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Anagam Sayfigyi U Thet And His Teaching 

14 th waxing day of 1307 at U Ohn’s place, Thar Shwe-cin 
Company, No.77, Yetarshay Street, Yangon. He died at 
ease and in peace 34 . He was buried with a grand ceremony 
at a place situated on the North-East of Dhat-Paung 
Pagoda on Arzini Hill. 

Distinguished Proteges of the Sayagyi 

Sayagyi U Ba Khin, Sayagyi U Aung Myat, 
Sayadaw U Kaw Vida, Saya Thein-gyi, NSnacagi 
Sayadaw, Hantharwaddy Sayadaw, Sayadaw U Kumara 
(Uzin Nyo), U Tin Hla, Sayagyi U Than and U Goenka 
were distinguished teachers from amongst Sayagyi Saya 
Thet’s proteges.. 

M 'died at ease and in peace" - Traditional statement is * to die of 96 ailments," nol iji«« (ll> 
as to cause of death. Dhammacariya U Htay Hiding described Sayagyi's atlainnienl on (In 
Path as AnAgimi (inserted by Iranstator) 

® 13 «® 

AnSgflm Sayagyi U Thet And His Teaching 

Ledi Sayadaw Phayargyi 

Saya Thet-gyi 

A Shortcut To 

Ditthadhamma Nanadassana 

A Manual of Insight Meditation 
Dhamma Gift 

Anflgam Say&gyi U Thet And His Teaching 
The Teaching of AnagSm Sayagyi Saya Thet 

Service Before Samatha Meditation 

1 . Before commencing vipassana meditation, the lay yogi 
must first keep Gjivatthamaka silo 35 , the eight or the 
ten precepts, whichever the yogi prefers. But monks 
do not need to keep those precepts as they already are 
keeping the pGtimokkha samvara sila 36 . 

2. Immediately before the in-breath out-breath ( anapana ) 
meditation, Yogi must make a request to the Buddha 37 

aham bante samsara vattadukkhato mocanatthaya, 
samatha kammathanan yacami 

dutiyampi aham bante yacami, 

tatiyampi aham bante yacami. 

Ashin phaya 3S , for the benefil of deliverance from 
the vicious round of all miseries and suffering, may I 
ask for your kind permission to practice samatha 

For the second time, Ashin phaya, for the benefit 
of . . . . meditation. 

For the third time, Ashin phaya, for the benefit of . 
. . . meditation. 

3. After making the request thus, yogi must take to some 
darkened, confined place to meditate. Out of 24 hours 

“ Ajivaithamaka sila (P) - abstention from killing, scaling, wrongful sex, lying, rough 
language, slandering, idle talk, and wrongful livelihood (eight in number) 

M Patimokkha samvara sila (P) - morality consisting of restraints with regard to tin 
Disciplinary Code of Cooduct'as has been laid down by the Buddha (vinaya pitaka) 

11 Ashin phaya, Ashin phaya (M) - formal reverent address to the Buddha and the veneiahh 

Anagam SaySgyi U Thet And His Teaching 

a day, meditation time is allotted to a minimum of 6 
hours, and for a maximum of 1 2. Focus the mind at the 
tip of the nose, and be aware of the in breath and out 
breath. Mind most carefully that the mind does not 
follow the current of air. If the mind follows the air 
stream, needing longer time to see signs ( nimitta ). 

Service Before Vipassana Meditation 

1. After that, yogi sits in front of a Buddha image and 

Tu-mhdkam bante ovaddya jivitam pariccaj&mi 
Ashin phaya, I renounce and offer my life to Ashin 
phaya, so that I may be given guidance in the same 
way as the yogis of Ashin phaya’s life time. 

2 . After that, yogi must ask for vipassana kammathan from 
the Buddha: 

aham bante samsara vattadukkhato mocanatthaya, 
vipassana kammathanam yac&mi. 

dutiyampi aham bante yacami, 

tatiyampi aham bante ydcami. 

Ashin phaya, for deliverance from the round of 
rebirth, the habitat of khandha ayatana 39 that in reality 
arc subject to rounding of the samsara, and for attainment 
to Nibbana, may I be blessed with your kind permission to 
pi nctice insight meditation ( vipassaana kammathana) that 
views the phenomenal world of nama rupa in myriad ways 
in accessing the Path ( magginga ). 

I After that yogi must make a plea to all his good 

* lliimllii lyawana (P) - Ibe five groups of nama-rupa (or existence), and the six groups 
kI rccplors (dv2ras) 

An&g&m SaySgyi U Thet And His Teaching 

associates: if ever I have committed any wrongs by 
actions, bodily, verbally or mentally, towards any of those 
I have associated with, may I ask to be kindly forgiven; 
if any of you have committed some wrongs towards 
me, I have forborne and forgiven you. 

4. When keeping watch at the spot on top of the head, 
take time and wait at least 5 minutes. This brief lesson 
is given so that yogi can be on sure footholds. Every 
step needs to be sure and secure so as to keep the 
doors to the four underworlds (apBya) shut. 

AnSpdn Samatha Method 

As taught by Kant math 3n Sayagyi Say a Thet 

First, the Practice of Samatha method of Meditation 
There are 40 samatha methods. One out of them, 
the anapana method generally suits most people. It is found 
to be easy to practice. Therefore, anapana kammathan 
will be described as the main method in this book. There 
are varieties of anapana kammathan practices. But as the 
aim is to make a shortcut in learning to achieve the desired 
level of concentration, the author has chosen one by which 
yogis pick up fast in the shortest possible time. 

As a person plans to enter a meditation session, 
he or she must, after bowing down and paying respects to 
the Buddha-led Three Gems and the Five Great Mentors* 1 , 
carry out the preliminary services as already described 
Then, sit in a posture that suits and sustain the yogi to Nil 

40 The Three Gems arc Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha; the Five Great Mentors, Ilia 1 1 m «« 
Gems plus Paretos and Teachers. 

Anagam SaySgyi U Thet And His Teaching 

for an appreciable length of time: generally used postures 
are for men to sit cross-legged, and for ladies with one leg 
folded in front, and the other folded outside and tucked 
against the thigh. It is suggested to have a white shawl 
wrapped over one shoulder and across the chest. The trunk 
must be kept straight up, with the neck and head also in 
alignment. After so composing, breathe in and out as one 
does normally. Attention is kept focused at the tip of the 
nose where the breath rushes in and out. Do not think of 
anything. Do not recite or say anything. Just keep the 
mind on the rushing and rubbing of the breaths at tip of the 
nose, and know the in and out breaths in sequence 
continually, not letting your attention wander away. Often 
the breathing may go out of step, making the yogi tire. If 
that happens, correct it to the normal. Sometimes, slow 
breathing may make the yogi sleepy. Correct it to the 
normal. Like “hunter learning from deer”, yogi learns from 
work. If aches and pains seem unbearable, change the 
posture, but keep breathing as normal and keeping the focus 
of attention as usual. 

The yogi will have to work hard with all willingness 
and earnest belief that he/she will certainly succeed and 
reach the set goal; that he/she has some gift {pHrami or 
accumulated attributes); and that the doors to the four under 
worlds will be closed. This will enable a fast performance. 

I lalf-believing and half-heartedness in what is being pursued 
will bear no fruit, only resulting in waste of time and energy. 
Such laxity will also cause immediate difficulties in his/her 
nilempt in the next time round. In normal circumstances, 
idler many a repeated times and sessions of practice, within 

AnSgarn Sayfigyi U Thet And His Teaching 

a second to a few minutes of sitting, yogi may see signs. 
By signs ( nimitta ) is meant the twelve anapana signs or 
any other signs that appear in the mind whilst in at different 
levels of concentration (samadhi). After appearing, the 
signs will disappear. As soon as they disappear, bring back 
the mind in focus at the tip of the nose where the breath is 
moving and rubbing in and out. 

Be aware of the air current at every moment of it 
moving in. Also be aware of the air current at eveiy moment 
of it moving out. Be aware of each at the precise moment 
of touch and at al 1 times without a break. And then various 
forms of signs may come in. The incessantly repeating in- 
breaths and out-breaths may appear like a stream of air as 
if it were really visible. The out-breath sometimes appears 
to go out a few inches to a foot and a half from the nostril; 
similarly the in-breath appears to go through the throat, 
through the chamber of the chest and even to reach the 
navel. (Note: Some people take this to mean exertion to 
get the in-breath to reach the navel, and so, they purposely 
draw in the air so as to push it to that point. This is an 
impossible approach; it takes longer to achieve some 
concentration, if at all.) 

The in-breath and out-breath may sometimes seem 
like vapors, white and smoke-like, sometimes like wafts of 
cotton wool at the nostril piling up waft upon waft 
Sometimes white vapors appear together with sparkling 
golden or silvery particles, often like fireworks. Sometimc.i 
a single piece or more of pearls, large or small, appears to 
come in and go out of the nose, mixed with breatliN 
Sometimes it is like a line of pearls moving in and out. 

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Anagfim Sayfigyi U Thet And His Teaching 

As concentration gets more mature, these pearls shine like 
electric lights, coming in and going out. When going out, 
they get outside of the nostril together with the out-breath. 
When entering, they go as far as the navel. With that light, 
the content of the abdomen can be seen. When these signs 
are on, yogi may be aware of the signs only, with no 
awareness on the nostril. When the signs disappear, the 
mind returns to the tip of the nose. If it does not return by 
itself, yogi must collect and place it there. 

There are more signs. Here is a partial list of signs 
that are likely to appear as concentration gets more and 
more mature. Various species of trees and flowers native 
to the 3 1 realms of living beings: forests, mountains, lakes 
and rivers, earth, all the oceans; caves, monasteries and 
pagodas, various places of leisure and pleasure; suns, moons, 
planets and myriad stars, precious stones, comet-like shafts 
of lights, flash lights, lights from sources such as glow 
worms, flares and fireworks, and more. The more mature 
concentration gets, the more signs will appear. 

Sometimes, one may, whilst in complete 
concentration, encounter celestial gods, earth-bound gods, 
wizzas, zawjis, tapathis 41 photes, petas and tissays 42 . Yogi 
may even talk to them. But it does not appear to be strange; 
ii is just like man meeting man. They cannot rouse fear. 
Some even cheer the yogi. Some come if yogi wishes. 
Some answers questions. At this point, yogi may have 
•■lopped his original work, being happy to be with the gods. 
Yogi may think very highly of self, and assumed statures 

" Wniai, zqwjis, tapathis (M) - men said to have seme supernatural powers 
I'IuniI, petas, tisssays (M) - ghost-like beings 

AnSgSm SaySgyi U Thet And His Teaching 

as if he/she were a god or a wizza, expecting much that is 
not real. Over time, yogi’s manners of speech allude to 
insanity, getting nowhere and losing sight of the original 
aim. So, it is god practice to stop the samatha session and 
switch over to working in vipassana meditation once a 
certain level of concentration is achieved, which would 
enable yogi to begin learning and working in vipassanS with 

This matter of stopping samatha at a point can be 
controversial with some questions asked. Would it be the 
same with those who work for jhSn-abhihMn 43 ? Mustn’t 
anybody attain jhan-abhifinanl The questions are 
relevant, but those who work for the attributes of jhan- 
abhinhan work with diligent effort till they get those 
attributes, not stopping short of their objective, merely 
content with meeting with and talking to gods of haven 
and trees. 

These signs are called uggaha nimmita M . One 
of these signs is a very bright, white, round object about 2- 
3 inches in diameter or bigger, suspended at a distance 
about one and a half feet from the tip of the nose. It is 
seen there with closed eyes. It seems to disappear and 
appear again where yogi wishes it to be. After a time, the 
sphere does not disappear and may be seen with open eyes. 
But it is suggested that yogi carries on seeing it in the mind 
with closed eyes. After a lapse of time, as samadhi becomes 

45 Jhan- abhiftflan (P) - Short for jhina-abiflMna, 4 levels of purity in absorption and 
supernormal knowledge (supernormal power) 

44 Uggaha nimilta (P) - A second degree nimitta in which signs are clearly "seen" but lm 
stable than those with the more stable patibhSga nimitta at which point samattha may In 
stopped and switched over to vipassanfi. 

