Śakas, have been found in the Konkan area. Nāgārjunikonda inscriptions refer a Śaka named Moda (Ep.Ind., vol.20, p.37).
This and many other pieces of evidence point to the extension of the Śakas in the South and their extensive settlements there (IHQ, 38, 1962, p.208, note 27). The Śaka warriors in traditional dress, found during excavations at that place is a further proof of this fact. Nilakanta Sastri and others referred to certain Tamil texts supporting the Maurya invasion of the South where the Maurya chariots are shown as rolling across a cutting for road made in the mountains for that purpose (ANM, pp.252ff, Journal of Indian History, JIH (1975), pp.243ff.). The Nagarjunakonda Buddhist complex, and monastery were built by the Yakṣas under the directions of Nāgārjuna himself as per Korian [Korean] traveller Hui-Chao's account of the 8th century AD (JIH, 48 (1970) pp.415ff). It was destroyed by the followers of Śankarācārya in the 8th century, after flourishing for 700 years (ibid., p.421: R.C.Mitra, The decline of Buddhism in India, (1954), p.130, L.Joshi, Studies in Buddhist culture of India, (1967), p.396). Referring to certain ancient sculptures on the Nilgiri hills, Father Metz states that these were called Moriarie Mane `house of the Morias' and recognises in the latter the Mauryas or Usbeck Tatars (Oppert, The original inhabitants of India, 1892, p.183, quoted in IHQ 12 (1936) 340). "Col. Congreve referred to the Scythian origin of these people and their cairns. The Chinese called them the Yue-Che; and the Vedas, the Purāṇas, the Buddhists and Jain traditions referred to them as the Yakshas." (IHQ, 12 (1936) 341). A. Banerji Sastri takes Mura to be a non-Aryan (ie. non-Indian) root (ibid.). Przyluski explains Maurya through the Prākṛt form Mora (ibid.), but he too, it seems, was misled into this mistake under the impression that the word is Indian. Referring to the origin of the Mor Jats, Tribes and Castes, Vol.II (1970), says that, "Mor is so called because a peacock (Mor) protected their ancestor from a snake". As already mentioned all these are baseless theories because the premise, viz., that Mor stands for the peacock is itself baseless. When the basic hypothesis is wrong, the conclusions are bound to be wrong!.
2. From the above discussion it is clear that Mor is not an Indian word and has no connection whatsoever with the peacock. It is a Central Asian clan name of the Jats and means the head or crown. That is why Divyāvadāna, the Ceylonese chronicle, states that Mauryas were `crown-headed' kshatriyas (mūrdkābhishiktakshatriyāḥ), because that is exactly the meaning of the word, Mor. Evidence is attested below
to show that these people came to India when the first Jat empire of the Mandas was superceded under Cyrus the Great, and Darius. It is a well-known fact that when the last Manda Emperor Ishtuvegu was taken prisoner by Cyrus the Great, with the help of General Harpagus, many Central Asian Jats had to run to India and in other directions. Those who did not lend their loyalty to Cyrus had to flee. Those who remained loyal to Darius, were called `Euergetae', ie. "the benefactor Jats." Many others had to flee under his successor, Darius. Jean Przyluski calls them Bahlikas from Iran and Central Asia (Journal Asiatique, 1926, pp.11-13) and Buddha Prakash calls them "exotic and outlandish people". (SIHC, p.35). Referring to the Maga priests, Srivastava shows that these Maga priests came to India during the 6-8th century BC (Proceedings of the Indian History Congress, Bhagalpur Session, 1968, pp.86 ff). It is well-known that these Magas or Magians were priests of the Manda empire of Ecbatana.
The main tribes of the Jats who had to flee under the circumstances mentioned above were the Mandas, the Varikas, the Mores, the Sibis, the Attris, the Khattris, the Kangs, the Pors, etc. All these Jat clans are still existing in India and they are aptly termed as Bahlikas, ie people of Balkh area or the Oxus river. The empire-building habit was in their blood and they have seen how their own empire was succeeded by the Achaemenians and Alexander. On the other hand, their own various clans were scattered and were fighting each other. It is these tribes whom Pāṇini called Āyudhajīvis and it was to their federation that the name of Jat Sangha was given by Pāṇini (Jatā Jhaṭa Sanghāte). It is these people who established numerous cities in Uttarapatha, with their names ending with kaṇṭha, well-known to Pāṇini (V.S.Agrawala, India as known to Pāṇini, pp.68-69). From the same source we know of the existence of other Jat clans in Panjab at that time. For example, Maharājki, Kunḍu (Kaundaparatha), Dhānḍa (Dandaki), Dhāmā, Parsavāl (Parsavah), Syāl (Salva), Kathia or Kathwal (Kathoi of the Greeks), Mall or Malli (Malloi of the Greeks and Malavas of the Indians) etc.etc. It is these people again who established many Sun-temples in the Panjab and Uttarāpatha which were seen by the Greeks who came with Alexander. It is further well known that Sun-worship was entrusted to the priests called Maga/Magians, for they knew best how to serve it (Alberuni's India, by Sachau, 1914, p.121). Even the name of a prince is given as Assagetes by the Greeks (ANM, p.51). Mudrārākshasa mentions the armies of Śakas, Yavanas, Bahlikas and
others who were the allies of Chandragupta Maurya, even though they were estranged against him during the conquest of Magadha. The Greek accounts mention that the Araṭṭas were on the side of Chandragupta. These Āraṭṭas, called robbers by the Greeks, were these very people who formed the vanguard of Chandragupta's army, and they were so called because their form of Government was republican, ie. kingless. How do we explain the fact that the viceroy of Ujjain under Aśoka, was called by the Persian title Kshatrapa? (K.A.N. Sastri, History of India, Pt. I, p.112). Why was the viceroyalty of Saurastra given by Aśoka to the `Persian' Tushaspha? (The age of Imperial unity, p.61).
