Friday, October 11, 2013

Mogharājā is a good name

Okay, so I got some flak over our novice-to-be's name... or at least my tongue-in-cheek interpretation of it.  So, here's my defence.

First, Mogharājā was one of the eighty great disciples of the Buddha.  Not every one of the eighty great disciples got into the etadagga ("this one was highest") vagga (41 did), but he did.  He is found in the Therapadana, the Theragatha, the Samyutta Nikaya, the Sutta Nipata, and even the Milindapanha.

tl;dr: he was cool.

Second, the name Mogharājā doesn't actually mean "useless king".  The derivation is given in the Therapadana by Mogharājā himself:

moghaṃ rajjaṃ sukhaṃ yasmā, mogharājā tato ahaṃ. 

Because the happiness of kingship is barren, thus I am mogharājā (one for whom kingship is barren).

So, the meaning is he is one who sees that even the bliss of dominance is mogha, barren.  His realization came in a birth when he was king and suffered from a terrible disease, which ostensibly made him see that suffering comes to everyone, no matter their station in life.

tl;dr: the name is cool, too.

So, there's that.