Shariputra, aka: Sāriputta, Śāriputra; 4 Definition(s)


Shariputra means something in Buddhism, Pali. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.

The Sanskrit term Śāriputra can be transliterated into English as Sariputra or Shariputra, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).

In Buddhism

Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)

Shariputra in Mahayana glossary... « previous · [S] · next »

Śāriputra (शारिपुत्र) is the name of a disciple of the Buddha according to the 2nd century Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra (chapter XV). Accordingly, “Of all the disciples of the Buddha, Śāriputra is by far the foremost in wisdom (prajñā). A stanza of the Buddha says: ‘Except for the Buddha Bhagavat, the knowledge (jñāna) of all beings would not equal a sixteenth part compared with the wisdom (prajñā) and learning (bahuśruta) of Śāriputra’”.

Also, “Śāriputra possessed great qualities (guṇa). In his youth, at the age of eight, he recited the eighteen kinds of sacred books and understood the meaning of all the treatises”.

Note: Śāriputra, also called Upatiṣya, was the son of Tiṣya and Śārī. The latter’s father was Māṭhara, a Brāhmin from Nalanda, and her brother was Mahākauṣṭhila, surnamed Dīrghanakha.

Source: Wisdom Library: Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra
Mahayana book cover
context information

Mahayana (महायान, mahāyāna) is a major branch of Buddhism focusing on the path of a Bodhisattva (spiritual aspirants/ enlightened beings). Extant literature is vast and primarely composed in the Sanskrit language. There are many sūtras of which some of the earliest are the various Prajñāpāramitā sūtras.

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Theravada (major branch of Buddhism)

Shariputra in Theravada glossary... « previous · [S] · next »

1. Sariputta Thera. The chief disciple (aggasavaka) of Gotama - Buddha. 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. In Sanskrit texts his name occurs as Sariputra, Saliputra, Sarisuta, Saradvatiputra. In the Apadana (ii.480) he is also called Sarisambhava.

The name Upatissa is hardly ever mentioned in the books. He had three younger brothers - Cunda, Upasena, and Revata (afterwards called Khadiravaniya) - and three sisters - Cala, Upacala and Sisupacala; all of whom joined the Order. DhA.ii.188; cf. Mtu.iii.50; for details of them see s.v.; mention is also made of an uncle of Sariputta and of a nephew, both of whom he took to the Buddha, thereby rescuing them from false views (DhA.ii.230 2); Uparevata was his nephew (SA.iii.175).

The story of Sariputtas conversion and the account of his past lives, which prepared him for his eminent position as the Buddhas Chief Disciple, have been given under Maha Moggallana. Sariputta had a very quick intuition, and he became a sotapanna immediately after hearing the first two lines of the stanza spoken by Assaji. After his attainment of sotapatti, Kolita (Moggallana) wished to go with him to Veluvana to see the Buddha, but Sariputta, always grateful to his teachers, suggested that they should first seek their teacher, Sanjaya, to give him the good news and go with him to the Buddha. But Sanjaya refused to fall in with this plan. Moggallana attained arahantship on the seventh day after his ordination, but it was not till a fortnight later that Sariputta became an arahant. He was staying, at the time, with the Buddha, in the Sukarakhatalena in Rajagaha, and he reached his goal as a result of hearing the Buddha preach the Vedanapariggaha Sutta to Dighanakha. This account is summarized from DhA.i.73 ff.; AA.i.88 ff.; ThagA.ii.93 ff. Ap.i.15ff.; the story of their conversion is given at Vin.i.38ff.

In the assembly of monks and nuns, Sariputta was declared by the Buddha foremost among those who possessed wisdom (etadaggam mahapannanam, A.i.23). He was considered by the Buddha as inferior only to himself in wisdom. SA.ii.45; his greatest exhibition of wisdom followed the Buddhas descent from Tavatimsa to the gates of Sankassa, when the Buddha asked questions of the assembled multitude, which none but Sariputta could answer. But some questions were outside the range of any but a Buddha (DhA.iii.228 f.; cf. SNA.ii.570f.).

Source: Pali Kanon: Pali Proper Names
context information

Theravāda is a major branch of Buddhism having the the Pali canon (tipitaka) as their canonical literature, which includes the vinaya-pitaka (monastic rules), the sutta-pitaka (Buddhist sermons) and the abhidhamma-pitaka (philosophy and psychology).

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General definition (in Buddhism)

Shariputra in Buddhism glossary... « previous · [S] · next »

Shariputra was one of the most important of Buddha's disciples. He was originally a disciple of Sanjaya and may have been influential in the development of early Buddhist skepticism. Several of his discourses are philosophically important.

Source: Wisdom Library: BuddhismSariputra in Sanskrit, Sariputta in Pali. He was born in a Brahman family near Rajagaha. At the age of 17, he mastered all Vedic doctrines. In seeking a good teacher, he studied under one of the six great non Buddhist teachers called Sanjaya. He met Shakyamuni with the aid of Assaji, one of the Five Bhiksus. He then became one of the Ten Great Disciples of Shakyamuni, noted for his wisdom and learning. He was also the right hand attendant on Shakyamuni. He died before Shakyamuni entered Nirvana. He figures prominently in certain sutras. He is represented as standing with Maudgalyayana by the Buddha when entering Nirvana. He is to reappear as Padmaprabha Buddha.Source: Buddhist Door: Glossary

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