Sariputra, every time this name appear it represents the one who was known by name “General of Dharma“. Ven. Sariputra was one of the two chief disciples of Lord Buddha during his lifetime was foremost in Wisdom among all the important disciples of Lord Buddha. It is said that Sariputra was most capable of teaching Dharma as well as most of the teachings of Buddha and it is also believed that Sariputra came second to Lord Buddha when it comes to capability of teaching. Whenever it comes to Abhidharma i.e. third basket of Tripitaka in Heaven realms, the name of Sariputra always comes in front.
It is said that Lord Buddha mostly teach about Abhidharma to Ven. Sariputra than most of the Buddhist disciples and Ven. Sariputra later passed on this teachings to other junior Buddhist monks by mastering the Buddha abhidharma teachings. According to Pali texts of Buddhism and as mentioned in Buddhist history, Sariputra had a great insight into the Enlightenment. After hearing the Buddha teachings from Assaji, Sariputra was greatly moved and approached Lord Buddha for his great principles and omnipotent insight on the life, death, realm of heaven, hell and rebirth. Ven. Sariputra was mostly known for his exceptional insight into the teachings of Dharma.
“Of all those things that from a cause arise,
Tathagata the cause thereof has told;
And how they cease to be, that too he tells,
This is the doctrine of the Great Recluse.”
Sariputra & His Teachings for 500 monks
This happened on the event when Ven. Devadatta deserted the Lord Buddha and influenced other 500 monks to revolt against Lord Buddha. The main reason behind Devadatta action was his arrogance after Lord Buddha time was almost up. After Lord Buddha refused him being the leader of all the Buddhist monks, he felt ashamed and influenced other 500 junior monks. Then Lord Buddha asked his two chief disciples to bring all 500 monks and asked to help them from going the wrong path, Sariputra and Moggallana gladly accepted.
Then Ven. Sariputra and Ven. Moggallana approached all 500 monks and Ven. Sariputra preached about Dharma. The preaching of Dharma was so exceptional that all 500 monks who left with Devadatta accepted to return back to Lord Buddha. This was possible only with two chief disciples of Buddha i.e. Sariputra’s exceptional teachings on Dharma, and Moggallana’s exceptional demonstration of his supernatural powers that he learnt from Lord Buddha. That’s why Sariputra was given the name “General of Dharma”.
See More : Life of Sariputra