1. Sāriputta Thera. Der Hauptjünger (aggasāvaka) von Gotama-Buddha. Er wird auch Upatissa genannt, was offensichtlich sein Vorname war (M24). Im Kommentar wird gesagt, Upatissa war der Name seines Dorfes und er war der älteste Sohn der Hauptfamilie im Dorf, aber andere Quellen geben als Dorfnamen Nālaka an.
Sein Vater war der Brahmane Vanganta (DhA.ii.84), und seine Mutter Rūpasāri. Es war wegen dem Namen der Mutter, dass er Sāriputta genannt wurde. In Sanskrit Texten erscheint sein Name als Sāriputra, Sāliputra, Sārisuta, Sāradvatīputra. Im Apadāna (ii.480) wird er auch Sārisambhava genannt.
Der Name Upatissa wird kaum in den Schriften erwähnt. Er hatte drei jüngere Brüder - Cunda, Upasena, und Revata (später Khadiravaniya genannt) - und drei Schwestern - Cālā, Upacālā und Sisūpacālā; die alle in den Orden eintraten. DhA.ii.188; cf. Mtu.iii.50; erwähnt wird auch ein Onkel von Sāriputta und ein Neffe, von welchen er beide zu Buddha brachte, um sie vor falschen Ansichten zu retten (DhA.ii.230 2); Uparevata war sein Neffe (SA.iii.175).
Das Ereignis von Sāriputtas Bekehrung und die Erzählungen über seine früheren Leben, die ihn vorbereiteten der berühmte Hauptjünger unter Buddha zu werden, finden sich unter Mahā Moggallāna. Sāriputta hatte eine schnelle Auffassungsgabe und er wurde ein Sotāpanna unmittelbar nach dem Hören der ersten zwei Zeilen des Verses, gesprochen von Assaji. Nach dem Erreichen von sotāpatti, wollte Kolita (Moggallāna) mit ihm nach Veluvana gehen um Buddha zu besuchen, aber Sāriputta, immer dankbar gegenüber seinen Lehrern, wollte erst seinen Lehrer Sañjaya aufsuchen, um ihm die Neuigkeit mitzuteilen und zusammen mit ihm zu Buddha zu gehen, was aber Sañjaya verweigerte. Moggallāna erreichte die Arahatschaft am siebten Tag nach seiner Ordination, aber es dauerte noch zwei Wochen bis Sāriputta ein Arahat wurde. Er befand sich zu diesem Zeitpunkt bei Buddha, in der Sūkarakhatalena Höhle in Rājagaha, und erreichte sein Ziel durch Zuhören einer Unterhaltung zwischen Buddha und Dīghanakha, das Gespräch ist in der Vedānapariggaha Sutta erhalten. Das Vorstehende ist eine Zusammenstellung aus DhA.i.73 ff.; AA.i.88 ff.; ThagA.ii.93 ff. Ap.i.15ff.; die Geschichte ihrer Bekehrung findet sich im MV.I.24.
Unter den Mönchen und Nonnen wurde Sāriputta von Buddha als der beste von denen mit hohem Wissen erklärt (etadaggam mahāpaññānam, A.i.23). Buddha hielt ihn an Weisheit nur ihm selbst unterlegen. SA.ii.45; die größte Offenbarung seiner Weisheit folgte auf Buddhas Abstieg vom Tāvatimsa Himmel, am Stadttor von Sankassa, als Buddha Fragen an die versammelte Menge stellte, die niemand außer Sāriputta beantworten konnte. Aber einige Fragen konnte nur Buddha selbst beantworten (DhA.iii.228 f.; cf. SNA.ii.570f.). Wissen über Gedanken und Neigungen von Personen hatte auch Sāriputta nicht; nur Buddha besaß solche Kenntnisse (DhA.iii.426; J.i.182). Ferner konnte nur Buddha ein geeignetes Meditationsobjekt für jeden finden, ohne sich zu irren (SNA.i.18), und die früheren Leben von jedem sehen, ohne Ausnahme. (SNA, ii.571).
