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Sn 5.15
Mogharaja-manava-puccha: Mogharaja's Question
translated from the Pali by
John D. Ireland
Alternate translation: Thanissaro

The Venerable Mogharaja:

"Twice have I asked Sakka [1] but the Seeing One has not answered me. I have heard a divine sage replies when asked a third time. I do not know the view of the greatly famous Gotama concerning this world, the next world and the Brahma-world with its deities. To him of supreme vision I have come with a question: how should one regard the world so that one is not seen by the King of Death?"

The Lord:

"Look upon the world as empty,[2] Mogharaja, ever mindful; uprooting the view of self you may thus be one who overcomes death. So regarding the world one is not seen by the King of Death."


The name "Sakka" is used here as a title for the Buddha. It means, "a man of the Sakya clan." The Buddha is also sometimes called Sakyamuni, "the sage of the Sakyas."
In the Samyutta-nikaya (vol. iv, p. 54) the Venerable Ananda asks: "How is the world empty, venerable sir?" And the Lord replies: "Because, Ananda, it is empty of a self or what belongs to a self, therefore it is said, 'the world is empty.'"

The "world," here and elsewhere, is not to be understood in the way we usually think of it, but is defined as the five aggregates (khandha) of material form, feeling, perception, activities and consciousness, or as the eye and visible objects, the ear and sounds, etc., that is to say, the whole of our subjective and objective experience.

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