Enslavement of Kapilavatthu and Shakya people

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Enslavement of Kapilavatthu and Shakya people

Postby dilexi » Sat Aug 15, 2009 4:37 am

My understanding is that near the end of the life of the Buddha, his people were conquered and enslaved by Prince Ajatasattu and nearly exterminated. I'm a little embarrassed to admit that this is based on a reading (a few years ago) of Osamu Tezuka's graphic novel series of the Buddha's life. I remember that in these books, there comes a time when it seems like there is a rebellion brewing among the Shakya people against those who have enslaved them. It seems to me that the Buddha talks to his people and convinces them not to rise up against their oppressors. Instead, it seems like he convinces Prince Ajatasattu to release (those left of) his people.

I would love to encounter somewhere in the Suttas the words of the Buddha to his people about this time, or perhaps his teachings to Prince Ajatasattu convincing him to let them go. Or alternatively, an account that might be more of an original text than the graphic novel. :) However, I'm not sure where or how to find these teachings in the Suttas.

Can anyone help?
Thank you!

-dilexi
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Re: Enslavement of Kapilavatthu and Shakya people

Postby Macavity » Sat Aug 15, 2009 5:11 am

What you've related from the Japanese writer is just fiction. According to Pali sources the only people defeated by Ajatasattu were the Vajjians, but this was two years after the Buddha's passing.

The Sakyans of Kapilavatthu were conquered by Vidudabha.
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Re: Enslavement of Kapilavatthu and Shakya people

Postby Ben » Sat Aug 15, 2009 1:27 pm

Hi Macavity
Macavity wrote:What you've related from the Japanese writer is just fiction. According to Pali sources the only people defeated by Ajatasattu were the Vajjians, but this was two years after the Buddha's passing.

The Sakyans of Kapilavatthu were conquered by Vidudabha.


Thanks for the clarification. But in future, please keep in mind the special forum guidelines for the Classical Theravada forum which requires textual support for answers given. If you have the references for your above statement I think it would be of great benefit to the OP.
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Re: Enslavement of Kapilavatthu and Shakya people

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Aug 15, 2009 1:39 pm

Ben wrote:Hi Macavity
Macavity wrote:What you've related from the Japanese writer is just fiction. According to Pali sources the only people defeated by Ajatasattu were the Vajjians, but this was two years after the Buddha's passing.

The Sakyans of Kapilavatthu were conquered by Vidudabha.


Thanks for the clarification. But in future, please keep in mind the special forum guidelines for the Classical Theravada forum which requires textual support for answers given. If you have the references for your above statement I think it would be of great benefit to the OP.
metta

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I think it would be of great benefit to the OP and everyone else.
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Re: Enslavement of Kapilavatthu and Shakya people

Postby Macavity » Sat Aug 15, 2009 2:41 pm

Macavity wrote:What you've related from the Japanese writer is just fiction. According to Pali sources the only people defeated by Ajatasattu were the Vajjians, but this was two years after the Buddha's passing.

The Sakyans of Kapilavatthu were conquered by Vidudabha.


Below are links to some entries from Malalasekera's Dictionary of Pali Proper Names. These will supply the references for the Pali texts relevant to your query.

http://www.palikanon.com/english/pali_names/sa/sakya.htm
http://www.palikanon.com/english/pali_names/vy/viduudabha.htm
http://www.palikanon.com/english/pali_names/am/ajatasattu.htm
http://www.palikanon.com/english/pali_names/ka/kapilavatthu.htm
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Re: Enslavement of Kapilavatthu and Shakya people

Postby dilexi » Sat Aug 15, 2009 3:42 pm

Thanks, Macavity. These links are very helpful.

What is disappointing in these texts (and others that I've been looking at now that I have the names straight) is that there was not an enslavement which lasted years, but a massacre after which people re-settled. I suppose what I was looking for was a discourse by the Buddha in which he talks to the Sakiya about non-violent resistance and overcoming/succumbing to their conquerors. But it looks like Tezuka probably invented that discourse.

Getting to the root of the question, I found this article http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... el392.html which was helfpul.

Thank you!
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Re: Enslavement of Kapilavatthu and Shakya people

Postby Macavity » Sat Aug 15, 2009 4:23 pm

dilexi wrote:I suppose what I was looking for was a discourse by the Buddha in which he talks to the Sakiya about non-violent resistance and overcoming/succumbing to their conquerors.


In that case you'll be searching in vain, for the Buddha (unlike certain of his modern western followers) was no advocate of simple-minded Gandhian pacifism.

What may be of interest to you is the account of the Rohini incident in the commentary to verses 197-9 of the Dhammapada (DhA.iii.254ff). Here the Buddha successfully dissuades the Sakyans and Koliyans (his paternal and maternal relatives, respectively) from going to war with each other, on the grounds that the cause of hostility between them (a dispute over irrigation rights) is not sufficiently momentous to warrant the spilling of kshatriya blood.

Kind regards,
Ciarán
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Re: Enslavement of Kapilavatthu and Shakya people

Postby cooran » Sat Aug 15, 2009 7:55 pm

Hello all,

dilexi says: It seems to me that the Buddha talks to his people and convinces them not to rise up against their oppressors


I also remember reading "somewhere" about a massacre of the Sakyans - most of whom were Arahants and therefore could not kill another living being. When the Sakyan army was arrayed against their attackers, they simply shot the arrows into the air and allowed the ending of their lives.

Anyone have the exact reference? This is all I can find so far.

