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12-Indian History-BC2 (326 BC - 800 AD)

India has a continuous civilization since 2500 BC. During the 2nd millennium, Aryan speaking tribes migrated from northwest into the Indian subcontinent. Most of the material given her is taken from "A New History of India", by Stanley Wolpert. 2004.

Haryank Dynasty - 543-345 BC (198 years)
(Bimbisaar (15 yrs) - Ajaatshatru (32 yrs) -  - the 2nd Ruling Dynasty

Bimbisaar - (543 BC - 491 BC) - 52 years
Bimbisaar (558 BC - 491 BC) was from Haryank family. He was from the second ruling Dynasty of Magadh. He succeeded the Brihadrath Dynasty. According to Puraan, the second ruling Dynasty was the Shaishung Dynasty, but Ashwaghosh says in his Buddhcharit refers to Bimbisaar as the ruler of Shaishung Dynasty. The name of the father of Bimbisaar was Bhateeya or Bhatteeya, but the Puraan refer him as Hemajeet, Kshemajeet, Kshetroja or Ksetrauja and the Tibetan texts mention him as Mahaa Padm. The reign of this dynasty probably began in 684 BC. Initially, his capital was Raaj Griha, but later, it was shifted to Paataliputra (the present day Patanaa ) in India. This dynasty was succeeded by the Shishunaag dynasty.

Bimbisaar ruled Magadh from 543 BC till his death - 491 BC. His many life accounts can be found in Jain literature and Budhists' Jaatak. He acquired Ang Desh after defeating Brahmdatt and gave it to his son Ajaatshatru - its capital being Champaa. Bimbisaar was a Bauddh or a Jain, it is a controversy. In Jain text he has been referred to as Shrenik of Raaj Griha or Raajgeer.

He had three wives. He was married to Kosalaa Devee, the daughter of Mahaa Kosal - the king of Kosal Desh; and the sister of Prasenjit. She brought Kaashee (merely a village at that time) with her in dowry. His second wife Chellana was from Lichchhivi Vansh from Vaishaalee (daughter of King Chetak). His third wife, named Kshem, was the daughter of Chief of the Madra clan of Panjaab. He is said to been imprisoned, and starved to death by his son Ajaatshatru around 491 BC, just 7 years before Buddha died,

Thus the early Magadh kings had their capital Raajgeer, 100 km SE of modern Patanaa. Later they moved their capital to Paataliputra. Although by the 6th century BC, Magadh (Bihaar) had emerged as first among many competing kingdoms, it took two centuries after the reign of Bimbisaar to assert control over the subcontinent. Punch-marked coins found in Takshshilaa proved that the trade continued steadily from the reign of Ajaatshatru (died in 459 BC) through the successive dynasties of Shishunaag and Nand. These kings were of Shoodra origin and wealthier than their predecessors.

Ajaatshatru - (491 BC - 459 BC) - 32 years
Ajaatshatru, the son of Bimbisaar and his wife Chellana or Kosalaa, was the second Magadh king who ruled from Raajgeer, built a small fort at Paatali Graam (present Patanaa). He is known as Vaidehee-Putra Ajaatshatru in Paalee texts.

He married Vajeeraa, daughter of his maternal uncle Prasenjit. Legend goes that Devdatt was the man behind his getting the throne in return of the sum to be given to Devadatt's Sangh. He was a great warrior who conquered 36 states surrounding his kingdom. He fought 16-year war against Vaishaalee also where Lichchhivi people ruled. he invented the Scythed Chariot around 475 BC. The Scythed Chariot as a modified war chariot which he used to fight with Lichchhivi. It had blades on its axle on both sides. Later he got very sad with wars and he adopted Bauddh religion and built many Stoop after Buddha's death. Ajaatshatru also died like his father Bimbisaar - means his son Udayabhadra imprisoned him and starved him to death in 459 BC.

Udayabhadra - (459  BC - 443 BC) - 16 years
Udayabhadra is believed to rule for 16 years.

Mund - (443 BC - 437 BC) - 6 years
Mund reigned for 6 years only

Naagdashak - (437 BC - 413 BC) - 24 years
He was the son of Mund. He slew his father Mund and ruled for 24 years, Then the people deposed him and crowned Shishunaag as the King.

Shishunaag Dynasty - 413-345 BC (68 years)

Shishunaag - (413 BC - 395 BC) - 18 years
Shishunaag Dynasty was the 3rd Dynasty (after Shrenik and Haryank Dynasties) to rule Magadh. Shishunaag was the Amaatya (Minister) of the last Haryank Dynasty ruler Naagdashak and ascended the throne in 413 BC. His first capital was Raajgriha, then he shifted it to Paataliputra.

Kaakvarn or Kaalashok - (395 BC - 367 BC) - 28 years
Shishunaag was succeeded by his son Kaakvarn or Kaalashok. Two events are main of his reign - Second Buddhist Council, Vaishaalee; and the final transfer of capital to Paataliputra. According to traditions, 10 sons opf Kaalashok ruled simultaneously The Mahaabodhi Vansh states their names as Bhadrasen, Korandvarn, Mangoor, Sarvanjaha, Jalika, Ubhak, Sanjaya, Kauravya, Nandivardhan and Panchamak. Only one of them is mentioned in Puraan, that is Nandivardhan.

