Chandragupta Maurya- Great Emperor of India

by Feb 20, 2020

Hello everyone, Today I am going to share the history of a great patriot and incomparable emperor of Ancient India. He was Chandragupta Maurya, who was also the founder of the Mauryan dynasty.


Chandragupta has great significance in the history of India. Because he established a powerful military, defense & administrative system in India. Before him, there was not any major significant central authority. He extended Magadha kingdom into a giant Empire.

Chandragupta Maurya History was full of assumptions. There are not enough pieces of evidence to describe his whole life. We relate his whole life 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 emperor 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.

  1. According to Greek and Latin records, he referred to and mentioned as Sandrokottos or Androcottus.
  2. According to the Buddhist record, he was Kshatriya and also some Jain records 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.
  3. Some Hindu literature, like Puranas which was composed after 600 years after the period of Chandragupta, says Chandragupta was from a Shudra peacock rearing family.
  4. According to Indian Historians, he was orphaned in his childhood and raised by another family.
  5. Do you know where Maurya came from? Mora, which means peacock in the Pali language. If you don’t know, the Pali language was used in Buddhist literature.
  6. There was a design of a 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 relationship between Peacock and the life of Chandragupta. Later, that peacock became a royal symbol of the Maurya dynasty.

The Guru of the Chandragupta Maurya: Acharya Chanakya

  • Vishnugupta Chanakya, who was traditionally known as Kautilya.
  • Chanakya was the author of the famous book Artha Shastra. It is a book on economics.
  • Artha Shastra is considered ideal for the modern economy. Today’s economy was also somewhat based on his book, Artha Shastra.
  • You may already read Chanakya Niti. The book 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 the Nanda Empire and completed his dream of intact India.
Guru Acharya Chanakya
Image Credits: Wikimedia Source: Cover of Kautilya Arthashastra

Training of Chandragupta Maurya

According to the Buddhist literature, Chandragupta was born near the Pataliputra (Patna, Bihar).

Chanakya inspected him with his criteria to check whether he could become an emperor of India.

For training, Chanakya took him to Takshashila (Taxila), currently in Pakistan. Where Greek and Hindu sculpture says completely differently that Chandragupta was an inhabitant student of Takshashila University and Chanakya was a native of the Takshashila region.

Taxilia (Tashshila) University

Chanakya already was a master at Takshashila University. He used to teach subjects economics and politics.

He used to train 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 of the Maurya Empire

The Buddhist literature says Chandragupta, after his education at Takshashila, started building his own army on small scale.

At that time, Alexandar was near Hindukush, which was assumed as a geographical boundary of Hindustan.

Chandragupta started wars two years after the 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 Dhana Nanda.

After capturing Magadh, he made a stable kingdom with a strong economy. For controlling taxes and tolls, he made a system to monetize and control roads and rivers.

Chanakya was the 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 Brihadratha. 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.

I hope you like this useful information on the history of Chandragupta Maurya. Don’t forget to share this on social media as its only way to grow and encourage us to create extraordinary content.

Featured Image Credits: आशीष भटनागर at Hindi Wikipedia [Public domain]

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