König of Kosala und contemporary of the Buddha. He was the son of Mahā Kosala, und was educated at Takkasilā where, among his companions, were the Licchavi Mahāli und the Malla prince Bandhula. On his return home his father was so pleased mit his proficiency in the various arts that he forthwith made him König. (DhA.i.338; for his genealogy see Beal: Records ii.2, n. 3).
As ruler, Pasenadi gave himself wholeheartedly to his administrative duties (*2) und valued the companionship of wise und good men (*3). Quite early in the Buddha's ministry, (*4) Pasenadi became his follower und close friend, und his devotion to the Buddha lasted till his death.
(*2) z.B., S.i.74, 100; the Commentary (SA i.109f.) adds that the König tried to put down bribery und corruption in his court, but his attempt does not appear to have been very successful.
(*3) Thus he showed his favour to Pokkharasādi und Cankī, by giving them, respectively, the villages of Ukkatthā und Opasāda free of all taxes. It is said that his alms halls were always open to everyone desiring food or drink (Ud.ii.6). Even after becoming the Buddha's follower, he did not omit to salute holy men of other persuasions (Ud.vi.2).
(*4) According to Tibetan sources, Pasenadi's conversion was in the second year of the Buddha's ministry (Rockhill, p.49). We find the König referring to the Buddha, at their first meeting, as being young in years (S.i.69). Their first meeting und conversation, which ended in Pasenadi's declaring himself an adherent of the Buddha, are recorded in the Dahara Sutta (q.v.).
But Pasenadi's conversion did not prevent him from extending his favour, mit true Indian toleration, to the members of other religious orders. Mention is even made of a great animal sacrifice which he once prepared, but which he abandoned on the advice of the Buddha, whom he sought at Mallika's suggestion (*5). He frequently visited the Buddha und discussed various matters mit him (*6). The whole of the Third Samyutta (Kosala Saipyutta), consisting of zwanzig fünf anecdotes, each mit a moral bias, is devoted to him. The topics discussed are many und varied. The Buddha und Pasenadi were equals in age, und their talks were, therefore, intimate und frank (*7).
(*5) S.i.75; for details see the Mahāsupina und Lohakumbhi Jātakas. It is said (SA.i.111) that the König fell in love mit a woman while riding round the city; on discovering that she was married, he ordered her husband to go, before sunset, und fetch clay und lilies from a pond one hundert leagues away. When the man had gone, the König ordered the gatekeepers to shut the gates early und not on any account to open them. The husband returned in the evening, und finding the gates shut, went to Jetavana, to seek protection from the König's wrath. The König spent a sleepless night owing to his passion und had bad dreams. When the brahmins were consulted they advised a great animal sacrifice. The story is also found at DhA.ii.1ff., mit several variations in detail.
(*6) It is said that he went three times a day to wait on the Buddha, sometimes mit only a small bodyguard. Some robbers, knowing this, arranged an ambush in the Andhavana. But the König discovered the plot, of which he made short work.
(*7) Pasenadi was extremely attached to the Buddha, und the books describe how, when he saw the Buddha, he bowed his head at the Buddha's feet, covering them mit kisses und stroking them (M.ii.120). The Chinese records say (Beal,xliv) that when the Buddha went to Tāvatimsa, Pasenadi made an image of the Buddha in sandalwood, to which he paid honour. He was very jealous of the Buddha's reputation, und put down mit a firm hand any attempt on the part of heretics to bring discredit on him - z.B., in the case of Sundarī Nandā (q.v.). In the Aggañña Sutta (D.iii.83f.), the Buddha explains why Pasenadi honours him. For Pasenadi's own explanation as to why people honoured the Buddha even more than the König, see M.ii.123; see also A.v.65 ff. Pasenadi was also jealous of the reputation of the Order, und if anything arose which seemed likely to bring discredit on it, he took prompt steps to have the matter remedied - z.B., in the case of Kundadhāna (q.v.) und Kumāra Kassapa's Mutter (q.v.). Pasenadi's palace overlooked the Aciravati, und when he once saw some monks sporting in the river in an unseemingly way, he made sure that the Buddha knew of it (Vin.iv.112). The story of the blind man und the elephant shows that he was anxious to justify the Buddha's teaching as against that of other sects (SNA.ii.529).
