First published by the Society for the Propagation
of Vipassana - Yangon, Myanmar (Mogok Sayadaw's Way).
BY U THAN DAING
Published by Selangor Vipassana Meditation Society
Printed by Majujaya Indah Sdn. Bhd.
Mogok Sayadaw follows in the footsteps of Ledi Sayadaw, a prolific and widely respected Dhamma master who taught in Burma (Myanmar) at the turn of the century. Ledi Sayadaw had increased understanding of the Law of Dependent Origination among Burmese Buddhists and Mogok Sayadaw revived and emphasized its importance in his teaching. Mogok was a renowned scholar in monastic circles and spent more than thirty years as a teacher of Buddhist psychology and scriptures in upper Burma. One day it occurred to him that he was like a cowherd who in spite of tending the animals did not have the opportunity to use the milk given by them. He felt his teaching position and travelled to Mingun where he undertook intensive practice of Vipassana. After some years passed, at the request of devoted Buddhist lay-folk, he began the teaching of insight meditation in several towns. Although he shunned popularity and did not teach in the capital, his fame as an enlightened teacher was widespread. Since Mogok Sayadaw's death not many years ago, a number of his disciples have been carrying out on the important teachings of insight meditation in his style.
In Rangoon (Yangon) there is a large center which teaches Vipassana according to the method of Mogok Sayadaw. It is run by the Venerable U Than Daing, compiler of this English version of Mogok's teaching.
The most outstanding point in Mogok Sayadaw's teaching is the use of the Law of Dependent Origination. He explains how this causal chain works and then directs us to experience this process in our own bodies and minds. The insight that develops leads to the freedom beyond this process, the truth of the Buddha.
(Extracted from Living Buddhist Master - Jack Kornfield)
A FEW YEARS after my arrival in America, I received from U Than Dang a small consignment of this book, entitled THE DOCTIRNE OF PATICCASAMUPPADA. He would tell me where to send one of two copies of the books, usually gratis. At that time, I was having some difficulty in reading a book with a profusion of Pali words that made little sense to me. I did write to U Than Daing about my problem, and asking him if such a book could not be written in plain English. He soon replied that without the Pali words and frequent references made to the Abhidhamma texts, (in footnotes) the book would not have the needed authenticity.
A few years later, he suggested that I could make changes that I felt would improve its readability. I have a letter in a file from my father-in-law granting me full rights to the book. I was not ready to tackle the task, nor then able to appreciate the usage of the Pali words. I sensed that U Than Daing was encouraging me to carry on with the kind work that he had been doing, but in America.
By chance, my wife and I met a retired American GSO officer whom we had known in Burma before its name change. He had brought back many things from Burma, including a book - the English translation of several of the Dipanis, all written by the famed Maha Thera the Ledi Sayadaw, Aggamahapandita. They were all consolidated in a single volume and as I browsed through the book, I felt that it was just what I needed. Without even having to try borrowing the book, Mr. T. Pence autographed the book and presented it to me most cheerfully. Elsewhere U Than Daing has praised the value of this very book.
The other most helpful aid to my learning has been the library of cassette tapes of the sermons of our Maha Thera The Mogok Sayadaw Aggamahapandita that my wife Daw Kyi Kyi Daing brought back with her in 1979 after U Than Daing passed away. I was not able to enter the country at the time, but accompanied my wife as far as Bangkok, and then saw her off at the airport, bound for Rangoon. I was travelling frequently for my employers, doing business in manufacturing of hydraulic pipeline dredges.
Those tapes and the transcribed books of the Sermon enable us to follow the Mogok Sayadaw'a Way of practising Vipassana Mindfulness Meditation. There are not many phongyi-kyaungs with our kind of Bhikkhus anywhere near our home. Later we discovered that we could visit a Sri Lanka Vihara where they spoke English and Singhalese and practised the Theravada schools of Buddhism. For many years we joined in with the other members of the Burmese community in Washington D.C., to participate in their regular activities at this Sri Lanka Vihara.
