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Chandragupta Maurya
Chandragupta Maurya
(reign: 321–298 BCE) was the founder of the Maurya Empire
Maurya Empire
in ancient India.[2][8] He was born in a humble family, orphaned and abandoned, raised as a son by another pastoral family, was picked up, taught and counselled by Chanakya, the author of the Arthashastra.[2][9][note 1] Chandragupta thereafter built one of the largest empires ever in the Indian subcontinent.[2][11][12] According to Jain sources, he then renounced it all, and became a monk in the Jain tradition.[13] Chandragupta is claimed, by the historic Jain texts, to have followed Jainism
Jainism
in his life, by first renouncing all his wealth and power, going away with Jaina monks into the Deccan region (now Karnataka), and ultimately performing Sallekhana
Sallekhana
– the Jain religious ritual of peacefully welcoming death by fasting.[note 2] His grandson was emperor Ashoka, famous for his historic pillars and for his role in helping spread Buddhism
Buddhism
outside of ancient India.[14][15] Chandragupta's life and accomplishments are described in ancient Hindu, Buddhist and Greek texts, but they vary significantly in details from the Jaina accounts.[16] Megasthenes served as a Greek ambassador in his court for four years.[8] In Greek and Latin
Latin
accounts, Chandragupta is known as Sandrokottos and Androcottus.[17] Chandragupta Maurya
Chandragupta Maurya
was a pivotal figure in the history of India. Prior to his consolidation of power, Alexander the Great
Alexander the Great
had invaded the northwest Indian subcontinent, then abandoned further campaigning in 324 BCE, leaving a legacy of Indian subcontinental regions ruled by Indo-Greek and local rulers.[18] The region was divided into Mahajanapadas, while the Nanda Empire
Nanda Empire
dominated the Indo-Gangetic Plain.[19] Chandragupta, with the counsel of his Chief Minister Chanakya
Chanakya
(also known as Kautilya),[20] created a new empire, applied the principles of statecraft, built a large army and continued expanding the boundaries of his empire. Greek rulers such as Seleucus I Nicator avoided war with him, entered into marriage alliances instead, and retreated into Persia.[21] Chandragupta's empire extended from Bengal
Bengal
to most of the Indian subcontinent, except the southernmost regions (now Tamil Nadu, Kerala
Kerala
and nearby) and Kalinga (now Odisha
Odisha
region).[22][11] It was the largest ancient empire documented in Indian history ranging from 5.4 million square Km to 11.8 million square Km.[23][24][25] After unifying much of India, Chandragupta and Chanakya
Chanakya
passed a series of major economic and political reforms. He established a strong central administration from Pataliputra
Pataliputra
(now Patna), patterned after Chanakya's text on governance and politics, the Arthashastra.[26] Chandragupta's India
India
was characterised by an efficient and highly organised structure. The empire built infrastructure such as irrigation, temples, mines and roads, leading to a strong economy.[27][28] With internal and external trade thriving and agriculture flourishing, the empire built a large and trained permanent army to help expand and protect its boundaries. Greek records suggest that art and city architecture thrived during his rule.[29] Chandragupta's reign, as well the dynasty that followed him, was an era when many religions thrived in India, with Buddhism, Jainism
Jainism
and Ajivika
Ajivika
gaining prominence along with the Brahmanism traditions.[30][31]

Contents

1 Biographical sources 2 Early life 3 Building the Empire

3.1 Eastward expansion and the end of Nanda empire 3.2 Conquest of Seleucid
Seleucid
northwest regions 3.3 War and marriage alliance with Seleucus 3.4 Southern conquest 3.5 Army

4 Rule, succession and death

4.1 Infrastructure projects 4.2 Arts and architecture 4.3 Succession 4.4 Death

5 In popular culture 6 See also 7 Notes 8 References

8.1 Sources

9 Further reading 10 External links

Biographical sources[edit] The sources which describe the life of Chandragupta Maurya
Chandragupta Maurya
vary in details, and are found in Jain, Buddhist, Brahmanic (Hindu), Latin
Latin
and Greek literature:[32]

Jain sources are Bhadrabahu's Kalpasutra and Hemachandra's Parisishtaparvan. Brahmanical sources are the Puranas, Chanakya's Arthashastra, Vishakhadatta's Mudrarakshasa, Somadeva's Kathasaritsagara
Kathasaritsagara
and Kshemendra's Brihatkathamanjari. Buddhist sources are Dipavamsa, Mahavamsa, Mahavamsa
Mahavamsa
tika and Mahabodhivamsa. Greek and Latin
Latin
sources include those by Nearchus, Onesicritus, Aristobublus, Strabo, Megasthenes, Diodorus, Arrian, Pliny the Elder, Plutarch
Plutarch
and Justin.

Early life[edit] Main article: Ancestry of Chandragupta Maurya

A modern statue depicting Chandragupta Maurya, Laxminarayan Temple, Delhi

Chandragupta's ancestry, birth year and family as well as early life are unclear.[33] This contrasts with abundant historical records, both in Indian and classical European sources, that describe his reign and empire.[34] The Greek and Latin
Latin
literature phonetically transcribes Chandragupta, referring to him with the names "Sandrokottos" or "Androcottus".[17][35] According to Radhakumud Mookerji

