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There is nothing here about Chandragupta particularly, nor is the statement attributed to Magasthenes, nor is there the slightest mention of the Persian or any other calendar. The ceremony refers to the well-known Vedic ritual of the royal abhishechanīyam and to the customary presents brought on the occasion by the subjects.
M'Crindle in translating the passages gives in a foot-note (Ancient India, page 75) a passage from Herodotus (IX, 110) which says that Xerxes on his birthday prepared a feast when "only the king washes his head with soap and makes presents to the Persians." It is to be noticed that the Persian King 'made presents' to his tribe while the Hindu King' received presents ' from his subjects; moreover, the Persian King alone was allowed soap and he washed his head on his birthday. No such predications are to be had about the Indian King in the passage of Strabo. To mix Herodotus with Strabo is a mistake; one account relates to Persia and the other to India; to pick up a piece from the former and to mix it up with a portion of the latter would be to give a piece of history that would not be faithful to fact. Then to attribute that history to Megasthenes is worse than unscientific. And on the basis of that history *Ito generalize about Chandragupta that "he organizes his court along purely Persian lines and pays regard to Persian ceremonial down to the washing of his royal hair" (p. 417) and that "Megasthenes will bear us testimony that the Indian court was almost wholly Persian in his day" (p. 71) is rather reckless.
I pass over such assertions as " His very masons are import ed Persians for whom the monarch has such marked regard that he ordains a special set of penalties for all who injure them." No serious attempt at proving them has been made. The discussion on "numismatic evidences" is likewise fruitless. "It is conceded, that the punch-marked coins are the oldest coinage in India. The Mauryas must have used them, as they cannot have been without coinage." Upon this hypothesis
Vincent Smith, Early History of India, 1908, page 122, approvod and followed by Dr. Spooner.
another is built and three pages further we are asked to accept that the variety bearing the representations "peacocks (mayura) standing on Mount Maru" are 'Mauryan coins', "the more particularly since we know them to be contemporary with the dynasty": a matter which needs proving, as without it we would be merely begging the question.
For the statement that "Persepolis was the ancestral home " of Chandragupta two arguments have been advanced. One is philological and the other is, "the statements of the Greek historians and the otherwise extraordinary fact that Chandragupta's palaces scem copies of the Persepolitan" (p. 409). No such statement is found in the Greek historians. I have searched in vain in every possible place for the statement describing Chandragupta's palaces" as copies of the Persepolitan "* The only passage Learing on the subject (Aelianos, XIII, 18) says: "In the Indian royal palace where the greatest of all the kings of the country resides, besides much else which is calculated to excite admiration, and with which neither Memnomian Susa with all its costly splendour, nor Ekbatana with all its magnificence can vie (for, methinks, only the well-known vanity of the Persians could prompt such a comparison), there are other wonders besides" (M'Crindle). There is no mention of Persepolis, and no mention of any copy whatsoever, If Aelian's authority is Megasthenes (as it has been believed, M'Crindle, page 112; V. Smith, 119-20), the passage is a positive authority to hold that the theory of Persian inspiration for Chandragupta's palaces cannot be entertained. Aelian, certainly, and Megasthenes, probably, would have ridiculed a Persian had the latter suggested that they seemed to be copies of the Persepolitan or any other Persian palaces.
The philological argument is based on the equation Võurva = Maurya. Philologically there is no flaw in the equation. But there is not the slightest evidence that in the 4th century B. C. Persepolis was called Mourva. Darius, in his inscription, calls it Persis, and so do the writers of the time of Alexander. It is
* Dr. Spooner does not give any reference.
wholly contrary to historical evidence to call Persepolis Mourva', and absolutely arbitrary to connect the Mauryas with Persepolis, Mourva of the Vendidad is identified with Merv and is taken by Meyer, the foremost authority of our day on Persian history, as a place-name and not an ethnic appellation. It seems that serious chronological objection arises to deriving Maurya from Mōurva in that the latter form had gone out of use long before the time of Chandragupta. Darius in his Behistum inscription. gives the form Margu. But no room for any speculation is left if we take into account the oldest vernacular form of Maurya' known to Indian literature. The Hathigumph inscription of Orissa which is contemporary with the last days of the Mauryas has Rāja-Muriya*; and Muriya is the form found in the Jain chronological gathā. This form can only be connected with Mura which, the Sanskrit authorities say, was the name of Chandragupta's mother; the form could not be derived from Mourva. Muriya dislodges Mourva altogether.
