Thag 16.8
translated from the Pali by
Thanissaro Bhikkhu
Alternate translation: Olendzki (excerpt)


"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."


"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. * * * Who once was heedless,[1] but later is not, brightens the world like the moon set free from a cloud. His evil-done deed[2] 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.[3] 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.[4] They're addicted to heedlessness[5] — dullards, fools — while one who is wise cherishes heedfulness as his highest wealth. Don't give way to heedlessness[6] or to intimacy with sensual delight — for a heedful person, absorbed in jhana, attains an abundant bliss. This[7] 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. The three knowledges have been attained; the Awakened One's bidding, done.[8] 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 verse = Dhp 172.
This verse = Dhp 173.
This verse = Dhp 80.
This verse illustrates the principle explained in AN 3.99: that one's experience of the results of past kamma is tempered by one's present state of mind.
This verse = Dhp 26.
This verse = Dhp 27.
"This" apparently refers to the abundant bliss mentioned in the previous verse.
The verses in MN 86 end here.