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Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Emperor Ashoka's Wives & Children - An Introduction and his Family | HISTORY of Bindusara, Dharma, Ashoka - 1



Hi all,

I am making this post on heavy demand of many blog readers. This is the first historical post under the new section of this blog which is related to Emperor Ashoka Maurya. It talks about his family-wives, sons, grandsons, etc. (at the end), his brief introduction and sources for digging his history.

The life history of this monarch is replete with countless incidents, many of which are sourced from the Buddhist Legends / texts. Often, while reading about this monarch, we come across incidents which oscillate between fact and fiction, establishing the veracity of which has proved to be an herculean task even for the best of the historians. So, while discussing him, we will be debating the information obtained from his "edicts" which are considered as Pure FACTS, along with that obtained from the Buddhist / Jain legends, from various countries, viz. Thailand, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, India(that time called AryaVrata/Jambudwipa-present day Pakistan, Afghanistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan), Japan, China, etc. 

A very brief introduction about this monarch...

In the annals of kingship there is scarcely any record comparable to that of Ashoka, both as a man and as a ruler. To bring out the chief features of his greatness, historians have instituted comparisons between him and other distinguished monarchs in history - Both, Eastern and Western, ancient and modern,  Pagan(in simple terms it means nature worshiper) or Muslim, and Christian. 

In his efforts to establish a kingdom of righteousness after the highest ideals of a theocracy, he has been likened to David and Solomon of Israel in the days of its greatest glory ; in his philosophy and piety he recalls Aurelius ; he was a Charlemagne in the extent of his empire and, to some extent, in the methods of his administration, too, while his Edicts, "rugged, uncouth, involved, full of repetitions," read like the speeches of O. Cromwell in their mannerisms.

Lastly, he has been compared to The Khalifa Omar and to the noted sovereign Emperor Akbar of Hindustan, whom also he resembles in certain respects. As in the case of great characters like King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table, the good King Alfred, or King St. Louis of France, a mass of tradition has gathered round the name of Asoka. Myths and legends have freely and luxuriantly grown round it, and it would have been very difficult to recover his true history, were it not for the fact that he has himself left us a sort of autobiography in his messages to his people, written on rocky surfaces or exquisitely finished and polished pillars of stone. In these sermons on stone we find his true self revealed and expressed, his philosophy of life, his conception of an emperor's duties and responsibilities, and the extent to which he lived to realise the high ideals and principles he professed and preached. This kind of evidence, which is not only a contemporary but a personal record, too, is unique in Indian history, and, whether suggested by indigenous or foreign precedents, it is fortunate we have it for one of our greatest men in a series of thirty-five inscriptions published on rock or pillar, of which some are located at the extremities of his empire.

Sarnath Lion Capital | Emperor Ashoka - Adopted as Indian Emblem


His Past

Ashoka was the grandson of  Chandragupta Maurya, who established the Mauryan Empire in BharatVarsha, after defeating the last ruler of Nanda Dynasty - DhanaNanda, in 324 BC. 

Though, some historians dispute the fact, but it is generally believed, he married the daughter Durdhara of DhanaNanda, who was mother of Bindusara. She died at the time of child birth of Bindusara around 320 BC. There is a popular legend associated with birth of Bindusara which we discussed on the blog few months back, which is as follows.

"
Chandragupta Maurya's chief minister/advisor was Chanakya. Chanakya feared that there would be assassination attempts against Chandragupta by his enemies via poison. Chanakya wanted to make him immune from poison. He added small amounts of poison in Chandragupta's diet everyday so that he would get used to it. Though, Chandragupta was not aware of it. One day, while dining, he shared his food with Durdhara who was pregnant. As she was not immune to the effects of poisoning, she collapsed. Chanakya in order to save the child in womb cut open her belly and took out the baby. But, since one drop of poison had touched the forehead of baby it caused a mark on his forehead. Thus the prince was saved and named Bindusara. Bindu means Mark. Another variation of this tale says, the foetus was implanted into the womb of a goat, after death of his mother and hence his body developed marks similar to goat. Hence he got the name Bindusara. In Hindi, Bindu means mark, sara means addition. Hence the name means "sum of marks/spots".
"

After death of his wife, for almost next 16 years of his life, Chandragupta remained a widower and did not marry any princess. Around 304 BC he defeated the Macedonians, and married the daughter of Seleucus Nikator - Helen/Cornelia/Apama(her name is debated), in a political alliance. This date - 304 BC is also heavily debated upon. I have not come across any son of hers in my readings. Bindusara succeeded his father around 300-298 BC and ruled till 273 BC. Next Emperor was Ashoka.


