19. CONVERSION OF SARIPUTTA AND MOGGALLANA
Sariputta and Moggallana were the two most distinguished of the Buddha's disciples and were well-known as his two chief disciples. Before they met the Blessed One they were leading the religious life under Sanjaya as wandering ascetics in search of truth. One day Sariputta saw the Venerable Assaji going round Rajagaha early in the morning for alms, with decorous walk and perfect deportment. He thought, "Surely this is one of the monks who are arahants, or who have entered on the path of arahantship", and followed in the wake of this monk.
When the Venerable Assaji had taken his meal, Sariputta drew near and spoke to him as follows:- 'Who, brother, is your teacher and whose doctrine do you approve?" The Venerable Assaji replied, "The Blessed One, a great Sakayaputta monk, is my teacher. The Doctrine proclaimed by the Blessed One I approve. It shows suffering, cause of suffering, cessation of suffering and the path leading to the cessation of suffering". On hearing this exposition of the Doctrine, Sariputta was established in the first holy stage of the Ariyan Path. Then Sariputta went to tell his friend the good news and Moggallana was also established in the first holy stage of the Ariyan Path. Both of them with a large following of their disciples became monks under the Doctrine and Discipline of the Buddha.