Mahaa Nand or Nandivardhan - (367 BC -345 BC) - 22 years
Nandivardhan or Mahaa Nand was probably the last ruler of this dynasty, his empire was inherited by his illegitimate son Mahaapadm Nand.

Chandragupt Serial shows that Mahaapadm killed his father on his 60th birthday when the birthday celebrations were going to start. Mahaapadm had 9 sons and he with the help of his 9 sons killed all - Mahaa Nand and his several sons. The Army General of Mahaa Nand fought with Mahaapadm for some time but then Mahaapadm killed him by cheating. He called him for the last fight, and then invited him to embrace him the last time as he taught him fighting, and as he embraced him, Mahaapadm killed him with his dagger hitting in his back.

Nand Dynasty - 424-321 BC (103 years)

Thus Mahaapadm Nand, the illegitimate son of Mahaa Nand (the last Kshatriya ruler), was coronated in 424 BC, 1500 (or 1504) years to be exact after Yudhishthir. 1500 was changed to 1050 by change of a Maatraa only ---
यावत् परीक्षितो जन्म यावत् नन्दाभिषेचनम् । तावत् वर्ष सहस्रं च ज्ञेयं पञ्चशतोत्तरम् ॥
Vishnu Puraan, 4.24.104
Means - 1500 years passed from the birth of Pareekshit to coronation of Nand.

Here पञ्चशतोत्तरम् (+500) was changed to पञ्चाशतोत्तरम् (+50).

Mahaapadm Nand - (424 BC - 345 BC) - 22 years
Mahaapadm Nand was the illegitimate son of Mahaa Nand. He has been described as the founder of Nand Dynasty and the destroyer of Kshatriya rule. He conquered many kingdoms (Paaanchaal, Kaashee, Haihaya, Kaing, Ashmak, Veetihotra etc) and extended his Magadh borders from Bangaal in East to Panjaab in West and to Vindhya Hills in South. He died at the age of 88. He was the ruler of the Nand dynasty for all but 12 of the dynasty's 100 years - 88 years. The Nand who took the throne of the Shishunaag Dynasty were thought to be of low origin with some sources stating that the dynasty's founder, Mahaapadm, was the son of a Shoodra. Nand are said to be first Empire maker in the recorded history of India. Mahaapadm Nand wanted to extend his kingdom so he built up a vast army, consisting of 200,000 infantry, 20,000 cavalry, 2,000 war chariots and 3,000 war elephants (at the lowest estimates). Some say that the size of the Nand army was even larger, numbering 200,000 infantry, 80,000 cavalry, 8,000 war chariots, and 6,000 war elephants.

However, the Nand never had the opportunity to see their army up against Alexander, who invaded India at the time of Dhan Nand, since Alexander had to confine his campaign to the plains of Panjaab, because Poras had already discouraged their advances into India. When he wanted to cross Gangaa River, which they heard that was 32 furlongs (4 miles) wide and its depth was 100 fathoms, and its other bank was covered with armed forces including horsemen and war elephants. They were told that the King was waiting for them with his 80,000 horsemen, 200,000 footmen, and 6,000 fighting elephants. Nand regulated their tax system, built their irrigation systems through canals as agricultural society.

In all 10 Kings ruled in Nand Dynasty - Mahaapadm (the first King) and Dhanaa Nand (the last King) were the most famous Kings of this Dynasty.

Nand Rulers
(1) Mahaapadm Nand (424 BC ?)
(2) Pandhuka
(3) Panghupati
(4) Bhootpaal
(5) Raashtrapaal
(6) Govishanak
(7) Dashasidkhak
(8) Kaivart
(9) Mahendra
(10) Dhanaa Nand (his real name was Ugrasen, Argames) (? c. 321 BC)

Later Chandragupt Maurya founded his Mauryan Empire overthrowing Nand Dynasty with Paataliputra as its capital. Even Ashok took the throne of his father Bindusaar from Paataliputra only. The last Magadh king, Naalandaa was overthrown by Chandragupt Maurya in 324 BC.

[Aangiras, p 363 says that Shishunaag ascended the throne of Magadh kingdom in 422 BC and ruled for 39 years. He moved his capital from Paataliputra (present Patanaa) to Girivraj. He assimilated Avantee (Ujjain), Vats and Kosal in his empire in addition to Kaashee which he had won at the time of taking over Magadh Kingdom.]

Then came Chandragupt Maurya (reign, 324-301 BC) whose unification came in the wake of Alexander the Great's catalytic invasion of the Sindhu in 326 BC. Bimbisaar dreamed of unifying the kingdom of Magadh like Alexander's dream of unification of the world.

Alexander's Invasion and Poras (320 BC)
The Gaandhaar region of India, whose capital was Takshshilaa (near Islaamaabaad, the capital of present Paakistaan) fell under Persian control in 518 BC. As the 20th dependent kingdom of Darius' Achaemenid Empire, India paid an annual tribute of no fewer than 360 Talents (a type of currency used in those times) in gold dust, according to Herodotus, who told many tales of India in his account of "The Persian Wars", including description of giant gold-digging ants who labored in gold-strewn deserts. The "ivory, apes and peacocks" of "Ophir" had, by Biblical authority, been brought to king Solomon's temple by sea.