Buddha gab häufig nur ein Thema vor, das Sāriputta aufnahm und eine detailliert Rede darüber hielt, um am Ende von Buddha gelobt und bestätigt zu werden. (Siehe z.B. D33). Im SN.vs.556f fragt Sela wer sein General sei und Buddha antwortet, es wäre Sāriputta, der das Rad der Lehre im Gange hält. Somit wurde er Dhammasenāpati genannt, im Gegensatz zu Ānanda, der Dhammabhandāgārika genannt wurde. Im Anupada Sutta (M.111) hält Buddha eine lange Lobrede über Sāriputta. Im Mahāgosinga Sutta (M.32) äußerte sich Sāriputta, der Sieger ist wer seinen Geist beherrscht und nicht wer von ihm beherrscht wird.
Buddha zögerte jedoch nicht, Sāriputta, wenn angebracht, Vorwürfe zu machen, z.B. bei der Gelegenheit, als einige Novizen sehr laut waren, und von Buddha weggeschickt wurden; und Sāriputta nicht das Motiv verstand (M.67). Ein anderes Mal als Sāriputta sich nicht um Rāhula kümmerte, und dieser eine Nacht auf Buddhas Toilette verbringen musste (Jat.16).
Im Saccavibhanga Sutta (M.141) wird er mit einer gebärenden Mutter verglichen, und Moggallāna mit einer Amme; Sāriputta schult für die Frucht des Stromeintritts, Moggallāna für das höchste Ziel. Im Pindapāta pārisuddhi Sutta (M.151) lobt Buddha Sāriputta für seine Distanziertheit und erklärt ihm den großen Wert der Selbstprüfung. An anderen Stellen gibt ihm Buddha Anleitung und prüft ihn über verschiedene Themen - z.B. über bhūtam ("was ist geworden") (S.12.31), über die fünf indriyas, (S.v.220f., 225f., 233f ) und ueber sotāpatti. S.v.347; we find the Buddha also instructing him on the cultivation of tranquillity (A.i.65); on the destruction of "I" und "mine" (A.i.133); the reasons for failure und success in enterprises (A.ii.81f.); the four ways of acquiring personality (attabhāva) (A.ii.159); the methods of exhortation (A.iii.198); the acquisition of joy that comes through seclusion (A.iii.207); the noble training for the layman (211f.); six things that bring spiritual progress to a monk (424f.); seven similar things (A.iv.30); the seven grounds for praising a monk (35); the things und persons a monk should revere (120f.); the eight attributes of a monk free from the cankers (223 f.); the nine persons who, although they die mit an attached remainder for rebirth, are yet free from birth in hell among animals und among petas (379 f.); und the ten powers of a monk who has destroyed the cankers (A.v.174 f.).
We also find instances of Sāriputta questioning his colleagues, or being questioned by them, on various topics. Thus he is questioned by Mahā Kotthita on kamma (S.ii.112 f.); und on yoniso manasikāra (progressive discipline, S.iii.176 f.); on avijjā und vijjā (ibid., 172 f.); on the fetters of sense perception (S.iv.162 f.); on certain questions pronounced by the Buddha as indeterminate (ibid., 384 f.); on whether anything is left remaining after the passionless ending of the six spheres of contact (A.ii.161); und on the purpose for which monks lead the brahmacariya under the Buddha (A.iv.382). The Mahāvedalla Sutta (M.i.292 ff.) records a long discourse preached by Sāriputta to Mahā Kotthita. He is erwähnt as questioning Mahā Kassapa on the terms ātāpī und ottāpī (S.ii.195f.), und Anuruddha on sekha (S.v.174 f., 298f.). On another occasion, Anuruddha tells Sāriputta of his power of seeing the tausend fold world system, his unshaken energy, und his untroubled mindfulness. Sāriputta tells him that his deva sight is mere conceit, his claims to energy conceit, und his mindfulness just worrying, und exhorts him to abandon thoughts of them all. Anuruddha follows his advice und becomes an arahant. A.i.281f.
