Mahīśāsaka is one of the early Buddhist schools according to some records. Its origins may go back to the dispute in the Second Buddhist council; the Dharmaguptaka sect is thought to have branched out from Mahīśāsaka sect toward the end of the 2nd or the beginning of the 1st century BCE. There are two general accounts of the circumstances surrounding the origins of the Mahīśāsakas; the Theravādin Dipavamsa asserts. However, both the Śāriputraparipṛcchā and the Samayabhedoparacanacakra record that the Sarvāstivādins were the older sect out of which the Mahīśāsakas emerged. Buswell and Lopez state that the Mahīśāsaka was an offshoot of the Sarvāstivādins, but group the school under the Vibhajyavāda, "a broad designation for non-Sarvastivada strands of the Sthaviranikaya," which included the Kasyapiya; the Mahīśāsaka sect is thought to have first originated in the Avanti region of India. Their founder was a monk named Purāṇa, venerated at length in the Mahīśāsaka vinaya, preserved in the Chinese Buddhist canon.
From the writings of Xuanzang, the Mahīśāsaka are known to have been active in Kashmir in the 4th century CE. Xuanzang records that Asaṅga, an important Yogācāra master and the elder brother of Vasubandhu, received ordination into the Mahīśāsaka sect. Asaṅga's frameworks for abhidharma writings retained many underlying Mahīśāsaka traits. André Bareau writes: sufficiently obvious that Asaṅga had been a Mahīśāsaka when he was a young monk, that he incorporated a large part of the doctrinal opinions proper to this school within his own work after he became a great master of the Mahāyāna, when he made up what can be considered as a new and Mahāyānist Abhidharma-piṭaka; the Mahīśāsaka are believed to have spread from the Northwest down to Southern India including Nāgārjunakoṇḍā, as far as the island of Sri Lanka. According to A. K. Warder, the Indian Mahīśāsaka sect established itself in Sri Lanka alongside the Theravāda, into which they were absorbed. In the 7th century CE, Yijing grouped the Mahīśāsaka, Kāśyapīya together as sub-sects of the Sarvāstivāda, stated that these three were not prevalent in the "five parts of India," but were located in the some parts of Oḍḍiyāna, the Kingdom of Khotan, Kucha.
Between 148 and 170 CE, the Parthian monk An Shigao came to China and translated a work which describes the color of monastic robes utitized in five major Indian Buddhist sects, called Da Biqiu Sanqian Weiyi. Another text translated at a date, the Śāriputraparipṛcchā, contains a similar passage corroborating this information. In both sources, members of the Mahīśāsaka sect are described as wearing blue robes; the relevant portion of the Mahāsāṃghika Śāriputraparipṛcchā reads, "The Mahīśāsaka school practice dhyāna, penetrate deeply. They wear blue robes." According to the Mahīśāsakas, the Four Noble Truths were to be meditated upon simultaneously. The Mahīśāsaka sect held that everything only in the present, they regarded a gift to the Saṃgha as being more meritorious than one given to the Buddha. They disagreed with the Dharmaguptakas on this point, as the Dharmaguptakas believed that a giving a gift to the Buddha is more meritorious than giving one to the Saṃgha; the earlier Mahīśāsakas appear to have not held the doctrine of an intermediate state between death and rebirth, but Mahīśāsakas accepted this doctrine.
The Indian Mahīśāsaka sect established itself in Sri Lanka alongside the Theravāda, into which these members were absorbed. It is known that Faxian obtained a Sanskrit copy of the Mahīśāsaka vinaya at Abhayagiri vihāra in Sri Lanka, c. 406 CE. The Mahīśāsaka Vinaya was translated into Chinese in 434 CE by Buddhajiva and Zhu Daosheng; this translation of the Mahīśāsaka Vinaya remains extant in the Chinese Buddhist canon as Taishō Tripiṭaka 1421. It is believed that the Mahāyāna Infinite Life Sutra was compiled in the age of the Kushan Empire, in the 1st and 2nd centuries CE, by an order of Mahīśāsaka bhikkhus that flourished in the Gandhara region, it is that the longer Sukhāvatīvyūha owed to the Lokottaravāda sect as well for its compilation, in this sūtra there are many elements in common with the Mahāvastu. The earliest of these translations show traces of having been translated from the Gāndhārī language, a Prakrit used in the Northwest, it is known that manuscripts in the Kharoṣṭhī script existed in China during this period.