Thus, taking in account, the legends and Edicts together, we find the following relations of Ashoka :


Father—Bindusara, son of Chandragupta Maurya. Bindusara had many wives. As per legends -> 16 wives.


Mother—Shubhadrangi, as named in the northern tradition; also called Dharma in the southern tradition. She was a Brahmin by birth.


Brothers—

(i) Sumana / Sushima, eldest, but stepbrother ; son of Charumati/Charumitra.

(ii) Tisya, youngest(real) brother ; 
He is called Vitashoka or Vigatashoka in the northern legends,
Or, Mahendra by the Chinese traveller Chuwang,
Or, Sudatta / Sugatra in some other Chinese texts ;

(iii) Vitashoka, according to Sri-Lankan texts.


Wives—

(1) Devi. Her full name was  " Vedi Sa Maha Devi Shakya Kumari " ;

(2) Karuwaki /Kaurwaki , called " Dwitiya Devi Tivala mata" that means " The Second Queen, mother of Tivara " in the Edict of Ashoka; She is the ONLY wife of Ashoka whose name is found in Ashokan edicts.

(3) Asandhimitra, designated as "agramahisi" meaning - Chief Queen ;

(4) Padmavati ;

(5) TisyaRakshita ; she was made Chief Queen 4 years before his death, by Ashoka.


Sons—

(1) Mahendra, son of Devi ;

(2) Tivara, son of Karuwaki / Kaurwaki;

(3) Kunala, son of Padmavati, 
also known by the name of "Dharma Vivar Dhana", as mentioned in Nepali(?) texts. Also, the same name is mentioned by Chinese traveler/Buddhist monk, Fa-hien, who visited India in 4th-5th Century AD. in the court of ChandraGupta-II , he went to Sri Lanka also. ;


Do not confuse this ChandraGupta II(of Gupta Dynasty) with Chandragupta Maurya(Ashoka's grandfather).

(4) Jalauka, mentioned in the Kashmiri texts. 

Note:
The Edicts of Ashoka tell us of four princes serving as Viceroys in four different, and remote, provinces, and designated as "Kumars" or "AryaPutras" , distinguishing them from the sons of lower status called "dalakas". Status of sons was determined from the status of their mothers.


Daughters—

(1) Sanghamitra, whose mother was Devi ;
(2) Charumati.


Sons-in-law—

(1) Agni Brahma, husband of Sanghamitra, nephew of Ashoka ;
(2) Deva Pala Kshatriya, husband of Charumati, and Prince of Nepal.


Grandsons—

(1) Dasaratha, who became king after Ashoka;
(2) Samprati, son of Kunala ;
(3) Sumana, son of his daughter Sanghamitra.


Minister—

RadhaGupta - He is mentioned as grandson(real or adopted?) of Chanakya. After death of Chanakya, for a brief time period, the post of main minister went to someone else, after which RadhaGupta rose to the fore. He is credited to have played an instrumental role in securing the throne for Ashoka.


How do historians arrive at the dates ?

On the basis of the texts to which we owe most of these names, it is also possible to ascertain some dates in the domestic life of Ashoka. For instance, we are told in the Sri Lankan texts that Ashoka's eldest son and daughter, Mahendra and Sanghamitra, were both ordained in the 6th year of his coronation when they were respectively 20 and 18 years old. Taking the date of Asoka's coronation to be 269/270 B.C., we get approx. 284 B.C. and 282 B.C. as the dates of the birth of Mahendra and his sister respectively. 

If we take the father's age at the birth of his eldest child as 20 years, then Asoka must have been born in 304 B.C., and was thus seen by his grandfather, Chandragupta Maurya, who died in 299 B.C. It is also stated that Ashoka's son-in-law, Agni Brahma, was ordained in the 4th year of his coronation, i.e., in 266 B.C., before which a son was born to him. Thus Sanghamitra must have been married in 268 B.C. at the latest, i.e., at the age of 14.

I tried to cover all possible issues in brief. Due to paucity of time, this is a brief post. 