When the Mahasi Sayadaw began his World Tour with a group of Myanmar Sanghas and reach Washington D.C., we were able to make arrangements for them to find temporary shelter at the Sri Lanka Vihara in Washington D.C.. Without prior notice the Mahasi Sayadaw made his decision to leave behind two members of his group to do missionary work. Bhikkhu U Silananda and U Kelatha were left in our midst when the Mahasi Sayadaw moned on. U Silananda retraced his steps to the San Francisco Bay area, while U Kelatha remained on the East Coast. Suddenly the Burmese community had to find the means to fulfil the missionary zeal of the Mahasi Sayadaw.
Later, similar missions of Burmese Sayadaws followed the Mahasi Sayadaw's World Tour. Taungpulu Sayadaw and his large group of followers passed through our area of influence. We suddenly found ourselves personnlay involved in finding a suitable site for a Burmese Phongi-kyaung that Daw Kyi Kyi Daing eventually selected and recommended to a committee of the Burma America Buddhist Association, Inc., that had been duly registered as a non-profit association to sponsor and provide support, initially, to U Silananda and U Kelatha. Daw Kyi Kyi Daing served as its Treasurer and Secretary. The history of Burmese Buddhist missionary work has been covered in a book written by Ashim U Kelatha at the monastery on Powder Hill Road, Silver Spring, Maryland.
After we moved to Southern California, we participated in activities at the Burma Buddhist Monastery in Los Angeles (now moved to La Puente, California) and at various Buddhist Center, for several meditation sessions, with Ashin U Silananda showing Mahasi Way. Now, there are more than ten Phongyi-kyaungs with Burmese Sangha(s) in several States in America.
Sayadaw Dhamma Thara visited Southern California for medical reasons as well as to hold meditation sessions at a small outhouse and meeting place of U Khin Maung Soe and his family, located in Echo Park, North Hollywood, and named "MOGOK YEITHA" by them during U Dhamma Thara's visits. They maintain a library of about 100 books of Mogok Sayadaw's sermon and several scores of cassette tapes, all brought over and donated by Sayadaw U Dhamma Thara, making several trips just to California.
These notes and observations are included for historical purposes as U Than Daing had initiated his Mission in the United States with the distribution of his book: THE DOCTRINE OF PATICCASAMUPPADA.
U Sway Tin
1735 North Santa Anita Avenue
Arcadia, California 91006, U.S.A.
December 11, 1995
What is Paticcasamuppada?
Sections, Links, Factors and Periods
Khanda Paticcasamuppada (Present Aspect)
How Cycle of Paticcasamuppada starts revolving from Vedana
Revolving of Paticcasamuppada from the beginning
Revolving of Paticcasamuppada from the end
Paticcasamuppada Samsara is revolving all the time where there is absence of Vipassana Meditation
The Doctrine of Paticcasamuppada shown in direct way (Anulamo)
The Circling of Paticcasamuppada because of Avijja and Tanha at the source or as the Root Cause
How to dismantle and break the spokes, hub, axis, wheel rod and rim of the Wheel of Paticcasamuppada
Those who follow the way of Paticcasamuppada follow the Blind
Paticcamuppada in reverse order
Sakkaya Ditthi, its causes and consequences
Sakkaya Ditthi and how it arises
Cula Vedalla Sutta, Mulapannasa
Yamaka Sutta Samyutta Nikaya
Sati Monk and how he harboured the wrong views
The Importance of Cittanupassana
How to eliminate Miccha Ditthi
Sassata Ditthi (Eternalist Wrong View) and
Uccheda Ditthi (Annihilationist Wrong View) and how they can be eliminated
Have we not?
Cittanupassana (Contemplation on Mind)
A Certain Puthujjana Monk and the four Arahats
Catechism of the two Great Savakas of the Buddha
Vedanakkhanda and Paticcasamuppada
Vedananupassana (Meditation on Vedana)
The Effect of Vedana on the Puthujjana and on the Arahat
Is the Swaying Motion of the Body Compatible with the practice of Vipassana Meditation?
