Did Helena actually conspire with her father to destroy Bindusara?

By Sunil Kumar

Television history is usually a soap-opera; mostly far from reality; spiced up to feed the audience with intriguing storylines; and keep them engaged.

Now; the real story is sometimes even stranger than fiction. According to the academic narrative; there was definitely a war between Chandragupta Maurya and Seleucus Nicator; one of the Diadochi(Alexander’s friends, family and generals etc).

Some narratives mention that there was a romantic affair between Chandragupta Maurya and Helena; both of them becoming infatuated with each other. However; Seleucus Nicator did not approve of the “heathen”; but Chandragupta Maurya wanted the mleccha’s daughter; so he fought a battle and eventually won.

Chandragupta's empire when he founded it c. 32...

Chandragupta’s empire when he founded it c. 320 BCE, by the time he was about 20 years old. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Chandragupta Maurya took up Jainism in present-day Karnataka according to the most popular story; and Helena by most accounts was an ideal foreigner in India; loving the land and its people; learning Sanskrit and Indian classical music.

The name of Bindusara’s mother was Durdhara; who according to some sources was Macedonian. Also; most historians suggest that there were cordial relations between the Indians and the Greeks; Nicator was more interested in the brutal slashing/game of thrones happening amongst the Macedonians/Greeks after Alexander’s death; and cementing his own position.

So; in all probability; the story depicted in Chakravartin Ashok Samrat is TV masala.

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