King Ajātashatru

King Ajātashatru (trans. “Enemy While Still Unborn”), was the son and successor of King Bimbisāra of the state of Magadha in northwestern India. While a prince, Ajātashatru became devoted to the monk Devadatta, who was both the cousin and rival of Shakyamuni Buddha (Siddhārtha Gautama). Ajātashatru was persuaded by Devadatta to murder his father, who was a close disciple and patron of the Buddha, and seize the throne. Ajātashatru also assisted Devadatta in several attempts on the Buddha’s life. Later, in remorse for his evil deeds, Ajātashatru sought the Buddha’s forgiveness, converted to Buddhism and supported the First Buddhist Council that compiled Shakyamuni’s teachings after his death.