MAURYA empire

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There are two types of sources: Literary & Archaeological Sources:

There are two types of sources: Literary & Archaeological Sources The literary sources are: Arthashastra Indica The archaeological sources are: Rock Edicts Pillars Sanchi Stupa


ARTHASHASTRA The Mauryan Period was written by Kautilya , also known as Vishnugupta and Chanakya . He was the advisor and Prime Minister of Chandragupta. Arthashastra provides detail of the art of administration, society and economy in the age of the Mauryas. It contains 6000 shlokas and is divided into 15 sections and 180 subjects. The Vayu Purana and Matsya Purana give lists of rulers of different dynasties, Mauryas being one of them. Vishakadatta’s Mudrarakshasa is considered to be the best historical drama in the whole of Sanskrit literature .


INDICA Among the literary sources , mention may be made of Indica , written by Megasthenes , the Greek ambassador at the court of Chandragupta Maurya. He had been sent to the court by Seleucus , the Greek ruler. He remained in Pataliputra, the capital of the Mauryan Empire for about five years . Indica contains his impressions of what he heard and saw during his stay in India. Megasthenes’ original Indica has been lost , but its fragments still survive in the writings of later Greek authors like Strabo , Arrian , Diodorous , Plutarch and Justin


ROCK EDICTS An edict is a decree issued by a Soveriegn . They are the oldest , the best preserved and the precisely dated records of India . These edicts are inscribed on rocks and pillars throughout the country and include 14 Major Rock Edicts , 7 pillar edicts and a number of minor rock edicts . The inscriptions on these edicts provide a useful insight into the life and ideas of Ashoka in particular and about the history of the Mauryas in general.


ROCK EDICT XIII The XIIIth Major Rock Edict says “ The Beloved of the Gods , the King considers victory by Dhamma to be the foremost victory.” According to the edict , during the Kalinga war 150 thousand people were taken as prisoners , 100,000 were slain and many more were injured and distressed . This touched Ashoka’s heart deeply. The war drum ( bherighosha ) was silenced forever, and henceforth were heard only the echoes of ‘ Dhammaghosha ’ the call to non- violence and universal peace.


OTHER ROCK EDICTS Rock Edicts XII prescribes the following rules to be followed: Truthfulness Non-violence or abstention from killing of living beings Obedience to parents and elders Respect towards teachers Rock Edict II mentions that Ashoka’s immediate neighbouring states were those of Cholas and Pandyas


PILLARS The pillars are the best specimens of Mauryan architecture. Each pillar is made of buff coloured sandstone. At the top of each pillar is the Capital which is also monolithic. The Lauria Nandangarh Pillar is one of the finest specimens of Ashokan Pillars. The art critics have nothing but admiration for these pillars. Another famous pillar is the Sarnath Pillar. This pillar is surmounted by the capital which contains sculptures of four lions sitting back to back facing the four directions. This Lion capital is our national emblem and is seen on our currency notes.


SANCHI STUPA A stupa is a semi-spherical solid dome-like structure made of unburnt bricks and stones. The great stupa at Sanchi near Vidisha in Madhya Pradesh is believed to have been originally built in the 3 rd century B.C by Ashoka to enshrine the relics of Buddha. Later it was enlarged during the Sunga period. The original stupa was enclosed by a wooden railing, which was later replaced by a massive stone railing. Four gateways were also added on all four sides of the stupa . The gateways are lavishly covered with magnificient sculptures which depict episodes from Buddha’s life and from Jataka tales. Buddha was represented in symbolic form like that of a wheel or a lotus under a peepal tree. It’s dimensions are 36.58m in diameter and 16.46m in height .The pillars of the railings are 2.784m in height. It contains relics of Buddha such as hair, teeth or bones .




