|Author||PURUSHOTTAM LAL BHARGAVA|
|Publication Date||May 2, 2012|
I. DETERMINATION OF CHRONOLOGY
II. GROWTH OF MAGADHA
III. CAREER OF CHANDRAGUPTA
IV. ADMINISTRATION OF THE EMPIRE
V. SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC CONDITIONS
VI. LITERATURE AND ART
VII. ACHIEVEMENTS OF CHANDRAGUPTA
VIII. LEGENDS OF CHANDRAGUPTA
As a student of history I have always been fascinated by the career of Chandragupta Maurya, one of the greatest of kings, conquerors and administrators the world has produced. It is indeed strange that such a great personage should have passed almost unnoticed by historians, for there is so far, to my knowledge, not a single book in English describing exclusively his achievements. I was aware of my incompetence to take up this task, yet I thought I might make an attempt. This small monograph is the result. In it, I have tried to describe, in a brief compass, the life and career of Chandragupta making use of all the original sources I could lay my hands upon. I have deviated from the accepted views where I found better evidence to the contrary. For instance, I have accepted the Jain date for the coronation of Chandragupta as it is better supported by facts than the date hitherto generally accepted. In some matters, of course, it is difficult to achieve any kind of finality till further evidence comes to notice, for example in the case of the pre-Maurya history of Magadha; in such cases I have simply mentioned the probabilities without emphasizing the correctness of my views.
Recently, there have been controversies on many points, of more or less important bearing on the subject. I have referred to them in the text where relevant, but I would like to mention one of them here as the text was already printed when it came to my notice. I refer to the controversy regarding the relation of the Brihatkatha to the Mudrarakshasa. Mr. C. D. Chatterji, in a very learned article, which appeared in the Indian Culture, Vol. 1 no 2, has expressed doubt on the authenticity of the statement found in the Dasarupavaloka that the Mudrarakshasa was based on the Brihatkatha, and has shown at length that the two verses following in support of this statement are later interpolations. His arguments in support of the view that the plot of the Mudrarakshasa cannot have been taken from the Brihatkatha are, no doubt, convincing. Yet, there is nothing to disprove the probability that the idea of Chandragupta’s Nanda descent was suggested to Visakhadatta by the Brihatkatha.
These observations will be incomplete if I did not express my obligation to the different persons from whom I received inspiration and help. If it be not regarded as too personal, I shall, among them, place first my dear father, who goaded me to write out these pages. Among those from whom I received constant encouragement, I would like to mention the names of my kind teacher Mr. K. A. S. Iyer, M.A., Head of the Sanskrit Department, Lucknow University, and Pandit Brijnath Sharga, M. A., LL.B. Advocate. Mr. C. D. Chatterji, M. A., lecturer in Ancient Indian History in the Lucknow University, for whom I entertain high regard as my teacher, was very kind to suggest to me some original sources for the work and to give me his ungrudging help whenever I approached him for the same. I am indebted to Dr. Rama Shenker Tripathi, M.A., Ph. D., of the Benares Hindu University, for suggesting to me certain papers which proved very useful in my work. I have reserved the expression of my gratitude to my esteemed teacher, Dr. Radha Kumud Mookerji, M.A., Ph.D , an authority on Ancient India, not because he deserves the least but because I cannot find adequate words for it. His foreword is perhaps more the outcome of his affection for me as his student than the merit of the book and yet I feel infinite satisfaction when I see this humble attempt so well reviewed by such a high authority on the subject.
PURUSHOTTAM LAL BHARGAVA