Moggallāna asks Sāriputta regarding the "undefiled" (their conversation forms the Anangana Sutta, M.i.25 ff.), und, at the conclusion of the Gulissāni Sutta, inquires whether the states of consciousness erwähnt in that sutta were incumbent only on monks from the wilds or also on those from the villages (M.i.472f.). Sāriputta questions Upavāna regarding the bojjhangā (S.v.76), und is questioned by Ānanda regarding sotāpatti (S.v.346, 362) as regards the reason why some beings are set free in this very life while others are not (A.ii.167), und on the winning of perfect concentration (A.v.8, 320). Ānanda also questions Sāriputta (A.iii.201f.) on the speedy knowledge of aptness in things (kusaladhammesu khippanisanti), und, again, on how a monk may learn new doctrines und retain old ones without confusion (A.iii.361). In both these cases Sāriputta asks Ānanda to answer the questions himself, und, at the end of his discourse, praises him. The Rathavinīta Sutta (M.i.145 ff.) records a conversation between Sāriputta und Punna Mantānīputta, for whom he had the greatest respect, after hearing the Buddha's eulogy of him. Sāriputta had given instructions that he should be told as soon as Punna came to Sāvatthi und took the first opportunity of seeing him. Among others who held discussions mit Sāriputta are erwähnt Samiddhi (A.iv.385), Yamaka (S.iii.109f.), Candikāputta (A.iv.403), und Laludāyi (A.iv.414).
Among laymen who had discussions mit Sāriputta are Atula (DhA.iii.327), Nakulapitā (S.iii.2f.) und Dhānañjāni (M.ii.186); Sīvalī (immediately after his birth; J.i.408), also the Paribbājakas, Jambukhādaka (S.iv.251f.), Sāmandaka (S.iv.261 f.; A.v.120), und Pasūra (SNA.ii.538), und the female Paribbājakas Saccā, Lolā, Avavādakā und Patācārā (J.iii.1), und Kundalakesī (DhA.ii.223f.). He is also said to have visited the Paribbājakas in order to hold discussion mit them (A.iv.378); see also S.iii.238f., where a Paribbājaka consults him on modes of eating.
The care of the Sangha und the protection of its members' integrity was Sāriputta's especial concern by virtue of his position as the Buddha's Chief Disciple. Thus we find him being sent mit Moggallāna to bring back the monks who had seceded mit Devadatta. His admonitions to the monks sometimes made him unpopular z.B., in the case of the Assaji Punaabbasukā, the Chabbaggiyā (who singled him out for special venom) und Kokālika (See Channa, who reviled both Sāriputta und Moggallāna, DhA.ii.110 f.). When Channa declared his intention of committing suicide, Sāriputta attempted to dissuade him, but without success (S.iv.55ff.; see also the Channovāda Sutta). Monks sought his advice in their difficulties. (See, z.B., S.iv.103, where a monk reports to him that a colleague has returned to the household life, und asks what he is to do about it). He was greatly perturbed by the dissensions of the monks of Kosambī, und consulted the Buddha, at length, as to what he could do about it (Vin.i.354). He was meticulous about rules laid down by the Buddha. Thus a rule had been laid down that one monk could ordain only one samanera, und when a boy was sent to him for ordination from a family which had been of great service to him, Sāriputta refused the request of the parents till the Buddha had rescinded the rule (Vin.i.83). Another rule forbade monks to eat garlic (lasuna), und when Sāriputta lay ill und knew he could be cured by garlic, even then he refused to eat them till permission was given by the Buddha for him to do so (Vin.ii.140). The Dhammapada Commentary (Vin.ii.140f) describes how, at the monastery in which Sāriputta lived, when the other monks had gone for alms, he made the round of the entire building, sweeping the un-swept places, filling empty vessels mit water, arranging furniture, etc., lest heretics, coming to the monastery, should say: "Behold the residences of Gotama's pupils." But even then he did not escape censure from his critics. A story is told (DhA.iv.184f) of how he was once charged mit greed, und the Buddha himself had to explain to the monks that Sāriputta was blameless. While Sāriputta was severe in the case of those who failed to follow the Buddha's discipline, he did not hesitate to rejoice mit his fellow monks in their successes. Thus we find him congratulating Moggallāna on the joy he obtained from his iddhi powers, und praising his great attainments (praise which evoked equally generous counter praise), (S.ii.275 f ) und eulogising Anuruddha on his perfected discipline won through the practice of the four satipatthānas (S.v.301f). It was the great encouragement given by Sāriputta to Samitigutta (q.v.), when the latter lay ill mit leprosy in the infirmary, which helped him to become an arahant. It was evidently the custom of Sāriputta to visit sick monks, as did the Buddha himself (ThagA.i.176). So great was Sāriputta’s desire to encourage und recognize merit in his colleagues that he once went about praising Devadatta's iddhi powers, which made it difficult for him when later he had to proclaim, at the bidding of the Sangha, Devadatta's evil nature (Vin.ii.189).