Other History Posts under Ashoka Maurya section:


1. Chanakya's Novel Method to TEST Character of Ministers

2. Emperor Asoka Maurya Killed 99 Brothers to Become King - Fact or Myth ? Why/Did Asoka killed Sushima ?  And some other questions | A Debate

3. What is the BASIS of GREATness ? | From Akbar to Ashoka to Alexander & Maharana Pratap

4. The HISTORY of Samrat Bindusara, Dharma and Ashoka

 

Article Category : Ashoka Maurya.


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54 comments:

  1. Thank u Abhay. You have cleared lots of questions I had in my mind. I am looking forward to know more about Ashoka. I am very impressed with Chandragupta Maurya. In that Era when people often perform several marriages, he remained a widower for 16 yrs.

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  2. Abhay call it history shows blog (authentic real history from different sources) very interesting article more of folkfore info available on Ashoka lot of info from different sources but one thing again during his rule majority of India under one rule. You are a gem to put all information at one place after doing lot of research.

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  3. Despite the modern wrong thinking in olden days though polygamy was prevalent the norm of the day some rulers were very strict

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  4. his first wife was devi i think ...

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  5. The introduction is snappy and concise - easy to read and remember. :)


    Ashoka is perhaps one of the finest examples of philosopher-king. It's pretty difficult to find another one like him in Indian history.


    Of all his children, Mahendra and Sanghamitra are the most well-known. I didn't know Sanghamitra was married. :)


    Looking fwd to learning more about this non-violent lion - a true chakravarty among great kings - here.

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  6. Ashoka's 1st Rock Edict at the Kalinga Battlefield

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  7. Abhay


    Thanks for starting this new section. :) The blog now officially moves beyond Mughal/Rajput medieval Indian history to Maurya - ancient Indian history. May be you really should change the name of your blog as suggested by Sunram. :)

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  8. Yes Dushi. Devi was Ashoka's first wife. I mentioned in the post. By the way, are you interested in Ashoka ?.. I did not know it. Nice to find you here. :)

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  9. Chandragupta Maurya was a magnificent person, Sindhu. He turned a Jain later in his life and starved himself to death at an age of 42, after leaving his entire empire for his son Bindusara. I would say an "evolved person" who knew what was his goal. :)

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  10. Wow thanks Abhay for starting a thread on ashoka and a concise introduction of his background.very much interested in knowing more about the maurya dynasty.looking forward to learn more from you .

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  11. Abhay


    Chandragupta Maurya, Ashoka, Akbar, ...all these great emperors "grew" and "evolved" into "spiritual" people in search of the Truth and stayed unattached to their empire despite being so powerful in their time.


    A lesson for us here - despite all our progress, we really need to nurture our spiritual self to actually grow as humans and to find the real meaning and purpose of our lives.

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  12. Abhay congrats, for New Blog.Step by step, your Growth, i can cleary see.again writing Deep,some doors, we own not know, destiny, choosing for us, That's opening,

    Its a biginning, But Sea Has no end,But sea is full of Ratans, (gems) or Every Ratan has its own importance.or its Own depth.Here we have decide,which depth, or which way we have to Go

    i little recalling, Chandragupta Maurya, story, in our syllubus, One child, Playing time sit on , Clay stone, or After stting, he did a justice,(friends,Misunderstanding topic)

    Next day, playing time, again he sits, he feels, some changes in Mind & Heart,

    One day ,Chanakya see's him, or he decides, This boy is capable for Magdah, Throne.But Chandergupt remebered, after growing that, Clay stone (Tilla type),

    He digged that place, after digging, he got some, Takhat type some, That Thing was astablished, on, Ground, of chandragupta, Maurya, Takht,

    But when Maruya, Empire downfall, started, that was stolen, Maruya, Kings belives,That things gives vibes, neutral justice, to everyone.or C, Maruya was famous for also his justice.

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  13. Hi Abhay, I don't know if you remember me , I am Jas2204 from IF :) . I posted a comment before but it seems to not have gotten posted. Anyways, thanks for posting this information about Ashoka. I have been interested in this fascinating character since I read about him when I was a kid. Keep up the good work.

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  14. Hi Saj,

    Welcome to the blog, buddy. Hope you enjoyed reading other posts as well. :)


    I have not forgotten you at all. I remember you completely and even the comments exchanged on forum, by the very mention of your name. I remember almost every one with whom i interacted. I'll keep adding more information about this monarch slowly along with Akbar and MP. :)

    Sometimes due to some technical problems, the comments are not posted. I am still working on this problem.

