Who was Chandragupta Maurya?
This account (purana) says that Chandragupta was a son of last Nanda Monarch Dhanananda from his Shudra concubine Mura and that is why is name is Maurya. This account has been rejected as well as accepted by many scholars.
As per the Mahaparinibbana Sutta, Chandragupta was a scion of Moriya Clan, which was branch of Sakyas Khatriyas. These Kshatriyas had received a share in the relics of Buddha. Some other traditions link his ancestry to peacock tamers. So there is no single theory about the ancestry of Chandragupta. One thing on which all scholars agree is that he was from a "humble" background. He is mentioned in the Greek texts as Sandrokyptos, Sandrokottos and Androcottus.
Against there are several stories regarding the early age of Chandragupta. One theory says that Chandragupta served the Nanda Army as a General or Senapati. He, instigated by Vishnugupta or Chanakya revolted against his master but his revolt failed. Vishnugupta, a Brahmin was insulted by Dhanananda by breaching a social etiquette. When the revolt failed, both of them fled to safety.
The Mahavamsa writes that Chandragupta while concealed in a woman's hut overheard the woman scolding her child, who in the act of eating had burnt his fingers by beginning from the center of the bread. She scolded the child and taught him that hot bread should not be touched from the center and it should be broken in pieces from the corners. Chandragupta learnt from this story and transferred himself to the North West.
Traditional accounts also mention a story, that Vishnugupta was a teacher at the Taxila University. He found one day that Chandragupta was playing with children and he delivered justice among the boys, one of who was acting a criminal. Vishnugupta was impressed by his sense of justice. He took the boy to the king, who impressed by his intelligence ordered to be trained at Taxila University. But in the same event the king insulted Chanakya by breaching the etiquette and forced him out. To take revenge Chanakya groomed the young Chandragupta at Taxila University.
Some scholars say that he met Alexander when he was a young boy.
First of all, Chandragupta liberated North east from the Greek Governors and Satraps who were appointed by Alexander. Alexander's death provided Chandragupta an opportunity to give a death blow to the Greek Rule in parts of India. After that he focused his attention on Magadha. Chanakya through diplomacy aligned Chandragupta with a neighboring king Parvataka and the combined army dethroned the Nandas and seized the Magadha. Nandas were spared their life and let run with as much treasure as much a chariot can carry.
War with Selucus:
After death of Alexander, Selucus, one of the generals of Alexander became his successor. He launched a campaign against India in 304 BC to recapture the territories won by Alexander. He crossed Indus but his mission failed and an alliance with Chandragupta ended the mission. By this treaty, Selucus returned the Arachosia (Kandahar), Paropanisade (Kabul), Aria (Herat) and Gedrsoia (Baluchistan) to Chandragupta. The alliance was cemented by Chandragupta. Following were the acts that cemented the ties:
Chandragupta gave 500 war elephants to Selucus.
Selucus sent Megasthenes to Chandragupta's Court.
Possibly, there was a marital alliance in which son/ daughter of one was married to daughter / son of other.
Other conquests of Chandragupta:
We know about Chandragupta's empire from the rock edicts and inscriptions of Asoka and other rulers.
The Girnar Rock Inscription gives an indication that his empire was expanded to the borders of modern Gujarat & Saurastra.
In south India we find Asoka's inscriptions and edicts, however, there are no evidences that Asoka or Bindusara conquered these areas. However, some sources say that Bindusara won the southern areas. So scholars agree that the parts of South India were conquered by either Chandragupta or Bindusara.
Later Life of Chandragupta:
In the later years of his life Chandragupta abdicated his throne in favor of his son Bimbisara. He became a disciple of Bhadrabahu, a Jain saint. He is believed to have spent his last years at Shravanabelagola. He is believed to have died by practicing San