Design of a peacock, on the railing of the Bharhut
Bharhut
Stupa

Design of a peacock, on the stairway balustrade of the Great Stupa at Sanchi

The Greek sources are the oldest recorded versions available, and mention his rise in 322/321 BCE after Alexander the Great
Alexander the Great
ended his campaign in early 324 BCE. These sources state Chandragupta to be of non-princely and non-warrior ancestry, to be of a humble commoner birth.[36][37] The Buddhist sources, written centuries later, claim that both Chandragupta and his grandson, the great patron of Buddhism
Buddhism
called Ashoka, were of noble lineage. Some texts link him to the same family of Sakyas from which the Buddha
Buddha
came, adding that his epithet Moriya (Sanskrit: Maurya, Mayura) comes from Mora, which in Pali means peacock. Most Buddhist texts state that Chandragupta was a Kshatriya, the Hindu warrior class in Magadha
Magadha
and a student of Chanakya.[26][2] The Buddhist texts are inconsistent, with some including legends about a city named "Moriya-nagara" where all buildings were made of bricks colored like the peacock's resplendent neck.[38] The Jain sources, also written centuries later, claim Chandragupta to be the son of a village chief, a village known for raising peacocks.[38] The Hindu sources are similarly from later centuries. They state that Chandragupta was a student of Chanakya
Chanakya
(also called Kautilya) of humble birth.[39] The Puranas
Puranas
composed after about the 3rd century CE mention that Kautilya was a Brahmin, praise Kautilya, mention Chandragupta but most are silent about his lineage or origins.[39] A few Hindu texts state that he was born to a Shudra
Shudra
woman, alternatively in a peacock rearing family – a profession that is neither priestly nor warrior.[39] An Ashokan pillar discovered and excavated in Nandangarh, suggests that a peacock was the emblem of Maurya dynasty and likely linked to the dynastic lineage.[40]

According to Kaushik Roy, both Chandragupta Maurya
Chandragupta Maurya
and the Nanda dynasty he replaced were of Shudra
Shudra
lineage.[10] After his birth, he was orphaned and abandoned, raised as a son by a cowherding pastoral family, then, according to Buddhist texts, was picked up, taught and counselled by Chanakya.[2][9] The Buddhist literature, which places the Mauryas in the same royal dynasty as the Buddha, states that Chandragupta, though born near Patna
Patna
(Bihar) in Magadha, was taken by Chanakya
Chanakya
for his training and education to Taxila, a town in what is now northern Pakistan. There he studied for eight years.[9] The Greek and Hindu texts state that Kautilya (Chanakya) was a native of the northwest Indian subcontinent, and Chandragupta was his resident student for eight years.[41][42] Building the Empire[edit] Main articles: Conquest of the Nanda Empire
Nanda Empire
and Maurya Empire

Chandragupta's guru was Chanakya, with whom he studied as a child and with whose counsel he built the Empire. This image is a 1915 artistic portrait of Chanakya.

According to the Buddhist text Mahavamsa
Mahavamsa
tika, Chandragupta and his guru Chanakya
Chanakya
began recruiting an army after he completed his studies at Taxila
Taxila
(now in Pakistan).[43] This was a period of wars, given that Alexander the Great
Alexander the Great
had invaded the northwest subcontinent from Caucasus Indicus (also called Paropamisadae
Paropamisadae
in ancient texts, now called the Hindu Kush
Hindu Kush
mountain range). Alexander and the Greeks abandoned further campaigns of expansion in 324 BCE, and began a retreat to Greece, leaving a legacy of Indian subcontinent
Indian subcontinent
regions ruled by new Greek governors and local rulers. A supply of warriors was already in place, and the future emperor and his teacher chose to build alliances with local rulers and a small mercenary army of their own. Chanakya
Chanakya
also identified talent for future administration.[44] By 323 BCE, within a year of Alexander's retreat, this newly formed group had defeated some of the Greek-ruled cities in the northwest subcontinent.[45] Each victory led to an expanded army and territory. Chanakya
Chanakya
provided the strategy, Chandragupta the execution, and together they began expanding eastward towards Magadha
Magadha
(Gangetic plains).[46]

The Nanda Empire
Nanda Empire
at its greatest extent under Dhana Nanda, circa 323 BCE

Eastward expansion and the end of Nanda empire[edit] Historically reliable details of Chandragupta's campaign into Pataliputra
Pataliputra
are unavailable; the legends written centuries later are inconsistent. According to Buddhist texts such as Milindapanha, which state Chandragupta descended from Sakyas (the family of the Buddha), Magadha
Magadha
was ruled by the evil Nanda dynasty, which Chandragupta, with Chanakya's counsel, easily conquered to restore dhamma.[47][48] In contrast, Hindu and Jain records suggest that campaign was bitterly fought, because the Nanda dynasty had a well trained, powerful army. Chandragupta and Chanakya
Chanakya
built alliances and a formidable army of their own first.[49][48] The Mudrarakshasa of Vishakhadatta as well as the Jain work Parishishtaparvan, for example, state that Chandragupta allied with a Himalayan king called Parvatka.[50] It is noted in the Chandraguptakatha that Chandragupta and Chanakya
Chanakya
were initially rebuffed by the Nanda forces. Regardless, in the ensuing war, Chandragupta faced off against Bhadrasala, the commander of Dhana Nanda's armies.[51] He was eventually able to defeat Bhadrasala and Dhana Nanda
Dhana Nanda
in a series of battles, culminating in the siege of the capital city Pataliputra[52] and the conquest of the Nanda Empire around 322 BCE.[52] With the end of the Nanda dynasty, and possessing the resources of the Gangetic plains, Chandragupta put to work the statecraft strategies of Chanakya.[53] In his efforts to expand and consolidate an empire, Chandragupta may have allied with the King of Simhapura in Rajputana
Rajputana
and Gajapati, King of Kalinga (modern day Orissa).[54]

Chandragupta had defeated the remaining Macedonian satrapies in the northwest of the Indian subcontinent
Indian subcontinent
by 317 BCE.