When Alexander saw so much wealth coming from India, he came to India across Sindhu river in the spring of 326 BC. The King of Takshshilaa, King Aambhee welcomed Alexander's irresistible force without firing an arrow and opened the gates to invade. Alexander came forward and came to another big river Jhelam (Hydaspes) where the King Puru (Poras) was reigning. Puru had only 200 elephants and some infantry (elephants and infantry were the two first line martial defense). Alexander defeated him so badly that no other king could think of contesting him. When he advanced beyond Panjaab, rebellions threatened in Kaandaahaar (Kandhaar). By the time Alexander reached his 5th great river, the River Vyaas (Hyphasis), he heard about Magadh's wealth and power that he got anxious to venture it. At this time, he met a young fellow named Sandrocottas who was equated with Chandragupt and may have been the future founder of Maurya dynasty. He went back to his kingdom that he never lived to see again, from River Vyaas, in late July of 326.

Magadh again revitalized its powers and extended toward West under Mauryan rule.

Maurya Dynasty - 322-185 BC (137 years)
(1) Chandragupt Maurya (322-301 BC) 21 years
(2) Bindusaar (301-272 BC) 29 years
(3) Ashok (272-232 BC) 40 years
(4) Dasharath Maurya (232-224 BC)
(5) Samprati Maurya (224-215 BC)
(6) Shaalishuk Maurya (215-202 BC) 13 years
(7) Devavarman Maurya (202-195 BC) 8 years
(8) Shatadhanvaa Maurya (195-187 BC) 8 years
(9) Brahadrath Maurya (187-185 BC) 12 years

Chandragupt Maurya (reign 320-298 BC) - 22 years
The name Maurya (in Paalee language Moriyaa) was probably derived from the word More (peacock) which may have been the clan's original, pre-Aarya, totem. Some say that Chandragupt was the son of a herdsman; while others claim that his mother was in the royal Harem of King Nand. Whatever his family stock may have been, but the Maurya Dynasty ruled for over most of India for 140 years. It was long believed that behind his rising power was an old Braahman named Kautilya (Chaanakya). He has been credited with authorship of the "Arth Shaastra" (Science of Material Gains - probably completed around 250 AD). He might have written only an early part of the text.

Chandragupt was born in 340 BC and ruled for the period 320-298 BC. It is said that he was an illegitimate son of a Nand Prince (Nand Dynasty in Magadh, Bihaar) and a maid named Muraa, that is why he got the name Maurya; while some say that he was raised by peacock tamers (Mor) that is how he got the name Maurya. Chaanakya, the teacher n Takshshilaa University, found him in Magadh Kingdom acting as a king and doing justice with a child playing as a criminal. Chaanakya got very impressed with his way of doing justice and brought him from his mother. It is said that he met Alexander and viewed Nand's rule in a negative light. Chaanakya educated him at Takshshilaa, and made him the king.

How Chaanakya Met Chandragupt -
Aambhee, the ruler of Takshshilaa and Gaandhaar, made a treaty with Alexander and did not fight with him. Thus Chaanakya saw the foreign invasion on Hindu culture. He went to other kings to ask for their help, to be united against Alexander. Poras (Parvateshwar), the King of Panjaab, was the only king who could challenge Alexander but was defeated. Then Chaanakya went to Magadh Desh to ask for the help of Dhanaanand, who ruled a vast empire, but he denied any such help. After this incident he started sowing the seed of such an empire which could face foreign powers. When he was thrown out of the Nand's court, he vowed to take revenge from him. While in Magadh, by chance he met Chandragupt and found extraordinary powers in him. He took the bow to fulfill his vow. Chaanakya trained Chandragupt and together they dreamt a plan to conquer Nand Empire. He defeated Nand in 321 BC and established the powerful Maurya Empire when he was only 20 years old.

Seleukas, one of Alexander's man re-conquered Alexander's former Empire and took over Bactria up to Sindhu River. In fact his Kingdom was bigger than Alexander. In 305 BC he came to confront Chandragupt but was defeated. Chandragupt received vast territories west of Sindhu River up to Baloochistaan of Persia. Archaeological findings indicate that Mauryan rule was up to Kandhaar. In exchange of this territory, Seleukas received 500 war elephants from Chandragupt for withdrawal of his forces and exchanged ambassadors with Paataliputra. Seleukas sent Magasthnese there as his ambassador.

There was a cryptic marriage clause in that treaty as well, and though it is not clear whether Seleukas married one of his daughters to Chandragupt's court, later reference to "Yaavanee" (Greek) woman serving as an elite guard over Chandragupt's bed-chambers, indicates that possibility. Mauryan army had the strength of 600,000 infantry, 30,000 cavalry, 8,000 chariots and 9,000 elephants. Even if these figures were exaggerated, or valid only through peak periods, to support such a huge force was needed considerable size and centralized administration. According to these figures, it seems fair to assume that there were close to 50 million people in south Asia by the 3rd century BC.

Weights and measures and currency were all state controlled. The silver coin of Maurya kingdom was the silver "Pana", minted at 3.5 grams. a king's councilor received 48,000 Pana as his annual salary, 1,000 coins for engineers, mining superintendents and military officers, 500 for soldiers of the line and spies, 120 for carpenters and other skilled craftsmen, and 60 for the unskilled laborers. It may be assumed that the lowest amount was barely sufficient to feed and clothe a family and his immediate dependents.