The connection of Chandragupta with the Nandas is well established (a point which Dr. Spooner recognises, page 417). You cannot call Chandragupta a Parsi and leave his reputed father (Nanda) a Hindu. The difficulty is solved by Dr. Spooner by declaring the Nandas also to have been Parsis. Nothing like proof, however, has been given to support the thesis. We have only this: "The latter (the later Nandas) were hated cordially, and is it not recorded that they exterminated all the Kshatriyas? If they are Persian invaders, this is sensible enough." As the Nandas were rich, it is asserted that they came as merchant princes first, and won their empire as the English did.' Suppositions piled upon suppositions prove no case. On the other hand, there is positive and contemporary evidence that the Nanda who was ruling when Alexander came was the son of a barber (Curtius, ix, 2, Diodorus, xciii). The Puranas in effect say the same. There is no opportunity for
Dr. Fleet's interpretation of the inscription has not been accepted. Dr. Spooner is literally right when he says there is no Moriya in that epigraph, for it has Muriya.
the Parsi Merchant-Prince of Dr. Spooner to claim and ascend the imperial throne upon which sat the Hindu barber.
In dealing with Chanakya Dr. Spooner (page 419) casually suggests that the Jyotish Vedānga is attributable to the Persian influence. But the Jyotish is astronomically dated in the twelfth century B.C., which is long before the birth of Persepolis and the Persian empire.
Internal evidence in the Artha Shastra perfectly disposes of any theory alleging a non-Brahman origin of the Mauryan chancellor. Chanakya enumerates the triple Vedas beginning with the Saman. Now it is a practice well-known to Vedic literature that a Brahman mentions his own Veda first. Chanakya was thus a Sama-vedin, and not an "Atharvan" as Dr. Spooner calls him (page 420). In fact Chanakya does not count the Atharva-Veda in his Trayi or the Vedic triple (Artha Shastra, page 7).
Dr. Spooner argues that medicine was associated with the Magians and as Chanakya practised medicine which (he says) the Brahman hated, Chanakya as a Brāhman is found 'in suspicious circumstances' when the curtain lifts'. It is undoubtedly evident from his book that the great chancellor knew medicine which he must have studied at Taxila, his home and the famoug
But there is not a shred
place for that science in ancient days. of evidence that he practised medicine. Such being the case it is not necessary to examine the general proposition whether Orthodox Brahmans in the fourth century B.C. did or did not practice medicine.
Chanakya's salutation to Sukra and Brihaspati in the beginning of his book is taken by Dr. Spooner to be encouraging' (I think, to his theory), as 'there is a distinctly astrological flavour about' it. Whether a distinct astrological flavour would help much the theory is a question which might be shelved, for the premise itself is wrong. Brihaspati and Sukra of Chanakya were not stars but human beings. They were the greatest authorities on Hindu politics; they have been mentioned in the Grihya Sutras and the Dharmasutras; and they have been copiously
quoted by Chanakya himself in 'the very book on the first page of which homage is done to them. Then it is more than doubtful that the invocation, as it appears, is ancient. We have only one manuscript of the Artha Shastra up to this time.
Great emphasis has been laid on Lokāyātā appearing in the course prescribed for the education of princes in the Artha Shastra because Lokayata, Dr. Spooner points out, is said to mean atheism (page 419). "If this be right Chanakya's orthodoxy is impugned at once." But 'impugned orthodoxy' does not turn a Brahman into a Parsi priest. Lokayata, however, did not mean atheism in ancient times. The matter has been discussed as early as 1899 by Professor Rhys Davids (Dialogues of the Buddha, ii, 166-172) who says: "The best working hypothesis to explain the above facts seems to be that about 500 B.C. the word Lokayata was used in a complimentary way as the name of a branch of Brahman learning ".
There are two more points urged as evidence of the Magian identity of Chanakya. The opening lines of chapter XII of the Artha Shastra are quoted. According to them orphans to be maintained by the State were to be taught astrology, palmistry, reading of augury, etc. Dr. Spooner thinks that no Hindu would have instituted such a curriculum; 'but it would be', he says, 'reasonable enough for a Magian minister of state'. If the heading of the chapter had been noticed, confusion would have been avoided. Chanakya treats astrology with contempt, not with Magian respect. He says that men for the secret service of police should be recruited from the ranks of orphans. They should be made astrologer-spies. The whole chapter is on the Institution of the Secret Service and such is the title of the chapter.
Dr. Spooner thinks that as Chanakya prescribes that the Royal Purohita must be a Brahman versed in the Atharvan and that he must be followed by king, Chanakya was a Parsi priest. But there is nothing Parsi in this. Orthodox authority even anterior to Chanakaya is unanimous that the