The conquest was fictionalised in Mudrarakshasa, a political drama in Sanskrit by Vishakadatta composed 600 years later, probably sometime between 300 CE and 700 CE.[10] In another work, Questions of Milinda, Bhaddasala is named as a Nanda general during the conquest.[10] Plutarch
Plutarch
does not discuss this conquest, but does estimate that Chandragupta's army would later number 600,000 by the time it had subdued all of India,[55] an estimate also given by Pliny. Pliny and Plutarch
Plutarch
also estimated the Nanda Army strength in the east as 200,000 infantry, 80,000 cavalry, 8,000 chariots, and 6,000 war elephants. These estimates were based in part of the earlier work of the Seleucid ambassador to the Maurya, Megasthenes.[56] In the fictional work of doubtful historicity Mudrarakshasa, Chandragupta was said to have first acquired Punjab, and then combined forces with a local king named Parvatka under the advice of Chanakya, and advanced upon the Nanda Empire.[57] Chandragupta laid siege to Kusumapura
Kusumapura
(or Pataliputra, now Patna), the capital of Magadha, with the help of mercenaries from areas already conquered and by deploying guerrilla warfare methods.[10][58] P. K. Bhattacharyya states that the empire was built by a gradual conquest of provinces after the initial consolidation of Magadha.[55] Conquest of Seleucid
Seleucid
northwest regions[edit] Main article: Seleucid–Mauryan war After Alexander's death in 323 BCE, Chandragupta and his Brahmin counsellor and chief minister Chanakya
Chanakya
began their empire building in the north-western Indian subcontinent
Indian subcontinent
(modern-day Pakistan).[59][60] Alexander had left satrapies (described as "prefects" in classical Western sources) in place in 324 BCE. Chandragupta's mercenaries may have assassinated two of his governors, Nicanor and Philip.[61][52] The satrapies he fought probably included Eudemus, who left the territory in 317 BCE; and Peithon, governing cities near the Indus River until he too left for Babylon
Babylon
in 316 BCE. The Roman historian Justin, about 500 years later, described how "wild lions and elephants" instinctively revered him, and how he conquered the north-west:

While he ( Sandrocottus
Sandrocottus
[Chandragupta]) was lying asleep, after his fatigue, a lion of great size having come up to him, licked off with his tongue the sweat that was running from him, and after gently waking him, left him. Being first prompted by this prodigy to conceive hopes of royal dignity, he drew together a band of robbers, and solicited the Indians to support his new sovereignty. Some time after, as he was going to war with the generals of Alexander, a wild elephant of great bulk presented itself before him of its own accord, and, as if tamed down to gentleness, took him on its back, and became his guide in the war, and conspicuous in fields of battle. Sandrocottus, having thus acquired a throne, was in possession of India, when Seleucus was laying the foundations of his future greatness; who, after making a league with him, and settling his affairs in the east, proceeded to join in the war against Antigonus. As soon as the forces, therefore, of all the confederates were united, a battle was fought, in which Antigonus was slain, and his son Demetrius put to flight. — Marcus Junianus Justinus, 2nd-century CE, Epitome of the Philippic History of Pompeius Trogus, Book XV, Translator: John Selby Watson, XV.4.19

War and marriage alliance with Seleucus[edit]

Chandragupta extended the borders of his empire towards Seleucid Persia after his conflict with Seleucus c. 305 BCE.

Seleucus I Nicator, a Macedonian general of Alexander, who, in 312 BCE, established the Seleucid
Seleucid
Kingdom with its capital at Babylon, reconquered most of Alexander's former empire in Asia and put under his own authority the eastern territories as far as Bactria
Bactria
and the Indus (Appian, History of Rome, The Syrian Wars 55),[62] and in 305 BCE he entered into conflict with Chandragupta[63] (in Greek Sandrocottus):

Always lying in wait for the neighboring nations, strong in arms and persuasive in council, he acquired Mesopotamia, Armenia, 'Seleucid' Cappadocia, Persis, Parthia, Bactria, Arabia, Tapuria, Sogdia, Arachosia, Hyrcania, and other adjacent peoples that had been subdued by Alexander, as far as the river Indus, so that the boundaries of his empire were the most extensive in Asia after that of Alexander. The whole region from Phrygia to the Indus was subject to Seleucus. He crossed the Indus and waged war with Sandrocottus
Sandrocottus
[Maurya], king of the Indians, who dwelt on the banks of that stream, until they came to an understanding with each other and contracted a marriage relationship. Some of these exploits were performed before the death of Antigonus and some afterward. — Appian, History of Rome, The Syrian Wars 55

According to R. C. Majumdar and D. D. Kosambi, Seleucus appears to have fared poorly, having ceded large territories west of the Indus to Chandragupta. The Maurya Empire
Maurya Empire
added Arachosia
Arachosia
(modern Kandahar), Gedrosia
Gedrosia
(modern Balochistan), Paropamisadae
Paropamisadae
(or Gandhara).[64][65][a] According to Strabo, Chandragupta engaged in a marital alliance with Seleucus to formalise the peace treaty:[67]

"Chandra Gupta Maurya entertains his bride from Babylon": a conjectural interpretation of the "marriage agreement" between the Seleucids and Chandragupta Maurya, related by Appian[68]

The Indians occupy in part some of the countries situated along the Indus, which formerly belonged to the Persians: Alexander deprived the Ariani of them, and established there settlements of his own. But Seleucus Nicator
Seleucus Nicator
gave them to Sandrocottus
Sandrocottus
in consequence of a marriage contract (Epigamia, Greek: Ἐπιγαμία), and received in return five hundred elephants. —  Strabo
Strabo
15.2.1(9)[69]

The details of the engagement treaty are not known,[70] but since the extensive sources available on Seleucus never mention an Indian princess, it is thought that the marital alliance went the other way, with Chandragupta himself or his son Bindusara
Bindusara
marrying a Seleucid princess, in accordance with contemporary Greek practices to form dynastic alliances.[71] An Indian Puranic
Puranic
source, the Pratisarga Parva of the Bhavishya Purana, described the marriage of Chandragupta with a Greek ("Yavana") princess, daughter of Seleucus,[72] before accurately detailing early Mauryan genealogy:

"Chandragupta married with a daughter of Suluva, the Yavana
Yavana
king of Pausasa.[73] Thus, he mixed the Buddhists and the Yavanas. He ruled for 60 years. From him, Vindusara was born and ruled for the same number of years as his father. His son was Ashoka." — Pratisarga Parva[74][75][72]

According to Arrian, Megasthenes
Megasthenes
lived in Arachosia
Arachosia
and travelled to Pataliputra, as ambassador from Seleucus to Chandragupta.