According to Jain tradition, Chandragupt left his throne in 301 BC to become a Jain monk in South India, Shravanbelaagole (in present day Karnaatak), where he fasted until death, while his son Bindusaar took control of Paataliputra.

Chaanakya's Arth Shaastra -
His work begins with a chapter on the education and training of a king - to be "energetic" and "ever wakeful". When in court, the king is never to keep his petitioners waiting at the door, for a king who makes himself inaccessible to the people is sure to create confusion in business and cause public dissatisfaction. The monarch must learn to control his "six enemies" - lust, anger, greed, vanity, hautiness and exuberance. He must also control his subjects - particularly powerful ministers, wealthy merchants, wise Braahman and beautiful queens - and to help him in such difficult tasks, he must hire an army of spies and these spies should be living in various guises.

To sustain his army of spies, soldiers and civil bureaucrats (totaled more than 1 million in Mauryan dynasty) the king claimed the share, usually one-fourth, otherwise one-half of the value of crops. Other types of wealth were also taxed. Paataliputra (modern Patanaa in Bihaar) seems to have been the largest and greatest city in the world during Mauryan rule. It was 8 miles long and 1 and 1/2 miles wide, surrounded by timber wall with 570 towers and a moat 600 cubits (900 feet) wide and 30 feet deep. Megasthnese, a Greek ambassador, came to India and wrote his diary about contemporary India.

Further from Arth Shaastra - government servants should be constantly kept under vigilance, for men are "by nature fickle and temperamental". Bureaucrats should work only "as directed" and do "nothing" without the knowledge and approvable of superiors. Thus bureaucracy was thus obviously no recent Western import to Indian soil, and may have had its indigenous roots in Harappan society. Megasthnese observed seven classes in Mauryan India - the highest being royal councilors, then Braahman, then agriculturists, herdsmen, soldiers, artisans and spies.

Bindusaar (reign, 301-272 BC) - 32 years
The son of Chandragupt Maurya, was born from a woman named Durdhar in 320 BC. We know very little about Bindusaar's 32 year reign, though he expanded his limits, Paataliputra as his capital, up to Vindhyaachal and maintained relations with Greek. He brought 16 states under one Mauryan Empire. Chaanakya was the Prime Minister during his reign. He had two sons - Suseem and Ashok. He is perhaps best remembered for his curious request of Seleukas' successor Antiochus I, to whom he wrote once asking for some Greek wine, figs and a Sophist. Antiochus sent the figs and wine, but politely explained that it was not lawful for a Sophist to be sold in Greece. He died in 272 BC, some say 268 BC. Bindusaar is known as "the Son of a Father, and the Father of a Son", because he was the son of a great father - Chandragupt, and a father of a great son - Ashok. His greatest contribution to Indian history is his son Ashok (sorrowless), who reigned from c 272 to 232 BC.

Ashok (reign, 272-232 BC) - 37 years
Ashok was the son of Bindusaar and his wife Dharmaa (a Braahman woman who was not of royal blood). Ashok had several elder brothers from Bindusaar's other wives but had only one real younger brother - Vittashok. Ashok was much lovd by his grandfather Chandragupt Maurya. When Chandragupt became Bauddh, he threw his sword away but Ashok found it and kept it in spite of Chandragupt's warning. According to a legend he had killed a lion with just a wooden rod. He was a fierce warrior that is why he was sent to Ujjayinee to suppress the riots there. His victories everywhere worried his eldest brother Suseem to become the king, so he set him to Takshshilaa. There he was welcomed and Suseem got frightened more. He managed to send him this time to exile. Ashok went to Kaling (Udeesaa) and lived there incognito. There he met a fisher girl Kaurvakee and fell in love with her. Inscriptions show that she became his 2nd or 3rd wife.

He was again sent to Ujjayinee to subside the riots. He got seriously wounded and treated by Buddhist monks. He married there to Devee - daughter of a merchant from Vidishaa and his private nurse. Bindusaar did not accept this marriage so he sent him back to Ujjayinee as its Governor. In a couple of years when Ashok was expecting his first child, Suseem tried to kill his unborn child but his people killed his mother by mistake. Now he got thirsty of power and victories over other kingdoms, so got famous as Chand Ashok (terrible Ashok). After this he started expanding his kingdom.

Kaling War (265 Or 263 BC)
Ashok had already killed his all rivals before ascending the throne, including his half brothers, and started a reign of terror before the conversion 8 years later. But one of his half brothers took refuge in Kaling that gave the rise of the reason for Kaling war. The whole Kaling was destroyed in this war. Ashok's edicts state that 100,000 people were killed from Kaling and 10,000s people were killed from Ashok's army. Thousands of people were deported. It was one of he fiercest war in India's history (Mahaabhaarat war took 3,936,420 heads toll).

Ashok's Rule
We have a clearer image of the policies and personality of Ashok than of any other king of ancient India. Thanks to the carvings he carved on stone and polished sandstone pillars that he erected Persian-style throughout his empire like mighty ribs supporting the sky. James Prinseo, a British epigraphist who worked in the British mint in Calcuttaa, first deciphered Braahmee script of Ashok's writings in 1837. Some 5,000 words were carved by Ashok's orders on at least 18 rocks and 30 pillars (though only 10 pillars remain standing in good condition). Most of the inscription were in Braahmee language which has been identified as the antecedent of the Devanaagaree script of Sanskrit and modern Hindi- phonetically the world's most scientific script at that early date. A few of the edicts found in northwest India were carved in a different script, Karoshthee, which has, in fact, been identified as a variant of Aramaic, written right to left, obviously transmitted to India through Persia, where it was then in wide use.

