously. Then can you govern you mind or can you not?’
‘I cannot, venerable sir.’
‘Do not live together with that which is ungovernable. If you live together with it, you will always suffer. Knowing that you cannot govern your own mind, you will come to understand that it is fruitless to stay long with this mind. In Buddhism, it is called anatta. ‘You will go on tormenting me so long as you remain ungovernable. You will not only be ordering me to sit, you will also be ordering me to stand, to go about, to cry, to die. Will (you) not?’’.
‘Then you will have to conquer it. It is useless. Once you come to know that it is tormenting you, you will come to loathe this mind. You will not want it anymore. You do not want this mind anymore. I’ll tell you how matter (body) is not desired. You will have to try not to want both (mind and matter). The two, combined, give five khandha (five aggregates). You are sitting now. You cannot tell it not to move, not to change position. There will come numbness, stiffness. Does (the body) follow your orders, does it remain the way you want it to?’
‘It does not, venerable sir.’
‘If it cannot (remain the way you want it), then do you own it? Then is it auspicious, having to live with something that you do not own?’
‘It is not, venerable sir.’
‘Coming to loathe these two (mind and matter), five khandha are loathed. Loathing five khandha, will future khandha be desired?’
‘No, venerable sir.’
‘Not desiring it, (you) will not get it. These two (mind matter) come with ageing, ailing, death. Not getting them, will you not be free from ageing, ailing, death?’
‘Then practice so that you come to loathe these two (mind matter). This is the practice. Khandha is telling (you) it is loathsome. Do not stop (your knowledge) at others’ mouth (words). Practice yourself. If you know it through your own knowledge, then your job is done’.
U Pe Win became a devout Buddhist, studied canonical texts, and practiced Patipatti. He was distinguished among those who worked for the propagation of the Buddha sasana.
-The biography and practice of the Mogok Sayadaw, U Kyaw Thein, Jan 1994 edition, pp. 217 – 239.

Semon on 5th December, 2006,
By the Venerable Bhaddanta Indobhasa
(Pakoku Sayadaw - Burma)
Length (13:09)
Translated by Jenny Ko Gyi (Burma - Myanmar)

Transcription and sound recording by Florian Dobson aka Zee
Edited by Florian Dobson aka Zee
That which comes in contact with the mind base is dhammarammana (mental-object). Not contact with the eye base (or the other sense-bases), but with the mind base - which is called mano. Not knowing the true nature of the object is delusion, moha cetasika - mental concomitants (which arise together, and pass away together, with consciousness).
Get rid of moha - delusion; and there will be no ignorance - avijja. If there is no ignorance, there will be the peaceful element, Nibbana. Nibbana is covered by [names and concepts], pannyatti.
All that comes into contact with the mind base is pannyatti. In dreams also it is contact with mano. The objects of dreams are also pannyati. That which turns attention toward objects is mano. Bhavanga citta-[life continuum consciousness], and the attention toward objects, these two consciousnesses are mano, mind.
In dhammanupassana - contemplation of the Dhamma or realities, you also have to know mano – mind - and the mental objects. Manancapajanati - know the mind (mano), the Buddha says.
[ Dhammenca pajanati], know the objects, dhammarammana. Kasina [objects for developing concentration, samatha], and nimmita [the signs or symbols] used for developing abhinnyana [psychic] powers. These also, are pannyatti - name, concepts.
Bhavanga citta (life-continuum consciousness) and the attentive mind is mano. In dreams also there is attention turned [toward objects]. Know the mind. Not knowing the mind, mano, there arises 'I'. Not knowing mano is ignorance - avijja. Taking it as 'I', [mine], is ditthi - wrong view. Know mano.
‘I’m going there', it originates in the mind, but comes out of the mouth, 'I’ll have to go there'. Speaking is vaci vinnyatti - verbally making things known to others; it is rupa (matter). Talking about the world, about countries or cities is pannyatti. It will have names and shapes. Speaking originates in the mind base, speaking can be done only with mano, not with the eye; it cannot be spoken by the eye. The eye cannot give rise to rupa.
The abdomen rising and falling is pannyatti, seeing the abdomen is still pannyatti (name concept), only the movement is paramattha. [Knowing as the] abdomen or sitting, shapes, forms, are pannyatti. Only the pushing, movement, thrusting into motion is paramattha (absolute truth). [repeating]. Shapes and forms are pannyatti. Only the movement, which is the characteristic of air element, vayo, is paramattha. It is that which pushes into motion. The heat, warmth, when you are feverish, when there is high fever, fever so high that ice packs are needed, these are all paramattha - tejo [fire element]. There are no names [in paramattha]. Only when you understand the nature of the heat element, [you understand] paramattha, only when pushing or motion is understood, [the air element understood] which is paramattha. The names alone are pannyatti. These are the objects of mano.
Coarse and subtle [rough and fine (or smooth)], these are pathavi - earth element, the flesh is pannyatti. Flesh can be cognized by mind - mano. This is pannyatti [concepts]. The object of kama citta, sensual desire, also is pannyatti. There appear to be forms and shapes. [for example at the eye door] perceiving [visual ]objects as shapes and forms is kama mano, or kama citta - the sensual mind, this is an object of mano, mind, mananca pajanati, dhammenca pajanati- [know the mind and its objects]. The objects of mano are pannyatti.
The object and pannyatti concepts are causes of ignorance - avijja.
Pannyatti objects (name concepts) give rise to ignorance - avijja. Know dhammarammana. Most of the objects of mano are pannyatti. __***3** Pannyatti and nibbana also are objects of the mind - dhammarammana. Nibbana also is dhammarammana. Pannyatti and nibbana they are dhammarammana, they are objects of mind, mano.