In a return gesture, Chandragupta sent 500 war elephants, which played a key role in the victory of Seleucus at the Battle of Ipsus.[76][67][77][78] In addition to this treaty, Seleucus dispatched an ambassador, Megasthenes, to Chandragupta, and later Antiochos sent Deimakos to his son Bindusara, at the Maurya court at Pataliputra (modern Patna
Patna
in Bihar
Bihar
state).[79] According to Greek sources, the two rulers maintained friendly relations and presents continued to be exchanged between them. Classical sources have recorded that following their treaty, Chandragupta and Seleucus exchanged presents, such as when Chandragupta sent various aphrodisiacs to Seleucus:[71]

"And Theophrastus says that some contrivances are of wondrous efficacy in such matters as to make people more amorous. And Phylarchus confirms him, by reference to some of the presents which Sandrakottus, the king of the Indians, sent to Seleucus; which were to act like charms in producing a wonderful degree of affection, while some, on the contrary, were to banish love" Athenaeus of Naucratis, "The deipnosophists" Book I, chapter 32 [80][71]

Southern conquest[edit]

The extent of Chandragupta's empire are unclear. If Jain texts are correct, it may have included the Deccan regions.[11]

After annexing Seleucus' provinces west of the Indus river, Chandragupta had a vast empire extending across the northern parts of the Indian Sub-continent, from the Bay of Bengal
Bengal
to the Arabian Sea. Chandragupta then began expanding his empire further south beyond the barrier of the Vindhya Range
Vindhya Range
and into the Deccan Plateau.[52] By the time his conquests were complete, Chandragupta's empire extended over most of the Indian subcontinent.[81] A "Moriya" war in south is referred three times in the Tamil work Ahananuru, and once in Purananuru. These mention how Moriya army chariots cut through rocks, but it is unclear if this refers to Chandragupta Maurya
Chandragupta Maurya
or the Moriyas in the Deccan region of the 5th century CE.[82] Army[edit] Chandragupta's army was large, well trained and paid directly by the state as suggested by his counsellor Chanakya. It was estimated at hundreds of thousands of soldiers in Greek accounts.[83] For example, his army is mentioned to have 400,000 soldiers, according to Strabo:

Megasthenes
Megasthenes
was in the camp of Sandrocottus, which consisted of 400,000 men. — Strabo, Geographica, 15.1.53

Pliny the Elder, who also drew from Megasthenes' work, gives even larger numbers of 600,000 infantry, 30,000 cavalry, and 9,000 war elephants.[84] Mudrarakshasa mentions that Chandragupta's army consisted of Sakas, Yavanas (Greeks), Kiratas, Kambojas, Parasikas and Bahlikas.[85] Rule, succession and death[edit] Chandragupta Maurya
Chandragupta Maurya
applied the statecraft and economic policies described in Chanakya's Arthashastra.[12][86][87] There are varying accounts in the historic, legendary and hagiographic literature of various Indian religions about Chandragupta, but these claims, state Allchin and Erdosy, are suspect. They add that the evidence is, however, not limited to texts, but include those discovered at archeological sites, epigraphy in the centuries that followed and the numismatic data, and "one cannot but be struck by the many close correspondences between the (Hindu) Arthashastra
Arthashastra
and the two other major sources the (Buddhist) Asokan inscriptions and (Greek) Megasthenes
Megasthenes
text".[88] The Maurya rule was a structured administration, where Chandragupta had a council of ministers (amatya), the empire was organized into territories (janapada), centers of regional power were protected with forts (durga), state operations funded with treasury (kosa).[89] Infrastructure projects[edit]

Silver punch mark coin of the Maurya empire, with symbols of wheel and elephant (3rd century BCE)

Ancient epigraphical evidence suggests that Chandragupta Maurya, under counsel from Chanakya, started and completed many irrigation reservoirs and networks across the Indian subcontinent
Indian subcontinent
in order to ensure food supplies for civilian population and the army, a practice continued by his dynastic successors.[88] Regional prosperity in agriculture was one of the required duties of his state officials.[90] Rudradaman inscriptions found in Gujarat mention that it repaired and enlarged, 400 years later, the irrigation infrastructure built by Chandragupta and enhanced by Asoka.[91] Chandragupta's state also started mines, centers to produce goods, and networks for trading these goods. His rule developed land routes for goods transportation within the Indian subcontinent, disfavoring water transport. Chandragupta expanded "roads suitable for carts", preferring these over those narrow tracts that allowed only pack animals.[92]

Didarganj Yakshi, discovered in 1917 buried in the banks of the Ganges. Dating varies from the 3rd century BCE,[93][94] to the 2nd century CE.[95][96][97]

