VEN.SARIPUTTA



Sariputta: The Marshal of the Dhamma

Sariputra (Sanskrit) or Sariputta(Pali),is a top master of Wisdom.In Heart Sutra,Shakyamuni Buddha preaches to him.

He is also called Upatissa, which was evidently his personal name (M.i.150). The commentators say that Upatissa was the name of his village and that he was the eldest son of the chief family in the village, but other accounts give his village as Nalaka.His father was the brahmin, Vanganta (DhA.ii.84), and his mother, Rupasari. It was because of his mothers name that he came to be called Sariputta.

Sariputra had already embarked on life as a spiritual ascetic when he encountered the teachings of the Buddha. Sariputra had a close friend Mahamaudgalyayana (Pali: Mahamoggallana), another wandering ascetic. They both renounced the world on the same day and became disciples of the sceptic Sanjaya Belatthaputta before converting to Buddhism.
After hearing of the Buddha's teachings from a monk named Assaji (Sanskrit: Asvajit), Sariputra sought out the Buddha and became an adherent to his teachings. These two are often depicted together wrth the Buddha, and several sutras regard interactions between Sariputra and Mahamaudgalyayana (who became renowned among the early Buddhists for his mastery of supernatural powers).
Sariputra often preached with the Buddha's approval and was awarded the title of 'General of the Dharma' (Pali: Dhammasenapati) for his propagation of the teachings and Is regarded as the founder of the Abhidharma tradition. However, the Buddha also lightly reprimanded Sariputra on occasion when he did not fully explain the Dhamma to a prince, or when he allowed a group of novice monks to become too loud.
Nevertheless, Sariputra was one of the most highly praised disciples and on at least one occasion the Buddha declared him to be a true spiritual son and his chief assistant in "turning the Wheel of the Dhamma".
Sariputra went to his native place with the permission of the Buddha, Nalaka, a Brahmin village as he wanted his mother who was still a non-Buddhist to be shown the correct path and faith. He attained Parinibbana at the village called Nalaka after being successfully able to convert his mother and make her a path winner. According to the Pali Canon, Sariputra died peacefully on the full moon day of the Kartika month of the ancient Indian calendar, a few months before the Buddha, having achieved Parinibbana, and when Sariputra's assistant, Cunda, gave the news to Ananda, Ananda was very distressed. He passed the news along to the Buddha, who remained at peace, and chastised Ananda's reaction.

According to the Cunda Sutta:

"On one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Savatthi in Jeta's Grove, Anathapindika's monastery. Now at that time Ven. Sariputra was staying among the Magadhans in Nalaka village — diseased, in pain, severely ill. Cunda the novice was his attendant. Then, because of that illness, Ven.Sariputta attained total Unbinding. So Cunda the novice, taking Ven. Sariputta's bowl & robes, went to Ven. Ananda in Jeta's Grove, Anathapindika's monastery, near Savatthi, and on arrival, having bower/down to him, sat to one side. As he was sitting there he said to Ven. Ananda: "Venerable sir, veil. Sariputta has attained total Unbinding. Here are his bowl & robes."

After his body was cremated, the filter cloth with the relics, alms bowl and robes were taken to the Buddha by Chunda and on the Buddha's instruction handed over to King Ajatashatru. King Ajatashatru enshrined these relics in a Stupa which was venerated by the followers. After some time in BC 261 King Dharmasoka (Ashok) opened the Stupa on instructions received from Moggaliputtatissa who indicated the third Buddhist Council.

According to Daulton, "In the early 1950s, the British had already returned, with great fanfare, to India, the relics of the Buddha's cheif disciples, Sariputta and MahaMaudgalyana, which Alexander Cunningham had uncovered at Sanci in 1851 and ferreted to the Victoria and Albert Museum in london ."

The Buddha said in the Ukkacela Sutta:

"Those who in the past have been Holy Ones. Fully enlightened Ones, those Blessed Ones,too, had such excellent pairs of disciples as I had in Sariputta and Maha Moggallana. Those who in the future will be Holy Ones, fully Enlightened Ones, those Blessed Ones too will have suce excellent pairs of disciples as I had in Sariputta and Maha Moggallana."

In the Lotus Sutra, the Buddha does predict that Sariputta will become a fully awakened Buddha one day, named Flower Glow Tathagata, at whKh Sariputta's mind is said to "dance voth joy".

A dialogue between Sariputta and Avalokitesvara is also the context of the Heart Sutra, a brief but essential text in the Mahayana Buddhist tradition.



Bibliography:
Great Disciples of the Buddha, Their lives Their Works Their Legacy, Nyanaponika Thera and Hellmuth Hecker, edited by Bhikkhu Bodhi, Wisdom Publoatons, 2003, ISBN 0-86171-381-8, chapter 1.
The life of Sariputta, Nyanponika Thera
Cunda Sutta, Satipatthana Samyutta, No 13, Samyutta Nikaya
Ukkacela Sutta, Satipatthana Samyutta, No. 14, Samyutta Nikaya
Relics of the Buddha, John S. Strong, Princeton University Press, 2004, ISBN-13:978-0-691-11764-5, page 206
Buddhism A to Z, Ronald B Epstein, Buddhist Text Translation Society, 2003, ISBN 0-88139-353-3, pages 176 -177

Websites:


1.Sariputta – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
2.The Life of Sariputta
3.Sáriputta
4.Relatives and Disciples of the Buddha – 02a
5.Sáriputta Sutta


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