Several instances are given (z.B., S.ii.274; v.70; A.i.63; ii.160; iii.186, 190, 196, 200, 292, 340; iv.325, 328, 365; v.94, 102, 123, 315, 356f) of Sāriputta instructing the monks und preaching to them of his own accord on various topics - apart from the preaching of the well known suttas assigned to him. Sometimes these suttas were supplementary to the Buddha's own discourses (z.B., M.i.13, 24, 184, 469). Among the most famous of Sāriputta's discourses are the Dasuttara und the Sangīti Suttas (q.v.). Though Sāriputta was friendly mit all the eminent monks surrounding the Buddha, there was very special affection between him und Ānanda und also Moggallāna. We are told that this was because Amanda was the Buddha's special attendant, a duty which Sāriputta would have been glad to undertake For details of this see Mahā Moggallāna, Ānanda. Ānanda himself had the highest regard und affection for Sāriputta. It is recorded in the Samyutta Nikāya (S.i.63) that once, when the Buddha asked Ānanda, "Do you also, Ānanda, approve of our Sāriputta?" Amanda replied, "Who, Sir, that is not childish or corrupt or stupid or of perverted mind, will not approve of him? Wise is he, his wisdom comprehensive und joyous und swift, sharp und fastidious. Small is he in his desires und contented; loving seclusion und detachment, of rampant energy. A preacher is he, accepting advice, a critic, a scourge of evil."
Sāriputta was specially attached, also, to Rāhula, the Buddha's son, who was entrusted to Sāriputta for ordination. Mention is made of a special sutta in the Majjhima Nikāya, (the Mahā Rāhulovāda Sutta; M.i.421f ) in which he urges Rāhula to practise the study of breathing. The special regard which Sāriputta had for the Buddha und Rāhula extended also to Rāhulamātā, for we find that when she was suffering from flatulence. Rāhula consulted Sāriputta, who obtained for her some mango juice, a known remedy for the disease. (J.ii.392f) On another occasion (J.ii.433) he obtained from Pasenadi rice mixed mit ghee und mit red fish for flavouring when Rāhulamātā suffered from some stomach trouble. Among laymen Sāriputta had special regard for Anāthapindika; when the latter lay ill he sent for Sāriputta, who visited him mit Ānanda und preached to him the Anāthapindikovāda Sutta. At the end of the discourse Anāthapindika said he had never before heard such a homily. Sāriputta said they were reserved for monks only, but Anāthapindika asked that they could be given to the laity und to young men of undimmed vision. Anāthapindika died soon after und was reborn in Tusita. M.iii.258 ff.; cf. S.v.380, which probably refers to an earlier illness of Anāthapindika. He recovered immediately after the preaching of Sāriputta's sermon, und served Sāriputta mit rice from his own cooking pot.
Sāriputta also, evidently, had great esteem for the householder Citta, for we are told (DhA.ii.74) that he once paid a special visit to Macchikāsanda to see him.
Several incidents are related in the books showing the exemplary qualities possessed by Sāriputta z.B., the stories of Tambadāthika, Punna und his wife, the poor woman in the Kundakakucchisindhava Jātaka und Losaka Tissa (q.v.). These show his great compassion for the poor und his eagerness to help them. Reference has already been made to his first teacher, Sañjaya, whom he tried, but failed, to convert to the Buddha's faith. His second teacher was Assaji. It is said that every night on going to bed he would do obeisance to the quarter in which he knew Assaji to be und would sleep mit his head in that direction. DhA.iv.150 f.; cf. SNA.i.328. If Assaji were in the same vihāra, Sāriputta would visit him immediately after visiting the Buddha. It was in connection mit this that the Dhamma Sutta (q.v.) was preached.
