Sariputta


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Sariputta

In Therevada Buddhist texts there was no mention of Moggallana's mother, only the story of his tragic death (because he treated his parents badly in his previous life). There was however this story about how Sariputta assisted his mother from previous life in getting out of her hungry ghost realm into heaven, and how before his death he fulfilled his duty to the mother of his current life. We have no idea why in Mahayana Buddhism it was told the other way around, that Moggallana was the one that helped the hungry ghost of his mother of previous life, and that his name was closely referenced to being dutiful to parents.

On one autumn afternoon. with his supernatural power of ears and eyes, Sariputta heard and saw the Eight Legions shouting and chasing off a foul smelling skinny wretched old woman, a hungry ghost. The woman said to him : "I was your mother in previous life, now I suffer so much so I came to beg for your help, please don't let them chase me away ... " Sariputta had to interfere so he asked the Eight Guards: "Please let her in, she was my mother in previous life."

After speaking to the hungry ghost, Sariputta promised to help her, but she had to wait until the next day. Next morning, Sariputta went begging and offered his food to the Buddha and his followers and asked them to pray for the hungry ghost. Sariputta, General of the Dharma, The Supreme Wisdom, was the leader of the process, the receivers were the Buddha and his followers. Thanks to such massive unequalled powerful spiritual merit, the hungry ghost was removed and appeared in heaven within 3 beats of the gong.

So, we must remember this: many of our own relatives in our many lives and others unrelated beings can receive our dedication of karmic merits if we provide it generously and indiscriminately. Just imagine if you were a hungry ghost, existing in most horrific situation, wandering, floating around the sewers and gutters, suddenly you heard someone giving away good karmic merits, for everything and everyone, you would be so glad that your spirit would be liberated. If we only pray for a specific Mr. John Doe or Ms. Jane Doe without thinking further about immeasurable number of other beings, then we would have somehow neglected our own relatives from our different lives.

One day when I die I hope someone will remember what I was, a monk who had shared with you the wisdom of Dhamma, who had gone. Where I will end up only my karma knows.

Remember this and live well and more purposefully.


Not What It Seems | | Right Views (Sammādiṭṭhi)

Praise & Criticism | | Cāgānussati Meditation

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