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Part of the List of Dharma Terms from the Buddhist Ayurveda Course (SKT220 ) on Sanskrit Terms of Ayurveda and Dharma


Shariputra (Venerable)*

One of the ten Great Arhat disciples of the Buddha who was known for his Great wisdom.

Shariputra's name is Sanskrit. It means 'son of Shari.' (Shari is from sari or sarika, a bird with large and beautiful eyes, probably an Indian pelican.) His mother was named Shari because her eyes were as keen and beautiful as those of the sarika bird. Putra means 'son'. Another explanation of Shariputra's name is 'body-son', after the Sanskrit word for body, Sharira, because his mother was physically very beautiful. Shariputra also means 'Pearl-son' because his eyes were like Pearls and Sharira is also the term for the Pearl-like Relics left after the cremation of a Sage (see Relics*).

Shariputra was the Foremost of the Shravaka disciples in wisdom. He wasn't exactly number two when it came to spiritual powers either. His spiritual powers were also Great. One time Maha Maudgalyayana decided to compare his spiritual powers with Shariputra's. Shakyamuni Buddha had Gone elsewhere to speak the Dharma. When he did this, his disciples always went along to hear the Dharma too because they didn't have any tape recorders in those days , and if they missed a lecture they couldn't make it up. That time Shariputra had entered Samadhi. Maha Maudgalyayana called to him, but he wouldn't come out of Samadhi. 'All right,' said Maha Maudgalyayana, 'I'll use my spiritual powers to snap you out of it, ' and he applied every ounce of spiritual power he had to get Shariputra to come out of Samadhi, but he couldn't budge even so much as the corner of Shariputra's robe. How great would you say Shariputra's spiritual powers were? Maha Maudgalyayana was generally considered Foremost in spiritual pwoers, but he lost to Shariputra. . . .

“When Shariputra was eight years old, he began studying with the Buddha, and in seven days he had penetrated the actual mark of all Dharmas, Mastered all the Buddha's teachings, and could defeat all the philosophers of India in debate.” (DFS II 108-109)

This is the way Shariputra first heard of the Buddha and his teaching:

Sariputta (i.e., Shariputra) said to the Venerable Assagi: 'Your countenance, friend, is serene; your complexion is pure and bright. In whose name, friend, have you retired from the world? Who is your Teacher? What doctrine do you profess?'

(Assagi replied): 'there is, friend, the Great Sramana Sakyaputta (i.e., Shakyamuni Buddha), an ascetic of the Sakya tribe; in His, the blessed One's, name have I retired from the world; He, the blessed One, is my Teacher; and His, the Blessed One's, doctrine do I profess.'

'And what is the doctrine, Sir, which your Teacher holds, and preaches to you?'

'I am only a young disciple, friend; I have but recently received the ordination; and I have newly adopted this doctrine and discipline. I cannot explain to you the doctrine in detail; but I will tell you in short what it means.'

Then the paribbagaka (i.e., wandering monk) Sariputta said to the Venerable Assagi: 'Well, friend, tell me much or little as you like but be sure to tell me the spirit of the doctrine); I want but the spirit; why do you make so much of the letter?'

Then the Venerable Assagi pronounced to the paribbagaka Sariputta the following text of the Dhamma: 'Of all objects which proceed from cause, the Tathagata has explained the cause, and He has explained their Cessation (Nirodha) also; this is the doctrine of the Great Sramana.'

'And the paribbagaka Sariputta after having heard this text obtained the pure and spotless eye of the Truth (that is, the following knowledge): 'Whatsoever is subject to the condition of origination is subject also to the condition of Cessation (Nirodha).' (And he said): 'If this alone be the doctrine the Dhamma), now you have reached up to the state where all sorrow ceases (i.e. Nirvana), (the state) which has remained unseen through many myriads of Kappas (Sanskrit: kalpa, i.e.,world-ages] of the past).' (Vinaya Texts I 145-147)

Shariputra then went to his close friend of many lifetimes, Maudgalyayana (see Maha Maudgalyayana), who also awakened to the teaching. The two then went to leave the home-life under Shakyamuni Buddha.