For the first eight years he ruled like most traditional monarch, consolidating expanding his power; then following the principle of "Arthshaastra" - "any power superior in might to another should launch into war", Ashok invaded Kaling to his south (modern Udeesaa) - the bloodiest war of his era. Repulsed with this war, he rejected violence, and got eventually converted to Buddhism in the 10th year of his reign.

"Ashok fought fierce Kaling war, in 260 BC, in which a 100,000 people died. He got very sad seeing this great killing, he converted to Buddhism and became its greatest proponent. He sent missionaries to Macedonia and Egypt in the west, to Shree Lankaa in the south, and the far eastern borders of Asia in the east. He is said to have erected 84,000 columns with inscriptions of moral laws on them. According to Al-Baroonee at one time, people of Khoraashaan, Eeraan, Eeraaq, Mosal, and Syria were Buddhist."
(Aangiras, p 55-56)

Ashok pillars have been found in Saarnaath, Ilaahaabaad, Kaushaambee, Meerut, Sankisaa, Kalasee, Siddhaarth Nagar and Mirzaapur - all of which are located in UP. There are some Stoops and Vihaars also - (1) Dharmrajikaa Stoop (3rd century BC) in Saarnaath;

Before the end of Ashok's rule, Maurya kings claimed revenue from Kashmeer to Maisoor, from Banglaa Desh to the heart of Afagaanistaan. Only three Draavidian kingdoms - Keral, Chol, and Paandya, remained independent, as did Ceylon. Maurya kings maintained their diplomatic relations with Antiochus II of Syria; Ptolemy II of Egypt; Antogonus Gonatas of Macedonia; and Alexander of Epirus. Ashok was the first Chakravartee king of India.

He abandoned royal hunt in favor of pilgrimage and went to distant places. To facilitate communication throughout the empire, he planted shade trees, dug wells, erected resting houses on major highways built in his reign.

Grand Trunk Road - He gave the paving stones, watchtowers, and some of his pillars beside this road - Grand Trunk Road (1,200 mile long, from Peshaavar on the Paakistaan-Afgaanistaan border to Calcuttaa on the Bay of Bangaal. Shershaah Sooree carried out major maintenance work and built Saraaya (motels) along the road. The Mugals added wells; the British added asphalt and the present name GT Road Grand Truk Road). Now it is India's "National Highway 1"
(Aangiras, p 55-56)

Because of adopting A-Hinsaa, according to Bauddh Dharm, most people became vegetarians. He sent his emissaries to Ceylon, Burma etc regions to spread Buddhism and Indian civilization through Buddhism.

Between 250 and 240 BC, Ashok hosted the 3rd Great Council of Buddhism at Paataliputra. Ashok's pillars were decorated with animal sculpture, the most famous of which are the four lions of Saarnaath, three of whom have become the symbol of modern India. The lions supported an enormous stone "wheel of the law (Dharm Chakra) commemorating Buddha's first sermon at Saarnaath. they rose above an abacus, around which were carved four smaller wheels and four animals - an elephant, a horse, a lion and a bull. The horse and bull are extraordinarily vital and beautifully realistic works of art. so perfectly do they mirror the ingeniously executed figures incised 2000 years before on the seals of Mohanjo-daro.

Tradition credits Ashok with having built no fewer than 84,000 Stoop among which the ashes of the Buddha were supposedly divided from the eight original stoop erected earlier. These hemispherical mounds of solid stone, the largest and most famous of which was erected at Saanchee in central India. Stoop were carved out of solid rocks where Buddhist monks lived. They were called Vihaar and so many thousands of them were dug in this era that Magadh came to be known as the "land of Vihaar" or what is called now Bihaar.

He died in 232 BC. Following his death, Maurya rule lost much of its vitality, the coins were soon debased, many sons contested the throne, and it is not sure to whom it went. His son Kunaal's son Samprati, and Dasharath are highest on the list. This great dynasty continued to rule over Magadh until 184 BC, when Brihadrath, the last Maurya king, was killed by his Braahman General Pushyamitra Shung, who started a new line of kings, that ruled until 72 BC. India's first great unification lasted 140 years.

Dasharath Maurya (232-224 BC) - 9 years
Ashok had several wives. His first wife was a Jain and others were Bauddh. The Jain wife had the son named Kunaal and a Bauddh wife had Dasharath. Both lived with their Dhaaya in Ujjain. When they grew up, they came to Ashok for the throne, Ashok could not appoint Kunaal king since he was blind, but he found his another son Dasharath worthy so he appointed him as the king and he ruled for 9 years.

Samprati Maurya (224-215 BC) - 9 years
After Dasharath, Kunaal's son Samprati was made king. He ruled almost the entire continent. This Chakravartee king has been poorly highlighted in the history. He was known as "Jain Ashok" for his Jain beliefs. He spread Jain Dharm. It is said that he decided to clean his mouth in the morning only after hearing the news of a new temple having been built; thus he built thousands of temples in India. Within 3 1/2 years he built 125,000 new Jain Temples in India, many of which are still worshipped. He had no children which he thought "it was because of his Karm". After ruling over for 9 years he died in 179 BC.