FOR THE YOGI intending to gain the true knowledge of the five aggregates (panacakkhanda) by means of the doctrine of Paticcasamuppada, Lit. the Dependent Origination, this book surely is a most outstanding work. It is also a most significant addition to the understanding of the doctrine of Paticcasamuppada. U Than Daing, the author of this book, achieves a remarkabl clear and through exposition of the doctrine from a practical stand-point.
The aim of the book is to make available (a) to the yogi a guide to the right path to deliverance from all suffering; (b) to the English reading public an English version of the Paticcasamupada which mainly explains (1) that processes of the various physical and mental phenomena, conventionally called personality, man, woman, etc, are not a mere play of blind chance but the effects of causes and conditions; (2) that the arising of birth and death is dependent upon conditions; (3) that if the conditions are removed all sufferings will disappear; (4) is elucidates the philosophical meaning of the first and second Noble Truths in regular order (anuloma) and of the second and the third Noble Truths in reverse order (patiloma). Hence, the Paticcasamuppada is the fundamental factor for the real understanding and realisation of the Buddha's teaching.
Buddhism is distinguished from all other religions and philosophies by its unique character. The technique of deliverance which is characteristic of Buddhism is very different from that of all other religions. They say' "Turn to God; pray to Him; give yourself utterly to Him; become one with Him." Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Zoroastrianism, Judaism, base their teachings on the idea of God. These religions say that until a man believes in God, he cannot begin to live a truly righteous or useful life. We know that thousands in these religions do live lives of charity, purity and holiness, but the strange fact is that lives of charity, purity and holiness are also lived by thousands who follow the Buddha who never ask men to worship any God as the first step towards their deliverance.
One of the doctrines on which Buddhism differs from all other religion is Anatta, Non-Ego, Not-self. According to Jewish philosophy there was an entity that remained inside the body and governed the doings of man. If was held to be unchanging and constant, and at death it remains somewhere until at the Day of Judgement it is sent to heaven or hell. The Vedanta formula is: "Etam mama, eso hamasmi, eso me atta". The view that atta or atman, self is eternal, and is a separate entity living inside the body was generally accepted by all schools of Indian thought. It is only recently that modern European philosophers and scientist have come to recognise that everything is a state of flux or change, that nothing is permanent. Yet this doctrine was taught by the Buddha over 2,500 years ago in its application not only to the body but also the mind.
That which we call 'man' is composed of mind and matter. According to Buddhism apart from mind and matter, Nama and Rupa, which constitutes the so called man, there is not such thing as immortal soul, Atta, which lies behind them. Matter (Rupa) is the visible from the invisible qualities and forces which are known in Pali as Maha-Bhutas, essential elements.
The four elements are inseparable and interrelated. All forms of matter are primarily composed of the elements, every material object being a combination of them in one proportion or another. But as soon as the same matter is changed into different forms the composite things are held to be mere conceptions presented to the mind by the particular appearance, shape or form.
Mind, which is the most important part in a being, is essentially a stream of consciousness and it can be expressed by the word "Thought". Thought, however, is not simple a physiological function, but a kind of energy, something like electricity. Thought and radiations of currents of thoughts are mental elements of the mental world which correspond to the four material elements of the physical world. A being is essentially the manifestation of its thought-forces which are in a state of flux.
The Buddha's analysis of the mind shows that the mind consists of four mental aggregates. Namely (1) the sensations or feelings of whatever kind (Vedana), (2) the perceptions of sense objects or the reactions to the senses (Sanna), (3) the fifty types of mental factors including tendencies and faculties (Sankhara) and (4) consciousness (Vinnana) which is the fundamental factor of all the other three.
Thus, the so-called beings, "Satta", is a composition of the five aggregates or the material and mental forces which are changing all the time and not remaining for two consecutive moments the same.
