Venerable Sariputta and Venerable Moggallana were the two chief disciples of the Buddha. They belonged to two rich Brahmin families. As laymen Sariputta was named Upatissa and Moggallana was named Kolita. They were very close friends.

As rich young men they enjoyed life, going to carnivals, theatres and other places providing entertainment. However they gradually began to feel that the happiness they got from these forms of entertainment is not real happiness. So they began to search for a higher kind of happiness. They went to a famous religious teacher called Sanjaya and studied under him.

One day Upatissa saw Venerable Assaji, one of the first five ascetics who became monks, going round begging for alms. Upatissa was very pleased with the outward behaviour of Venerable Assaji. So he waited for an opportunity and asked Venerable Assaji about his teacher and the doctrines he followed. Venerable Assaji was a new monk. Therefore he explained briefly the Dhamma he knew and about the teacher whom he followed.

“My teacher is the Buddha. He speaks about the arising of all things. He explains the causes that lead to this arising and explains also how these things that have arisen come to an end.”

Uptissa at once understood the true meaning of the teaching (Dhama) and the greatness of the teacher (Buddha). He was so please that he hurried to meet his friend Kolita to inform him about teaching and the teacher.Both Upatissa Kolita Wanted to become disciples of the Buddha. They informed their teacher and became monks under Gutama, the Buddha. After becoming monks Upatissa was known as sariputta and kolita as Moggallana. They Practised the Dhamma under the guidance of the Buddha and soon became noble saints, Arahants. The Buddha himself declared these two venerable monks, Sariputta and Moggallana, as his two chief disciples.

Both of them were ideal monks possessing great wisdom and compassion. They set an example for other monks by perfecting virtue (sila), concentration (samadhi) and wisdom (panna). They cared for other monks and looked after them. Both of them helped to spread the Dhamma.

Venerable Sariputta was a very methodical monk. He was always concerned about cleanliness. He swept and kept his dwelling place clean and neat. He was an extremely grateful and respectful monk. Before going to sleep at night he used to find out the direction in which Venerable Assaji would be, and then clasp his hands and worship that direction as a mark of respect to his first teacher who taught him the Buddha-Dhamma. Though he was one of the two chief disciples he took advice given even by very junior monks. One day a novice advised him pointing out that he had not worn the robe properly. Venerable Sariputta very humbly accepted the advice and immediately draped the robe properly. He was so thorough with the Dhamma that he was known as the Commander-In-Chief of the Dhamma (Dhammasenapati)

Before he passed away he preached to his mother who was a very strong follower of Brahmanism and converted her to Buddhism.

Venerable Moggallana was very well known for his ability to perform miracles. Through this ability he made many converts. Along with Venerable Sariputta he guided the monks and helped to maintain unity among them. Both of them passed away before the Buddha.

1 comment:

  1. Ven. Sariputra was known for his preaching after Lord Buddha. It is said that even Lord Buddha highly appreciate the preaching of Dharma. According to Buddhist sutra and history, 500 monks who left the order of Sangha and lured by Devedatta, heard the preaching taught by Ven. Sariputra return back to the order.