Monarchy was the dominant political institution of the Buddha's time. The Enlightened One was on very cordial terms with some of the leading monarchs of the times, whose interest and patronage early Buddhism appreciated a great deal. Many a rule of the Vinaya code was discreetly amended in deference to the convenience of kings such as Bimbisara and Pasendi, the Kosalan. And quite a few scions of royal families joined the order of monks and nuns and played a leading part in the propagation of the creed during its early critical years.

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