According to Kaushik Roy, the Maurya dynasty rulers, beginning with Chandragupta, were "great road builders".[28] This was a tradition the Greek ambassador Megasthenes
Megasthenes
credited to Chandragupta with the completion of a thousand-mile-long highway connecting Chandragupta's capital Pataliputra
Pataliputra
in Bihar
Bihar
to Taxila
Taxila
in the northwest where he studied. The other major strategic road infrastructure credited to this tradition spread from Pataliputra
Pataliputra
in various directions: one connecting it to Nepal, Kapilavastu, Kalsi (now Dehradun), Sasaram (now Mirzapur), Kalinga (now Odisha), Andhra and Karnataka.[28] This infrastructure not only boosted trade and commerce, states Roy, but also helped move his armies rapidly and more efficiently than ever before.[28] Chandragupta and his counsel Chanakya
Chanakya
seeded weapon manufacturing centers, and kept it a monopoly of the state. However, the state encouraged competing private parties to operate mines and supply these centers.[98] They considered economic prosperity as essential to the pursuit of dharma (morality), adopting a policy of avoiding war with diplomacy, yet continuously preparing the army for war to defend its interests, and other ideas in the Arthashastra.[99][100] Arts and architecture[edit] The evidence of arts and architecture during Chandragupta's time is limited, predominantly texts such as those by Megasthenes
Megasthenes
and Kautilya's Arthashastra. The edict inscriptions and carvings on monumental pillars are attributed to his grandson Ashoka. The texts imply cities, public works and prosperous architecture, but the historicity of these is in question.[101] Archeological discoveries in the modern age, such as Didarganj Yakshi discovered in 1917 buried beneath the banks of the River Ganges suggest exceptional artisanal accomplishment.[93][94] It has been dated to the 3rd century BCE by many scholars,[93][94] but later dates such as 2nd century BCE or the Kushan
Kushan
era (1st-4th century CE) have also been proposed. The competing theories are that the arts linked to Chandragupta Maurya's dynasty was learnt from the Greeks and West Asia in the years Alexander the Great
Alexander the Great
waged war, while the other credits more ancient indigenous Indian tradition. According to Frederick Asher, "we cannot pretend to have definitive answers; and perhaps, as with most art, we must recognize that there is no single answer or explanation".[102] Succession[edit] After Chandragupta's renunciation, his son Bindusara
Bindusara
succeeded as the Maurya Emperor. He maintained friendly relations with Greek governors in Asia and Egypt. Bindusara's son Ashoka
Ashoka
became one of the most influential rulers in India's history due to his extension of the Empire to the entire Indian subcontinent
Indian subcontinent
as well as his role in the worldwide propagation of Buddhism.[citation needed] Death[edit]

Shravanabelagola
Shravanabelagola
relief created nearly 1,000 years after the death of Chadragupta. It depicts the Jain legend about his arrival with Bhadrabahu.

According to Jain accounts written more than 1,000 years later, such as those in Brihakathā kośa (931 CE) of Harishena, Bhadrabāhu charita (1450 CE) of Ratnanandi, Munivaṃsa bhyudaya (1680 CE) and Rajavali kathe, Chandragupta renounced his throne and followed Jain teacher Bhadrabahu
Bhadrabahu
to south India.[103][104][105] He is said to have lived as an ascetic at Shravanabelagola
Shravanabelagola
for several years before fasting to death, as per the Jain practice of sallekhana.[106] Along with texts, several Jain monumental inscriptions dating from the 7th-15th century refer to Bhadrabahu
Bhadrabahu
and Chandragupta in conjunction. While this evidence is very late and anachronistic, there is no evidence to disprove that Chandragupta converted to Jainism
Jainism
in his later life. Mookerji, in his book, quotes Vincent Smith and concludes that conversion to Jain monk provides adequate explanation to Chandragupta's abdication and sudden exit at a relatively young age and at the height of his power. [106][107] The hill on which Chandragupta is stated in Jain tradition to have performed asceticism is now known as Chandragiri hill, and there is a temple named Chandragupta basadi
Chandragupta basadi
there.[4] The Hindu texts acknowledge the close relationship between the Jain community in Pataliputra
Pataliputra
and the royal court, and that the champion of Brahmanism
Brahmanism
Chanakya
Chanakya
himself employed Jains as his emissaries. This also indirectly confirms the possible influence of Jain thought on Chandragupta.[108] According to Kaushik Roy, Chandragupta renounced his wealth and power, crowned his son as his successor about 298 BCE, and died about 297 BCE.[10] In popular culture[edit]

D. L. Roy wrote a Bengali drama named Chandragupta based on the life of Chandragupta. The story of the play is loosely borrowed from the Puranas
Puranas
and the Greek history.[109] Chanakya's role in the formation of the Maurya Empire
Maurya Empire
is the essence of a historical/spiritual novel The Courtesan and the Sadhu by Dr. Mysore N. Prakash.[110] The story of Chanakya
Chanakya
and Chandragupta was made into a film in Telugu in 1977 titled Chanakya
Chanakya
Chandragupta. Akkineni Nageswara Rao
Akkineni Nageswara Rao
played the role of Chanakya, while N. T. Rama Rao
N. T. Rama Rao
portrayed Chandragupta.[111] The television series Chanakya
Chanakya
is an account of the life and times of Chanakya, based on the play "Mudra Rakshasa" (The Signet Ring of "Rakshasa").[112] In 2011, a television series called Chandragupta Maurya
Chandragupta Maurya
was telecast on Imagine TV
Imagine TV
in which the titular role was played by Rushiraj Pawar & Ashish Sharma.[113][114][115] In 2016, television series Chandra Nandini, a fictionalized version of Chandragupta and fictional character Nandini's romance saga. In real life, Chandragupta married only twice, first to Durdhara who died while giving birth to Bindusara
Bindusara
and 17 years after his wife's death to Helen, daughter of Seleucus I Nicator
Seleucus I Nicator
in a peace treaty. Fictional Nandini as per show is described as daughter of Mahapadma Nanda which is completely untrue as there exists no evidence in any historical texts. The role of Chandragupta Maurya
Chandragupta Maurya
is played by actor Rajat Tokas [116] The Indian Postal Service
Indian Postal Service
issued a commemorative postage stamp honouring Chandragupta Maurya
Chandragupta Maurya
in 2001.[117]

