During this period in the history of India
there were many independent states - Anga, Magadha, Kalinga, Shatavahana, Chola, Pandya,
Uttarapatha and many others. They were even at war with one another. Any king who became
powerful attacked other states and became their master. When
a second king became powerful, he conquered the first state. A weak state was attacked
again and again.
Magadha was then being ruled by kings of the Nanda dynasty. The Nandas were very strong
and powerful. They attacked Kalinga, south of Magadha, and defeated it. The King of
Kalinga paid huge tributes and subsidies to the king of Magadha.
But that did not satisfy the king of Magadha.
There was in the state of Kalinga, the idol of Sheethalanatha Jina. It was considered
very sacred by the people of Kalinga. The Jains worshipped it. The king of Magadha invaded
the capital and carried away this holy idol. This hurt the feelings of the Kalingas. They
felt it a great humiliation.
But what could they do? Weak and helpless, they had to keep quiet, swallowing the