Another indication of the foreign nature of these people is given by the Purāṇas and other Indian works. The Vishṇu Purāṇa calls them śūdras. The Mārkaṇḍeya Purāṇa(88.5), brands the Mauryas as Asuras. The Mudrārākshasa calls these people as Mlecchas and Chandragupta himself is called `kulahīna', ie, an upstart of unknown family. In the same drama, a character Ḍingarāṭa figures in the retinue of Chandragupta and Malayaketu. This name is manifestly non-Indian (SIHC, p.140). The Yuga Purāṇa called them "utterly irreligious, though posing as religious."
One is forced to reflect as to why so much antagonism has been expressed against the Mauryas by the narrators of the Purāṇas. The theory of patronage of Buddhism by Aśoka being the cause will not do, because Chandragupta was more inclined to Jainism and many other kings of the Maurya dynasty were Brahmanical. The reason lies in the foreign origin of these people. That is why they are called Mleccha, Asura, etc. They relate how the Nandas were uprooted as the earth passed to the Mauryas. But, even here, the credit for this achievement is given to a Brāhmaṇa Kauṭilya or Chāṇakya, even though this very Kauṭilya had a low opinion of the army of Brāhmaṇas (Artha-Śāstra, 9.2). He was also the first to devise equal punishment for equal offenses, irrespective of the status of the wrong-doeṛ This was directly against the Brahmanical law under which no Brāhmaṇa can be given capital punishment under any circumstances. It is interesting to note that even Chāṇakya, (who was so-called because he was born in village Chaṇaya in Golla District at Gandhara, SIHC, p.94), has been mentioned as belonging to Pāṭaliputra in the Bṛhatkathākośa. If Chāṇakya can be mentioned as originally from Magadha, there is no wonder that the Mauryas too were so described.
The next point to note, in this connection, is the administration, policy, ceremony at the court, and various other aspects of Mauryan polity, which clearly and unmistakably show that these were copied from the Achaemenian emperors (V.A.Smith, Early history of India, pp.128ff; `Persian influence on Mauryan India', Indian Antiquary (IA) 35 (1905) p.201-3; Roy Chaudhury, Political History of Ancient India, 4th ed., p.245, etc.). Almost all authors on Mauryan administration, art and culture, speak of the Persian as well as Greek influence. Coomaraswami (History of Indian and Indonesian art) says correctly that, "there is comparatively little in Indian decorative art that is peculiar to India and much that India shares with Western Asia." Excavations on Bhir mound at Taxila produced a winged stag which is similar to the Persian model (Archaeological Survey of India, ASR 1919-20, pl.XI, figure 2). The polished sandstone statues at Sarnath, wearing a crenallated crown, the method the of wearing, the waist cloth without the kaccha, as we find in the two Patna Yaksha statues in the Indian Museum, and the coiled armlet, decorated spirally, of the same statues, inevitably recall Achaemenian parallels. (IHQ, 7 (1931) 229 ff, quoted ANM, p.356).
