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Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Ashoka - Feb 2 & 3 2015 | Episode 1 & 2 | The Stage is Set...

Hi Friends,

The first episode set the stage for the show, introducing the main characters who will be center stage the next few months. 

The leitmotif of the show seems to be the lion that reportedly represents the spirit of Chandragupta Maurya, the founder of the Mauryan dynasty. It's as if Chandragupta Maurya himself is constantly keeping a vigil on the goings-on in his empire and family. 

Link: Symbolism of Lion

The present king is Bindusara, the son of Chandragupta Maurya. Helen, the daughter of the Greek, Selucus Nicator, is the queen mother. It seems her son Justin was not given the chance to become the king and instead, Bindusara became the king. The mother-son duo along with Selucus Nicator himself seems keen on capturing the throne for Justin somehow.

Another important character Mir Khorasan enters the scene with his daughter Noor

Note: Khorasan is a province in Iran and its people speak a dialect closely resembling Persian. 

History Posts under Ashoka Maurya section:

1. Emperor Ashoka Maurya - Introduction to HIM and HIS Family

2. Chanakya's Novel Method to TEST Character of Ministers

3. Emperor Asoka Maurya Killed 99 Brothers to Become King - Fact or Myth ? Why/Did Asoka killed Sushima ?  And some other questions | A Debate

4. What is the BASIS of GREATness ? | From Akbar to Ashoka to Alexander & Maharana Pratap

5. The HISTORY of Samrat Bindusara, Dharma and Ashoka

The introductory scene of Noor is interesting. It is set against the backdrop of the battle of Buzkashi, a sport played on horseback in which the participants try to keep control of the carcass of a headless goat. Bindusara, Noor and Justin seemed to be playing this sport which the king won easily, with Justin being more interested in Noor than in winning the game. 

Note: Buzkashi literally means 'goat grabbing' or 'goat killing'. The carcass is placed in the center of a circle, surrounded by the members of the 2 teams who are on horseback. The objective is to bring the carcass across the winning / goal line or into the winner's circle. 

After the tournament, Khorasan proposes to marry his daughter to Bindusara and also offers his army and support to Bindusara. The latter's wife, mother to baby Sushrima, is distraught but the powerful and persuasive Helen pushes thru the alliance 'in the interests of Magadh'.

This alliance upsets Justin considerably.

Before the marriage can take place, Bindusara goes hunting with the son of Khorasan. Helen asks the minister Amatya Ugrasen, who is in cohorts with her, to make arrangements for the king's trip. Chanakya tries to dissuade the king from going as he fears an attack on the king's life by palace insiders. But the king laughs off his fears and goes anyway.

He is successful in hunting down a wild boar easily but soon falls prey to an ambush by Justin's men. He tries to escape as Khorasan's son and his own men try to fend off the attackers unsuccessfully and are all killed. The king, faint from a grievous chest wound inflicted by an arrow, slips into a waterfall and loses consciousness. 

He is discovered by Dharma and her friends who tries to revive him by using herbal medicine. 

Meanwhile it is presumed in the palace that Bindusara is dead as his crown and sword are found near the bodies of his dead men. Helen and Amatya together hatch a plan to anoint baby Sushrima as the would-be king while the real ruler would be Justin - ostensibly because Sushrima is still a baby.

 The concept of the sabha is interesting. Earlier, kings generally relied on the advice of a sabha or council of ministers. 

Chanakya smells a Greek hand in Bindusara's disappearance and refuses to believe that the king is dead till he sees the actual body. He urges Khorasan to find the king by convincing him that the Greeks have killed his son and attempted to kill his would-be son-in-law.

Meanwhile, it seems the rebels (probably a descendant of the Nanda dynasty) are waiting for just this chance - when Magadh is without a ruler - and start a period of anarchy and chaos. The Greeks encourage this, perhaps because it would make the people accept Justin as the new king more easily - because they would need a new king urgently to control the anarchy.   


Bindusara is highly impressed by the beautiful Dharma and her views on ahimsa and perhaps grateful too that she saved his life. He tries to leave her father's (a brahmin) ashram but she convinces him that he is her responsibility till he has fully recovered from his injuries. 

