The Shakyas are mentioned in the Buddhist texts, which include the Mahāvastu (ca. late 2nd century BCE), Mahāvaṃsa and Sumaṅgalavilāsinī, mostly in the accounts of the birth of the Buddha, as a part of the Adichchabandhus (kinsmen of the sun) or the Ādichchas (solar race) and as descendants of the legendary king Ikṣvāku (Pāli: Okkāka):
The Shakyas were settled in the territory bounded by the Himalayas in the north, The Rohni River (the present-day Kobana, a tributary of the Rapti)[disambiguation needed] in the east and the Rapti in the south. Some Buddhist texts, Mahāvastu, Mahavamsa and Sumangalavilasini give accounts of the Śākyas.
The Śākya nation was later subsumed into the Kingdom of Kosala under Viḍūḍabha.
The accounts of Buddhist texts
The Śākyas are mentioned in later Buddhist texts as well including the Mahāvastu (ca. late 2nd century BCE), Mahāvaṃsa and Sumaṅgalavilāsinī (ca. 5th century CE), mostly in the accounts of the birth of the Buddha, as a part of the Adichchabandhus (kinsmen of the sun) or the Ādichchas (solar race) and as descendants of the legendary king Ikṣvāku (Pāli: Okkāka)
There lived once upon a time a king of the Śākya, a scion of the solar race, whose name was Śuddhodana. He was pure in conduct, and beloved of the Śākya like the autumn moon. He had a wife, splendid, beautiful, and steadfast, who was called the Great Māyā, from her resemblance to Māyā the Goddess.—Buddhacarita of Aśvaghoṣa, I.1-2
The Buddhist text Mahavamsa (II, 1-24), traces the origin of the Sakyas (Śākyas) to king Okkaka (Ikshvaku) and gives their genealogy from Mahasammata, an ancestor of Okkaka. This list comprises the names of a number of prominent kings of the Ikshvaku dynasty, which include Mandhata and Sagara. According to this text, Okkamukha was the eldest son of Okkaka. Sivisamjaya and Sihassara were the son and grandson of Okkamukha. King Sihassara had eighty-two thousand sons and grandsons, who were together known as the Sakyas. The youngest son of Sihassara was Jayasena. Jayasena had a son, Sihahanu, and a daughter, Yashodhara (not to be confused with prince Siddhartha's wife), who was married to Devadahasakka. Devadahasakka had two daughters, Anjana and Kaccana. Sihahanu married Kaccana, and they had five sons and two daughters; Suddhodana was one of them. Suddhodana had two queens, Maya and Prajapati, both daughters of Anjana. Siddhartha (Gautama Buddha) was the son of Suddhodana and Maya. Rahula was the son of Siddhartha and Yashodara (also known as Bhaddakaccana), daughter of Suppabuddha and granddaughter of Anjana.
The accounts of the Purāṇas
Chapter 1 of Vishnupurana mentions that Brahma created Daksha out of his thumb. Daksha had a daughter Aditi, who was mother of Sun. From the Sun was born Manu. Since the Sun-god was Manu's father, his lineage came to be known as the Suryavansha (the descendants of Sun). Manu had many sons of whom 50 perished quarelling with one another. Ten sons survived, one of whom was Ikshvaku.
According to the Mahavastu and the Lalitavistara, the seat of the Shakya administration was the saṃsthāgāra (Pali:santhāgāra) (assembly hall) at Kapilavastu. A new building for the Shakya samsthagara was constructed at the time of Gautama Buddha, which was inaugurated by him. The highest administrative authority was the sidharth , comprising 500 members, which met in the samsthagara to transact any important business. The Shakya Parishad was headed by an elected raja, who presided over the meetings.
Migration to Kathmandu
After the annexation of Kapilavastu by Virudhaka, the remaining Shakyas fled northward to the hills, and settled in western Nepal. In order to hide from prosecution, they took the title of Koliya. When they learned of the forest monastery in Sankhu established during the time of Buddha, they migrated to Kathmandu Valley under the Kirats. Later, they established two settlements in Yembu and Yengal. In Yengal, they renovated the monasteries of Manjupattan. By Licchavi era, Yembu and Yengal were called Koligram and Dakshin Koligram respectively. They established various monasteries in both settlements, and retook the title of Shakyas in the late Licchavi era. Various monastic traditions are still followed to date in many of these monasteries.
Annexation by Kosala
Viḍūḍabha, the son of Pasenadi and Vāsavakhattiyā, the daughter of a Śākya named Mahānāma by a slave girl ascended the throne of Kosala after overthrowing his father. As an act of vengeance for cheating Kosala by sending his mother, the daughter of a slave woman for marriage to his father, he invaded the Śākya territory, massacred them and annexed it.
Establishing new kingdoms
- per J. F. Fleet, "The Inscription on the Piprawa Vase", Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland, in Pāli, "Sākiya" is used primarily to refer to people of Shakya in general; "Sakka", primarily to the Shakya country as well as to its noble families; and "Sakya", primarily to members of the Buddhist order.
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