Sariputra in the Jatakas

Sariputra In The Jatakas

Sariputra in the Jatakas

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Sariputra, one of the two chief disciples of Gautama Buddha is frequently described in the Jataka, a collection of Buddhist texts which describe the previous reincarnations of the Buddha and his closest disciples. The Jatakas depict a multitude of previous lives in which Sariputra interacted with previous reincarnations of the Buddha and Mahamoggallana, the other of the two chief disciples. Such frequent relations in the past are consistent with the Buddhist theory of karma, with the consequences of the present being intricately linked to causes and actions committed in the past. Sariputra also interacts with the reincarnations of Ananda, the chief attendant of the Buddha, and Devadatta, a cousin and arch-rival of the Buddha.

In the Jatakas, the Bodhisattva and Sariputra assume various roles in their interactions; in some existences, Sariputra is the teacher of the Bodhisattva as pupil; these occur in the Susima (163), Cula Nandiya (223), Silavimamsa (305), Karandiya (356) and Maha Dhammapala (447) Jatakas. In the Maha Dhammapala, the future Buddha gives Sariputra, his teacher the lesson of not giving the Five Precepts indiscriminately to those who have no interest in accepting nor the resolve to live by them.

In several previous existences, Sariputra is a human being while the future Gautama Buddha is an animal. These include the......
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