Shaalishuk Maurya (215-202 BC) - 13 years

Devavarmaa Maurya (202-195 BC) - 8 years

Shatadhanvaa Maurya (195-187 BC) - 8 years

Brahadrath Maurya (187-185 BC) - 12 years
He was the last ruler of Maurya Dynasty. He was killed in 185 BC by a Mauryan army officer when he was taking a Guard of Honor and the power went to a Braahman General Pushyamitra Shung who established the Shung Dynasty

Shung Dynasty - 185-73 BC (112 years)
See also   Pushyamitra

The Shung Dynasty was established in 185 BC, after 50 years of Ashok's death, by a Mauryan Army General Pushyamitra Shung and had its capital in Paataliputra.

Pushyamitra Shung (185-151 BC) 36 years
Agnimitra (151-141 BC) 10 years     see also    Kaalidaas
Vasujyeshth (141--- BC)
Bhagabhadra (110--- BC)
Devabhooti (83-73 BC)

Pushyamitra (185-151 BC) 36 years
He established the Shung Dynasty. He was a only Commander-in-Chief (Senaapati) in Mauryan Army. He killed Brihadrath and ruled over the Kingdom. He did Ashwamedh Yagya, but he could not complete it. His grandson Vasujyeshth completed it. He was against Bauddh.

Agnimitra (151-141 BC) 10 years
He was the 2nd king of the Shung Dynasty and the son of Pushyamitra. He was the Viceroy of Vidishaa in his father's rule. Vaayu Puraan and Brahmaand Puraan assign 18 years of his rule. He was succeeded by his son Vasujyeshth - according to Matsya Puraan; or Sujyeshth - according to Vaayu, Brahmaand, Vishnu and Bhaagvat Puraan. According to "Maalvikaagnimitra" (by  Kaalidaas) he had two wives - Dharinee (the mother of the 4th Shung ruler Vasumitra, and Iraavatee. Later he married the Vidarbh Princess Maalvikaa, on whose name Kaalidaas has written his Maalvikaagnimitra..

Vasujyeshth (141--- BC)
He was the 3rd king of the Shung Dynasty. He completed his grandfather Pushyamitra's Ashwamedh Yagya after defeating Indo-Greek forces.

The 4th King of the Shung Dynasty

Bhagabhadra (c 110 BC)
The 5th ruler of the Shung Dynasty. He is known as "Kaasheeputra Bhagadatt" also. His name is found in Puraan also as "Bhadrak" - the 5th ruler of Shung Dynasty.

Devabhooti (83-73 BC)
The 6th and the last King of the Shung Dynasty. He was assassinated by his Minister Vasudeb Kanv. After that came Kanv Dynasty.

Kanishk  (c 10-30 BC)
A Kushaan king who was a great supporter of Buddhism. The exact extent of the kingdom of this emperor is not known, but it is possible that it included what later became Afgaanistaan, Eeraan, Turkey, Uzbekistaan, Greece and even territories going up to Rome (Italy) in the west. His capital was Purushpur (present Peshaavar). Among the famous philosophers and theologians who graced his court were Ashwaghosh and Naagaarjun.
(Aangiras, p 94)

2,800 years of Kali Yug had passed by the end of BC

Maybe Bhavishya Puraan 3/30 events took place at this time. Because it shows that Buddhism had settled very well by then. The second important thing it mentions that by then almost 2,700 years of Kali Yug had passed. The third important thing it mentions that Buddha was not an Avataar of Vishnu as Bhaagvat Puraan, or Vishnu Puraan says, but was Maya named Asur who was sent by king Bali.

Kanv Dynasty - 72-30 BC (42 years)
Magadh, including Bangaal, Bhopaal, and Maalavaa, remained under Shung rule till 72 BC. The last of the Shung king was deposed from Magadh by his servant Vaasudev Kanv - founder of the Kanv dynasty which lasted for about half a century.

Vaasudev (c 72 - c 66 BC) 9 years
Bhoomimitra (c 66 - c 52 BC) 14 years
Naaraayan (c 52 - c 40 BC) 12 years
Susharmaa (c 40 - c 30 BC) 10 years

Aandhra or Saatvaahan Dynasty - 230 BC-220 AD (450 years)
Matsya Puraan, Vaayu Puraan, Brahmaand Puraan, Bhaagvat Puraan, 12/1 and Vishnu Puraan, all Puraan state that the first of the Aandhra kings rose to the power in the 1st century BC by slaying Susharmaa and list 30 Aandhra rulers. This is thought to be done by Pulomaavee in 30 BC who ruled in Paataliputra and ruled for 26 years till 6 BC. Many of them are known only by their coins.

The first mention of this dynasty in Aitareya Braahman, dating back to 8th century BC, mentioning them to be Vishwaamitra's lineage. In the Puraan and on their coins they are referred to as "Saatvaahan", "Saatkarnee", "Aandhra", and "Aandhra Bhritya". Greek traveler Megasthnese has also mentioned about their kingdom as one of the very powerful kingdoms. They seem to have been under the kingship of Ashok. They declared independence after Ashok, when Maurya Empire started getting weaker.