Is any of the five aggregates Atta, the self or soul? The Buddha's answer is No. Then what remains to be called Atta, the self or soul? As it has been said above, apart from the five aggregates there remains nothing to be called Atta. Here then we have one of three fundamental characteristics of all existence, namely the characteristic of Anatta, the absence of a permanent unchanging self or soul. It is this doctrine (no-soul) for which Buddhism stands and on which Buddhism differs from other religions. If the wheels and axles, the floorboards and sides, the shafts and all other parts are removed from a cart what remains?
The answer is nothing, and the combination of these is called a cart. In exactly the same way the combination of the five aggregates is called a being which may assume as many names as its types, shapes, forms and so on many vary according to the mode of physical and mental changes.
There are mainly two views with regard to the problem of the ultimate origin of life. One, that life must have had a beginning in the infinite past and that the beginning or the first cause if the creator God; the other, that life is beginningless, for the cause ever becomes the effect and the effect becomes the cause, and that in a circle of cause and effect a first cause or beginning is not conceivable.
Taking the first view, that life has a beginning and that beginning is the creator God, how did this creator himself come into existence, and by what laws was his life conditioned or governed? If such being was able to exist without prior cause or a creator, there is no reason why the world itself or the life of a being cannot equally exist without a creator or a prior cause.
The other view, namely, that life is beginningless,
is the Buddhist view. The Buddha positively states, "The origin of phenomenal
existence is inconceivable, and the beginning of beings obstructed by ignorance
and ensnared by craving is not to be discovered (Samyutta Nikaya, II.178).
As has been said above, life process or the universe is governed by the
natural law of cause and effect. The cause ever becomes the effect, and
the effect becomes the cause and so birth is followed by death, and death
on the other hand, is followed by birth. Birth and death are two phases
of the same life process. In this circle of cause and effect or of birth
and death which is known in Buddhism as Samsara, the beginning is not discoverable.
The Pali word Samsara literally means perpetual wandering round of rebirths.
This process of life and death is explained in the Paticcasamuppada. It is a discourse on Samsara and deals with the process or cause of birth and death. It is not an attempt to show the absolute origin of life nor it is a theory of the evolution of the world. It consists of twelve connecting and supporting factors of links of the process. (see the diagram)
Of the twelve links, the first two summarise the past existence and are identified with the past volitional activities (Kamma) performed under the influence of ignorance. The links from Vinnana down to Vedana represent the results of the past existence or past actions (Kamma). The links from Tanha to Bhava indicate the present possible volitional activities (Kamma) that are in progress from moment to moment. This implies that although our present position in character and circumstances is the result of our past actions (Kamma), what we shall be in the future depends on what we do now, upon how we face circumstances in the present, and that it is within our power to alter or modify, the quality of the life-force (Karmic force) that continues in the next rebirth. The last two links, birth and its consequences, summarise the results of the present activities (Kamma). Thus there are three consecutive existences, past, present and future.
Thus, the Paticcasamuppada answers the following three great question:
First : Where did we come from?
Answer : Out of the past, out of the things, which we have done before; out of the labours unfinished; out of the past vices and virtues; out of the darkness of our own ignorance; out of our own desires. Thus we come down into the present bringing with us the virtues and the vices of the past.
Second : Why are we here?
Answer : We are here because of the past, for the past gives birth to the present and from the present is born the future; we were brought here by our own joys and our own sorrows, and most of all we are led here by our desires, and here we remain until the last selfish desire is annihilated. To the wise man, the lives he lives here is an opportunity to rid himself of the burden which he has accumulated in the past; to rid himself of wrong doings, his wrong view points; to rid himself of his wrong concepts of life and death, and leaving them all behind, to place his feet upon the middle way.
Third : Where are we going?
Answer : We go to the effects of our causation. Those whose labours are unfinished merely go around the wheel of life (Samsara) and return again to labour towards fuller completion. Those who have followed the middle way and finished their labours reach the state of Nibbana, complete cessation of all suffering.
