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Kosala

From Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia
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Kosala
憍薩羅国 (Skt, Pali; Jpn Kyosara-koku) Kosala in Pali, Kausala in Sanskrit. One of the four great states (i.e., Kosala, Magadha, Vansa & Avanti) in ancient India. The Shakya tribe to which Shakyamuni belonged was under the power and influence of Kosala. The capital of Kosala was Savatthi where the famous monastery (Bodhi-mandala) Jetavana Grove was located.

    Also known as Ko-shala. A kingdom of ancient India, in the eastern part of what is now Uttar Pradesh, India's northern state. Around the sixth century B.C.E., i.e., during Shakyamuni's lifetime, Kosala was one of the sixteen great states in India and, along with Magadha, one of the two greatest powers in the subcontinent. The capital was Shravasti. Kosala was a center for Shakyamuni's activities; after his Enlightenment, he frequently visited and preached in Shravasti, and often spent the rainy season there. In Shakyamuni's time, the king of Kosala was Prasenajit, a follower of The Buddha who aided the spread of Buddhism. Kapilavastu, the small kingdom of the Shakyas from which Shakyamuni came, was a subject state of Ko-sala. Jetavana Monastery, donated by Sudatta to the Buddhist Order, was on the outskirts of Shravasti. Kosala expanded its frontiers, placing its southern neighbor, the kingdom of Kashi, under its rule and vying with Magadha for control of the Ganges Valley. When Ajatashatru, the son of the Magadha'n king Bimbisara, ascended the throne, he waged War on Kosala. Though they had competed for territory until that time, these two kingdoms had been on generally good terms because the wife of Bimbisara was the sister of Prasenajit. The War turned out to be a long one, and Ajatashatru defeated Kosala during the reign of Prasenajit's son, Virudhaka.

Source

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