How to origin of Mauryan Rule

The Most immediate and unexpected by product of Alexander’s invasion of the North-West was that it hastened the Mauryan conquest of the whole country. It was a period when politics, art, trade and commerce elevated India to glorious heights.

Origin of the Mauryan Rule

Both Indian and Classical sources suggest that Alexander’s retreat resulted in the creation of a vacuum and therefore it was quite easy for Chandragupta to carve out a kingdom for himself. According to the Indian tradition, Chandragupta was assisted by the Brahmin Kautilya, also known as Chanakya or Vishnugupta to rise to power. Chanakya is argued to have been well versed with not only the political principles of warfare and aggrandizement, but also about the organization of the State, so to ensure that the empire did not collapse.

Different Views on the Origin of the Mauryas

Buddhist Sources
They connect the Mauryas with the tribe of the Sakyas, whose region was full of peacocks i.e. Moriya and mention Chandragupta as a Kshatriya.  
Jaina Sources
They link Chandragupta to the Moriya tribe of peacock trainers.
Brahmanical Sources
They describe the Mauryas as Shudras.
Greek Sources
They mention that sandrocottus (Chandragupta) was born of a humble origin.
The Mauryas were connected to the Nandas.
Divyavadana and Vamsathapakasini
They concede that the Mauryas are a member or the Moriya clan of Pippalivana and suggest that this dynasty was in some way linked to the tribe of the Sakyas to which the Buddha belonged.
Romila Thapar
Chandragupta belonged to the Moriya tribe, but his caste was low, the family apparently being a Vaisya.
Junagarh rock inscription of Rudradaman
The Mauryas were of Vaisya origin.

Literary sources for the Mauryan Period


Chandragupta’s minister Chanakya wrote the Arthashastra, one of the greatest treatises on economics, politics, foreign affairs, administration, military arts, war and religion. It is developed into 15 adhikarnas (parts), which are further divided into 180 prakarnas (Chapter). It was expanded and perfected by Vishugupta. Bhattasvamin wrote a commentary on Arthashastra and the name of commentary is Pratipada-Panchika.


It is a historical play in Sanskrit by Vishakhadatta (of 4th century) narrating the ascent of the king Chandragupta Maurya to power in Northern India with the aid of Chanakya. It gives an account of socio-economic conditions.


The Puranas contain some old traditions and provide chronology of the Mauryas.  The Vishnupurana describes the origin of Nandas and their overthrow by Kautilya and Chandragupta Maurya.
It’s a commentary on the Mahavamsa and was composed in the AD 10th century, containing information about the origin of the Mauryas.
It’s a Jaina work, written by Hemachandra and is a biography of Chanakya. It provides crucial information about Chandragupta Maurya, such as his early life, his conquest of Magadha, the famine in Magadha and his conversion to Jainism. Other sources, namely, Rajatarangini of Kalhana, Kathasaritsagar of Somadev and Brihatkathamanjari of Kshemendra also provides information about the Mauryan period.

Foreign Literacy Sources

Greek Governor Strabo (BC 64 to AD 19) wrote important geographical works. He also refers to the matrimonial alliance between Seleucus and Chandragupta Maurya. He even refers to the women bodyguards of Chandragupta.
The work of Diodorus (1st century BC) is the earliest available Greek account of India. His accounts on India are derived from Megasthenese. Pliny (AD 1st century) is the author of Natural History (AD 75) and gives the account of India based on Greek sources and reports of Western merchants.
Plutarch (AD 45-125) mentions Chandragupta as Androkottus and states that Chandragupta had met Alexander. Justin (AD 2nd century) mentions Chandragupta as Sanrocottus and gives an account of Chandragupta Maurya’s rise to power.

How to origin of Mauryan Rule
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