Much more important evidence of Persian cultural influence on the Mauryan court and cultural ideology is afforded by the account of the city of royal palaces in (Pāṭaliputra) left by the Greek writers as well as the actual remains of the city and the palaces unearthed by Waddell and Spooner (ibid.): "That the magnificent palaces of Pataliputra reminded Megasthenes of the palaces of Susa and Ecbatana, is not without significance." (ibid., p.357). Here, we must pause and remember that the city of Ecbatana was built by the Maṇda Jats as their first capital. There is no wonder that the same people followed the same models when they built their palaces of Pataliputra. We must also note that stone on a large scale was first introduced into India by the Mauryans. In pre-Mauryan India the houses were mainly built of mud and wood. The use of stones was unknown, at least on a large scale. On the other hand, in their Persian and Central Asian empire, the Jats were habituated to this media of construction. "This adoption of the Persepolitan style of building at Pāṭaliputra was not the result of the contact of the Achaemenian and Indian sculptures but was due to conscious adoption of the plan of the Achaemenian Hall of the Public Audience by the Maurian emperors ..." (Chanda, quoted, ibid., p.358). This remark further proves our theory that it was not the mere imitation of the Persian art and architecture, but it was a
deliberate and conscious continuation of the style of architecture by the Mauryan Jats when they came to India from Ecbatana and other Central Asian areas. That is why, it is established, that whatever extant remains of Mauryan period are available, were "worked out by the orders of the Mauryan monarchs under their direct supervision." (ibid.) Therefore, it is not merely the influence of Achaemenian empire or of the Greeks that was working on the Mauryan mind. They themselves were the forerunners of the Persian and Greek empires. They themselves had started the methods of administration and polity as well as architecture. That is why, "even after the extinction of Echaemenian power, importation of Achaemenian art objects to India seems to have continued." Here, we would modify the statement slightly. The art objects were not imported from Persia, they were made in India under the direct supervision of the Jat elite who had complete familiarity with the same. It has been recognised that the Mauryan government was, to a great extent, influenced by Achaemenid and Hellenistic traditions. (Conc. history of India, pp.54-55), and that Chandragupta Maurya did more to Hellenise India than Demitrius and Menander." Referring to the columns of the Hall of Pāṭaliputra, the same authority concludes, "This definite and distinctive schools of sculpture is, to a large though uncertain extent, un-Indian." (ibid., p.90-91). The edict of Aśoka begin with the usual form of Devānāmpiya Piyadasi evamāha, which, according to Senart, "is an absolutely isolated example in Indian epigraphy." (ibid., p.359). The inscriptions of Darius as well as Aśoka use the same word, Dipi or Lipi, to designate the inscriptions and the Indian form was borrowed from Persia (ibid.).
There can be no doubt that the impetus came from outside. The very sudden use of stone and that, at once, for monumental use of large designs and huge proportions, and the quick process of evolution from primitive to conscious, civilised and sophisticated form and appearance, from tribal to imperial outlook, that is evident in the total effect of the columns point unmistakably in that direction. It has been repeatedly suggested, not without reason, that this extraneous impetus and inspiration came from Iran of the Achaemenid emperors, some have suggested that the Mauryan columns are but indeed adaptations of the Achaemenian prototype. Attempts have been made to deny the extent of debt, not again without a certain amount of justice, but few have seriously doubted that West Asian art forms in general, and Achaemenian impetus and inspiration directly in particular, were at work at the root (ANM, p.367). Here, we
remember that Nineveh, the mighty Assyrian capital, had fallen under the Maṇḍa Jats in 606 BC. Ecbatana, on whose model Pātaliputra was built, was planned and built by the Jats under Deioces Maṇḍa. No wonder that they copied their original models. The manner of the loss of the empire, the long struggles to recapture the same, crowned with the temporary success under Gaumātā Maṇḍa in 529 BC, before Darius could succeed on the throne, and the forced flight to India and in other directions, must have kept memory like a burning torch, to beacon and to guide the Jats when they formed yet another empire under the Mor clan. Like themselves, the Mauryan art of government, administration, welfare of the people, art and architecture, dress and manners, social and religious ideas all were immigrant to India.
Yet another significant pointer in the same direction is the attitude of the Mauryan kings towards society in general and many typically Brahmanical rituals in particular. The ancient ṛshis were ascetics and practiced self-control and avoided the five pleasures of the senses. They lived on food left at the door by the faithfuls. They possessed a noble stature and tender and bright mind and always remained engaged in their own pursuits. In course of time, however, they began to covet a king's riches and objects of pleasure, such as women with ornaments, chariots yoked with stately horses. With an eye to these gains they approached king Ikṣvāku and persuaded him to celebrate various sacrifices, and received wealth, women and chariots, horses and cows, as fees from the king. Coveting more and more, they again persuaded him to celebrate sacrifices with the offering of cows, the slaughter of which enraged the gods. From the sacrificial shed, the priest used to order, "Kill as many bulls for the sacrifice, killas many he-calves, kill as many she-calves, so many goats, so many rams, all for the sacrifice. His servants, messengers, workers, all made the perparations either with tears in their eyes or weeping for fear of punishments."
