Friday, June 17, 2011

Bimbisara and Bindusara

I got into a Why me situation and queried my teacher. He just said, read Nitishastra. I thought it was Kautilya’s Nitishastra and read it. Later I learnt that my teacher had meant Vidhurniti, Nitis from Ramayan, Mahabharat.

As I was reading about Kautilya’s Nitishastra, and all about Chanakya, I remembered an episode where Chanakya, cut open the queen’s belly to save the prince. So I was googling for the prince’s name, but all I could remember was Bimbisara and nothing about him, came close to my recollections. Then at last, I went back to history and got my doubts clarified.

Bimbisara and his Son

Bimbisara from the pre-Mauryan era, had a son Ajatashatru. Some links mention that when the queen was pregnant with Ajatashatru, she had a craving for tasting king’s blood and Bimbisara cut his hand for the queen. Bimbisara in spite of all bad omens took utmost care of his son. Once as a child, Ajatashatru developed an abscess and was crying incessantly. Bimbisara, gently placed his son’s thumb in his mouth in order to soothe the child. The son fell asleep and the abscess burst open inside the kings mouth, yet Bimbisara swallowed the pus, so that the sleeping child is not disturbed.

When Bimbisara learnt, that Ajatshatru wanted to kill him to claim the throne, he freely gave up the throne. Yet Ajatashathru, imprisoned his father, starved him. Bimbisara had attained sotapanna (first stage of sainthood) thanks to Buddha and hence could walk meditatively for days without food. When Ajatashatru realized this, he ordered his father’s sole to be cut and filled salt and oil on the raw flesh. Bimbisara died a terrible death due to past karma.

Bindusara and his Mother

He was Chandragupta Maurya’s son and Asoka’s father. Chanakya used to mix small amounts of poison in the King’s food regularly so that the King could survive in case of any poison attack. Accidentally, his pregnant queen had the King’s food and swooned to death. Once Chanakya learnt this, he quickly got the queen’s belly cut open and got out the prince alive. Since a drop of poison had touched the baby, he was named Bindusara.

I was just wondering about the fate of the kings and queens. Patricide, murders what not.

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