Bindusara— the Second Emperor of the Maurya Empire

Bindusara, was the second Maury emperor of India. He was the son of the dynasty’s founder Chandragupta Maurya and the father of its most famous ruler Ashoka.

Introduction to Bindusara

Bindusara was the second emperor of the Maurya Empire who ascended the throne in 298 BC after Chandragupta Maurya. Bindusara was known to the Greeks as Amitrochates, derived from the Sanskrit word ‘Amitraghata’ with meaning ‘destroyer of enemies’.

Bindusara’s title was Amitraghata. His real name was Simhasen. Name of Bindusara is also spelt as Vindusara, Bindusar, or Bindusaro.

Bindusara’s name in different languages

  • বাংলা: বিন্দুসার
  • हिन्दी (Hindi): बिन्दुसार
  • français (French): Bindusâra
  • български (Bulgarian): Биндусара

  • ирон (Ossetian): Биндусарæ

  • русский (Russian): Биндусара

  • українська (Ukrainian): Біндусара

  • नेपाल भाषा (Newar language): बिन्दुसार

  • 中文 (Chinese): 宾头娑罗

Basic information about Emperor Bindusara Chakraborty

  • Born: 320 BC

  • Died: 272 BC (age 48 years)

  • Spouse: Charumitra, Subhadrangi

  • Title: Mauryan Emperor

  • Dynasty: Maurya

  • Reign: 298 BC – 272 BC

  • Coronation: 298 BC

  • Title taken by himself: Amitraghata

  • Predecessor in Empire: Chandragupta Maurya

  • Successor in Empire: Ashoka

  • Children: Susim, Ashok, Bitashok

  • Father: Chandragupta Maurya

  • Mother: Durdhara

  • Religion: Brahmanism

Birth and genealogy of Bindusara

Bindusara was the son of the first Maurya emperor Chandragupta Maurya and his wife Durdhara. Bindusara was named Simhasena at birth. According to Jain legend, Chanakya, Chandragupta Maurya’s advisor, had Chandragupta Maurya drink small doses of poison every day without Chandragupta’s knowledge, in order to create an immunity against attempts to kill him by poison. One day Chandragupta Maurya shared his poisoned food with the pregnant Durdhara; and Durdhara died. To save the child, Chanakya cut the womb of the dead body of Durdhara and brought him out.

Bindusara as an emperor

In 298 BC, at the age of only twenty-two, Bindusara inherited a vast empire through patrilineal lines. He extended this empire further southward and the whole of North India besides Kalinga, Chera, Pandya and Chola kingdoms came under his control. During his reign the people of Taxila revolted twice but Bindusara was unable to suppress them.

Religion of Bindusara

Bindusar believed in a lifelong religious community. His spiritual teacher Pingalavasta or Janasana was a Brahmin ajivika. Bindusar’s wife Subhadrangi was also a believer in Ajivika Dharma. Bindus also meditates in several Brahmanabhattas or Brahmin monasteries.

Bindusara in Media

Garson Da Cunha played the role of Bindusar in the 2001 Hindi film ‘Ashoka’.

In the Hindi television series ‘Chakravarti Ashok Samrat’ produced in 2015, Sameer played the role of Dharmadhikari Bindusar.

Bibliography

  1. Bongard-Levin, G. M. (1985). Mauryan India. Sterling Publishers.
  2. Britannica, T. Editors of Encyclopaedia (2014). Bindusara. Encyclopedia Britannica. https://www.britannica.com/biography/Bindusara

  3. Mizan, M. M. R. (2020). History: Biography of Chandragupta Maurya and His Maurya Empire. www.mizanurrmizan.info

  4. Mookerji, R. K. (1943). Chandragupta Maurya And His Times. University of Madras.

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