Bindusara names her Dharma - because she is so rooted to the path of Dharma - and decides to get married to her. Much later in the episode, he confesses to Noor that Dharma completes him and that she is the only woman whom he loves. It is often true that kings are surrounded by beautiful women but are usually more attracted to a simple outsider who appears to bring 'meaning' into their life and makes the concept of 'ardhangini' seem real and understandable.

The next day, Khorasan manages to trace him and convince him to return to Pataliputra to save a burning Magadh from annihilation. He also reminds him of his promise to marry Noor. (Dharma is shocked to discover that her unknown husband is the Magadh emperor.) Bindusara tries to introduce Dharma to Khorasan but she interrupts him and says that he should return to his kingdom to fulfill his responsibilities. And that when the time is right, he can take her to his capital.

Meanwhile, Justin is all set for his coronation but unfortunately for him, just as he is about to wear the crown, Khorasan enters the court with the emperor in his wake. Everyone is stunned but they can hardly do anything except welcome the emperor back and order an inquiry into the attack.

Chanakya catches hold of the attackers and brings them to the king to expose Helen and her son. Here I missed the scene. The main attacker dies in the court- I didn't see how. But Helen pounces on this and says that the man died of the same poison which had left its mark on Bindusara's forehead. (Refer to Abhay's post, which explains the story of how Bindusara got the mark on his face and hence his name.)

Link: How Bindusara Got the Mark on His Forehead and His Name

 She cleverly insinuates thru a careful filtering of the truth that Chanakya had killed Bindusara's mother Durdhara thru poison. Chanakya tries to defend himself by saying that he had tried to make Chandragupta immune to poison and that Durdhara's death had been an accident. But Bindusara is too shocked to react and Chanakya is forced to leave the kingdom and go into exile. But this wily statesman who had devoted his life to Magadh and its perpetuity, like Bheeshma did to the Kuru dynasty and Hastinapura, proclaims that he would return to Magadh everytime it required his services in safeguarding the empire.

The caucus of Helen, Justin and Amatya heave a sigh of relief to be rid of Chanakya and for having escaped detection (which would have meant death) narrowly.  

The proclamation of Bindusara's well-being brings cheer and a sense of relief / security to the people. The rebel leader is killed by Khorasan. 

Bindusara marries Noor but makes the mistake of admitting his love for Dharma to her. He tells Noor candidly that he only married her to honor his promise to her father and that he can never love her. And that he is simply waiting to bring his beloved wife to the palace soon. 

Dharma is expecting Bindusara's child and waits patiently for his arrival to take her to the palace. But as weeks pass without any sign of his coming, she is increasingly disappointed. 

Khorasan can't bear to see his daughter 'heartbroken'  - I have my doubts whether she is really heartbroken or is just ruing the fact that she will never be the Chief Queen. He traces Dharma and tells her that Bindusara has sent him to kill her. He kicks her protesting father to the ground and chases her to her hut. As she shuts herself inside, Khorasan has her hut set on fire. An in-labour Dharma prays for mercy and the lion appears on the scene to protect her from the raging fire around her so that the heir to his dynasty can be born safely. The sight of the baby steels Dharma and she decides to put her sorrow behind her. Thus she names the child Ashoka- the one who removed sorrow from her life. 

We will see in coming days Ashoka growing up and becoming a leader in his vicinity. He is discovered by Chanakya who wants to take him to Magadh to take his rightful place on the throne. Chanakya is as impressed by the 14-year old Ashoka's independence and self-confidence as he must have been when he first set eyes upon a young Chandragupta.      

 But Dharma who feels betrayed by her husband refuses to let her son have anything to do with Magadh. It will be interesting to see how Chanakya manages to persuade her to let Ashoka claim his inheritance and leave a lasting legacy.

In short, a lot has happened in the first 2 episodes and almost all the important characters have been introduced. The ground is fast getting set for some great action. Hopefully we will get to see more action in this show than we did in JA. All the actors are good, esp Siddharth Nigam who plays the pivotal role of Ashoka. Keeping fingers crossed for an authentic - as much as possible - and engrossing show! Enjoy, everyone!!! :)  

This article has been posted under the Ashoka Maurya section of history_geek's blog.

