indian cinema heritage foundation

Angulimala (1960)

  • Release Date1960
  • GenreMythological
  • FormatColour
  • LanguageHindi
  • Run Time153 min
  • Length4176.97 meters
  • Number of Reels16
  • Gauge35 mm
  • Censor RatingU
  • Censor Certificate Number30771 -Mumbai
  • Certificate Date14/10/1960

This is the stirring tale of a man's search for love and his spirit of revenge in a society that has banished him to jungles and condemned hi m to a bandit's life. It is also a story of love and hatred, violence and non-violence, a story of great com passion and of " peace on earth 'and goodwill among men "that can only be achieved through understanding and appreciation of Life.

About 2,500 years ago, the Capital city of Shravasti bore alI appearances of gaity and celebrations in connection with the Festival of Spring. Suddenly there was thunder in the skies and rain poured down in heavy torrents. It was an evil   omen, foreboding troublesome times for the state.

At that very moment a son was born to the Raj Purohit. The astrologers predicted that the child would grow up into a ferocious killer and would bring untold miseries to all. The wise men advised the king to kill   the child and thus forestall   all future calamities. But the king believed that if a child is brought up properly he would surely grow into a cultured and gentle human being and therefore allowed the child to live. He named the child AHINSAK-The Non Violent and took personal interest in his proper upbringing.

At the eighth birthday of the king's daughter, Princess Maya, both the father and the daughter were pleased to see Ahinsak there-the most humble and well-behaved and intelligent among all the children present. Maya was attracted by him. The other boys, Maruti (son of the Chief Minister), Dhanpal (son of the wealthy merchant), Krishna (their foolish friends) and others felt jealous of Ahinsak.

The Acharya took all the boys to Gurukul for further studies.

Eleven years passed in studies and Ahinsak imbibed all the knowledge and good behaviour that the King, his parents and his teacher would have  wanted  him  to.  He treated the Guru and Gurumata with the love  and  respect that  he  would   have  given  to  his  own  father  and  mother. Unable to compete with him in studies, the other boys started a whispering campaign against Ahinsak, making scandalous remarks about his relations with the Gurumata.

Ahinsak again met Princess Maya when she came near the Gurukul   for a hunting expedition. The friendship of the childhood days now developed into adult love and Ahinsak spent some wonderful moments in her company.
Maruti, who was thinking that he would marry Princess one day tried to "finish off" Ahinsak in many ways but failed. In desperation he poisoned the ears of Guruji by making false allegations regarding Ahinsak and Gurumata.


On the very day he was scheduled to leave Gurukul, Ahinsak was confronted by an enraged Guruji who was full of suspicion; Guruji got furious on his pupil and instead of blessing him; said that the astrologers' predictions would come true and Ahinsak will become a killer, a "Hinsak"! Later, when Dhanpal made the false allegations against Ahinsak to his face, he could not control himself anymore and killed Dhanpal on the spot.

From that day, the society banished him, his own parents closed on him the doors of their home, the friends shunned him and the king put a price on his head. Ahinsak was driven to the jungles where he made friends   with the animals and began to hate all men. He started killing ruthlessly and to keep count of his killings wore a gruesome necklace of human fingers-the 'angulimal'-around his neck. He had pledged to kill a thousand men. He was one short of the target. At long last he was about to raise his hands against a person in the darkness of night-not  knowing that she was his mother who had been wandering in the jungles for years in search of her son. At that time a Divine Figure appeared and stopped the thousandth murder of his life. The last killing was not of a human being but of the beast in himself. That was Lord Buddha, the apostle of peace, non­violence, love and compassion, who revealed him and brought back in him faith and love for all living beings