The Mahīśāsaka sect believed. In the Nāgadatta Sūtra, the Mahīśāsaka view is criticized in a narrative about a bhikṣuṇī named Nāgadatta. Here, the demon Māra takes the form of her father, tries to convince her to work toward the lower stage of an arhat, rather than that of a enlightened buddha: Māra therefore took the disguise of Nāgadatta's father and said thus to Nāgadatta: "Your thought is too serious. Buddhahood is too difficult to attain, it takes a hundred thousand nayutas of kotis of kalpas to become a Buddha. Since few people attain Buddhahood in this world, why don't you attain Arhatship? For the experience of Arhatship is the same as that of nirvāṇa. In her reply, Nāgadatta rejects arhatship as a lower path, saying, A Buddha's wisdom is like empty space of the ten quarters, which can enlighten innumerable people, but an Arhat's wisdom is inferior. The Mahīśāsaka sect held; these are that they may not become Māra king, Śakra king, Brahma king or a Buddha. This Mahīśāsaka view is ascribed to Māra in the Nāgadatta Sūtra of the Sarvāstivādins: Māra said, "I
Caitika was an early Buddhist school, a sub-sect of the Mahāsāṃghika. They were known as the Caityaka sect; the Caitikas proliferated throughout the mountains of South India, from which they derived their name. In Pali writings, members of this sect and its offshoots were referred to as the Andhakas, meaning "of Coastal Andhra"; the Caitikas branched off from the main Mahāsāṃghika school in the 1st or 2nd century BCE. Epigraphic evidence of the Mahāsāṃghikas in the Mathura region dates to the first century BCE, the Śāriputraparipṛcchā Sūtra dates the formation of the Caitikas to 300 years after the Buddha. However, the ancient Buddhist sites in the lower Kṛṣṇa Valley, including Amarāvati, Nāgārjunakoṇḍā and Jaggayyapeṭa "can be traced to at least the third century BCE, if not earlier."The Caitikas gave rise to the Aparaśailas and Uttaraśailas. Together, they comprised an important part of the Mahāsāṃghika located in South India. Two other sub-sects associated with the Caitikas include the Rājagirikas and the Siddhārthikas, both of which emerged from the Andhra region around 300 CE.
The Caitikas are said to have had in their possession the Great Stupa at Sanchi. The Great Stūpa was first commissioned by Asoka in the 3rd century BCE and became known as a Buddhist pilgrimage site. In the Ajaṇṭā Caves, the only epigraphic reference to an early Buddhist sect is to that of the Caitikas, associated with an iconic image in Cave 10; the Mahāsāṃghikas were associated with the early veneration of anthropomorphic Buddha images. When Xuanzang visited Dhānyakaṭaka, he wrote that the monks of this region were Mahāsāṃghikas, mentions the Pūrvaśailas specifically. Near Dhānyakaṭaka, he met two Mahāsāṃghika bhikṣus and studied Mahāsāṃghika abhidharma with them for several months, during which time they studied various Mahāyāna śāstras together under Xuanzang's direction; the southern Mahāsāṃghika schools such as the Caitikas advocated the ideal of the bodhisattva, the bodhisattvayāna, over that of the arhat or śrāvakayāna, they viewed arhats as being fallible and still subject to ignorance.
The main Caitika school, along with the Aparaśailas and Uttaraśailas, all emphasized the transcendental and supernatural character of the Buddha. Xuanzang considered the Mahāsāṃghika doctrine of a mūlavijñāna to be the same as the Yogacara doctrine of the ālāyavijñāna "storehouse consciousness", he noted that the doctrine of the mūlavijñāna was contained in the āgamas of the Mahāsāṃghikas. A. K. Warder holds that the Mahāyāna "almost certainly" first developed from the southern Mahāsāṃghika schools of the Āndhra region, among monastic communities associated with the Caitikas and their sub-sects. Anthony Barber and Sree Padma note that "historians of Buddhist thought have been aware for quite some time that such pivotally important Mahayana Buddhist thinkers as Nāgārjuna, Dignāga, Candrakīrti, Āryadeva, Bhāviveka, among many others, formulated their theories while living in Buddhist communities in Āndhra." Some early Mahāyāna sūtras reference wealthy female donors and provide evidence that they were developed in the Āndhra region, where the Caitika were predominant.
