King of the Buddha's Time
Dr. Bhikkhu Amritananda
OF BUDDHA’S TIME
It has been since the time of
the Buddha that Buddhism and the monarchy were beneficially related to each
other. Even as a Bodhisatta or the
Buddha-to-be, the Buddha was son of King Suddhodana of the Sakyan people. After
Enlightenment the early part of His missionary activities was earnestly
supported by a king who could be said to be super-power of India at that time
and who had then played a significant role in disseminating the Buddha’s
Message for the welfare and happiness of the people. This was King Bimbisara of the state of Magadha, the first
monarch who had contributed so much and thus righteously earned a remarkable
place in the history of Buddhism. The
Buddha’s forty-five years of the establishment of his Dhamma kingdom were
obviously marked by quite a number of kings at the time who were actively
involved in his noble work, being always the Buddha’s enthusiastic disciples.
It is therefore a significant
milestone in the literary works that Venerable
Amritananda Mahathera, ph.D. of Nepal had painstakingly collected the
records of prominent kings in the Buddha’s times such as King Suddhodana of
Kapilavatthu, King Bimbisara of Rajagaha, King Pasenadi of Kosala, King Mahali
of Vesali and King Udena of Kosambi. This
was done through the recorded references of Buddhism such as from the Pali Canon.
Hence its historical and priceless value inenhancing the research in this
field of Buddhism.
This Valuable work was offered
free of charge to the Mahamakut Foundation for publication for the sake of the
Englishreading public. However, its
publication had been delayed until the Venerable author passed away before its
completion. The Mahamakut
Foundation hereby expresses its regret for his demise and respect for his
goodwill and generosity.
It should also be noted that
the Venerable author used to visit Thailand several times and was granted an
audience with His Majesty the King. These
contributed to his acquaintance with Thailand and particularly his profound
impression towards His Majesty’s painstaking efforts for the wellbeing of his
citizens. This has spurred his to
offering the publication of this work as a means of dedicating whatever
meritorious fruits there may e to His Majesty on any occasion.
This in His Majesty’s capacity as the outstanding patron of Buddhism in
the modern times. As such, the Foundation begs to introduce, on behalf of the
late Venerable author, the publication of this valuable work in compliance with
We hereby offer our sincere
thankfulness to Venerable Amritananda, the genius author who has so kindly given
us his publication permission. May
whatever wholesome fruits accrue there from be productively forwarded to him,
thus being transformed into whatever can be a source of ecstasy and bliss for
him in that dimension of life.
Mahamakut Foundation Under Royal Patronage
volume is just an introduction to the of five kings who were contemporaries of
Lord Buddha. It has been translated from the Nepali first volume of “Kings of
Buddha’s Time” as written by me in 1973.
It should be mentioned here that the latter volumes contain the full biographies of all the kings of Buddha’s time as found in the Pali Tripitaka
This books went through many stages before the final draft was completed.
Many years ago, the attempt at the English rendering of the Nepali edition was
made by Professor Asha Ram Shakya. However,
it still needed additions and revisions. Such an opportunity presented itself
when. a few months ago, Professor Dr. S. Collure of Peradeniya
University, Sri Lanka, during his few weeks’ stay at Ananda Kuti Vihara, was
able to devote himself to checking it whit me against the Nepali edition and
making it more complete and authentic. Mr.
Colin Painter from Great Britain, who is presently teaching at Ananda Kuti
Vidyapith, contributed improvements on language and style.
To those mentioned, I am deeply grateful.
This book, or parts, thereof may be reproduced in any form provided that
acknowledgement is made.
My sincerest thanks are due, for the publication of this book to Bhikkhu
Maitri, honaorary secretary of Ananda Kuti Vihara Trust, and its other members
and for proof reading to Mr. Colin Painter.
Ananda Kuti Vihara
Mahamakuta Rajavidyalaya Foundation
Under Royal Patronage
241 Phra Sumeru Rd, Bangkok 10200
Tel. (66) 02-6291417 , 2811085 Fax. (66) 02-6294015