Anagam Sayfigyi U Thet And His Teaching 

stronger and firmer, the nimitta sphere shines with cool, 
clear light brighter than the moon or the sun. 

Then, the sphere will be still and fixetj tljere.,T,his 
sign is called patibhaga nimitta. The longer the object is 
watched the brighter and more still it would become. After 
a length of time, yogi becomes enchanted and takes 
pleasure with rapture (piti). This rapture leads to the feeling 
of happiness or bliss ( sukha ). This happiness leads to a 
unified, quiet, undisturbed state of the mind (ekaggata), 
strong and fast like an inscribed rocky monument. At this 
stage, yogi is not aware of anything else but the sight of 
the patibhaga nimitta; yogi may think he/she is that 
patibhaga nimitta and vice versa. Then, yogi is in complete 
absorption known as in the first stage of jhana complete 
with the five parts, namely vitakka, vicara, piti, sukha, 

Of these five parts of the first jhana, vitakka is a 
property of the mind that collects itself and other factors 
of consciousness to receive signals from the sense object. 
Vicara is a property of the mind and its factors of 
consciousness that identify and determine the nature of 
the sense object received by virtue of vitakka. Piti is an 
enchanted state of the mind that is enraptured by the sense 
object identified, and its nature determined, by vicara. 
Sukha is feeling of happiness at the climax of piti on the 
■ense object. Ekaggata is a unified, quiet and undisturbed 
Nlnlc of the mind filled with tranquil bliss. This is a brief 
■ Inscription of the first jhana, starting with nimittas the 
highest of which is patibhaga nimitta, and through vitakka, 
t icAra, piti, sukha and ekaggata, the five integral parts, at 

AnSgSm Sayflgyi U Thet And His Teaching 

the completion of which yogi attains the first jhana. 

For more information on jhana, see “A Treatise on 
Pandita Vedaniya” written by Sayadaw Ashin U Tiloka. 
The Ashin is a scholar as well as an achieved practitioner 
of samatha-vipassana. If curious about how well the 
Sayadaw has achieved, it is recommended that yogi read 
Ashin’s book mentioned above, after a successful 
application this book. 

Apart from the nimittas shown above, there are 
other nimittas related to the 40 kinds of kammatthan that 
include kasina, asubha, anussati , etc. They are not 
described in this book as including them would make it 
heavy. Besides, this book is meant for the practice of 
vipassana, and so, it would suffice to describe samatha 
method just as far as is required to start vipassana. Those 
who do not adapt to anapana can take to any of the other 
methods they prefer. 

This ends section on samatha. 

Vipassana Meditation 

As Taught by KammathSn Sayagyi Saya Thet 

Yogi wishing to work in vipassana meditation must 
first have done anapana kammatthan most willingly and 
most diligently for three days, at the end of which he/shc 
may have seen uggaha and patibhaga nimittas. That would 
be time yogi begins to embark upon training in vipassanfl 
If yogi is quite sure he has seen those signs clearly and 
distinctly, i.e. if the objects together with the lights sin) 
long with yogi, then it can be taken that yogi has achieved 


Anagam SaySgyi U Thet And His Teaching 

sound samadhi. Then, the preliminary services, namely 
bowing down to the Buddha, taking sila, requesting for 
kammatthan, etc., must be performed again. Yogi must 
believe in his/her work, and have a strong will to achieve. 

Yogi must pull down his/her pride and nurture 
modesty, with a mind bent on liberation from miseries and 
suffering of the world. AH personal manners physical, verbal 
and mental must be mild and gentle. With the personal 
qualities thus nurtured, yogi sits in a mode that suits him/ 
her, and then begins an§p§na kammatthan. Staying with 
anapana for about ten minutes, watching the wavelike 
motion of the in- and out-breaths at the nostril, yogi will 
begin to feel and know the instant to instant drag of the air 
against the flesh of the nostrils, vibrant and pulsating, 
appearing and disappearing, appearing and disappearing, . 
. . the minute corpuscles of the air appearing and 
disappearing, appearing and disappearing in a wave-like 
motion . . . ! This is the nature of impermanence ( anicca ). 
After watching this nature of anicca for about ten minutes, 
yogi moves his/her attention to the top of the head, and 
keeps it there, with mindfulness (sati) that must not be 
nl lowed to break up and scatter. 

At this point, it is good practice to have a teacher 
< lose by. Yogi may feel, in an area about half an inch to an 
Inch in size at the top of the head, some coolness or warmth. 
When that happens, do not let the attention go away but 
|n»l be aware of the fact. After a while, the cool or 
• ilhcrwise warm spot will begin to appear to move, in minute 
» tin nnt motions. Let it be so, but keep the attention there. 

I Ik inch-size spot may expand and spread all over the 

Anagara Sayagyi U Thet And His Teaching 

head. Just be aware of the fact at every moment. It may 
spread and cover the whole body. When it covers the whole 
body or before it does so, some coolness or warmth may 
be felt at some places on the body, exhibiting wave-like 
rise and fall. Or, at some spots, some perceptible movement, 
some vibrant motions on the body may be felt, the areas 
often moving in slow motion like movement of clouds. 

At times, there may be some feeling of rising and 
falling of temperature in the bowels or on the back. At 
other times, there may be a feeling of some very lightly 
perceptible movement of something, like tiny ants, on the 
body. It may be like bubbling of gas in a glass of soft drink. 
Or it may be like the burst of fireworks, bursting forth and 
out. At times it is like numbness off and on in swift 
succession. After numerous times of repetition of the 
practice and the experience, the level of samadhi would 
rise to a stage when the whole body of yogi is covered, not 
leaving a spot, the tiniest size of a needle, with subtle, prickly 
feeling alive and vibrant. These incidents are not seen with 
naked eye; it is experiential knowledge. In Samyutta Pali, 

“It is due to the two entities, namely the sense 
receptors on body {kdyafica) and the sense of touch 
( photthabba ), that awareness of experience in the body 
(kdya vinndna ) appears . 45 

The sense of touch is not the kind of object thnl 
can be seen with eye. It is only an experiential phenomenon 
Why is that so? For, it is observation of a phenomenon thnl 
occurs in or on the body. 

41 Pali text: "kayaAca phuddabeca paliccakaya viflfiana upajjati." 

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Anagam Sayfigyi U Thet And His Teaching 

Samadhi becomes stronger as this process of 
repeated observation goes on, enhancing clarity and 
multiplicity of the views of the on-off processes, appearing- 
disappearing attributes of rupa and nama. A simile would 
illustrate the process: suppose a open-ended cauldron, half 
full of pure sesame oil, is heated from below, bubbles would 
form and rise to the lips of the cauldron; the heat is 
maintained just so, and the bubbles on top would burst and 
be lost, while new bubbles would rise to take their place. 

New bubbles will be seen to replace the earlier 
ones that have disappeared. This is a continual process, 
showing only the appearing and disappearing of bubbles. 
Closely likened to this is the components of the elemental 
matter in the our body coming into being and dying out, 
only to be replaced by new particles of matter (rupa), the 
mild sizzling sound of which may even be heard like that of 
the sesame oil bubbles in the cauldron. 

But then, the frequency of rupa appearing and dying 
out is a great many times faster than that of the oil bubbles. 
This time, the whole body is jammed, like the cauldron, 
with vibrant elemental matter popping in and popping out. 

Sometimes the elemental matter behaved as if it 
were falling shower-like throughout the body, thus being 
likened to collapse of a river bank. Often it is like a rain 
pour. Still often it is like a huge mass of lightening entering 
ilu- body, and like a mirage rapidly appearing and 

Sometimes, it is like maggots that eat old and rotten 
Mi - li, moving fast, pushing each other, and in a mass rising 
mill lulling. Sometimes, it is like the whole body, inside and 

Anagam Sayagyi U Thet And His Teaching 

outside, filled with maggots from open toilet pits pushing, 
jostling, and rising over one upon another. Sometimes, it is 
like the cold winter dew falling on the body in showers. At 
other times, it is like the whole body being pricked by small 

Sometimes, it feels like the entire body cannot be 
moved, the limbs heavy but the flesh light and vibrant like 
that of boiling water. In prolonged sitting in meditation, night 
and day, the entire body is filled with vibrant movements, 
which are the shadow of incessant coming into being and 
dying out of rupa and the awareness of it at all times. If 
viewed while lying down, these vibrant movements are like 
foams or bubbles of water moving up and down from top 
of head to toes of the feet. 

This can be illustrated with a simile. Suppose a 
glass statue of a human being is made, with hollows for all 
the exterior parts of a human body, and filled with water. 
By heating the water in the hollow statue to boiling point, 
temperatures will rise and boiling will spread throughout 
the body, often showing sounds, bubbles, etc., all the signs 
of boiling water in the head, in the limbs, and in the whole 
body, often in parts and often simultaneously throughout. 
Similarly, this kind of boiling occurs in yogi’s body. In cases 
of extremely firm samadhi, the sizzling sound of boiling 
matter, bubbling and ascending, may actually be heard. 

As awareness is occupied with these incidents of 
coming-into-being and dying out of rupa-nSma elements 
that take place inside the body unceasingly, for night and 
day, every hour, every minute, and every second, there 
come less and less of weariness, stupor, sleepiness, anxiety. 

Anagam Sayagyi U Thet And His Teaching 

restless thoughts, desire to listen to idle talks, thoughts of 
caring worldly affairs, reading news papers, greed, anger, 
fun and humor, minding business. All these mundane, 
defilement-bound mental inclinations become less and less 
frequent, finally settling down at rare occurrence. At that 
stage, yogi becomes patient and forbearing, capable of 
equanimity even when faced with death of loved ones, and 
unafraid to die. 

If that were so, a question arises: why did Visakha, 
a sotppan, wept visibly with great bereavement at the death 
of her grand child? It was so, because equanimity applies 
only whilst in awareness of dhamma. Sotapan is only devoid 
of two tendencies, namely love of life ( ditthanusaya ) and 
skeptical doubt {yicikicchanusaya ), and she was not in 
meditation at the time. She was not devoid of the five other 
five tendencies ( anusaya ). She was still like most ordinary 
laity (puthujana). This answer is in accord with pariyatti 

While in the depths of meditation thus, yogi may 
become loathe to the facts of having to live a life, the worldly ^ 
affairs of which can hardly be evaded in an age not so 
virtuous. With a samadhi so strong at this stage, aches and 
pains ( vedana ) almost unbearable may be experienced. 

I hc whole body is felt as if it were extremely hot, being 
filled with liquid iron metal. Yogi finds vedana always in a 
Mux of change, off and on, or rising and falling. 

With reference to the books, how would yogi 
* nmprehend and understand such phenomenal world, which 
l" uhvious only as a result of repeated observation? What 
i "id now finds in his inner consciousness is the changing 

An again SaySgyi U Thet And His Teaching 

nature of the five aggregates ( khandha ) of matter ( rupa ) 
and mind (nffma), which signals in the three characteristics 
( lakkhanas ) of impermanence ( anicca ), suffering 
( dukkha ) and non-self ( anatta ). This is the full 
understanding acquired with investigative work ( Tirana 
parinno) that leads to achievement of purification by 
overcoming doubts ( kankMvitarana visuddhi). 

