I like history very much. history is one of my favorite subjects. I have written a post on Jainism before. Now I am going to write my views about THE MAURYAN EMPIRE.
THE MAURYAN EMPIRE
The Mauyan Dynasty existed from about 321 BCE to 185 BCE. Its capital was Pataliputra (patna). It had been ruled by efficient rulers like Chandragupta Maurya, Bindusara and Ashoka The Great. With an area of 5,000,000 km2, it was one of the world’s largest empires in its time, and the largest ever in the Indian subcontinent.
At its greatest extent, the empire stretched to the north along the natural boundaries of the Himalayas and to the east stretching into what is now Assam.
To the west, it conquered beyond modern Pakistan annexing Baluchistan south eastern parts of Iran and much of what is now Afganistan including the modern Herat and Kandhar provinces.
The Empire was expanded into India’s central and southern regions by the emperors Chandragupta and Bindusara but it excluded a small portion of unexplored tribal and forested regions near Kalinga (Orrisa), until it was conquered by Ashoka. Its decline began 60 years after Ashoka’s rule ended.
Now I will tell you in detail about these three efficient rulers.
Chandragupta is known as the founder of the Mauryan Dynasty. He defeated the last Nanda king Dhana Nanda. He expanded his territories. But soon he has to fight with Seleucus Nicator, the chief general of Alaxander. After this, Chandragupta married the daughter of Seleucus Nicator. Chandragupta made a gift of 500 elephants to him. In return, Seleucus Nicator let Chandragupta rule a little across the territories across the river Indus.
Seleucus Nicator also sent his ambassador Magasthenes to the court of Chandragupta who lived many years in order to know about the mauryan culture.
I had listen about Ashoka but till now I do not know about Bindusara. So I have searched through internet and have found this.
He was the suceeder of Chandragupta Maurya. He even more expanded the territories of the empire. According to a legend mentioned in the Jain texts, Chandragupta’s guru and advisor Chanakya used to feed the emperor with small doses of poison to build his immunity against possible poisoning attempts by the enemies.
One day, Chandragupta not knowing about poison, shared his food with his pregnant wife queen Durdhara who was 7 days away from delivery. The queen not immune to the poison collapsed and died within few minutes. Chanakya entered the room the very time she collapsed, and in order to save the child in the womb, he immediately cut open the dead queen’s belly and took the baby out, by that time a drop of poison had already reached the baby and touched its head due to which child got a permanent blueish spot (a bindu) on his forehead. Thus, the newborn was named “Bindusara”.
He is also known as cruel ruler in history and thus does not mark important rule in history.
Ashoka The Great
I live in banaras where Lord Buddha gave his first teachings. I have also seen a museum which is situated in Sarnath. There I have seen the Capital Of Ashoka which is our National Emblem. So I have searched through internet and have found this.
Chandragupta’s grandson i.e., Bindusara’s son was Ashokavardhan Maurya who was also known as Ashoka or Ashoka The Great (ruled 273- 232 BCE).
Ashoka’s army succeeded in overwhelming Kalinga forces of royal soldiers and civilian units, an estimated 100,000 soldiers and civilians were killed in the furious warfare, including over 10,000 of Ashoka’s own men. Hundreds of thousands of people were adversely affected by the destruction and fallout of war. When he personally witnessed the devastation, Ashoka began feeling remorse. Although the annexation of Kalinga was completed, Ashoka embraced the teachings of Buddha.
Ashoka implemented principles of ahimsa by banning hunting and violent sports activity and ending indentured and forced labor (many thousands of people in war-ravaged Kalinga had been forced into hard labor and servitude). While he maintained a large and powerful army, to keep the peace and maintain authority, Ashoka expanded friendly relations with states across Asia and Europe, and he sponsored Buddhist missions.
He undertook a massive public works building campaign across the country. Over 40 years of peace, harmony and prosperity made Ashoka one of the most successful and famous monarchs in Indian history. He remains an idealized figure of inspiration in modern India.