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  1. Thanks radhika for such a detailed update.Have to yet watch the episodes ,hoping to catch up today.I like siddarth and was very much impressed with him in his brief stunt with Mk
    It would be delight to watch him as young ashoka.Chanakya always holds my it fact or fiction that chanakya also had a role in bringing ashoka to.power?
    In the coming days looking forward to learn from you all about these great legends.

  2. Beautiful Post Radhika. :D
    The first 2 episodes have been wonderful. :)
    And i am enjoying it. Of course they are dramatizing but at least the show has been able to capture my attention till now.

    The most wonderful thing which i like is the symbolism of Lion via which they are depicting Chandragupta Maurya. It was awesome. He is being projected as a protector of Maurya Clan. Chanakya is also good. Looking forward to this show. :)

  3. Radhika,Congrats, You wrote, about New Topic, Ashoka.i remembered, i told you some months back, You have astemena to becoming Sea. see same is happening.
    Again amaging post. i also saw two Episodes. i enjoyed starting of serial.Slight feeling came, speed is some fast in serial, But lets see.But performance wise serial is superb.

    one ques coming in my mind, Jeston, can't sit on throne, because his father, Married,
    Helen, But Bindusar, Marry DHARMA, she was also not queen, but Ashoka, sit on throne.Susheem,was elder son, Why he not sit on throne?

    But , liked CHANAKYA, boldness, he cleared, his point of view, about Godhera death,.

    So history is giving witness cause of power game,how HISTORY changed a lot.
    waiting for today episodes review.i told you before, My list is Long, lol.but one thing i noticed, which girl knocks, Heart of King,( Even when i saw some episodes of Buddha,
    Krishna life, Rukmani, or Radha,Jodha,now Dharma,, in Ashoka ) indirectely or directely shows a next path to Man,that queen, role impornant in King's life, or Heart.

  4. Hi Radhika, it's Jas2204 from IF :) . Thank you so much for such a detailed episode update. Enjoyed reading it very much.

  5. So good to see u here. Long time

  6. Thanks Radhika for this beautiful post. I am loving it so far.

  7. Hi Sindhu, it's really good to see you here as well. I stopped going to IF regularly many months ago because JA just went down the drain. But I will be following IF's Ashoka forum closely so hope to see all you guys there as well.

  8. Hi Jas

    Welcome to blog and so wonderful to see you after a long time :)

    I am loving Ashoka esp since today - Siddharth Nigam is such a live wire actor! The stunts he pulled today, the way he enacted the Robin Hood type of adorable rogue - the twinkle in his eyes, the proud regal bearing, the swagger, the confidence, the raw appeal -it's just all so good.:)) He's better here than he was in Mahakumbh. I can say confidently that at least as long as he is playing Ashoka, there will never be a dull moment in the show. It is quite fast-paced and there's plenty of action. It's already way ahead of JA and MP in terms of drama quotient. CHanakya is good too!

    Great to know you will be on Ashoka forum too :) Enjoy! I am staying away from IF due to lack of time. But hope to see u around here :)

  9. Welcome everyone for appreciating the post! :)) I loved writing it! Loved writing about a show after a really LONGGGGGGGGG time!!!

    Keep watching and do come back to discuss it here. :)

  10. Me too love this boy Sidharth. U have said it all about him. he is extremely talented and I am not in a hurry for adult Ashoka at all.

  11. You were smart to move from JA forum. I still hang in not regularly just to catch up with friends. I have Joined Ashoka forum, Maddy has started making posts.

  12. Oh my God..such a pathetic fiction serial i never hope so..I was eager for 2nd Feb to watch TV show on my most favourite Emperor Ashok..perhaps the greatest Emperor of World of all times.After seeing the 3 episodes i am sure they will never show nobleness of Dharma Ashoka.
    TV producers are even interrupting real history.In near future it would be shown in google wikipedias according to Colors TV Sects/Zee TV Sects/Sony TV Sects/Star Plus Sects (like that of Buddhists Sects,PuranTexts, Jain sects,Ramayan,Tulsidas Texts)..History is ___

