gana-sangha system. Included in the sreni were the artisans, and if the guild
prospered then not only were assistants (antevasika) but also dasa-bhritaka
were employed. In this period however there are few references to the
employment of dasas by artisans or guilds. The sreni was gradually to evolve
into a professional group bound by contractual ties. Its professional identity
encouraged its evolution into a jati and these were among the large number of
occupational jatis which were to be allotted a sudra status in the varna
system.
POLITICAL HISTORY
Mahajanapadas and Magadhan Imperialism
                            16 LARGE STATES
  In the pre-Maurya period the entire northern territory was divided into
  sixteen states or sodasha mahajanapadas. The states had either
  monarchical or republican form of government. The Buddhist literature,
  particularly the Anglltfara Nikaya, lists the following states.
      (1) Anga, (2) Magadha, (3) Kasi, (4) Kosala, (5) Vajji, (6) Malla, (7)
  Chedi, (8) Vatsa, (9) Kuru, (10) Panchala, (11) Matsya, (12) Surasena,
  (13) Assake, (14) Avanti, (15) Gandhara, and (16) Kambhoja.
      The small and weak kingdoms either submitted to the stronger rulers
  or gradually got eliminated. Finally during the life time of Buddha only
  four Kingdoms—(1) Vatsa, (2) Avanti, (3) Kosala and (4) Magadha—
  survived.