by Ven. Mingun Sayadaw | 1990 | 1,044,401 words
This page describes Story Of Venerable Sariputta contained within the book called the Great Chronicle of Buddhas (maha-buddha-vamsa), a large compilation of stories revolving around the Buddhas and Buddhist disciples. This page is part of the series known as the Buddha’s Fourteenth Vassa at Savatthi. This great chronicle of Buddhas was compiled by Ven. Mingun Sayadaw who had a thorough understanding of the thousands and thousands of Buddhist teachings (suttas).
Prologue: After observing the thirteenth vassa at the big monastery on Cālika Hill, near Cālika Town and teaching worthy beings by means of the Dhamma-talks, such as Meghiya Sutta, etc., as has been mentioned above and after remaining there for the post-vassa period for as long as there existed beings to be enlightened, the Buddha set out from there, administering the cool water of elixir to devas, humans and Brahmās. Eventually, He arrived in Sāvatthi and stayed at the Jetavana monastery to observe the fourteenth vassa.
At that time, Venerable Sāriputta went with his follower-monks to a certain big monastery in the district and spent the rainy season. The people of the district visited the mahāthera and promised to give him a large number of robes for the vassa.
Having performed the Pavāraṇā ceremony at the end of the vassa, the Venerable, being desirous of visiting the Buddha even before the vassa-robes were offered, said to the monks: “Friends, when the lay devotees bring vassa-robes for the young monks and novices, accept them and send them to me. Or store them well and give the message to me.” Having said thus, the Venerable set out to visit the Buddha.
When he arrived in Sāvatthi, many monks whispered among themselves, saying: “Friends, still Venerable Sāriputta appears to have greed? That was why he came to the Exalted One only after saying to the monks, who remain there: ‘When the lay devotees bring vassarobes for the young monks and novices, accept them and send them to me. Or store them well and give the message to me.’ ”
When the Buddha came to the assembly of monks, He asked: “Monks, what are you talking about?” When the monks replied that they were talking about such and such a matter, the Buddha said: “Monks, in my eldest son, Sāriputta, there is not the slightest amount of greed. Indeed, he left the word with his disciples because he thought to himself thus: ‘Let the meritorious deeds of the devotees not decrease! Let the righteous acquisition of robes for the young monks and novices not decrease!’”
Thereafter He uttered the following verse:
(O My dear sons, My dear monks!) In the (mental) continuum of an arahat, whose āsavas are gone, craving that clings to things does not exist, not even the minutest part of it, in the present world as well as in the next, as it has been broken and uprooted through the fourfold Path Knowledge in the manner of samuccheda-pahāna. The arahat, whose āsavas are gone, who has been totally emancipated from a hundred and eightfold craving and who is dissociated from every kind of mental defilement, him naturally do I declare a true Brāhmana!
By the end of the Dhamma-talk, a large multitude of people attained the Fruition of Sotāpatti and so on.
As the Venerable Sāriputta was misunderstood by the monks who said that the Venerable seemed to have greed, so was the Venerable Moggallāna who was once misunderstood too. His incident was also somewhat similar to that of Venerable Sāriputta.
What was different in the case of Moggallāna was, after asserting that there was no greed in him, the Buddha gave another verse as follows:
(O My dear sons, My dear monks!) In the (mental) continuum of an arahat whose āsavas are gone, craving that clings to things does not exist, not even the slightest part of it, as it has been broken and uprooted through the fourfold knowledge in the manner of samuccheda-pahāna. Having analytically understood the Triple Gem, the Triple Training and the Paticcasamuppada Wheel in their true nature, he is free from doubt. The arahat whose āsavas are gone, who has plunged wisely into the deathless Nibbāna and attained arahatship straight away, him naturally do I declare a true Brāhmana.
By the end of this Dhamma-talk a large multitude of people attained the Fruition of Sotāpatti and so on. (Dhammapada)