Many of the TV Viewers are bewildered with the connection of Lion, Chandragupta Maurya, Chanakaya and Ashoka shown in the Chakravartin Ashoka Samrat Serial – Wondering why a Lion has been given so much importance in the drama?
Here we tell you why the majestic Lion was an important animal during the Mauryan empire from Chandra Gupta to Ashoka, why it enjoyed an imperial status, and why it holds a significant place in the Indian culture –
The Role of Lion in Ancient Indian Culture
If you notice the term used for throne in many Indian languages and Sanskrit is ‘Singhasan’ which literally means Seat of the Lion. Then again Maa Durga, the Hindu Goddess of Shakti (strength) mounts on a lion whenever she slays the evil demon. Even the Indian Mythology Mahabharat writen by Sage Vyas repeatedly present us the image of lion to epitomize power and strength. Moreover, even some of the Indian communities who are highly proud of their marital tradition such as Sikh and Rajput use the surname ‘Singh’ meaning Lion.
So, how and why Did Lion Become an Epitome of Strength?
India is the only country where both Tiger and Lion co-exists. Though Tiger is more primitive, Lion symbolizes power, mainly because of its looks and its lifestyle. Well, the lion has a confident approach, maintains a harem of lionesses, and walks with his unshorn mane like a king unlike a Tiger who hunts by stealth and is a symbol of fear. Perhaps that is why even in the countries like China and Britain where Lion never existed, lion is still an imperial symbol. Besides, Lion also gets an important place in Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia culture.
Yes, not just India, every culture around the world that encountered the lion gave the animal a special status.
What is the Connection of Lion and Chandra Gupta Maurya?
All great empire was either created by great warriors or mighty princes but the Mauryan Empire was created by two extraordinary men – one was a Political Science Teacher in Taxila (Chanakya) and other was his pupil – Chandra Gupta Maurya.
The foundation of this story is laid by Alexander who enters into an alliance with the King of Taxila against the wish of Taxila’s Brahmin. Thereby, compelling Chanakya to leave Taxila and move towards powerful Magadh to seek help against the mighty Greek. The Magadh King, the Nanda ruler not only refuse Chanakya to help Taxila, but also insults him.
Chanakya decides to return Taxila and plot his revenge. On his way he mets a boy named Chandra Gupta Maurya. Chanakya brings the boy to Taxila and trains him in aesthetic arts and military tactics for future reign.
Meanwhile, Alexander dies and there is a power vaccum in North India. Chanakya and his pupil use this opportunity, but their initial rebel against the Nanda king fails. Legend says Chandra Gupta then had to flee into the jungle to escape the Nanda king where he collapses due to fatigue and falls into a deep slumber.
However, a strange thing happens here –
A lion appeared and started licking Chandra Gupta Maurya, prompting him to get up. When Chandra Gupta Maurya got up from his deep slumber and saw the majestic lion guarding him, he took the entire incident as a good omen, thus giving him hopes of royal dignity.
Next, with Chanakya’s help and advice, Chandra Gupta ended the kingship of the Nanda Dynasty and ascended the throne of the Magadha Kingdom. He not only eliminated the main source of the Nanda power but also destroyed all his opponents by well-organized schemes, including an active secret service.
This is the reason why we see the majestic Lion guiding Chankaya in his attempt to safeguard the future Magadh in Chakravartin Ashoka Samrat, the historical fictional series on Colors.
By: Deepti Verma