Chandragupta Maurya

Chandragupta Maurya (reign: c.321–c. 297 BCE) was the founder of the Maurya Empire in ancient India. He was born in a humble family, orphaned and abandoned, raised as a son by another pastoral family, was picked up, taught and counselled by Chanakya, the author of the Arthashastra. Chandragupta thereafter built one of the largest empires ever on the Indian subcontinent. According to Jain sources, he then renounced it all, and became a monk in the Jain tradition. Chandragupta is claimed, by the historic Jain texts, to have followed Jainism in his life, by first renouncing all his wealth and power, going away with Jaina monks into the Deccan region (now Karnataka), and ultimately performing Sallekhana – the Jain religious ritual of peacefully welcoming death by fasting.[note 2] His grandson was emperor Ashoka, famous for his historic pillars and for his role in helping spread Buddhism outside of ancient India. Chandragupta’s life and accomplishments are described in ancient Hindu, Buddhist and Greek texts, but they vary significantly in details from the Jaina accounts. Megasthenes served as a Greek ambassador in his court for four years. In Greek and Latin accounts, Chandragupta is known as Sandrokottos (Greek: Σανδροκόττος), Sandrakottos (Greek: Σανδράκοττος) and Androcottus (Greek: Ανδροκόττος).
Chandragupta Maurya was a pivotal figure in the history of India. Prior to his consolidation of power, Alexander the Great had invaded the northwest Indian subcontinent, then abandoned further campaigning in 324 BCE, leaving a legacy of Indian subcontinental regions ruled by Indo-Greek and local rulers.[19] The region was divided into Mahajanapadas, while the Nanda Empire dominated the Indo-Gangetic Plain. Chandragupta, with the counsel of his Chief Minister Chanakya (the Brahmin also known as Kautilya), created a new empire, applied the principles of statecraft, built a large army and continued expanding the boundaries of his empire. Greek rulers such as Seleucus I Nicator avoided war with him, entered into a marriage alliance instead, and retreated into Persia. Chandragupta’s empire extended from Bengal to most of the Indian subcontinent, except the southernmost regions (now Tamil Nadu, Kerala and nearby) and Kalinga (now Odisha region).
After unifying much of India, Chandragupta and Chanakya passed a series of major economic and political reforms. He established a strong central administration from Pataliputra (now Patna), patterned after Chanakya’s text on governance and politics, the Arthashastra. Chandragupta’s India was characterised by an efficient and highly organised structure. The empire built infrastructure such as irrigation, temples, mines and roads, leading to a strong economy. With internal and external trade thriving and agriculture flourishing, the empire built a large and trained permanent army to help expand and protect its boundaries. Chandragupta’s reign, as well the dynasty that followed him, was an era when many religions thrived in India, with Buddhism, Jainism and Ajivika gaining prominence along with the Brahmanism traditions. A memorial to Chandragupta Maurya exists on the Chandragiri hill, along with a 7th-century hagiographic inscription, on one of the two hills in Shravanabelagola, Karnakata.

More info at: Chandragupta Maurya – Wikipedia

Additional Articles associated with this person’s firsts:

Name(s):
      Chandragupta Maurya
Occupation:
      1st Mauryan Emperor
Reign:
      c. 321 – c. 297 BCE
Coronation:
      c. 321 BCE
Birth:
      c. 340 BCE

      Pipphalivana near Pataliputra and Ramagrama or Devdaha, close to Magadha (modern-day Nepal and Patna, Bihar)
Death:
      297 BCE

    Shravanabelagola, Karnataka (Jain legend)
Spouse:
      Durdhara


Additional Information:

King Chandragupta Maurya Converts to Jainism

The first emperor of India, King Chandragupta Maurya converted to Jainism following his Indian conquest and reigned from 321 to 297 BCE. Continue reading

Gautama Siddhartha

Gautama Buddha (c. 563 BCE/480 BCE – c. 483 BCE/400 BCE), also known as Siddhārtha Gautama [sid̪ːʱɑːrt̪ʰə gəut̪əmə], Shakyamuni Buddha [ɕɑːkjəmun̪i bud̪ːʱə], or simply the Buddha, after the title of Buddha, was an ascetic (śramaṇa) and sage, on whose teachings Buddhism was founded. He is believed to have lived and taught mostly in the eastern part of ancient India sometime between the sixth and fourth centuries BCE.

Gautama taught a Middle Way between sensual indulgence and the severe asceticism found in the śramaṇa movement common in his region. He later taught throughout other regions of eastern India such as Magadha and Kosala.

Gautama is the primary figure in Buddhism. He is recognized by Buddhists as an enlightened teacher who attained full Buddhahood, and shared his insights to help sentient beings end rebirth and suffering. Accounts of his life, discourses, and monastic rules are believed by Buddhists to have been summarized after his death and memorized by his followers. Various collections of teachings attributed to him were passed down by oral tradition and first committed to writing about 400 years later.

More info at: Gautama Buddha – Wikipedia

Additional Articles associated with this person’s firsts:

Name(s):
      Gautame Siddhartha
Occupation:
      Founder of Buddhism
Birth:
      c. 563 BCE or c. 480 BCE
     Lumbini, Shakya Republic
Death:
      c. 483 BCE or c. 400 BCE
     Kushinagar, Malla Republic


Additional Information:

Jainism, Atheistic religious movement

Jainism, Atheistic religious movement that arose in India in the sixth century BCE, was founded by Vardhamana Mahavira, Principles being the salvation of an individual soul as the consequence of an ascetic life leading to detachment from material things. Continue reading

The Canonization of Jain Sacred Texts

At Patna, India, towards the end of the 4th century BCE, the Canonization of Jain sacred texts took place. Continue reading