Dāna and the Ending of Dukkha
22nd November 1961
[This was a dhamma talk at the ceremony of Kathina Robes offering]
Offering with the desire for the becoming of human being or heavenly being is for the cause of dukkha (Samudaya Sacca). Even becoming the blissful khandha is still the truth of dukkha. (Dukkha Sacca). With the giving (dāna) still get lost in dukkha. For becoming the knowledge of seeing the truth have to be based on the khandha.
During the giving we have to enrich with insight. Wanting to free from the direct experience of dukkha & make the offering must contemplate the khandha in this way. The precepts (5 here) have been established already.
No contemplation of the khandha & just giving is an ordinary dāna. It is not the best dāna. With much capital (investment) & get little profit we should not do this business. (The donors were business people). Let contemplate on the khandha for 5 minutes.
(Sayadaw was quite different from other teachers. If anyone wanted to perform a big dāna, such as building a sala, dwellings, etc.& Sayadaw asked them to practice vipassanā for sometimes before the offering. And with the offering ceremony transformed into a vi-vatta dāna- Dānas transcend the round of existence).
Do you see the impermanence of dukkha sacca? Without the path factor of samādhi you can’t see it. And also without the path factor of wisdom (paññā) you can’t see it. Now, already completed with samādhi & paññā. (Sayadaw asked the disciples to follow him as he recited the Pali & translation for the vipassanā dāna offering. Before the water pouring ceremony, he asked disciples by listening the talk & at the same time observing the khandha. If the hindrances come in also observing them)
Sayadaw talked about the beginning of human being, started from the combination of sperm & ovum, with them together were nāma (mind) dhamma. Offering things with the desire of ajati Nibbāna (birthless Nibbāna). You offer with the fear of birth. It is for vi-vatta dāna, so the kinds things to offer are not the main point.
To has a noble mind is important. And then continue to talk about old age & sickness. From the past life with ignorance & volitional formation conditioned this present life, started from birth to ageing, sickness & death. Now, I am not talking about apuññabisaṅkhāra yet (demeritorious deed). Even puññabisaṅkhāra is very bad indeed (meritorious deed).
The situation in sickness is taking off the good clothes (when people are oppressing by sickness & disease, they can’t wear any good clothes). It’s also in the state of hunger. (Because can’t eat good foods or no desire to eat). The state in sickness is disgusting by others (Because of the disease has bad or disgusting smell)
Are these things others give it to you? or you make it for yourself? (by kamma & prayer). Ignorance → volitional formation → rebirth consciousness. These situations are known by others & it becomes a shame & without any benefit. Death is with a bad life will has a bad dying. At dying the sick person sees hell & other bad destinations & in crying.
This offering is for fear of dukkha sacca & it becomes offer with knowledge. Let us do the water pouring ceremony. Even we don’t do this our job is already completed. We do this just for sharing the merit with others. We are afraid & disenchanted of ageing, sickness & death of the saṁsāra & perform this offerings. From your side also should have the 3 qualities. Before, during & after the offering must have strong volition (cetanā).
From the side of the monks, we should receive these offerings with the spirit of practicing to free from lust, hatred & delusion. If, it’s in accordance with these 6 points the results are unspeakable. Offer without any clinging to personality. Then it frees from wrong view. This is the kathina ceremony of killing tanhā & ditthi – So it has a lot of benefit & leading to NIBBĀNA.