  13. The Gross miatakes by producers---
    1.Justin--No such son of Chandragupt in any Sects,Texts but in Colors TV Sects.It is shown he was elder than Bindusar;this is funny as Helen,the Greek wife of Chandragupt was married in 306 BC and Bindusar was born 320BC.How can this possible?
    2.Helen--its true she was daughter of Greek Selucus and wife of Chandragupt.Chandragupt married her formally.After defeat in battle with Chandragupt;Selucus offered him and whole Greek and Western Empires were friendly to him.
    3.Enemy to Bindusar---There were no ememies to Bindusar.Why Selucus;Ujjain kings;even his Amatya(minister) are shown.Selucus chapter was closed just after defeat with Chandragupt.He was called Ajatshatru(not to be confused with Bimbisar'son Ajatshatru) -a man with no ememies.
    4.Mir Khorasan--Completely unrealistic.Khorasan is a place in Iran.But not such ruler.
    5.Noor Khorasan--nobody only in writer's brain.
    6.Dharma--was not in forest;perhaps Brahamani she was low ranked queen thats why named her son as Ashok.But no history of love marriage in forest and remained as Sadhvi..Ashok was a royal prince.
    Producers will make another mistake--
    1.Kaurwaki--They will show her as Kalinga Princess and first love and primary Empress of Ashok.But in reality she was fisherwoman and not so much important queen.
    2.Devi(Shakya Mahadevi)--was Buddhist follower;principal and most important queen of Ashok..But Producers will not show her importance and make serial on Ashok-Kaurwaki Love story which is their inherent property like that seen in Asoka(2001 film)
    3.Buddhism message to World--Serial will end on Kallinga war...But Dharma Ashok(post war kind philanthropist rulerAshok)was better and appreciated thab Chand Ashoka(pre-war aggresive Ashok)..They must show those ruling tactics after War.In Ashok Period Animals were having equal rights like humans.

  14. Thank u Radhika, fr this nice informative post.! I had missed the first episode, n was clueless abt who's who in the show.Wondering who is this lady with British accent.:)On the top of it I jumped to read ur post before the intro post of Abhay Lol!.Now it's clear. But one thing I am not sure, in reality Bindusara married to Dharma as Gandharva vivaha? or was it a usual arranged marriage?

  15. Hi Vinay,
    I share similar sentiments. Ashoka is ONE the THE MOST revered Emperors in my eyes. I was also looking forward to this show. Yes i agree there have been lot of dramatization in this; i am taking it as a simple show.
    Don't loose hope.
    Let's see further, even if the makers don't show the "Dhamma" and later reforms of Ashoka, such serials give us a reason to dig & discuss their history & in this process we learn more. Hope to see you, more often here. :)

  16. Vinay,

    You have listed some nice points and i can see your complains from the makers, which is expected from a natural history lover. I would share my views on this issue. :)

    1. Yes, i have also not come across any son named Justin of Helen/Cornelia/Apama. In fact, there is no possibility as her marriage with Chandragupta happened in 304 BC and Bindusara was already born in 320 BC. Chandragupta Maurya gave up his life via Sanlekhan in 299-298 BC. So, there is no possibility of Justin.

    2. Totally agree with your point about Bindusara. He was the one without enemies, as far as i have read till now. :)

    3. Bindusara may not have a wife from Khorasan, but he did have a maid/keep/rakshita from Persian origin. I am not aware of more details at present. Also, the name Khorasan is present in the some text of 3rd century BC.

    4. I was going to post about Dharma also. I have even read she was made the consort by Bindusara, LATER.

    5. The debate of Devi and Kaurwaki is heavily debated. It is alleged that Buddhist chronicles have elaborated the role of Devi in life of Ashoka. I am still reading for more.

    6. The show on Ashoka would be incomplete if they dont show his reforms for which he was known. I simply can not imagine a ruler like him existing 2200+ years back.!

  17. Vinay,Thanks fr those details. I think, even Ashoka was called Ajatashatru, one who has no enemy.Sometimes it is used as an adjective to praise the king. An old film Aamrapali is based on Ashoka's love story if Iam not mistaken.wherein he was called Ajatashatru.
    The serial has just started,u hv already predicted the end :)But I must add the Tv serials r highly unpredictable!:)

  18. Geeta,
    From what i have read, Dharma was made a Queen by Bindusara later in his life. She was present in the palace only. I have not read of any meeting in the forest as shown in the serial. It was not a Gandharva Vivah for sure.
    I will post about this soon. :)

  19. Radhika, I would like to know how did this Khorasan come into picture? Was he an invader? I am also apalled to see ancient India accepted inter religion marraiges, n modern India is still reeling under caste system !

