India's Mauryan Empire - Chandragupta and Ashoka - bestwebdirectory.info
Bindusara was the second Mauryan emperor of India. He was the son of the dynasty's founder Most of the Buddhist legends about Ashoka's early life also appear to have been composed by Buddhist writers Chandragupta had a marriage alliance with the Seleucids, which has led to speculation that Bindusara's mother. Asoka's father Bindusara was fortunate for inheriting a vast and powerful He also maintained good relation with contemporary Greek rulers outside India. Important facts and objective questions on Mauryan Empire and its rulers - Chandragupta Maurya, Bindusara and Ashoka for SSC CGL, SSC CHSL, SSC TAX.
This time, Sushima was sent to quell the rebellion, but he failed in the task. It mentions a legend about Chanakya's death: Chanakya asked the emperor to appoint a man named Subandhu as one of his ministers. However, Subandhu wanted to become a higher minister and grew jealous of Chanakya. So, he told Bindusara that Chanakya had cut open the belly of his mother. After confirming the story with the nurses, Bindusara started hating Chanakya.
As a result, Chanakya, who was already a very old man by this time, retired and decided to starve himself to death. Meanwhile, Bindusara came to know about the detailed circumstances of his birth, and implored Chanakya to resume his ministerial duties. When Chanakya refused to oblige, the Emperor ordered Subandhu to pacify him. Subandhu, while pretending to appease Chanakya, burned him to death. Shortly after this, Subandhu himself had to retire and become a monk due to Chanakya's curse.
It names two officials — Khallataka and Radhagupta — who helped his son Ashoka became the emperor after his death. Bindusara requested Antiochus to send him sweet winedried figs and a sophist. This king is usually identified as Bindusara. The Buddhist texts Samantapasadika and Mahavamsa suggest that Bindusara followed Brahmanismcalling him a "Brahmana bhatto" "votary of the Brahmanas".
However, they are silent on Bindusara's faith, and there is no evidence to show that Bindusara was a Jain. Bindusara asked him to assess the ability of the princes to be the next emperor, as the two watched the princes play.
Bindusara (298-273 BC)
Pingalavatsa recognized Ashoka as the most suitable prince, but did not give a definitive answer to the Emperor, since Ashoka was not Bindusara's favourite son.
He built a number of stupas. About 12 years after his accession, he began issuing edicts at regular intervals. This reference has become the bedrock of Mauryan chronology. Local tradition asserts that he had contacts with Khotan and Nepal. Ashoka ruled for 37 years. After his death a political decline set in, and half a century later the empire was reduced to the Ganges valley alone.
Epigraphic evidence indicates that his grandson Dasharatha ruled in Magadha. Some historians have suggested that his empire was bifurcated. In bce the last of the Mauryas, Brihadratha, was assassinated by his Brahman commander in chief, Pushyamitrawho founded the Shunga dynasty.
Financial base for the empire The Mauryan achievement lay in the ability to weld the diverse parts of the subcontinent into a single political unit and to maintain an imperial system for almost years. The financial base for an imperial system was provided by income from land revenue and, to a lesser extent, from trade. The gradual expansion of the agrarian economy and improvements in the administrative machinery for collecting revenue increased the income from land revenue.
This is confirmed by both the theories of Kautilya and the account of Megasthenes ; Kautilya maintained that the state should organize the clearing of wasteland and settle it with villages of Sudra cultivators. It is likely that somepersons deported from Kalinga by Ashoka after the campaign were settled in this manner. Megasthenes wrote that there were no slaves in India, yet Indian sources speak of various categories of slaves called dasa s, the most commonly used designation being dasa-bhritakas slaves and hired labourers.
It is likely that there was no large-scale slavery for production, although slaves were used on the land, in the mines, and in the guilds, along with the hired labour. Domestic slavery was common, however. The nature of land revenue has been a subject of controversy. Some scholars maintain that the state was the sole owner of the land, while others contend that there was private and individual ownership as well. References to private ownership would seem to be too frequent to be ignored.
There also are references to the crown lands, the cultivation of which was important to the economy. Two types of taxes were levied—one on the amount of land cultivated and the other on the produce of the land. The state maintained irrigation in limited areas and in limited periods.
By and large, irrigation systems were privately controlled by cultivators and landowners. There is no support for a thesis that control of the hydraulic machinery was crucial to the political control of the country. Another source of income, which acquired increasing importance, was revenue from taxes levied on both internal and foreign trade.
The attempt at improved political administration helped to break the economic isolation of various regions. Roads built to ensure quick communication with the local administration inevitably became arteries of exchange and trade. Mauryan society According to Megasthenes, Mauryan society comprised seven occupational groups: He defined these groups as endogamous and the professions as hereditary, which has led to their being considered as castes.
The philosophers included a variety of priests, monks, and religious teachers; they formed the smallest group but were the most respected, were exempt from taxationand were the only ones permitted to marry into the other groups. The farmers were the largest group. The mention of herdsmen as a socioeconomic group suggests that, although the agrarian economy was expanding and had become central to the state income, pastoralism continued to play an important economic role.
