Ashoka was the grandson
ofChandragupta Maurya. Chandragupta was the first ruler of the Mauryan Empire. He ruled
for about twentyfour years, and then, seeking peace of mind, handed over the reigns of his
empire to his son, Bindusara. This Bindusara was the father of Ashoka.
Subhadrangi was the mother of Ashoka. She was the daughter of a poor man of
As a boy Ashoka was not only active also mischievous. He was a skilful hunter. From the
time of Chandragupta Maurya the hunting expedition of the Emperor and the royal family was
a splendid sight.
Ashoka was not handsome. But no prince excelled him in valour, courage, dignity, love
of adventure and ability in administration. Therefore even as a prince Ashoka was loved
and respected by his subjects and by his ministers. Bindusara siscovered the ability of
his son quire early and, when Ashoka was still young, appointed him Governor of Avanti.