Shakya (Sanskrit:IAST|Śākya and IAST|Pāli:IAST|Sākiya) is the name (derived from Sanskrit "IAST|śakya", capable, ableFact|date=February 2007) of an ancient janapada (realm) and its Indo-Aryan-speaking. [Kosambi D.D. (1988). "The Culture and Civilisation of Ancient India in Historical Outline", New Delhi: Vikas Publishing House, ISBN 0 7069 4200 0, p.108] ruling clan. In Buddhist texts, the IAST|Śākyas are mentioned as a IAST|Kshatriya clan [Thapar, R.(1978). "Ancient Indian Social History", New Delhi: Orient Longman, ISBN 81 250 0808 X, p.117] The IAST|Śākyas formed an independent kingdom at the foothills of the IAST|Himālayas. The IAST|Śākya capital was Kapilavastu (IAST|Pāli: Kapilavatthu).

The most famous IAST|Śākya was Shakyamuni Buddha (Gautama Buddha), a member of the ruling Gautama (IAST|Pāli: Gotama) clan of Lumbini, who is also known as IAST|Śākyamuni (IAST|Pāli: IAST|Śakamuṇi, "sage of the IAST|Śaka nation").

The accounts of Buddhist texts

The IAST|Śākyas are mentioned in the accounts of the birth of the Buddha (IAST|Mahāvastu, c. late 2nd century BCE) as a part of the IAST|Ādichchas (solar race) and as descendants of the legendary king Unicode|Ikṣvāku (IAST|Pāli: Okkāka):

Annexation by Kosala

IAST|Viḍūḍabha, the son of Pasenadi and IAST|Vāsavakhattiyā, the daughter of a IAST|Śākya named IAST|Mahānāma by a slave girl ascended the throne of Kosala after overthrowing his father. As an act of vengeance for cheating Kosala by sending his mother, the daughter of a slave woman for marriage to his father, he invaded the IAST|Śākya territory, massacred them and annexed it. [Raychaudhuri H. (1972). "Political History of Ancient India", Calcutta: University of Calcutta, pp.177-8] [Kosambi D.D. (1988). "The Culture and Civilsation of Ancient India in Historical Outline", New Delhi: Vikas Publishing House, ISBN 0 7069 4200 0, pp.128-9]

The Shakyas and the Scythians

The Greeks, and many writers and scholars since, have connected them to the Scythians,Fact|date=February 2007 or IAST|Śaka as they were known in India from whom descended the SogdianaFact|date=February 2007. However, the Śaka were not known in India before the 2nd century BCE, centuries after the last attested existence of the IAST|Śākyas. "IAST|Śākya" may nonetheless be possibly cognate with "Scythian" as a result of their shared Indo-Iranian heritage.Fact|date=February 2007

J.P. Mallory and Victor H. Mair have elaborated on the similarity between stupas and the tumulus funerary mounds of the Scythian steppes, and the identity of the IAST|Śākyas with the Saka Scythians:

Current position

Shakyas are a high-caste group of Newar. All of them are Buddhists and perform high rituals of Buddhism. Many Vihars and Buddhist monuments are created or maintained by them. Most of them live in Kathmandu valley.


External links

* [ Shakya coins]

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