See also[edit]

History portal India
India
portal

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Notes[edit]

^ According to Kaushik Roy, Chandragupta Maurya
Chandragupta Maurya
was a Shudra
Shudra
lineage king.[10] ^ Old Jaina texts report that Chandragupta was a follower of that religion and ended his life in Karnataka
Karnataka
by fasting unto death. If this report is true, Chandragupta may have started the conquest of the Deccan.[11]

^ Aria (modern Herat) "has been wrongly included in the list of ceded satrapies by some scholars [...] on the basis of wrong assessments of the passage of Strabo
Strabo
[...] and a statement by Pliny."[66] Seleucus "must [...] have held Aria", and furthermore, his "son Antiochos was active there fifteen years later." (Grainger, John D. 1990, 2014. Seleukos Nikator: Constructing a Hellenistic Kingdom. Routledge. p. 109).

References[edit]

^ Radhakumud Mookerji (1966), Chandragupta Maurya
Chandragupta Maurya
and His Times, p.40: "A smaller hill at Sravana Belgola is called Chandragiri, because Chandragupta lived and performed his penance there. On the same hill is [...] an ancient temple called Chandragupta-Basti, because it was erected by Chandragupta [according to Jain tradition]. Moreover, the facade of this basti or temple which is in the form of a perforated screen, contains 90 sculptured scenes depicting events in the lives of Bhadrabahu
Bhadrabahu
and Chandragupta." ^ a b c d e f Chandragupta Maurya, EMPEROR OF INDIA, Encyclopædia Britannica ^ a b Upinder Singh
Upinder Singh
2016, p. 331. ^ a b Mookerji 1988, p. 40. ^ a b Asha Raj Kumari (1996). Ancestry and achievements of Chandragupta Maurya, in Prajñā-bhāratī. K.P. Jayaswal Research Institute. pp. 112–113. OCLC 655222361.  ^ Upinder Singh
Upinder Singh
2016, p. 330. ^ Mookerji 1988, pp. 40-41. ^ a b Roy 2012, p. 62. ^ a b c Mookerji 1988, pp. 15-18. ^ a b c d e f Roy 2012, pp. 61-62. ^ a b c d Kulke & Rothermund 2004, p. 59-65. ^ a b Boesche 2003, p. 7-18. ^ Constance Jones; James D. Ryan (2006). Encyclopedia of Hinduism. Infobase Publishing. p. xxviii. ISBN 978-0-8160-7564-5.  ^ Mookerji, Radhakumud (1962). Aśoka (3rd Revised., repr ed.). Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass
Motilal Banarsidass
(reprint 1995). pp. 60–64. ISBN 978-81208-058-28.  ^ Jerry Bentley (1993), Old World Encounters: Cross-Cultural Contacts and Exchanges in Pre-Modern Times, Oxford University Press, pages 44-46 ^ Mookerji 1988, pp. 2-14, 229-235. ^ a b Thapar 2004, p. 177. ^ Mookerji 1988, p. 2. ^ Sastri 1988, p. 26. ^ Modelski, George (1964). "Kautilya: Foreign Policy and International System in the Ancient Hindu World". American Political Science Review. Cambridge University Press. 58 (03): 549–560. doi:10.2307/1953131. ; Quote: "Kautilya is believed to have been Chanakya, a Brahmin who served as Chief Minister to Chandragupta (321–296 B.C.), the founder of the Mauryan Empire." ^ Mookerji 1988, pp. 2-3, 35-38. ^ Mookerji 1988, pp. 1-4. ^ Mookerji 1988, p. 1. ^ Vaughn, Bruce (2004). "Indian Geopolitics, the United States and Evolving Correlates of Power in Asia". Geopolitics. 9 (2): 440–459 [442]. doi:10.1080/14650040490442944.  ^ Goetz, H. (1955). "Early Indian Sculptures from Nepal". Artibus Asiae. 18 (1): 61–74. doi:10.2307/3248838. JSTOR 3248838.  ^ a b Mookerji 1988, pp. 13-18. ^ F. R. Allchin & George Erdosy 1995, pp. 187-195. ^ a b c d Roy 2012, pp. 62-63. ^ Mookerji 1988, pp. 219-223. ^ Gananath Obeyesekere (1980). Wendy Doniger, ed. Karma and Rebirth in Classical Indian Traditions. University of California Press. pp. 137–139 with footnote 3. ISBN 978-0-520-03923-0.  ^ Henry Albinski (1958), The Place of the Emperor Asoka in Ancient Indian Political Thought, Midwest Journal of Political Science, Vol. 2, No. 1, pages 62-75 ^ Mookerji 1988, pp. 3-14. ^ Mookerji 1988, pp. 5-16. ^ Mookerji 1988, pp. 1-6. ^ Mookerji 1988, p. 3. ^ Mookerji 1988, pp. 5-6. ^ Kosmin 2014, p. 32. ^ a b Mookerji 1988, pp. 13-14. ^ a b c Mookerji 1988, pp. 7-13. ^ Mookerji 1988, p. 15. ^ Mookerji 1988, pp. 18-23, 53-54, 140-141. ^ Modelski, George (1964). "Kautilya: Foreign Policy and International System in the Ancient Hindu World". American Political Science Review. Cambridge University Press (CUP). 58 (03): 549–560. doi:10.2307/1953131.  ^ Mookerji 1988, pp. 22-27. ^ Mookerji 1988, pp. 2, 25-29. ^ Mookerji 1988, pp. 31-33. ^ Mookerji 1988, pp. 33-35. ^ Romila Thapar (2013). The Past Before Us. Harvard University Press. pp. 362–364. ISBN 978-0-674-72651-2.  ^ a b R.K. Sen (1895). "Origin of the Maurya of Magadha
Magadha
and of Chanakya". Journal of the Buddhist Text Society of India. The Society. pp. 26–32.  ^ Mookerji 1988, p. 28-33. ^ John Marshall Taxila, p. 18, and al. ^ Sastri 1988, p. 25. ^ a b c d Mookerji 1988, p. 6. ^ Mookerji 1988, pp. 47-53, 79-85. ^ Roy 2015, pp. 46-50. ^ a b Bhattacharyya 1977, p. 8. ^ Mookerji 1988, pp. 165-166. ^ Roy 2012, pp. 27, 61-62. ^ R.G. Grant: Commanders, Penguin (2010). pg. 49 ^ Modelski, George (1964). "Kautilya: Foreign Policy and International System in the Ancient Hindu World". American Political Science Review. Cambridge University Press. 58 (03): 549–560. doi:10.2307/1953131. ISSN 0003-0554. ; Quote: "Kautilya is believed to have been Chanakya, a Brahmin who served as Chief Minister to Chandragupta (321–296 B.C.), the founder of the Mauryan Empire." ^ Thomas R. Trautmann (2012). Arthashastra: The Science of Wealth. Penguin. pp. 21–22. ISBN 978-0-670-08527-9. , Quote: "We can confirm from other texts that Kautilya (or Kautalya - the name varies) is a Brahmin gotra name. (...) This Kautilya, author of Arthashastra, is identified with Chanakya, minister to the first Mauryan king, Chandragupta, and depicted in stories as the brains behind Chandragupta's takeover of the empire of the Nandas in about 321 BCE. The adventures of Chanakya
