Bimbisara The Famous King of Maghada
Bimbisara Life History:
Bimbisara ( 544-419 BCE) was a famous Indian king of the Maghada Kingdom in Ancient India. He was a pious and well administrative king. His capital was Rajgriha, later changed to Pataliputra. He maintained cordial relations with neighbouring kingdoms and Indian kings; among them, Suddodhana, father of Buddha, was one. First, in history, he held Marital alliances to expand his empire.
Bimbisara marriage life:
- First wife Kosala Devi: Kosala Devi was the daughter of Maha Kosala and sister to Prasenjit. On the occasion of Kosala Devi’s marriage, Maha Kosala gifted Kasi to Bimbisara. And this marriage ended the hostility between Maghada and Kosala.
- Second wife Challana: Daughter of King Chetaka from Vaishali, this marriage paved the way for expanding the Magadha empire westward and northward.
- Third wife Khema, daughter of Madra, administrator of Punjab.
- Their fourth wife, Vaidehi, was the daughter of Videha.
Bimbisara relation between Buddha:
He maintained a close relationship with Lord Mahavir. His second wife, Chellana, was Lord Mahavir’s cousin’s sister. Both the king and Mahavira shared a cordial relationship. However, he followed Buddhism. He was five years younger than Buddha.
When Siddhartha arrived in Magadha to practise ascetics, Bimbisara met Siddhartha and offered half of his kingdom so that Siddhartha would stop living like the ascetic.
Siddhartha, after becoming Buddha, once came to Rajagruha with so many disciples to meet king Bimbisara; as soon as he heard the news of Buddha’s arrival, Bimbisara reached the city gateway and invited Buddha. He gifted Buddha and his disciples a park with Bambo groves to stay there to practice the path of enlightenment. There Buddha lasted three consecutive rainy seasons and another rainy season in the later stage.
The great ruler also met a tragic death because of his son Ajatashatru. He imprisoned his father to ascend the throne of the Magadha Kingdom. He was starved in prison and could not meet anyone except Kosala Devi. Once, Kosala Devi tried taking food to Bimbisara and caught it. Later even, she was also not allowed to meet him. Ajatashatru later ordered his father’s release after the birth of his first child, but by then, he had already died.
But there are different views on the death of Bimbisara according to Jain and Buddhist traditions. Jain tradition said that he did suicide by swallowing poison. According to the Buddhist scriptures, he was brutally killed by the royal barber on the instructions of Ajatashatru. Anyway, the great king’s final days were tragic and heart-squeezing.
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