  20. Geeta,
    Khorasan is present day part of Iran, Afghanistan and Turkmenistan. Basically, the region beyond Indus. :)
    Varna System was not as rigid that time, according to Kautilya. His writings come as liberal compared to early Smriti writers. :)

  21. Geeta,
    Ashoka was not called Ajatshatru.

    He had many other references but this one was for his father. :)

  22. Ashoka has many enemies all his brothers..
    that Amprapali's times Ajatshatru is different one..son of King Bimbisar in Buddha's period all i mentioned before.

  23. But Mir Khorasan has no records in history..

  24. About Empress Dhurdhara..
    Chanakya used to feed very small of doses of poison(without informing him too) in meals of Chandragupt just to increase immunity of Emperor from possible attempts of poisoning by enemies.But one day Emperor shared food with his pregnant wife(7 days to delivery);without immunity Empress collapsed and by knowing this,Chanakya at once cut uterus and delivered baby.Poison had reached to forehead;a permanent 'Bindu' was formed so he named Bindusar.
    In reality--Queen Helen was not villain.Selucus was not enemy for India after defeat and marriage of her daughter.Helen had no son named Justin.She died 4 years after marriage.Colors heavily dramatised this show.

  25. Thanks for supporting..
    Devi was second most important person in Ashok period.She delivered Buddhism message along with Ashok.Kaurwaki too done this.But her role is not in race with Empress Devi..You can read this in internet.
    I watched 3 episodes of Chandragupt Maurya NDTV. on youtube.There Slavery was shown in that period.I was shocked!!Slavery didnot exit in India till British period.I at once stopped watching that.I don't expect from Ashok serial.
    Ashok is no doubt the greatest ruler of world.
    I even consider him better than Alexander.Both were in different times.
    Many world historians claimed his martial arts equal to Alexander.One point Alexander lacks--He was not as good ruler.He was just 'great' warrior.Ashoka was a great philanthropist.
    Ashoka's times India was complete Sorrow-less after Kalinga war.He is called second best after Buddha(however no one can ever compare Shakyamuni).He has done countless works for sake of common people.Foreign historians have told in his rule Animals and Humans have same rights.Even Plants were preserved most.Today's govt. must learn from him.

  26. One serial Zeetv Buddha was about 90% true.(romance between Siddharth and Yashodhara was dramatised in first half)
    Makers spread Buddha's message in such a good way.About last 20 episodes Buddh-Vaani(Buddha principles) was depicted in each episode.TRP rating would be less due to spiritual episodes rather than entertainment.
    In India romantic drama is always prefered to other genre.
    But critics wise it was the best.
    I wish Ashok Serial's makers must learn from that.

  27. Yes you are right.Most of half-brothers were elder than Ashok.But he was most capable warrior and ruler.Thats why Bindusar made him and Sushim(eldest of all) Viceroy of Ujjaini(Ujjain) and Takshashila provinces respectively.

  28. Abhay, had u not explained this, I would not hv known why this lion is appearing frm nowhere. :) i agree with Radhika, all actors seem to be good. In all the shows it's the child actors who steal the show.! Hv u seen the serial Chanakya? Fr one who has seen Chandraprakash Dwivedi as Chanakya it's difficult to concieve others in that role. The standard set by him in acting n dialogue delivery is very high.:)
    I had no knowledge that Chanakya was married.Also, if he was instrumental in making chandragupta Maurya the king n also in making his grandson Ashoka as king, then his age would be highly debatable.
    I take this opportunity to salute ur patience, be in digging the history, be in ignoring ur distractors, be explaining things,be enthsiastic n optimistic, n so on :) Though I am so much older than u,shud learn these things frm u.:) :-h

  29. I wish all historical serial makers learn frm that. I hv seen some episodes of Buddha n liked it. hope to catch it on you tube, as I did fr Chanakya. I hv no probs with romantic drama, or let them cater to the saas-bahu audience n rue over who's right n who's wrong, but I sincierly feel they shud not meddle with historical facts so much so that u sell totally different stories n wrong message to the viewers.s-)

  30. You are right, Abhay!

    Before Manusmriti, even women had a better status in society and the varna/caste system was not rigidly bound to birth.