The artisans probably represented a major section of the urban population. The listing of magistrates and councillors as distinct groups is evidence of a large and recognizable administrative personnel.
Ashoka and the Mauryan Empire
Mauryan government The Mauryan government was organized around the king. Ashoka saw his role as essentially paternal: His edicts indicate frequent consultations with his ministers, the ministerial council being a largely advisory body.
- Asoka’s Early Life and His Accession to Throne
- Ashoka the Great: From Cruel King to Benevolent Buddhist
The offices of the sannidhatri treasurerwho kept the account, and the samahartri chief collectorwho was responsible for revenue records, formed the hub of the revenue administration.
Each administrative department, with its superintendents and subordinate officials, acted as a link between local administration and the central government.
Kautilya believed that a quarter of the total income should be reserved for the salaries of the officers. That the higher officials expected to be handsomely paid is clear from the salaries suggested by Kautilya and from the considerable difference between the salary of a clerk panas and that of a minister 48, panas. Public works and grants absorbed another large percentage of state income. The empire was divided into four provinces, each under a prince or a governor.
Local officials were probably selected from among the local populace, because no method of impersonal recruitment to administrative office is mentioned. Once every five years, the emperor sent officers to audit the provincial administrations. Some categories of officers in the rural areas, such as the rajjukas surveyorscombined judicial functions with assessment duties. Fines constituted the most common form of punishment, although capital punishment was imposed in extreme cases.
Provinces were subdivided into districts and these again into smaller units. The village was the basic unit of administration and has remained so throughout the centuries. The headman continued to be an important official, as did the accountant and the tax collector sthanika and gopa, respectively.
And this proclamation has been made with this aim. Let both humble and great be zealous, let even those on the borders know and let zeal last long. Then this zeal will increase, it will greatly increase, it will increase up to one-and-a-half times. This message has been proclaimed two hundred and fifty-six times by the king while on tour. In these ways, the Dhamma should be promoted.
Likewise, a teacher should be honored by his pupil and proper manners should be shown towards relations. This is an ancient rule that conduces to long life. Thus should one act. Written by the scribe Chapala. Whatever, reverend sirs, has been spoken by Lord Buddha, all that is well-spoken. These Dhamma texts -- Extracts from the Discipline, the Noble Way of Life, the Fears to Come, the Poem on the Silent Sage, the Discourse on the Pure Life, Upatisa's Questions, and the Advice to Rahula which was spoken by the Buddha concerning false speech -- these Dhamma texts, reverend sirs, I desire that all the monks and nuns may constantly listen to and remember.
I have had this written that you may know my intentions. Happiness in this world and the next is difficult to obtain without much love for the Dhamma, much self-examination, much respect, much fear of eviland much enthusiasm. But through my instruction this regard for Dhamma and love of Dhamma has grown day by day, and will continue to grow.
And my officers of high, low and middle rank are practicing and conforming to Dhamma, and are capable of inspiring others to do the same. Mahamatras in border areas are doing the same.Chakravartin Ashoka Samrat - 29th September 2015 - चक्रवतीन अशोक सम्राट - Full Episode(HD)
And these are my instructions: I have given the gift of sight in various ways. And many other good deeds have been done by me. This Dhamma edict has been written that people might follow it and it might endure for a long time. And the one who follows it properly will do something good.
People see only their good deeds saying, "I have done this good deed. Let me not ruin myself with these things. This Dhamma edict was written twenty-six years after my coronation. My Rajjukas are working among the people, among many hundreds of thousands of people. The hearing of petitions and the administration of justice has been left to them so that they can do their duties confidently and fearlessly and so that they can work for the welfare, happiness and benefit of the people in the country.
But they should remember what causes happiness and sorrow, and being themselves devoted to Dhamma, they should encourage the people in the country to do the samethat they may attain happiness in this world and the next.
These Rajjukas are eager to serve me. They also obey other officers who know my desires, who instruct the Rajjukas so that they can please me. Just as a person feels confident having entrusted his child to an expert nurse thinking: The hearing of petitions and the administration of justice have been left to the Rajjukas so that they can do their duties unperturbed, fearlessly and confidently. It is my desire that there should be uniformity in law and uniformity in sentencing. I even go this far, to grant a three-day stay for those in prison who have been tried and sentenced to death.
During this time their relatives can make appeals to have the prisoners' lives spared. If there is none to appeal on their behalf, the prisoners can give gifts in order to make merit for the next world, or observe fasts.
Indeed, it is my wish that in this way, even if a prisoner's time is limited, he can prepare for the next world, and that people's Dhamma practice, self-control and generosity may grow. Cocks are not to be caponized, husks hiding living beings are not to be burnt and forests are not to be burnt either without reason or to kill creatures.
One animal is not to be fed to another. On the three Caturmasis, the three days of Tisa and during the fourteenth and fifteenth of the Uposatha, fish are protected and not to be sold. During these days animals are not to be killed in the elephant reserves or the fish reserves either.
