King Bindusara Maurya
Introduction: Bindusara Maurya was the second Mauryan Emperor. He succeeded to the throne on 298 B.C. His father was Chandragupta Maurya, the founder of Maurya dynasty. The mother of Bindusara was Durdhara, who was one of the wives of Chandragupta. He was born in 320 B.C.
Chanakya, the famous minister of Chandragupta continued to be one of the principal ministers of Bindusara Maurya. Chanakya further extended the extent of Mauryan Empire during the rule of Bindusara Maurya.
Extent of Empire: The Empire of Bindusara Maurya extended from the eastern sea to the western sea can be explained by the fact that his northern empire was bounded by the eastern sea at Bengal and by the western sea at Saurashtra.
The revolts against Government of Bindusara: The people of Taxila and the mountain people of the North revolted against the rule of Bindusara Maurya. Bindusara commissioned his son Asoka to suppress the rising. The people of Taxila explained to Ashoka that they were not opposed to the king, but they had revolted as a protest against the oppression by ‘evil ministers.”
Asoka did not faced any difficulty in winning the loyalty of the people of Taxila. Ashoka officially warned his minister and officials against oppressing the people. After consolidating his position in Taxila, Asoka pushed on to the north part of the empire.
The Taxilan revolt was a phase of general revolts against King Bindusara Maurya. However, Bindusara was successful in consolidating his authority by suppressing the revolts.
Foreign relation: Like his father, Bindusara Maurya also maintained the keeping friendly relation with the Greek rulers. The contemporary Greek king had sent Deimachus to the office of the ambassador in the court of Pataliputra.
Bindusara died probably in 272 B.C. after a reign of 30 years.
Conclusion: The father of King Bindusara, Chandragupta Maurya, had left behind a large and extensive kingdom. It was kept intact by his able successor Bindusara. If Chandragupta was the conqueror, Bindusara was the consolidator. The machinery of government left by Chandragupta would cease to function probably if the ruler at the top would fail to provide momentum.
Bindusara had a taste for culture and had a special interest in philosophy. The Buddhist works refer to his patronage to Ajivika saints.
Bindusara is believed to be tolerant to all sects. Saints of various religions visited his court. Asoka might have derived his saintly leanings from these men, who graced the court of his father.