This story begins at the University of Taxshila, which was a great university in ancient India. Ahimsaka was a brilliant student. He excelled in all his subjects. Because of this, the other students became jealous. They made up stories to make the teacher believe Ahimsaka was evil. The teacher believed these lies and decided to get rid of Ahimsaka.
The teacher knew that Ahimsaka always listened to his elders, so he decided to give Ahimsaka an impossible task, so that he would never return home. The teacher called Ahimsaka and told him that in order to graduate, he needed to collect one thousand little fingers. Instead of giving up, Ahimsaka set out to collect one thousand little fingers. However, he soon discovered that most people wouldn’t easily give up their little fingers. So he hid in the forest and murdered people to get their fingers. He found he had nowhere to store these fingers. So he put them on a string around his neck, to keep count. Because of this gruesome necklace of fingers, he was nicknamed Angulimala, meaning ‘finger garland’.
One day, Bhagwan Buddha left his monastery for a walk in the forest. Although Angulimala lived there, Bhagwan Buddha was not afraid. He continued on his way. On this particular day, Angulimala only had one more finger to collect, so when he saw Buddha Bhagwan entering the forest, he dashed out to murder him, claim his finger, and complete his task. But no matter how fast he ran behind Bhagwan Buddha, he never seemed to be able to catch up with him. Eventually, exhausted and angry, Angulimala screamed for him to stop. Buddha Bhagwan turned and quietly told Angulimala that, it was time for him to stop his killing and violence. Angulimala was so touched by these words that he immediately threw away his weapons. He followed Bhagwan Buddha back to his monastery, where he became a monk.
We can see from this example, that anyone’s life can be transformed, even if it may seem impossible. If a murderer can become a monk, think of how much easier it is for us to improve our minds, habits and lives. We have Shriji Maharaj and Swami Bapa to help lead us in the right direction.