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Videha

1. Videha.– A millionaire in the time of Padumuttara Buddha. He was a previous birth of Mahā-Kassapa. His wife was Bhaddā-Kāpilānī in this age. Ap.ii.578.

2. Videha, Videhā.– A country and its people. At the time of the Buddha, Videha formed one of the two important principalities of the Vajjī confederacy. Its capital was Mithilā. The kingdom bordered on the Gaṅgā, on one side of which was Magadha and on the other Videha.¹ Adjacent to it were Kāsi and Kosala. In the Gandhāra Jātaka² the kingdom of Videha is said to have been three hundred leagues in extent, with sixteen thousand villages, well-filled storehouses and sixteen thousand dancing girls. Videha was a great trade centre, and mention is made ³ of merchants coming from Sāvatthi to sell their wares in Videha.

The Suruci Jātaka seems to show that a close connection existed between Videha and Bārāṇasī. In the Buddha’s time, one of Bimbisāra’s queens was probably from Videha (see Vedehiputta). Mention is also made ⁴ of a friendship existing between the kings of Gandhāra and Videha. In earlier times Videha was evidently a kingdom, its best known kings being Mahājanaka and Nimi; but in the Buddha’s time it was a republic, part of the Vajjī federation. According to the Mahāgovinda Sutta, it was King Reṇu who, with the help of Mahāgovinda Jotipāla, founded the Videha kingdom. The Commentaries ⁶ state that Videha was colonized by the inhabitants, who were brought from Pubbavideha by King Mandhātu.

The Satapatha Brāhmaṇa,⁷ however, ascribes the kingdom to Māthava the Videgha, and gives as its boundaries Kausikī in the east, the Ganges to the south, the Sadārūra in the west, and the Himālaya in the north. In the centre of Videha was Pabbatarattha, in which was the city Dhammakonda, the residence of Dhaniya.⁸

The strainer used by the Buddha was honoured, after his death, by the people of Videha.⁹

Uruvela-Kassapa was, in a previous birth, king of Videha.¹⁰

¹ See, e.g., M.i.225; MA.i.448. ² J.iii.365; iv. 316. ³ PvA.227.

MA.i.534. D.ii.235. E.g., DA.ii.482; MA.i.184. I.iv.1. SNA.i.26.

Bu.xxviii.11. ¹⁰ Ap.ii.483.

3. Videha v.l. Vedeha.– The name of a king of Videha, the father of the Bodhisatta in the Vinīla Jātaka (q.v.)

4. Videha v.l. Vedeha.– A king of Videha who later became an ascetic. For his story see the Gandhāra Jātaka. He is identified with Ānanda. J.iii.369.

5. Videha.– See Vedeha.

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