The King Bimbisara ဗိမၼိသာရမင္း
Researched by- Myoma Myint Kywe
(อาจารย์ Myint Kywe)
ဦးျမင့္ၾကြယ္ ( ၿမိဳ ႔မ ျမင့္ၾကြယ္ ) သမိုင္းပညာရွင္
ဆိုရွိကိ ကရာေတးအသင္း နည္းျပခ်ဳပ္
Bimbisara (BC 628-BC 561) was a king of the Magadha. Magadha was one of the principal kingdoms of North India. He belonged to the Haryanka dynasty. He ascended the throne at the age of fifteen and reigned in Rajagaha for fifty two years. He was born about 628 BC in India. The Buddha (was born in BC 623) was five years older than Bimbisara, and it was not until fifteen years after his accession that Bimbisara heard the Buddha preach and was converted by him.
According to Buddhist scriptures, King Bimbisara met the Buddha for the first time prior to the Buddha's enlightenment, and later became an important disciple that featured prominently in certain Buddhist suttas. He is recorded to have attained sotapannahood, a degree of enlightenment in Buddhist teachings. King Bimbisara had a son, Prince Ajatasattu (Ajatasatru), who was a friend of the Buddha's enemy, Devadatta.
According to history of India about BC 600, during pregnancy of King Bimbisara’s wife had the strong desire to eat fried flesh of her husband Bimbisara's heart and drink liquor. Meanwhile the very intelligent Prince (son of King Bimbisara) fried a wild fruit that seemed like heart and gave it to the queen.
The queen ate it and later felt ashamed for having such a demonic desire and she feared that the child(Prince Ajatasatru) might grow up and prove fatal for the family, thus after few months when the child was born, the queen had him thrown out of the palace. When the child was lying near the garbage dump, a cock bit his little finger. King Bimbisara, picked up the his child Ajatasatru and put its bleeding little finger in his mouth and sucked it until it stopped bleeding and continued this for days until it was healed.
As the little finger of the child was sore, In the Buddhists text Digha Nikaya Atthakatha, the above story is almost the same, except that Queen Kosala devi desired to drink blood from King Bimbisara's arm; the king obliged her and, later, when the child Ajatasatru was thrown near the garbage dump, due to an infection he got a boil on his little finger and the king sucked it and once while sucking it the boil got burst inside the king's mouth, but due to the affection for his child he did not spit the pus out, he swallowed it. He doesn't want to disturb to his son.
The wife of the King Bimbisara, had a troubled pregnancy with Prince Ajatasatru and there were a host of ill-fated omens about the birth, including prophecies. The foretellers told that the child would kill his father and usurp the throne. Therefore he was given the name Ajatasatru (‘Enemy yet to be born’ - Ajata means Unborn, Satru means Enemy). So, queen wanted the kill her pregnancy but King Bimbisara disagree it because of he loves his baby so much. Bimbisara said: “Never mind, I will tolerate him even one day my baby kills me, I will not kill him and I will never kill my baby Ajatasattu”
The wicked Devadatta instigated (urged) Prince Ajatasattu (Ajatasatru) to kill his father King Bimbisara as he thought that, if the Prince became King in succession to his father, he would be able to take the place of the Lord Buddha.
Devadatta practised meditation and attained superhuman power and even the six higher psychic powers. He possessed those powers he wanted to become a rival and take the Buddha's place as the leader. Being eager for gain and honor he thought he would achieve his purpose by winning over Prince Ajatasattu, still a youth but with sure prospects of accession to the throne. Devadatta assumed the form of a lad with a girdle of snakes, and terrified Ajatasattu by appearing in his lap.
He then comforted the Prince saying, "Oh, Prince, don't get alarmed. I am the person known as Venerable Devadatta." He then assumed his proper form as a monk with the bowl and robes, and stood in front of the prince. Ajatasattu marveling at the wonder paid him great honor, and sent him 500 dishes daily. Devadatta secured more than enough alms according to his original plan.
The Prince was of the view that whatever his teacher Devadatta said was good, and was on his way to carry out his plan to murder his father.
After that, Devadatta told him that he would be able to rule without any risk of losing the throne only if his father was no longer alive. Prince Ajatasattu was impressed with this suggestion. But he did not wish to kill his father straightway. So he caused his father to be cast in prison.
The two spent much time together and soon Devadatta had convinced the young prince to kill his father.
One silent and dark night, Prince Ajatasattu crept into the king's room with a knife tied to his thigh. He was creeping toward his sleeping father when the palace guards caught him and the king discovered the plan. He had committed himself to rebel against the throne as state high treason. Ajatasattu may get death sentence (death penalty). Capital punishment or the death penalty is a legal process whereby a person is put to death by the state as a punishment for a crime. The judicial decree that someone be punished in this manner is a death sentence, while the actual enforcement is an execution. Crimes that can result in a death penalty are known as capital crimes or capital offenses.
But, kind King Bimbisara thought to himself, "Ah, I have remained king for too long. It is time for me to step down and make Ajatasattu king so that he can rule in peace, and I can retire into a religious life." Instead of punishing Ajatasattu for his evil intentions, King Bimbisara made him king. King Bimbisara forgave his son. He tolerated. Because of he loves his son so much.
After Prince Ajatasattu was made the new king he surprised everyone. King Bimbisara gave up the throne in his favor.
King Ajatasatru allowed no one, but only Queen Kosala devi, to meet Bimbisara in the prison cell. King Bimbisara was imprisoned by his son Ajatashatru . "Let him have no visitors other than my mother," ordered Ajatasattu. "And give him no food so that he will starve to death."
Kosala devi used to take small food packets to the cell, being caught by guards she started to take food hidden behind her hair, being caught again she started slipping in food by hiding it in her golden slippers again being caught she coated 4 layers of honey on her body which was licked by the king.
