The Death of Chanakya : By the son of Chandragupta

Chanakya lived to a ripe old age and died around 283 BC and was cremated by his disciple Radhagupta who succeeded Rakshasa Katyayan (great-grand son of Prabuddha Katyayan, who attained Nirvana during the same period as Gautam Budhha) as Prime Minister of the Maurya Empire and was instrumental in backing Ashoka to the throne. There were three non-traditional belief paths in society those days, Jaina, Buddhist and Ajivaka. Ajivaka practising Chanakya brought about the downfall of the Nandas and their coterie of ministers. Later on, Chandragupta Maurya took Jainism on abdicating his throne which passed to his Son Bindusara who was an “Ajivaka”. Even Ashoka was practising “Ajivaka” who before accession to throne became Buddhist. Bindusara was born before his father ever became Emperor so the below legend is definitely not true.

 Ashoka’s daughter was married in 265 BC and his son Kunala was 18 years of age in 269 BC which means that even the princes married early, Ashoka was born 310 BC and Bindusara around 330 BC. Bindusara means one who encompasses all that is need to be known.

Later on, Ajivikism which was the official religion of the empire since the Kalinga War (261 BC) and for 14 years afterwards, declined and merged into traditional Hinduism. What has been left is a mixture of conflicting Buddhist and Jaina legends which are rejected by Sinhalese chronicles.

According to a legend which is a later jaina invention, while Chanakya served as the chief administrator of Chandragupta Maurya, he started adding small amounts of poison in Chandragupta’s food so that he would get used to it. The aim of this was to prevent the Emperor from being poisoned by enemies. One day the queen, Durdha, shared the food with the Emperor while she was pregnant. Since she was not used to eating poisoned food, she died. Chanakya decided that the baby should not die; hence he cut open the belly of the queen and took out the baby. A drop (bindu in Sanskrit) of poison had passed to the baby’s head, and hence Chanakya named him Bindusara. Bindusara would go on to become a great king and to father the greatest Mauryan Emperor since Chandragupta – Asoka.

When Bindusara became a youth, Chandragupta gave up the throne and followed the Jain saint Bhadrabahu to present day Karnataka and settled in a place known as Shravana Belagola. He lived as an ascetic for some years and died of voluntary starvation according to Jain tradition.

Chanakya meanwhile stayed as the administrator of Bindusara. Bindusara also had a minister named Subandhu who did not like Chanakya. One day he told Bindusara that Chanakya was responsible for the murder of his mother. Bindusara asked the nurses who confirmed this story and he became very angry with Chanakya.

It is said that Chanakya, on hearing that the Emperor was angry with him, thought that anyway he was at the end of his life. He donated all his wealth to the poor, widows and orphans and sat on a dung heap, prepared to die by total abstinence from food and drink. Bindusara meanwhile heard the full story of his birth from the nurses and rushed to beg forgiveness of Chanakya. But Chanakya would not change his mind. Bindusara went back and vented his fury on Subandhu, and killed him.

Chanakya after this incident, renounced food and shortly died thereafter. Bindusara revered Chanakya and the loss of his advisor was a considerable blow to him.

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50 thoughts on “The Death of Chanakya : By the son of Chandragupta

  1. KARAN says:

    DEAR SIR
    I LIKE THIS SO MUCH AS IT SHOW A COMBINATION OF TRUTH AND DUTY OF A PERSON AND HEIGHT OF HIS VIRTUE AT THE END OF LIFE.
    THANKS

  2. anonymous says:

    If you are interested in Maurya Empire and Chanakya i would suggest you take a look at Television Serial named as Chandragupt Maurya by Sagar arts .
    Imagine TV on Friday and Saturday at 9 PM .

  3. neha says:

    For the very first time it happened that i read a history part and i didn’t feel bore…………thanx for upgrading my knowledge…….

  4. Abhishek says:

    Its realy a wonderful story of chanakya..i did’nt knw about him in deep bt through this i catch al d details easily

  5. VIVEK KUMAR says:

    I SO ENJOY TO KNOW THIS, BUT I AM NOT SO HAPPY BECAUSE I DID NOT KNOW THE NAME OF CHANDERGUPTA’S FATHER.

  6. MK says:

    @anonymous : Please do not consider everything to be truth shown on television serials :) ….. Read actual history books and papers for details !

  7. alok singh says:

    sir mai 1 bat se bahut hi confused hu ki ye jo bindusar maharaj hai wo kiske putra hai koi kahata hai ki wo durdhara ke larake hai to kahi maine para hai ki durdhar mar gai jab wo chandragupt ke sath food share kar ke khaya tha or us samay bindusar ka janm nahi hua tha.

