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Freeindia > Biographies > Great Kings And Queens > Pushyamitra

Pushyamitra, the progenitor of the Shung dynasty that ruled over the Magadha empire after the Maurya dynasty, took over the throne in Kaliyuga's 1884th year ( i.e. B.C. 1218 ) after killing the last Mauryan ruler, Brihadratha, under whom he was the army chief. He did so on being disgusted with his ruler's policy of the so-called non-violence that stood in the way of his leading a campaign against the alien invaders who had occupied a big chunk of North-Western India. He after that fought against the invaders and pushed them beyond the natural north-western boundary of the country and performed Asvamedha Yajna on the bank of River Indus ( Sindhu ). He also performed a grand Ashvamedha Yajna in Pataliputra ( Patna ), the capital city. We find a mention of these Yajnas in a rock-edict of Ayodhya. Thus he re-established the Vaidika-Dharma in India. We find an account of his son, Agnimitra's life in Kalidas's drama Malavikagnimitram.

He is the founder of the Sunga dynasty.

In 185 BC, the rule of the Mauryan family ended when an army commander-in-chief, Pushyamitra, murdered the last Mauryan kings during a parade of his troops. Pushyamitra's rise to power has been described, perhaps inaccurately, as a reaction by Brahmins to the Buddhism of the Mauryan family. Nevertheless, the influence of state power on religion continued, with Pushyamitra supporting orthodox Brahminism and appointing Brahmins to state offices. And, with Pushyamitra's rule, animal sacrifices returned that had been prohibited under Asoka and his heirs. Other matters outlawed by the Maurya's also returned, including musical festivals and dances.

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Published on: 2003-02-01 (4480 reads)

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