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  15. Sankaran SatheedeviFebruary 4, 2015 at 4:21 PM

    Thank you Abhay, I have started watching the show Ashoka , was wondering if u would be able to give brief history!! Thank you very much!!!!

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  16. mm yes i like to knw abt history :D.... in sri lankan history nd buddhist culture u can find king ashoka nd his son mahinda and daughter sangamitta. he is related to our sri lankan culture too. so like to knw abt him. i don't watch ashoka serial nw. and abhay one more req. plz dont stop writing about MUZ and akbar's history too.. it was so interesting. :))

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  17. Thank u, history-geek.!The success of Jodha-Akbar has compelled other main channels to dig into the history, n churn out historical serials.:)nevertheless as long as u r here to clear our doubts,n lovely people having healthy discussions, it's always a happy journey.:)
    U hv not left anything to be explained. I always wondered, which dynasty Ashoka belonged, as he was not called Ashoka Mourya, or Ashoka Gupta.! I did not know Chandragupta Maurya married any foreigner (Greek?).Chanakya gets him married to Dhananand's daughter, before he occupies the throne.It's really overwhelming to know he spent 16 years as a widower in the time of polygamy! It requires lot of moral strength, conviction!. I think, lot of credit goes to Chanakya also fr making Chandragupta what he was!
    History-geek, can u please tell me, with respect to the expansion of the empire, who was the most powerful king? Chandragupta 1, Ashoka, Chandragupta 2, Samudragupta, Akbar, Harsh vardhana, Vishnuvardhan, not to forget Raja Raja Chola?
    We had learnt in school that Gupta period was the golden period of our country.kavi Kalidas, Varaha mihira, were all in the court of Samudragupta, I think.
    Btw, Magadh is present day Bihar?

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  18. Abhay, yesterday episode showed,Bindusar first wife interested, Her son will sit on throne, Noor wants her Son.


    What was the Rule that Era, ?Who will sit on throne? Elder or Capable.,


    Chanakya when sees, Ashoka, He says, Got Our Future King, Chanakya, knows Ashoka capabilty, or he knows, then India is secure in Ashoka Hands, But Ashoka was not elder son.

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  19. Geeta,

    Nice to hear from you, i was thinking you might be interested in Ashoka also, as you had liked a comment by Aashrita where she asked me to make a section for Ashoka. :-P

    Coming to questions..

    1. In terms of territorial extent, Ashoka stands unrivaled among the names you mentioned.
    2. Gupta age was called Golden Age. But recent researches have shown that the condition of women was not so good in their times. And some other factors have led historians to dispute this fact now. :)
    3. Magadh included part of present day Bihar, Bengal, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh and Orissa. See this map below. >

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  20. Ayushi,
    I do not have info about whether there was any Khorasani wife or son of Bindusara or not. As far as rules are concerned, i do not think there was any established rule that time. The capable one could become the ruler. But, at the same time, it is also a fact that the mother of first son was treated nicely.

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  21. Ashoka had killed many of his step brothers to succeed the throne with help of Chankaya.Strange coincidence both Akbar and Ashoke were 1st known for their cruelty violence and expansion of empire and later their mellowing and taking to reforms which were beneficial to many

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  22. Ayushi Abhay Ashoka had killed many of his step brothers to succeed the throne with help of Chankaya.Strange coincidence both Akbar and Ashoke were 1st known for their cruelty violence and expansion of empire and later their mellowing and taking to reforms which were beneficial to many

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  23. I had told u history-geek, this will spread to different empires! So u better change ur blog's title to 'Discovering history with history-geek'. :)

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  24. Thanks for this post Abhay and Radhika!


    I have been following the show ever since it began and I must say the locales, costumes and everything has been done up really well! Looking forward to more posts from your side :)

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  25. Sunram


    I heard so but am not sure if Ashoka really killed his step-brothers.


    Yes, both great emperors turned from the path of violence to spiritualism. No person can really become great unless they become spiritually aware and progress towards realizing the meaning / purpose of life.

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  26. Abhay


    Generally the elder son would be the heir unless the king specially willed someone else or someone else captured power.


    But I was amazed to see the mother of Sushrima practising black magic / tantric rites and even sacrificing some men so that her son could become the next king. This character has not been developed properly. In the previous episode, she was crying her heart out when Bindusara was missing. She looked like a helpless pawn in Helen's hands and suddenly on Wednesday, she was an evil sorceress!