The Mahāyāna Mahāmegha Sūtra, for example, gives a prophecy about a royal princess of the Śatavāhana dynasty who will live in Āndhra, along the Kṛṣṇa River, in Dhānyakaṭaka, seven hundred years after the parinirvāṇa of the Buddha. Several scholars such as Étienne Lamotte, Alex and Hideko Wayman, associate the Āndra Ikṣvāku dynasty with patronage of Mahāyāna sūtras. Epigraphic evidence at Nāgārjunikoṇḍa provides abundant evidence of royal and wealthy female donors. A number of scholars have proposed that the Mahāyāna Prajñāpāramitā teachings were first developed by the Caitika subsect of the Mahāsāṃghikas, they believe that the Aṣṭasāhasrikā Prajñāpāramitā Sūtra originated amongst the southern Mahāsāṃghika schools of the Āndhra region, along the Kṛṣṇa River. Guang Xing states, "Several scholars have suggested that the Prajñāpāramitā developed among the Mahāsāṃghikas in southern India, in the Āndhra country, on the Kṛṣṇa River." These Mahāsāṃghikas had two famous monasteries near the Amarāvati and the Dhānyakaṭaka, which gave their names to the schools of the Pūrvaśailas and the Aparaśailas.
Each of these schools had a copy of the Aṣṭasāhasrikā Prajñāpāramitā Sūtra in Prakrit. Guang Xing assesses the view of the Buddha given in the Aṣṭasāhasrikā Prajñāpāramitā Sūtra as being that of the Mahāsāṃghikas. Edward Conze estimates that this sūtra originated around 100 BCE. Brian Edward Brown, a specialist in Tathāgatagarbha doctrines, writes that it has been determined that the composition of the Śrīmālādevī Siṃhanāda Sūtra occurred during the Āndra Ikṣvāku dynasty in the 3rd century CE as a product of the Mahāsāṃghikas of the Āndhra region. Alex Wayman has outlined eleven points of complete agreement between the Mahāsāṃghikas and the Śrīmālā, along with four major arguments for this association. After its composition, this text became the primary scriptural advocate in India for the universal potentiality of Buddhahood. Anthony Barber associates the earlier development of the Tathāgatagarbha Sūtra with the Mahāsāṃghikas, concludes that the Mahāsāṃghikas of the Āndhra region were responsible for the inception of the Tathāgatagarbha doctrine.
In the 6th century CE, Bhāviveka speaks of the Siddhārthikas using a Vidyādhāra Piṭaka, the Aparaśailas and Uttaraśailas both using a Bodhisattva Piṭaka, implying collections of Mahāyāna texts within these Caitika schools. During the same period, Avalokitavrata speaks of the Mahāsāṃghikas using a "Great Āgama Piṭaka", associated with Mahāyāna sūtras such as the Prajñāparamitā and the Ten Stages Sutra
Theravāda is the most ancient branch of extant Buddhism today and the one that preserved their version of the teachings of Gautama Buddha in the Pāli Canon. The Pāli Canon is the only complete Buddhist canon which survives in a classical Indian language, Pāli, which serves as both sacred language and lingua franca of Theravāda Buddhism. For more than a millennium, Theravāda has focused on preserving the dhamma as preserved in its texts and it tends to be conservative with regard to matters of doctrine and monastic discipline. Since the 19th century, meditation practice has been re-introduced and has become popular with a lay audience, both in traditional Theravada countries and in the west; as a distinct school of early Buddhism, Theravāda Buddhism developed in Sri Lanka and subsequently spread to the rest of Southeast Asia. It is the dominant form of religion in Cambodia, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Thailand and is practiced by minority groups in India, China and Vietnam. In addition, the diaspora of all of these groups as well as converts around the world practice Theravāda Buddhism.
Contemporary expressions include Buddhist modernism, the Vipassana movement and the Thai Forest Tradition. The name Theravāda comes from the ancestral Sthāvirīya, one of the early Buddhist schools, from which the Theravadins claim descent; the Sthavira nikāya arose during the first schism in the Buddhist sangha, due to their desire to tighten monastic discipline by adding new Vinaya rules, against the wishes of the majority Mahāsāṃghika group who disagreed with this. According to its own accounts, the Theravāda school is fundamentally derived from the Vibhajjavāda "doctrine of analysis" grouping, a division of the Sthāvirīya. According to Damien Keown, there is no historical evidence that the Theravāda school arose until around two centuries after the Great Schism which occurred at the Third Council. Theravadin accounts of its own origins mention that it received the teachings that were agreed upon during the putative Third Buddhist council under the patronage of the Indian Emperor Ashoka around 250 BCE.