  8. annoyzview says:

    I think you have missed the story at one point. Chanakya had given up all his possessions that’s right. He went into a forest and started his fast sitting a heap of dung. When Bindusara heard the real story he did not kill Subandhu rather he asked him seek forgiveness from Chanakya. Subandhu set out to meet Chanakya. Subandhu hated Chanakya and in secret wanted to destroy him. When Subandhu met Chanakya he slid a piece of burning charcoal into the pit. Strong breeze made the place catch fire. It seems that Subandhu requested to go alone to meet Chanakya, so there was no one else to view his crime. Soon the place burned down killing Chanakya.

  9. Navin says:

    You can also watch a an older version of doordarshan called chanakya on you tube, which is really very excellent.

  10. Navin says:

    it was not easy for a idiot like subhandhu to kill chanakya, this story is simply fabricated, and there is no truth.

  11. ASHISH J. DUTT says:

    THIS IS SUCH A NICE HISTORY OF OUR GREAT NATION INDIA WHICH WILL NEVER KNOWN BY ME OR ANYOTHER FROM ANY SOURCES THANKYOU

  12. Ankur Jain says:

    According to history chanakya was too smart,intelligent and…..etc etc..
    I dunno but subhandu cant kill chanakya….to kill chanakya ws nt his cup of tea..!!
    so plzz..
    I want to no d real fact…
    plz update d original newz…

  13. chetan says:

    Chanakya truly a great personality and a role model to many, if his saying can be utilised our nation can still taste his success but some one should stand by it…..our nation is riden with any moment death politicians, who most of them are illitrates and dnt even hold atleast any degree, they know they cant stand by a educated person and they will not allow any educated politicians to get into politics…..and chanakya was succuessful because of the kind of immense knowledge and education he possesed about everything… to me he is the greatest of all (Bow to him). Get into politics and change things.

  14. I.S.DATTA says:

    There are no references to Chanakya in Greek history and literature. Megasthenes, the ambassador of Greeks was in court of Chandragup Maurya for a decade, and who has written much about Chandragupt and others, do not mentions Chanakya. This suggests that Chanakya was not existing at the time of Chandragupt Maurya and was probably created by some people in later period.

    Chandragupt Maurya was clever enough to plan and execute his ambitions, and he didn’t need any Godfather to teach him. But the content of Mudra Rakshas clearly indicates that the drama was written to attach importance to Chanakya and give secondary place to Emperor Chandragupt. Indian history is full of such things

  15. Bishal Trnz Paul says:

    This is a sad story,
    but i liked it.
    And thanks for this information.
    I was searching here and there…
    THANK YOU!!!! ^_^

  16. Dr Racchana says:

    The history is so interesting to know and learn from mistakes of past. The only thing is which version of history shall we consider authentic because the end of Chanakya given here is quite different from elsewhere, where it is mentioned that Subandhu killed Chanakya under the false pretext of going for reconciliation on Bindusaras behalf. So which one is true?

  17. admin says:

    Chandra gupta maurya is different from Chandra gupta gupta. The period 280-320 BC is to do with with Gupta and NOT maurya. That is why Megesthenes did not mention either Buddhism or chanakya.

  18. Chaitanya says:

    Hi,

    Can you tell me what happened to AMATYA RAKCHASH when dhananand died. Was he appointed as the minister of Chandragupta after he took over Magadh by defeating Dhananand.

  19. SRISHTY MEHTA says:

    U are saying that subandhu told bindusar that chanakya was responsible for his mother but television show ashoka (colors) is showing that lady helen told this to bindusar please tell the truth….

  20. Anand says:

    The program asoka which is telecast on the colors TV is showing false… I think this program should be banned….

  21. Ain Satyam says:

    Can you please quote the original source/s of the article from which you have collected the above material. I mean in which ancient author’s book was this written, which person got it translated and when?

  22. Reetika says:

    I want to how chanakya died???
    If u want to know more see Ashoka on colours channel at 9:00 u will understand a lot….

  23. alok jain says:

    acharya chankya aur samrat ashoka ka rista kasa tha aur acharya chankya ke samana ashoka samarat banchuka tha kya esa ka bara ma mujhe hindi ma janakare da plz

  24. ABHIJEET KUMAR says:

    I LIKE SERIAL ASHOKA SAMARAT IT IS MOST INTRESTING SERIAL I WATCH EVEREDAY ASHOKA SAMARAT SERIAL ON CLOURS CHANEEL YOU ALSO WATCH ASHOKA

  25. Sk singhal says:

    I do not tHink this story is true. Chankya after making mudra rakshash as maha amatya or PM of Magadh, left for takshila and taught there till his death.

    Any story perhaps is due to different version in various historical books

  26. SK NAYAK says:

    View “Chakravarty Ashok Samrat” on Colors only on Entertainment purpose. It is a good serial. Every member of a family can see it together.TV Channels are meant only for viewership.
    Do not co-relate with History of Samrat Ashok. You will be confused.

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