When and where was the world’s first ‘Republic’ established, know the mythological facts of ‘Republic’ of ancient India

Republic Day 2023: Every year 26 January is celebrated as the Republic Day of India. The Constitution of the country came into force on 26 January 1950 under the Government of India Act (1935). This year the countrymen will celebrate 74th Republic Day. India is one of the strongest republican countries.

But do you know where the system of Gana i.e. democratic system emerged and where is the first republic in ancient India. ‘Republic’ Not only the historical facts but the results of republics are also found in the Vedic period, ancient scholars, Mahabharata and Buddhist and Jain texts, which makes it clear that there was a definite concept of republics in ancient India, which was in no way Greek. and no less than the contemporaries of Rome.

What is a republic

There were definitely republics in ancient India and the word Gana or Sangha is also mentioned for them. It means such a community which is governed by law. The meaning of the word Gana is to count or calculate. In this way, the meaning of republic is such a state which is governed by more than one person.

Republic according to religion, scriptures and religious scholars

  • The greatest scholar of Sanskrit language and the best grammarian, Maharishi Panini while explaining Sangh says that Sangh is not only a political type but a word which is used for many purposes. According to Panini, he is an example of religious associations in Sanghas which work on the principle of fraternity. Panini mentions the Sanghas in his Ashtadhyayi and calls them Ayudhajivis.
  • According to the Buddhist text Mahavagga, Gana is defined as the rule of more than one people. According to the Buddhist monk, supports the use of V Shalaka method used by the Ganas to know the opinion.
  • In the 107th chapter of Mahabharata’s Shantiparva, the ‘Gana’ The term has been used in a political sense. In this, in the dialogue between Yudhishthira and Bhishma, describing the specialty of Gana, it has been said that Gana means not only governance institutions but also the entire political state, group and parliament.
  • The word Gana is mentioned at many places in Rigveda. In this the ‘Ganas of the Gods’ is mentioned. Indra, Marut, Brihaspati have been called Ganapati.

World’s oldest and first republic

The first republic of ancient India was in Vaishali of Bihar province. It was also known as Vaishali Republic. Vaishali city was the capital of Vajji Mahajanapada. This area was known for its republican values ​​and influences. The Ganatantra or Republic was established in Vaishali by the Lichchhavis. They belonged to a Himalayan tribe Lichch.

The purpose of establishing a republic in Vaishali was to avoid external invaders and if there is an external attack, the republic should get full support of the public. According to historical evidence, the world’s first republic ie Republic was established in Vaishali itself. At that time there were small committees, which used to make policies and rules for the people coming under the republic.

Vaishali then and now

  • Patriarch of Vaishali then and now: Around the 6th century BC, the rulers in Vaishali were elected by the representatives of the people and thus a republic was established.
  • Ancient Vaishali was a very prosperous and safe city. It was surrounded by three walls built at some distance from each other. It is also mentioned in ancient texts.
  • According to Chinese traveler Hiuen Tsang, the circumference of the entire city was about 14 miles.
  • Vaishali is a village located in Vaishali district of Bihar. It is also the birth place of Lord Mahavir. That’s why Vaishali is a holy place for those who follow Jainism.
  • Lord Buddha visited Vaishali three times and this was his work place. Vaishali is close to mythological Hindu pilgrimage and historical places like Pataliputra.
  • Vaishali is a popular tourist and religious place in present times. Many temples of not only India but other countries have also been built in Vaishali.

Read also: Buddha Amritwani: Why did Gautam Buddha say that every man should have 4 wives and every woman should have 4 husbands, know its meaning

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