History

The Tradition of Kshaatra in India: Ashoka’s Decline

Among Ashoka’s numerous children, Tivra, Mahendra, Kunala, and Jaluka were prominent. The Vāyu and other Purāṇas contain several details about this. Among them, Kunala ruled the kingdom after Ashoka. After his eight-year rule, the next generation took charge. Brihadratha was one among them. Some opine that he was the grandson of Ashoka. However, historical studies reveal otherwise. Samprati Chandragupta was a grandson of Ashoka and his son was Brihadratha. All of them were uniformly weak rulers, bereft of kṣātra.

An Estimate of Ashoka’s Policy of Non-violence

A few Chinese travellers like It-sing have recorded that Ashoka was a saṃnyāsi and a Bauddha bhikkhu. They also state that they have seen a statue in this form. There is a system among Buddhists: Anyone can become a saṃnyāsi and can revert to the life of a householder. They can also move to a different āśrama. Fa-hien, Xuanzang (Hiuen Tsang), It-sing, Dharmasvami, and others were Chinese Buddhist travellers who came to India.

The Mauryas, the Tamils and the Historian Dr. Sarkar: An Encounter

The previous episode recounted Dr. BGL Swamy’s firsthand experience of the nature and contours of an “official” Tamil history complete with concocted names for “pure Tamil” flora. If this was the state of affairs in the science department, it was taken to an entirely different level in the History department.

The Shape of the Official Tamil History

An Advisory Committee was formed by the Government to document and publish “The Official History of the Tamils” in ten volumes. It doesn’t need to be explicitly stated that the Government exercised utmost care in selecting the members. Dr. BGL Swamy recalls that Tamil writers like Cheeni Venkataswami, Pandit Natesan and others were part of the committee. The history lecturer of Presidency College and two or three lecturers teaching other subjects had also adorned that committee as members.

The Awareness of Kshaatra in Buddha

There was a gap of about three hundred years between Buddha and Aśoka. Buddha lived in the 6th century BCE. He was born in 560 BCE. He saw the effulgence of kṣātra in his surroundings. He had seen the lacunae and failings of the system of republics. Even so, he felt that one should support the war that is fought out of love for one’s freedom. Today Buddha has become a symbol for the cowardly pseudo-secularism. Buddha was a person who sincerely upheld Vedic values.

Among the Dravidianists

Backgrounder

The Tamil country stands tallest among all Indian regions that swallowed the missionary and colonial propaganda of the Aryan Invasion Theory in the closing decades of the 19th Century onwards. More specifically, sections of the Tamil country uncritically swallowed the “Dravidian” propaganda, internalized it, gave it an ideological shape premised basically on the linguistic separateness of Tamil.

The Tradition of Kshaatra in India – The Strengths and Weaknesses of Ashoka

All the historians of the world have unanimously hailed Aśoka. That Aśoka was an ideal king has been widely circulated. In ancient times, no other king, in no other part of the world undertook the establishment of so many dharma-śāsanas (rock edicts pertaining to law and dharma) like Aśoka. About two thousand three hundred years back, no other king had an empire of such expanse, to this extent, or this sort of reign. Nobody has recorded their acts with such extreme introspection or self-proclamation.

The Tradition of Kshaatra in India – Chanakya's Genius

The personalities of Chanakya and Chandragupta were of similar eminence, similar spirit; the supreme testimony to this fact is that such a large empire was managed efficiently for several years and the onslaught of the ambitious, war-hungry Alexander was quelled without leaving even a trace of its memory. From this we learn how sharp their developmental strategy must have been. We see how bright that patriotism must have been, which found inspiration from their strong sense of identity.