The stories of the Sāmaneras Sukha und Pandita, und of the monk Rādhā, also show his gratitude towards any who had shown him favour (See also Vin.i.55 f). His extreme affection for und gratitude to the Buddha are shown in the Sampasādanīya Sutta (q.v.). That Sāriputta possessed great patience is shown by the story (DhA.iv.146f) of the brahmin who, to test his patience, struck him as he entered the city for alms. But when he was wrongly accused und found it necessary to vindicate his good name, he did not hesitate to proclaim his innocence at great length und to declare his pre eminence in virtue. (See, z.B., his "lion's roar" at A.iv.373ff). Another characteristic of Sāriputta was his readiness to take instruction from others, however modest. Thus one story relates how, in absent mindedness, he let the fold of his robe hang down. A novice said, "Sir, the robe should be draped around you," und Sāriputta agreed, saying, "Good, you have done well to point it out to me," und going a little way, he draped the robe round him (ThagA.ii.116). A quaint story is told (Ud.iv.4) of a Yakkha who, going through the air at night, saw Sāriputta wrapt in meditation, his head newly shaved. The sight of the shining head was a great temptation to the Yakkha, und, in spite of his companion's warning, he dealt a blow on the Thera's head. The blow was said to have been hard enough to shatter a mountain, but Sāriputta suffered only a slight headache afterwards.
Mention is made of two occasions on which Sāriputta fell ill. Once he had fever und was cured by lotus stalks which Moggallāna obtained for him from the Mandākinī Lake (Vin.i.214). On the other occasion he had stomach trouble, which was again cured by Moggallāna giving him garlic (lasuna), to eat which the rule regarding the use of garlic had to be rescinded by the Buddha (Vin.ii.140).
Sāriputta was fond of meal cakes (pitthakhajjaka), but finding that they tended to make him greedy he made a vow never to eat them (J.i.310).
Sāriputta died some months before the Buddha. It is true that the account of the Buddha's death in the Mahā Parinibbāna Sutta ignores all reference to Sāriputta, though it does introduce him (D.ii.81 ff ) shortly before as uttering his "lion's roar" (sīhanāda), his great confession of faith in the Buddha, which, in the commentarial account, he made when he took leave of the Buddha to die. The Samyutta Nikāya (S.v.161) records that he died at Nālagāmaka (the place of his birth), und gives an eulogy of him pronounced by the Buddha after his death (S.v.163f).
There is no need to doubt the authenticity of this account. It merely states that when Sāriputta was at Nālagāmaka he was afflicted mit a sore disease. His brother, Cunda Samanuddesa, was attending on him when he died. His body was cremated, und Cunda took the relics to Sāvatthi mit Sāriputta's begging bowl und outer robe. The relics were wrapped in his water-strainer. Cunda first broke the news to Ānanda, who confessed that when he heard it his mind was confused und his body felt as though drugged. Cf. Thag.vs.1034; see also the eulogy of Sāriputta by Vangīsa during his lifetime (Thag.1231 3). Hiouen Thsang saw the stūpa erected over the relics of Sāriputta in the town of Kālapināka (Beal, op. cit., ii.177).
Together they sought the Buddha und told him of the event, und the Buddha pointed out to them the impermanence of all things.
The Commentaries give more details. The Buddha returned to Sāvatthi after his last vassa in Beluvagāma. Sāriputta sought him there, und, realizing that his death would come in seven days, he decided to visit his Mutter, for she, though the Mutter of seven arahants, had no faith in the Sangha. [This was because all her children joined the Order und left her desolate in spite of the forty crores of wealth which lay in the house. It is said (DhA.iv.164f.) that when Sāriputta had gone home on a previous occasion, she abused both him und his companions roundly. Rāhula was also in the company.] He therefore asked his brother, Cunda, to prepare for the journey to Nālagāmaka mit fünf hundert others, und then took leave of the Buddha after performing various miracles und declaring his faith in the Buddha und uttering his "lion's roar." A large concourse followed him to the gates of Sāvatthi, und there he addressed them und bade them stay behind. In seven days he reached Nālaka, where he wais met by his nephew, Uparevata, outside the gates. Him he sent on to warn his Mutter of his arrival mit a large number of people. She, thinking that he had once more returned to the lay life, made all preparations to welcome him und his companions. Sāriputta took up his abode in the room in which he was born (jātovaraka). There he was afflicted mit dysentery. His Mutter, unaware of this und sulking because she found he was still a monk, remained in her room. The Four Regent Gods und Sakka und Mahā Brahmā waited upon him. She saw them, und having found out who they were, went to her son's room. There she asked him if he were really greater than all these deities, und, when he replied that it was so, she reflected on the greatness of her son und her whole body was suffused mit joy. Sāriputta then preached to her, und she became a sotāpanna. Feeling that he had paid his debt to his Mutter, he sent Cunda to fetch the monks, und, on their arrival, he sat up mit Cunda's help und asked if he had offended them in any way during the forty four years of his life as a monk. On receiving their assurance that he had been entirely blameless, he wiped his lips mit his robe und lay down, und, after passing through various trances, died at break of dawn.
His Mutter made all arrangements for the funeral, und Vissakamma assisted in the ceremony. When the cremation was over, Anuruddha extinguished the flames mit perfumed water, und Cunda gathered together the relics. This account is summarized from SA.iii.172ff.; similar accounts are found at DA.ii.549f, etc. Sāriputta's death is also referred to at J.i.391.
Among those who came to pay honour to the pyre was the goddess Revatī (q.v.). Sāriputta died on the full moon day of Kattika (October to November) preceding the Buddha's death, und Moggallāna died a fortnight later. SA.iii.181; J.i.391; both Sāriputta und Moggallāna were older than the Buddha because they were born "anuppanne yeva hi Buddhe" (DhA.i.73).
Sāriputta had many pupils, some of whom have already been erwähnt. Among others were Kosiya, Kandhadinna, Cullasārī, Vanavāsika Tissa, Sankicca (q.v.), und Sarabhū, who brought to Ceylon the Buddha's collar bone, which he deposited in the Mahiyangana-cetiya (Mhv.i.37f). Sāriputta's brother, Upavāna, predeceased him, und Sāriputta was mit him when he died of snake bite at Sappasondikapabbāra (S.iv.40f).
Sāriputta's special proficiency was in the Abhidhamma. It is said (DhSA.16f., DA.i.15, where it is said that at the end of the First Recital the Abhidhamma was given in charge of fünf hundert arahants, Sāriputta being already dead) that when preaching the Abhidhamma, to the gods of Tāvatimsa, the Buddha would visit Anotatta every day, leaving a nimitta Buddha, on Sakka's throne to continue the preaching. After having bathed in the lake he would take his midday rest. During this time Sāriputta would visit him und learn from the Buddha all that had been preached of the Abhidhamma during the previous day. Having thus learnt the Abhidhamma, Sāriputta taught it to his fünf hundert pupils. Their acquirement of the seven books of the Abhidhamma coincided mit the conclusion of the Buddha's sermon in Tāvatimsa. Thus the textual order of the Abhidhamma originated mit Sāriputta, und the numerical series was determined by him.
Sāriputta is identified mit various characters in numerous Jātakas. Thus he was
2. Sāriputta Thera. A monk of Ceylon. He lived in the reign of Parakkamabāhu I., und was called Sāgaramatī (SadS.63) on account of his erudition. Der König built for him a special residence attached to the Jetavana-vihāra in Pulatthipura (Cv.lxxviii.34).
Among his works are the Vinayasangaha or the Vinaya-Vinicchaya, a summary of the Vinaya, und the Sāratthadīpanī on the Samantapāsādikā,, the Sāratthamañjūsā on the Atthasālinī und the Līnatthappakāsinī on the Papañcasūdani.
Sāriputta had several well known pupils, among whom were Sangharakkhita, Sumangala, Buddhanāga, Udumbaragiri Medhankara und Vācissara (Gv. 67, 71; Svd.1203; SM. 69; P.L.C, 189ff).
Sāriputta was also a Sanskrit scholar, und wrote the Pañjikālankāra or Ratnamatipañjikātīkā to Ratnasrījñāna's Pañjikā to the Candragomivyākarana.
3. Sāriputta. A monk of Dala in the Rāmañña country. He was born in Padīpajeyya in the reign of Narapatisithu, und was ordained by Ānanda of the Sīhalasangha. He became one of the leaders of this group in Rāmañña. Narapati conferred on him the title of "Dhammavilāsa," und he was the author of one of the earliest law codes (dhammasattha) of Burma. Sās.41f.; Bode, op. cit., 31.
4. Sāriputta. A Choliyan monk, author of the Padāvatāra. Gv.67; Svd.12, 44.