Names, shapes, and forms are pannyatti. Be mindful so that attention does not fall upon names and shapes. Objects are pannyatti and that which knows them is mano. Based on the two, mind and the concepts, there arises [attachment] - samyojana. The contact between mano and arammana (mind and sense object) is the cause of attachment - samyojana. For example desire, anger, pride, jealously, stinginess, remorse,sloth, torpor, these are all attachments (samyojana).
Nibbana is where there is no attachment. Attachment comes related to pannyatti. Pannyatti and attachment, if there is pannyatti there is attachment. If there is no pannyatti there is no attachment; if there is no attachment, nibbana is attained. Having no attachment is called nibbana
Where does attachment (samyojana) come from? Ditthi is attachment. [perceiving as] hand is ditthi (wrong view), [perceiving as] 'my hand' is [craving or attachment] - tanha. Head is ditthi, my head is tanha, face is ditthi, my face is tanha. Taking as chest is ditthi, taking as 'my chest' is tanha craving. Legs is ditthi, my legs is tanha. These are pannyatti names. From [craving and wrong view] tanha ditthi there come [actions] kamma - physical, verbal, and mental actions arise. Dependent upon tanha ditthi, taking as man is wrong view. Taking as my man, it becomes craving. Taking as citizens is ditthi, my (fellow) citizens is tanha. Money is ditthi, my money is tanha. Tanha and ditthi gives rise to kamma, the kamma that has tanha and ditthi, [wrong view and craving]
Tanha ditthi, tanha is [greed] lobha. Ditthi is wrong view. Both are mental formations or mental states - cetasika. The kamma which has [greed and wrong view]. Kamma is cetana [volition], in the mind [a mental state],(*2) tanha ditthi (craving and wrong view) give rise to kamma.
What is kamma? There are mental, verbal, and physical kammas. Mano kamma - mental action, is [volition] cetana, and in cetana there are tanha and ditthi (craving and wrong views). If it is without tanha, ditthi, there is nibbana. This should be known first.
Know rupa (matter). If it is my rupa it is ditthi tanha. Waving your hand, knowing as hand, it is pannyati. Knowing the movement is vayo rupa, air element matter, in rupa there is no hand. Differentiate between pannyatti and rupa. Know this is feeling - vedana, this is sannya - perception, this is sankara - mental formations/volition, this is rupa – matter.
Know warmth, heat, motion, hardness, (etc.). Like molecules, know this is rupa, this is the cause of rupa. Externally, rupa arises because of tejo, heat. __The body arises because of kamma, citta, utu, ahara - [kammic deeds, mind, temperature, nutrition], because of ignorance, because of craving, because of attachment or clinging, kamma, and because of ahara (nutrition), there arises rupa (matter). If you cannot recognize all, remembering one is quite okay. Only when you know cause and effect, doubt - vicikicca, is dispelled.
In dhammanupassana, commentator says dhammo also is sabhavo - nature, the characteristic. Nature arises dependent upon cause. There is singing and you hear singing. A gong is struck and you hear the sound of a gong. A car drives by and you hear it
Arising dependent upon cause is nature - sabhava. Know the arising [of consciousness]. Knowing the arising is udaya nyana - knowledge of arising. Know the cause, know the arising. Arising dependent on cause. ___ This is sabhava characteristic. The ear consciousness hears [sound]. Hearing is sabhava nature. Knowing the arising is udaya nyana,
Knowing the passing away is vaya nyana - knowledge of the passing away. If there is hearing, hearing (as man, etc.,) is mano mind. The ear consciousness hears [sound alone]. Due to causes there comes arising - this is nature. If the arising is known, it is udaya nyana. If the passing away is known, it is vaya nyana.
Passing away, passing away, knowing only passing away is bhanga nyana - knowledge of the passing away, _this is anicca impermanence. Only when bhanga nyana is attained, anicca is fully understood. Impermanence - anicca - means after arising it is no more (utva abhavato). The previous one is no longer there, and another has arisen [in its place]__ the passing away is like a mustard seed kept atop a needle, instantly it falls off. After arising it passes away. This impermanence is also an object of the mind – dhammarammana, asamohasampajana.
. ___This impermanence is only the object of the wisdom, nyana, which has no moha (no delusion).

The Venerable Mogok Sayadaw

No. 1, from The Four Sacca series
(Dhamma Talk delivered by the Venerable Mogok Sayadaw to U Than Daing and U Tun Yin)
Translated by Jenny Ko Gyi
ITBMU, Myanmar

‘Do you aspire to be a Buddha? Or will you accept Nibbana quickly if you can attain it (this life)?’
‘I don’t aspire to be a Buddha. I will try to attain Nibbana (as soon as possible).’
‘What about you?’
‘I cannot wait like this. I am not brave enough (to inspire to be a Buddha).’
Then let’s do it this way. Everybody knows that, of the four path magga, sotapatti magga is the first magga (path). What does this first magga have to eradicate? Only after eradicating what is the first magga attained? Only when ditthi and vicikiccha (wrong views and doubt) are dispelled is the first magga attained.
The potential of the first magga (path) is achieved only when wrong view and doubt (ditthi vicikiccha) are dispelled. The first magga (path) cannot be attained if wrong view and doubt (ditthi vicikiccha) are not dispelled. Not attaining the first magga, Nibbana cannot be attained either.
