Read the biography of Chandragupta Maurya (B.C. 324 or 321-298)


The Early Life and Ancestry of Chandgragupta Maurya are shrouded in mystery. The Buddhist source Mahavamsa describes Chandragupta as a scion of Kshatriya clan of the Moriyas of Pip- phalivana. The Jain tradition given in Hemchandra’s Parisisthaparvan relates Chandragupta a son of a daughter of “the Chief of peacock tamers”.

The Mudrarakshasa of Vishak- hadatta uses the terms Vrishala and Kulahina for Chandragupta. The term Kulahina probably means that Chandragupta was a mere upstart of an unknown family. Majority of the Buddhist sour­ces connect Chandragupta to the Moriya clan and describe his humble early life.

According to these accounts Chandragupta’s father was killed in a border fray and he was brought up by his maternal uncle. Chanakya, finding the signs of royalty in child Chandragupta, brought him from his foster father and got him educated at Taxila, which was a great centre of learning.


Chandragupta’s early life and education at Taxila is indirectly proved by a reference in the Greek sources that as a youth he had seen Alexander in the course of his campaigning in the Punjab. And these details of Chandragupta’s early life from Pali sources also confirm the truth of Justin’s statement that he was “born in humble life”.

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