Dhammapada Verse 170
Yatha pubbulakam passe
yatha passe maracikam
evam lokam avekkhantam1
maccuraja na passati.
Verse 170: If a man looks at the world (i.e., the five khandhas) in the same
way as one looks at a bubble or a mirage, the King of Death will not find him.
1. evam jokam avekkhantam: one who looks at the world in the same way, i.e.,
looks at the world as being impermanent as a bubble and as non-material as a
The Story of Five Hundred Bhikkhus
While residing at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verse (170) of
this book, with reference to five hundred bhikkhus.
On one occasion, five hundred bhikkhus, after taking a subject of meditation
from the Buddha, went into the forest to practise meditation. But they made very
little progress; so they returned to the Buddha to ask for a more suitable
subject of meditation. On their way to the Buddha, seeing a mirage they
meditated on it. As soon as they entered the compound of the monastery, a storm
broke out; as big drops of rain fell, bubbles were formed on the ground and soon
disappeared. Seeing those bubbles, the bhikkhus reflected "This body of
ours is perishable like the bubbles", and perceived the impermanent nature
of the aggregates (khandhas).
The Buddha saw them from his perfumed chamber and sent forth the radiance and
appeared in their vision.
Then the Buddha spoke in verse as follows:
|Verse 170: If a man looks at the world (i.e., the five
khandhas) in the same way as one looks at a bubble or a mirage, the
King of Death will not find him.
At the end of the discourse, those five hundred bhikkhus attained arahatship.