The archers sent by Devadatta to kill the Buddha lay down their bows, listen to a teaching, and attain enlightenment

The man sitting in the picture with his palms together, bow laid beside him on the ground in front of the Buddha, is a khamandhanu. Khamam translates as "hunter," so "khamamdhanu is a "hunter skilled with a bow." The bow was the deadliest weapon in use in the Buddha's time.

After encouraging Ajatasattu, the crown Prince, to kill King Bimbisara, Devadatta went to see the Buddha. At that time the Buddha had gone back to Rajagaha. Devadatta said to the Buddha that he was old, and should pass on the position of head of the Order to him. As a result, Devadatta was given the "spittle speech" (khelasikavada). Khelasikavada means "one who swallows a ball of spittle or mucous that has already been spat out." The meaning is that one gone orth from the home life, having ordained, is said to have renounced all worldly things, such as children, wife, wealth, rank and status. Why was Devadatta, as one who had renounced those things when he went forth as a monk, going back to them? The Buddha compared it to someone eating his own spittle.

Devadatta was peeved at the Buddha's words and developed even greater hatred for him than before, so he devised many violent plans to deprive the Buddha of life. On the political side, Devadatta had succeeded in persuading Ajatasattu to kill his father and eventually take over the throne from him. But what he had not yet succeeded in was killing the Buddha.

At first Devadatta hired many archers, all of them highly skilled in their craft, to lay in wait and shoot the Buddha at the Bamboo Grove in Rajagaha, all with King Ajatasattu's knowledge and consent. But when all the hunters arrived at the Buddha's monastery and saw the Buddha, their arms went weak and they could not bring themselves to shoot. This was due to the Buddha's presence, which calmed their minds, so that they all laid down their bows and bowed at the Buddha's feet.

The Buddha gave teachings to the hunters, after which they all attained Stream Entry.
 

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