Śāriputra (Sanskrit: शारिपुत्र) or Sāriputta (Pāli) was one of Shakyamuni Buddha's ten major disciples, known as foremost in wisdom. Shariputra means "son of Shari"(Shariwas his mother). Shariputra is also known as Upatishya (Pali Upatissa). Born to a Brahman family in Nalaka in the suburbs of Rajagriha, the capital of Magadha, he was a close friend of Maudgalyayana from childhood. Together they had both become followers of Sanjaya Belatthiputta, a skeptic and one of the six non-Buddhist teachers. Not long after Shakyamuni attained enlightenment, Shariputra happened to meet Ashvajit, a disciple of Shakyamuni, at Rajagriha. Ashvajit taught him about the law of causation, and Shariputra was so impressed by the implication of this doctrine and by Ashvajit's noble bearing that he became Shakyamuni's disciple. Maudgalyayana followed his friend into the Buddhist Order, and the two brought all of Sanjaya's 250 disciples with them. From early on in Shakyamuni's preaching life, both were reckoned by the Buddha as his foremost disciples. Shariputra in particular was esteemed by the Buddha so highly as to be regarded by him as his successor. He fell ill, however, and died several months before Shakyamuni in his native village, Nalaka. In the Lotus Sutra, Shariputra alone constitutes the first of the three groups of voice-hearers to have grasped the Buddha's teaching, for he understood the Buddha's intention on hearing him preach the true aspect of all phenomena in the "Expedient Means" (second) chapter of the sutra. The "Simile and Parable" (third) chapter predicts that he will in a future existence become a Buddha named Flower Glow.
Last Updated on Saturday, 05 September 2009 21:27