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I was struck, when reading on the history of Buddhism in China, by the stories of brave monks escaping certain death, often many times in one life.

I was curious is this was something Indian Buddhists also wrote about, or if it was something peculiar to China. Do these stories also appear in earlier reports, in the Buddha's life, etc.?

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In the Indian suttas (attributed to the Buddha), monks generally prepared their minds to accept death by violence, as described in SN 35.88 & MN 21.

In the Indian suttas & commentaries, there are also stories of the Buddha & his disciples using love & psychic powers to avoid death, such as Angulimala Sutta, the assassination attempts by Devadatta and Maha Moggallana using his psychic powers to escape assassination.

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