Chanakya
and Chandragupta are told in a cycle of tales preserved in Hindu, Buddhist and Jain books." ^ Boesche 2003, p. 9-37. ^ Mookerji 1988, p. 36. ^ Kosmin 2014, p. 34. ^ Mookerji 1988, p. 36-37, 105. ^ Walter Eugene, Clark (1919). "The Importance of Hellenism from the Point of View of Indic-Philology". Classical Philology. 14 (4): 297–313. doi:10.1086/360246.  ^ Raychaudhuri & Mukherjee 1996, p. 594. ^ a b Mookerji 1988, p. 37. ^ History of Rome, The Syrian Wars 55 ^ " Strabo
Strabo
15.2.1(9)".  ^ Barua, Pradeep. The State at War in South Asia. Vol. 2. U of Nebraska Press, 2005. pp13-15 via Project MUSE (subscription required) ^ a b c Thomas McEvilley, "The Shape of Ancient Thought", Allworth Press, New York, 2002, ISBN 1581152035, p.367 ^ a b Foreign Influence on Ancient India, Krishna Chandra Sagar, Northern Book Centre, 1992, p.83 [1] ^ The country is transliterated as "Pausasa" in the online translation: Pratisarga Parva
Pratisarga Parva
p.18 and in Encyclopaedia of Indian Traditions and Cultural Heritage, Anmol Publications, 2009, p.18; and "Paursa" in the original Sanskrit of the first two verses given in Foreign Influence on Ancient India, Krishna Chandra Sagar, Northern Book Centre, 1992, p.83: ^ Translation given in: Encyclopaedia of Indian Traditions and Cultural Heritage, Anmol Publications, 2009, p.18. Also online translation: Pratisarga Parva
Pratisarga Parva
p.18. ^ Original Sanskrit of the first two verses given in Foreign Influence on Ancient India, Krishna Chandra Sagar, Northern Book Centre, 1992, p.83: "Chandragupta Sutah Paursadhipateh Sutam. Suluvasya Tathodwahya Yavani Baudhtatapar". ^ India, the Ancient Past, Burjor Avari, p. 106-107 ^ Majumdar 2003, p. 105. ^ Tarn, W. W. (1940). "Two Notes on Seleucid
Seleucid
History: 1. Seleucus' 500 Elephants, 2. Tarmita". The Journal of Hellenic Studies. 60: 84–94. doi:10.2307/626263. JSTOR 626263.  ^ Mookerji 1988, p. 38. ^ "Problem while searching in The Literature Collection". digicoll.library.wisc.edu.  ^ Sastri 1988, p. 18. ^ Mookerji 1988, pp. 41-42. ^ Mookerji 1988, pp. 75, 164-172. ^ "Project South Asia". 28 May 2006.  ^ Mookerji 1988, p. 27. ^ MV Krishna Rao (1958, Reprinted 1979), Studies in Kautilya, 2nd Edition, OCLC 551238868, ISBN 978-8121502429, pages 13-14, 231-233 ^ Olivelle 2013, pp. 31-38. ^ a b F. R. Allchin & George Erdosy 1995, pp. 187-194. ^ F. R. Allchin & George Erdosy 1995, pp. 189-192. ^ F. R. Allchin & George Erdosy 1995, pp. 192-194. ^ F. R. Allchin & George Erdosy 1995, p. 189. ^ F. R. Allchin & George Erdosy 1995, pp. 194-195. ^ a b c Tapati Guha-Thakurta (2006). Partha Chatterjee and Anjan Ghosh, ed. History and the Present. Anthem. pp. 51–53, 58–59. ISBN 978-1-84331-224-6.  ^ a b c Manohar Laxman Varadpande (2006). Woman in Indian Sculpture. Abhinav Publications. pp. 32–34 with Figure 11. ISBN 978-81-7017-474-5.  ^ "A History of Ancient and Early Medieval India: From the Stone Age to the 12th Century" by Upinder Singh, Pearson Education India, 2008 [2] ^ ""Ayodhya, Archaeology After Demolition: A Critique of the "new" and "fresh" Discoveries", by Dhaneshwar Mandal, Orient Blackswan, 2003, p.46 [3] ^ "A Companion to Asian Art and Architecture" by Deborah S. Hutton, John Wiley & Sons, 2015, p.435 [4] ^ Roy 2012, pp. 63-64. ^ Roy 2012, pp. 64-68. ^ Olivelle 2013, pp. 49-51, 99-108, 277-294, 349-356, 373-382. ^ Thomas Harrison (2009). The Great Empires of the Ancient World. Getty Publications. pp. 234–235. ISBN 978-0-89236-987-4.  ^ Frederick Asher (2015). Rebecca M. Brown and Deborah S. Hutton, ed. A Companion to Asian Art and Architecture. John Wiley & Sons. pp. 421–423. ISBN 978-1-119-01953-4.  ^ Mookerji 1988, pp. 39-40. ^ Samuel 2010, pp. 60. ^ Thapar 2004, p. 178. ^ a b Mookerji 1988, pp. 39-41. ^ Kulke & Rothermund 2004, pp. 64-65. ^ Mookerji 1988, p. 41. ^ Ghosh, Ajit Kumar (2001). Dwijendralal Ray. Makers of Indian Literature (1st ed.). New Delhi: Sahitye Akademi. pp. 44–46. ISBN 81-260-1227-7.  ^ The Courtesan and the Sadhu, A Novel about Maya, Dharma, and God, October 2008, Dharma
Dharma
Vision LLC., ISBN 978-0-9818237-0-6, Library of Congress Control Number: 2008934274 ^ " Chanakya
Chanakya
Chandragupta (1977)". IMDb. Retrieved 2016-02-20.  ^ "Television". The Indian Express. 8 September 1991.  ^ " Chandragupta Maurya
Chandragupta Maurya
comes to small screen". Zee News.  ^ " Chandragupta Maurya
Chandragupta Maurya
on Sony TV?". The Times of India.  ^ TV, Imagine. "Channel". TV Channel.  ^ "Real truth behind Chandragupta's birth, his first love Durdhara and journey to becoming the Mauryan King". 17 October 2016.  ^ Commemorative postage stamp on Chandragupta Maurya, Press Information Bureau, Govt. of India

