The Matsya Purana (critical study)

by Kushal Kalita | 2018 | 74,766 words | ISBN-13: 9788171103058

This page relates ‘Maurya Dynasty’ of the English study on the Matsya-purana: a Sanskrit text preserving ancient Indian traditions and legends written in over 14,000 metrical verses. In this study, the background and content of the Matsyapurana is outlined against the cultural history of ancient India in terms of religion, politics, geography and architectural aspects. It shows how the encyclopedic character causes the text to deal with almost all the aspects of human civilization.

Candragupta was the founder of the Maurya dynasty of Magadha. After him nine Maurya kings reigned in Magadha. They were Bindusāra, Aśoka, Kunāla, Daśaratha, Indrapālita, Sālisuka, Devavarman, Sātvāhana and Bṛhadratha.[1] The Matsyapurāṇa has given an incomplete data about the Mauryas. Most of the names are omitted from the text of this Purāṇa. All the ten kings are mentioned only in the Viṣṇupurāṇa. They reigned for 137 years. But the Viṣṇupurāṇa has mentioned the period of term as 173 years.[2]

Candragupta, the great king of this dynasty reigned for 24 years. Bindusāra reigned for 25 years, Aśoka reigned for 36 years, Kunāla reigned for eight years and Daśaratha reigned for 8 years. Bṛhadratha, the last king of Maurya dynasty was murdered by his own commander-in-chief Puṣyamitra Śuṅga[3] and established his own kingdom.

M. Krishnamachariar mentions in his History of Classical Sansktrit Literature that Mauryas reigned from 1535 B.C. to the 1219 B.C. for 316 years. Among the kings Candragupta reigned from 1535 to 1501 B.C. Bindusāra reigned from 1501 to 1473 B.C. for 28 years. Aśoka ruled for 36 years from 1473 B.C. to 1437 B.C. This dynasty ruled for 316 years where twelve kings reigned.[4]

Footnotes and references:

[1]:

Ibid., 272.22-26

[2]:

Viṣṇupurāṇa, IV. 31, 32

[3]:

Matsyapurāṇa, 272.26-27

[4]:

Cf., M. Krishnamachariar, History of Classical Sanskrit Literature, Introduction, pp.l,li

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