These teachings were known as the Vibhajjavāda. Emperor Ashoka is supposed to have assisted in purifying the sangha by expelling monks who failed to agree to the terms of Third Council; the elder monk Moggaliputta-Tissa was at the head of the Third council and compiled the Kathavatthu, a refutation of various opposing views, an important work in the Theravada Abhidhamma. The Vibhajjavādins in turn is said to have split into four groups: the Mahīśāsaka, Kāśyapīya, Dharmaguptaka in the north, the Tāmraparṇīya in South India; the Tambapaṇṇiya, were established in Sri Lanka but active in Andhra and other parts of South India and across South-East Asia. Inscriptional evidence of this school has been found in Nagarjunakonda. According to Buddhist scholar A. K. Warder, the Theravāda. Spread south from Avanti into Maharashtra and Andhra and down to the Chola country, as well as Sri Lanka. For some time they maintained themselves in Avanti as well as in their new territories, but they tended to regroup themselves in the south, the Great Vihara in Anuradhapura, the ancient capital of Sri Lanka, becoming the main centre of their tradition, Kanchi a secondary center and the northern regions relinquished to other schools.
The Theravāda is said to be descended from the Tāmraparṇīya sect, which means "the Sri Lankan lineage". Missionaries sent abroad from India are said to have included Ashoka's son Mahinda and his daughter Sanghamitta, they were the mythical founders of Buddhism in Sri Lanka, a story which scholars suggest helps to legitimize Theravāda's claims of being the oldest and most authentic school. According to the Mahavamsa chronicle their arrival in Sri Lanka is said to have been during the reign of Devanampiya Tissa of Anuradhapura who converted to Buddhism and helped build the first Buddhist stupas. According to S. D. Bandaranayake: The rapid spread of Buddhism and the emergence of an extensive organization of the sangha are linked with the secular authority of the central state... There are no known artistic or architectural remains from this epoch except for the cave dwellings of the monks, reflecting the growth and spread of the new religion; the most distinctive features of this phase and the only contemporary historical material, are the numerous Brahmi inscriptions associated with these caves.
They record gifts to the sangha by householders and chiefs rather than by kings. The Buddhist religion itself does not seem to have established undisputed authority until the reigns of Dutthagamani and Vattagamani... The first records of Buddha images come from the reign of king Vasabha, after the 3rd century AD the historical record shows a growth of the worship of Buddha images as well as Bodhisattvas. In the 7th century, the Chinese pilgrim monks Xuanzang and Yijing refer to the Buddhist schools in Sri Lanka as Shàngzuòbù, corresponding to the Sanskrit Sthavira nikāya and Pali Thera Nikāya. Yijing writes, "In Sri Lanka the Sthavira school alone flourishes; the school has been using the name Theravāda for itself in a written form since at least the 4th century, about one thousand years after the Buddha's death, when the term appears in the Dīpavaṁsa. Between the reigns of Sena I and Mahinda IV, the city of Anuradhapura saw a "colossal building effort" by various kings during a long period of peace and prosperity, the great part o
Ānanda was the primary attendant of the Buddha and one of his ten principal disciples. Among the Buddha's many disciples, Ānanda stood out for having the best memory. Most of the texts of the early Buddhist Sutta-Piṭaka are attributed to his recollection of the Buddha's teachings during the First Buddhist Council. For that reason, he is known as the Treasurer of the Dhamma, with Dhamma referring to the Buddha's teaching. In Early Buddhist Texts, Ānanda was the first cousin of the Buddha. Although the early texts do not agree on many parts of Ānanda's early life, they do agree that Ānanda was ordained as a monk and that Puṇṇa Mantāniputta became his teacher. Twenty years in the Buddha's ministry, Ānanda became the attendant of the Buddha, when the Buddha selected him for this task. Ānanda performed his duties with great devotion and care, acted as an intermediary between the Buddha and the laypeople, as well as the saṅgha. He accompanied the Buddha for the rest of his life, acting not only as an assistant, but a secretary and a mouthpiece.