    Also Geeta, kings had greater freedom to marry whom they pleased. That is how they spread their empires and formed allies - thru matrimonial relations. If you read the Mahabharata also, people, asura, gandharva, gods, apsaras, etc married freely among each other.

  31. Vinay

    You have to allow some scope for creative liberty / dramatization in Indian historical dramas :)

  32. Ashoka was at Takshashila, I believe :)

    Btw, Vinay, welcome to blog :) You seem interested in Ashoka / ancient history. Looking fwd to more discussions ...

  33. Sindhu

    Adult Ashoka has to be better than Siddharth or he will not be accepted :)

  34. Great, Sindhu! Enjoy the new forum :)

  35. Slavery did exist in medieval India at least

  36. Geeta

    I know I can "rap u on the knuckles" LOL Read the post again. You have missed details.

    Khorasan is probably not an invader but has come to get his daughter married to Bindusar and thus get a foothold into the Magadh empire which is a powerful empire of the time.

  37. Vinay

    I agree with Abhay here. I can understand how you feel about history being distorted. Do not look upto TV serials to be true to history unless they are being aired on History channel. These programs are like historical fiction, to be seen for entertainment and not for real historical knowledge.

    But they do make people aware of important historical characters and make them curious enough to read about them and discover their real history.

    Let's see what is shown to us. The storyline is generally decided by TRPs.:)

  38. Sorry teacher, I had missed the first epi,n forgot abt the tournament :) So tournament was only a bahana to marry his daughter off to the most powerful king. First of all I was confused as to Muslim came so early to India? This Mir Khorasan may be an imaginary charecter just to highlight the struggle fr the throne. !

  39. Geeta, Mir Khorasan is most likely an imaginary character. There were no muslims then.:)

  40. Hi Vinay,
    Thanks for sharing. I want to know about the daughter of Seleucus Nikator(her name is debatable) ; especially, the bit that she died 4 years after her marriage is new to me. May i know where can i find this. ?. :))

  41. Vinay,
    Interesting views. Agree almost with all.

    Transferring from this comment.

    But, I won't say who
    was GREAT<>ER among Alexander or Ashoka, because
    Alexander was called GREAT on the basis of his conquests, and Ashoka was
    called GREAT on the basis of this reforms which he undertook and esp.
    the one about non violence and many other reforms, which you also said,
    like animals and humans had same rights which is unheard of.
    The tangent on which their GREATness is decided upon is different. Hence, i would not say who was greater.

    About Slavery
    did exist in India in the those times also..Acc. to Chanakya lots of
    slaves were used in agricultural fields, but these slaves were not like
    the rigid slavery practiced in Greece and Rome. Basically, Shudras were
    considered property of the 3 upper Varnas, hence we say slavery.

    About Devi
    As i said, it is strongly believed that her role has been exaggerated by Buddhist accounts to show that she made Ashoka turn to Buddhism. No doubt she must have played her role, but Ashoka changed a lot only after Kalinga war. So, i am still digging on this issue. :)

  42. Interesting discussions Radhika and Vinay. :)
    Replied here. >

  43. BTW Radhika, I think till now they have not said that Mir Khorasan is a Muslim. :)
    Only he is shown to be of Persian origin, it seems. ?? ...

  44. Sorry I forget to mention in Mughal period.
    But it was never in any Indian Empire/Kingdom/Republic..Slavery came from foreign rulers first from Muslims like Mongol,Turko-Mongol(Mughals) people and then heavily under Britishers.
    Slavery always remained predominent in Arab(even pre-islamic period);Africa and Americas;Australia.

  45. Bro...there is a big confusion between Slave and Shudra..Shudra varna cannot said to be slave.
    Slaves are kept for to do work and in return they were given nothing except some third class food(which is necessary for their life only)..
    Now Shudra varna people--They used to work for upper all 3 varnas but they got money in return just like workers in a field got money for their work by a Zaminder.If Slavery was there it was very very less.
    All shudra castes do their respective ancestral work but they were paid for it in all areas of India.They are not slaves like that in Ancient Arab;Africa;Americas;Australia.
    But picture turned different when Muslim and Britishers came.