CHANDRAGUPTA MAURYA Chandragupta was born in 340 B.C. in the modern state of Bihar . He died in 298 B. C. in Shravanbelgola in Karnataka. His mother was Mura , who belonged to the Moriya Clan of eastern India. When he was born Bihar, was being ruled by the Nanda Dynasty. He was married to Durdhara and had a son named Bindusara. He received many titles like Samrat and Chakravartin. In Greek and Latin accounts he is known as Sandrokottos and Androkottus. The buddhist texts call him to be a member of the Kshatriya Clan known as Moriya ( Maurya) . The Nandas produced 9 kings, who ruled for over a century . The last of them was Dhanananda , whose treasury was full and army mighty , but who was not at all popular. He was disliked by all his subjects.

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When Chandragupta was dismissed by the Nandas, he met Kautilya at Taxila. Kautilya was the son of a Brahmin who was also wronged by the Nandas. They therefore joined hands to defeat the Nandas. But another source says that Chanakya had gone to Pataliputra , where he was humiliated by the Nanda king. On his way back to Taxila , he met young Chandragupta. Seeing the greatness of the boy, Chanakya took him to his native town of Taxila. There he gave him a thorough education in the arts of war and of government. When Chandragupta founded the empire he was about 20 years. Very little is known about the childhood of Chandragupta and Chanakya. What is known is gathered from later classical Sanskrit literature, as well as classical Greek and Latin sources.


HIS CONQUESTS The Greek ruler , Alexander had conquered many states in the North Western part of India. The unstable state affairs in Punjab provided Chandragupta with an opportunity to conquer one kingdom after another . He soon made himself the master of West Punjab and Sindh in 322 B.C. ; though he had to face initial failures. Chanakya had trained and guided Chandragupta and together they planned the destruction of Dhana Nanda. Chandragupta and 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. He was eventually able to defeat Bhadrasala and Dhana Nanda in a series of battles, culminating in the siege of the capital city Pataliputra and the conquest of the Nanda Empire around 321 BCE.


CONQUESTS OF MACEDONIAN TERRITORIES After Alexander's death , Chandragupta turned his attention to Northwestern India (modern Pakistan), where he defeated the satrapies (described as "prefects" in classical Western sources) left in place by Alexander, and assassinated two of his governors, Nicanor and Philip. The satrapies he fought included Eudemus, ruler in western Punjab until his departure in 317 BCE; and Peithon, son of Agenor, ruler of the Greek colonies along the Indus until his departure for Babylon in 316 BCE.


INVASION OF SELEUCUS NICATOR Chandragupta expanded the territories of his empire. The territories west of the Indus were ruled by the Greek commander Seleucus . He wanted to recover Greek conquests in India . He crossed the Indus in 306 B.C. and hoped to march victoriously through the Punjab. The Mauryan armies rushed to the North –West and inflicted crushing defeat on the invader. Seleucus was forced to retire and had to purchase peace by ceding to Chandragupta the territories of Herat , Kandahar and Kabul. Chandragupta presented him with 500 war elephants. It is said that Chandragupta married Princess Helen , the daughter of Seleucus . The Greek king maintained friendly relations with the Mauryan Court and sent Megasthenes as his ambassador who lived in Pataliputra and wrote a book on India.


SOUTHERN CONQUESTS After annexing Seleucus' eastern Persian provinces, Chandragupta had a vast empire extending across the northern parts of Indian Sub-continent, from the Bay of Bengal to the Arabian Sea. Chandragupta then began expanding his empire further south beyond the barrier of the Vindhya Range and into the Deccan Plateau except the Tamil regions (Pandya, Chera, Chola and Satyaputra) and Kalinga (modern day Odisha). By the time his conquests were complete, Chandragupta had succeeded in unifying most of Southern Asia. Megasthenes later recorded the size of Chandragupta's army as 400,000 soldiers.


THE GREATNESS OF CHANDRAGUPTA MAURYA Chandragupta has been described as the first historical emperor of India. His empire extended up to Mysore in the south and Kabul in the North- West. It stretched from Saurashtra in the West up to Bengal in the East. According to the Jain tradition, Chandragupta renounced princely life and settled down at the place Shravanbelgola in Southern India. There is a hill nearby called Chandragiri , which seems to have been named after him.

