Buddha said that a man who sees the folly of his ways and changes them is like the moon bursting out of a dark sky to shine light. I feel very inspired by stories of men and women like Angulimalla who were doing "bad " things due to the force of their afflictions and then changed due to coming in contact with Dhamma. I know there are many stories in the Tibetan tradition, but I am looking for any stories from any tradition that you might know for inspiration along with the reference text.

2 Answers 2


Milarepa-the great yogi

...His mother, bitter, sent Milarepa to train in black magic, to wreak revenge on those who had blighted her life...

Then later in life he came to meet his teacher Marpa the translator

...he came to regret his actions, and looked for help in shedding the bad karma he had acquired during his vengeful adolescence...

One of his quotes:

The world knows caterpillar becomes butterfly but they don’t care that it also becomes a moth. One is diurnal another nocturnal.Human once awakened can change the view to change self from Angulimala to a Buddha [1]

  • When you quote, please include a link to or reference to what you're quoting from.
    – ChrisW
    Commented Jun 20, 2018 at 16:41
  • The help topic "How to reference material written by others" says, "Provide a link to the original page or answer". Some people don't quote properly, even so I think it's a better answer if you do, and so I suggest you do. Apart from the legality of any copyright issues, readers (of the answer) might like to read more of whatever source you quoted from.
    – ChrisW
    Commented Jun 21, 2018 at 10:23
  • @InnerFire. That's both a rule on Buddhism SE and common courtesy to the reader that when quoting other sources, one includes a reference.
    – user2424
    Commented Jun 21, 2018 at 16:48
  • Thanks for adding a reference. I have removed the post notice and the downvote. Be well.
    – user2424
    Commented Jun 22, 2018 at 10:19

The story of Channa the elder in Dhammapada 78 shows how he eventually turned around and became a Arahat:

While residing at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verse (78) of this book, with reference to Thera Channa.

Channa was the attendant who accompanied Prince Siddhattha when he renounced the world and left the palace on horseback. When the prince attained Buddhahood, Channa also became a bhikkhu. As a bhikkhu, he was very arrogant and overbearing because of his close connection to the Buddha. Channa used to say, "I came along with my Master when he left the palace for the forest. At that time, I was the only companion of my Master and there was no one else. But now, Sariputta and Moggallana are saying, 'we are the Chief Disciples,' and are strutting about the place."

When the Buddha sent for him and admonished him for his behaviour, he kept silent but continued to abuse and taunt the two Chief Disciples. Thus the Buddha sent for him and admonished him three times; still, he did not change. And again, the Buddha sent for Channa and said, "Channa, these two noble bhikkhus are good friends to you; you should associate with them and be on good terms with them."

Then the Buddha spoke in verse as follows:
Verse 78: One should not associate with bad friends, nor with the vile. One should associate with good friends, and with those who are noble.

In spite of repeated admonitions and advice given by the Buddha, Channa did as he pleased and continued to scold and abuse the bhikkhus. The Buddha, knowing this, said that Channa would not change during the Buddha's lifetime but after his demise (parinibbana) Channa would surely change. On the eve of his parinibbana, the Buddha called Thera Ananda to his bedside and instructed him to impose the Brahma-punishment (Brahmadanda) to Channa; i.e., for the bhikkhus to simply ignore him and to have nothing to do with him.

After the parinibbana of the Buddha, Channa, learning about the punishment from Thera Ananda, felt a deep and bitter remorse for having done wrong and he fainted three times. Then, he owned up his guilt to the bhikkhus and asked for pardon. From that moment, he changed his ways and outlook. He also obeyed their instructions in his meditation practice and soon attained arahatship.

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