Mauryan Empire Visitor Describes Chandragupta rulers Empire Their
Visitor Describes Chandragupta (ruler’s) Empire • Their tombs are plain, and the mounds raised over the dead lowly. In contrast to the general simplicity of their style, they love finery and ornament. Their robes are worked in gold, and ornamented with precious stones, and they wear also flowered garments made of the finest muslin. Attendants walking behind hold up umbrellas over them: for they have a high regard for beauty, and avail themselves of every device to improve their looks. Truth and virtue they hold alike in esteem. Hence they accord no special privileges to the old unless they possess superior wisdom.
• A person convicted of bearing false witness suffers mutilation of his extremities, He who maims any one not only suffers in return the loss of the same limb, but his hand also is cut off. If he causes an artisan to lose his hand or his eye, he is put to death. The same writer says that none of the Indians employ slaves;
About the King Chandragupta • Crowds of women surround him, and outside of this circle spearmen are ranged. The road is marked off with ropes, and it is death, for man and woman alike, to pass within the ropes. Men with drums and gongs lead the procession. The king hunts in the enclosures and shoots arrows from a platform. At his side stand two or three armed women. If he hunts in the open grounds he shoots from the back of an elephant. Of the women, some are in chariots, some on horses, and some even on elephants, and they are equipped with weapons of every kind, as if they were going on a campaign.
Primary Sources: Edicts of Ashoka • Here, no living thing having been killed, is to be sacrificed; nor is the holding of a festival permitted. For the Beloved of the Gods, the king Piyadassi, sees much evil in festivals.
Edicts of Ashoka • In the past, the killing and injuring of living beings, lack of respect towards relatives, brahmans and sramanas had increased. But today, thanks to the practice of Dharma, on the part of the Beloved of the Gods, the king Piyadassi, the sound of the drum has become the sound of Dharma, showing the people displays of heavenly chariots, elephants and other divine forms. Through his instruction in Dharma abstention from killing and non-injury to living beings, deference to relatives; brahmans and sramanas, obedience to mother and father, and obedience to elders have all increased as never before for many centuries. These and many other forms of the practice of Dharma have increased and will increase.
Edicts of Ashoka • People practice various ceremonies. In illness, at the marriage of sons and daughters, at the birth of children, when going on a journey- on these and on other similar occasions people perform many ceremonies. Women especially perform a variety of ceremonies, which are trivial and useless. If such ceremonies must be performed they have but small results. But the one ceremony which has great value is that of Dhamma. This ceremony includes, regard for slaves and servants, respect for teachers, restrained behavior towards living being and donations to Bramanas and brahmans -- these and similar practices are called the ceremony of Dhamma.