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BINDUSARA Bindusara Maurya ( 320 BC – 272 BC) was emperor of the Maurya Empire from 298 BC – 272 BC. During his reign, the empire expanded southwards. He had two well-known sons, Susima and Ashoka, who were the viceroys of Taxila and Ujjain. The Greeks called him Amitrochates or Allitrochades - the Greek translation for the Sanskrit word 'Amitraghata' (Slayer of foes). He was also called 'Ajatashatru' (Man with no enemies) in Sanskrit. He also went by the title Deva-nampriya.

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Bindusara was the son of the first Mauryan Emperor Chandragupta Maurya and his Empress consort, Durdhara. According to the Rajavalikatha a Jain work, the original name of this emperor was Simhasena. Bindusara, just 22 year-old, inherited a large empire that consisted of what is now, Northern, Central and Eastern parts of India along with parts of Afghanistan and Baluchistan. Bindusara extended this empire to the southern part of India, as far as what is now known as Karnataka. He brought sixteen states under the Mauryan Empire and thus conquered almost all of the Indian peninsula (he is said to have conquered the 'land between the two seas' - the peninsular region between the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea). Bindusara didn't conquer the friendly Dravidian kingdoms of the Cholas, ruled by King Ilamcetcenni, the Pandyas, and Cheras. Apart from these southern states, Kalinga (the modern Odisha) was the only kingdom in India that didn't form the part of Bindusara's empire. It was later conquered by his son Ashoka, who served as the viceroy of Ujjaini during his father's reign.


BINDUSARA’S EMPIRE Bindusara extended his empire further as far as south Mysore. He conquered sixteen states and extended the empire from sea to sea. The empire included the whole of India except the region of Kalinga (modern Orissa) and the Tamil kingdoms of the south. Kalinga was conquered by Bindusara's son Ashoka. Early Tamil poets speak of Mauryan chariots thundering across the land, their white pennants brilliant in the sunshine. The Mauryas are spoken by the Sanga Era literature as "Vamba Moriyas". Bindusara campaigned in the Deccan, extending the Mauryan empire in the peninsula to as far as Mysore. He is said to have conquered 'the land between the two seas', presumably the Arabian sea and the Bay of Bengal.


ADMINISTRATION DURING BINDUSARA’S REIGN Bindusara maintained good relations with Seleucus Nicator and the emperors regularly exchanged ambassadors and presents. He also maintained the friendly relations with the Hellenic West established by his father. Ambassadors from Syria and Egypt lived at Bindusara's court. He preferred the Ajivika philosophy rather than Jainism. Apparently he was a man of wide interest and taste, since tradition had it that he asked Antiochus I to send him some sweet wine, dried figs and a sophist: “ But dried figs were so very much sought after by all men (for really, as Aristophanes says, There's really nothing nicer than dried figs ), that even Amitrochates, the king of the Indians, wrote to Antiochus, entreating him (it is Hegesander from Delphi who tells this story) to buy and send him some sweet wine, and some dried figs, and a sophist; and that Antiochus wrote to him in answer, The dry figs and the sweet wine we will send you; but it is not lawful for a sophist to be sold in Greece Athenaeus, "Deipnosophistae“.




ASHOKA Ashoka Maurya (304–232 BCE) commonly known as Ashoka and also as Ashoka the Great , was an Indian emperor of the Maurya Dynasty who ruled almost all of the Indian subcontinent from the year 269 B.C .to 232 B.C. One of India's greatest emperors, Ashoka reigned over most of present-day India after a number of military conquests. His empire stretched from the modern Iranian provinces of Khorasan, Sistan and Balochistan (unpartitioned), through the Hindu Kush mountains in Afghanistan, to present-day Bangladesh and the Indian state of Assam in the east, and as far south as northern Kerala and Andhra Pradesh . The empire had Taxila, Ujjain and Pataliputra as its capital. In about 260 BCE Ashoka waged a bitterly destructive war against the state of Kalinga (modern Odisha). He conquered Kalinga, which none of his ancestors (starting from Chandragupta Maurya) had done. His reign was headquartered in Magadha (present-day Bihar). He embraced Buddhism after witnessing the mass deaths of the Kalinga War~, which he himself had waged out of a desire for conquest.


