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Bimbisara Biography

Bimbisara Biography

Bimbisara (558-491 B.C.), the greatest patron of Goutam Budhha, was one of the early kings of the ancient indian kingdom of Magadha. He extended his kingdom upto Anga in the east and this expansion is considered to have laid the foundation for the vast expansion of the Maurya Empire in 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 also. The latter one was a Lichchavi princess from Vaishali. It is evident from these facts 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. He became a serious disciple of Goutam Budhha and continued to patronized Budhhism for the rest of his life.

This great king was unfortunately imprisoned by his own son Ajatashatru in his intense desire to become the monarch. He was instigated by Devdatta, who hated the king’s patronage to the Budhha. Ajatashtru starved his father to death resulting in the end of an able and kind-hearted king’s reign.

Facts and Information about Bimbisara

Reign 543-491 BCE
Birth 558 BCE
Death 491 BCE
Father Bhattiya
Successor Ajatasatru
Consort Kosala Devi
Wife Chellana and Kshema
Son Ajatasatru
Religious beliefs Buddhism
Marriage alliances Kosala Devi and Chellana
Cultural achievements Rajagriha was built by Bimbisara as he was a protector of the Buddha.. It has its details in Buddhist sriptures.
Death Bimbisara was imprisoned by Ajatashatru, who later later executed him.