This calls for clarification. Observe thoroughly with 
intense attention. Although this is in full accord with the 
Buddha's teaching as recorded in the books, these practical 
findings may appear to contradict with the thinking of some 
scholars, well versed with literature but without experiential 
knowledge. Actually, there is no contradiction. Nature does 
not contradict. Those highly learned scholars, without the 
practice of dhamma, are prone to speculative thoughts that 
are either under or above the correct interpretation of 
natural phenomena. It is not meant to damn the noble, 
venerable men of learning, but for their kind review and 

The five aggregates ( khandha ) consist of aggregate 
of rupa ( rupakkhandhd ), aggregate of sensations ( vedatt - 
akkhandha), aggregate of perception ( sahhdkkhandha ), 
aggregate of formative factors ( sankharakkhandha ), and 
aggregate of consciousness ( vinnanakhandhd ). Ruppakk 
handha consists of the four original elements, namely earth 
( pathavi ), heat (tejo), water (tipo), and air (ydyo). This booklet 
treats these four original elements the most important in 
practicing vipassanS. Pathavi is characterized by its attribute 
of hardness; tejo, hotness or coldness; vayo, pressure; fipo, 
water element with attributes of collecting and holding 

@ 152 ® 

Anfigim Sayagyi U Thet And His Teaching 

together in each of the three other elements. Apo element 
cannot be felt, but its properties obvious. These four dhatu 
elements are called rupa. Consciousness, awareness, 
perception or anything to do with the mental process is 
called nSma. 

Rupa outside of human body is everywhere, in all 
objects animate and inanimate, filling up the full extent of 
the universe. The human body is also rupa. Matter outside 
of the human body has its own way following the law of 
nature. So also matter in our body has its own way following 
the law of nature. The law of nature is change: what comes 
into being must pass away; what appears, disappear; what 
is bom must die. The rupa kalUpas 46 inside the body are 
sites of sense receptors, filling the whole extent of the body; 
Ihus their nature of coming into being and passing away 
incessantly fills the full expanse of the body. With the all- 
penetrating property of samadhi, this phenomenon of 
incessant change can be seen at with ease. 

Awareness of such attributes of rupa is called 
nflma. Every moment rupa appears and disappears, so also 
urtina appears and disappears together with rupa. 
Wherever pathavi element appears, some stiffness is found 
i" nppear. If stiffness is intense, pain develops as it raises 
n*. volume. Here is an example: supposing someone sits 
'villi a naked torso, and someone else drops a hard 
♦mI> itimce the size of a sesame seed at his back. In watching 
Iho case, the first incident is coming into contact 
\phoUhahba) of the tiny object with the body skin on the 

1 1’) • (he infinitesimally small material uaiis definable with the Four Elements 
#1 MibiH, Iojo, flpo, vayo 

AnagSm Sayagyi U Thet And His Teaching 

back, causing a tiny sense of contact (phassa ). Consider 
the sense of contact: which one of the four elements, i.e. 
pathavi, tejo, apo, vayo, is responsible for prompting such 
a sensation? Upon contemplation, the characteristic 
( lakkhana ) of the most distinct element will appear. The 
distinct characteristic in this case is hardness. What is the 
element that has the property of hardness? It is pathavi! 

Yogi must note that the hardness felt when the 
small object hits the back is in fact the pathavi element. 
Just as soon as the hitting is felt, the sensation of hardness 
disappears, as if the object were dropped on the tip of a 
needle. To which element does hardness belong to? It is 
pathavi! So, note that it is pathavi that disappears. If more 
objects were dropped on the back one after another, 
contacts with pathavi element appear one after another. 
Also note that the sensation of each appearance of contact 
is followed by disappearance; it is the disappearance of 
pathavi one after another. 

Thus, all awareness of contact with hardness is to be 
noted as contact with the nature of pathavi element. Thai 
being so, isn’t the consciousness of rupa that appears and 
disappears inside the body like the bubbling and sizzling 
hot water, knowledge by experience of material contact? 
If all that comes into contact and its awareness is pathavi, 
then all that happens inside the whole body are all the 
character of paathavi element. With pathavi, the other throe 
elements of apo, tejo and vayo pop in simultaneously withoul 
fail, and appear and disappear together with pathavi. I hm 
do we know about it? It is an intrinsic nature of those font 
elements that they never occur separately, never apart fnmi 


Anagam SaySgyi U Thet And His Teaching 

each other. Although impossible for them to occur 
separately, their properties, namely hardness, heat, 
cohesion, and pressure, behave in their own way, showing 
their distinct characteristics as the case may be. 

Out of the four, how does pathavi show its 
characteristic? When distinct above all else, it shows its 
characteristic by way of its unique character of hardness. 
Tejo element, when more distinct than others, shows by 
way of coldness/hotness. V5yo element, when distinct 
above all else, shows by way of push and pull, expansion 
and contraction, in other words, variable pressure. Apo 
element, however, cannot be touched, for experiential 
knowledge, but it is apparent, and obvious, in the 
cohcsiveness and fusing together of pathavi, tejo and vayo, 
forming them together simultaneously. And so, The-phyu 
Ledi Sayadaw said in his poem: 

“When pathavi is sharp, hardness is tough; when 
poor, it is soft and clear as liquid; 

When sharp, apo forms liquid; when poor, it is tough 
nnd solid; 

When sharp, tejo gives heat and coldness; when 
poor, it is mild and temperate; 

When poor, vayo is still and quiet; when poor, it 
moves and press to the extreme; 

And these are the natural characters of the four 
•uigiuul elements.” 

Here is another simile for an explanation. Suppose 
»»' put hot pepper, salt, sour juice and sugar, the four 
liiincnt tastes, together in a pot and cook a meal. Too 
huh h chili would make the meal taste hot as soon as the 

Anagam Sayfigyi U Thet And His Teaching 

chili gets on the tongue. Too much salt would make the 
meal salty. Similarly, loo much vinegar or sugar would make 
it taste either sour or sweet, whichever is in excess over 
the others. When chili is in excess over others, the taste is 
hot, in spite of the presence of the others. It is impossible 
to separate the four tastes, and take out one at a time. But 
when there is no excess of one item over and above the 
others, each item shows its character in the combined state: 
chili, its hotness; salt, its saltiness; vinegar, its sourness; 
sugar, its sweetness. All show off their characteristics in 
unity and harmony simultaneously. But then, when one type 
is in excess of the others, people say that the meal is hot, 
salty, sour or sweet, whichever is the more pronounced. If 
hotness prevails, people say, “Oh! It is hot!” Although they 
say so, they know the presence of saltiness, sourness and 
sweetness is there all the same by their characteristic flavor 
and milder taste. Similar is the case with the four primary 

For another simile, suppose a man has malaria. 
He has a regular bout of high fever daily. Before his 
temperature rises, he is normal. But when his body 
temperature rises, he feels extremely cold, trembles and 
shakes. During the feverish time, the four elements arc 
there as for normal, but the coldness-tejo element is in 
excess over the other three, making the feeling of coldness 
most pronounced so that the man moans, “Oh, so cold, 
extremely cold!” But all the four elements are there a( all 
times. He knows that. How does he know? Coldness U 
the element of tejo. Its presence is dependent on the Inn d, 
solid pathavi element. If there is no such hard elcmoni, 


AnagSm Sayagyi U Thet And His Teaching 

there would no place for coldness to appear on. Only due 
to the presence of hardness, phassa can be aware of. 
Pathavi is the one element that enables the feeling of 

Thus the sick man knows, by virtue of pathavi 
element in him, he is feeling cold and trembling, and thus 
he knows the simultaneous occurrence of coldness and 
hardness. And then there is a question to ask: isn’t there 
vayo at the same time? Vayo has the attributes of energy 
to cause press-expansion and press-contraction. When that 
energy is much pronounced, the feeling of movement and 
tension appears. But in fact, objective entities (rupa and 
nama) pass away at the sites they come into being, and so 
they lack the ability to move. Even though that is so, they 
do appear to move. That is because the new rupa-calapas 
come into being at new sites, (contemplate the case in 
depth). In pali it reads: 

“ na hi ruparupadhammanam uppadadese 

Kesaggamatthampi desantara sankamanamnama 


meaning, “Rupa-nama elements pass away at the point 
they came into being, never moving away a tiny little 

So, when we say v§yo element moves, it does not 
imilly move. It is the new rupa-kalapas that appear at new 
iiiivi, and we say that vayo element moves. Thus, because 
In the sick body vayo element presses on the hard pathavi 
•mil the hot tejo elements, new rupa-calapas take up new 

Anagam SaySgyi U Thet And His Teaching 

positions, and so, unlike the old ones, the new rupa-calapas 
appear in the form of high-tcmperature fever with feeling 
of the chill and trembling of the body. Trembling is due to 
the property of vayo. Apo is apparent only for its property 
of formation and holding firmly together the pathavi, tejo 
and vayo elements. So, looking through the penetrating 
ability of the Right View, we see the vibrant movements 
and appearing-disappearing incidents of rupa, and that they 
are nothing but the characteristics of the four foundation 
elements, in other words, the showing of the aggregate of 
body matter ( rupakkhandha ), a reality in the sense of 
the objective principles (paramattha dhamma). 

After having shown ruppakkhandha, the mind 
group ( namakkhattdha ) will be described. It is to do with 
paying attention to sense objects, consisting primarily of 
53 mental entities, grouped in four aggregates. They are 
the aggregate of feeling ( vedanakkhandhS ), the aggregate 
of perception ( sannakkhandha ), the aggregate of mental 
formation ( sankharakkhandha ), and the aggregate of 
consciousness ( vifthSnakkhandha ). Vedanakkhandha is 
originated by phassa ( phassa paccayd vedana ). Phassa 
in this book means body impressions ( kdya-samphassa ). 

Two factors, namely the body sensor (kdya) and 
actual contact (phothabba) together give rise to body- 
consciousness ( k&ya-vinn&na ). Those three factors - the 
body, the contact with the object and body-consciousness 
- give rise to sensation (vedana). (from “Samyutta Pali”) 

To explain further, when yogi looks in the rupii 
body in full concentration, yogi would find that all rupii 

47 ktmma, citta, utu, ahflra (P) - past and current deeds, die mind, seasons (body heal, elc ) 
and food 

Anagam Sayagyi U Thet And His Teaching 

entities, as conditioned by kamma, citta, utu and ahara* 1 , 
come into being and passing away nonstop at all times. 
Body consciousness (kaya vinhana) knows the coming 
into contact (photthbba ) of the body sensor and sense 
object ( arammana ). This gives rise to sense impression 
( phassa)-, phassa gives rise to vedana (vedanakkhandhS). 
Perception ( sanha , sanntikkhandha) takes note of the 
sense object shown by vinnana. Phassa , cetana, ekaggatd, 
jivitindare, manasikaya, etc., are aggregate of mind 
formations ( sankhSrakkhandhS ). Kaya-vifinana is 
vinntinakhandha. These are the four ndma k hand has. 
It is not yet personalized wisdom. Only immediately after 
consciousness on the body (kaya-vinhana) has appeared, 
consciousness in the mind ( mano-vihhdna ) comes. 

If the sense object as depicted by sense impression 
( phassa ) is thought good, it is sukha vedana, or 
nltematively, somanassa vedana. If thought bad, it is 
dukkha vedana or domanassa vedana. If thought neither 
good nor bad, it is neutral feeling upekkha vedana, or 
nltematively, a-dukkha-ma-sukha vedana. Vedana so 
felt has its origin in the two rupa elements, namely kaya 
mid phothabba. Therefore when rupa elements, on which 
vedana is dependent, disappears, vedana also disappears. 
In i ns rupa objects appear and disappear, so also vedana 
I'dlows suit, just as fast. 

