Udayana (king)

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OccupationKing of Vatsa

Udayana was a king of Vatsa in India, a contemporary of Gautama Buddha.



Niti Adaval mentions about Udayana and his love for music, art and fondness of women. [1] Due to a dohada ("pregnancy craving"), Mṛgāvatī, pregnant with Udayana, is either covered or immersed in red. A monstrous bird mistakes her for raw meat and carries her away, later dropping her. She is cared for in a hermitage, where she raises her son. [2] Udayana obtains a wonderful lute, elephant taming skills, and confidants; he and his mother eventually return to their home, Kauśāmbī. [3]

Udayana is later captured by Pradyota, the King of Ujjayinī. Here, he teaches the lute to Pradyota's daughter, Vāsavadattā, and they fall in love. [4] Eventually they escape to Kauśāmbī, where Udayana's rightful kingship is restored, and they are married. [5] But fearing Udayana is getting soft, and desiring an additional political alliance, Udayana's ministers make him believe that Vāsavadattā is dead, and effect his marriage to Ratnavali. [6]

Though he is later reunited with Vāsavadattā, Udayana remains childless. Later, as a boon of Kubera, Vāsavadattā becomes pregnant with Naravāhanadatta (his name means "given by Kubera" [7] ), who is fated to become the emperor of the Vidyādharas.[ citation needed ]

Udayana, the son of Śatānīka II by the Videha princess succeeded him. Udayana, the romantic hero of the Svapnavāsavadattā, the Pratijñā-Yaugandharāyaṇa and many other legends was a contemporary of Buddha and of Pradyota, the king of Avanti. [8] :p.119 The Kathāsaritsāgara contains a long account of his conquests. The Priyadarśikā narrates the event of his victory over the ruler of Kaliṅga and restoration of Dṛḍhavarman to the throne of Aṅga. The commentary on the Dhammapada describes the story of his marriage with Vāsavadattā or Vāsuladattā, the daughter of Pradyota, the king of Avanti. It also mentions about his two other consorts, Māgandiyā, daughter of a Kuru Brahmin and Sāmāvatī, the adopted daughter of the treasurer Ghosaka. The Milindapañho refers to a peasant girl Gopāla-mātā who became his wife. The Svapnavāsavadattā of Bhāsa mentions about another queen named Padmāvatī, a sister of king Darśaka of Magadha. The Priyadarśikā tells us about the marriage of Udayana with Āraṇyakā, the daughter of Dṛḍhavarman, the king of Aṅga. The Ratnāvalī narrates a story of romance between him and Sāgarikā, an attendant of his chief queen, Vāsavadattā. The name of his son by his chief queen is Bodhi. [8] :pp.179–80

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  1. Cort 2010, p. 192.
  2. Vijayalakshmy 1981, pp 58-60.
  3. Vijayalakshmy 1981, pp 60-62.
  4. Vijayalakshmy 1981, pp 60-62.
  5. Vijayalakshmy 1981, pp 78-81.
  6. Ratnavali written by Harsha.
  7. Penzer 1924, Vol IX p 119.
  8. 1 2 Raychaudhuri, Hemchandra (1972). Political History of Ancient India. Calcutta, India: University of Calcutta.