What are the principle sources of information regarding the history of the Mauryas? Which regions of India were included within Chandragupta Maurya’s Empire? What changes were brought about by Asoka? In the Maurya administration system? – Answered
a. Sources of Information:
There are various sources of information for the reconstruction of the history of the Mauryas. Of these mention may be made of
(1) The Arthashastra of Kautilya
(2) The inscriptions inscribed by Asoka
(3) The foreign accounts left by Megasthenes in the form of the book entitled Indika.
b. Chandragupta’s Empire:
Initially, Chandragupta got possession of the north-western provinces driving out all the agents of Alexander who had been posted there.
Next he had to wage war with Seleukus Niketor. Seleukus being defeated had to cede Kabul, Kandahar, Baluchistan and Herat to Chandragupta.
Later on, Chandragupta-Seleukus friendship was strengthened by the sending of an ambassador, Megasthenes, to the Court at Pataliputra by Seleukus. Under Chandragupta, the Magadhan Empire was extended up to Mysore in the south.
Besides, the entire north, north-western and eastern India, except Kashmir and Kalinga were included in the Mauryan Empire.
c. Changes in the Administration by Asoka:
After Asoka’s experience of the horrors of the Kalinga war he became a changed man. The change reflected itself in all aspects of the life of the people and the empire.
In the Maurya administration certain changes were brought about in the existing systems.
For the material prosperity of his subjects he appointed officials, namely, the Rajukas and Dhammamahamatras.
The Rajukas were somewhat like mobile judges and Dhammamahamatras were assigned the duty of increasing religious temperament of the people in general.