Indian History
General Knowledge

Origin of the Mauryas

Origin of the Mauryas

» The Puranas describe them as Shudras
» 'Mudrakshasa' of Vishakhadatta uses the terms Vrishal / Kulhina(of low clan)
» The Classical writers, such as Justin, describe Chandragupta only as a man of humble origin.
» The Junagarh Rock Inscription of Rudradaman (150 AD) has some indirect evidence, suggesting that the Maury as might have been of Vaishya origin.
» The Buddhist work, on the other hand, try to link the Mauryan dynasty with the Sakya Kshatriya clan to which Buddha belonged. According to them, the region from which the Mauryas came was full of peacocks (Mor\ and hence they came to be known as 'Moriyad. It is obvious from this that the Buddhists were trying to elevate the social position of Ashoka (their patron) and his predecessors.
» In conclusion, we can say that the Mauryas belonged to the Moriya tribe and were certainly of a low caste, though it is not clear as to which low caste.

Chandragupta Maurya : 322 BC-298 BC

» Chandragupta dethroned the last Nanda ruler Dhananand and occupied Patliputrain 322 BC with the help of Kautilya (Chankya).
» In 305 BC, Chandragupta Maurya defeated Selecus Nikator, who surrendered a vast territory including Aria (herat), Arachosia (Kandhar), Gedrosia (Baluchistan) and Paropanisade (Kabul), in return for 500 elephants. According to treaty between Chandragupta and Selecus, the Hindukush became boundry between their states.
» Megasthenese was a Greek ambassador sent to the court of Chandragupta Maurya by Selecus Nikator.
» Chandragupta became a jain and went to Chandragiri Hill, Sravanbelgola (Karnataka) with Bhadrabahu, where he died by slow starvation (Kaya-Klesha/Salekhan).
» Under Chanragupta Maurya, for the first time, the whole of Northern India was united.
» Trade flourished, agriculture was regulated, weights and measures were standardised and money came into use.
» Taxation, sanitation and famine relief became the concerns of the state.

Bindusara : 298 BC-273 BC

» Chandragupta Maurya was succeeded by his son Bindusara.
» Bindusara, known to the Greeks as Amitrochates (derived from the Sanskrit word Amitraghata i.e. slayers of foes), is said to have carried his arms to the Deccan (upto Mysore).
» Bindusara asked Antiochus I of Syria to send some sweet wine, dried figs and a sophist. Antiochus I sent wine and figs but politely replied that Greek philosphers are not for sale.
» Bindusara patronised Ajivikas.