Socio-Economic Condition Of Ancient Kapilvastu – Shankar Lal Chaudhary

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Socio-Economic Condition Of Ancient Kapilvastu – Shankar Lal Chaudhary | Socio-economic condition of ancient Kapilavastu (Tilaurakot), investigates the period 2600 years ago and this type of study being the first of its kind it is very essential to study, in the present context, the social and economic condition of any country which are the backbone of its development so far in Nepal. It highlights the significant changes in socio-economic conditions after enlightenment of Buddha due to increased levels of skills, craftsmanship and professionalization.

Buddhist study now – a days is considered as one of the most prestigious and respectful studies in the modern and scientific world. Buddhist way of life and Buddhist economy has become a great attraction in the new growing society .In well-developed society there is enough goods and services. People feel happy and enjoy the modern facilities for some time but after a certain period of time they seem to be tired and exhausted due to modern physical clumsy life .So Buddhist way of life has become increasingly palatable and popular due to its simplicity, lesser needs and more sustainable. Evidences available during Buddha’s time show that Artisans were almost engaged in trade and other works.

People were either engaged in agriculture and in some sorts of craftsmanship. SiIpas/skills and craftsmanship were considered the most respectful professionals during Buddha’s time. People had better social and economic life. Everybody had learnt some sorts of skills and craftsmanship for his livelihood. Even Buddha had to undergo to learn some sorts of skills before marriage. There were many sorts of skills/silpas available for all classes of people. There was no discrimination for learning any skills.

Everybody was equal in his eye irrespective of caste, color and birth. Even some Sudras got better status than the Sakya princes in the same Sangha. Bhikshus and Nuns were also trained in compulsory skills and crafts for their Chivars for their independent living and livelihood. Rich and poor all had to learn some skills/ silpas for their livelihood. No room was left for it. That is why country of Kapilavastu was most prosperous.

Kapilavastu was well developed big town, and there were ten nigamas or Janapads in the Sakya country. Similarly Ramagrama or Devadaha had six Janapads. Due to surplus agricultural commodities and agricultural tools, they used to export outside the country. For trade and commerce various types of coins were available of different periods including the coins of Sakya dynasty. All these evidences prove that the country of Sakya was happy and prosperous.

Kapilavastu was full of archaeological monuments. Kapilavastu being the place of three human Buddhas, where, Krakucchanda, Kanakamuni and Sakya Muni Buddhas were born. Kapilavastu, Rupandehi and Nawalparasi districts of western Terai development region are rich in archaeological monuments. Lumbini is the birthplace of Lord Buddha located in Rupandehi district and Ramagrama Stupa in Nawalparasi district where still the relics of Lord Buddha preserved and unexcavated. People of this place are proud of being adherent of Buddhism and are inspired by the noble teachings of Lord Buddha. Although there was another religion like Hindus and Jainism and there was some conflict and competition also among them but due to pragmatic teachings of Lord Buddha and language spoken like Magadhi easily understandable by the ordinary people attracted the common masses. Lord Buddha never dictated his teachings and instructions. His teaching “Attanohiattanaath, means you are your own master”. He never created his successor after him as in other religions. He advocated that who so ever will train himself and being capable of virtue of his works will lead the Sangho.

The social and economic life of Kapilavastu was much better in the then Lord Buddha’s’ time. The Vihars were the centre of teaching. There were no regular colleges and universities. The discipline was well maintained either in the Sangha or in Vihars. The Buddhist study had played a great role for perpetual peace in the society especially in the area of social and economic life of the people at large. A comprehensive study of socio-economic life of ancient Kapilavastu (Tilaurakot) has become the need of the day. The author of this work has tried his level best to write socio-economic condition of ancient Kapilavastu (Tilaurakot) on the basis of Pali Buddhist texts. This study is related with many areas especially history, culture, education, polity, religion, archaeology, socio-economic condition of the then Buddha’s time.

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