The Buddha’s Praise of Arahat Sāriputta

Ven. Cunda was Ven. Sāriputta’s younger brother. He too had ordained, but at the time of his elder brother’s attainment of final nibbāna he was still only a novice.

It was Ven. Cunda who took the news to Sāvatthī to inform the Buddha, who was himself at that time close to finishing with existence (see SN 47.13).

Instead of approaching him personally, he first told Ven. Ānanda, and informed him, and the two of them went to the Buddha and gave him the news.

The Buddha is said (in the commentary) to have spoken 500 verses in praise of his Chief Disciple at that time, but only the first four have come down to us today. These are those verses (the metre is mixed Tuṭṭhubha/Jagati):

 

Yo pabbajī jātisatāni pañca,
He who went forth in five hundred of his lives,

pahāya kāmāni manoramāni,
who gave up delight in all the sense pleasures,

taṁ vītarāgaṁ susamāhitindriyaṁ:
the passionless one, with faculties restrained:

Parinibbutaṁ vandatha Sāriputtaṁ.
worship at Sāriputta’s final Nibbāna.

 

Khantībalo pathavisamo na kuppati,
Strong in patience, like the earth he was not angry,

na cāpi cittassa vasena vattati,
he brought his mind under his complete control,

anukampako kāruṇiko ca nibbuto:
compassionate, kind and emancipated:

Parinibbutaṁ vandatha Sāriputtaṁ.
worship at Sāriputta’s final Nibbāna.

 

Caṇḍālaputto yathā nagaraṁ paviṭṭho,
Like an outcaste who has entered the city,

nīcamāno carati kaḷopihattho,
unconceited, walks with wicker cup in hand,

tathā ayaṁ viharati Sāriputto:
in just the same way did Sāriputta live:

Parinibbutaṁ vandatha Sāriputtaṁ.
worship at Sāriputta’s final Nibbāna.

 

Usabho yathā chinnavisāṇako
Just as a bull that has a horn that is broken

aheṭhayanto carati purantare vane,
lives harmlessly in cities and in the woods,

tathā ayaṁ viharati Sāriputto:
in just the same way did Sāriputta live:

Parinibbutaṁ vandatha Sāriputtaṁ.
worship at Sāriputta’s final Nibbāna.

 

Sariputta from Myanmar (photo by Hiart)
Sariputta from Myanmar (photo by Hiart)

 




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