To unmask the great illusion is the labour of man, To stand in equilibrium in the midst of worldly things is the way of the Buddha. To contemplate life but never to be enmeshed within worldly life is the law of the Buddha. To be absorbed into the reality, the permanent, Nibbana, is the end of the Busshidt way of life.
In the following pages an endeavour has been made by the author to gave a clear exposition of the Paticcasamuppada in a convenient form. It is a brief explanation of points of practical importance to the yogi who wishes to practice Vipassana meditation by reason of his own understanding of the Paticcasamuppada. It is hoped that this brief exposition of the Doctrine will also be of some help to the English reading public, who have not have sufficient leisure to study the Pali texts themselves and the many translations already existing in the various languages, yet wish to become better acquainted with the actual philosophical explanation of the Doctrine of Dependent Origination.
Sayadaw U Thittila
September 30, 1967
Nama Tassa Bhagavato Arahato Samma Sambuddhassa
OF ALL THE doctrine of Suttanta of Buddha Dhamma, The Four Noble Truth (Catu Ariya Sacca) stand out predominantly as they are the most important and essential teachings of the Buddha. Similarly the Doctrine of Paticcasamuppada comes only as second place after the Catu Ariya Sacca.
Those who attain Sotapati, Sakadagami, Anagami and Arahatta Magga and Phala can do so firstly only by breaking away the links in the chain of Paticcasamuppada and secondly by complete apprehension and realisation of the Four Noble Truths. Vipasi Bodhisatta the (embryo), even before becoming Buddha, after deeply and seriously contemplating and meditating on Paticcasamuppada for several times starting from the end to the beginning and from the beginning to the end eventually attained the penetrating knowledge of Asavakkhya Nana enabling him to totally exterminate Avijja and Tanha and finally attain the Supreme Enlightenment.
Our immediate Gotama Buddha following the footsteps of the foregoing Buddhas in like manner deeply and seriously contemplating and meditated on the same Doctrine for several times from the end to the beginning and from the beginning to the end, eventually having terminated, uprooted Avijja and Tanha, finally attained Buddhahood which was heralded by the great events such as earthquakes and other phenomena.
In the Tri Pitakas (Pali Canons) there are some Suttantas which may bu subjected to criticisms by some non-Buddhists, but the Doctrines of Sacca of Paticcasamuppada are above controversy, criticisms and disputes.
Patthana (the Seventh Book of Abhidhamma) is held in high esteem in Abhidhamma Naya for the attainment of Paticcasamuppada for those who are already Ariyas (Arahats), so is Paticcasamuppada vitally important for the ordinary worldling for the elimination of (1) Sakkaya Ditthi, (2) Sassata Ditthi, (3) Uccheda Ditthi, (4) Ahetuka Ditthi and etc. The elimination of Ditthi(s) - wrong beliefs - is so essential for the attainment of Sotapatti Magga (the first stage of liberation to Arahatship as a 'stream winner') from where the higher stages are yet to be attained. It is noteworthy that the total elimination of these (Ditthi [When Ditthi is said to be eliminated Vicikka cannot stay behind, it goes along with Ditthi in their elimination simultaneously]) four wrong views will set a common, ordinary worldling (putthujanna) free from the danger of falling into Apayagati (woeful abode) in the next existence. He will be born in Sugati (higher plane for only seven more existences).
This Doctrine of Paticcasamuppada, Causal Genesis or Cycle of Rebirth Principle as it is known in English language was expounded by the Buddha in order that the ordinary worldling may be free from the shackles of wrong views and attain its eventual freedom from falling into Apayagati (woeful abode). It is the Doctrine which minutely shows to wit: when this exists that comes to be, with the arising of this, that arises, when this does not exist, that does not come to be. This statement can be shown in modern form:
A exist : B comes to be
A arising : B arises
A ceasing : B does not come to be
It shows the endless occurrence of related events according to the Law of Dependent Origination. The Doctrine itself is composite watertight and is above all other controversies, criticisms and disputes.