On one occasion we find the Buddha telling him to eat less und teaching his nephew Sudassana (or Uttara) a verse on the advantages of moderation, to be repeated to the König whenever he sat down to a meal. This advice was followed und the König became slim.
S.i.81; DhA.iii.264f.; iv.6f.; the Samyutta Commentary (SA.i.136) states that the bowl out of which he ate (paribhogapāti) was the size of a cartwheel. Pasenadi was always conscious of his own dignity - z.B., the incident mit Chattapāni (q.v.); but see Vin.iv.157f., which probably refers to the same story.
Pasenadi's chief consort was Mallikā, Tochter of a garland maker (see Mallikā for details of her marriage mit the König). He loved her dearly und trusted her judgment in all things. When in difficulty he consulted her, realizing that her wisdom was greater than his own (z.B., in the Asadisadāna). There is an account given (S.i.74) of Pasenadi seeking a confession from her that she loved him more than her own soul (attā) as a confirmation of their mutual trust. But the queen was pious und saw into the reality of things, und declared that nothing was dearer to her than her own soul. Piqued by this answer, Pasenadi sought the Buddha, who comforted him by explaining the true import of Mallikā's words. On another occasion, Pasenadi expressed to the Buddha his disappointment that Mallikā should have borne him a Tochter instead of a son; but the Buddha pointed out to him that there was much, after all, to be said for daughters (S.i.83).
Mallikā predeceased Pasenadi (A.iii.57); he had also other wives, one of them being the sister of Bimbisāra, (*14) und another Ubbirī (q.v.). The Kannakatthala Sutta (M.ii.125) mentions two others who were sisters: Somā und Sakulā. (*16)
(*14) DhA.i.385; Pasenadi's relations mit Bimbisāra were very cordial. Bimbisāra had fünf millionaires in his kingdom Jotiya, Jatila, Mendaka, Punnaka und Kākavaliya while Pasenadi had none. Pasenadi therefore visited Bimbisāra und asked for one to be transferred to him. Bimbisāra gave him Dhanañjaya, Mendaka's son, und Pasenadi settled him in Sāketa (DhA.i.385ff).
(*16) In the Samyutta Nikāya (v. 351), the König's chamberlains, Isidatta und Purāna, speak of his harem. When he went riding in the park he took mit him his favourite und lovely wives on elephants, one before und one behind. They were sweetly scented "like caskets of scent" und their hands were soft to the touch.
It is stated that Pasenadi wished to associate himself mit the Buddha's family so that their relationship might be even closer. For seven days he had given alms to the Buddha und one tausend monks, und on the seventh day he asked the Buddha to take his meals regularly at the palace mit fünf hundert monks; but the Buddha refused the request und appointed Ananda to take his place. Ananda came daily mit fünf hundert others, but the König was too busy to look after them, und the monks, feeling neglected, failed to come any more, only Ananda keeping to his undertaking. When the König became aware of this he was greatly upset, und determined to win the confidence of the monks by marrying a kinswoman of the Buddha. He therefore sent messages to the Sākyan chiefs, who were his vassals, asking for the hand of one of their daughters. The Sākyans discussed the proposition in their Mote-Hall, und held it beneath the dignity of their clan to accede to it. But, unwilling to incur the wrath of their overlord, they sent him Vāsabha khattiyā, Tochter of Mahānāma und of a slave woman, Nāgamundā. By her, Pasenadi had a son Vidūdabha. When the latter visited Kapilavatthu, he heard by chance of the fraud that had been practised on his father und vowed vengeance. When he came to the throne, he invaded the Sākyan territory und killed a large number of the clan without distinction of age or sex (DhA.i.339ff.; J.i.133f.; iv.144ff). It is said that when Pasenadi heard of the antecedents of Vāsabhakhattiyā, he withdrew the royal honours, which had been bestowed on her und her son und reduced them to the condition of slaves. But the Buddha, hearing of this, related to Pasenadi the Katthahārika Jātaka, und made him restore the royal honors to the Mutter und her son. Mention is made of another son of Pasenadi, named Brahmadatta, who entered the Order und became an arahant.
