38. Conversion by the Buddha of Angulimala, a robber of the forest
Angulimala was the son of the Kings Chaplain of the Savatthi City, and a student of the Taxila University. The teacher and his wife were very fond of him, as he was a brilliant, clever and faithful pupil. Unfortunately his associated grew jealous of him, made up a false story and succeeded in setting the teacher against him. The enraged teacher, suspecting him to have had an affair with his wife contrived to put an end to his life by ordering him to fetch a thousand fingers as a present in return for the education he received. In obedience to the teacher, he took to the forest of Savatthi and started killing people to collect fingers for the necessary offering. Later he wore a garland of these fingers to ascertain the number—hence the name Angulimala. When he had collected 999 fingers, and was ready to complete the number he chased his own mother who came out to ask him to desist from killing.
The Buddha saw this in advance and appeared on the scene to prevent him from killing his mother. He chased the Buddha to kill Him, but could not overtake Him on account of His supernatural power. He was eventually converted to the noble Doctrine of the Buddha and was admitted into the Order.
THE ILLUSTRATED HISTORY OF BUDDHISM
by ASHIN JANAKA BHIVAMSA (Aggamahapandita)
Artist: U Ba Kyi | Link to this post