On the eighth of every fortnight, on the fourteenth and fifteenth, on Tisa, Punarvasu, the three Caturmasis and other auspicious days, bulls are not to be castrated, billy goats, rams, boars and other animals that are usually castrated are not to be.
On Tisa, Punarvasu, Caturmasis and the fortnight of Caturmasis, horses and bullocks are not be branded. In the twenty-six years since my coronation prisoners have been given amnesty on twenty-five occasions. Twelve years after my coronation I started to have Dhamma edicts written for the welfare and happiness of the people, and so that not transgressing them they might grow in the Dhamma. I do the same for all groups. I have honored all religions with various honors.
But I consider it best to meet with people personally. In the past kings desired that the people might grow through the promotion of the Dhamma. But despite this, people did not grow through the promotion of the Dhamma. Beloved-of-the-Gods, King Piyadasi, said concerning this: Now how can the people be encouraged to follow it? How can the people be encouraged to grow through the promotion of the Dhamma? How can I elevate them by promoting the Dhamma?
When people hear these, they will follow them, elevate themselves and grow considerably through the promotion of the Dhamma. The Rajjukas who work among hundreds of thousands of people have likewise been ordered: Along roads I have had banyan trees planted so that they can give shade to animals and men, and I have had mango groves planted. But these are but minor achievements. Such things to make the people happy have been done by former kings.
I have done these things for this purpose, that the people might practice the Dhamma. Beloved-of-the-Gods, King Piyadasi, speaks thus: My Dhamma Mahamatras too are occupied with various good works among the ascetics and householders of all religions. I have ordered that they should be occupied with the affairs of the Sangha.
I have also ordered that they should be occupied with the affairs of the Brahmans and the Ajivikas. I have ordered that they be occupied with the Niganthas. And my Dhamma Mahamatras likewise are occupied with these and other religions. These and other principal officers are occupied with the distribution of gifts, mine as well as those of the queens.
In my women's quarters, they organize various charitable activities here and in the provinces. I have also ordered my sons and the sons of other queens to distribute gifts so that noble deeds of Dhamma and the practice of Dhamma may be promoted. And noble deeds of Dhamma and the practice of Dhamma consist of having kindness, generosity, truthfulness, purity, gentleness and goodness increase among the people. Whatever good deeds have been done by me, those the people accept and those they follow.
KING ASHOKA: His Edicts and His Times
Therefore they have progressed and will continue to progress by being respectful to mother and father, respectful to elders, by courtesy to the aged and proper behavior towards Brahmans and ascetics, towards the poor and distressed, and even towards servants and employees.
This progress among the people through Dhamma has been done by two means, by Dhamma regulations and by persuasion. Of these, Dhamma regulation is of little effect, while persuasion has much more effect. The Dhamma regulations I have given are that various animals must be protected. And I have given many other Dhamma regulations also. But it is by persuasion that progress among the people through Dhamma has had a greater effect in respect of harmlessness to living beings and non-killing of living beings.
Concerning this, Beloved-of-the-Gods says: Wherever there are stone pillars or stone slabs, there this Dhamma edict is to be engraved so that it may long endure. It has been engraved so that it may endure as long as my sons and great-grandsons live and as long as the sun and the moon shine, and so that people may practice it as instructed. For by practicing it happiness will be attained in this world and the next. This Dhamma edict has been written by me twenty-seven years after my coronation.
Whoever splits the Sangha which is now united, is not to be admitted into the Sangha. Whoever, whether monk or nun, splits the Sangha is to be made to wear white clothes and to reside somewhere other than in a monastery. Girnar version issued in B. These fourteen edicts, with minor differences, are found in five different places throughout India. In two other places, they are found minus numbers 11, 12 and Girnar version, issued in B.
The Cholas and Pandyas were south Indian peoples living outside Asoka's empire. The Satiyaputras and Keralaputras lived on the southwest seaboard of India. Tamraparni is one of the ancient names for Sri Lanka. On Antiochos see Note The exact duties of these royal officers are not known. This probably refers to the drum that was beaten to announce the punishment of lawbreakers.
See Samyutta Nikaya, IV: Like many people in the ancient world, Asoka believed that when a just king ruled, there would be many auspicious portents. Kalsi version, issued in B. This seems to be a paraphrase of Dhammapada The Greeks Yona settled in large numbers in what is now Afghanistan and Pakistan after the conquests of Alexander the Great, although small communities lived there prior to this. Bodh Gaya, the site of the Buddha's enlightenment, was known in ancient times as either Sambodhi or Vajirasana.
Asoka obviously had the Mangala Sutta Sutta Nipata in mind when he issued this edict. Other versions substitute the following up to the end of the edict. It has also been said: There a friend, a well-wisher, a relative or a companion should encourage others thus on appropriate occasions: Similar to Dhammapada This sentence is usually translated "Therefore concord is commendable.
Kalinga corresponds roughly to the modern state of Orissa. Perhaps Asoka had in mind Dhammapada Dhauli version, issued in B. These two edicts are found in two different places.
This is reminiscent of the Buddha's words: