Justice T.U.Mehta

Princely following of Mahavira

Apart from Magadha, King Prasenajit of Kosala, King Udayana of Sindhu Sauvira (Lower Indus Valley), Princes of Yadu family of Sirasena (region round Mathura), Pancala King Sanjaya of Kampilya and many other small princes of different regions of India became Mahavira's disciples and entered his order. Discipleship of many of these princes is claimed even by the Buddhists. It appears that in those days the impact of Jainism and Buddhism was so great and personalities of the great men of both the orders - Mahavira and Buddha were so imposing that both were respected and honoured by most of the ruling princes of India. The fact that both Jainism and Buddhism led the revolt against sacrificial rituals and priestly hegemony must have also blurred the philosophical distinction between their thinking in the eyes of the laity.

All available materials show that most of the non-monarchical states of that period, except the Vajjis, were not properly managed by their oligarchical systems. The terms ‘Gana' and ‘Sangha' were used for these states and their leaders were known as ‘Rajas'. They kept on fighting amongst themselves and rendered the administration insecure for people. People therefore wanted stability under the suzerainty of a strong ruler. Therefore, non-monarchical states were eventually destroyed.