In the Shurangama Sutra Shariputra explains the method he used to attain enlightenment:

“From distant kalpas until the present, my mind and views have been pure. In this way I have undergone as many births as there are grains of sand in the Ganges. As to the various transformations and changes of both the mundane and the transcendental, I am able to understand them at one glance and obtain non-obstruction. . . .

I followed the Buddha and left the home-life. My seeing-awareness became bright and perfect. I obtained fearlessness and became an Arhat. As one of the Buddha's elder disciples, I am born from the Buddha's mouth, transformationally born from the Dharma.

The Buddha asks about perfect penetration. As I have been certified to it, for the mind and the seeing to emit light and for the light to reach throughout knowing and seeing is the foremost method.” (SS V]] 62-65)

The Heart Sutra and many of the other teachings of the Prajna Paramita Sutras are addressed to Shariputra in order to get him to turn from the Hinayana to the Mahayana. See also under the entry Bodhisattva for the story of Shariputra trying to practice the Path (Marga) of the Bodhisattva: “The Venerable Shariputra Tries to Cultivate the Path of the Bodhisattva”.

1) Chinese: she li fu , she li dz ; 2) Sanskrit: Sariputra; 3) Pali Sariputta.

See Also: Arhat, Sixteen Arhats Puja, Sixteen Arhats, Eighteen Arhats, Maha Maudgalyayana (Venerable).*

BTTS References: AS 69-71; HS 33-34, 120-121; DFS Ch2 107-109; EDR I 219; SS V 62-64;

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Fair Use Bibliographic Sources

Fair Use: Primary Fair Use Compilation Source: Ron Epstein, Ph.D, compiler, Buddhism A to Z, Burlingame, California, Buddhist Text Translation Society, 2003, p. ISBN 0881393533 Paperback: 284 pages. and many other sources (see Bibliography).

Primary Original Source: The Tripitaka of Sutra, Shastra and Vinaya Dharma teachings (as found in the scripture storehouse of the Indian Sanskrit- Siddham, Chinese, Tibetan and Japanese traditions of the Nalanda Tradition of ancient Nalanda University) of Shakyamuni Buddha, and his Arya Sagely Bodhisattva Bhikshu Monk and Upasaka disciples.

These Good and Wise Advisors (Kaliyanamitra) Dharma Master teachers include Arya Venerables Om Tare Tuttare Ture Om Ah Hum and Namo to Jivaka, Charaka, Lao Zi - Mahakashapa, Ashwagosha, Shantideva - Hui Neng - Shen Kai Sheng Ren Shr, Bodhidharma, the 16 Nalanda Acharyas 1. Nagarjuna-Manjushri, 2. Arydeva, 3. Buddhapalita, 4. Bhavaviveka, 5. Chandrakirti and Chandragomin, 6. Shantideva, 7. Shantarakshita, 8. Kamalashila, 9. Asanga-Maitreya, 10. Vasubhandu, 11. Dignaga, 12. Dharmakirti, 13. Vimuktisena, 14. Haribhadra, 15. Gunaprabha, 16. Shakyaprabha; Dharmarakshita, Atisha, Tsong Khapa, Thogme Zangpo, Nyingma Padmasambhava, Yeshe Tsogyel, Machig Lapdron, Tilopa, Naropa, Milarepa, Sakya Pandita, Kumarajiva, Xuan Zang, Baozhi, Hui Yuan, Daosheng, Changzhi, Fazang, Han Shan, Shi De, Yunmen, Nichiren, Honen, Shinran, Kukai, Dogen, Hakuin, Jamgon Kongtrul, Nyingma Penor Rinpoche, Bakula Rinpoche, Dagri Rinpoche, Kirti Tsenshab Rinpoche, Geshe Lama Kongchog, Longchen Rapjampa - Gosok Rinpoche, Phabongkha Rinpoche, Patrul Rinpoche, Tenzin Gyatso the Dalai Lama, Sakya Trizin, Hsu Yun, Hsuan Hua, Lama Zopa Rinpoche, Choden Rinpoche, Garchen Rinpoche, Karmapa, Mingyur Rinpoche, Geshe Ngwang Dakpa, Geshe Sopa Rinpoche, Seung Sahn, Thich Nhat Hanh, Ajahn Chah, Ajahn Sumedho, S. N. Goenka, Mama Ayur Punya Jyana Pushtim Kuriye Svaha, making offerings and b [[bowing at your feet I make requests. Please bestow on me the two attainments of Maha Punya and Maha Prajna Paramita. And Om Ah Hum thanks to other modern day masters. We consider them to be in accord with Tripitaka Master Hsuan Hua’s “Seven Guidelines for Recognizing Genuine Teachers

