Samrat Bindusar might not be that famous like his predecessor Chandragupta Maurya and successor Chakravartin Ashoka Samrat, but he had an important role to play in the Mauryan dynasty which was established by his father Chandragupta Maurya.
Here, let us have a look at his life story:
Bindusar is the First Child Born out of Cesarean Operation
Chanakya had a habit of feeding Chandragupta Maurya with poison to increase his immunity because in those days Chandragupt had many enemies and anybody could attempt to kill him by giving poison. So, Chanakya started giving him small dose of poison in his food which eventually he increased with time. Nobody knew about this, not even Chandragupta Maurya himself, until when his 9 months pregnant wife Dhurdara ate with him.
The poison affected her immediately and she could not be saved. However, it was very important that the child survive because he was the heir of Maurya vansh. So, Chanakya immediately decided to cut her abdomen and deliver the baby. This boy was Bindusar. His mother Dhurdara died the moment he was born.
Why He was Named Bindusar?
By the time he was taken out the womb, it is said that a drop of the poison already settled at his head. Due to this, the baby got a permanent spot (bindu in the then language used by the Mauryans) on his forehead. This is the reason why Chandragupta Maurya’s son was named as Bindusar. This story is described in the Jain texts.
At 22, He Inherited the Vast Mauryan Empire
Bindusar was only 22 when Chandragupta Maurya, his father and the founder of the Mauryan Empire decided to retire. While, he inherited a large empire which extended from northern to the eastern parts, he also extended his empire down south till Karnataka.
In addition, Bindusar also brought 16 states under his empire and thus captured the “land between the two seas” – the peninsular area between Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal. However, during his reign he didn’t conquer the Dravidian kingdoms ruled by Cheras, the Cholas and the Pandyans.
Bindusar Shared Good Relations With Selecus Nicator and the Helenic West
Since Bindusar had family relations with Greeks as Chandragupta Maurya had married Helena, he shared good relations with the ruler i.e. Selecus Nicator, Helena’s father. He also maintained good relations with Helenic west, which his father Chandragupt had built. It is said that ambassadors from Egypt and Syria lived in his court.
Chankaya Remained Advisor to Bindusar
In lieu of famine, Chanakya had left Magadh and strolled towards the Deccan with his begging bowl when Bindusar became the Samrat. However, he still remained advisor to the Samrat. This obviously was not liked by many ministers who were present in the court.
Bindusar Died a Natural Death
Bindusar died a natural death. The year is 272 BCE some records even mention it as 268 BCE. However, when he died, it was not clear who would be his next heir – whether his elder son Sushim, his other sons or his son from Devi Dharma – Ashoka and Vitashoka. Due to this there was a war of succession in which Ashoka triumphed. He killed all his brothers except one and made him his senapati.