In 27 BC, Magadh was conquered by Aandhra Dynasty (or Saatavaahan Dynasty) of south India. Apparently originated between Godaavaree and Krishnaa Rivers, Telagoo speaking Dravid, Aandhra Dynasty spread across much of south and central India from the 2nd century BC till the 2nd century AD. Conquering the Northwest region of Mahaaraashtra, the Aandhra made their capital at Paithan on the Godaavaree, about a 100 miles northeast of modern Poonaa (ancient Pune), the center of Maraathaa power. Saatavaahan means seven mounts which probably referred to 7-horse chariot of Vishnu, whose each of the 7 mounts represents one day of the week - it thus signifies Aaryanization of the Dravid Aandhra people.

They were controlling numerous villages, at least 30 walled towns plus an army of 100,000 infantry, 2,000 cavalry, and 1,000 elephants. This race ruled India's midland, north of Vindhya mountains to take Maalavaa forcefully from Kanv, in the 1st century BC, and south to Tungbhadraa and Krishnaa Rivers which divided them from Tamilnaadu, for four and half centuries (450 years) after 230 BC [up to 220 AD]

Simuk or Shishuk (230-207 BC) 23 years - 1st ruler or the founder
Kaanhaa or Krishn (207-189 BC) 28 years
Saatkarnee I (180-124 BC) 56 years - 6th ruler. According to Puraan he ruled for 56 years.
Gautameeputra Saatkarnee or Shaalivaahan (78 BC-106 AD) 28 years
Vashishthputra Shree Pulomaavee or Pulomaa (106-130 AD) 24 years
Vashishthputra Saatkarnee (130-160 AD) 30 years

Saatvaahan (see also  Vaatsyayan) fought with Shak, both in Maalavaa and in Gujaraat but couldn't get through them. To the east they came to fight with Khaarvelaa. Khaarvelaa are known for Elephantaa Caves (Haathee Gumphaa). Inscription near Bhuvaneshwar in Udeesaa (Orissa) prior to the dawn of Christian era, although its dates are unknown, it was carved sometime between 200 and 25 BC. It refers to three successful invasions of North India by the great Kaling monarch. One of which brought back the wealth back to Bhuvaneshwar and was used to build the first temple.

There were three Tamil kingdoms in south of the Aandhra and Kaling - the Cheraa (Keral) in the West, Pandyaa in the center and Chole on the East coast. Evidence show that Pandyaa who started in the times of Megasthnese and Arthshaastra, reached up to Paataliputra by the 4th century BC. Their capital was Maduraa. The early Tamil kingdoms appear to have been matriarchal system and this system was in some other kingdoms also till the 19th century. The Dravidian kinship system was based on cross-cousin marriage, strikingly different from the Indo-Aaryan system of the north, where exogamy led to the marriage of "strangers" rather than relatives.

Their court life was enhanced by troops of actors who sang, danced and played musical instruments, much the way bands of "Bhajan" musician still continue to entertain throughout South India. Women also participated in these dramatic road companies, which later developed as the system of classical Bharat Naatyam dance form and evolution of temple dancer prostitutes (Devadaasee). The epics of Tasmilnaad tell the adventure of two courtesan dancers - Madaavee, the "femme fatal" of the first epic "Silappaadhikaaram" (The Jeweled Anklet); and her daughter Manimegalaee whose name is also the title of the second poem. After a series of passionate loves, both women adopt Buddhism.

Gautameeputra Saatkarnee or Shaalivaahan (78-106 AD) 28 years
(see also  Vaatsyayan). He may have defeated the Shak King Vikramaaditya in 78 AD and started the calendar Shaalivaahan Era or Shak Era.

Vashishthputra Saatkarnee (106-130 AD) 24 years
His son Vashishthputra Pulumaayee succeeded Shaalivaahan.

Gautameeputra's brother Vashishthputra Saatkarnee married the daughter of Rudradaman I. But around 150 AD Rudradaman I waged the war against Saatvaahans who were defeated two times in this process. The last king of this Dynasty was Yagya Saatkarnee (170-199 AD). Around the middle of the century this Dynasty came to an end.

Pallav Dynasty and Hindu Dharm - 4th Century AD
In early 4th century, a new dynasty, the "Pallav (robbers) appeared at Kaancheepuram (Kaanjeevaram). They were firmly settled there by 325 AD, but the mystery of their origin remains one of the most fascinating problems of South Indian history. The history of this dynasty can be traced between 325 AD and at least 800 AD - one of the longest dynasty lines in all of Indian history.

Braahmanism starting emerging as a faith whose central form of worship shifted from Fire sacrifices to personal devotion - either Shiv or Vishnu. Hindu legal codes, like the "Maanav Dhramshaastra" (Law Code of Manu) were compiled at this time, as were the many tales "Ancient Tales" (Puraan), myths and fables, about Hindu gods, especially Vishnu, Shiv, and Brahmaa. Vishnu came to be exalted whose Avataar always appear on Earth when demon threaten to destroy cosmic Dharm.

There have been 9 Avataar to date - Matsya (fish), Koorm (tortoise), Varaah (boar), Nrasinh (man-lion), Vaaman (dwarf), Parashuraam, Raam, Krishn and Buddha. A 10th Avataar, a savior on horseback, called Kalki, is scheduled to come in the future. Krishn, the most popular incarnation, taught the message of Upanishadik philosophy and path to salvation in His dialog with Arjun in Bhagavad Geetaa. He taught Arjun who was reluctant to fight with his own relations, that "he (Aatmaa) slays not, is not slain, because Aatmaa is not born, nor does he ever die." Geetaa's central message is "discipline of action" (Karm Yog). No longer was any Vaidik sacrifice required to attain Moksh, nor was necessary to withdraw from the world. So long he acted without concern for the fruits of his action, no Karm will attach itself to anything he did, and he will safely escape from the wheel of rebirth. Indifference to success or failure was the key to this new method.