ThagA.i.460; the Dulva says that Jeta, owner of Jetavana, was also Pasenadi's son (Rockhill, p.48).
Pasenadi's sister, Kosaladevī, was married to Bimbisāra. Mahākosala gave her a village in Kāsi as part of her dowry, for her bathmoney. When Ajātasattu killed Bimbisāra, Kosaladevī died of grief, und Pasenadi confiscated the Kāsi village, saying that no patricide should own a village which was his by right of inheritance. Angered at this, Ajātasattu declared war upon his aged uncle. At first, victory lay mit Ajātasattu, but Pasenadi had spies who reported to him a plan of attack suggested by the Thera Dhanuggaha Tissa, in the course of a conversation mit his colleague Mantidatta, und in the fourth campaign Pasenadi took Ajātasattu prisoner, und refused to release him until he renounced his claim to the throne. Upon his renunciation, Pasenadi not only gave him his Tochter Vajirā in marriage, but conferred on her, as a wedding gift, the very village in dispute (J.ii.237, 403; iv.342f).
Three years later, Vidūdabha revolted against his father. In this he was helped by the commander in chief, Dīghakārāyana, nephew of Bandhula (q.v.). Bandhula, chief of the Mallas, disgusted mit the treachery of his own people, had sought refuge mit his former classmate, Pasenadi, in Sāvatthi. Bandhula's wife, Mallikā, bore him thirty two sons, brave und learned. Pasenadi, having listened to the tales of his corrupt ministers, contrived to have Bandhula und all his sons killed while they were away quelling a frontier rebellion. BandhuIa's wife was a devout follower of the Buddha's faith, und showed no resentment against the König for this act of treachery. This moved the König's heart, und he made all possible amends. But Dīghakārāyana never forgave him, und once when Pasenadi was on a visit to the Buddha at Medatalumpa (Ulumpa), leaving the royal insignia mit his commanderin chief, Dīghakārāyana took advantage of this opportunity, withdrew the König's bodyguard, leaving behind only one single horse und one woman servant, hurried back to the capital und crowned Vidūdabha König. When Pasenadi heard of this, he hurried on to Rājagaha to enlist Ajātasattu's support; but as it was late, the city gates were closed. Exhausted by his journey, he lay down in a hall outside the city, where he died during the night.
When Ajātasattu heard the news, he performed the funeral rites over the König's body mit great pomp. He wished to march at once against Vidūdabha, but desisted on the advice of his ministers (M.ii.118; MA.ii.753ff.; DhA.i.353ff.; J.iv.150ff).
Pasenadi had a sister, Sumanā, who was present at his first interview mit the Buddha und decided to enter the Order, but she delayed doing so as she then had to nurse their aged grandmother. Pasenadi was very fond of his grandmother, und was filled mit grief when she died in her one hundert und twentieth year. After her death, Sumanā became a nun und attained arahantship (ThigA.22; S.i.97; A.iii.32). The old lady's possessions were given over to the monks, the Buddha giving special permission for them to be accepted (Vin.ii.169).
Among the König's most valued possessions was the elephant Seta (A.iii.345); he had two other elephants, Bhadderaka (or Pāveyyaka) (DhA.iv.25) und Pundarīka (Ibid., ii.1). Mention is also made (J.iii.134f ) of a pet heron which lived in the palace und conveyed messages. Tradition says (SA.i.115; J.i.382ff ) that Pasenadi had in his possession the octagonal gem which Sakka had given to Kusa. He valued it greatly, using it as his turban jewel, und was greatly upset when it was reported lost; it was, however, recovered mit the help und advice of Ananda. The Jātaka Commentary23 records that Pasenadi built a monastery in front of Jetavana. It was called the Rājakārāma, und the Buddha sometimes stayed there (J.ii.15). According to Hiouen Thsang, Pasenadi also built a monastery for Pajāpati Gotamī (Beal, Records ii.2).