    I also didn't get it why Bindusara didn't go back for Dharma. And how Dharma escaped from the burning hut.


    I love the fast pace but sometimes important details are getting lost.


    And I am v curious about the age of Chanakya! :)

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  27. Abhay


    Thanks for the details and the map. :)

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  28. Sam


    Yes, so far the show has been captivating and Siddharth is really fab! Are you planning your next blog on him? :)

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  29. Hey Radhika!


    I am using my blog just to write a story, but a very nice idea from your side! I can such posts as well! :)

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  30. hi abhay,
    thanks for creating the ashoka page! i am following CAS too.. :) i have been reading about ashoka on the net..Maybe its me but i think that Ashoka-Devi history has a lot in common with Akbar-heer history..especially the effect of both empresses on the religion and culture of their empires..what do u think?

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  31. Sam, I meant that just as you are using RT and PS in your story, do you plan to use Sid as a character in your story, a different one, of course? :)

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  32. Hi Dushi,


    I don't think it is possible for Abhay to stop writing about MUZ and Akbar :)

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  33. Age of Chanakya was nice enough, he lived upto 82 years. :)

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  34. Gauri,
    Great to see you here. I thought, not many would be interested in Ashoka. But it seems i was not correct. :)
    I am also reading on Ashoka. Yes, i admit Devi had a really important role to play in the life of Ashoka.

    How much important is still to be seen. You mentioned rightly, MUZ had an important role to play in Akbar's life also. :)

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  35. Abhay


    that's wow - looking fwd to the post :)


    Did u know that a person who completes 80 years has seen a 1000 purnimas (full moon days) and this used to be celebrated earlier just as shashti-purti (completion of 60 years) was? A person's lifetime was considered to be max 60 years at one point and hence only 60 years have names. After that, the cycle of names starts again. A person who lives beyond 60 is considered to have been reborn :)

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  36. Again you have me at loss of words. So much detailed research into the man who is like this enigma no one can really hold on to.


    I was introduced to him by our history teacher, Mrs Sanghamitra who by her own admission was a Asoka fanatic. Apparently she had researched a lot on Asoka and had provided us with all possible explanations that our curious minds could then incur. And now I'll have another person putting in his research and put an end to all morbid curiosity.


    Hoping to read more from you.


    Oh and please do add the sources to the posts you make, if that is possible!

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  37. Welcome to the Blog, Shivani.
    Equally glad to find another Asoka lover. :)

    I will add references henceforth, this post was written in a hurry, so could not mention the references. But, I replied to you on the other post, regarding references. :)

    Link: http://mariam-uz-zamani.blogspot.com/2015/02/chanakya-method-to-test-character-of-ministers.html#comment-1848355977

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  38. thanks Abhay for creating Ashoka 's history.
    Bindu died @272 & Ashoka coronated @269. 1. In between years who ruled the kingdom? 2. Did Ashoka fought with his brothers for throne. 3. what is the reason behind the separation of Dharma & Bindu.

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  39. Actually, I am planning to put up a hoard of Miscellaneous posts as well ;)
    But thanks for the idea, I will think where I can put him ;)

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  40. Who is Justin? Bindu's Step brother?

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  41. Yes, Katana, in the show, Justin is Helen's son and Bindusara's step-brother. There is no evidence at present to support his existence in reality.

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  42. Hi Katana,
    I am glad to see many friends from JA getting interested in Ashoka as well. :)
    Coming to questions::
    1. It is not known from FACTUAL sources that who ruled the kingdom in this period.
    2. It is mentioned in Buddhist legends that Ashoka killed his brothers and spared only his OWN brother Vitashoka. But, edicts of Ashoka clearly say his brothers were alive when Ashoka was ruling till his later years.!!!
    3. I will post about Bindusara-Dharma soon. I am procuring some translations from the Sanskrit texts with help of a friend. Plz Wait a bit. :)

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  43. Hi Abhay,
    Was waiting for this post and as expected it's a beautiful one :) :)
    I always wanted to know about him.I liked the movie on Ashoka (perhaps I was the only one among my family and friends who liked it and got "what's wrong with you" stares from them :-P ).


    Chandragupta Maurya's love for his wife and practice of mono/bigamy in a world of polygamy is touching.