EARLY LIFE Ashoka was born to the Mauryan emperor Bindusara and a relatively lower ranked wife of his, Dharmā [or Dhammā]. He was the grandson of Chandragupta Maurya, founder of Mauryan dynasty. The Avadana texts mention that his mother was queen Subhadrangī. According to Ashokavadana, she was the daughter of a Brahmin from the city of Champa.Empress Subhadrangī was a Brahmin of the Ajivika sect, and was found to be a suitable match for Emperor Bindusara. Though a palace intrigue kept her away from the emperor, this eventually ended, and she bore a son. It is from her exclamation "I am now without sorrow," that Ashoka got his name. The Divyāvadāna tells a similar story, but gives the name of the queen as Janapadakalyānī. Ashoka had several elder siblings, all of whom were his half-brothers from other wives of Bindusara. He had been given the royal military training knowledge which was greatly apparent as he was known as a fearsome hunter, and according to a legend, killed a lion with just a wooden rod. He was very adventurous and a trained fighter, who was known for his skills with the sword. Because of his reputation as a frightening warrior and a heartless general, he was sent to curb the riots in the Avanti province of the Mauryan empire.


EARLY LIFE OF ASHOKA AS AN EMPEROR Buddhist legends state that Ashoka was of a wicked nature and bad temper. He submitted his ministers to a test of loyalty and had 500 of them killed. He also kept a harem of around 500 women. When a few of these women insulted him for his "rough skin" after he fondly compared himself with the beauty of the Asoka tree (which according to the Ashokavadana, the women defiled by plucking off all of the flowers), he had the whole lot of them burnt to death. He also built Ashoka's Hell, an elaborate torture chamber , deemed the "Paradisal Hell" because of its beautiful exterior contrasted with the acts carried out inside by his appointed executioner Girikaa,which earned him the name of "çanḍa Ashoka" or "Chandaashoka," meaning "Ashoka the Fierce" in Sanskrit. Professor Charles Drekmeier cautions that the Buddhist legends intend to dramatise the change resulting from the Buddhist change, and therefore, exaggerate Ashoka's past wickedness and his piousness after the conversion. Ascending the throne, Ashoka expanded his empire over the next eight years, from the present-day boundaries and regions of Burma–Bangladesh and the state of Assam in India in the east to the territory of present-day Iran / Persia and Afghanistan in the west; from the Pamir Knots in the north almost to the peninsula of southern India (i.e. Tamil Nadu / Andhra Pradesh).


EXTENT OF ASHOKA’S EMPIRE Ashoka’ s empire extended up to Hindukush mountains in the North- West. It included the parts of the Indus Valley , Kashmir , the foothills of Nepal , Kabul , Herat , Kandahar and the entire Ganga delta. Tamralipti or modern Tamluk was an important port on the Bengal coast from where ships sailed for Burma ( Myanmar ) and Sri Lanka. In the south , the empire extended as far as Mysore . Through the North – West , the Mauryas maintained close relations with Khotan in Central Asia. Ashoka was on friendly terms with the states of southernmost India - the Cholas , Pandyas and Kerelaputras . He sent missions to neighbouring kingdoms in West Asia , Myanmar and Sri Lanka.


DEATH AND LEGACY Ashoka ruled for an estimated forty years. After his death, the Mauryan dynasty lasted just fifty more years. Ashoka had many wives and children, but many of their names are lost to time. His supreme consort and first wife was Vidisha Mahadevi Shakyakumari Asandhimitra. Mahindra and Sanghamitra were twins born by her, in the city of Ujjain. He had entrusted to them the job of making Buddhism, more popular across the known and the unknown world. Mahindra and Sanghamitra went into Sri Lanka and converted the King, the Queen and their people to Buddhism.In his old age, he seems to have come under the spell of his youngest wife Tishyaraksha .

