Prince Siddhartha set out alone to seek the ultimate truth. His search led him to the enlightenment that liberated him as he pondered under a Bodhi tree. Siddhartha, who became Buddha, refused to subscribe to the caste system which had ceased to be Dharma
and had become a tool of oppression. He would not accept the power-drunk priests as sole agents of God. He questioned the authority of the Vedas
. And he was convinced that penance and meditation as mere rituals, without accompanying sincerity and contemplation,were futile. The second Chitra Katha in this special issue, Angulimala, is from the Buddhist text, Paramatthadipani of Dhammapala. The story of Amrapali is told in the Maha-Parinibbana Sutta and in Malasarvastivadas. The garden which Amrapali gave up to Lord Buddha
was still in existence when Fa-Hien visited India during the Gupta age. Upagupta was a disciple of Buddha. For him, ahimsa(non-violence) did not merely mean desisting from violence but doing positive good and showing compassion. When Vasavadatta was shunned by society and had nowhere to go, Upagupta took her to his hermitage. While adapting this story for our Amar Chitra Katha, we have omitted a few gruesome details.