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Ajātashatru (Sanskrit अजातशत्रु; ruled 491-461 BCE) was a king of the Magadha empire that ruled north India.

There is not a great deal known about Ajatashatru. What is known that he became a King of Magadha and the adjoining areas by murdering his father, Bimbisara. Also, he was a contemporary of Lord Buddha, was a patron of the then-new religion of Buddhism, and he let the Sangha function in his Kingdom.

Some details of him are given in the earliest Buddhist scriptures.

According to Romila Thapar, Ajatashatru was responsible for building Pataliputra and strengthening the defences of the Magadhan capital, Rajagriha. The same historian reports that Ajatashatru murdered his father and predecessor Bimbisara in order to accede to the throne. This is also recorded in the Buddhist scripture, the Contemplation Sutra. Next, Ajatashatru, undertook the annexation of the kingdoms of Kosala and Kashi, and pursued a sixteen-year war against the Vriji confederacy of north Bihar and Nepal.

[edit] References

  • Romila Thapar, 1996. A History of India (Volume One). Oxford University Press.




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