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...

In perceiving objects, when the visible object comes into contact with the eye-organ, it is pleasurable to the eye. When the visible object is removed, the sense pleasure to the eye disappears.

When sound comes into contact with the ear-organ, it is pleasurable to the ear. When the sound, is removed the sense pleasure to the ear disappears.

The same principle holds good in the cases of nose and odour, tongue and taste, body and tangible object, mental element and mind object-element.

Corresponding to the six sense-objects, there are six kinds of craving: craving for visible objects, for sounds, odour, taste bodily-impression, mental impressions; and also six kinds of feeling: feeling associated with seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, bodily-lmpression and mental-impression.

To feed the six kinds of craving, six kinds of sense-objects have to be kept in readiness. Those who are following these sensuous pleasures cannot get rid of them. These sense objects are also subject to decay. So feelings such as joy and mentally agreeable feeling burden the beings in all their existences by sankhata, santapa and viparinama. They are not able to get out of this pit of suffering for many existences and world-cycles. Nor are they able to obtain the opportunity of practising the Dhamma which can lead them to deliverance. They only deviate from this course and are tempted to follow the previously mentioned disadvantageous ways.

The above is the exposition as to how beings are continuously burdened by the five groups of existence at every hour and at every moment. Highly obvious facts have been sought and set out in the above exposition of viparinama dukkha.

I shall now briefly explain the viparinama dukkha alone. In this samsara, suffering in the four lower worlds is intense. Those who know of it greatly dread to fall there. As for those who do not know of it, they have to suffer there for their ignorance.

Unwholesome volitional actions which are the seeds of birth in the lower worlds cling to sakkaya-ditthi (the belief in a permanent personality). When this sakkaya-ditthi becomes strong, these unwholesome volitional actions become powerful. When they fade away, those bad kamma also fade away. When this sakkaya-ditthi ceases, those kamma also cease. For example, in introducing a light into a room, the flame may be compared to evil kamma. When the fire is strong, the light becomes bright, and when the fire becomes weak, the light also becomes dim. When the fire dies out, the light also disappears.

Although the beings with sakkaya-ditthi are bound for hell, they may know to some extent the intensity of suffering in the lower worlds, and they may perform evil actions, simply because they are tempted by their hellish element. What can be said then of those people who are either utterly ignorant of this or who maintain false views? Their hellish element will play its part completely.

While wandering in samsara, there are very few existences where a being can understand what evil actions are and the dangers of the lower worlds. There are a great number of existences where they do not know about it, or where they maintain false views. A person in one thousand of his existences might encounter only one existence where he could differentiate between good and evil. The explanation given so far is a point to judge how much greater a being's unwholesome volitional actions would be, though there may be many wholesome volitional actions done by him in his past existences, and while wandering in this round of rebirths.

Another point to consider is how much greater a being's unwholesome volitional actions will be though there may be a great deal of wholesome volitional actions in his future existences, while wandering in this round of rebirths.

Like what you read? Consider supporting this website: