This Uposatha Day....More of Sariputta Thera.
Sariputta And Ananda
[translated from the Pali texts by Nyanaponika Thera]
Venerable Sariputta's devotion to his friend was fully reciprocated; we are told of two occasions when Sariputta was ill, and Maha Moggallana attended to him and brought him medicine.
Yet there was nothing exclusive about the Venerable Sariputta's friendships, for according to the commentary to the Maha-Gosinga Sutta there was also a bond of mutual affection between him and the Elder Ananda. On the part of Sariputta it was because he thought: "He is attending on the Master — a duty which should have been performed by me"; and Ananda's affection was due to the fact that Sariputta had been declared by the Buddha as his foremost disciple. When Ananda gave Novice Ordination to young pupils he used to take them to Sariputta to obtain Higher ordination under him. The Venerable Sariputta did the same in regard to Ananda, and in that way they had five hundred pupils in common.
Whenever the Venerable Ananda received choice robes or other requisites he would offer them to Sariputta, and in the same way, Sariputta passed on to Ananda any special offerings that were made to him. Once Ananda received from a certain brahman a very valuable robe, and with the Master's permission he kept it for ten days awaiting Sariputta's return. The sub-commentary says that later teachers commented on this: "There may be those who say: 'We can well understand that Ananda, who had not yet attained to Arahatship, felt such affection. But how is it in the case of Sariputta, who was a canker-free arahant?" To this we answer: 'Sariputta's affection was not one of worldly attachment, but a love for Ananda's virtues (guna-bhatti).'"
The Buddha once asked the Venerable Ananda: "Do you, too, approve of Sariputta?" And Ananda replied: "Who, O Lord, would not approve of Sariputta, unless he were childish, corrupt, stupid or of perverted mind! Learned, O Lord, is the Venerable Sariputta; of great wisdom, O Lord, is the Venerable Sariputta; of broad, bright, quick, keen and penetrative wisdom is the Venerable Sariputta; of few wants and contented, inclined to seclusion, not fond of company, energetic, eloquent, willing to listen, an exhorter who censures what is evil."-
Sariputta And Radha
Another example of the Venerable Sariputta's devotion is given in the story of Radha Thera. The Commentary to verse 76 of the Dhammapada relates that there was living at Savatthi a poor brahman who stayed in the monastery. There he performed little services such as weeding, sweeping, and the like and the monks supported him with food. They did not, however, want to ordain him. One day the Blessed One, in his mental survey of the world, saw that this brahman was mature for Arahatship. he inquired about him from the assembled monks, and asked whether any one of them remembered to have received some help from the poor brahman. The Venerable Sariputta said that he remembered that once, when he was going for alms in Rajagaha, this poor brahman had given him a ladle full of almsfood that he had begged for himself. The Master asked Sariputta to ordain the man, and he was given the name Radha. The Venerable Sariputta then advised him time and again as to what things should be done, and always Radha received his admonitions gladly, without resentment. And so, living according to the Elder's advice, he attained Arahatship in a short time.
Love Buddha's dhamma,
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