Angulimala's encounter with the Buddha - verses from the Theragatha

From Encyclopedia of Buddhism
Jump to: navigation, search

Angulimala's encounter with the Buddha is mentioned in multiple sources. This page includes verses on the encounter from the Theragatha, as well as related verses from the Dhamapada and Majjhima Nikaya. All verses are translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu (see attribution at bottom of page).

Verses from the Theragatha

The following verses are from a poem about the meeting of the bandit and serial killer Angulimala with the Buddha, from the Theragatha (Verses of the Elder Monks). This translation from the Pali is by Thanissaro Bhikkhu. It translates the verses about him in (Thag 16.8)

[Angulimala:]
"While walking, contemplative,
you say, 'I have stopped.'
But when I have stopped
you say I haven't.
I ask you the meaning of this:
How have you stopped?
How haven't I?"

[The Buddha:]
"I have stopped, Angulimala,
once & for all,
having cast off violence
toward all living beings.
You, though,
are unrestrained toward beings.
That's how I've stopped
and you haven't."

[Angulimala:]
"At long last a greatly revered great seer
    for my sake
has come to the great forest.
Having heard your verse
in line with the Dhamma,
I will go about
having abandoned evil."

So saying, the bandit
hurled his sword & weapons
    over a cliff
    into a chasm,
       a pit.
Then the bandit paid homage
to the feet of the One Well-gone,
and right there requested the Going-forth.

The Awakened One,
the compassionate great seer,
the teacher of the world, along with its devas,
said to him then:
    "Come, bhikkhu."
That in itself
was bhikkhuhood for him.

Related verses

Dhamapada

The following verses are from the Dhamapada; translation from the Pali is by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.

Who once was heedless,
but later is not,
    brightens the world
    like the moon set free from a cloud.

His evil-done deed
is replaced with skillfulness:
    he brightens the world
    like the moon set free from a cloud.

Whatever young monk
devotes himself
to the Buddha's bidding:
    he brightens the world
    like the moon set free from a cloud.

May even my enemies
    hear talk of the Dhamma.
May even my enemies
    devote themselves
    to the Buddha's bidding.
May even my enemies
    associate with those people
    who — peaceful, good —
    get others to accept the Dhamma.
May even my enemies
    hear the Dhamma time & again
    from those who advise endurance,
            forbearance,
    who praise non-opposition,
and may they follow it.

For surely he wouldn't harm me,
or anyone else;
he would attain the foremost peace,
would protect the feeble & firm.

Irrigators guide the water.
Fletchers shape the arrow shaft.
Carpenters shape the wood.
The wise control
        themselves.

Some tame with a blunt stick,
with hooks, & with whips
But without blunt or bladed weapons
I was tamed by the one who is Such.

"Doer of No Harm" is my name,
but I used to be a doer of harm.
Today I am true to my name,
for I harm no one at all.

    A bandit
    I used to be,
renowned as Angulimala.
Swept along by a great flood,
I went to the Buddha as refuge.

    Bloody-handed
    I used to be,
renowned as Angulimala.
See my going for refuge!
Uprooted is [craving],
the guide to becoming.

Having done the type of kamma
that would lead to many
bad destinations,
touched by the fruit of [that] kamma,
unindebted, I eat my food.

They're addicted to heedlessness
 — dullards, fools —
while one who is wise
cherishes heedfulness
as his highest wealth.

Don't give way to heedlessness
    or to intimacy
    with sensual delight —
for a heedful person,
absorbed in jhana,
attains an abundant bliss.

This has come well & not gone away,
it was not badly thought through for me.
From among well-analyzed qualities,
I have obtained
the best.

This has come well & not gone away,
it was not badly thought through for me.

Majjhima Nikaya

The following verses are from the Majjhima Nikaya 86; translation from the Pali is by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.

    The three knowledges
    have been attained;
    the Awakened One's bidding,
        done.

Where once I stayed here & there
with shuddering mind —
    in the wilderness,
    at the foot of a tree,
    in mountains, caves —
with ease I now lie down, I stand,
with ease I live my life.
O, the Teacher has shown me sympathy!

Before, I was of brahman stock,
on either side high-born.
Today I'm the son
of the One Well-gone,
the Dhamma-king,
the Teacher.

Rid of craving, devoid of clinging,
sense-doors guarded, well-restrained,
having killed the root of evil,
I've reached fermentations' end.

The Teacher has been served by me;
the Awakened One's bidding,
    done;
the guide to becoming, uprooted;
the heavy load, laid down.

This article includes content from "Angulimala" (Thag 16.8) on Access to Insight. Licensed under CC BY-NC 4.0 Access to insight icon 50px.png