The Intriguing Story of Angulimaal: How Ahimsaka became Angulimaal?

We all know the story how Buddha transformed Angulimaal, a robber who wears a necklace of human fingers, to a monk. But Angulimaal was not his real name. His real name was Ahimsaka. Do you know how Ahimsaka, the intelligent child, became Angulimaal?

We all love to know the story of transformation from a villain to a hero. But do we know that Ahimsaka was a hero before he became a villain in the form of Angulimaal?

We know the story of Angulimaal as a reminder that even the most hardened criminals can find redemption. But do we know the story of Ahimsaka and how he came to be known as Angulimaal? How an innocent child transformed into a dreaded robber?

Today, we tell you the story of Ahimsaka\’s transformation from a hero to villain. Let\’s begin:

The Childhood of Angulimaal

Angulimaal, whose birth name was Ahimsaka, was the son of a Brahmin teacher in the ancient city of Shravasti. As a child, he was intelligent and curious, and his father taught him the sacred scriptures.

When Angulimaal was still a young boy, his father sent him to Taxila to study under a renowned guru. There, he excelled in his studies and gained the respect of both his peers and teachers. However, the guru\’s other disciples were jealous and they hatched a plot to estrange the Guru from his favorite disciple, Ahimsaka.

The False Rumour

The guru\’s disciples spread a false rumor that the Guru\’s wife thinks that Ahimsaka is even better than the Guru. This rumour touched a nerve in the Guru. Triggered, the Guru asked Ahimsaka to leave the ashram. Confused and heartbroken, Ahimsaka returned to his home only to be disowned by his father as he said that Ahimsaka must have done something wrong to be expelled from the ashram.

Ahimsaka tried to find some work but he was shunned by the people assuming that he must have been expelled from the ashram for something wrong on Ahimsaka\’s part.

Ahimsaka wondered why his Guru sent him away, why his parents didn\’t believe his story and why people slam the doors on his face. As he struggled with the false accusations and personal losses, one day a robber accosted his saying, \”Give me whatever you have\”.

Ahimsaka was angry and his vengeful rage spiraled out of control, and he poured all his anger on the robber and killed him. He turned to a life of violence and crime. Ahimsaka became Angulimaal, a ruthless and feared robber, murdering travelers and collecting their fingers as a gruesome count of his victims. He was given the name \”Angulimaal,\” meaning \”finger garland,\” due to the horrifying garland he wore made of his victims\’ fingers.

What does this story tell us?

Angulimaal\’s story demonstrates the destructive power of anger, vengeance, and unchecked emotions. His childhood experiences, coupled with the false accusations and personal losses, pushed him onto a dark path.

However, his life took a dramatic turn when he encountered the Buddha, who showed him compassion and understanding. This ultimately led to his transformation and redemption. The Buddha\’s teachings awakened Angulimaal\’s inherent but dormant goodness. It helped him realize the destructive nature of his actions. It lead him to embrace a new path of peace and enlightenment as a Buddhist monk.

The only thing Ahimsaka wanted was acceptance and find redemption. Angulimaal found redemption through his transformation into a monk, thanks to Buddha.

This is the story that we all need to know and learn from. Perhaps it\’s also the story of Frankenstein who was disowned by his own maker and therefore turned violent. This is a story which really marks the value of being kind and compassionate.

The world needs to stay kind, stay funny!


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