Therefore what is the function of the first magga? It is to get rid of wrong view (ditthi). Take note of this. What is to be got rid of if the first magga is to be attained? Get rid of ditthi. Nothing else is needed. Where does this ditthi (wrong view) to be got rid of arise from? Ditthi (wrong view) arises from (wrongly viewing) khandha. Of the five aggregates (khandha) ditthi (wrong view) (arises) clinging to all five aggregates.
Not knowing khandha (aggregates), ditthi (wrong view) arises. Not knowing the anicca (impermanence) of khandha (aggregates), ditthi arises. Not knowing the truth of suffering (dukkha sacca) of khandha, ditthi arises.
Ditthi (wrong view) is dispelled through vipassana, through magga (path). First it is to be dispelled through vipassana. Developing the practice, it is to be dispelled through magga (path). There are three stages of knowledge, nyata parinnya, tirana parinnya, pahana parinnya.
Let us dispel ditthi (wrong view).
Where does ditthi arise from?
Ditthi arises from (wrongly viewing) five aggregates (khandha).
If ditthi is to be dispelled, khandha (five aggregates) are to be taught. To study the five aggregates, the Paticcasamuppada (The Dependent Origination) will be taught first.
To understand khandha (aggregates), the Paticcasamuppada (The Dependent Origination) will be taught.
Where does ditthi (wrong view) dwell?
(It dwells) in the five aggregates. From hearsay, it is known that rupakkhandha, vedanakkhandha, sannyakkhandha, sankharakkhandha, vinnyanakkhandha, (the aggregate of matter, the aggregate of feeling, the aggregate of perception, the aggregate of volition, the aggregate of consciousness), comprise the five aggregates (khandha).
Even if the five aggregates are known, if it is not known how khandha (aggregates) arise, if the cause of aggregates is not known, if it is not known how aggregates pass away, wrong view will still be there. Therefore to understand aggregates (khandha), the Paticcasamuppada (The Dependent Arising), how cause and result connect, are to be known.
Where does ditthi (wrong view) come from? It comes from five khandha (aggregates). Though it may be known that wrong view comes from (dwells in) aggregates, if it is not known how aggregates arise, how they pass away, there will be doubt (vicikiccha) wondering where aggregates come from. If it is so wondered, the Paticcasamuppada will have to be taught.
To become a sotapanna (the first stage stream enterer, one who has entered the stream of noble persons), wrong view and doubt (ditthi vicikiccha) are to be dispelled. To become a true sotapanna for whom the door to the four woeful states (apaya) is closed, wrong view and doubt are to be dispelled. Where do wrong view and doubt come from (dwell in)? They come from (dwell in) (wrongly viewing) five aggregates (khandha).
Where do the five aggregates come from? How will they pass away? The Paticcasamuppada must be understood. There is one kind of Paticcasamuppada that can be read in books. There is another kind of Paticcasamuppada that is taking place in khandha (aggregates) right at the present moment. There are two kinds of Paticcasamuppada.
We shall not get far by merely understanding the Paticcasamuppada in books. It will be okay only if the Paticcasamuppada taking place in khandha (aggregates) is understood.
Say it again. What are to be dispelled if sotapanhood (the first stage entering the stream of liberation from suffering) is to be attained? Wrong view and doubt (ditthi vicikiccha) are to be dispelled. Where do wrong view and doubt come from (dwell in)?
If the cause of arising of aggregates, if the passing away is not known, will wrong view and doubt be dispelled? They will not be. From the past, cause and its results have been connected.
Don’t desire for others to become sotapanna (first stage stream enterers). Wish for your own attainment of sotapanhood.
Listening about others becoming sotapanna, and saying sadhu (well done) is nothing. For (you) to become sotapanna (stream-enterers) yourselves, to test yourselves, is important.
What are to be dispelled to become a sotapanna?
Ditthi and vicikiccha (wrong view and doubt) are to be dispelled, venerable sir.
If wrong view and doubt are to be dispelled, this can be done only when their dwelling place is known. Where do they dwell (arise from)? They arise from (not knowing) (dwell in) five aggregates. These five aggregates are the (dwelling places) (site) of wrong view and doubt.
Not knowing the cause of arising of five aggregates, wrong view arises, doubt arises. Not knowing the cause of arising of, passing away of, five aggregates, ditthi vicikiccha (wrong view and doubt arise). It will be first mentioned how five aggregates arise, how they pass away.
Because of avijja sankhara (ignorance and conditional activities) in the past, aggregates passed away. These took place in the past, and do not concern us. Paticcasamuppada in the past does not concern us. Future Paticcasamuppada in the future has not taken place yet, and also does not concern us.
What is the Paticcasamuppada that should be understood?
There are three types of Paticcasamuppada. Learned scholars teach you Paticcasamuppada, but those that took place in the past do not concern us. You also have not encountered the future Paticcasamuppada that will come later.
So is it possible for you to chase it and get rid of it? Is it beneficial to get rid of things of the past?
The Paticcasamuppada that is taking place at this moment is important.
I’ll say this thrice.
What are to be got rid of if sotapanhood (first stage of stream-entry) is to be attained?
Wrong view and doubt (ditthi vicikiccha). To become a sotapanna, apart from wrong view and doubt, there is nothing else to be dispelled.
Sahavassa dassanasampadaya,
tayassu dhamma jahita bhavanti,
sakkayaditthi vicikiccitanca,
silabbatam vapi yadatthi kinci.
The paritta says wrong view and doubt are to be dispelled if sotapanhood (first stage stream entry) is to be attained.
Is there a difference between, ‘may I attain nibbana’, and ‘may I become a sotapanna’, and ‘may I attain the first nibbana’?