When she was caught once again Ajatasatru prohibited Kosala devi from meeting the king. When Ajatasatru saw that the king was not dying even then he ordered a barber to pierce the king's legs with a knife, then pour salt, hot oil and fire made from khairawood on him. He forgives about his son who torture on him. According to the history, he was brutally murdered by Ajatasatru because the Bimbisara king has committed a bad kamma at his previous life.
On that very day, King Ajatasattu received news that his wife had given birth to a son. Great was his joy at being a father and a thought came to his mind. He hurried to his mother and asked, "Tell me mother, did my father love me as much as I love my son?"
His mother turned around, stared at him in silence with her sorrowful eyes and then murmured in disbelief, "What did you say, Ajatasattu? You asked if your father loved you?"
"Ajatasattu, when you were in my womb, I wanted to drink blood from your father's right hand. When he found this out, happily he cut his wrist for me to drink his blood for you. When the fortune-tellers predicted that you would be your father's enemy, I tried to have a miscarriage but he prevented me. Again I tried to kill you when you were born; he stopped me even though he knew that one day you would kill him. Is that not loves?
"Do you see that scar on your thumb? That was a boil you had when you were small. You were crying from so much pain that nobody could put you to sleep. When your father heard this, he stopped from his royal duty and came running to see you. Gently he took you in his lap and sucked the boil until it burst open in his mouth. Oh my son, your father swallowed it out of love for you — that pus and blood. In what way did he not love you, Ajatasattu? Tell me, Ajatasattu, would you do for your son what your father did for you? This man who loved you so much, this man who you wanted to kill the person"
When he heard this, Ajatasattu was choked (have severe difficulty in breathing because of a constricted or obstructed throat) with tears. Ajatasattu realised the love of a father only when he became a father himself. He ordered his guards, "Go, I command you, run- run and release my father before he dies." But none of them moved. "Release my father before he dies," Ajatasattu shouted. But it was too late.
Ajatasatru repented a lot. Then his adviser stepped forward and said slowly, "Great king, your father died this morning." Ajatasattu fell to his knees and cried until his body jerked violently, uttering over and over, "Forgive me, father. Please forgive me." He repented of the evil and his wicked.
King Bimbisara was a Sotapanna. As for King Bimbisara, immediately he was reborn as a god (deva) in the Heaven. Ajatasatru repented a lot but repentance was of no use. Ajatasatru then shifted his palace to Champa (present-day Bihar state India) and made it his capital as the previous palace reminded him of his atrocious or brutal mistake.
The Blessed One received Ajatasattu kindly and taught him the way of salvation; but Devadatta still tried to become the founder of a religious school of his own. Devadatta did not succeed in his plans and having been abandoned by many of his disciples, he fell sick, and then repented. He entreated those who had remained with him to carry his litter to the Buddha, saying: "Take me, pupil, take me to Buddha; though I have done evil to him, I am his brother-in-law. For the sake of our relationship the Buddha will save me." And they obeyed, although unwillingly.
And Devadatta in his impatience to see the Blessed One rose from his litter while his carriers were washing their hands. But his feet burned under him; he sank to the ground and died.
After the death of his father, King Bimbisara, King Ajatasattu could not sleep well and used to wake up with a start. He wanted to go to the Buddha so as to get some mental relief, but he dared not go because he had done the most heinous act of patricide.
On the night of the full noon day in the month of Tazaungmon (November) he murmured in the presence of his courtiers as follows:- "Whom shall I approach on such a pleasant night in order to have a clear and peaceful mind?"
The courtiers made several suggestions to him but he did not accept any of them. He took the suggestion of the Physician Jivaka, and left the city with a procession of five hundred female elephants, fully bedecked and caparisoned, and mounted by five hundred women disguised in the dress of soldiers; and accompanied by torch-bearers to show the way. When he arrived at the Mango Park of Jivaka, he saw the Blessed One and over one thousand holy monks so quiet and peaceful that the sight at once filled his mind with peace and hope.
The king Ajatasattu posed some question to the Buddha whose answer motivated the king to become a lay follower of the Buddha. The king Ajatasattu then confessed his wicked mind and action. Buddha preached his sermon to Ajatasattu.
In the Samannaphala Sutta, Gautama Buddha said that if Ajatasattu hadn't killed his father, he would have attained sotapannahood, a degree of enlightenment. But because he had killed his father he could not attain it. It is said that from the day of his father's death he could not sleep on account of terrifying dreams, particularly after he had heard of Devadatta's dire (dreadful) fate .
He slept after his visit to the Buddha. Henceforth the king Ajatasattu became a loyal adherent of the Buddha's faith. He was so full of love and respect on teachings of the Buddha.
After Ajatasattu’s reign lasted thirty-two years, Ajatasatru also was brutally murdered by his own son, Udayabhadra, who was greedy of his kingdom. Having committed what is among the most grave of the premeditated sins, he should have fallen into the Avici (Interminable) hell because of murdered his father and his pancanantarya KARMA. Many Buddhist scholars believe he will suffer hell for 60,000 years that after passing through many births Ajatasatru will be born as a wise prince, and later become a noble person. The ‘five wicked acts’ (pan-ca-nantarya kamma) that are considered to have ‘immediate karmic consequences’ (anantarika-kamma/ Anantarika-karma) could be understood to be blasphemous actions.
According to Buddhist scriptures, the five crimes or sins are: killing one’s mother or father, killing an Arahant (a Buddhist ‘saint’), wounding a Buddha, or causing a schism in the Sangha (the order of Buddhist monks and nuns).
Lord Buddha said: “Ajatasattu, King of Magadha, has bad friends, bad allies and bad intimates; King of Kosala, has good friends, good allies and good intimates.”