personal physician, Jivaka, to cure Pradyota
him as their supporter and devotee. He died a tragic death. From one source,
it is learnt that he was starved to death by his son Ajatasatru. The other
source reveals that due to the acrimonious relationship with his son, he
consumed poison and killed himself.
     Ajatasatru (495–462 BC) embarked upon a policy of conquest. He
declared war against his maternal uncle Prasenjit of Kosala. His success
against a powerful confederacy of 36 kingdoms and republican states under
the leadership of Lichchhavis of Vaisali, is indeed, remarkable. The conflict
continued for about 15 years and finally he succeeded in subduing the
opponents including the Lichchhavis. It is not clearly known whether he was
a follower of either Jainism or Buddhism. It is generally believed that in the
beginning, he was a follower of Jainism, but subsequently, he changed his
mind and embraced Buddhism. It is said that he interviewed Lord Buddha
and confessed killing his father Bimbisara. In fact, his meeting with Gautama
Buddha is indicated in one of the sculptures of Bharhut.
     According to the Jaina and Buddhist texts, several successors of
Ajatasatru ruled Magadha for about 166 years. Unfortunately, most of them
were non-entities. However, among them we come to know about one ruler
named Udayin.
Sisunagas Sisunaga defeated Pradyota (one of the successors of Chanda
Pradyota) and annexed Avanti to Magadha. After Sisunaga, the mighty
empire collapsed like a house of cards. Kalasoka, successor of Sisunaga, was
murdered by the founder of the Nanda dynasty.
Nandas (345–322 BC) Mahapadma Nanda was a powerful ruler. He
enlarged his kingdom by conquest. It is said that he uprooted the Kshatriya
ruling dynasties of northern India and annexed their territories to his
kingdom. In fact, states like Kurus, Panchalas, Ikshvakus, Asmakas and
Surasenas, became the exploits of the new dynasty. An inscription found in
the famous Hathigumpha of Kharavela refers to the conquest of Kalinga by a
ruler of the Nanda dynasty. There is good reason to feel that the conqueror
was none but Mahapadma Nanda. Many historians believe that a sizable
portion of the Deccan formed a part of Mahapadma Nanda’s kingdom. The
greatness and vastness of the Nanda dynasty is confirmed by several Greek
writers who visited India during the invasion of Alexander the Great.
According to Buddhist sources