The Doctrine defines and describes the causation of Khandas and its Causal Effects. As it is the prerequisite of those intending Yogis to be in possession of the knowledge of Pancakkhandas (five aggregates), in about the same way that traditionally a school boy is required to have complete knowledge of his multiplication tables; like 2 X 2 = 4 and so on, up to 16 times if he is truly intent upon learning multiplication and division. Similarly if the Yogi is truly intent upon attaining Magga and Phala he must in the first instance possess the knowledge of this Doctrine, i.e., cause and effect, and unless he is in possession of this he cannot be expected to be able to disentangle himself from the evils of various Ditthis and unless he can set himself free from the evils of vicious Ditthis he cannot be expected to be able to attain even the Cula Sotapanna stage. However, he will gain merit by meditating on mind and matter but he will not attain Magga and Phala because the Ditthis will stand in the way as principal obstacles or hindrances towards Magga and Phala.
It is definitely stated by the Maha Thera Sayadaw that without fully comprehending this doctrine one can never be expected to be able to attain even the first stage of Enlightenment.
"Thapetva pana dwe Bodhisatta anno satto attano
Paccaya-karam ujumkatum samattonama natthi
Evamyan loka paccayakaram
ujumkatum asakkonto Dvasathiditthi gata vasena
apayam duggati vipatam samsaram nativattati"
It means that with the exception of two Bodhisattas (Buddha and Pacceka Buddha), nobody can become possessed by the true knowledge of Paticcasamuppada by oneself, and as such ordinary worldlings become entangled in the sixty kinds of Ditthis being like a matted ball of thread (like munja grass) and unable to escape the unhappy ruinous state of Samsara (round of rebirths).
In the olden days this Doctrine was available in Pali only i.e., Nidana Vagga Samyutta, Maha Vagga and Vibhanga (Abhidhamma). Regarding the commentaries was fully dealt with in the Visuddhi Magga and Sammoha Vinodani. It is understood that the Nissaya translation of the former was available in the first era of Ava while the latter was only available in the Amarapura era in the form of palm leaves which were not accessible to laymen neither were easily comprehensible except by the Pali students who were mostly monks, hence they were generally confined to the archives of the monasteries where they were enshrined and respected as images of the Buddha.
In fact, the whole Pali text: "Ajijja Paccaya Sankhara" etc., were learned by heart by most every male or female Buddhist, and is recited morning and evening before the shrine of the Buddha during the period of devotion to the Buddha as a daily routine without fully understanding the intrinsic or the meaning of the Doctrine.
It is the true state of affairs as far as Paticcasamuppada is concerned since the Pagan period up to the present day Buddhist Myanmar. There are of course exceptions which may be negligible.
It was the Maha Thera Ledi Sayadaw who brought Paticcasamuppada to the fore by preaching as well as writing Dipanis (expositions) in language which is easily understood by the lay people. His had a considerable effect on the people and since then the significance and essentiality of the Doctrine has been gradually realised by them. The late Maha Thera Ledi Sayadaw wrote than fifty Dipanis (books) in most of which Paticcasamuppada was more or less shown or explained.
After the post war years of the Independence of Myanmar, thanks to the Buddha Sasana Council, the Burmese translation of the Pali Canons have been available and from such translations it can be said that considerable benefits has been derived.
It is also to be rejoiced that quite a number of Vipassana centres are being open and the numbers of those who take interest are increasing day by day. However, it is to be regretted that almost all the centres have become sectarian in their outlook and in accordance with their own familiar methods with little or no regard to the central core of Vipassana i.e. Samudaya Dhammanupassiva viharati. [Bhikkhu dwells contemplating on arising and passing away of Kaya, Vedana, Citta and Dhammanupassana]
It is also to be regretted that the two most important and essential Doctrines, i.e., Catu Ariya Sacca (Four Noble Truths) and Paticcasmuppada, are screened from view in other words there are no teachings or even a single word as regards these two most important Doctrines is heard in most of these meditation centres.
