Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Just 55 kms form the city of Patna is the oldest known republic state of the world, Vaishali. Named after the King Vishala the small town of Vaishali was ruled by the Licchhavi rulers. It is believed to be the earliest republics of the world having an elected body of representatives and an efficient administration, as early as 6th century BC. Vaishali is an important pilgrimage sites for Buddhists and Jains as well. Lord Buddha after attaining his Nirvana, and before attaining the Mahaparinirvana, preached his last sermon here, after which he announced his Mahaprinirvana to come soon. Vaishali is also believed to be the birthplace of Lord Mahavira, the founder of the Jain religions.It is said that the famous courtesan Amrapali belonged to Vaishali, who later became a devout Buddhist. The stories about the Lord's encounter with the courtesan here in Vaishali are famous. Vaishali holds another importance of holding the second Buddhist council after 100 years after the Buddha's death. The monks from all over North India came here to discuss the 10 points of Vinaya, or 10 rules of conduct. The Chinese travelers Fa Xian and Xuan Zhang had visited this place on their journey to India and have written highly about Vaishali and its administration.