Wrong view and doubt are the first to be dispelled to become a sotapanna. Where do wrong view and doubt to be dispelled (dwell). They (dwell) in five aggregates.
Five aggregates are the (dwelling place) of wrong view and doubt.
‘Whose hair is this? My hair’. Wrong view (ditthi) arises from (dwells in) the aggregate of matter (rupakkhandha) that is hair.
‘Who enjoys the meal? I enjoy it’. It (dwells in) the aggregate of feeling (vedanakkhandha).
‘I remember a lot of lessons. I have a lot of knowledge. Remember this’. There is clinging as ‘I’ upon perception (sannya). Wrong view and doubt (dwells in) sannya (perception).
‘Those who have knowledge as mine are rare’. ‘I’(dwells in) (arise upon) aggregate of perception (sankharakkhandha).
‘Don’t (you dare) provoke me’. This is on aggregate of consciousness (vinnyanakkhandha). It is the ‘mind’ and it is ‘I’ (dwelling on) vinnyanakkhandha (aggregate of consciousness).
Now are you satisfied that five aggregates are the (dwelling place) of wrong view and doubt. Wrong view and doubt are to be separated from aggregates. If there are the aggregates, wrong view and doubt will arise from (wrongly viewing) it.
Where do wrong view and doubt (dwell in)? In the five aggregates. Why do they (arise from) (dwell in) the five aggregates? Because the cause of arising of five aggregates is not known, because the passing away is not known.
Not knowing the cause of five aggregates, wrong view and doubt take place. Not knowing the passing away of five aggregates, wrong view and doubt take place.
Paticcasamuppada of the cause of arising will be shown. Paticcasamuppada of the passing away of khandha will be shown. Without teaching you these two, without Paticcasamuppada, it may be possible to swallow a cocoanut, but wrong view will not be dispelled at all.
In books it will be written that wrong view and doubt are dispelled when mind and matter (namarupa) are understood. But it is not so. There is a step in between. Aggregates will be understood only when Paticcasamuppada is understood. From (wrongly viewing) khandha (aggregates), wrong view and doubt arise.
Therefore the cause of arising of aggregates is the cause of arising of Paticcasamuppada. The passing away of aggregates is the passing away of Paticcasamuppada.
Only when the arising of Paticcasamuppada is understood, when the passing away of Paticcasamuppada is understood, both wrong view and doubt will be eradicated.
If so, are aggregates are to be taught first, or is the Paticcasamuppada to be taught first?
The Paticcasamuppada is to be taught first, venerable sir.
If asked what this khandha (aggregates) is, this is the khandha where the Paticcasamuppada cause and results are linked. (We say) this is the khandha of the monk, the khandha of U Than Daing, of U Tun Yin.
Not understanding (the Paticcasamuppada), will your task get done (by understanding only) the aggregates? Not understanding both the arising and passing away of aggregates, you do not understand both Paticcasamuppada (of arising and of passing away).
Not understanding, wrong view and doubt (arising from) (dwelling in) aggregates, are not uprooted. Wrong view and doubt will remain.
Studying Paticcasamuppada where do we start with?
With ignorance (avijja), venerable sir.
No. Ignorance took place in the past. It is not concerned with you. It is over. Khandha (aggregates) has already taken place because of avijja sankhara (ignorance and conditional activities). You cannot go back. Is it not said aggregates have taken place dependent upon ignorance and conditional activities? This is what the Buddha has originally taught us.
But for you to get rid of wrong view and doubt, it is not like this. These (ignorance and conditional activities) are those that took place in the past existence.
There was ignorance in the past existence that was ignorant of the four noble truths. Not being able to part with ignorance, you nurtured this ignorance in the past life, and there arose attachment (craving) (tanha). Meritorious acts (kusala) were done wishing for existences. Because of these meritorious acts, there arise the five aggregates in this existence called rebirth consciousness, mind-matter, sense-bases, contact, feeling (vinnyana, namarupa, salayatana, phassa, vedana).
The five aggregates (in the present existence) arise. Can ignorance and conditional activities be got rid of now? It’s over. Caused by them, there is the result now. Because of the potential of ignorance and conditional activities of the past, we are now here in the present as results.
Dependent upon the potential of the past, the results take place here in the present which we shall have to bear. The past was the cause, and we bear its results. What we have to get rid of now are the ignorance and conditional activities that will arise from these results. We cannot get rid of the past that has been over.
The past even the Buddha cannot get rid of. We suffer because we cannot get rid of the past. Because we cannot get rid of the past, the khandha (aggregates) now has to live with the dangers of ageing, ailing, death.
The result is the khandha (aggregates) in the present. In this present khandha there are ignorance and conditional activities. Being together with khandha, together with ignorance (avijja), ditthi (wrong view) arises. With ignorance (avijja) there arises doubt (vicikiccha).
If it is known that there is wrong view and doubt, will ignorance in the present still be there?
It becomes vijja (wisdom/knowledge). Will one with wisdom commit further conditional activities?
If wrong view and doubt (ditthi vicikiccha) are dispelled, ignorance and conditional activities (avijja sankhara) are automatically dispelled.
Wrong view and doubt in the present khandha (aggregates) are to be eradicated. How? Dispel ignorance and conditional activities. Not committing conditional activities (sankhara), it becomes asankhara (unconditioned).
Now do you understand how we leave out ignorance and conditional activities of the past? We leave them out because the past is over. But we are not getting far (in the practice) yet.