Scholars are skeptical about the historicity of many events in Ānanda's life the First Council, consensus about this has yet to be established. A traditional account can be drawn from early texts and post-canonical chronicles. Ānanda had an important role in establishing the order of bhikkhunīs, when he requested the Buddha on behalf of the latter's foster-mother Mahāpajāpati Gotamī to allow her to be ordained. Ānanda accompanied the Buddha in the last year of his life, therefore was witness to many tenets and principles that the Buddha conveyed before his death, including the well-known principle that the Buddhist community should take his teaching and discipline as their refuge, that he would not appoint a new leader. The final period of the Buddha's life shows that Ānanda was much attached to the Buddha's person, he saw the Buddha's passing with great sorrow. Shortly after the Buddha's death, the First Council was convened, Ānanda managed to attain enlightenment just before the council started, a requirement.
He had a historical role during the council as the living memory of the Buddha, reciting many of the Buddha's discourses and checking them for accuracy. During the same council, however, he was chastised by Mahākassapa and the rest of the saṅgha for allowing women to be ordained and failing to understand or respect the Buddha at several crucial moments. Ānanda continued to teach until the end of his life, passing on his spiritual heritage to his pupils Sāṇavāsī and Majjhantika, among others, who assumed leading roles in the Second and Third Councils. Ānanda died 20 years after the Buddha, stūpas were erected at the river where he died. Ānanda was one of the most loved figures in Buddhism. He was known for his memory and compassion, was praised by the Buddha for these matters, he functioned as a foil to the Buddha, however, in that he still had worldly attachments and was not yet enlightened, as opposed to the Buddha. In the Sanskrit textual traditions, Ānanda is considered the patriarch of the Dhamma, who stood in a spiritual lineage, receiving the teaching from Mahākassapa and passing them on to his own pupils.
Ānanda has been honored by bhikkhunīs since early medieval times for his merits in establishing the nun's order. In recent times, the composer Richard Wagner and Indian poet Rabindranath Tagore were inspired by stories about Ānanda in their work; the word ānanda means ` bliss, joy' in Sanskrit. Pāli commentaries explain. Texts from the Mūlasarvāstivāda tradition, state that since Ānanda was born on the day of the Buddha's enlightenment, there was great rejoicing in the city—hence the name. According to the texts, in a previous life, Ānanda made an aspiration to become a Buddha's attendant, he made this aspiration in the time of a previous Buddha called Padumuttara, many eons before the present age. He aspired to be like him in a future life. After having done many good deeds, he made his resolution known to the Padumuttara Buddha, who confirmed that his wish will come true in a future life. After having been born and reborn throughout many lifetimes, doing many good deeds, he was born as Ānanda in the time of the current Buddha Gotama.
Ānanda was born in the same time period as the Buddha, which scholars place at 5th–4th centuries BCE. Tradition says that Ānanda was the first cousin of the Buddha, his father being the brother of Suddhodana, the Buddha's father. In the Pāli and Mūlasarvāstivāda textual traditions, his father was Amitodana, but the Mahāvastu states that his father was Śuklodana—both are brothers of Suddhodana; the Mahāvastu mentions that Ānanda's mother's name was Mṛgī. The Pāli tradition has it that Ānanda was born on the same day as Prince Siddhatta, but texts from the Mūlasarvāstivāda and subsequent Mahāyāna traditions state Ānanda was born at the same time the Buddha attained enlightenment, was therefore much younger than the Buddha; the latter tradition is corroborated by several instances in the Early Buddhist Texts, in which Ānanda appears younger than the Buddha, such as the passage in which the Buddha explained to Ānanda how old age was affecting him in bo
Bahuśrutīya was one of the early Buddhist schools, according to early sources such as Vasumitra, the Śāriputraparipṛcchā, other sources, was a sub-group which emerged from the Mahāsāṃghika sect. The name Bahuśrutīya means "those who have heard much," meaning "well-learned." The Chinese translation for the name of this sect, Duowen Bu the "much-heard sect," corresponds to this etymology. Vasumitra's history, the Samayabhedoparacanacakra, records the following explanation of the name and characteristics of the Bahuśrutīya sect: Broadly studying the Tripiṭaka And profoundly comprehending the Buddha's words. Paramārtha, a 6th-century monk from Ujjain in central India, wrote that the founder of the Bahuśrutīya sect was named Yājñavalkya. In Paramārtha's account, Yājñavalkya is said to have lived during the time of the Buddha, to have heard his discourses, but was in a profound state of samādhi during the time of the Buddha's parinirvāṇa. After Yājñavalkya emerged from this samādhi 200 years he discovered that the Mahāsāṃghikas were teaching only the superficial meaning of the sūtras, he therefore founded the Bahuśrutīya sect in order to expound their full meaning.