Nalanda Online University's teachings are based especially on the following Buddhist Scriptures: Lama Tsong Khapa's Lam Rim, the Dharma Flower Lotus Sutra, the Avatamsaka Sutra, the Shurangama Sutra, the Ksitigarbha Sutra, the Bhaisajya Guru Sutra, the Dharani Sutra, the Vajra Sutra, the Prajna Paramita Hridayam Heart Sutra, the Vimalakirti Sutra, the Sanghata Sutra, the Sutra of Golden Light, the Srimala Devi Sutra, the Sutra in 42 Sections, the Mahaparinirvana Sutra, the Hui Neng Sutra, Vasubandhu's Shastra on the Door to Understanding the Hundred Dharmas, Maitreya's Ornament for Clear Realizations (Abhisamayalamkara), Chandrakirti's Supplement to Nagarjuna’s Treatise on the Middle Way (Madhyamakavatara), Vasubandhu's Treasury of Manifest Knowledge (Abhidharmakosha) and the Tantras and Mantras of the Vajrayana the 42 Hands and Eyes, Guhyasamaja, the Kalachakra, the Vajrayogini, the Heruka, the Chakrasamvara, the Chod, the Hayagriva, the Hevajra, the Yamantaka, the Kalarupa, the Manjushri Nama Samgiti, the Vajrakilaya, the Vajrapani, the Vajra Claws Dakini, the Mahakala, the Tara, the White Umbrella Goddess (She Dan Do Bo Da La), Kirti Losang Trinle's Grounds and Paths of Secret Mantra, and Aku Sherab Gyatso's The Two Stages of the Guhyasamaja Tantra and their commentaries (shastras) by the above Arya Tripitakacharya Dharma Masters. Making offerings and bowing at your feet I make requests. Please bestow on me the two attainments of Maha Punya and Maha Prajna Paramita.

Secondary Fair Use Compilation Source: The Seeker’s Glossary of Buddhism, 2nd ed., San Francisco, California: Sutra Translation Committee of the United States and Canada, 1998:

Secondary Fair Use Compilation Source: Muller, Charles, editor, Digital Dictionary of Buddhism [DDB], Toyo Gakuen University, Japan, 2007: Username is “guest”, with no password. - Based in large part on the Dictionary of Chinese Buddhist Terms with Sanskrit and English Equivalents (by Soothill and Hodous) Delhi, India: Motilal Banarsidass, 1997.

Secondary Fair Use Compilation Source: Ehrhard, Diener, Fischer, et al, The Shambhala Dictionary of Buddhism and Zen, Boston, Massachusetts: Shambhala Publications, 1991. 296 pages. ISBN 978-0-87773-520-5,, Secondary Fair Use Compilation Source: Vaidya Vasant Lad, Textbook of Ayurveda, Ayurvedic Press, 2002; Vasant Lad, BAMS, MAsc, Ayurvedic Institute Gurukula Notes, Ayurvedic Institute, 1994-2006;

NOTE: Numerous corrections and enhancements have been made under Shastra tradition and “Fair Use” by an Anonymous Buddhist Monk Redactor (Compiler) of this Online Buddhist Encyclopedia Compilation)

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shariputra.txt · Last modified: 2016/02/01 07:52 (external edit)