84000 Glossary of Terms

Our trilingual glossary combining entries from all of our publications into one useful resource, giving translations and definitions of thousands of terms, people, places, and texts from the Buddhist canon.

གཟུགས་ཅན་སྙིང་པོ། | Glossary of Terms

    གཟུགས་ཅན་སྙིང་པོ།

    gzugs can snying po

    Bimbisāra

  • Person
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Publications: 14

The king of Magadha and a great patron of the Buddha. His birth coincided with the Buddha’s, and his father, King Mahāpadma, named him “Essence of Gold” after mistakenly attributing the brilliant light that marked the Buddha’s birth to the birth of his son by Queen Bimbī (“Goldie”). Accounts of Bimbisāra’s youth and life can be found in The Chapter on Going Forth (Toh 1-1, Pravrajyāvastu).

King Śreṇya Bimbisāra first met with the Buddha early on, when the latter was the wandering mendicant known as Gautama. Impressed by his conduct, Bimbisāra offered to take Gautama into his court, but Gautama refused, and Bimbisāra wished him success in his quest for awakening and asked him to visit his palace after he had achieved his goal. One account of this episode can be found in the sixteenth chapter of The Play in Full (Toh 95, Lalitavistara). There are other accounts where the two meet earlier on in childhood; several episodes can be found, for example, in The Hundred Deeds (Toh 340, Karmaśataka).

Later, after the Buddha’s awakening, Bimbisāra became one of his most famous patrons and donated to the saṅgha the Bamboo Grove, Veṇuvana, at the outskirts of the capital of Magadha, Rājagṛha, where he built residences for the monks. Bimbisāra was imprisoned and killed by his own son, the prince Ajātaśatru, who, influenced by Devadatta, sought to usurp his father’s throne.