Haryanka Dynasty

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Haryanka Dynasty

The Haryanka dynasty founded the Magadha Empire in 684 BC, whose capital was Rajagriha, later Pataliputra. This dynasty was succeeded by the Shishunaga dynasty.

There were many states of the Aryans in North India, around the 6th century B.C.

The Mahajanapadas of Anga, Kashi, Kosala, Chedi, Vatsa, Matsya, Shursen, Ashmak, Avanti, Gandhar and Magadha were ruled by kings or monarchs. The kings in these states had the supreme authority. The Mahajanapadas of Vrijji, Malla, Kuru, Panchal and Kamboj were republican states and so were other smaller states like Lichhavi, Shakya, Koliya, Bhagga, Moriya. These republican states had a ‘Gana-parishad’ or an Assembly of senior and responsible citizens. This, Gana-parishad had the supreme authority in the state. All the administrative decisions were taken by this Parishad. Of all these states, Kosala, Vatsa, Avanti and Magadha were the most important ones.

Bimbisara 

Bimbisara (558-491 B.C.), the greatest patron of Gautama Buddha, was one of the early kings of the ancient Indian kingdom of Magadha. He extended his kingdom up to Anga in the east and this expansion is considered to have laid the foundation for the vast expansion of the Maurya Empire in the future.

Bimbisara belonged to the Shishunaga Dynasty and Rajgir was his capital. He was only fifteen when he became the king and he ruled for fifty-two years.

His wife was a princess of Kosala, who brought Bimbisara the village of Kashi as dowry and also bore him his son Ajathshatru. Among his other wives there were Khema, Silava, Jayasena and Chellana. The latter was a Lichchavi princess from Vaishali. It is evident that Bimbisara used marriage alliances to strengthen his position. He had another son, Vimala Kondanna, by the famous courtesan, Ambapali.

In the Pabbaja Sutta of the Sutta Nipatta Atthakatha it is stated that he saw Goutam Budhha for the first time through his palace window, under the Pandava Pabbata. Bimbisara invited him to visit his court but Budhha refused as he was in search for Enlightenment. The king wished him luck and requested him to visit Rajgir as soon as he would receive Enlightenment. Later Budhha visited Rajgir to fulfill the promise he made to Bimbisara.

Bimbisara became a serious disciple of Goutam Budhha and continued to patronized Budhhism for the rest of his life.

Ajatshatru

Ajatshatru was a great king, the first Emperor of Northern India who had defeated most of his neighboring states.

He is also credited for innovation in military technology in warfare against the Licchavis. Although he was harsh towards his father, he is said to be humble towards his subjects (citizens). He was a great warrior as well as a notable scholar.

But the most important thing is that Ajatshatru has been provided a special place in all important religions of Ancient India, be it Hinduism or Buddhism or Jainism. An extremely rare position, which no king or emperor enjoyed afterwards. In the Buddhist texts, he is shown as a Buddhist; in Jain texts, he seems to be a Jain and in the Brihadaranyak Upnishad, he is portrayed as a Vedic follower.

Ajatshatru was a great scholar and a secular king.

Udayin 

King Udayin was a ruler of the Haryanka dynasty who ruled over Magadha from 460 BCE to 440 BCE.

He was the son of Ajatashatru and grandson of    King Bimbisara.

Udayin laid the foundation of the city of Pataliputra at the confluence of the two rivers, the Son and the Ganges. He shifted his capital from Rajgriha to Patliputra because of the latter’s central location in Magadha empire.

He was succeeded by Anuruddha.

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