Paramārtha links the origins of the Bahuśrutīya sect to the Mahāyāna teachings: In the Mahāsāṃghika school this Arhat recited the superficial sense and the profound sense. In the latter, there was the sense of the Mahāyāna; some did not believe it. Those who believed it retained it. There were in the Mahāsāṃghika school those who propagated these teachings, others who did not propagate them; the former formed a separate school called "Those who have heard much". It is from this school; that is. The translator Paramārtha wrote that the Bahuśrutīyas accepted both the Hīnayāna and Mahāyāna teachings. According to Paramārtha, the Bahuśrutīya school was formed in order to embrace both "conventional truth" and "ultimate truth." According to Sree Padma and Anthony Barber, the Bahuśrutīya understanding of this full exposition included the Mahāyāna teachings. According to Vasumitra, the Bahuśrutīyas considered the Buddha's teachings of impermanence, emptiness, anātman, Nirvāṇa to be supramundane, while his expositions on other subjects were to be considered mundane.
K. Venkata Ramanan writes: The credit of having kept alive the emphasis on the ultimacy of the unconditioned reality by drawing attention to the non-substantiality of the basic elements of existence belongs to the Mahāsāṃghikas; every branch of these drew the distinction between the mundane and the ultimate, came to emphasize the non-ultimacy of the mundane and thus facilitated the fixing of attention on the ultimate. The Bahuśrutīyas distinguished the mundane from the transmundane teachings of the Buddha and held that the latter directly lead one to freedom from defilements. Like the other Mahāsāṃghika sects, the Bahuśrutīyas believed; the Tattvasiddhi-Śāstra called the Satyasiddhi Śāstra, is an extant abhidharma text written by Harivarman, a 4th-century monk from central India. Harivarman is thought to come from the Bahuśrutīya school, but the Tattvasiddhi contains teachings more similar to those of the Sautrāntika Sarvāstivādins; this abhidharma is now contained in the Chinese Buddhist canon in sixteen fascicles.
Paramārtha cites this abhidharma text as containing a combination of Hīnayāna and Mahāyāna doctrines, Joseph Walser agrees that this assessment is correct. Ian Charles Harris characterizes the text as a synthesis of Hīnayāna and Mahāyāna, notes that its doctrines are close to those in Mādhyamaka and Yogācāra works; the Tattvasiddhi includes the teaching of the emptiness of phenomena. This text mentions the existence of a Bodhisattva Piṭaka; the Tattvasiddhi Śāstra maintained great popularity in Chinese Buddhism, lead to the formation of its own school of Buddhism in China, the Tattvasiddhi School, or Chéngshí Zōng, founded in 412 CE. As summarized by Nan Huai-Chin: Various Buddhist schools sprang to life, such as the school based on the three Mādhyamaka śāstras, the school based on the Abhidharmakośa, the school based on the Satyasiddhi Śāstra; these all vied with each other, producing many wondrous offshoots, each giving rise to its own theoretical system. The Tattvasiddhi School taught a progression of twenty-seven stations for cultivating realization, based upon the teachings of the Tattvasiddhi Śāstra.
The Tattvasiddhi School took Harivarman as its founder in India, Kumārajīva as the school's founder in China. The Satyasiddhi School is counted among the Ten Schools of Tang Dynasty Buddhism. From China, the Satyasiddhi School was transmitted to Japan in 625 CE, where it was known as Jōjitsu-shu; the Japanese Satyasiddhi school is known as one of the six great schools of Japanese Buddhism in the Nara period
Sāriputta or Śāriputra was one of two chief male disciples of Gautama Buddha along with Moggallāna, counterparts to the bhikkhunis Khema and Uppalavanna, his two chief female disciples. He became an arhat renowned for his teaching and is depicted in the Theravada tradition as one of the most important disciples of the Buddha. Sariputta is regarded as the disciple of the Buddha, foremost in wisdom. Śāri was his mother's name and is the name of the Indian myna bird. Putra means son, he was called Upatissa. This name came from Tissa. In the Japanese language he is called Sharihotsu. Sāriputta was the eldest son of a noblewoman, he was the eldest of brothers, Upasēna, Maha Chunda, Rēvata, his sisters Chāla, Upachālā and Sīsupachālā. According with the Chinese version of the Mūlasarvāstivādin vinaya, Sāriputta came from a Brahmin family, had embarked on life as a spiritual ascetic when he encountered the teachings of the Buddha. Sāriputta had another wandering ascetic, they both renounced the world on the same day, became disciples of the sceptic Sañjaya Belaṭṭhaputta before converting to Buddhism.
