Mahāmoggallāna on the Five Aggregates


They penetrate the subtle truth
As the tip of a hair with an arrow
Who see the five aggregates as alien
And do not regard them as self.

Those who see conditioned things
As alien and not as self
Have pierced right through the subtle truth
As the tip of a hair with an arrow.

Theragāthā verses 1160-1161

Two verses attributed to Mahāmoggallāna, one of the Buddha’s closest disciples, in the Theragāthā, a collection of poems and utterances of the Elder Monks. I stumbled across this recently in my reading of “Great Disciples of the Buddha” and decided to share when it crossed my mind again this morning.

Strive earnestly, friends. I hope you are well and at peace.


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