The Two Chief Disciples
Rajagaha there were two villages called Upatissa
and Kolita. The headmen of these two villages were
also known as Upatissa and Kolita. Both families
were very close friends.
day Upatissa's wife, Sari, gave birth to a son called
Sariputta. On the same day Kolita's wife, Moggali,
also gave birth to a son called Moggallana. The
sons became best friends.
they grew up both of them liked to watch dramas.
One day, while watching a drama called Giragga Samapujja
(The Mountain Festival), the young boys decided
to leave home in order to seek greater happiness
and understanding of life than could be had by watching
at this time there was a famous religious teacher
called Sanjaya staying near Rajagaha. The two friends
went to learn from him, but after a while they found
his teachings unsatisfactory and left. They promised
each other they would both continue searching, studying
and meditating in an effort to find the truth about
life, and that whoever found it first would let the other
morning, in the main street of Rajagaha, Sariputta
saw the ascetic Assaji begging for alms. He radiated
modesty and calmness as he went from house to house.
As Sariputta came closer he saw on Assaji's face
a look of perfect peace, like a smooth undisturbed
lake under a calm clear sky. Sariputta went up to
him and humbly said, "Your face, friend, is
serene. Your eyes so clear and bright. Who is your
teacher and what does he teach, Sir?"
can soon tell you that, brother," replied Assaji.
"There is a great ascetic of the Sakya race
who has left his home and country behind in order
to follow the homeless life. He is my teacher and
it is his teaching that I follow and practise."
tell me more."
am only a newcomer to the way of the Buddha,"
replied the ascetic modestly. "I do not know
very much yet. But I will give you a brief description."
is all I want, brother," said Sariputta quickly.
"Tell me the meaning of the teachings. Why
make a lot of words about it?"
well then," said the ascetic. "Listen!
The Buddha teaches that there is a cause for everything,
and also how things cease to be."
the Venerable Assaji spoke these lines, Sariputta
was so clever that he understood their meaning.
He realised the truth that everything that ever
has come into existence, or will come into existence,
must pass away. He said, "If this is what the
Buddha teaches you have found the state that is
free from sorrow and suffering and full of peace
and happiness." After thanking Assaji, Sariputta
went to find his friend Moggallana to bring him
the great news.
he spoke a word Moggallana cried, "Why brother,
how clear and shining your face is. Can it be that
at last you have found what we have been seeking?"
is so, brother, it is so," was Sariputta's glad
reply, and he explained the Buddha's teachings to
Sariputta and Moggallana joined the Buddha and in
a short time became two of his chief disciples.
Sariputta became known for his wisdom and Moggallana
for his miraculous power.