After hearing of the Buddha's teachings from a monk named Assaji, Sāriputta sought out the Buddha and became an adherent to his teachings. These two are depicted together with the Buddha, several sutras regard interactions between Sāriputta and Moggallāna. Sāriputta preached with the Buddha's approval and was awarded the title "General of the Dharma" for his propagation of the teachings and is regarded as the founder of the Abhidharma tradition. However, the Buddha lightly reprimanded Sāriputta on occasion when he did not explain the Dhamma to a prince, or when he allowed a group of novice monks to become too loud. Sāriputta was one of the most praised disciples and on at least one occasion the Buddha declared him to be a true spiritual son and his chief assistant in "turning the Wheel of the Dhamma": "If a person, rightly saying it of anyone, were to say,'He is the Blessed One's son, his offspring — born of his mouth, born of the Dhamma, created by the Dhamma, his heir in the Dhamma, not his heir in material things,' he would be rightly saying it of Śāriputra if he were to say:'He is the Blessed One's son, his offspring — born of his mouth, born of the Dhamma, created by the Dhamma, his heir in the Dhamma, not his heir in material things.'
Sariputta, takes the unexcelled wheel of Dhamma set rolling by the Tathagata, keeps it rolling rightly." According to the Pāli Canon, Sāriputta died peacefully on the full moon day of Kartika a few months before the Buddha, having achieved Parinibbana, when Sāriputta's assistant, gave the news to Ananda, Ananda was distressed. He passed the news along to the Buddha, who remained at peace, chastised Ananda's reaction: But, haven't I taught you the state of growing indifferent with regard to all things dear & appealing, the state of becoming separate, the state of becoming otherwise? What else is there to expect? It's impossible that one could forbid anything born, fabricated, & subject to disintegration from disintegrating. Just as if the largest limb were to fall off a great tree composed of heartwood, standing firm. What else is there to expect? It's impossible that one could forbid anything born, fabricated, & subject to disintegration from disintegrating. Sāriputta went to his native home, Nalaka, a Brahmin village, as he wanted his mother, still a non-Buddhist to be shown the correct path and faith.
He died at the village after being able to convert his mother and make her a path winner. After his body was cremated the bones were taken to the Buddha by Cunda and on the Buddha's instruction handed over to King Ajātaśatru. Ajātaśatru enshrined these relics in a Stupa, venerated by the followers. In 261 BCE, King Dharmasoka opened the stupa on instructions received from Moggaliputta-Tissa, who indicated the Third Buddhist council. While depictions of Śāriputra in the Pāli Canon are uniformly positive, showing Śāriputra as a wise and powerful arhat, second only to the Buddha, his depiction in some Mahayana sources has been much less flattering, serving as a counterpoint. In the Vimalakīrti Sūtra, Sāriputra is depicted as the voice of the Hinayana or Śrāvaka tradition, presented in the Mahāyāna sūtras as a "less sophisticated" teaching. In this sutra, Śāriputra is unable to grasp the Mahayana doctrines presented by Vimalakīrti and others, is rebuked or defeated in debate by a number of interlocutors, including a female deity who refutes Śāriputra's "Hinayana" assumptions regarding gender and form.
Here Sāriputta questioned why, if she is so capable, the deva has a female body. The deva proceeded to teach a lesson in nondualism by switching their sexes, stating, "in all things, there is neither male nor female."However, in the Lotus Sutra, Buddha does predict that Sāriputta will become a fully-awakened Buddha one day named "Flower Glow Tathāgata", at which Sāriputta's mind is said to "dance with joy". A dialogue between Sāriputta and Avalokiteśvara is the context of the Heart Sutra, a brief but essential Prajñāpāramitā sūtra in Mahayana Buddhism. Moggallāna Sammaditthi Sutta – a Pali Canon discourse attributed to Sāriputta Sariputra in the Jatakas Sanchi Bhadda Kundalakesa, a fo
The Jātaka tales are a voluminous body of literature native to India concerning the previous births of Gautama Buddha in both human and animal form. The future Buddha may appear as a king, an outcast, a god, an elephant—but, in whatever form, he exhibits some virtue that the tale thereby inculcates. Jātaka tales include an extensive cast of characters who interact and get into various kinds of trouble - whereupon the Buddha character intervenes to resolve all the problems and bring about a happy ending. In Theravada Buddhism, the Jātakas are a textual division of the Pāli Canon, included in the Khuddaka Nikaya of the Sutta Pitaka; the term Jātaka may refer to a traditional commentary on this book. The Jātakas are amongst the earliest Buddhist literature, with metrical analysis methods dating their average contents to around the 4th century BCE; the Mahāsāṃghika Caitika sects from the Āndhra region took the Jātakas as canonical literature and are known to have rejected some of the Theravāda Jātakas which dated past the time of King Ashoka.
