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Sariputta And Moggallana

At that time Sariputta and Moggallana, two Brahmans and chiefs of

the followers of Sanjaya, led a religious life. They had promised

each other: "He who first attains Nirvana shall tell the other


Sariputta seeing the venerable Assaji begging for alms, modestly

keeping his eyes to the ground and dignified in deportment,[1]

exclaimed: "Truly
his samana has entered the right path; I will

ask him in whose name he has retired from the world and what

doctrine he professes." Being addressed by Sariputta, Assaji

replied: "I am a follower of the Buddha, the Blessed One, but

being a novice I can tell you the substance only of the


Said Sariputta: "Tell me, venerable monk, it is the substance I

want." And Assaji recited the stanza:

"The Buddha did the cause unfold

Of all the things that spring from causes.

And further the great sage has told

How finally all passion pauses."

Having heard this stanza, Sariputta obtained the pure and

spotless eye of truth and said: "Now I see clearly, whatsoever is

subject to origination is also subject to cessation. If this be

the doctrine I have reached the state to enter Nirvana which

heretofore has remained hidden from me."

Sariputta went to Moggallana and told him, and both said: "We

will go to the Blessed One, that he, the Blessed One, may be our


When the Buddha saw Sariputta and Moggallana coming from afar, he

said to his disciples, "These two monks are highly auspicious."

When the two friends had taken refuge in the Buddha, the Dharma

and the Sangha, the Holy One said to his other disciples:

"Sariputta, like the first-born son of a world-ruling monarch, is

well able to assist the king as his chief follower to set the

wheel of the law rolling."

And the people were annoyed. Seeing that many distinguished young

men of the kingdom of Magadha led a religious life under the

direction of the Blessed One, they became angry and murmured:

"Gotama Sakyamuni induces fathers to leave their wives and causes

families to become extinct."

When they saw the bhikkhus, they reviled them, saying: "The great

Sakyamuni has come to Rajagaha subduing the minds of men. Who

will be the next to be led astray by him?"

The bhikkhus told it to the Blessed One, and the Blessed One

said: "This murmuring, O bhikkhus, will not last long. It will

last seven days. If they revile you, O bhikkhus, answer them with

these words:

"'It is by preaching the truth that Tathagatas lead men. Who will

murmur at the wise? Who will blame the virtuous? Who will condemn

self-control, righteousness, and kindness?'"

And the Blessed One proclaimed this verse:

"Commit no wrong but good deeds do

And let thy heart be pure.

All Buddhas teach this doctrine true

Which will for aye endure."