The seed is already sown here in the present. From this seed, let the ignorance fruit and the fruit of conditional activities be not borne. From this khandha it is important that avijja fruits and sankhara fruits do not come out. Dependent upon avijja sankhara (of the past), here (in the present) is the khandha (aggregates) tree.
If from here come avijja and sankhara fruits, then will it ever end?
By knowing this khandha it is to be done so that avijja and sankhara fruits are not born, so that there will be vijja and asankhara.
Avijja is to be turned to vijja, sankhara to asankhara. Asankhara so that it becomes unconditioned.
It is important to understand the Paticcasamuppada in the present.
The five aggregates (khandha) arising now. The five aggregates (U Than Daing, U Tun Yin) sitting now is the present. The Paticcasamuppada that is taking place now is important. Paticcasamuppada of the past is not important. The Paticcasamuppada of the future is also not important. If the present is clearly understood, the future will be cut off.
How many kinds of Paticcasamuppada are there?
The Paticcasamuppada of the past, not concerning us, is not needed in the practice. The future Paticcasamuppada, being not here yet, needs not be cut off. For evils not to grow in the present Paticcasamuppada, for the good to grow, these I shall give you the answers.
Craving/attachment, clinging, kammic deeds (tanha, upadana, kamma bhava) are not to arise from the present Paticcasamuppada khandha. If there is craving/attachment (tanha), there will arise clinging/grasping (upadana). If there is clinging (upadana), kammic deeds will be committed (kamma bhava). If kammic deeds are committed, in the future (existence), there will be rebirth, ageing, ailing, death (jati, jara, marana). This much (you) may have studied, so I shall not go into details.
It is important for ignorance, craving, kammic deeds (avijja, tanha, kamma) not to arise from present khandha. If from present aggregates, ignorance, craving do not arise, if kammic deeds are not committed, future aggregates will not take place. Future aggregates will be cut off.
Let us talk about present Paticcasamuppada, present aggregates. I do not want to talk about the aggregates that took place at birth. Ignorance and conditional activities (of the past) were causes, so I do not want (to discuss) them either. I want (to discuss) the five aggregates that arise right now.
The five aggregates that arose when you were born had passed away. So I do not want (to discuss) them. Why? Because they are not here at present.
The five aggregates when you came out from your mother’s womb had arisen and had passed away. Not a trace follows into the present. The five aggregates I want (to talk about) are the aggregates that are now here listening to the dhamma, the khandha that is here right at this moment, not the others. You have known that the present result arises dependent upon the past cause. With the arising of present result, in the wink of an eye, more than fifty billion resultant (aggregates) had arisen (and had passed away). Not a trace follows (you) to the present. They cannot be found. It is over.
(I shall discuss) the Paticcasamuppada that arises at this moment. The Paticcasamuppada that arises now is to coincide with wisdom/knowledge that arises now. The past is no more. To practice vipassana, it should be the moment arising right in the present.
The (you) that came out of mother’s womb is not here. It does not exist at all. So it is not worth mentioning at all. What arises now is found now. This is very important.
The khandha that arises on getting up was not there when (you were) sitting. The khandha that arose (when you came out) from mother’s womb cannot be taken into account at all. Vipassana cannot be contemplated on it then. If you go and pour water on what has already been burned down, you will only be wasting water. Having been burned down, and not even ash remains; and if you go and pour water, (they) will say you have gone insane.
You come here to get rid of this insanity. Khandha-aggregates, arising right at the present moment is important.
Do not think your teacher’s is a new dhamma, unlike others’. This is in line with sabhava - nature. Do not think this (dhamma) is new.
Practising vipassana means getting rid of wrong view and doubt from aggregates arising in the present, the aggregates arising right at this moment. The past is only an image on the film. (The Sayadaw was using examples easily recognized in his days, viz., the sixties).
Watch the background that is being shown now. Do not go and watch those (images of the past) in the film roll.
Observe the five aggregates in the present with knowledge/wisdom in the present. If (you) do not know how it arises, how shall I teach (you) how to observe it? How (aggregates) arise will be mentioned first.
For example, houses, shops, children, of U Than Daing. Merchandise from U Than Daing’s shop impinge upon U Than Daing’s eyes; eye-consciousness arises. This everyone knows.
Is this eye-consciousness the one that came with you from home? It is the eye-consciousness that arises only now.
Is the eye the one that came with you from home?
The eye from home does not last even a moment of lightning. It is the eye that arises only when you get near (your) shop. Are the merchandise those from yesterday? The four major elements (mahabhuta) are in a state of flux that keep passing away with each moment; therefore the merchandise are those that arise only now in your presence.
The merchandise are those of the present, momentary, arising right at this moment.
The eye is not the eye that came (with you) from home. It is a new eye, it arises only here. The consciousness is new. Feeling (vedana) that decides good or bad is also new, and arises only now. Perception (sannya) is also new. There is nothing that came (with you) from home.
Volition (cetana - sankharakkhandha) that prompts, that wants to see, is also new, it also arises only now.
Now I shall analyse the five aggregates (khandha). This visible object – matter (rupa) and this eye of yours are new aggregates of matter (rupakkhandha). They are new rupakkhandha (aggregate of matter/physical phenomenon) that arises only (when you reach) shop.
These four namakkhandha (aggregates of mind-matter; mind and mental phenomena) consisting of vedanakkhandha, sannyakkhandha, sankharakkhandha, vinnyanakkhandha (aggregate of feeling, aggregate of perception, aggregate of volition, aggregate of consciousness) are also mental phenomena that arise only now.
