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- Somehing I have never seen before, and never even heard of-now all the marvelous purity of the Buddha land is visible before me!
- Shariputra said, "Why don't you change out of this female body?" (Shariputra assumes that any woman would naturally want to change into a man if she had the power to do so.)
The goddess replied, "For the past twelve years I have been trying to take on female form, but in the end with no success. What is there to change? If a sorcerer were to conjure up a phantom woman and then someone asked her why she didn't change out of her female body, would that be any kind of reasonable question?"
"No," said Shariputra. "Phantoms have no fixed form, so what would there be to change?"
The goddess said, "All things are just the same-they have no fixed form. So why ask why I don't change out of my female form?"
At that time the goddess employed her supernatural powers to change Shariputra into a goddess like herself, while she took on Shariputra's form. Then she asked, "Why don't you change out of this female body?"
Shariputra, now in the form of a goddess, replied, "I don't know why I have suddenly changed and taken on a female body! " The goddess said, "Shariputra, if you can change out of this female body, then all women can change likewise. Shariputra, who is not a woman, appears in a woman's body. And the same is true of all women-though they appear in women's bodies, they are not women. Therefore the Buddha teaches that all phenomena are neither male nor female."
Then the goddess withdrew her supernatural powers, and Shariputra returned to his original form. The goddess said to Shariputra, "Where now is the form and shape of your female body?"
Shariputra said, "The form and shape of my female body does not exist, yet does not not exist."
The goddess said, "All things are just like that-they do not exist, yet do not not exist. And that they do not exist, yet do not not exist, is exactly what the Buddha teaches."
Quotes about Sariputta
- Shariputra, it is the failings of living beings that prevent them from seeing the marvelous purity of the land of the Buddha, the Thus Come One. The Thus Come One is not to blame. Shariputra, this land of mine is pure, but you fail to see it.
- Just as the eldest son of a wheel-turning monarch properly keeps in motion the wheel of sovereignty set in motion by his father, so do you, Sāriputta, properly keep in motion the Wheel of Dhamma set in motion by me.
- Entry on Sariputta in the Buddhist Dictionary of Pali Proper Names
- The Life of Sāriputta - compiled and translated from Pāli by Nyanaponika Thera
- GREAT MALE DISCIPLES - Part A Upatissa (Sariputta) and Kolita (Moggallana) by Radhika Abeysekera
- Jack Daulton, "Sariputta and Moggallana in the Golden Land: The Relics of the Buddha's Chief Disciples at the Kaba Aye Pagoda"
- Ajahn Achalo Bhikkhu "Around Rajgir – Sariputta the Great Disciple"