Bihar and Eastern Uttar Pradesh (early history)

by Prakash Narayan | 2011 | 63,517 words

This study deals with the history of Bihar and Eastern Uttar Pradesh (Northern India) taking into account the history and philosophy of Buddhism. Since the sixth century B.C. many developments took place in these regions, in terms of society, economic life, religion and arts and crafts....

It is the duty of the younger brother to show respect to the elder brother. The elder brother occupies a position next to the parents. Thus, the brahmana Manathaddha neglects to respect not only his parents but also his elder brother (Jettha bhatara).[1] The elder brother performs his duty by exercising authority and by taking care of the younger brother. Mahanama sakya, on the death of his father, looks after the property and keeps his brother Anuruddha in luxury, so that the letter does not know how to replace his brother when he desires to become a monk.[2]

Sometimes the mentioning of brothers together without the indication of the difference of age between them can be noticed. It has also been seen that they follow the same occupation. This is suggestive of the solidarity of the brothers in their relationship with others. Both Purana and Isidatta are architects (thapati).[3] Two brahmana brothers, Yemelu and Tekuls, approach the Buddha with the suggestion that the latter should introduce a metre (chanda) to preach the dhamma.[4] Two farmer brothers lie dead with their oxen, while the Buddha is meditating nearby.[5] The two Jatila brothers, who are fire worshippers, follow the example of their elder brother in giving up the fire worship and joining the Buddhist samgha.[6]

The brothers share their father’s property. Thus a pregnant brahmana woman at the time of her husband’s death, asks her step-son to wait till her child is born. She Says, “If he is a boy, he will take half the share.”[7] The “half share” signifies an equal share. A storeroom was presented by an upasaka to a group of nuns in his life time. His unfaithful son says to his faithful brother after the upasaka’s death, “Let us divide (bhajama) the property, the storeroom is ours.”[8] The Buddha’s going forth hurts suddhodana Sakya and Nanda’s going forth equalises this grief presumably because he has lost both his heirs.[9]

Sometimes it is seen that the inheritance passes from one brother to another or from the son of brother to another brother. Thus, the king of the sakyas, Bhaddiya puts off going forth until he transfers the management of his estate to his sons and brothers.[10] In pervious birth a setthi had killed his brother’s only son for the sake of property[11] and that is why a setthi dies without an heir.

Footnotes and references:

[2]:

Vinaya.II.180-1; Here taking Mahanama as an elder brother we have relied on the fact that his name invariably precedes that of Anuruddha.

[3]:

Majjhima Nikaya.II.123; Anguttara Nikaya.III.348.

[4]:

Vinaya.II.139; Chanda has been taken to mean Sanskrit language by Dictionary of Pali Proper Names, Chanda, S.V.

[5]:

Digha Nikaya.II.131, dve kassaka bhatara.

[6]:

Vinaya.I.33-34.

[7]:

Digha Nikaya.II.331.

[8]:

Vinaya.IV.223.

[9]:

Ibid., I.82.

[10]:

Ibid., II.182, yavaham putte ca bhatare ca rajjaṃ niyyademiti.

[11]:

Samyutta Nikaya.I.92, bhatuca pana eka puttvam sapateyyassa karana jivia voropesi.

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