Let us say this is one physical phenomenon. This one is not concerned with the Paticcasamuppada, ignorance (avijja) of the past. These are five aggregates in the present (called) U Than Daing, U Tun Yin.
These are five aggregates that arise only now. Not a trace of that which came (with you) from home. They are not connected with ignorance and conditional activities (causes) of the past. They arise only when (you) get to the shop; the five aggregates that arise only when (you) get to the shop.
Your knowledge (of five aggregates) has to develop. Are these five aggregates connected to the past cause? Or to the future?
These are the five aggregates that have only just arisen, newly arisen.
Text books say there is seeing. Mental phenomena see. On seeing, if (it is thought) that some goods have not been sold, there will be displeasure (dosa).
It is displeasure (dosa) that comes out of aggregates in the present, not from anywhere else. In books it is said, ‘tinnam sangati phasso, phassa paccaya vedana, vedana paccaya tanha’. (In reality) the four (mental phenomena) arise simultaneously.
They arise simultaneously, they perish simultaneously.
Physical phenomena together cause four mental phenomena to arise.
Two physical phenomena together means the eye base is physical phenomenon (rupakkhandha), visible object (goods displayed) in shop is physical phenomenon. These two physical phenomena (rupakkhandha) together gives rise to four mental phenomena (namakkhandha).
Matter and matter (rupa and rupa) together make physical phenomena (rupakkhandha); mind and mind (nama and nama) together make mental phenomena (namakkhandha). Mind-matter arises from mind-matter (namarupa).
Is it the past? Is it the present?
It is purely the present. It is not connected with ignorance (avijja).
It is not connected with the past cause, not with the future. It is momentary, only at this moment.
The five aggregates we are living with now are not the aggregates that came (when you came out) from mother’s womb. These are not the five aggregates that have been created by anyone. These are only five aggregates when object arises and comes into contact. This is sense base. This is object. When there is impingement between object and sense base, there arise the four mental phenomena (namakkhandha). Four mental phenomena (namakkhandha) and physical phenomenon (rupakkhandha), combined, give rise to five aggregates (khandha).
The five aggregates (khandha) in the present.
Now you know the arising of aggregates (khandha). Now if you know the passing away (of aggregates) (khandha), you will have vipassana knowledge (nana) right away.
There are things that cannot be said strictly according to written texts.
Of course the Buddha’s teachings are in texts. But the Buddha taught us through (His knowledge of) aggregates (khandha). But the Buddha did not (directly) leave written texts. Written texts appeared only seven years after the Buddha had entered parinibbana.
‘What about sankhara nyana, venerable sir?’
Sankhara nyana (knowledge of conditioned things), avijja paccaya sankhara, dependent upon ignorance, there arise conditional activities. I shall not explain this in sankharakkhandha (aggregate of volition). Ask. It is precious when I have to answer because you ask.
This is (the eye) given by kamma only now. This is the eye (by kamma) that takes place only on arrival at shop. The eye (given) by past kamma has passed away.
This is the eye that abruptly appears only on arrival at shop.
All merchandise also have undergone changes – heat, cold, etc. Matter which is heat element has changed (and passed away). Matter which is cold element has changed (and passed away). All have perished.
The bundle in front of you is the one in the present. This one in the present and this in the present come into contact ‘cakkhumca paticca rupeca uppajjati’.
Only then there arises eye-consciousness cakkhu vinnanam.
Can the four mental phenomena be separated?
Ekuppada, ekanirodha, ekalambana, ekavatthuka, so it has to come together with feeling (vedana), perception (sannya), volition (sankhara). They have to come together. I am only telling you they come together. But this is not enough to know cause and effect.
I have not explained how doubt (vicikiccha) is dispelled.
I am only explaining the arising (of khandha aggregates).
It is different from canonical texts. Canonical texts say phassa paccaya vedana, dependent on contact, there arises feeling. But it is not like this. Four mental aggregates arise together, ekuppada, ekanirodha, ekalambana, ekavatthuka.
There is physical phenomenon, rupakkhandha. Four combined with one, it becomes five. This is the khandha (aggregate) arising at this moment. Vipassana is to be contemplated on this (khandha). Those that arose the day before, or two days before, etc., those that will arise the next day, in future, cannot be contemplated in insight meditation practice. Knowing the khandha (five aggregates) in the present, it is sure that this is not khandha that came along from the past.
Cakkhumca paticca, dependent upon (eye), it is also cause. These bundles (of merchandise) are also causes. Dependent upon these two causes, eye and visible object, eye-consciousness (cakkhuvinnyana) arises. Therefore (consciousness) cannot arise alone. Four mental aggregates (four namakkhandha) arise. Here aggregate of consciousness (vinnyanakkhandha) is the leader, vedanakkhandha, sannyakkhandha, sankharakkhandha (the aggregate of feeling, the aggregate of perception, the aggregate of volition) remain dormant.
Take soup, that one which is salty. (You will say) ‘It’s so salty, venerable sir.’ Here salty taste is dominant. What will the answer be when asked if sweet taste also is not there? It (sweet taste) is there. (Sweet taste) is there, but is dormant. This soup will also have tomato, fish sauce, sweetening powder in it.
You will say only the leader, salty taste, is mentioned. The answer is that the others’ potency is not as evident (as salty taste). The others are also there in the soup, but they are not as powerful (as salty taste).
I am explaining this only ordinarily.
Without being prompted by cetana, the eye will not fall straight (on the object).
(During arrow-shooting), cetana aims an arrow toward target, sankharakkhandha (aggregate of volition) turns the arrow toward target. ‘This is the target you will have to shoot’, and vedana feels, sanna perceives (remembers), cetana sankhara prompts. Vinnanakkhandha knows, ‘this is the target I’ll have to shoot’.