It is lamentable, firstly that Paticcasamuppada for the purpose of elimination of Ditthi and Vicikiccha and secondly Catu Sacca for the realisation of Magga and Phala are not found to be held in their rightful planes. It will not be wrong to say that these two essential Doctrines of the Buddha are woefully neglected.
These is one fact which the writer, with the best of intentions and due respect to those well intending aspirants cannot overlook to mention is that the methods in vogue, in most of the meditation centres are more in line with Samadhi (Samatha) by giving greater significance to Anapana Sati Samadhi.
It is also deplorable to find that meditators at these centres were being left stranded then and there without being taught to go further by switching at the right stage of their meditations from Anapana Sati Samadhi to pure Vipassana contemplation.
As already mentioned previously, it was the late Maha Thera Ledi Sayadaw who first made this Doctrine popular among the lay people.
After the Ledi Sayadaw, it was the Mogok Sayadaw who tried to revive not only Paticcasamuppada, but also emphasised the essentiality and significance of the Doctrine which is fundamental in the elimination of Ditthis. It was he who showed with a more comprehensible and convenient style how this Paticcasamuppada made its revolution and how its links can be broken by the help of a diagram which as devised and introduced by him.
It will be of benefit to the readers to have a glimpse of the life of Maha Thera Mogok Sayadaw who busied himself for over 30 years in promoting Pariyatti Sasana by giving night classes of Abhidhamma to the student monks at Mingala Taik monastery in Amarapura about seven miles from Mandalay. He told the writer that one day it occurred to him that he was just like a cowherd who in spite of tending the cows did not have the opportunity to use the milk given by the cows.
He was the most celebrated teacher in his days teaching Pathana and Yamaka in the Abhidhamma Pitaka and earned high respect in monastic circles otherwise he was little known amongst the lay people.
One day he left Mingun, the other side on Mandalay, where he seriously took himself to the contemplation of Vipassama until the outbreak of the Second World War. He was requested by the residents of Mogok to come and stay there, but the Sayadaw without permanently making Mogok his home, returned to Amarapura in the cool season and went back in the summer. After the post war onwards the Sayadaw started preaching Vipassana sermons at Amarapura, Mogok and lately at Mandalay. He shunned popularity and did not try to enlarge his circles of followers; he visited Rangoon only once and that was the first and the last; three months after his return, he passed away at Amarapura. It was generally believed that he was an Arahat (accomplished) as evidenced by the formation of Dhatu [when the body was cremated some of the burnt stones formed into white round spherical objects of different sizes. The most amazing thing was the pupils of both eyes remained intact in spite of the cremation] when his remains were cremated. This ceremony was performed with great pomp and splendour unparalleled within a period of a hundred years. This was a great loss which is irreplaceable.
The method employed and taught by the Sayadaw is compatible with the Satipatthana in the strict sense and various Suttas, Samyutta and Anguttara Nikayas and Ariya Sacca. Did he not only teach but also explicate, modify, correct and reform the deep rooted wrong concepts and ideas since the forebears.
For instance, in Satipatthana Sutta in spite of the fact in almost all the chapters including Sacca Pabba there is the central core of Vipassana; i.e., "Samudaya Dhamma Nupassiva Viharati, Vaya Dhamma Nupassiva Viharati, Samudaya Vayadhamma Nupassiva Viharti," which means the Yogi must dwell upon meditating on the arising and passing away of the phenomenon. This is the Vipassana itself without it simply cannot by Vipassana, and is the most important and essential part and essence of Vipassana. It may be said that this part of Satipatthana is almost overlooked and deplorably neglected in almost all the centres.
Anapana is quite popular and best-known method as even a child knows it and next follows the second method, i.e., Iriyapatha. There are yet many Buddhists who cannot differentiate Samatha from Vipassana.