The above narration of the change of the ancient rishis into the ritual priests is based on Buddhist Texts. Its confirmation is found in the Śrauta manuals of the Brāhmaṇas also (ANM, pp.289-291). The huge gains offered to the priests must have increased their greed and they even tried to gain kingship which was expressly banned for the Brāhmaṇas by the Vedic literature. "Un-suited for kingship is the Brāhmaṇa", declared Śatapatha Brāhmaṇa (tr. Eggling, Pt.III, p.4), but all the ancient rules had been changed and many of them were made into their direct opposites. We shall probably never know
exactly in what way and by what degree the Vedic rites and forms of the Epic and Rationalistic periods were changed into the norms of modern Hinduism." The ancient domestic and other sacrifices, "were ... supplanted by these very temple priests whom Manu contemptuously classes with sellers of meat and wine, with shopkeepers and usurers." (III 151, 180 of Manu-Smṛti, quoted R.C.Dutt, A History of civilisation in Ancient India', vol.II, p.95).
The Mauryas stopped all these rituals. Dīghanikāyamentions a Buddhist priest advising the king to abandon sacrifices which involved unnecessary loss of life and wealth, and to provide seed etc. to those who desire to cultivate land, to furnish capital those who wanted to do business, and to give job and suitable salaries to those who sought government services. King Dīrghanemi exhorted his sons to eradicate poverty and unemployment from the land by distributing work and money among the people. This secular approach to social problems, in itself quite modern and still relevant in the present-day society, was completely against the high and low social distinctions. The state advanced seeds, cattle and capital to promote cultivation (Arthaśāstra, 2.34, p.115). The land belonged to those who cultivated it, and hence the inability to cultivate land rendered it liable to forefeiture (ibid.). Kauṭilya classes the traders with those people who were really thieves but parade as gentlemen (ibid., 4.2.76, p.204). Profits of the traders were fixed at 5%, in the case of home made goods and 10% in the case of foreign goods (ibid., 4.2.77, p.206). The concept of caste was completely given up and the privileges associated with it were shorn off all validity. Brāhmaṇas were not exempt from capital punishment. Even religion was used as a byword. For Kauṭilya the use of temples is to make money from the people in the form of offerings for the state exchequer. The state-appointed officer called Devatādhyaksha, is "directed to raise money by manipulating worship of divine images and exploiting the credulousness of the people such as organising fairs and festivals .... (ibid.5). Even the authority of the Vedas, the lure to heaven and the doctrine of retribution are invoked only to push up the moral of the army (ibid, 10.3.153). Aśoka openly expressed his disapproval of the ceremonies on the occasions of birth, marriage, death, etc. and called them petty and worthless (Aśoka's Rock Edict, IX Kalsi). The Arthaśāstra permitted widow marriage for Brāhmaṇas (3.2.39). Divorce, too, was allowed (3.3), and was termed Mukti (`liberation').
Even niyoga (getting children after the husband's death), was permitted for Brāhmaṇa widows (Arthaśāstra.3.6.24) (for further details, see R.N.Sharma, Brahmins through the Ages, Delhi 1977). "Hence the old nobility and priesthood melted and merged in a common stream of humanity." The Yuga Purāṇa declared, "In that case people would lose their nobility and religion. Brāhmaṇas Kshatriyas, Vaiśyas and Śūdras will behave and dress themselves alike." (Quoted by Buddha Prakash, op cit, p.200).
Thus we see that the Brahmanical caste distinctions, rituals, sacrifices, even wasteful expenditure on birth, marriage and death ceremonies was denounced openly. Laws of the land were made applicable to all without distinction of caste or creed. Hence, writing after the commencement of the Christian era, Aśvaghosha reflects that "the Brāhmaṇas as caste had disappeared and instead of cāturvarṇya (four castes), there was only one caste (ekvarṇa)." (Vajrasūchi, p.193, quoted ibid.).
It is important, however, to note that all these policies were against the traditional Indian social and religious and political system. During that period no native Indian dynasty could have gone so much against the Indian traditions. Only the immigrants of Mor clan could do so. Perhaps this was one of the causes of their downfall too. This was certainly the cause of their inglorious ignorance by the Puranic writers.
5. Chandragupta Maurya has been identified with 'Kand' of Masudi, 'Kaid' of Firdausi, and 'Kafand' of Mujmul-ut-tawarikh by Buddha Prakash (SIHC, pp.91ff.). Now, the last named authority is quoted by Elliot and Dowson at p.108, vol.II of their 'History of India as told by its own historians'. The important point, however, is that 'Kafand' is expressly mentioned as non-Hindu (non-Indian), who made fine speeches and won the heart of the Indians by his sweet words and complimentary deeds. If the proposed identification of Kafand with Chandragupta is correct, then this is a clear statement that he was a foreigner in India.
Thus we can conclude that the correct name of the clan of Chandragupta was Mor. It is the same word which is the surname of some people in England and written as `Moor'. It is, again, this word, which is the European `Moor'. We have already noted how the Jats spread out from Central Asia in various directions and many of them went to Europe, where they were called Gots/Juts. We have also mentioned how the Jat clan Sibi, called Sibis or Suevis, went into