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The reign of Ashoka might have disappeared into history as the ages passed by, had he not left behind records of his reign. These records are in the form of sculpted pillars and rocks inscribed with a variety of actions and teachings he wished to be published under his name. In the process, Ashoka left behind the first written language in India since the ancient civilisation of Harappa. The language used for inscription was Prakrit . In the year 185 BC, about fifty years after Ashoka's death, the last Maurya ruler, Brhadratha , was assassinated by the commander-in-chief of the Mauryan armed forces, Pusyamitra Sunga , while he was taking the Guard of Honor of his forces. Pusyamitra Sunga founded the Sunga dynasty (185 BC-78 BCE) and ruled just a fragmented part of the Mauryan Empire. Many of the northwestern territories of the Mauryan Empire (modern-day Afghanistan and Northern Pakistan) became the Indo-Greek Kingdom. In 1992, Ashoka was ranked No. 53 on list of the most influential figures in history. In 2001, a semi-fictionalized portrayal of Ashoka's life was produced as a motion picture under the title Ashoka . King Ashoka, the third monarch of the Indian Mauryan dynasty, has come to be regarded as one of the most exemplary rulers in world history.

K A L I N G A W A R:



THE KALINGA WAR .” Ashoka led for a few years the life of an ordinary monarch . It was in the year 261 B.C. that Ashoka decided to add Kalinga ( present day Orissa ) to his already vast domains. The opposition offered to this invasion was so stiff that the conquest involved immeasurable destruction. “Nearly 1,50,000 persons were carried into captivity, 1,00,000 were slain and that many times that number perished from famine and other calamities


ITS CONSEQUENCES The Kalinga War had a profound effect on the policies and personality of A shoka. The death and destruction caused by the Kalinga War brought about a great change in the personal and political life of Ashoka. He abandoned the policy of ‘ conquest by force’ ( Bherigosha ) and ambition of ‘victory in all directions’ ( Digvijay ) and embraced the policy of religion ( Dhammagosha ). Kalinga changed Ashoka’s personal life. He stopped hunting and eating meat and abandoned the life of luxury.

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Ashoka declared Buddhism as the state religion. The prisoners of war were used for agricultural work . It resulted in increase in production and brought about economic prosperity in his empire. On account of abandonment of war there was great decline in military preparedness and efficiency. The Kalinga War was the turning point of Ashoka’s career. All this misery awakened in his heart the feelings of profound sorrow and regret .


RELIGIOUS ADMINISTRATION State Religion : The bloodshed in the Kalinga War had made a deep impact on Ashoka . Though he did not renounce his political life , he bade farewell to luxury of palace life and became a staunch follower of Buddhism. Buddhism was declared the state religion and the following steps were taken for the spread of Buddhism: Appointment of Dhamma Mahamatras : They were state employees appointed by Ashoka for the propagation of Buddhism.

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ROYAL PATRONAGE : Ashoka extended royal patronage to Buddhism and began to take personal interest in the spread of Buddhism. Edicts and inscriptions : The rock edicts and inscriptions are instructions on religious matters specially concerning Buddhism. Rules for conduct of Bhikshus are also found on some rock edicts. The edicts are inscribed in Prakrit .

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foreign missions : Besides Sri Lanka , Ashoka also sent preachers of Buddhism to Myanmar, Nepal, Egypt and Syria. third Buddhist council : Ashoka convened the Third Buddhist Council at his capital Pataliputra. religious tolerance : Ashoka followed a policy of religious tolerance and showed due respect to other religion.


