The Questions of the Naga King Sagara

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The Dergé Kangyur contains three sutras entitled The Questions of the Naga King Sagara (Skt. Sāgara­nāga­rāja­paripṛcchā; Tib. ཀླུའི་རྒྱལ་པོ་རྒྱ་མཚོས་ཞུས་པ་, lü gyalpo gyatsö shyüpa, Wyl. klu’i rgyal po rgya mtshos zhus pa). They can be distinguished by their length, one being quite long (Toh 153), one medium-length (Toh 154), and one very short (Toh 155).

  • The long one has not yet been translated.
  • The medium length one, which takes place in the unusual setting of the naga king Sagara’s court deep in the ocean, presents a discourse given by the Buddha Shakyamuni on the importance of considering the effects caused by actions. At the start of his teaching, the Buddha remarks how the variety of forms that exist, and in fact all phenomena, come about as the result of virtuous and non-virtuous actions. By understanding this law of cause and effect and by taking great care to engage in virtue, one will avoid rebirth in the lower realms and enter the path to perfect awakening. In the rest of his discourse he explains in great detail the advantages of engaging in each of the ten virtues and the problems associated with not engaging in them.
  • In the very brief sutra, the Buddha explains the four seals of Dharma to the naga king and assembly of monks.


The Tibetan translation of these sutras can be found in the General Sutra section of the Tibetan Kangyur, Toh 153, 154 and 155.