Sarinakkhandha takes note of the aramana object 
ilini 1-4 revealed by kaya vinhana and mano vififiana, as 
aril ns various vedana sensations. At this point, the 
*<»l> >ms of vinnanakkhandha and sanhakkhandha should 
I t «lil lorcntiated. The awareness of photthabba on objects 

m ® 159 ® 

AnSgSm Sayfigyi U Tfaet And His Teaching 

that impact successively on body dvara discerning, “that is 
earth; that other one is wind”, is vififiana knowledge. 
Making note of whatever vinfiSna knows is the duty of 
safifia. In short, vinfiana cannot memorize the aramana 
objects, where as safina remembers whatever it has 
experienced; only it cannot do any forward thinking. 
Whenever vedanakkhandha disappears safiakkhandha also 
disappears, (page 58, paral) 

Sankharakkhandha comprises fifty associates of 
the mind ( cetasika ), excluding those of vedanakkhandha. 
To dwell on them, wide-ranging as they are, would make 
this book too lengthy. Only enough will be discussed for 
yogis to understand. Looking into the body, as the 
appearance and disappearance of rupa elements, vedana 
and safifia are being watched, the sense object (aramana) 
in view may rouse some will, some volition (cetanfi) in 
yogi. As cetasikas are associated with citta, the mind, during 
meditation, every instance of the mind is complemented 
with corresponding mind factors (cetasika). With every 
instance of awareness of appearance and disappearance 
of rupa-nama elements, citta, phassa, cetana, ekaggata, 
manasikira, etc. appear and then disappear. Vitakka, 
vicara, also come into being. SaddhS, sati, hiri, ottapa, a- 
loba, a-dosa, tattaramajjhatta, etc. appear. After appearing, 
they disappear. These incidents are called 
sankharakkhandha. The instant vedanakkhandha and 
safifiakkhandha disappear, sankharakkhandha also 

Safifiakkhandha and sankharakkhandha, witli 
reference to Ledi Sayadaw’s “Bhavana Dipani,” will h« 

® wo ® 

AnSgSm SaySgyi V Thet And His Teaching 

discussed here for some general knowledge. SanMkkhandha 
in terms of aramana is of six kinds: rupa saflna, saddasanfia, 
gandhasanfia, rasasaflna, photthabbasanfia, and dhamma 
sanna. That means consciousness of the six kinds of 
aramana: sight, sound, smell, taste, photthabba aramanas, 
namely pathavi, tejo, apo, vayo, and dhamma aramanas, 
namely wholesome and unwholesome thoughts. In other 
words, they are awareness of the senses that occur at the 
eye, ear, nose, and tongue, on the body and in the mind. All 
living beings are keep alive day and night with these 
perceptions (safihas), doing all sorts of chores and business. 
This is a brief discussion on safinakkhandhd. 

At this point, it would do well to discuss and show 
the difference between awareness by vififlanakkhandha 
and that by safinakkhandha. Awareness of the incessant 
impacts of sense objects on the six corresponding sense 
organs (dvaras) as “this is earth, and that, water” and so 
on is awareness by vinriSna, not that by sanfi&. Taking note 
and memorizing what vifinlna acquires and shows is the 
duty of awareness by, safin&, not the business of vinfiana. 
Vififiana, if it wills, can grasp all forward experiences, but 
cannot remember. It cannot remember any past experience. 
Safifia, if it wills, remembers past experiences, but cannot 
i;rnsp anything forward looking. That is the difference 
lidween the two. 

With reference to Abhidhamma Pitaka, sankhara- 
l tdmndha consists of fifty cetasikas, including sankharakk- 
hnndha itself. With reference to Suttana Pitaka, cetana 
• ■ Insika is the main factor, by the understanding of which 
iiiiu-cn-lakkhana can be fully grasped, and all those 

Anagam Sayagyi U Thet And His Teaching 

categories of sankharakkhandha follow automatically in full 
view. Volition or free will (eeiana cetasika) is a quality of 
the mind that is always prompting and pushing living beings 
to be thinking of something, not allowing to pause or rest 
even for a blink of the eye. Only take a guess back at all 
the past uncountable existences, with the exception of the 
highest celestial realm ( a-sahhassa bhumi ) 48 . 

When yogi sees the continually restless, vibrant, 
wavy nature of the mind, yogi will come to understand 
how cetana works. When dying in one life, as the hitherto 
active living rupa comes to a stop ( cuti-kammaja rupa ), 
consciousness (nama) switches over, not stopping for as 
short a time as a blink of the eye, immediately into a new 
life form. Cetana is the driving force in such action of the 
mind. This urging, driving aclion of cetana is the source of 
wholesome and unwholesome deeds, i.e. all bodily, verbal 
and mental actions. Depending on its association with the 
six sense objects (aramanas), there are six types of cetana: 
cetana for sight objects, cetana for sound objects, and so 
on. Sankkharakkandha has been briefly differentiated and 
explained. (Reference: Bhavana Dipani, No. 70) 

Vinhanakkhandha has one associated factor 
(cetasika), characterized by knowing sense objects. But 
there are six types of this khabdha, as dependent upon the 
types of sense objects, namely cakkhu-vifinana, sota-vifinana, 
ghana-vinhana, jinwha-vinnana, kaya-vinnana and mano- 
vififiana. And because it is to look inward at rupa-namn 

41 A-ssaflflassa bhumi (P) - once there, the traveler goes nowhere, up or down, but to enlcr 

40 Ijj hat larupa- nama (P) - in-bom material boiy and mind, matter and mind sought inwiutl, 
insightful understanding of matter and mind internal to one's own body kfiya 

Anagam Sayagyi U Thet And His Teaching 

(, ijjhattarupa-nama ) 49 , the only essential requirement is 
to see the appearing-disappearing phenomena of the five 
khandhas inside of body-kaya. And to know the five 
khandhas inside of the body, it is essential only to look at 
kaya- vinhana and mano-vinhana. 

Therefore when we look at the rupa-kaya internal 
to this solid body, we see the properties of rupa such as 
hardness, cohesiveness, coldness/hotness, pressure, and 
their incessant flux of change - what appears disappears, 
what appears anew also disappears, repeating the cycle 
without a stop, shown by vibrant movements, prickly 
sensations, heat/cold or tension, the process never stopping. 
These appearing-disappearing phenomena are incidents 
inside our bodies, and so, that is only known to our kaya- 
vifinana. Kaya-vifihana knows the fact of rupa coming into 
being, and mano-vinhana knows what and how every 
moment kaya-vinnana knows. Every time vedanSkkhandha, 
safinakkhandha and sankharakkhandhS disappear, so also 
kaya-vihhana and mano-vififiSna disappear. (This short 
discussion of five khandhas is about enough for 

Note that five khandhas are paramattha dhamma. 
Persons and beings are paiinatta. The five khandhas never 
cease their state of change, always in a flux of change day 
and night, eveiy^ minute and every second. The five internal 
knundhas can only be seen by means of samSdhi practice, 
uni by means the physical eye. Having known the five 
kimndhas, we will proceed to the objective study of the 
ilucc characteristics (the three lakkhcmas) of those 
l liniidha, first in Pali: 

Anagam SaySgyi U Thet And His Teaching 

Anicca vata sankhara 

Upadavaya dhammino; 

Uppajjittava nirujjhiti 

Tesam vupasamo sukho. 

Translation: elements of rupa-nama sankhara 
dhammas, the existence of which depends on the four 
bases of kamma, citta, utu and ahara, in reality are not 
permanent or perpetual. They are subject to the law of 
change, i.e. coming into existence and passing away. In 
accord with this law, these elements of rupa-nama sankhara 
dhammas come into, and immediately thereafter go out of 
existence. Only when this phenomenon of change ceases, 
will nihhSna, the real peace in a state of real bliss called 
santisukha, be found. 

The three characteristics ( paramattha 
lakkhanas ) are anicca, dukkha and anatta. The essence 
of these characteristics is also the phenomenon of perpetual 
change. What are the changing entities? They are the 
sankhara dhammas, the appearing-disappearing nature of 
rupa-nama. Rupa comes into being fifty billion times in a 
blink of the eye; nama, a trillion times. This state of change, 
never ceasing during day or night, minute or second, is 
called the objective nature of instantaneous anicca. The 
repetitive, never ceasing suffering from such perpetually 
changing dhammas is called instantaneous dukkha. That 
nature of change cannot be suspended, stopped or 
administered by man, nay, not even by the omniscient Lord 
Buddha Himself. This characteristic is called instantaneous 

Anagam Saydgyi U Thet And His Teaching 

Yogi may be quite satisfied in the dubbing of 
appearing-disappearing nature of rupa-nama as anicca and 
anatta, but not quite so with dukkha. The reason why all 
rupa-nama phenomena including temporal sukha are called 
dukkha is that impermanence is death in reality. In Sam- 
yutta Athakatha, death is said to be the greatest dukkha: 

“ anicca ta ca namesd maranam maranato 
uttaridukkham nama natthi ” 

Translation: This nature of impermanence also 
means death ( mararta ). There is no suffering greater than 

Khanika and Santati 

Ledi Sayadaw Phayagyi has written that by khanika is 
meant by the paramattha nature of rupa-nama for their 
nature of extremely fast, incessant appearing-disappearing 
type of change. It is khanika anicca because immediately 
after the instant of appearance, disappearance follows. In 
the understanding of khanika (also khana ), there is a 
difference between that of the Buddha and that of the 
vipassana yogi. Lord Buddha knew that rupa appears fifty 
billion times whereas nama appears a trillion times in a 
blink of the eye. Multiplied by updda-khana , banga-khana 
mid ihi-khana 50 , there would be three trillion khanas. Lord 
Ihiddha knew the exact counting of three trillion khanas. 

But it would be impossible for vipassana yogi to 
bjL* « npnble of counting the khanas in a blink or the eye, but 
I" (Imps, only able to count to some hundreds of times of 

•Yi'ltii], Ihi, bang(a) (P) - infinitesimally short durations of time, in which rupa and 
ih • Hay and disappear, Thi or stay, although present, is not apparent. 

Antigam Sayagyi U Thet And His Teaching 

appearance-disappearance. Those revered personalities 
who have done much and achieved the goal would have 
known better. If yogi can grasp such fast tiny bits of khanas, 
yogi would have achieved much in anicca vipassana, and 
would be able to complete the task of vippasana. Thus, the 
yogi, who is able to see the bubble-like, mirage-like, fast 
moving appearing-disappearing rupa-nama dhammas, is said 
to be invisible to the king of death In Pali it is: 

“ yatha pupputthakam passe, yatha passe 

evtim lokam avakkhantam, miccuraja na 
passati . " 

The noble yogi who grasps such fast speed of the 
appearing-disappearing phenomena, is called 
animittavihara. The noble yogi who observes the khanika 
anicca vipassana, and attained magga-phala, is called 
animitta vimokkha sukha patipada puggala. See 
“Visuddi Magga” for wider commentary. 

Because of the difference between the wisdom 
levels of the Buddha and the vipassana yogi, the rates of 
change, the depths and spreads, sharpness and certainty 
of the rupa-nama dhammas known to the Buddha and the 
yogi, although said to be taking place without a pause, and 
yet separated by space in between, and incomparably fast 
in both cases, cannot be the same. That may be so, but it is 
only essential that the noble yogis, by dint of unbroken 
mindfulness and diligent meditation (JbhSvanSmaya rifina), 
perceive with confidence and experience the extremely 
fast, continually changing nature of anicca, the suffcriny 

® 166 ® I 

An again Sayagyi U Thet And His Teaching 

nature of dukkha and the unmanageable nature of anatta. 

Ledi Sayadaw Phayagyi had denoted the 
incessantly changing nature of khandha-nama-rupa as 
khanika anicca; and also that the intrinsic paramattha 
dhammas, the incessant deaths {khanika maranas ) are 
not visible to the natural eye. It is thus obvious that the 
whole body is full of uncountable incidents of birth (jSii), 
aging (JarS ) and death ( marana ). See “Vijjamagga 
Dipani”, “Lakkhana Dipani”, etc. for wider commentary. 

On page 50, line 7 of Bhavana Dipani, it is shown 
that the view of the appearing-disappearing of rupa-nama 
does not have to catch up with the instant present single 
moment {khanika paccuppan ), but rather, a diffusion of 
present single moments {santati paccuppan) that covers 
the state of change entailing in chaos and disorientations. 
But this book only deals with catching up on khanika 

To explain it further, our Lord said that a human 
being has 24 million strands of hair and ninety-nine thousand 
■trands of finer body hair. Every human has those hairs, as 
accounted for by the Buddha. The hairs everyone knows 
«>l are not different from the hairs the Buddha described. 

