The story of Angulimala continues….
Lord Buddha replied, “I have stopped forever. I will never harm any being. You have no restrain over living beings. And so, I say I have stopped and so should you.”
On hearing this utterance, Angulimala knew he was face to face with a Buddha, an Enlightened One. He said, “After hearing this teaching, I now lay down my sword to follow you.”
Lord Buddha answered, “Come, Bhikkhu.” At that moment, Angulimala was transformed into a bhikkhu complete with robes and bowl. Such a transformation is possible for one who is already endowed with the special merits, as Angulimala was. So, that was how he became a disciple of the Buddha.
Sometimes we know that what we do is wrong, but need someone to tell us to change. Thus it is better to associate with people who have wisdom; to have friends who are knowledgeable in the Dhamma from whom we can learn to better ourselves. If we mix with those who are lesser than us in wisdom, unless we are already firm enough, we will tend to follow their ways.
Meanwhile the people of the villages who lived in fear of Angulimala the killer had demanded that King Pasenadi of Kosala captured this killer. The king gathered 500 soldiers. Before he began the hunt for Angulimala, he went to Jetavana monastery to pay homage to the Buddha.
In reply to the Buddha’s queries, the king said that he and his soldiers were on a mission to capture the murderer, Angulimala. He added that he had no confidence of doing so. Lord Buddha asked, “If you were to see Angulimala shaven and celibate, wearing a robe, not killing, no taking intoxicants and not eating after noon, how would you treat him?”
King Pasenadi replied, “I would stand up before him, and offer him shelter, food and protection. But he is an immoral person.”
The king had not recognised the murderer turned monk who was just nearby. The Buddha pointed to the monk with his right hand and said, “This is Angulimala.”
King Pasenadi was shocked and shivered with fright. When he gained his composure again after having been assured by the Buddha, he offered Angulimala shelter, food and requisites, but the latter was now a forest monk and declined the offer. The king marvelled at this transformation and exclaimed, “How wonderful that the Buddha can tame the untamed, pacify the aggressive and calm the agitated without the use of weapons!” After that, the king took leave and left the monastery happily.