Angulimāla ［央掘摩羅］ (Pali; Angulimālya; Ōkutsumara): A follower of Shakyamuni in Shrāvastī, India. In Buddhist scriptures, he is often referred to as an example of the conversion of a heinous man to Buddhism. Angulimāla means necklace of fingers, a name said to derive from a necklace he wore made of the severed fingers of those he had murdered. According to the Sutra on the Wise and the Foolish, he originally studied under a teacher of Brahmanism in Shrāvastī.
When Angulimāla spurned the advances of his teacher’s wife, she was angered and slandered him to her husband, saying that he had made advances to her. Enraged, the teacher told Angulimāla falsely that, if he killed a thousand people (a hundred according to another account) and cut off one finger from each of them, he could be reborn in the Brahma Heaven. Obeying his teacher, he killed and continued to kill. When he was about to kill his mother to make his thousandth victim, he met Shakyamuni Buddha. He tried to kill Shakyamuni, but was instead instructed and converted by the Buddha. Repenting of his evil deeds, he devoted himself to Buddhist practice. According to the Increasing by One Āgama Sutra, upon seeing Angulimāla, however, people heaped abuse on him and injured him with stones and swords because of his past atrocious deeds. Shakyamuni taught him to endure these attacks and make amends for his offenses. Angulimāla persisted in his Buddhist practice, as instructed by the Buddha.