DHAMMA The horrors of a single war convinced Ashoka that “the chiefest conquest is the conquest of Right and not of Might.” The sources on Ashoka’s D hamma are his own Inscriptions (stone edicts) displayed at many prominent places. They consist of 14 major and several minor Rock Edicts found at 22 locations, 7 Pillar Edicts, the Cave Inscriptions and other inscriptions.


PRINCIPLES Respect to elders and love to children. Ahimsa or Non-violence. Good deeds or good Karma would give happiness to man in the next birth. He taught people to respect all religions. He disapproved empty rituals.


IMPACT Religious Unity: People belonging to different religions followed their emperor’s policy of religious tolerance. Moral Values: People under the influence of Dhamma started living a moral life. End of crimes: The policy of Ahimsa did have a great moral impact on people. Thefts, crimes and other such activities almost came to an end. Public Welfare: With the policy of conquest and wars having come to an end, Ashoka’s Dhamma helped officials to undertake public welfare and public work schemes.

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PAN-INDIAN CHARACTER OF MAURYAN ADMINISTRATION The Mauryan empire beginning with Chandragupta Maurya was not only very vast, but it was an empire with an all-India character. More so the Mauryan empire rose to power after defeating the foreign invaders whom Chandragupta Maurya drove out of the country. The chief advantages of the Pan-Indian character of his empire were the following:

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It marked the end of small states. It helped in establishing trade links with foreign countries. It made India strong and helped the Mauryan kings face foreign aggressions successfully. After Ashoka’s victory over Kalinga, the era of conquests and wars was over. It helped the Mauryan Kings to pay more attention to social and economic life of the people. Hence, there was an all-round economic prosperity


ADMINISTRATION Chandragupta Maurya laid the foundations of an elaborate system of administration. His chief administrator Chanakya advised him in matters of administration. Chandragupta's successor Bindusara also followed the same system but his successor Ashoka made some minor changes necessitated by the change of heart after the Kalinga War. THE ADMINISTRATION OF THE COMMON PEOPLE WAS DONE THROUGH: Central Government Provincial Government


CENTRAL GOVERNMENT KING : The king was the supreme HEAD of the State and had military , judiciary and executive powers. He also had the power to enact laws. According to Megasthenes the king was a very hardworking official, who “ does not sleep in day – time , but remains in the court for the whole day” for the purpose of transacting the public business. Chanakya divided the king’s day into 8 parts. It was the King’s duty to give close attention to people’s welfare, social order and military action.

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COUNCIL OF MINISTERS At the central level, the king had a COUNCIL OF MINISTERS called Mantriparishad to advice him. They were small in number but very influential . It was headed by the Prime Minister . It consisted of : PUJARI : also called the chief Purohit SENAPATI : advised the king on matters related to war and peace. SANNIDHATA : the head treasurer SAMAHARTA : the taxation expert OTHER IMPORTANT OFFICERS WERE ACCOUNTANT GENERAL , ONE INCHARGE OF AGRICULTURE , SUPERITENDANT OF MINES , SUPERITENDANT OF PORTS , CONTROLLER OF COMMERCE & SUPERITENDANT OF WEIGHTS AND MEASURES


PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT Next to the emperor ranked the governors incharge of provinces of the empire . The Ashokan inscriptions mention four such governors posted at : TAXILA ( NORTH - WESTERN PROVINCE- GANDHARA ) UJJAIN ( EASTERN PROVINCE - AVANTI ) TOSALI (KALINGA) SUVARNAGIRI ( SOUTHERN PROVINCE ) The capital province of Magadha was seen by the King himself . The head of the province was called KUMAR Or ARYAPUTRA . Only the princes were appointed to this position. During Ashoka’s period the KUMAR was assisted by the MAHAMATRAS.


