Page:Sacred Books of the East - Volume 22.djvu/18

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Mahâvîra and Buddha. But Kûnika or, as the Buddhists call him, Agâtasatru[1], his son by Kellanâ, the Videhan lady, showed no favour to the Buddhists in the earlier part of his reign; only eight years before Buddha's death he became his patron. We should go wrong in believing him to have sincerely been converted. For a man who avowedly murdered his father[2], and waged war against his grandfather[3], is not likely to have cared much about theology. His real motive in changing his religious policy we may easily guess. He planned to add Videha to his dominions, just as his father had added Anga to his kingdom of Magadha; he therefore built the fort at Pâtaligrâma[4], in order not to repel but subdue the V^gians or Vn£f is, a tribe of Videha, and at last fixed a quarrel on. the king of Vakcâli, his grandfather. As the latter was the maternal uncle of Mahâvtra, Agâtasatru, by attacking this patron of the Gainas, lost in some degree their sympathy. Now he resolved on siding with their rivals, the Buddhists, whom he formerly had persecuted as friends of his father's, whom, as has been said above, he finally put to death. We know that Agâtasatru succeeded in conquering VaLfcLli, and that he laid the foundation of the empire of the Nandas and Mauryas. With the extension of the limits of the empire of Magadha a new field was opened to both religions, over which they spread with great rapidity. It was probably this auspicious political conjuncture to which Gainism and Buddhism chiefly owed their success, while many similar sects attained only a local and temporal importance.

The following table gives the names of the relations of Mahdvira, or, as we should call him when not speaking of

  1. That the same person is intended by both names is evident from the fact that according to Buddhist and Gaina writers he is the father of Udâyin or Udayibhaddaka, the founder of Pâtaliputra in the records of the Gainas and Brâhmans.
  2. The story is told with the same details by the Buddhists; see Kern, Der Buddhismus und seine Geschichte in Indien, I, p. 249 (p. 195 of the original), and the Gainas in the Nirayâvalî Sûtra.
  3. See above.
  4. Mahâparinibbâna-Sutta I, 26, and Mahâvagga VI, 28, 7 seq.