Another major Hindu path to salvation was of Bhakti (devotion) which later became more popular than Karm Yog. Hindoo salvation was made possible for everybody. Although the Dharm of all four Varn remained different from one another, but all of them were Hindu.

The obscure Vaidik rain god Rudra emerged now as Shiv, no less than Vishnu. His home was mythical mountain Kailaash, and River Gangaa came to Prithvi through the matted locks of his hair. Shiv's consort was another mother goddess - Satee, Paarvatee, Kaalee, or Durgaa. All Hindu gods have their female counterparts who are their Power. Vishnu's consort Lakshmee was the goddess of good fortune; while Brahmaa's consort Saraswatee was the goddess of arts.

For a good Hindu, however, caste laws and duties were more important than deities - Varn and Aashram Dharm. Besides the four Varn, there were four Aashram in one's life - 
1. Brahmcharya - Following celibacy while studying; 
2. Grihasth - Family life, marrying, having children, enjoying life. The pleasures of and virtues of Kaam (love), including sexual enjoyment (Rati) were now ritually prescribed and the classic textbook of love, Vaatsyaayan's "Kaam Sutra" was probably written around 2nd century AD. A good householder was obliged to keep his wife and family happy.
3. Vaanprasth - After seeing grandson's face, one should detach himself from the world and,
4. Sanyaas - Go to forest and wait for his Time to come to meet God.

The third and fourth Aashram seem to have been inspired by Buddhism and Jainism monastic ideals. Few men ever attain the wisdom or courage to embark upon the fourth Aashram - homeless, bondless, isolated wandering. In this final stage, even the willing wife must also be left behind.

Advent of Christianity in India
Christianity may have entered India at this time. A small group of Syrian Christians in Keral persist in claiming that their sect was founded by St Thomas who may have sailed to Maalaabaar coast in the 1st century, and who was supposedly martyred at Mylaapur, a suburb of modern Madraas (or Chennai) in 68 AD. Jainism was also subdivide into two sects - Digambar (sky-clad who lived naked and settled in Maisoor), and Shwetaambar (white robed who established their base at Gujaraat and Kaathiyaavaad).

Architecture and Buddha's Statues
Virtually all of the great artistic and architectural remains from this period are Buddhist. The Buddha image which first evolved in the north in Kushaan rule is one of the most striking legacies. It was in Mathuraa that the image developed in its distinctly Indian style, and throughout Gaandhaar in its Hellenistic Roman style. The Yaugik calm and strength of the Mathuraa Buddha's form eventually incorporated 32 Lakshan (signs). The prolifically produced Gaandhaar Buddha on the other hand, more resembled Roman emperors than Yogee. But a third style of Buddha figure, produced further east in Udeesaa were like Mathuraa form, totally Indian, with many poses (Mudraa), including his most famous blessing gesture.

Architecturally, the most important work done was in rock-hewn caves, mostly in south, under Aandhra rule. Some patrons carved probably a wealthy merchant and his wife outside the entrance. Deep within cool stone of the cave, monks could comfortably worship the Buddha by walking around the Stoop excavated from the far end of the hall. Many Vihaar (multi-cell living quarters) were also carved at this time at many places but the most extensive and impressive centers at Ajantaa and Elloraa.

The 27 caves at Ajantaa which stretch across an entire crescent-shaped mountainside were discovered by British travelers in the late 19th century, after having buried under a landslide for centuries. The most beautiful paintings of Ajantaa appear to have been produced at least 300 years after the fall of Aandhra Dynasty, probably during the 6th and 7th centuries. The 34 caves of Elloraa also date from about the 5th through 8th centuries.

Indian interest in herbal medication and the use of of the magic potions dates much back further, to the Atharv Ved (c 1000 BC), where Aayur Vaidik, prescriptions are first found. It was in the 2nd century AD, that Charak compiled the oldest surviving Indian medical textbook "Charak Sanhitaa", which resembles the work of Galen and Hippocrates.

Indian interest in astrology dates back at least Vaidik times, when proper building of the sacrificial altar required astronomical information. Prior to the contact with Hellenistic world, the Indian used a lunar calendar, dividing each month into bright and dark fortnights, each with 15 Tithi (lunar days). A leap month (see Adhik Maas) was added every after 30 months to catch up to the solar year. Western astronomy seems to have introduced the solar calendar - the 7-day week, and the hour to India, together with our Zodiac. Indian astrology had earlier divided the heavens primarily into 27 Nakshatra (lunar mansions).

In some fields, however, notably mathematics and grammar, Indians were far more ahead than western thinkers. Paanini's brilliant physiological morphological analysis of the Sanskrit language in his "Ashtaadhyaaya" (Eight Chapters) was probably completed before the close of the 4th century BC; and Patanjali's "Mahaabhaashya" (Great Commentary) on that masterwork was written in the 2nd century BC - thus making the Sanskrit the first language to be scientifically analyzed.



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Created by Sushma Gupta on 3/15/06
Updated on 11/10/12