I lilt humans are not capable of counting exactly how many 
ilrnnds of hair there are. Just because we are incapable 
"I counting, and so, not able to tell, their quantity, we cannot 
miy that Buddha’s counting was not true. 

Those persons, who have done animitta, or anicca 
v ipiiHsana, can view the innumerable incidents of appearing- 
'll nppearing (of rupa-nama khandhas) in a moment 
S khanika anicca ), allowing the yogis to see the numerous 


Anagam Sayfigyi U Thet And His Teaching 

khanikas in any mode of posture, and in any kind of vedana. 
The longer the viewing, the stronger is the samadhi. The 
stronger the samadhi, the more numerous and clearer is 
the khanika anicca. 

Santati Anicca 

By santati is meant the impression of fast moving, 
incessant incidents of khanikas asa single unit. For a simile, 
when pouring sand from a height, we do not see the rapid 
loss in sight of the individual grains of sand as they fall, but 
instead, we see the continuous stream of sand as a single 
unit. Khanika disappears the moment it appears. It is also 
like the disappearance of sound of a grain of mustard seed 
at the very moment it hits the point of a needle, when letting 
it fall from a height. Santati takes, and stays for, longer 
time than khanika. 

Ledi Sayadaw Phayagyi also gave some indication 
of the stay of santati for various lengths of time as one 
minute, two minutes, one hour, two hours and so on. The 
disappearance of sense objects after staying in view for a 
certain length of time is called santati anicca. Khanika 
anicca is disappearance immediately after the instant the 
sense object appears. When we say of the instant, or khana, 
it should be noted that this khana that we know of is different 
from that known to Lord Buddha. Any time- length longer 
than khana is santati. The life-spans of santati pafihatta 
can be quite long. But when the real internal sense objects 
(ijjhatta-paramattha) are in yogi’s view, khanika anicca is 
the object of contemplation. Whichever anicca comes into 
view, if correct method is applied, vipassana experience is 

AnSgam Sayagyi U Thet And His Teaching 

complete. (See Ledi Sayadaw Phayagyi’s “Bhavana 
Dipani” for wider reading of santati anicca.) 

Full Understanding by Investigation ( Tirana Paridfid) 

Tirana parinna is defined as the nine levels of 
vipassana wisdom (nana) from udayabhaya nana 51 to 
anuloma nana 52 in which the appearing-disappearing 
phenomena of sense objects in yogi’s mental view 
(aramana) are contemplated, subjecting them to the criteria 
of the three characteristics (lakkhanas) simultaneously by 
insight meditation (vipassana). The three characteristics 
are primarily one, but split in three. By expansion of the 
Pali, “aniccca vata sankhara,” anicca is change 
(impermanence, appearance-disappearance), which in 
essence is dukkha, and so also is anatta. This phenomenon 
of perpetually appearing and disappearing alone, is, in fact, 
impermanence, anicca; suffering, dukkha; inability to 
manage, anatta. To contemplate and meditate on these three 
t haracteristics is called tirana parinnd. See Visuddi 

To explain kankhavitarana visuddhi 53 a brief 
•liucussion of the seven articles of visuddhi magga 54 would 
nil ice for some understanding. They are sila visuddhi, citta 
viMiddhi, ditthi visuddhi, kankhavitadana visuddhi, 
niii|i|limiagga fkanadassana visuddhi, patipada hanadassana 
' ■ Ktlilhi and nSnadassana visuddhi. Sila visuddhi is keeping 

^UtMtnyn ftflna (P) - the fourth level vipassani flana (begins lo see the three 


'•wImimb fllnn (P) - the 13* and highest level vipasianfl flana (Mna means wisdom) 
iiukliiivthimnn visuddhi (P) - purification by overcoming doubt 
H«t< l.llo uuiggfl (P) - the path to Freedom by purification 

Anagam Sayigyi U Tfcet And His Teaching 

sila without breaking a precept once it is admitted and 
committed. Committed to sila, in meditation with anaapana, 
or any one of the 40 kammatthans, when parikamma nimitta 
appears, it is the beginning ofcitta visuddhi. When uggaha 
nimitta appears, it is the mid level of citta visuddhi. When 
patibhaga nimitta appears, it isthe high level cittaa visuddhi. 
Beginning with patibhaga nimitta, vitakka, vicara, piti, sukha, 
ekaaggata- the five parts of the first jhana - are the higher 
and higher levels of citta visuddhi. 

With ditthi visuddhi comes ability to know 
differentially the five khandhas, and so clear insights of 
nama-rupa pariccheda nana, nama-rupa paccayapariggaha 
nana, sammasana nana. At this point, yogi discerns the 
nature of santati that tells hot rupa is not there where it is 
cold, cold rupa is not there where it is hot, and that hotness 
and coldness are rupa; sense of feeling is vedana; 
perception is safiha; volition, will to act, to form is sankhara; 
consciousness is vinnana; rupa during the night is not the 
rupa of day time, and vice, versa. These facts were 
understood by scholars. But the mind that has critically 
observed, and satisfied with the experiential findings of 
the rupa, nama and the five khandhas is ditthi visuddhi. 

As wisdom progresses further and has distinctly 
perceived all the three Iakkhanas of anicca, dukkha, anatta, 
and passed the tirana parinna milepost, as described in this 
book, udabbaya nana is attained, whereby panhat and 
paramat are clearly distinguished, and all skeptical doubts 
about the Truth have been discarded. This stage of purity 
of the mind is called kankhavitarana visuddhi. Only at 
this point, the true anicca is understood, the true paramni 

Anagam Sayagyi U Thet And His Teaching 

found, and the three true lakhanas realized. Further work 
on this udabbaya nama would give rise to still stronger 
samadhi. Then various kinds of joy (piti) may appear; so 
may a variety of tranquility (passadhi)\ so may various 
white lights ( obhasa ). Then yogi may be enchanted by 
piti, passadhi or obhasa, and confused as to whether these 
are magga, phala or Nibbana. Teacher is advised to tell 
yogis of these possibilities in advance. Only by a prior 
knowledge will they know they are not magga. This is 
maggSmagga hdnadassana visuddhi. 

When piti, passaddhi and obhasa are known not to 
be magga, phala, or Nibbana, yogi remembers to cany on 
working for magga, phala andNibbana in accordance with 
the correct practice, i.e. watching the appearing- 
disappearing phenomena of rupa-nama. In doing so with 
no laxity but with diligence, yogi would attain further wisdom 
from the level of patisankharafiana to anuloma nana. This 
is called patipada nanadassana visuddhi. 

In accord with this patipada nanadassana visuddhi, 
ns watching of the appearing-disappearing phenomenon 
nf rupa-nama khandhas is carried on, beginning from 
piitisankhara nana, wisdom (nana) ascends, reaching and 
passing each, finally, immediately before abandoning 
mnkhara, the first adaptation mind-moment (anuloma 
i Ufa) appears: it is called preparatory mind-moment 
( purlkamma cilia). Then the second adaption mind- 
•niimcnt appears: it is called proximity moment ( upaedra 
tiiui » And then the third adaption mind-moment appears: 
n i*. « ailed adaption knowledge or wisdom ( anuloma 

This wisdom has tendency to reject sankhara, but 

■ ® 171 ® 

AnSgam Sayflgyi U Thet And His Teaching 

still tending to hang onto it. Only the matured wisdom 
{gotrabhu Hand) cuts the thread of sankhara completely, 
to be ready to enter the Noble Path ( ariyd magga). And 
yet, Nibbana is not in sight, but only seen as an imagined 
object (aramana). After that moment of contemplation, the 
real Nibbana is comprehended and sighted, but only once. 
Magga vithi citta ss appears only once. In the book of 
“Thingyo”, it is stated, “magga bhinSS satin mats. " This 
magga citta is called nSnadassana visuddhi. 

This last description of nanadassana visuddhi is in 
accordance with the literature. For one who strives for 
wisdom, starting with patipada nanadassana visuddhi, must 
carry on watching the appearing-disappearing of rupa and 
nama. Whilst doing so, consciousness reaches past and 
beyond the chaotic events of rupa-nama appearing and 
disappearing. That consciousness is nanadassana visuddhi. 
To understand clearly and surely as to how magga citta 
comes about during meditation, some more explanation will 
be given in another place. 

To personally know by way of bhavandmaya nSna 

In the matter of vipassana, experiential wisdom 
by meditation (bhBvandmaya Mnd) is the main requisite. 
But it is good, not futile, to think about rupa and nama. 
That way nama-rupa pariccheda and paccaya pariggahn 
hanas are acquired. It is in a cumulative process ol 
knowledge, a gift or a part of parami. If this much ol 
intellectual learning ( cintamaya nSna) is acquired in thiri 
life, in some other future life, by listening to proper dhammn 

M Magga vithi citta (P) - consciousness of magga or (here and now) Nibhflna. 

® 172 ® 

Anagam Sayagyi U Thet And His Teaching 

talks, deliverance is possible. Take inspiration from culapan 
venerable monks. If in this life frequent thoughts can lead 
to strong samadhi, by which some experience with the 
continual on-again-off-again nature of mind and matter may 
be found. But then mostly, for not knowing the significance 
and not knowing how to observe correctly, the findings 
can be lost in oblivion. 

When reality of the nature of change of nama- 
rupa is first found by meditation, if only yogi observes those 
incidents of change with complete mindfulness, not allowing 
to have it lost from the mind’s view, yogi may arrive at 
tirana parinna kinkhavitrana visuddhi. Only then the yogi 
would understand the practical significance of keeping the 
aramana in view, and carry on watching it. That is why it 
is said, “Without a teacher, one cannot even smoke fish- 
paste properly.” Bhavanamaya A5na means wisdom 
acquired by direct observation of the real objects as per 
instructions given, without any speculative element. 

This bhavanamaya nana is most difficult to acquire 
unless one finds a good teacher as regards the awareness 
nf coming-into-contact with sense objects and 
disappearance of it. If a good teacher is near at hand, it 
•ilimild be easier. A willing yogi, thought he/she may be 
M.iccn to meditation, but can be trained easily to gain some 
level of wisdom, under the care of a skilled teacher. But 
mida n teacher who is not well versed in the principles 
•mi > 1 practice, it would be like trying to see but unable to 
Hud one’s own ear, although the eye and ear are closely 
•Hunted: the further the eye chases, the further the ear 
imhvi’N nway. 

Anagam Sayflgyi U Thet And His Teaching 

Ledi Sayadaw Phayagyi once said that vipassana 
is like juggler’s art. Juggling, if its tricks are not known, is 
difficult to perform. If tricks are known it is an easy art. 
And so, the saying goes: 

Shallow, but thought deep; narrow, but thought 
wide, so says the book; 

Easy, but thought difficult; to know what it is, there 
the teacher is. 

In cintamaya fiGna, there has to be prior learning, 
the knowledge that enables critical view and analysis, to 
be able to think and contemplate the nature of coming into 
being and going out of existence of rupa and nama that are 
extant in the mass of our body kaya. 

Bhavanamaya hana does not mean the general 
knowledge learned before. As teacher tells where to place 
the mind, yogi focuses his mind at the place the teacher 
tells him/her to focus, without thinking a tiny bit of thought. 
As the mind gets stilled, and concentration rises, yogi begins 
to see the phenomenal world of nature as it is. The teacher 
would not tell at length what the yogi is seeing, but urged 
to carry on watching what the yogi is seeing; thus, over 
time, the yogi would see more and more: the nature of 
impermanence of the whole body kaya, the nature of pains 
and suffering, and the nature of uncontrollability of tin- 
natural phenomena. Once these experiential facts sink in 
the consciousness, the yogi’s manners of speech, way nl 
life and behavior become mild and gentle, indicaliii|t 
tiredness of life, accompanied by more reverence nml 
homage to the Three Jewels. 

At this point the teacher tells the yogi only briollv 

® 174 ® 

Anagam SaySgyi U Tbet And His Teaching 

and short to the point, “This nature is rupa, and that nama; 
this, anicca; that dukkha; and that other one, anatta,” only 
enough for him/her to comprehend. Only when the yogi is 
happy with his/her experiential knowledge, and ready to 
go home, the teacher explained more of the nature of 
dhamma at length and in detail to a point at which the yogi 
is completely satisfied with his efforts and wisdom so 
gained. The reason why the teacher tells the nature of 
dhamma at length not before, but after, the work of 
meditation is that if told beforehand, the yogi may be thinking 
of the nature of dhamma aimlessly during meditation; this 
would prevent yogi from achieving bhavanamaya fiana. 

It is essential that yogis seethe natural phenomena - 
of rupa and nama in objective view, and they must make 
sure that they see that way. After seeing that way, they 
may check their experience against the books. This work 
is for literate people. But what is essential is to acquire is 
wisdom. Good book knowledge is good cintamaya fiana. 
But for bhavanamaya fiana, literary knowledge is not that 
essential; acquirement of wisdom by real experience is all 
that matters. 

Once upon a time, a lady by the name of Karli 
became enthused and filled with reverence by listening to 
the two gods, Thartar giri and Hemavata, who were 
questioning and answering about Lord Buddha. Her mind 
became tender and gentle. The gentleness rose in degree 
with time. The gentleness of rupa caused by the gentle 
mind also grew in degree. At one stage, Karli saw the 
• hnngc in her body rupa and nama. By repetitive observation 
i this change and by her mature parami, the three 

AnagSm Saydgyi U Thet And His Teaching 

characteristics (lakkhanas) appear to her automatically, and 
she attained sotSpana magga. There are a great many 
exemplary stories similar to this one of Karli. 

The yogi striving at meditation is like a patient under 
medical treatment. The patient does not need to understand 
the medicaments and health food prescribed by the doctor. 
Making their appraisal as to their efficacies is a waste of 
time. It is the duty of the patient to take in whatever is 
given by the physician; to take the treatment and get cured 
is all that is required. 

In this simile, the yogi is like the patient. The 
physician is like the lay, monk or book teacher of meditation. 
The medicine and health food are like the technique and 
discipline of meditation. Taking the medicine and food as 
directed by the physician is like practicing meditation 
according as the teacher teaches. The cure of all maladies 
by the effectiveness of the medicine and food taken by the 
patient is like the eradication of sakkaya ditthi by means of 
correct practice of meditation that instills experiential 
wisdom in the yogi. The malady is like sakkaya ditthi and 

Considering these examples and similes, it is only 
reasonable that people not versed in literature can strive to 
practice meditation and gain some advance on the journey 
up. Dhammapada Pali says that people who, though without 
any literary knowledge, make efforts at meditation, using 
proper methods, can attain magga-phala nana, and enter 
Nibbana. The related Pali will be shown later. 

Nowadays, where people see sight objects that 
disappear and hear sound objects that get lost, the methods 

Anagam Sayagyi U Thet And His Teaching 

they know are correct, as being in accord with literary 
contents. But then, most are very slow and take too long a 
time to make some headway. They are easy to practice, 
and easy to understand. But, from observation of some 
people in the practice of meditation, most find it very 
difficult to reach the stage of bhavanamaya fiana. Even 
with the guidance of teachers, they do not get to 
bhavanamaya Sana after days, months or for some, even 
years. If they think they seem to find something, it does 
not last long, nor stay firm. 

Even some of those who go to and dwell in forests 
and take to meditation do not find any dhamma, except as 
what everybody knows of sight-seen-lost, sound-heard-lost, 
but not getting to any bhavanamaya fiana. The visions do 
not stay. Even when bhavanamaya fiana comes, it stays 
only for a moment, not firm and fast. They do not know 
how to make it firm and fast; dejectedly some would say, 
“I cannot find dhamma. It is very difficult to find it,” and 
return home. 

If practiced as shown in this book, complete with 
the awareness of appearance-disappearance of the intrinsic 
( ijjhatta ) rupa and nama, it becomes quite easy to 
thoroughly comprehend and understand the five khandhas, 
the twelve categories of ayatana, and the 18 constituent 
rupa and nama elements or dhatu. And thus, all natural 
phenomena (aspects of dhamma) would come in easy grasp 
of the meditation practitioner. Therefore it is apparent that 
l lie three pure insights of kaya dhatu, phothabba dhatu and 
kftya-vifinina dhStu are the easiest, and yet, for some yogis, 
die most difficult, to understand; the shallowest, and yet 

Anagam SaySgyi U Thet And His Teaching 

the deepest to fathom. Hence the following poem: 
Sangha and lay various, make use of books for work; 
Right is the book, yogi not clever, knows not the touch 
on and off; 

To learn to be true and objective, yogi must seek a teacher; 
wisdom shallow, and yet deep, just as is narrow and yet 

It is all in the book. 

But to make ease of the difficult, 

Have a teacher to consult. 

This pure insight is difficult, because aramana is 
internal to kaya, and Bramanika (the means of looking) is 
also insight, internal to kaya. Some wise men are thus 
sometimes like a good horse with warped hoofs. How can 
I say that? My first teacher and mentor, SayaThet of Dala 
Pyawbwe-gyi village, searched for kammatthan teachers, 
one after another, but finding no insight wisdom, returned 
home after thirteen years of ardent search, with a depressed 
mind of a failed man. But he strived with a relentless 
resolution ad determination to find the Truth, in the 
congregation hall for seven days and nights, without a word 
with anyone. Only at the end of that arduous work of search 
that Saya Thet found, to his satisfaction, the dhamma that 
he looked for and the technique that readers are now being 

Having been thus satisfied, Sayagyi had seen Lcdi 
Sayadaw Phayagyi and Thitcha-taung LJ Ti-loka Sayadaw, 
and submitted his findings. The Sayadawgyis had approved 
his findings as correct and objective, blessing him with 
sadhu thrice. More than that, he was authorized and urged 

Anagam Sayagyi U Thet And His Teaching 

to teach his methods to others. Thus, sayagyi and his 
proteges had taught monks and lay people. It is estimated 
that there would be around 4000 to 5000 persons who have 
done much objective work and some of them attained 
certain levels of wisdom. 

Sayagyi’s method is now being applied and taught 
in seven-day retreat sessions, and many have accessed 
the lights of vipassana hana. This sayagyi is gifted (good 
parami), and that is the reason why he received the 
technique. Even then, it took him 14 years to find it. Why 
did it take him so long? Two reasons: one is that he was 
unable to get at the true experiential dhamma; the second, 
that he was unable to find the fast technique. But when he 
found the true dhamma and the fast technique, he found 
them so simple and easy. The material objects that he needs 
to look at are around and about him, which he sees in his 
daily life. And it is the case of a good horse that happens to 
have warped hoofs. 

The body sensor ( kaya ) and actual contact 
( phothabba ) together give rise to body-consciousness 
{kilya-vinUSna). The interpretation that the sense receptor 
(knya) and the impact (photthabba) together give rise to 
perception (kayavihhana) is generally correct. 

But the real impact (photthabba) is not interpreted 
i»n nn entity subject to, and dependent on kamma, citta, utu 
mid flhara that are internal (ijjaita) to body kaya. The 
interpretation by some people is the photthabba due to the 
tubbing of the wind on the body or that due to the bites of 
m<*Nq\iitoes. Without the wind there is no sense of contact, 
•tut! no, how is it possible to contemplate the three 

Anagam Sayagyi U Thet And His Teaching 

lakkhanas. Similarly is with the mosquito bite. The internal 
photthabba is due to kamma, citta, utu and ahara, and so, 
there is no ceasing of coming-into-being and passing away 
of rupa-n§ma phenomena. Because there is no ceasing of 
events inside, yogi with samadhi finds the phenomenal world 
of rupa-nama every time he/she looks inside his body kaya. 
Even if closed off in an underground cave, yogi would find 
this truth all the same. 

As he/she finds dhamma that way all the time, 
yogi can look into the inside of his body kaya continually. 
But it is not the kind of looking at the element of photthabba 
in the ordinary way, but to see the natural process, he/she 
must look in for insight with complete concentration 
(samadhi). So, Lord Buddha laid down the three main 
virtues of noble persons as sila, samadhi and pafin& 
(wisdom). The flaw is that people do not think much of 
samadhi. Even if thoughtful of it, they have no idea about 
the significance of insightful photthabba, and so, do not 
know how to be aware of it. Because of this ignorance, 
there is no will to care, and on account of that non-care 
there is no familiarity. But the dhamma inside always tells 
people with samadhi, “I am here. I am the truth,” and shows 
itself. That calls for correct method of approach and further 

(One main intension of the author of this book is to 
make the teaching plain to lay people with little or no 
meditation experience, and so, much of what he has written 
is in the style of a narrative, face to face with them.) 

Lord Buddha is unmatched in kindness and 
compassion towards all living things. All that the Lord had 

Anagam Sayagyi U Thet And His Teaching 

taught are direct on instances and personalities. It is only 
because some scholars speculate and go astray that the 
Buddha’s Teachings become hard to understand. This 
directness is exemplified by an extract from Khandhavagga 
Samyutta Pali; 

Phenapintupamam rupam, vadana pubbutthupamd; 

Maricikupamfi sanna, sankhara kadalupama ; 

Mayupamanca vihnanam, desita dicavapandhuna. 

The meaning; rupa dhamma is like a foam bubble. 
In watching the body kaya, it is found to boil giving out 
bubbles, which appear like a mass of foam. The foam is 
filled with bubbles that appear and perish, sizzling all the 
time. Like this mass of foam, and also like the oil boiling in 
the cauldron, overflowing, as has been mentioned before, 
the rupa elements appear and perish. The way the bubbles 
and the rupa elements appear and perish are similar. All 
are alike. 

In saying vedanapubbutthupama, it means that 
the foam internal to body kaya begins with bubbles. In the 
process of boiling, at the point of contact between the 
bubbles and kaya appears phassa. Feeling of that phassa 
is called vedana. Vedana thus fills the whole body, bubbling 
tuul sizzling, with even not a needle-point area left, easily 
i tuning up and just as easily perishing. There is awareness 
ilutl some vedanas are bearable, just as there are unbearable 
'.'in s. and often there is equanimity. All sorts of vedanas 
'ippcnr and perish, repetitively and continually in yogi’s 
•m moncss. Vedanas and water bubbles are all alike in 
UTonring and perishing, having no hard substance 
uliiilaocvcr, and existing for only the tiniest fraction of a 

Anagam SaySgyi U Thet And His Teaching 

In saying maricikupama safina, the ability to take 
note of rupa and nama is called sarma. Sanna takes note 
of every incident of hardness and softness, hotness and 
coldness, resistance and expansion, and all attributes of 
rupa and nama. Every notion of coming into being is 
immediately followed by perishing. It notes incidents of all 
vedanas. As all the incidents of the five khandhas are being 
noted, the notions become jammed, and because they 
happen so fast that they appear like mirages, as has been 
shown earlier. The nature of sanfia is that it is easy to 
appear and just as easy to perish. Having no substance, it 
is not firm, fast appearing and fast vanishing, exactly like 
the nature of mirages. 

In saying sankhara kadalupama , it is about 
sankharakkhandha that has been discussed earlier. 
Sankharakkhandhas appear and disappear in profusion, 
appearing rapidly and vanishing just as rapidly, having no 
hard and firm substance. 

In saying mayupmanca vihn&nam, all the beings, 
man, devas and brahmas extant in the 31 realms think they 
are males, females, personalities, I, he. she and so on. But 
in fact, they are only made of rupa and nama. They are 
thinking of what are not as if they were so and so. For 
being in human realm now, one thinks one really is a human 
being. In the next life, one may be a deva; in the next, an 
animal. Like magic, it seems one becomes one kind of bcinj- 
after another. People do not see the right view of rupa mnl 
nama, and won’t believe when told so. How it is rupa mul 
how, nama, they cannot see as in a real, objective vie" 

Anagam Sayflgyi U The! And His Teaching 

Because they do not have the right view, they take to 
believing that the humans, devas, brahmas and other beings 
are the objects of some creation, and cannot let go of their 
clinging to such views. Only after pursuing the correct 
meditation methods that such wrong views are discarded, 
arriving at the realization that the forms are all magic rupas. 
There are six kinds of vinhana, all of which appear and 
disappear. This process is fast, never pausing a moment. 

I will explain the paragraph, mentioned above, 
which is an extract from Phenapintupamam Sutta, 
“Khandhavagga Samyutta Pali” contained in Ledi Sayadaw 
Phayagyi’s “Catusacca Dipani” Series No.3: 

Rupam phena pintupamam = there is no 
substance as “I” to cling to, as all forms are cohesive 
masses like the chunk of a foam. 

Vedana pubbutthupama = there is no substance 
ns “I” to cling to, as feelings have no kaya body to exist in, 
hut the foam-like masses boiling and bubbling. 

Sanna maricikupama = there is no substance as 
"I" to cling to, as sanna has no atta or kaya body to dwell 
In, but the mirage-like images coming to view and vanishing 

Sankhara phassa cetana kadalupama = there 
i - ini substance to cling to, as sankhara elements have no 
• »//</ k.lya to dwell in, but something like the banana stem 
i Imi has no hard core. 

ViHhanam mayupamam = there is no substance 
I" to cling to, as vinnana has no atta kaya to dwell in, 
Imi only something like a magic show. 

adiccabanduna = thus Lord Buddha had 

Anagam Sayagyi U Thet And His Teaching 

Although each of these five khadhas have been 
explained with a simile each, all the five similes fit with 
each khandha, and each simile can fit with all of the five 
khandhas. The same nature of appearing-disappearing 
applies to all khandhas. The same law of impermanent 
anicca applies to all; so does that cf suffering dukkha, and 
also that of uncontrollable anatta. The five khandhas are 
rupa and n&ma; rupa and nima are the twelve ayatanas; 
the twelve ayatanas are the eighteen elements of dhatu. 
And the eighteen elements are the khandhas. All these 
articles of dhamma are subject to the phenomenon of 
coming into being and vanishing. And the phenomenon is 
the reality, or the objective truth, of existence ( sankhata 

Sankhata paramattha means in essence that 
there is only one kind of reality ( eko dhammo), no matter 
how many various ways of expositions, each going its own 
way, of the natural laws there may be. There is only one 
way of coming-into-being and vanishing. But where there 
is no coming-into-being and vanishing, there is unique never- 
changing ( a-sankhata ) entity called Nibbana. Therefore, 
in searching for origin of all in the world, there is only one 
paramattha dhamma, which is sankhata paranattha. Where 
there is no sankhata paramattha, there is Nibbana. Sankhatn 
is coming into being and vanishing. Nibbana is no coming 
into being. And so, Myo-Mi Kodawgyi composed a versi 

Coming into being is anicca; perishing, anicca; 

Coming into being is dukkha; perishing, dukkha; 

Coming into being is anatta, perishing, anatta; 

AnSgam Sayagyi U Thet And His Teaching 

Not coming into being is anatta. 

Besides that - 

1 . Coming-into-being and perishing, the flux of change 
is, without a doubt, dukkha-, 

2. To wish to become once again ( samudaya saccd), 
death must come now; that is the cause of dukkha; 

3 . Coming-into-being, and perishing tires one; wishing not 
to become once again, is on the true Path to Nibbana; 

4. Not wishing to become once again is the right view; 
that is magga sacca; 

5. Not becoming once again is nirodha saccd , all the 
dukkhas being extinct; 

6. Note with differentially, these Four Noble Truths (cat- 

sac cd)\ 

7. Note and get this verse by heart and recite by word of 

H . Contemplate time and again, and get to know the Right 

■' Only knowledge of the Right View will liberate one 
from dukkha; 

1 0. Yogi will pursue this knowledge and technique. 

(The original verse in Myanmar is, for clarity, 
translated here in prose form. - Translator) 

So in conclusion, the world is composed of the five 
l limulhas, the two rupa and nama and sankhara dhammas, 
mill in short, it is only coming-into-being and perishing. If 
i In i r is no becoming, it is Nibbana. So, in the whole of the 
Himithmc world, there is only coming into being and 
l» i tilling. And, all that becomes is dukkha only; dukkha is 
» lint »l«ys as well as what vanishes, and so, all that become 

Anagam Sayagyi U Thet And His Teaching 

and perish are dukkha. 

In Samyutta Pali, 

Dukkhameva hisamboti, dukkham titthati vetica; 

Nanatara dukkha sambhoti nafiandukkha 

Translation: In fact, there is nothing but dukkha. It is 
merely dukkha that stays, and that is also what perishes. 
There is nothing that appears apart from dukkha. And there 
is nothing that perishes apart from dukkha. 

Thus, searching through all sankharas in this world, 
there is only the reality of coming into being and perishing 
of rupa-nama. There is nothing but the becoming and 
perishing. Therefore, in the whole world, because there is 
nothing but dukkha sacca, to explain dukkha sacca, it is in 
reality nothing but the nature of coming into being and 
perishing of nSma and rupa. It is as clear as seeing a piece 
of ruby placed on a palm spread out. 

By virtue of the paragraph above, because the 
objective study of rupa, nama, sankharadhamma dhammas 
shows, in reality, the becoming and perishing nature of all 
life forms, these phenomena in objective sense are dukkha 
sacca. According to “ dukkha sacca parihhSya ,” if yogi 
knows these becoming and perishing phenomena, he/shc 
has, in final analysis, known dukkha sacca. Once dukklm 
sacca is fully in yogi’s grasp , the moment the knowledge 
of dukkha sacca arrives, in conformity with the dictum, 
“knowing, discarding, arriving and watching,” yogi sec*, 
and does not want to pursue, ihe cause of dukkha, called 
samudaya; and instantly discards the dukkha samudayn. 

As yogi, not wanting any dukkha, does not wish In 

AnSgSm Sayagyi U Thet And His Teaching 

pursue dukkha samudaya, a wish automatically appears, 
the wish to be in some place that is devoid of all dukkhas, 
where all the dukkhas come to an end and vanish altogether; 
that is the wish for the peaceful, blissful state of Nibbana. 
That is in accordance with Lord Buddha’s word, “ nirodha 
saccd sacchikaranatthdya ,” and means a blissful state 
whereby all dukkhas end and cease to become. During the 
time yogi is aware of dukkha sacca, it is being discarded, 
facing the nirodha saccd at the same time; this is like 
“cutting all ropes in one stroke”. 

So, the fact that yogi is aware of dukkha sacca, 
continually and unceasingly at all times, in effect, works in 
such a way that the thread of dukkha samudaya is “chopped 
and cast off with the dagger of ariya magga". This 
consciousness of magga saccd, in effect, prevents dukkhas 
from recurring. And the contemplation of dukkha sacca is, 
in accord with Lord Buddha’s word, “ maggasacca 
hhavetabba ,” actually an absorption in magga saccd. 
Therefore, at every moment dukkha saccd is realized, 
utmudaya saccd is discarded, magga saccd is in 
absorption, and nirodha saccd is in sight, and so, the four 
Noble Truths come gathering in complete union. And yet, 
Ini those who have not attained any super-mundane 
wiadom, this is only some level of high wisdom in close 
1'inximity with the first magga-phala flana, known as 
m unpatti magga. 

iiuittiilakkhanam vind buddhuppaddna pahhdyati. 

Translation: Outside of the time period in which 
hinlilliii Sfisana shines, anatta lakkhana cannot bo 

Anagam Sayagyi U Thet And His Teaching 

comprehended, and understood, as quoted from “Navaka 
Nipata Anguttara Tika”. Some say that anicca and dukkha 
are understood by many. In fact, the anicca and dukkha 
they know are designated terms ( samuti saccS), not the 
knowledge ot Truth found by personal experience 
( paramattha sacca). 

As it is not in the nature of paramattha sacca, in 
spite of their seeing anicca and dukkha, they cannot see 
the true anatta lakkhana. The true anicca and dukkha in 
real objective sense are khanika anicca and khanika marana 
dukkha, occurring “unaccountably"’ fast: rupa occurs mind- 
wobbling 50 billion times and nama a trillion times in a blink 
of the eye. Only those khanika anicca and khanika marana 
dukkha are the real anarta that cannot be stopped, barred 
or controlled for the shortest posssible length of time, not 
even by Lord Buddha Himself. 

Samuti anicca is the kind of anicca in which one 
lives now and dies. It is the kind of anicca like something 
we see now perishes sometime later; something that is 
here, but disappears in the next month: something that is 
here this year, but disappears next year, many months and 
many years later, and even one after another of world 
cycles {kappas). In the longest living brahma realm, there 
is only one anicca in the time lapse of eighty-four thousand 
maha kappas. 

Samuti dukkha is the kind of dukkha as is suffering 
with various maladies and diseases, anxiety, unbearable 
pains in niraya (hellish realm), various disabilities, blindncM, 
and so on. This kind of dukkha is known to all beings in lb. 
31 realms. The real anicca is the kind of anicca not knot < 

® ISS® i 

Anagam Sayagyi U Thet And His Teaching 

to the human and devas who have not gained some 
perfection (gift). Once true anicca is known, true anatta is 
already known. 

Therefore, in Navanguttara Pali, Lord Buddha had said: 

Anicca safinino meghiya anatta sanha santati; 

Anatta sahhino a-samimana samugghatam papunati; 

Dittheva dhamme nibbanam. 

Translation; Beloved son, Meghiya, to the person 
who has perceived anicca sanha, perception of anatta sanha 
automatically comes. The person who perceived anatta 
sahna is wise by virtue of personal experience, free of 
pride and conceit as “I”, and so, has arrived in Nibbana. 
Rupa, nama sakkaya dittbi and Culasotapan 
Question : Is there any dhamma in the continuity of beings 
other than rupa and nama? 

Answer : No, there is none other than rupa and nama. 
Question : Why do people talk of man, woman, soul (atta), 
life (Jiva)? 

Answer : They are talking of the worldly terms. In reality, 
these terms refer to the elements of rupa (bodily 
forms), not man, woman, atta, jiva, or I, he, she, 
etc. In literature, it says, “Apart from n&ma and 
rupa, there is no such thing as no man, woman, 
atta or jiva. Wisdom tells us that there are only 
the elements of dhatu. 
i Question: How does sakkaya ditthi cling? 

\ n wer : It clings to the idea that the chumky rupa that is 
known as a living thing is “my body, my hand, 
my feet,” and so on. One clings to the idea of 
the work of nama as one’s own work, thinking, 

Anagam SaySgyi U Tket And His Teaching 

“I see, I hear, I know, I note” and so on. 

Question: Why is this clinging to self? 

Answer : That is because of the ignorance of the truth 
about nama rupa. There is a maxim that says: 
“Because of the lack of practical knowledge of 
the true nature of nama and rupa, people think, 
“I stand, I sit, I hold, I go, I hear, I look, I know, 
I see,” and so, take the actions of the elements 
of dhatu as the doings of “I” with a sense of 
absolute certainty. That, indeed, is sakkaya 

Question : Would those with clinging sakkaya ditthi be free 
from destination apaya? 

Answer : No way. Sakkaya is the fundamental cause for 
destination apaya 

Question: What is the practical way of life to have the 
doors of apaya closed? 

Answer : Just as people who have spears in their chests, 
fire on their heads must pull out the spears and 
extinguish the fire in haste and urgency, so also 
sakkaya ditthi must be rejected and discarded 
as a matter of great urgency. 

Question: Why is there the urgency? 

Answer : You don’t know how soon you would die- todny, 
tomorrow - you never know. So, you have lo 
discard this ditthi as soon as possible. There la 
a maxim that says. “As long as sakkaya dilllil 
is with you, you are bound for apaya. So, I mil 
Buddha told us to face the spear in your elm < 
and the fire on your head, not stcpplu 

(g) 190® 

Anagam SaySgyi E Thet And His Teaching 

backward, but striving forward with valor, 
‘ sattiya viya o-matho\ Further support from 
“Samyutta Pali” says: 

Sattiya viyd o-matho, 

Da-yhamanova matthake, 

SakkSya ditthi pahdnaya, 

Sato bikkhu paribbaje. 

