the Himalayan foothills. The most important of these republics was the
Vajjian confederacy, of which the largest element was the tribe of the
Lichchhavis. This confederacy controlled northern Bihar, and was governed
by a chief who derived his power from a large assembly of tribesmen, and
ruled with the aid of a smaller council of lesser chiefs. Southern Bihar formed
the kingdom of Magadha. Magadha soon absorbed the Vajjis and Kosala, and
her growth continued until Pataliputra became the capital of the whole Indian
subcontinent except the southern tip.
                            RELIGIOUS IDEAS
  The development of organised states and the advance of material culture
  were accompanied by the rapid spread of new religious ideas which were
  soon to become central to ancient Indian thought. It is remarkable that in
  the Vedas and the earlier Brahmana literature the doctrine of
  transmigration of soul is not clearly mentioned. It first appears, in a rather
  primitive form, in the early Upanishads as a rare and new doctrine. In the
  Jaina and Buddhist scriptures, however, the doctrine of transmigration has
  evidently become almost universal and is taken for granted.
     It is not easy to account for the rapid spread of the belief in
transmigration throughout the whole of northern India; it may be that the
humbler strata of society have always believed in some form of
transmigration, but only now did it begin to affect the upper classes. It is
equally difficult to explain the growth of a sense of dissatisfaction with the
world and of a desire to escape from it. Several reasons have been suggested
to account for this great wave of pessimism, occurring as it did in an
expanding society, and in a culture that was rapidly developing both
intellectually and materially.
     It has been suggested that the change in outlook was due to the break-up
of old tribes and their replacement by kingdoms wherein ethnic ties and the
sense of security associated with them were lost or weakened, thus leading to
a deep-seated psycho-logical unease affecting all sections of the people.
     Another suggested cause of the change in outlook is the revolt of the most
intelligent people of the times against  the sacrificial cults of the Brahmins.