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Jeevan Vigyan - 8: Lesson-35 : Way of Living & The Republic

Published: 24.10.2018

Two thousand six hundred years ago, there was a joint republic of the States of Nomulli and Lichhavi situated on the bank of river Ganga in North Bihar. It's capital was Vaishali. In South Bihar, there was a State of Magadh which was ruled by a king named Bimbisar. There was permanent enmity between the two countries because the ruler of Magadh wanted to annex Vaishali republic to his State. Magadh attacked Vaishali several times but it had to face defeat on all occasions. Kaunik, the son of the king Bimbisar, captured power of the State of Magadh and put his father in the jail. He also had an eye on Vaishali and waned to make it a part of his State. He began to prepare for the battle.

Once Lord Buddha visited Rajgiri, the Capital of Magadh, Kaunik Ajat Shatru paid his respects, had darshan of Lord Buddha and asked him the way for defeating the republic of Vaishali.

Lord Buddha asked his disciple Anand the following questions:

Lord Buddha, "Anand, do people of Vaishali assemble in public meetings in large numbers?"

Anand, "Yes, my Lord. They do."

Lord Buddha, "Anand, do the people of Vaishali not act against the accepted code of conduct?"

Anand, "Yes, my Lord. They do not."

Lord Buddha, "Anand, do the people of Vaishali respect the elders and the wise?" Anand, "Yes my Lord. They do."

Lord Buddha, "Anand, do the people of Vaishali give full respect to the women?" Anand, "Yes my Lord. They do."

Lord Buddha, "Anand, do people of Vaishali get adequate food to meet their complete requirements?"

Anand, "Yes, my Lord. They do get."

Lord Buddha, "Anand, do people of Vaishali voluntarily offer their services to protect Vaishali?"

Anand, "Yes, my Lord. They do."

Lord Buddha then turned towards Ajat Shatru and told him in a comforting tone that no one could defeat Vaishali as long these seven principles govern the life and guide the day-to-day conduct of people.

After returning from meeting with Lord Buddha, the king of Magadh, Ajat Shatru held brief discussion with his minister Bassakar and called a special meeting of his advisor to discuss the plan prepared by Bassakar to destroy the seven codes of conduct practiced by the people of Vaishali. In the meeting, the people and the king of Vaishali were severely criticized. Seeing this, Bassakar stood and intervening in the discussion spoke in favour of Vaishali and opposed the aggressive policies of Magadh. This made Ajat Shatru furious and he dismissed Bassakar from his council of Ministers and ordered that Bassakar's face be blackened, and he be made to sit on donkey and taken around the city of Patliputra. The orders were carried out. Bassakar was made to sit on a donkey and he was taken around all parts of Patliputra and was called a broker of Vaishali. He was finally left on the bank of the river.

The news spread like wild fire in Vaishali that Bassakar has been humiliated and thrown out. Bassakar was talked about in every nook and corner of Vaishali. In the meanwhile, Bassakar crossed the river and reached Vaishali. Bassakar, in fact, enjoyed full confidence of Ajat Shatru. The whole story of his humiliation etc. was only a part of the conspiracy designed to bring Vaishali under the control of Magadh. Soon after joining hands with the ruler of Vaishali, Bassakar gradually began to sow the seeds of discontentment. All the officers began to speak ill of each other. The conduct based on equality was soon replaced by open discrimination. For example, people started constructing three kinds of houses—the wealthy ones having grand houses using gold on the top; the middle income people having large houses using silver on the top and and the ordinary people having small huts using copper. Disharmony and discontentment spread like wild fire. Very few people now came for public meetings. People paid little respects to the laws framed and decisions taken in these public meetings. Everyone started saying, "who recognizes us in these meetings. Big people having power are doing what suit them." Amarpali was yet another cause of serious differences amongst people.

In the way all the seven codes of conduct of Vaishali were destroyed and then Bassakar sent a message to Magadh indicating that time was ripe for attacking Vaishali. Sensing that right opportunity had arrived. King Ajat Shatru attacked Vaishali. The people of Vaishali were highly divided. Everyone said, "Why should one go to the battle field to defend Vaishali? Those living in the grand houses having golden top and exercising power in managing the affairs of the state should go?" People broke the code of conduct.

In such state of affairs Vaishali got badly defeated Bassakar joined back the king of Magadh.

All the officers of the State were arrested and the whole of Vaishali was made a part of Magadh empire.

In this manner, we see that the strength of a nation lies not in its armed forces only but in the right kind of conduct guiding the life-style of people. Magadh could not defeat Vaishali so long as the code of conduct of people was intact. When the code of conduct got destroyed, Vaishali lost its freedom.

YOU HAVE LEARNT:

    1. The might of the Magadh empire could not defeat Vaishali because it had the strength of code of conduct practiced by the people.
    2. The principles of code of conduct.
      • Full presence in public meetings.
      • Following of laws and rules.
      • Respect towards elders and wise.
      • Respect towards all religions.
      • Respect towards women.
      • Food and clothing for everyone.
      • Sense of voluntary sacrifice.
    3. Taking advantage of the secrets revealed by Lord Buddha, Bassakar was sent to Vaishali.
    4. Bassakar destroyed all the seven codes of conduct.
    5. With the destruction of the code of conduct, a large republic like Vaishali col­lapsed.

CAN YOU TELL?

    1. Why Vaishali could not be defeated earlier by the mighty empire of the Magadh?
    2. What were the seven codes of conduct in which lay the strength of the Republic of Vaishali?
    3. Why did the people of Vaishali appoint Bassakar as their Prime Minister?
    4. What did Bassakar do after reaching Vaishali?
    5. Why did the strong republic like Vaishali collapse soon after the destruction ofthe code of conduct?

THINGS TO DO:

    1. Taking lesson from the Republic of Vaishali, follow the code of conduct strictly.
    2. Correct your past mistakes by developing an attitude of equanimity through meditation.
    3. Practice Preksha Dhyan for developing positive thinking and feelings.
    4. The code of conduct should be widely practiced in the family and the nation in order to create a society which is free from violence.
Sources
Title: Jeevan Vigyan - 8
Authors:

Muni Kishan lal

Dr. Shiv Kumar Sharma

Shubh Karan Surana

Editor: Muni Dhamendra Kumar
Publisher: Jeevan Vigyan Academy
Edition:
2008
Digital Publishing:
Amit Kumar Jain


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Page glossary
Some texts contain  footnotes  and  glossary  entries. To distinguish between them, the links have different colors.
  1. Anand
  2. Bihar
  3. Buddha
  4. Darshan
  5. Dhyan
  6. Equanimity
  7. Magadh
  8. Meditation
  9. Preksha
  10. Preksha Dhyan
  11. The Family and The Nation
  12. Violence
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