    Caught on a few episodes and quite liked what I saw.The story,execution and quality of the show are impressive. Dharma seems to be king Bindusar's true love.But I found it a bit unbelievable that when he left her(on her request of course),why didn't he leave behind a few soldiers/secret spies to protect his legally wedded wife who mattered to him?He seems to be totally unaware of her condition.Perhaps it's a blooper.Maybe I'm wrong as I didn't watch all the episodes.


    A few questions Abhay,


    1) All the ladies except Dharma,are shown to be negative/grey in the show.Is it true?
    2)Was the condition of women better/same or worse as compared to the medieval times?
    3)Did Chanakya train Ashoka too for some time?

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  44. Hi Aashrita


    There is a lot of NR in the show. So take it all with a huge spoon of salt. :)


    1. It's not known if Helen had a child. She was part of the harem of Chandragupta Maurya, but I don't know if she was really so powerful and scheming.
    Nur seems to be an imaginary character. She may have been introduced in place of a maid from Central Asia, according to Abhay.
    Charumitra was a powerful queen. But I doubt she knew or practised black magic / tantra.


    It seems all the ladies (except Dharma) are being spiced up to enhance the drama quotient in the show. :)


    2. Condition of women was good enough, but polygamy was also there.

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  45. As far as I have read Devi died at the age of 54, while Asoka went on to live untill 72! She's had a really strong role in shaping his personality and giving a direction to the Empire. But then again their life is only talked in Buddist scriptures where she is glorified like a goddess!

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  46. Abhay, they cleared, in serial, in Magadh, empire was Rule,Who is capable, that will sit on Throne.so Bindusar first wife,is feeling, insecure.

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  47. I am surprised you still believe this serial!!!
    History Channel(However today all good ones are past),Discovery channel/Nat Geo programmes or Thriller/suspence/comedy serials(story finish in 1-3 episodes) are 1000 times better than such stupid serials.How you people can watch such historical romantic (main running time mere less than 10 minutes per day!!!
    I must salute your patience.
    (Plz soap lovers don't take seriously)

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  48. Vinay,
    Some people watch TV for entertainment also. Not everyone expects complete historical accuracy from a show. Most of viewers, do not enjoy the programmes shown in the history channels which appear quite boring to them. There are people of all tastes.

    And, there is advantage also, of such "stupid serials" as you call them. Had this show not started none of us would have been discussing Ashoka here. So in a manner it has contributed to all of us being present here and having discussions and discussing his life history. :)

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  49. Aashrita,


    Ashoka is one amongst my most revered Emperors as well. I am sure you are going to enjoy the show, at least initially. :)


    Radhika has answered you. I am adding some thing to the info.


    1. Position of women was much better compared to medieval times.
    2. I have not found explicit record of Chanakya training Ashoka, but he was alive during this time and hence we can digest this aspect of his training easily. :)

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  50. Abhay


    Right. :) I am watching for entertainment and also to introduce my son to the greatest Indian king ever in a fun manner. :)


    Right now, he's too young to learn too much history but I want him to pick the values of Ashoka. Once he gets interested in and familiar with Ashoka, he can always learn about him slowly from books / history channels.


    Vinay: Chill, don't take the show seriously. No one is taking it seriously. But you can always complain to the broadcasting council if you still have objections to the show. :)

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  51. Abhay .. i just started seeing Ashoka. How come Ashoka becomes king after Bindusara, if Sushrima who was born first to Charumitra was alive and well..please explain please ?!

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  52. Viji


    Good question. :) Answers will be revealed slowly as the story progresses :) Just wait a bit

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  53. Sushima was not alive that time. There are many legends surrounding his death, which i am still reading. :)

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  54. Emperor Ashoka was in favor of winning hearts of people and not of creating fear in their minds to rule them, for the minds who are for time being subjugated by fear can also lead to rebellion in future.

    In those times when ruling the land by sheer brute of force was the norm, Ashoka followed an entirely different policy. Of course, he was brutal in the Battle of Kalinga, but after that the path he chalked out for the administration was worth applauding.!

    Ashoka followed the policy of DhammaGhos, which means Sound of Peace. Earlier, before the Battlle of Kalinga, his policy was that of BeriGhos, which means Sound of War Drums.

    In my opinion, this was a UNIQUE thinking, for i do NOT know any monarch to have embarked on this policy, before or after Ashoka.

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