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Angulimala - 70

The Buddha comforts Angulimala Thera in his last moments

BUDDHISM: Resting against the Buddha’s body, Arahant Angulimala gasped feebly, “Enlightened Master, my Saddha will never diminish. Despite the pains and injuries suffered by my physical body, my mind remains equanimous.”

His last words left his lips, just as his breath left him, “Buddham Saranam Gachchami; Dhammam Saranam Gachchami”. (I take refuge in the Buddha, I take refuge in the Dhamma). With these dying words, Arahant Angulimala passed into Nibbana.

On one occasion, in the course of His sermon, a group of bhikkus inquired of the Buddha the place of rebirth of Arahant Angulimala. The Enlightened One informed them that he had passed into Nibbana.

The bhikkhus expressed surprise that one who had been so evil as Angulimala who had killed so many innocent people should pass into Nibbana. He then explained to the bhikkhus that because Angulimala lacked a good counsellor he was misdirected.

As a result of his blind obedience to his acariya, he heedlessly committed evil deeds. But ever since ‘going forth’, he transformed himself completely and perfected through meditation practice, a life of resolute mindfulness.

Thus, through his dramatic transformation, Angulimala Thera was able to counter the weight of his past akusala kamma by accumulating greater kusala kamma.

To be continued

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