Phassa forms contact between the two, so sankharakkhandha (aggregate of voliton) is there also, though it is not dominant. Vinnana, consciousness, is the leader, and remaining dormant are the other three.
It is like taking soup where salty taste is the leader.
Sometimes salty taste may not be the leader. Spicy hot taste of chili may be dominant. While on a pilgrimage tour, cetana (volition) is the leader. Volition dominates. Here consciousness lies dormant.
All five aggregates are there.
(Eye and visible object) are both rupakkhandha, aggregates of matter. Keeping the two matter in the same category, it becomes one. Rupakkhandha, with four namakkhandha (aggregates of mind), gives rise to five khandha (five aggregates). Is this khandha of the past? Or of the present?
Khandha of the present can be found through knowledge wisdom.
If you look for khandha of the past, you cannot find it, because you are looking for (something) which is not there. If you say it is there, then (you are) wrong. (If you say), it is there, then you are crazy.
(Now you know) khandha (aggregates) arising at this moment.
Two matter are rupakkhandha (aggregates of matter), rupa. Four are namakkhandha (aggregates of mind), nama. Two matter are causes, they are paticcasamuppada. Four are mind, they are results, paticcasamuppanna.
Are these cause and effect, or are these five aggregates (khandha)? They are cause and effect.
There is only cause and effect. Then (vicikiccha) doubt wondering, ‘where will I be?’ is dispelled.
There is only cause and effect. Individuals, beings are not there.
There are only two causes and four results.
Knowing there is only cause and results, doubt (vicikiccha) wondering, ‘where do I come from?’ is dispelled.
There is only matter, rupa. There is only mind, nama. Do not let ‘I’ come in and mess things up. When cause and effects were understood, doubt, vicikiccha, was dispelled. Dependent upon two causes, four results take place. Knowing that it is not creation of deity king, brahma, or almighty god, knowing there is only arising of four mental phenonmena, dependent upon two physical phenomena, doubt is dispelled. There are only the five aggregates.
Eye base, cakkhu pasada, is matter caused by kamma, kammic deeds. Merchandise is matter caused by weather, utu. Then these are four mental phenomena, cause by kammic deeds, and weather.
Two are causes, four are results. Knowing these, doubt will not arise. Knowing cause and results, doubt (vicikiccha) is dispelled.
There is only mind and matter (namarupa). In (mind and matter), there is no ‘I’. Knowing these, wrong view (ditthi) is dispelled.
Wrong view and doubt (ditthi vicikiccha), are now dispelled. This is only theoretically dispelling. There is theoretically dispelling, dispelling through practice, dispelling through eradication.
At first it is dispelling theoretically. Then it will be through practice. Afterward it will be like commanding (wrong view and doubt) not to come at all (complete eradication).
I’ll say it again. Eyes are those given by kamma. Kamma repeatedly gives rise (to eye base). Eye (base) passes away, (kamma) replaces (it) with eye (base) again. It is pasadarupa; it is eye base that arises dependent upon kammic cause. Rolls of textiles are (matters) that arise dependent upon weather, utu.
When kamma and weather combine, there arises mind, nama. ‘cakkhumca paticca rupeca uppajjati cakkhu vinnanam’. There arise four namakkhandha (mental phenomena).
The impingement of two rupakkhandha (aggregate of matter) gives rise to four namakkhandha (aggregate of mind). The contact of two hands gives sound.
Is it the present, the past, the future?
Now khandha in the present is understood.
At the ear-door, now the fan is turning.
Ear-base, combined with sound, gives rise to vinnana (consciousness), four namakkhandha (mental aggregates).
On hearing there will arise five aggregates.
On smelling, on cognizing taste, five aggregates will arise.
For example, examining textiles, five aggregates arise. Five aggregates arise at kayadvara, body door.
When you are in bed, thinking, feeling sorry, five aggregates arise at manodvara, mind-door.
Five aggregates keep arising, one after another, at six sense-doors. Five aggregates pass away. Another five aggregates arise, and go on being alive. If five aggregates at eye-door pass away, five aggregates may arise at ear-door, and go on living. If five aggregates at ear-door pass away, there may arise five aggregates at nose-door, and go on being alive.
Sometimes there may arise five aggregates at nose-door again, and living may be again with five aggregates at nose-door. Then living may be with five aggregates at tongue-door. Being alive may sometimes be with five aggregates at body-door. Sometimes it may be with five aggregates arising at mind-door.
How many times do five aggregates arise each day?
Innumerable, venerable sir.
It is important that we follow the arising of aggregates with wisdom. Following (contemplating) aggregates with wisdom, U Than Daing sees U Than Daing’s death. (With each passing away of five aggregates, there is death). Whenever passing away of five aggregates (is contemplated), know it is death. Now do you see your own death? When you contemplate (passing away of aggregates), do you not see your own death?
When (you) see death (in passing away of aggregates), do you see your own death, or do you see others’ death?
(We) see our own death, venerable sir.
You have attended funerals of others’ deaths. But you have never attended your own funeral. Now do you want to attend a funeral? Do you get the idea?
Do not be thinking of home.
How many five aggregates arise and pass away each day?
Over five billion.
Whenever each of the aggregates pass away, know that all five aggregates pass away. But all five of the aggregates cannot be contemplated (at the same time).
At the eye five aggregates arise. Various five aggregates arise and make replacements. At the ear, aggregates keep arising and replacing. If there is continuous hearing, there are five aggregates arising in succession.
