One) 29. Angulimala,
King of Kosala had an adviser called Bhaggawa. Bhaggawa
had a wife called Mantani and a son called Ahinsaka.
Ahinsaka was born, all the weapons in the country
shone brightly. The king was disturbed by this, and
the next morning he called his adviser to find out
the reason why the weapons were shiny. The adviser
said, "My wife has given birth to a son, Your
why do the weapons shine in such a manner?"
asked the king.
"Your Majesty, my son will be a bandit."
"Will he rob alone or with a gang?" asked
"He will be single-handed, Your Majesty,"
"We should kill him now," said the king.
"No!" exclaimed Bhaggawa, "As he
will be alone we shall be able to catch him easily."
Ahinsaka was old enough his father sent him to a
school in Takka Sila. Ahinsaka was the strongest,
brightest and the most obedient child of all the
children in the whole school. Other children became
envious of him and behind his back made the teacher
hate him. Thus, when he had finished his education,
the teacher said, "Now you must pay me my tuition
much should I pay, Sir?" asked Ahinsaka.
dont want cash but one thousand right-hand
human fingers. And remember not to bring two right-hand human fingers from the same person."
it was a most difficult thing for him to do, Ahinsaka
promised to pay his teacher. Taking a sword, off
he went until he reached Kosala.
near a jungle highway, he waited for passers by.
He would rush out and kill them, cutting off a right-hand finger and hanging their corpses on a tree
for the vultures and crows. He made a garland out
of the finger bones and soon became known as "Angulimala"
went to another district and began to kill again.
Because he was murdering so many people, the King
of Kosala decided to go with his strong army and
capture the bandit. When Mantani heard this she
went to her husband to try to get him to save their
he is very fierce now," said Bhaggawa. "He
may have changed completely, and if I go there he
may even kill me." But the mother was very
soft hearted and loved her son more than she loved
herself. She thought, "I must go to the jungle
myself and save him."
Angulimala had killed 999 people. He had spent months
and months in the jungle without proper food, sleep
or comfort, so he was impatient to pay off his debt
and live a decent life. He thought, "Today
if even my own mother comes I will kill her and
cut off a finger to make one thousand fingers."
that day, while the Buddha looked round the world
to see if anybody needed help, he saw Angulimala
and his mother. "I must save them," he
thought as he set out towards the jungle.
villagers, seeing the Buddha, cried out, "Teacher,
dont go that way, it is too dangerous. Return
home quickly." Three times they warned him
but the Buddha continued, thanking them for their
Angulimalas mother entered the jungle. Angulimala
saw her coming and thought, "Poor lady. She
comes alone. I pity her but it cannot be helped
. I must keep my word and kill her." All of
a sudden, the Buddha appeared between them. Angulimala
thought, "It is very good that this ascetic
comes before my mother. Why should I kill her? I
will leave her alone and kill this stranger."
And with his sword he ran towards the Buddha. The
Buddha walked slowly before him, thinking, "Let
this young man see me running." So Angulimala
ran and ran towards the Buddha, but he could not
catch up with him. He became so weak that he could
not run any further. Then he shouted at the Buddha,
"Stop! Stand still!"
stand still, Angulimala! Do you also stand still?"
said the Buddha.
could not understand the meaning of the Buddhas
words, so he asked him, "How can you say you
stand still while running faster than me?"
stand still Angulimala evermore,
For I am merciful to all living beings;
But you are merciless to living beings.
Therefore I stand still and you stand not still."
was very pleased with what the Buddha said and throwing
away his sword knelt before him. The Buddha blessed
him and took him to the monastery, where he became
the king was waiting with his army at the palace
to receive the Buddha's blessing before setting
out to the jungle. When the Buddha did not come,
he went to the monastery with his five hundred horses
and soldiers. The Buddha asked him, "What is
it that troubles you, mighty King?"
is a most fierce killer called Angulimala and I
am going to catch him."
mighty King, suppose you see Angulimala head shaven,
wearing yellow robes. What
would you do to him?"
would worship him," answered the king.
the Buddha called Angulimala and the frightened
soldiers started to run away. But the Buddha stopped
them, and taught the Dharma to them all.