Like the man whose chest has been pierced with 
a sharp double-edged spear, and also like the man whose 
head is on fire, monks who have foreseen the dangers of 
samsara would always strive with relentless determination 
and mind-fullness at vipassana. 

Question : How do we go about discarding sokkaya ditthi? 
Answer : If anicca of nama and rupa is perceived as 
reality by personal experience, then sakkaya 
ditthi is discarded. Therefore, one must strive 
at vipassana to actually perceive anicca of nama 
and rupa. 

Question: How do we strive to perceive the real anicca? 
Answer : It depends on the adaptability and intuitiveness 
of the yogi. It is said that if only either nSma- 
rupa or one group of nama-rupa are watched 
with complete concentration and right 
contemplation that their true intrinsic nature will 
be experienced and enlightened in yogi’s nana, 
without fail. 

The clue in the matter of methodology as to how 
i< i note and how to contemplate lies in seeing the fact that 
I liia chunk of the body is, in fact, a composition of the tour 
haaic elements of hardness, cohesiveness, temperature ami 

Anagam SaySgyi U Thet And His Teaching 

pressure. In final analysis, yogi should apply his/her mental 
concentration and contemplation to see that the chunk of 
the body is not a hard, solid thing but a cohesive form of 
the elements; and that the physical form does not stay 
whoie, undivided or un-col lapsible, but like a heap of loose 
sand, the smallest grains of which appear to stay in shape 
with spaces in-between them. 

Yogi, looking in throughout the body, will sec the 
elemental calapas with spaces in between; out of the four 
elements, pathsvi is most pronounced, and so it is hard; 
though hard, it is not really a hard solid thing, but only shows 
the property of hardness. See that all the attributes of the 
pathavi element is all too clear. 

Yogi should contemplate to see that the properties 
of the element will be seen staying not for long, but perish, 
never ceasing to appear anew and perish. Contemplate to 
see that the changing behavior is the natural law of 
impermanence, anicca. Repeat contemplating until the truth 
is in view. And this is the clue as to how to watch and 
contemplate on rupa. 

Question: If forms of the sight objects resist to give way 
to proper objective views and vipassana 
contemplation, how do we proceed? 

Answer : Use your wisdom for clarity. 

Question: How do we use our wisdom for clarity? 
Answer : Clear the view as you know how to. For 
instance, Clear them with intense concentration 
and remember to watch the broken-down rupu 
calapas (elements) as distinct from chunky body 
parts. You have to use your intelligence (nann) 

® 192 ® 

Anagam Sayagyi U Thet And His Teaching 

gained by dint of diligent effort so that anicca 
comes into view. 

Some clues could be summarized: Seen through 
the physical eye, it is a composite of elemental calapas in 
solid form as occurs in yogi’s thought. But in reality, there 
is no such solid form. Contemplate to see the reality in the 
mind’s eye (nana) that such is the nature of elemental dhatu. 

Light or color for example is one of the several 
kinds of vuntia rupa , the minor splits of the four Elements 
of Dhatu. Whirling a lighted torch round in the night is seen 
as a circle of light. Such consecutive sense of a series of 
moving light (coming into being and perishing) is not seen 
by cakkhu viftfiana, but only as a circle of light. In reality, 
there is no circle of light but a series of vunna rupa that 
comes into being and going out of sight, continually. On 
contemplation, that is anicca. 

That is how to watch rupa in contemplation of the 
reality of anicca. 

Question: By concentrating attention on the six sense 
receptors, how do we see anicca from the six 

Answer : Grasp the six vinnanas that arise out of the six sense 
receptors and watch them in full awareness. 
Question : How do we grasp and watch the six vihnanas? 
Answer : Grasp the view as you know how to, depending 
on your wisdom. By paying attention to the six 
sense receptors, the six vinnanas will come into 
view, and that will lead to the realization of anicca 
without fail. 

Some clues could be summarized: when the sense 

® IM® 

AnSgSm Sayfigyi U Thet And His Teaching 

object is seen, it is not the eye but cakkhu vifihana that sees. 
Catch the cakkhu vifiiiana that does not stay permanently, 
but only for as long as cakkhu and rupa object meet. Put 
all your diligent effort so as to catch the cakkhu vinA&na, 
and use your wisdom as suits you. 

Similarly, try to catch the view of hearing sota 
vihnana, smell ghana vififiana, taste jivha vihnana and body 
kaya vinnana. 

When wholesome mind ( kusala citta ) and 
unwholesome mind ( a-kusala citta) appear, know that 
either kusala or akusala citta dees not stay for long, but 
only short-lived; contemplate that these citta viAAanas are 
dependent on the mind, being impacted by the thought 
object (dhamma Sramana). Put all your diligent effort, your 
attention concentrating on your heart ( hadaya vatthu) so 
as to catch the mano vififiana, and use your wisdom as 
suits you. 

Try to catch the six vififianas by means of the 
examples shown in the section on nama. Catch them by ail 
means. You will come to know you have caught them as 
there will be no confusion or ambiguity but a clarity; clarity 
is there with you as you no longer cling to the ideas of “I 
see, I hear”, etc. 

If you haven’t discarded these sakkaya clinging, 
know that you haven’t caught them. It is not proper yet. 
And you haven’t seen. Do not think it is easy? It is like the 
fish you cannot reach in some deep clear water. 

It is easier to know than see (in wisdom) the nature 
of rupa and nama. It is hard to catch them. Try it. You will 
soon find out. This completes discussion on grasping tin 

<D 194 <§> 


AnSgSm SaySgyi U Thet And His Teaching 
six vidfi2mas. 

Question: Tf after seeing anicca, anatta is also seen, how 
is that sakkaya ditthi is discarded? 

Answer : If anicca is seen, anatta can be seen and sakkaya 
ditthi can be discarded. So, it is said that if anicca 
is perceived by personal experience, anatta is 
seen with clarity. This, by contemplation, shows 
that there is no “I” but only the two elements of 
nama and rupa, and thus sakkSya is thrown away 
to oblivion. 

The source is Navinguttara Pali: 

Anicca sanino meghiya anatta sanna santahi; 
Anatta sanino as amimana samugghatam yapunati 
Dittheva dhamme nibbanam. 

The verse means: beloved Megheya, to one who 
has learned anicca, anatta automatically comes and stays. 
To one who has grasped anatta, there is no mana that clings 
to “I”. That one enters Nibbana in the present life. 
Question : What do you call a person who avoids sekkaya 
ditthi on a momentary basis? 

Answer : The person is called “proximate stream winner” 
or cuia so tap anna 

Question : If sakkaya ditthi is overcome for good, the doors 
for apaya realms are closed and the person 
becomes a truly holy person (ariya puggala), 
one who enters the Path to Nibbana. It is said: 

“If ditthi sakkaya is void for a moment, the person 
ft cula sotapanna; if it is void for good, the person is barred 
I mm apaya, and enters the Path to Nibbana and yet 
I'Himcys through a few life cycles in the good realms like 


AnagSm Sayftgyi U Thet And His Teaching 

the proverbial Lady VisSkhS.” 

“Visuddhi Magga Pali” illustrates: 

I-min&pana fianena samannagato vipassako 

Buddhasasane laddhassaso laddhapatitho 


Culasotapannonama hoti. 

The verse means that the yogi whose wisdom is 
complete with vipassana nana, who finds comfort and refuge 
in the teaching of Lord Buddha, and so destined straight to 
good realms ( sugati ), would go void of the lowly worlds 
(apaya), and is called cula sotapanna. 

Cula sotapanna meana a junior sotapanna, a would- 
be sotapanna, one who is close to being a sotapanna. 

Practicing vipassana meditation to reach the 
highest level with unremitting diligence is the way to realize 
Nibbana, a short and straight one among various kinds of 
old roads. And yet, being the work of nana, not everybody 
can work on it with success. Thus, like a monkey who 
does not know how to crack open a coconut for food, nor 
does he know the taste, nor have the cleverness, so also 
some people are foolish and blind to the natural law of 
dhamma. This kind of people roam the samsara, not being 
able to look into the future, or backward into the past, btil 
drunk with fun and pleasure, forgetting and smiling. Many 
people may be drunk, but one, in pursuit of grace and 
goodness, should not get mixed up with them, lest one may 
also get into the malady. 

In Sutta Nipada Atthakatha, “Having found lli< 
straight road, you shouldn’t get drunk the way many pcopl< 
do. This is the time opportune, and so, get into the prm'ili ■ 

Anagam SaySgyi U Thet And His Teaching 

of vipassana, repeating it over and over, so that it will 
accompany you in the journey through the samsara. So, 
you better take care.” 

The practice of vipassana involves concentration 
and contemplation of the nature of rupa nama, with the 
aim for Nibbana. Thus, yogi should keep in mind that the 
door to magga Mna has been opened by virtue of hard 
work, and that it is the parami, the noblest of all that one 
could have ever fulfilled. 

Quoting Suttanipata Atthakatha, Lord Buddha had 


“ pafinavahi puriso vipassanam veguttava 
ariyamaggadvaram vivaritva amatanibbanam 
pavisissati, savaka paramimpi paccekabodimpi samma 
sambodimpi pativijjhissati, amata mahdnibbana 
sammapakesu hidhammesu pafindva sittha, avasesa 
tassaparivara honti." 

Translation: Amongst all the aspects of dhamma 
that can lead to Nibbana, the vipassana pafihl paraami is 
ihe noblest. The rest of all the dhammas are only supportive, 
associate aspects of vipassana parami panna. 

Knowledge accumulated from literature, and that 
gained from talks and discussion with other persons is called 
nequired wisdom ( sutamaya Hand). Wisdom gained by 
one's own effort together with objective contemplation is 
t ailed experiential wisdom ( cintamaya Hand). Wisdom 
gained from the practice in vipassana is cintamaya nana. 

I lie contents of the books compiled by Ledi Sayadaw 
I’ltayagyi are guidance to the practice of vipassana for 
>t« rcssing cintamaya nana. Some people say that the books 

Anagam Sayagyi U Thet And His Teaching 

did not use Pali, rendering them superficial. The direct use 
of Pali is not cintamaya nana. It is only sutamaya fiina. 
Without cintamaya nana, true vipassana nana cannot be 
accessed. Without true vipassana nana the immortal 
Nibbana cannot reached. It is meant to encourage yogis 
for inspiration, and to discard sakkaya ditthi, the vanity of 

Some people do not make effort to know by way 
of cintamaya nana, nor do they want to learn from other 
people’s cintamaya wisdom, conceited as they are. That is 
a big mistake. 

This ends a reminder diction for the wise who may 


I member, in heritage of The-phyu Monywa 
Monastic Order, resident monk of The-phyu Forest 
monastery that is situated by the side of The-phyu Creek, 
after which the monastery is named, have now finished 
writing this book , on the fifth waning day of the month of 
Tawthalin in the year, 1270. 

“I the forest dweller monk of Thephyu Ledi, 
Completed this work of vipassana successfully, 

In the midst of Lent, the Month of Tawthalin, 

The year of twelve hundred and seventy.” 


The vipassana section in this book, “A BriefBiogni| >liv 
of Anagam Sayagyi Saya Thet and His Teaching, 1, In 
extracted from “A Short-cut to Ditthadhamma Vipassnnft 

Anagam Sayagyi l 1 Thet And His Teaching 

Dhammacariya U Htay Hlaing had written that 
“A Short-Cut to Ditthadhamma Vipassana Nanaadassana” 
was used as a manual by Anagam Saya Thet-gyi. 

Pali teacher U Yu Myanig and associates 
mentioned this book as written by AnSgSm Saya Sayagyi 

Vipassana Paragu Sayagyi, in his list of vipassana 
treatises, placed this treatise, “A Short-Cut to Ditthadhamma 
Vipassana Nanaadassana” at the top of the list.