Introduction Chandragupta Maurya History:
Chandragupta Maurya History was full of assumptions. There are not enough pieces of evidence to describe his whole life. His whole life is related to his master Acharya Chanakya. Chanakya was one of the brilliant personalities in History. Chanakya was a master of today’s Economics and Polity.
If you are from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh then you know Hindustan. Though I want to explain it before using it. Well in simple words Hindustan is a combined region of modern India, Pakistan, Bangladesh.
Do you know, the first emperor who first brought Hindustan under one Empire? Well is that not a surprising question, right? Every Indian should already know him, Samrat Chandragupta Maurya. He was one of the valiant Emporer who dedicated his life to keep Hindustan away from foreign enemies.
Childhood and Early Life:
There were not sufficient pieces of evidence about his early life. Though, I am describing his origin on basis of some records.
- According to Greek and Latin records, he was referred to and mentioned as Sandrokottos or Androcottus.
- According to Buddhist record, he was Kshatriya and also some Jain record says he was the son of a village chief. That village was famous for peacock rearing. Buddhist literature tells that Chandragupta was from the same Sakyas clan as Gautam Buddha belongs to.
- Some Hindu literature like Puranas which was composed after 600 years after the Chandragupta period says, Chandragupta was from a Shudra peacock rearing family.
- According to one Indian historian, he was orphaned in his childhood and grown by another family.
- Do you know Maurya came from? Mora which means peacock in the Pali language If you don’t know, the Pali language is used for writing Buddhist literature.
- There was a design of peacock in the Great Stupa of Sanchi.
In all the above records and pieces of evidence, one thing is common, that is a peacock. So, one thing is clear that there was some relation of Peacock with the life of the Chandragupta. Later, that peacock became a royal symbol of the Maurya dynasty.
Guru of the Chandragupta Maurya: Acharya Chanakya
Vishnugupta Chanakya who was traditionally known as Kautilya.
Chanakya was Author of famous book Arthashatra. It is a book on economics.
Arthashatra is considered ideal for the modern economy. Today’s economy was also based on his book Arthashatra.
You may already read Chanakya Niti, it contains thoughts of Chanakya written based on his analysis while interacting with society. We know the story of Chanakya in that why he took the pledge to end Nanda Empire and completed his dream of intact India.
Training of Chandragupta Maurya:
According to the Buddhist literature Chandragupta born near the Pataliputra (Patna, Bihar).
Chanakya inspected him with his criteria as for whether he was capable to become an Emporer of India.
For training, Chanakya took him to Tashashila (Taxila), currently in Pakistan. Where Greek and Hindu sculpture says completely different that Chandragupta was an inhabitant student of Takshashila University and Chanakya was a native of the Takshashila region.
Tashshila( Taxilia) University:
Chanakya already was a master at Tashashila University. He used to teach subjects Economics and Politics.
He used to trained Chandragupta in his unique way. Like to improve alertness, Chanakya orders him to sleep on a tree for the entire night, putting thrones below the tree.
With this he practiced and learn slowly that how to keep the mind focused, awake, and alert.
Chanakya had given him tough training of about eight years.
Establishment the Maurya Empire:
Buddist literature says Chandragupta after his education at Takshashila started building his own army on small scale.
At that time Alexandar was near Hindukush which assumed as a geographical boundary of Hindustan.
Chandragupta started wars, two years after retreating of Alexandar to Babylon in 325 BCE. Chandragupta won several greek ruling cities.
These cities lie in the northwest subcontinent. After establishing his territory, he gathered forces and power.
Then he attacked Magadh and won the battle. Also killed the king of the Nanda Dynasty that is Dhanananda.
After capturing Magadh he made a stable kingdom with a strong economy. For controlling taxes and tolls, he made a system to monetized and control roads and rivers.
Chanakya was General Secretary in the Mauryan court of Chandragupta. Mauryan Empire was at its peak for almost three generations.
Mauryan Empire After Chandragupta Maurya:
After Chandragupta, his son Bindusara had maintained the kingdom well. Then, the Great Ashoka expanded the kingdom towards the east and won Kalinga.
After that, he gave up the battles, but though he maintained the existing kingdom effectively. But his next generations became completely tranquil.
His next generations completely change the meaning of Buddhism. If you have ever seen the famous sculpture of Ashoka, that used on Indian currency. That sculpture was four sitting lions, which represents that,
“We are lions, but we love peace.”– Meaning of Sculpture made by Ashoka
Which does not mean if, someone was attacking you then, you should be calm. So, I think the upcoming generation of Ashoka misunderstood the meaning of Buddhism.
As a result, the kingdom diminished until the end of Mauryan Empire with last emperor named as Brihadrath. There are several reasons for decline of Magadh Empire.
Chandragupta established strong foundation for the several upcoming centuries. But unfortunately, rulers after Ashoka accepted Buddhism which affected significantly on the Empire.
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Featured Image Credits: आशीष भटनागर at Hindi Wikipedia [Public domain]