The Caitikas claimed that their own Jātakas represented the original collection before the Buddhist tradition split into various lineages. According to A. K. Warder, the Jātakas are the precursors to the various legendary biographies of the Buddha, which were composed at dates. Although many Jātakas were written from an early period, which describe previous lives of the Buddha little biographical material about Gautama's own life has been recorded; the Jātaka-Mālā of Arya Śura in Sanskrit gives 34 Jātaka stories. At the Ajanta Caves, Jātaka scenes are inscribed with quotes from Arya Shura, with script datable to the sixth century, it had been translated into Chinese in 434 CE. Borobudur contains depictions of all 34 Jatakas from Jataka Mala; the Theravāda Jātakas comprise 547 poems, arranged by an increasing number of verses. According to Professor von Hinüber, only the last 50 were intended to be intelligible by themselves, without commentary; the commentary gives stories in prose that it claims provide the context for the verses, it is these stories that are of interest to folklorists.
Alternative versions of some of the stories can be found in another book of the Pali Canon, the Cariyapitaka, a number of individual stories can be found scattered around other books of the Canon. Many of the stories and motifs found in the Jātaka such as the Rabbit in the Moon of the Śaśajātaka, are found in numerous other languages and media. For example, The Monkey and the Crocodile, The Turtle Who Couldn't Stop Talking and The Crab and the Crane that are listed below famously featured in the Hindu Panchatantra, the Sanskrit niti-shastra that ubiquitously influenced world literature. Many of the stories and motifs are translations from the Pali but others are instead derived from vernacular oral traditions prior to the Pali compositions. Sanskrit and Tibetan Jātaka stories tend to maintain the Buddhist morality of their Pali equivalents, but re-tellings of the stories in Persian and other languages sometimes contain significant amendments to suit their respective cultures. At the Mahathupa in Sri Lanka all 550 Jataka tales were represented inside of the reliquary chamber.
Reliquaries depict the Jataka tales. Many stupas in northern India are said to mark locations from the Jātaka tales. A stupa in Pushkalavati, in northwestern Pakistan, marks where Syama fulfilled his filial duty to his blind parents; the Mankiala stupa near Gujar Khan commemorates the spot where Prince Sattva sacrificed himself to feed baby tigers. Nearby the ascetic Ekasrnga was seduced by a beautiful woman. In Mangalura, Ksantivadin submitted to mutilation by a king. At Hadda Mountain a young Brahmin sacrificed himself to learn a half verse of the dharma. At Sarvadattaan an incarnation sold himself for ransom to make offerings to a Brahmin. Faxian describes the four great stupas as being adorned with precious substances. At one site king Sibi sacrifices his flesh to ransom a dove from a hawk. Another incarnation gave up his eyes; as King Candraprabha he cut off his head as a gift to a Brahmin. Some would sever their body parts in front of stupas. Within the Pali tradition, there are many apocryphal Jātakas of composition but these are treated as a separate category of literature from the "Official" Jātaka stories that have been more or less formally canonized from at least the 5th century — as attested to in ample epigraphic and archaeological evidence, such as extant illustrations in bas relief from ancient temple walls.
Apocryphal Jātakas of the Pali Buddhist canon, such as those belonging to the Paññāsa Jātaka collection, have been adapted to fit local culture in certain South East Asian countries and have been retold with amendments to the plots to better reflect Buddhist morals. In Theravada countries several of the longer tales such as "The Twelve Sisters" and the Vessantara Jataka are still performed in dance and formal recitation; such celebrations are associated with particular holidays on the lunar calendar used by Thailand, Sri Lanka and Laos. The standard Pali collection of jātakas, with canonical text embedded, has been translated by E. B. Cowell and others published in six volumes by Cambridge University Press, 1895-1907. There are numerous translations of selections and individual stories from various languages; the Jātaka-Mālā of Arya Śura was critically edited in the original Sanskrit by Hendrik Kern of the University