When awareness, mindfulness or nothing is employed in either Anapana or Iriyapatha it is still Samatha and not Vipassana until and unless contemplation (Samudaya Vaya Dhammanupassiva) on arising and passing away is employed or in other words the Yogi is said to be observing and contemplating Anupassana. It is only when he tries to see with wisdom the nature of arising and passing away of Khandhas every second and every minutes, that he is really practising Vipassana meditation.
Although the norm, Uppada and Vaya or Samudaya and Vaya is essence of Anupaddana as taught by the Buddha, this real essence of Uppada and Vaya wax veiled in considerable obscurity by the overwhelming popularity of noting and by intensive out breathing and in breathing.
It was Maha Thera's endeavour during the latter part of his life to lead the lay men to the path of true and unadulterated teaching of the Buddha in Vipassana.
As a matter of fact, the Noble teachings of the Great Teacher have been exposed to the influence of various creeds, such as Tantric, Mantric, Mysticism, Animism and Brahmanism. And as such, Buddhism of Myanmar can be termed as Burmese Buddhism, because in their ordinary daily life many Burmese Buddhists are drowned in the whirlpool of Sassata Dithi. Whereas in their application to meditation, it will not be wrong to say that most of them are stranded half way to Anapana Sati Samadhi, from which stage, true and pure Vipassana is yet to reach. Late Maha Thera Mogok Sayadaw's aim and object was to correct and reform such unBuddhistic outlook and also point out mistaken view views and misdirected intentions in alms giving and taking precepts and to impart what is most beneficial to those well intending Yogis [Here it means to say that meritorious deeds i.e., Dana, Sila are done with a view to attaining higher positions as universal monarch, King of Devas, etc., in their next existences.]
Firstly it is essential that the Sassata, Uccheda, Arkariya, Ahetuka Ditthi must be dispelled from the mind of the Yogi by Nata Prinna before he contemplates Vipassana [Nana Prinna must come before Tirana Prinna, or in other words in the Vipassan meditation, first step must come first and then followed by the second, which means that the actual practice must be done only after intending Yogi has considerable knowledge of Khanda, Ayatana, Sacca and Paticcapsamuppada and when his view is initially (by hearing sermons from a reliable Vipassana teacher) free from the undesirable wrong views. It is worthy of note that the elimination of Ditthi can be done by three steps. Firstly by hearing the teachings of a reliable teacher. This is Nata Prinna and secondly by entering into actual practice (Tirana Prinna) and thirdly by totally uprooting (Pahana Prinna). These are also known as Tadanga Pahana, Vikkhambhana Pahana and Samuccheda Phana.]
This can be done by learning Paticcasamuppada. Secondly, the mere exercise of inbreathing and out breathing without further switching on to the contemplation on arising and perishing (Aniccanupassana) is not conducive to attaining even Saccanulomika nana. In like manner, merely noting of mental or physical movements without observing or contemplating on arising and passing away of Nama or Rupa is merely Sanna. Maha Thera Mogok Sayadaw laid great stress on arising and passing away (Anicca, Dukkha, Anatta). It can be called one hundred per cent.
Vipassana when the meditation or contemplation is centred on arising and passing away of Khandas (five aggregates or components). So it naturally follows that where there is no meditation or contemplation on arising and passing away it is not a hundred percent Vipassana. It is incomplete and incomprehensive without Samudaya and Vaya as expounded in Satipatthana. It is the aim and object of Mogok Vipassana Pyanpwaye Ahphwe (Society for the Propogation of Mogok Vipassana) to implement the propagation and revive and spread the two important Doctrines i.e., Ariya Sacca and Paticcasamuppada.
Before conclusion the writer wishes to express his sense of gratitude to the Venerable Sayadaw U Thittila, Aggamahapandita, who had kindly helped by way of reading the original typescript and secondly the final proof. In fact it is partly due to Sayadaw's reading of both original typescript and the final proof that the English spellings of the Pali words are faultless and conform to the present day international usage.
U Than Daing
Society for the Propagation of Mogok Vipassana
September 11, 1967.