Chandragupta Maurya (Founder of Mauryan Dynasty)
Chandragupta Maurya was the founder of the Mauryan Dynasty.
The origin and early life of Chandragupta is shrouded in mystery. The earliest Indian tradition preserved in the Puranas is silent on this point. It merely says that Kautilya placed Chandragupta on the throne of Magadha Kingdom in place of the Nandas. In the Brahmanical literature only the commentaries of Puranas and the dramatic works like Mudrarakshasa relate Chandragupta Maurya to the family of the Nandas of Magadha. But the Buddhist and Jain sources suggest that Chandragupta Maurya was born of the Kshatriya family of the Mariyas of Pippalivana.
Chandragupta Maurya is said to have been joined by a Taxillan Brahmin named Chanakya. Chanakya trained his disciple, Chandragupta, to defeat the army of King Dhana Nanda.
It is not even known if his conquests of the Punjab came before or after the Magadhan revolution. At any rate the Indian tradition is unanimous on the point that Chandragupta Maurya became king of Magadha Empire with the help of Kautilya. Chandragupta Maurya had conquered even the Gangetic valley. Once the Gangetic valley was under his control, Chandragupta Maurya moved to the north-west to exploit the power vacuum created by Alexander’s departure. He easily destroyed the Greek rule in the Punjab, with the aid of the war-like principalities and freedom-loving Brahamanas of India.
In 305 B.C. Seleucus I, a general and successor of Alexander in Western Asia proceeded up to the Indus, where Chandragupta Maurya most probably inflicted a defeat on him (303 B.C.). Seleukos was forced to conclude peace by which he surrendered to Chandragupta, the Satrapies of Kabul, Kandahar, Hirat, Nakran and Baluchistan. Chandragupta also accepted to marry Seleucus ‘s daughter and made friendly relationship with the Hellenistic kingdoms. Chandragupta’s empire thus reached as far as the borders of Persia in the north-west and Mysore in the south. He was the first historical emperor of India.