The King who learned the error of his monstrous ways, and became buddies with the Buddha.

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  1. Ajatastru on an Elephant

Ajatasatru

Ajatasatru, also known as Kunika, was born to King Bimbisara, the ruler of Magadha kingdom, and Queen Chelna or Kosala Devi, as mentioned in Jainism and Buddhist records, though both the traditions referred the queen as Vaidehi.

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2. Ajatastru in front of the Buddha

He was very agressive is his piloicies and that helped him take full control of Kashi. Ajatashatru conquered Vajji with the help of Sunidha and Vatsakar.
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3. Statesmen portrait of Ajatashatru

The great King’s statue.

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4. Ajatashatru meeting with the wise


The heavy metal band Metallica has a song called Wasting My Hate, which describes the futility of investing so much negative emotion and concern over someone else. Hate is an emotion stronger than indifference or apathy, so the song urges people to not waste their hate, but to rather keep it for themselves. The Vedas, the ancient scriptures of India, have a similar view. The Vedas advise everyone to use every precious moment in life to love God and His devotees.

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5. Ajatashatru meeting the Buddha

King Ajatashatru Visits Mahatma Buddha, 3rd Century A.D, Ikshavakus Dynasty, Nagarjunakonda, Andhra Pradesh

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6. Ajatashatru trying to gain Allies

Ajatasattu grew up to be a Noble and handsome youth. Devadatta was, at this time, looking for ways and means of taking revenge on The Buddha, and seeing in the prince a very desirable weapon, he exerted all his strength to win him to his side.

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7. Ajatashatru meeting with the Buddha


After killing his father, however, Ajatashatru came to regret his conduct deeply. Tormented by guilt, he broke out in virulent sores on the fifteenth day of the second month of his fiftieth year, and it was predicted that he would die on the seventh day of the third month. At the advice of his physician and minister Jivaka, he sought out Shakyamuni, who responded by teaching him the doctrines of the Nirvana Sutra.

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8. Cemetery of Ajatashatru


The remains of the stupa that Ajatashatru built. 4th century BCE, Rajgir, Bihar, India

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9. Size of Ajatashatru’s kingdom

Magadha Kingdom (by Avantiputra)
Ajatashatru also expanded his father’s territories considerably; he annexed Kosala, the Lichchhavi republic, Kashi, and Avanti. Some of these kingdoms were related to him by blood but Ajatashatru is generally depicted as a cruel person not given to family niceties (he had deposed and imprisoned his father to ascend the throne).

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10. Warrior King Ajatashatru

Ajatahatru was not the only son of Bimbisara so he had to fight with many of his stepbrothers to gain the crown. After killing many of his brother and his father he expressed his remorse in front of a buddha who advised him not to do more sins. It was Devadatta who influenced Ajaashatru to do all these crimes. Devadatta was a cousin of Buddha. Later, Ajatahatru distanced himself from Devadatta.

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11. The secular king

Although Ajatshatru had some negative aspects overall he was a great king. Ajatshatru is recognized as the first emperor of northern India who had defeated most of his neighboring states. He is also credited for innovation in military technology in warfare against Licchavis.

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12. The tired King Ajatashatru

Ajatashatru had led a life which was full of wars, restlessness, and violence. Towards the later part of his life, his soul was filled with grief and repentance. In order to cleanse his heart from all sins, he surrendered himself at the feet of Lord Buddha, where he found peace and he was completely dedicated towards the Buddhist faith.

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13. The ride home for Ajatashatru


Ajatashatru is ridden with guilt. What does a king do when, in a moment of misguided ambition, he orders the death of his own father? Ajatashatru wages war on his neighbors with brilliant new machines expands his realm to make it a powerful empire and founds the new capital city of Pataliputra (modern Patna). But try as he might, he cannot shed his feelings of remorse and sorrow, until Gautama Buddha shows him the way…

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14. Ajatashatru’s birth carved into stone


The account of Ajatashatru’s birth is more or less similar in both the traditions. According to Jainism, Ajatashatru was born to King Bimbisara and Queen Chelna; Buddhist tradition records Ajatashatru being born to Bimbisara and Kosala Devi. It is worthwhile to note that both the queens were called “Vaidehi” in both the traditions.

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15. Royal parade carved in stone


Royal procession leaving Rajagriha, possibly depicting Ajatashatru, from Sanch[

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