Sources[edit]

F. R. Allchin; George Erdosy (1995). The Archaeology of Early Historic South Asia: The Emergence of Cities and States. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-37695-2.  Bhattacharyya, Pranab Kumar (1977), Historical Geography of Madhyapradesh from Early Records, Motilal Banarsidass  Boesche, Roger (January 2003), "Kautilya's Arthaśāstra on War and Diplomacy in Ancient India" (PDF), The Journal of Military History, 67 (1): 9, doi:10.1353/jmh.2003.0006, ISSN 0899-3718  Boesche, Roger (2002). The First Great Political Realist: Kautilya and His Arthashastra. Lanham: Lexington Books. ISBN 0-7391-0401-2.  Kangle, R. P. (1969). Kautilya Arthashastra, 3 vols. Motilal Banarsidass (Reprinted 2010). ISBN 978-8120800410.  Kosmin, Paul J. (2014), The Land of the Elephant Kings: Space, Territory, and Ideology in Seleucid
Seleucid
Empire, Harvard University Press, ISBN 978-0-674-72882-0  Kulke, Hermann; Rothermund, Dietmar (2004), A History of India
History of India
(4th ed.), London: Routledge, ISBN 0-415-15481-2  Majumdar, Ramesh Chandra (2003) [1952], Ancient India, Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 81-208-0436-8  Mabbett, I. W. (April 1964). "The Date of the Arthaśāstra". Journal of the American Oriental Society. 84 (2): 162–169. doi:10.2307/597102. JSTOR 597102.  Mookerji, Radha Kumud (1988) [first published in 1966], Chandragupta Maurya and his times (4th ed.), Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 81-208-0433-3  Olivelle, Patrick (2013), King, Governance, and Law in Ancient India: Kauṭilya's Arthaśāstra, Oxford UK: Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0199891825  Rangarajan, L.N. (1992). Kautilya: The Arthashastra. Penguin Classics. ISBN 0-14-044603-6.  Raychaudhuri, H. C.; Mukherjee, B. N. (1996), Political History of Ancient India: From the Accession of Parikshit to the Extinction of the Gupta Dynasty, Oxford University Press  Roy, Kaushik (2012), Hinduism
Hinduism
and the Ethics of Warfare in South Asia: From Antiquity to the Present, Cambridge University Press, ISBN 978-1-107-01736-8  Roy, Kaushik (2015), Warfare in Pre-British India–1500BCE to 1740CE, Routledge  Samuel, Geoffrey (2010), The Origins of Yoga and Tantra. Indic Religions to the Thirteenth Century, Cambridge University Press  Sastri, Kallidaikurichi Aiyah Nilakanta, ed. (1988) [1967], Age of the Nandas and Mauryas (Second ed.), Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 81-208-0465-1  Singh, Upinder (2016), A History of Ancient and Early Medieval India: From the Stone Age to the 12th Century, Pearson Education, ISBN 978-93-325-6996-6  Smith, Vincent Arthur (1998). Ashoka. Asian Educational Services. ISBN 81-206-1303-1.  Thapar, Romila (2004) [first published by Penguin in 2002], Early India: From the Origins to A.D. 1300, University of California Press, ISBN 978-0-520-24225-8 

Further reading[edit]

Library resources about Chandragupta Maurya

Online books Resources in your library Resources in other libraries

Habib, Irfan. and Jha, Vivekanand. Mauryan India: A People's History of India, New Delhi, Tulika Books, 2016 Bongard-Levin, G. M. Mauryan India
India
(Stosius Inc./Advent Books Division May 1986) ISBN 0-86590-826-5

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