  46. I also agree on this.Ashok turned after Kalinga War.But Kalinga War has nothing to do with Kaurwaki in anyway.She was a fisherwoman not princess.The fiction done in Asoka film would be replicated in this show too..
    I am saying Devi was primary Empress not Kaurwaki.
    You know one thing about Alexander..
    He returned Mecodonia after battle with King Porus of Punjab region.One can become unbeatable too if he wins all wars what he CHOOSE to fought.It has been always said after beating Porus,Alexander asked him what should be done to him.But in reply Brave Porus told to do what a defeated warrior deserves.Alexander was impressed by this and gave him his kingdom.But many(even foreign)historians believe something different happened as pride loving Indians never accept that kingdom given in that situation.This is matter of suspicion.
    Other thing Alexander never came after Jhelum.He was not sure about victory in Nanda Empire(even that Empire was strong enough to terrify Alexander despite of corrupt cruel Dhana Nanda.)
    Alexander also was suffered an arrow injury with fighting Malhi Jats(tribe in Punjab) and afterwards he never look on India and this was cause of his death 1 year later due to low immunity got infections of probably TB.

  47. But i think;i heard Inshallah from Khurasan's mouth at end of that competition(ep 1) if i am not wrong.
    They can show it as Friday's episode is showing Ashok beaten in jail..OMG
    It would be big big blunder as all knows Islam came in existence late 6th century.Khurasan is Persian tribe in Iran.

  48. Omg..Poor Helen is villain in Colors TV sects!!
    she would wonder to know she had a son which makers named Justin.
    I have not seen Jodha Akbar(anyway hate Mughals),Maharana Pratap..they are also criticised.few episodes of Jhansi ki Rani i have seen--Laxmi Bai was seen talking in English to a Britisher!! ;concept of Humshakals of Rani was there!!(typical indian fiction style)
    But so much fiction is in Ashok serial i never seen.
    Where are Buddhists;how can they accept such an insult to Asoka,the great as in Epi 5 young Ashoka is being tortured in his own Empire!!!Also spread this message to Greece they are putting Selucus and Helen(i really have mercy on her) in wrong ways..
    I have stopped watching this fiction show...
    Anyway Producer has huge money to show 1hour serial 5 times a week--first time on any Entertainment TV but wish he should depict real sad.

  49. all records show Helen (its true)was given by Selucus in gift to Chandragupt after losing war with him in around 306 BC.Chandragupt married formally..Selucus left Persia and Afghanistan and returned back to Mecodonia..never came back.
    One website show Helen died 4 years after marriage.
    No source detect any offspring from couple either in Indian or Greek records.Also Ashok was born 2 years later 304BC.Chandragupt died in 298 BC after starving himself to death(custom) as Jain Sanyasi(converted to Jain in final years)

  50. Thanks Radhika for this post history though was dry in school days but show seem to revive our curiosity in it at this stage because of shows. Old historic monuments always fascinated me and whenever I visit or travel I tend to see more of historical and religious places

  51. Abhay

    I am not thinking frankly, just watching for entertainment :) But you have a point. It's not been mentioned he's a muslim. We are assuming this from his name, dress and origin. We don't even know he's of Persian origin. I assumed that from the name Khorasan. Ashoka mentioned this name in his diatribe against the rulers (chahe unani ho ya khorasan).

    I was shocked out of my wits to see an extra marital affair between Noor and Justin. Never thought i would see this in a historical (though accept such things were a possibility).

    The tattoo gang of Chanakya was so hilarious! It reminded me of 1970s movies when the long-lost hero would be recognized by his family thru a tattoo.

  52. Not really. There was daasi pratha in Andhra before Muslims/British came. They were not paid for their "service".

    There was also the custom of devdasis in Indian temples.

  53. i always salute creativity and talent....if want to make a serial then form a separate fiction show which is loosely based on historical persons.But one thing change their names..It would be huge hit.If you distort history of great Emperors then you would spotted in controversy rather than increased TRP ratings

  54. hahah tatoo gang!!!
    I am telling change name of show and characters.Colors Tv will be remembered as like as Valmiki's Ramayan..

  55. Faith and patience are of essence, Vinay. Hang in there! Give the show a chance :)

  56. It is a known fact that all historical shows are half fact and half fiction, Vinay. SInce we don't really have records of Ashoka's personal life except what the Buddhists tell us, it is easier to merge in fiction.

