Decline of Mauryan Empire and the Causes of Downfall of Mauryan Empire
Decline of Mauryan Empire and Causes of Downfall of Mauryan Empire
Ashoka ruled over the Empire for forty years. In 232 BC this noble and highly religious king died. After his death the Mauryan Empire began to decline. Among his successors there was none who could manage the affairs of this vast Empire. Some scholars are of the Opinion that the process of decline had begun even when Ashoka was living and they feel that the Religious policy of Ashok was to a great Extent Responsible for the Decline of Mauryan Empire.
They are of the Opinion that Ashok, by Encouraging Buddhism had incurred the displeasure of the Brahmins and they erupted into a force when they secured the help of Pushyamitra Shung who gave a strong jerk to the Mauryans and raised them to the Ground. Which led to the Decline of Mauryan Empire.
(1) Absence of the Means of Communication :
In those days the rivers and roads served at the only routes of travel and a man could not cover the distance of more than 30 miles in a day. The movements were slow. Even Roads were not kept in good condition and the transport by river was also not very well organised. Thus a good control could not be maintained over the Far flung parts of the Empire. The administrative set up began to be started and the rule of the central Authority over the Governor and the Provincial Government began to Grow Slack.
(2) Atrocities Committed by the Government Officials :
With the unstability in the Central Administration the officers in the Provinces became autocratic. They Oppressed people under their Charge. Even in the days of Bindusara and Ashoka the People of Taxila Revolted.
(3) Conspiracies and intrigues in the court :
After the death of Bindusara there were internecine wars between the sons of Bindusara. The War Fought between Ashoka and Sussim had shaken the Foundations of Mauryan Empire. Even Ashoka had a number of queens and several sons were born to Each one of them. After the death of Ashoka the war of Succession again followed.
Each Prince had some followers who intrigued and conspired against the others. There were parties formed even amongst the state officials. Only Strong Emperors like Chandragupta, Bindusara and Ashoka could keep them under their control. In the absence of such rulers disruption was bound to follow. The Empire suffered greatly from these Intrigues and the end came when the last Mauryan ruler brihdaratha was killed by Pushyamitra Shung.
(4) Successors of Ashoka were Weak and Worthless :
After the death of Ashoka Seven Mauryan King ascended the throne but none of them was strong enough to keep the Empire well organised and United. The internal Intrigues and foreign attacks Sapped the Energy of the Empire and it came to an end.
(5) Foreign Invasions :
In the last days of Mauryan kings a Greek King Invaded India. Though the Effect of this Invasion remained confined to North-western India but it was Ominous for the Decline of Mauryan Empire.
(6) Negligence towards the Intelligence Department :
Chandragupta Maurya had Organised the Intelligence Department and made it very efficient. It was through the help of this department that Chandragupta kept his eyes on the Governors and other Government Officials. All the Government Officials remained in dread of teh central Authority.
but Ashoka discontinued this department of political intelligence and in its place had the Religious intelligence department. The result was obvious provincial governments and Government Officials began to believe as if they were kings themselves and the central government not knowing anything as to what was happening in the distant provinces could not take any preventive action.
(7) The Religious Policy of Ashoka :
Though Ashoka Himself was very Liberal and Highly respected all the religions, yet the Brahmins who had been the political sovereigns of the country for hundreds of years could not see the country Governed by any other but themselves. Ashoka had made Buddhism the state religion and this was the great cause of irritation to the Brahmins as they had lost that privileged position in the Society so they began to conspire and indulge in intrigues.
After the death of Ashoka when there was no Worthy man on the throne they found an opportunity to ruin the Empire so they Helped Pushyamitra Shung in the crime of Murdering Brihdaratha the last Mauryan Ruler.
These are the 7 Important Reasons for the Decline of Mauryan Empire these notes are detailed notes for UPSC SSC Examination.