The big problem with the system of republics is the constant infighting. Since their vision is so narrow, when there is an attack from an external enemy, these republics don't unite and offer resistance. It is for this reason an empire is necessary. But the problem with a kingdom or an empire is that the local and regional identities don't survive. An ideal kingdom should lay stress on the local as well as the pan national aspects. But how can this be achieved? This is indeed a big problem even in modern times.
There was a certain amount of misrule and evil during the reign of the Nandas. A powerful force awoke that would destroy all that evil from the past. That was Chandragupta Maurya. What we know from our written history – and commonly agreed upon – is that Chandragupta was a great example for the brilliance of kshaatra. There are many accounts of this in Jaina, Bauddha, and Hindu – Sanatana Dharmic – literature.
The Indian Councils Act of 1909 (popularly known as the Morley-Minto reforms) gave the Muslims of India a separate electorate. This was a strategy of the British to create a further rift between the Hindus and Muslims, which had already begun in 1905 when Bengal was partitioned on religious lines. Sharply criticizing this development, Aurobindo wrote (emphasis mine):
As a remarkable patriot, thinker, and visionary, Sri Aurobindo’s contributions to India are priceless. Unlike other patriots and leaders of his generation, it was in spite of his upbringing that Sri Aurobindo turned out to be such a devoted son to Mother India.
Enamored by the British, Aurobindo’s father Dr. Krishna Dhun Ghose did everything within his power to make his children grow up to be Englishmen. His dream was for his children to enter the Indian Civil Service and so the entire family moved to England in 1879, when Aurobindo was just 7.
The Influence of Alexander
When a great emperor decentralizes a vast kingdom, if he doesn’t use his absolute sovereignty to establish friendly relationships and maintain constant communication with all the regions, if he doesn’t keep his eyes and ears open all the time, his empire will collapse. We get examples for this in Ashoka’s time itself. Why, even in the case of the ambitious Alexander who set out to conquer the world and establish an enormous empire, his sovereignty had an untimely end.
The Magadha Kingdom
One of the greatest losses of the so-called Dravidian discourse in Tamil Nadu is the loss of a number of Hindu devatas or deities in the civilizational consciousness of the Tamils. More pointedly, the cultural-heritage-loss that accompanied this devata loss has in many cases become irreversible. To restate the obvious, most ancient and medieval era temples in Tamil Nadu today have become dens of corruption, squalor, and pettiness at all levels. This rampant degradation continues unchecked.
Now from the Vedas, Itihasas, and Puranas, we come to the era of reality. As such, there is no separate demarcation that separates our ancient texts from history. All the details of the lineage of kings that we find in the Vedas are part of history. For example, an ancient king who is mentioned in the Vedas is Divodasa. His son was Sudasa. The purohita of Sudasa was Vasishta. The Rigveda speaks about the Battle of Ten Kings (दाशराज्ञयुद्ध), in which ten kings combined forces under the guidance of Vishwamitra and attacked Sudasa.
In the previous part of this essay, I traced the origin of the Mackenzie Manuscripts to Col. Colin Mackenzie discovering his life’s mission after his interactions with the Madurai Brahmins whose learning was prolific, vast, deep and multifaceted, and concluded with a mention briefly of their contents.