  57. why are you saying no records....We have only no records of period between end of Indus Valley civilisation and emergence of 16 Mahajanapads...1500BC to 600BC.
    Ashok was such a great Emperor worldwide we have enough records.You can see on google.It is not possible to have day to day records of that time..but on google this is enough.
    But why you don't agree to make a separate fiction show?Why always these producers are playing with feelings of people repeatedly..same happened with Jodha Akbar and Maharana Pratap..

  58. I hate such acts to show false history.There was an attempt to kill Chanakya--the most respected person of world at that time.They are saying Magadh all time instead of Mauryan Empire.History is mere 5% true.So i left watching show.Why to waste 1 precious hour daily?

  59. Vinay

    It is highly risky to trust info on Google. It is better to read books from that period for accurate information and most books from or about Ashoka's period are written by Buddhists.

  60. Google hardly show any false things...Since i am using google wikipedia it had not said Ramayan,Mahabharat,Purans to be real FULLY while other all 99.9% websites are showing to be real.Same thing for Gods/Devils/witches/Ghosts etc.just saying in mythology,__ Sects,literature.While other website has shown them real.[Don't say this is offensive]

  61. Okay are they following books??
    Such serials can be shown on weekends as 1 hour show which include approx. 50 episodes(1 year).
    This was custom of historical shows on TV and good one too.
    But now they are making them as daily soaps full of drama no facts.
    But people like me will hughly criticise this fake history.
    Imagine what happen if today this distort history of our PM or President or Gandhiji!!People will fire.Why disrespect to our Great Great Ancestors.
    Ashoka Chakra in flag,Highest Army Award,Ashoka Pillar in currency..
    why disrespect to Emperor?

  62. I have not come across a "historical record" which says name of Selecus's daughter is Helen.
    Yes, some Indian authors do write the name as Helen, but the source/reference is not there in those texts.
    A daughter was married in 304 BC but the name is not clear. Seleucus had a daughter named Apama, about whom almost nothing is known. It is debated she was the one who got married to ChandraGupta Maurya.


    See that..His daughter was never given importance in any records of history...But in Colors Tv

  64. Vinay,
    I am not talking about websites, but about historical records. I prefer not to read from Internet Websites. I love verification from many "historical" sources, only after that i believe something. :)

  65. So where you find historical records??
    Today is intenet era...All websites post possible records present in all nation's texts
    And these are not simple websites..
    You are posting blogs by reading historical books or smritis from all over world??
    no na..You catch all possible informations from different websites through internet and post them here..simply
    Today we can got information through internet only..those days are gone when hundreds of books in library were read by people.

  66. Historical Records are fouind in Libraries. I don't know where all other people read them. But i read in libraries. If you read each post on this blog you'll surely understand this Vinay. :)

  67. Vinay

    Those days are not gone when books were/are read. My son loves books and he gets all his extra-academic info from books only. You will be amazed at his collection :) He cannot sleep till he has read pages and pages and inevitably sleeps with an open book in his hands.

    Frankly, I don't think books can ever become obsolete or be totally replaced by the Internet. Though I agree the Internet is easier and faster to access and has unlimited info. But very few websites offer authentic info or reveal their sources. Most websites are no better than TV historicals. They liberally mix fact and fiction.

  68. Vinay

    I do not know what sources the producers of Ashoka are using for their research.

    I agree fully we should not show disrespect to historical legends, esp of the stature of Ashoka.

    But you have to accept this is a drama based on Ashoka's life but not his life story. You should view it as such. Or you can complain to the production house or the broadcasting council of Indian TV.:)

  69. Vinay

    You are free to air your views. But may I remind you that this blog is only for historical discussions and not to discuss in depth the merits or demerits of any TV show.

    If you wish to discuss the characters from the show - reel ones or real ones - pls share your views. I am afraid we cannot enter discussions beyond this.

  70. very nice summary of the first 2 episodes Radhika. Thanks... have just started watching.

  71. Welcome, Viji. :) It's a great show and I am sure you will love it.

    See also the debate on the ethics of the relationship among Chanakya, Dharma and Ashoka here

    Feel free to discuss the show in this section on Mauryas :)

  72. I completely agree with the last line Sunram. Really true. These shows make us seek truth, and glad to have so many like minded friends here. :)