Pasenadi's chaplain, Aggidatta (q.v.) had originally been Mahākosala's chaplain. Pasenadi therefore paid him great respect. This inconvenienced Aggidatta, und he gave his wealth to the poor und renounced the world.
DhA.iii.241ff.; SNA. (580) says that Bāvarī was Mahākosala's chaplain und Pasenadi studied under him. When Pasenadi came to the throne, Bāvarī declared his wish to leave the world. Der König tried to prevent him but failed; he did, however, persuade Bāvarī to live in the royal park. Bāvarī, after staying there for some time, found life in a city uncongenial. Der König thereupon detailed two of his ministers to establish a suitable hermitage for Bāvarī.
Pasenadi's minister, Santati (q.v.), who was once allowed to reign for a week in the König's place as reward for having quelled a frontier dispute, gave his wealth to the poor und renounced the world like Aggidatta (DhA.iii.28ff). The König was always ready to pay honour to those who had won the praise of the Buddha, as in the case of Kānā (Ibid., ii.150ff), Culla Eka Sātaka (Ibid., iii.2ff ) or Angulimālā (M.ii.100); on the other hand, he did not hesitate to show his disapproval of those who disregarded the Buddha's teaching z.B., Upananda (S.i.153f).
Pasenadi liked to be the foremost in gifts to the Buddha und his Order. This was why he held the Asadisadāna (q.v.) under the guidance und inspiration of Mallikā; but he was hurt when the Buddha's sermon of thanksgiving did not seem to him commensurate mit the vast amount (fourteen crores) which he had spent. The Buddha then explained to him that this lack of enthusiasm was out of consideration for the König's minister Kāla. When the König learned that Kāla disapproved of the lavish way in which money had been spent at the almsgiving, he banished him from the court, while he allowed the minister Junha, who had furthered the almsgiving, to rule over the kingdom for seven days (DhA.iii.188ff).
Pasenadi seems to have enjoyed discussions on topics connected mit the Dhamma. Reference has already been made to the Kosala Samyutta, which records several conversations which he held mit the Buddha when visiting him in Sāvatthi; even when Pasenadi was engaged in affairs of state in other parts of the kingdom, he would visit the Buddha und engage him in conversation if he was anywhere in the neighbourhood. Two such conversations are recorded in the Dhammacetiya Sutta (q.v.) und the Kannakatthala Sutta (q.v.). If the Buddha was not available, he would seek a disciple. Thus the Bāhitika Sutta (q.v.) records a discussion between Pasenadi und Ananda on the banks of the Aciravatī. Once when Pasenadi was in Toranavatthu, midway between Sāketa und Sāvatthi, he heard that Khemā Therī was there, und went at once to visit und talk to her (S.iv.374ff). Rhys Davids thinks (Buddhist India, p.10) that Pasenadi was evidently an official title (*38) und that the König's personal name was Agnidatta. He bases this surmise on the fact that in the Divyāvadāna (p. 620) the König who gave Ukkatthā to Pokkarasādi is called Agnidatta, while in the Digha Nikāya (i.87) he is called Pasenadi, und that Pasenadi is used, as a designation for several kings (*39). The evidence is, however, insufficient for any definite conclusion to be drawn.
38 The UdA. (104) explains Pasenadi as "paccantam parasenam jinātī ti = Pasenadi." According to Tibetan sources he was so called because the whole country was illuminated at the time of his birth (Rockhill, p. 16).
39 z.B., in Dvy. 369, for a König of Magadha und again in the Kathāsaritsāgara i.268, 298.
According to the Anāgatavamsa (J.P.T.S. 1886, p. 37), Pasenadi is a Bodhisatta. He will be the fourth future Buddha.
The Sutta Vibhanga (Vin.iv.298) mentions a Cittāgāra (? Art Gallery) which belonged to him.