Can deaths be counted then?
Observing innumerable deaths, contemplating knowledge that knows death, this is practising vipassana. This is observing one’s own death.
What then is vipassana? Is it a practice merely to gain merit, or is it contemplation of one’s own death?
Observe your own death.
The Buddha can only say that the samsara cycle (of death and rebirth) begins with ignorance and conditional activities. But He cannot tell us the origin of beings.
The Buddha can only say that ignorance and conditional activities are the beginning of samsara. But He says He will only be tired when the origin of beings is asked.
Pubbekotina pannyayati.
The beginning cannot be seen. He only knows the dhamma that is the beginning. The samsara is so long that deaths (passing away of aggregates) that have taken place throughout cannot be seen.
There is no wisdom that can see deaths (of aggregates) that have taken place in the beginningless samsara. .
Now I have taught you knowledge that sees your own death.
Eye-consciousness arises at the eye. It passes away at the eye. Seeing is no more, consciousness has passed away. Passing away (of consciousness) is contemplated by wisdom, then one’s own death is understood.
(Seeing one’s own passing away), seeing one’s own death, future khandha is not desired. Not desiring (future khandha), there will be no arising. Then this is the end of death.
Passing away (death) is the truth of suffering (dukkha sacca), knowing it is the truth of the path leading to cessation of suffering (magga sacca).
With magga sacca, craving for future existence, cannot take place.
Magga cuts off Paticcasamuppada.
If not there will be phassa paccaya vedana, vedana paccaya tanha, dependent upon contact, there arises feeling, dependent upon feeling there arises craving. Then there will be upadana paccaya kammabhavo, dependent upon clinging, there arise kammic deeds.
Craving, clinging, kammic deeds are causes for future (rebirth).
You who have (donated monasteries), if there is future khandha, there will arise dukkha khandha. If there is desire, this will go on.
Here with (appearance of) magga (path), there, without interval, will be phala (fruition). Craving, clinging, kammic deeds do not arise. Why do they not arise?
Seeing one’s own death is magga. This magga cuts off all future (rebirth) in Paticcasamuppada.
Magga (path) works two ways. It knows the truth of suffering. It cuts off craving that follows. Knowing one’s own death as truth of suffering, dhamma niyama (law of nature) usually follows. Knowing the Buddha’s teachings, dhamma niyama (magga) will take place. If the Buddha had not appeared, will magga arise?
Now that the Buddha has appeared, there will be no dukkha sacca (truth of suffering) in future existence. Why does dukkha sacca not arise in future? Seeing death here, death over there will not take place.
Vipassana is contemplation of one’s own death.
There will be no attachment for khandha that has arisen. Seeing death stops desire from arising. Seeing death is vipassana magga. It is not true magga (path) yet.
Two matter, eye-base and visible object, are causes. Four namakkhandha (aggregates of matter) are results. Wrong view and doubt are dispelled when cause and result (of aggregates) are known.
In cause, is there ‘I’ or is it matter (rupa)?
It is matter.
In results, is there ‘I’ or is it mind (nama)?
It is mind.
(Knowing that) mind and matter arise at the same time, wrong view and doubt are theoretically dispelled.
This is not dispelling through practice yet.
With ordinary teachers, you may go wrong. It may be said that sotapanhood has been attained.
(Knowing cause and effect/result) is only nataparinna stage of knowledge. There should come tirana parinna, knowledge through development of practice. Then there should be tirana parinna (stage of eradication).
Seeing the wrong teacher, (one) may take theoretical knowledge to be the stage of eradication. When vipassana is being practised, there are only five magganga (path). Eightfold path is not complete yet.
During vipassana, there is mindfulness (sati), concentration (samadhi), effort (viriya). With right thought (samma sankappa), right view (sammaditthi), together there are five magganga (path). Five magganga can dispel (wrong view, doubt) only temporarily, they cannot dispel (wrong view, doubt) from the roots.
Teachers who teach the easy way may say, ‘You have become a sotapanna. You may go, it will not matter, no matter what.’ I am very much worried that you may end up with such a teacher.
I am worried. It will be a loss throughout the samsara. Only dispelling (wrong view and doubt) temporarily, and you may be in trouble seeing the wrong teacher, who will praise you when in reality, your work has not been done.
Today it is (dispelling wrong view and doubt) only theoretically. How many times do five aggregates arise and replace (those that have passed away) each day?
Whenever it arises (and replaces) know with wisdom that there is arising (and replacement in place of those that have passed away). Follow it only as much as a worldling’s knowledge will permit (you). Only the Buddha can know the arising and passing away of all five billions (of aggregates). This is not what you or I can know.
(If your teacher asks you) if you can see five billion (khandha) arise and pass away in the wink of an eye, and (if you answer) you do not, and (if he says) you are still not competent, then it will be trouble. This the Buddha sees only after attaining Buddhahood. Following what is written in canonical texts, trying to see what is seen only after attainment of Buddhahood, you will only be exhausted.
I shall say only two words today. The practice before attainment of Buddhahood is one, that after the attainment of Buddhahood is another. What you will have to follow is the practice before attainment of Buddhahood.
Only after attainment of Buddhahood, (the Buddha says) a million million nama arise and pass away, and five billion rupa arise and pass away (in a wink of an eye).
When a learned scholar says this, he himself is confused.
With what view was Buddhahood achieved? Did he become a Buddha only when he saw (arising and passing away of) a million million nama and five billion rupa?
With his knowledge He (merely contemplated) the present, and attained Buddhahood..