The Buddha states, in the Aggañña Sutta, that the Sakyans were vassals of King Pasenadi of Kosala. Yet, when Pasenadi wished to establish connection with the Buddha's family by marrying one of the daughters of a Sākyan chief, the Sakyans decided in their Mote-Hall that it would be beneath their dignity to marry one of their daughters to the King of Kosala. But as they dared not refuse Pasenadi's request, the Sākyan chieftain, Mahānaāa, solved the difficulty by giving him Vāsabhakhattiyā (q.v.), who was his daughter by a slave-girl, Nāgamundā. By her Pasenadi had a son, Vidūdabha. When Pasenadi discovered the trick, he deprived his wife and her son of all their honours, but restored them on the intervention of the Buddha.
Later, when Vidūdabha, who had vowed vengeance on the Sākyans for the insult offered to his father, became king, he marched into Kapilavatthu and there massacred the Sākyans, including women and children. The Buddha felt himself powerless to save them from their fate because they had committed sin in a previous life by throwing poison into a river. Only a few escaped, and these came to be called the Nalasākiyā and the Tinasākiyā. Among the Sākyans who thus escaped was Pandu, son of Amitodana. He crossed the Ganges, and, on the other side of the river, founded a city. His daughter was Bhaddakaccānā (q.v.), who later married Panduvāsudeva, king of Ceylon. Thus the kings of Ceylon were connected by birth to the Sākyans."
[Quelle: Malalasekera, G. P. <1899 - 1973>: Dictionary of Pāli proper names. -- Nachdruck der Ausgabe 1938. -- London : Pali Text Society, 1974. -- 2 vol. -- 1163, 1370 S. -- ISBN 0860132692. -- s. v. -- Dort Quellennachweise.]

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Re: Enslavement of Kapilavatthu and Shakya people

Postby cooran » Sun Aug 16, 2009 7:24 am

Hello all,

A friend on another list (Scott) found it for me:

In the Dhammapada (47) Atthakatta there is the story of prince
Vitutabbha who had a grudge against the Buddha's relatives the
Sakyans. He raised an army and went to wipe them out.
Now the Sakyans were great warriors and wise. They were almost all
sotapanna (first stage of enlightenment) according to the
commentary. When Vitutabbha's army attacked the Sakyans went forward
with great vigor showing their military prowess and the army of
Vitutabbha retreated in panic. But the minister of the prince knew
that the Sakyans couldn't kill so he told the prince and army that
the sakyans were deliberately missing. It was true , the arrows were
hitting close to the men , even passing through their hair but not
inflicting death. Once this was realised the prince's army returned
and slaughtered the noble Sakyan, and Vitutabbha washed the Sakyan's
hall with their own blood. It is how the Sakyan clan was almost
eradicated from North India.
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/dhammastu ... aded=1&l=1

metta
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Re: Enslavement of Kapilavatthu and Shakya people

Postby dilexi » Sun Aug 16, 2009 4:41 pm

Thanks, Chris!

And is the only commentary from the Buddha about this situation the story of beforehand, when he prevented the massacre three times before allowing it to happen because of the karma/fate of the Sakiya? ( http://www.palikanon.com/english/pali_n ... vatthu.htm )

There aren't discourses or a story about his commentary about the massacre?
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Re: Enslavement of Kapilavatthu and Shakya people

Postby cooran » Sun Aug 16, 2009 10:02 pm

Hello dilexi,

In the absence from Dhamma wheel of Ven. Dhammanando on Rains Retreat - I would strongly suggest, for any information about the Commentaries, that you place your questions on Dhammastudygroup which specialises in the whole Tipitaka, including the Commentaries and the Abhidhamma - which is where I hunted up the information. As to the time-frame, and whether this massacre happened before or after the Buddha's parinibbana you would be better framing the question there, and letting us know the result. The members there are deeply interested and well-versed in that area. They will be able to assist.
This is where I got the info above:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/dhammastu ... age/100031

They have a large Useful Posts section, available to members, so it may be worth joining for questions and references:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/dhammastudygroup/

metta
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Re: Enslavement of Kapilavatthu and Shakya people

Postby dilexi » Mon Aug 17, 2009 2:32 am

Thanks Chris! Very helpful!
:namaste:
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Re: Enslavement of Kapilavatthu and Shakya people

Postby Sylvester » Tue Aug 18, 2009 5:09 am

dilexi wrote:Thanks, Chris!

And is the only commentary from the Buddha about this situation the story of beforehand, when he prevented the massacre three times before allowing it to happen because of the karma/fate of the Sakiya? ( http://www.palikanon.com/english/pali_n ... vatthu.htm )

There aren't discourses or a story about his commentary about the massacre?


Hi

I read Burlingame's translation of the Dhammapada Commentary to Pupphavagga, verse 46. My paraphrase -

"When Vidudabha became king, he remembered his grudge. .... On that day, as the Teacher surveyed the world at dawn, he saw the impending destruction of his kinsfolk. And thinking, "I must protect my kinsfolk," he went ..... through the air and sat down at the foot of the tree with scanty shade ...

(the Buddha then declines the suggestion of sitting under the shady banyan tree, and King Vidudabha catches the hint and leaves)

The king remembered his hatred of the Sakiyas and went forth the second time, but seeing the Teacher in the same place, turned back. Again the third time he went forth, but seeing the Teacher in the same place, turned back. But when he went forth the fourth time, the Teacher, surveying the former deed of the Sakiyas and realising the impossibility of averting the consequences of the evil deed they committed by throwing poison into the river, refrained from going the fourth time
."

So, it appears from the Commentary that the Buddha only saw the reason for and inevitability of the massacre on King Vidudabha's 4th attempt.
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