The Catusacca Dipani

The Manual of the Four Noble Truths

by Mahathera Ledi Sayadaw | 1903 | 11,997 words

The Catusacca-Dipani The Manual of the Four Noble Truths By Mahathera Ledi Sayadaw, Aggamahapandita, D.Litt. Translated into English by Sayadaw U Nyana, Patamagyaw of Masoeyein Monastery Mandalay Edited by The English Editorial Board Note to the electronic version: This electronic version is reproduced directly from the printed version the te...

Part II - The Burden of Dukkha in the Deva World

In the six abodes of devas also, the five groups of existence found in any devas will firstly burden him by way of sankhata at the beginning, by way of santapa in the middle, and finally by way of viparinama.

1) Sankhata dukkha: here the burden by 'sankhata', may be explained as follows: It briefly means alms-giving, restraint of bodily and verbal actions, and restraint of mental action. Only when one has performed these wholesome deeds in this present life will he be able to arise in the deva-plane in his next birth and attain the body of a deva. He will not be able to achieve such a state by developing his mental groups only. By giving away his property to others in charity, a person who has wealth of a hundred kyats or a thousand kyats may be reduced to poverty in a single day; morality means strict observance and restraint. If one does not practise alms-giving and morality, he is bound to be reborn in the lower worlds in his next birth. So it is necessary to perform these wholesome deeds to reach the deva world. Even when they arise in the happy course of existence by virtue of their wholesome deeds done in the previous existences, if they have offered on a small scale in their past existence, they will have to lead a base life in their present existence. The more they practiced dana and sila, the better positions they will enjoy in their present existence. So people have to practice alms-giving spending a lot of money and also observe precepts with great self-control, because they fear that they may be low down in lower worlds in their next existence. When they have to do this merely because it is essential for their future welfare, it is dukkha.

Anything that is performed compulsorily is dukkha. If, without prac- tising dana and sila, a being were able to arise in the deva-plane after his death, or if he were able to arise in the Brahma plane without prac- tising calm, who would care to perform such wholesome deeds as dana, sila and bhavana.?

2) Santapa dukkha: Once the beings obtain the bodies of devas in the deva-planes, great fire of passion rise up from the body and burn that deva throughout his life, dosa, moha, soka, parideva, dukkha, domanassa and upayasa, arise in his life in the fullness of time. This is how a deva is burdened by way of santapa.

3) Viparinama dukkha: Again, while the devas are thus enjoying pleasures in the deva-plane, their span of life expires, and just like a big fire suddenly put out by an external agency, these devas die suddenly, and generally they arise in the lower worlds. In fact, their khandha cause them to arise in the lower worlds. This is how the devas are burdened by way of viparinama finally.

Out of three ways of burdening at the beginning, in the middle and at the end, the burden of sankhata is very heavy for Brahmas. Because they are able to bear the heavy burden of sankhata, the santapa in the middle becomes a little lighter for them. The burden of viparinama also comes after a long time. Their life-span is calculated in terms of kappa (world-cycles).

In the case of devas in the six deva-worlds, the burden of sankhata is not heavy. The practice of dana and sila is a thousand times easier than the practice of jhana and bhavana. As the burden of sankhata is not heavy and as kilesa have not even faded, the burden of santapa is very heavy when one becomes a deva. The fire of passion and sensous lust arisen out of the six sense-doors burns those devas up to the end of their lives. The remaining fire of defilements also burns when the time is ripe. The burden by way of viparinama also comes very quickly. Their span of life is calculated in terms of years, months and days. The life- span of the devas is like the wink of an eye when compared to that of Brahmas. Though there is said to be pleasures and enjoyments in the whole of the six deva-worlds, all these are fires of kama and raga that are burning them.

Thus the khandhas of six deva-worlds burden the devas in four ways and as the burden is manifest it is clearly dukkha-sacca.


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