Ajatashatru was the son of King Bimbisara of Magadha (modern day Bihar) and ruled during the time of Lord Buddha. He was a great warrior, who conquered 36 republican states surrounding his kingdom and firmly established the predominance of Magadha in Eastern India.The most important war waged by Ajatashatru to gain supremacy over his neighbours was that with the powerful Lichchhavi Republic, ruled democratically by a group of noblemen. They had a powerful leader in Chetaka, in whom Ajatashatru found a formidable adversary. So strong was the Lichchhavi republic that Buddha himself is known to have pronounced it invincible, provided the citizens retained their unity, their liberal and democratic ways and their respect for tradition and elders.Years of restless yearning, war and violence tormented Ajatashatru's soul. And his profound sorrow ultimately brought him to the feet of Lord Buddha, where he found peace. So completely was Ajatashatru converted to the faith that he was chosen as the chief claimant of Buddha's relics after the latter's death. Ajatashatru subsequently built stupas all over the capital and renovated 18 monasteries in memory of Buddha. Later, he convened the first Buddhist General Council.History knows Ajatashatru as the great conqueror who laid the foundations of the future Magadhan empire, which included the whole of India, and also as an ardent devotee of Lord Buddha.
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