DISTRICT ADMINISTRATION AND OTHER OFFICIALS Provinces were sub – divided into districts also known as JANAPADAS for purposes of administration. Ashokan inscriptions refer to three classes of high officials namely : RAJUKAS :- They were probably incharge of districts and corresponded to the DISTRICT MAGISTRATES of the present day. They managed the state property and kept law and order in the districts. YUKTA :- They were probably the DISTRICT TREASURY OFFICER who collected revenues and kept accounts. They were the treasurer. PRADESHIKA :- They collected taxes and sometimes looked after small provinces


CITY ADMINISTRATION The head of the city was called NAGARADHYAKSHA . The administration of Patliputra was looked after by a committee of 30 members . Arthashastra mentions the NAGRAKA who functioned as the CITY SUPERITENDANT . HIS DUTIES WERE: Provision of water to the city dwellers Maintenance of public roads and public buildings Inspection of city walls and city towers Taking precautions against fire


REVENUE SYSTEM The land revenue was the chief source of income of the Mauryan empire. It was 1/6 th to 1/4 th of the produce. For irrigated land it was slightly more. Sources of revenue include land revenue from mines and forests, revenue from manufactured goods of various kinds , tolls payable for using bridges and roads, fines and license – fees. There were 2 kinds of taxes: BHAGA and BALI. Bhaga was levied from agricultural products and cattle at the rate of one – sixth. Bali was a religious tax. Kautilya said that the taxes must be reasonable . “ THE RULER SHOULD ACT LIKE A BEE WHICH COLLECTS HONEY WITHOUT CAUSING DAMAGE TO THE FLOWER”. From the revenue collected , the state provided facilities like roads ,irrigation, hospitals and met other expenses of the state.


THE NETWORK OF SPIES The Mauryan State made extensive use of reporters and spies to keep the emperor well informed about his opponents and his activities. MEGASTHENES called the spies ‘overseers’ and KAUTILYA called them ‘ gurudhapurushas ’ that is , the secret agents. They reported to the king important matters concerning the army , the state and the conduct of his officers. There were spies against the spies and on important matters more than one agent was asked to collect information. The king was always kept informed of the working of the bureaucracy.


JUSTICE ADMINISTRATION Megasthenes attests to the efficient administration of the criminal law .Serious offences were visited with a death penalty . Lighter crimes were punished by cutting of the nose or shaving of the offenders hair , a penalty that made one feel ashamed. Evasion of taxes on goods sold or of municipal cess was regarded as a serious offence. Laws concerned with crimes were very severe and punishments were exceptionally harsh.


MILITARY ADMINISTRATION Chandragupta Maurya maintained a huge army consisting of Infantry , Cavalry , elephants and chariots . The Mauryan empire consisted of 6,00,000 infantry , 30,000 cavalry and 9000 war elephants . They maintained 8000 chariots. The chief weapons used were bows , arrows, shields, swords,etc The king was the commander-in-chief of the army. The whole army was under a military commission of 30 members. The Mauryas also had a well laid recruitment policy . The soldiers were paid salary in cash . The Mauryan king had built forts at strategic places for safety and security of the empire.




DECLINE OF THE MAURYAN EMPIRE The decline and fall of the Mauryas has been attributed to many factors. According to some scholars , Ashoka’s pacifist policies led to the decline of the empire. Some historians hold that Ashoka’s pro-Buddhist policies resulted in Brahmanical counter-revolution. They led to a revolt whose leader was Pushyamitra, the founder of the Sunga Dynasty. In fact, there were several reasons why the empire broke up.


REASONS WHY THE EMPIRE BROKE UP The empire was very vast. It needed a strong hand to hold it together, but Ashoka’s successors were weak. The enormous expenditure on the army and payment to the state officials created a financial crisis for the empire. It seems that the later kings failed to collect taxes from the people. Therefore, they could not bear the cost of maintaining a large army. The chiefs of Kalinga and the southern provinces revolted. They freed themselves from the control of the Mauryas.

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Ashoka’s successors could not pay attention to safeguarding the north-western frontier. The Greek kings began to invade the north-western India. It was under these circumstances that Brihadrath, the last Mauryan ruler, was killed by a Mauryan General Pushyamitra Sunga . It might have taken place in 187 B.C. That was the end of the Mauryan Empire.



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