Shibi (king)

Śibi was a king in Hindu texts and the Jataka tales of Buddhism, notably in the Śibi Jataka. Śibi was the son of Ushinara, a famous king of the Surya Vamsa. He was contemporary to the Suryavanshi King Trayarunya who was the ancestor of Rama. King Śibi was renowned for his liberal beliefs and selflessness and is said to have saved Agni (transformed into a dove) from Indra (transformed into a hawk) by offering up his own flesh.[1]

Kindness of Shibi.jpg
Shivi offering his own flesh to an eagle to protect a pigeon
In-universe information
FamilySolar Dynasty
ChildrenVrshadarbha, Setuka, Madra and Kekaya

Śibi is listed among other legendary kings in the lineage claimed by the later Chola dynasty. The Cholas claimed to have descended from the Sun. The Tamil name for Shibi is Cempiyan and Chola rulers took this as one of their titles.


King Śibi is the son of Ushinara, the Bhojak King of Kashi and Madavi, the beautiful princess of Pratishthana and the daughter of King Yayati. Madhavi had three other mighty kings for her sons, Ashtaka, the son of Vishwamitra; Vasumanas, the son of the Ikshvaku Haryyashwa and Pratarddana, the son of Divodasa. He lived in the Treta Yuga. His father was Ushinara. His story is highlighted in the Mahabharata. He was most famous for willingly offering flesh to an eagle, who wanted to slay an innocent bird. The birds revealed themselves to be the gods, Indra and Agni and restored Śibi to his original form. He once encountered the spirit of Yayati and helped restore the king to heavens.

Narada mentions that Shibi had conquered the entire world single-handedly and performed the Ashwamedha Yagnas and was extremely charitable. Shibi once slew his own son to satisfy a Brahma, who saw his folly and resurrected the boy back to life. Of all his half brothers, Shibi was the greatest for observing Dharma.

According to Bhagavata Purana and Mahabharatha, his sons were Vrshadarbha (Prince of Sivi Kingdom), Sudhira, Madra and Kekaya who established Madra and Kekaya kingdoms.

Historical PlacesEdit

Sehwan in Pakistan, earlier known as Shibistan, is named after Śibi. It was established by Raja Dahir and was usurped by Mohammad Bin Qasim in 8th century CE. Sehwan is popular for its shrine Sehwan Sharif.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Elements of poetry in the Mahābhārata By Rāma Karaṇa Śarmā, page 99

External linksEdit