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The Essence of Buddha Dhamma

The Words of Wisdom
always enunciated by the Venerable Webu Sayadaw


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        After you have taken the vow of "Sila", fulfil it. Once you have fulfilled it all your wishes also will be fulfilled. It will bring happiness to you now and also in future.

        There is nothing besides the words of Buddha which will bring peace and happiness to one in the present existence as well as in the future lives in Samsara. The words of the Buddha are embodied in the Tipitaka, the three Baskets of knowledge. The Tipitaka is voluminous, so we must take the essence of it. The essence of Tipitaka is the 37 factors of Bodhipakkhiya Dhamma (the requisites of Enlightenment). The essence of Bodhipakkhiya Dhamma is the Noble Eightfold Path. The essence of the Noble Eightfold Path is the three Sikkhas and the essence of the three Sikkhas is Eko Dhammo or the One and only Dhamma.

        The three Sikkhas are Adhi Sila (Absolute Morality) Adhi Citta (Absolute Mindfulness) and Adhi Panna. (Absolute Wisdom).

        When one is mindful of Rupa and Nama by contemplation on both, there can be no physical or mental deviation or violation. This is what is known as Adhi Sila (Absolute Morality).

        When the Adhi Sila gets stronger, the mind, cleansed of deviations, becomes peaceful and tranquil. This is what is known as Adhi Citta.

        When Adhi Citta (Or Samadhi) becomes stronger, after some time one comes to know because of contemplation of Nama or Rupa that one million million things will come into being and, disintegrate within a flash of lightning, and that this process will go on and is beyond anyone's intervention whether he be a human or a deva or a brahma. When one knows this process of coming into being and disintegration of things, one is deemed to achieve "Adhi Panna"

        To bring it down to layman's language the most obvious thing we can feel is the breathing in and out of air through our nostrils. We can feel the sensation of inhalation and exhalation of air at the tip of our nostrils, as it rushes in and rushes out of our system.

        The tip of the nostril therefore, is the seat or sensation. The rushing in and out of air at the nose tip is Vayo (movement). When these two meet there is created Photthabba (Touch Sensation). The seat of sensation, the element of motion (air), and the touch sense-object (Photthabba) are Rupa. The awareness of the sensation is Nama. So, you need not go around asking someone about Nama and Rupa, but keep your mind on the tip of your nostril. When the air rushes in, you will feel its impact and when it goes out you will again feel the impact. If you keep your mind on it and know about it there is no chance for you to indulge in Loba (Greed), Dosa (Anger) and Moha (Delusion). When you cannot indulge in them, these fires are extinguished by themselves. When they are extinguished, you find peace.

        You are not to know about the sensation before the actual impact comes, and you are not to know after the impact is finished and gone. You have to know during the actual impact. As such, it is called the "Direct Present" or "Undeviating Present".

        What one has to do is to keep on feeling the impact and knowing about it continuously as it happens. If you can practise that for a certain portion of a 24-hour day, you will find that it is most gratifying. If, however, you fail to know or keep note of the impact, one million million things will come into being and will disintegrate in a flash of lightning during your lapse and because you have missed it this will show on your debit side.

        As long as you keep on knowing about the impact of inhalation and exhalation of air at the tip of the nostril, you will come to know about the Nama and Rupa. You will then come to realize that there is no self, no other being, no man, no woman but only Nama and Rupa. You will then acknowledge the correctness of Buddha's Dhamma. You will come to know all this by yourself. You don't have to ask anyone. Just keep on noting the impact of air going in and coming out at the tip of your nostril and in that time you will come to know that there is no such thing as Atta.

        And in that moment when you keep note of the impact you have a clear vision. You gain Sammaditthi. The knowledge that there is nothing in this world but Nama-Rupa is after all the analytical insight into Nama and Rupa. Hence it is known as "Nama Rupa Pariccheda Nana".

        Having the continuous sensation due to the impact of inhalation and exhalation of air, and keeping note of such sensation continuously will eliminate 'self' and bring about clear vision of mind. It is true that you acquire this during a very short span of time, but do not belittle the benefit derived therefrom. Don't ever think that meditation does not bring anything and that you don't feel anything during meditation. It is very fortunate for those who are born during Buddha's Sasana for they can acquire these extraordinary benefits. Forget about your food etc. and exert your utmost to achieve the goal.

        The above statements are excerpts from the teachings of the Venerable Webu Sayadaw.


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21st August 2000