Bimbisara, aka: Bimbisāra; 2 Definition(s)


Bimbisara means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.

In Buddhism

Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)

Bimbisāra (बिम्बिसार) is the name of a king of olden times subdued by the Buddha mentioned in order to demonstrate the fearlessness of the Buddha according to the Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra chapter XL.1.4. Accordingly, “a hundred thousand Che-tseu (Śākya) who all were great kings in Jambudvīpa, king P’in-p’o-so-lo (Bimbisāra), etc., all became his disciples”.

Bimbisāra, king of Magadha, had two well-known meetings with the Buddha. The second took place at the Supatiṭṭhacetiya of the Laṭṭhivanuyyāna; it was then that the king was converted with all his people and became srotaāpanna (references above, p. 30F as note). Further mentions in the Traité at p. 93F, 147F, 175F, 186F 637F, 990–992F and notes.

(Source): Wisdom Library: Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra
Mahayana book cover
context information

Mahayana (महायान, mahāyāna) is a major branch of Buddhism focusing on the path of a Bodhisattva (spiritual aspirants/ enlightened beings). Extant literature is vast and primarely composed in the Sanskrit language. There are many sūtras of which some of the earliest are the various Prajñāpāramitā sūtras.

General definition (in Buddhism)

Bimbisara was the son of Mahapadma, Prasenajit was the son of Brahmadatta, Pradyota was the son of Anantanemi and Udayana was the son of Shatanika. Vrijji or Vajji Sangha was ruling in Vaishali. Lichchavis were the most powerful clan of Vrijji Sangha.

Bimbisara succeeded his father Mahapadma in Rajagriha and Prasenjit succeeded his father Brahmadatta in Kosala. The sister of Prasenajit was the chief queen of King Bimbisara. Some of the Sanskrit Buddhist texts like Buddhacharita of Ashvaghosha, the Gilgit manuscript of Sanghabhedavatsu etc., refer to Bimbisara as “Shrenya Bimbisara” . According to the Gilgit manuscript of Vinayavastu (Pravrajyavastu), Bimbisara was called “Shrenya” because his father forced him to excel in 18 subjects of education. Buddhacharita mentions that Bimbisara was a scion of Haryanka dynasty (Haryanka Kula).

King Shrenya Bimbisara of Magadha was killed by his own son Ajatashatru in 1873 BC. Thus, Ajatashatru became the king of Magadha in 1873 BC.

(Source): The Chronological History of Buddhism

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