How Did Ashoka’s Mother Die?

Ashoka Mother – Shubhadrangi

Shubhadrangi also called by another name Dharma was born in a very simple family in 319 in the famed Maurya kingdom. This Brahmin girl was later to become the mother of Ashoka the Great, the most awe inspiring emperor that this land has ever seen. Following the prophecy of a sage called Pilindavatsa or Aias Janasana of the Ajivikas that Shubadrangi would become an empress and mother two sons who would attain renowned fame

Shubadrangi found her way out to rise quickly in the ladder of her life to secure the most coveted position for her both in the Maurya Kingdom of her times as well as the annals of history forever. However, her death was surrounded by mystery evoking pathos in all those who admire her.

The Prophecy

Apart from that of sage Pilindavatsa, there were other prophecies too that said Shubadrangi would later become the queen and will bear two sons. The prophecies would also recount that while first one would become a great ruler and conquer several kingdoms to rise into immortal fame, the second one would embrace the path of asceticism to spread the word of Dharma. Shubadrangi had a captivating beauty and her father gave her in marriage to Bindusara, the ruler of the Maurya Kingdom and the son of Chandragupta Maurya.

Entering the Royal Harem

The mesmerizing beauty of Shubadrangi made the queens grow jealous towards her. They all conspired to make her assume a menial position in the royal harem by becoming the barber to the king. Shubadrangi neither retaliated nor felt bad. She became an adept in this art and trimmed the beard and hair of the king so well to win his favor very quickly.

Once when Bindusara was so pleased with her and asked what she would desire from him, she instantly said she wished to mother two children through him. Bindusara also came to know of her Brahmin origin around this time and decided to make her the queen relieving her of the menial job thrust upon her by the other queens.

Mothering the Princes

Shubadrangi mothered two sons for Bindusara namely Ashoka and Veetashoka. Ashoka was not handsome, but was valorous and Shubadrangi molded him into the most suitable heir to the throne and never rested until Ashoka fulfilled the prophecy to ascend the throne after Bindusara.

The Cruel Death of Shubadrangi

Shubadrangi suffered a cruel death after Bindusara’s death due to a conspiracy plotted by Susheem, the legal successor to the throne and the eldest of the princes. Not only Susheem was incapacitated, heavy headed and unpopular among the courters, he too had a severe malice against Ashoka who had the prospects of overtaking him to the throne.

Meanwhile a prophecy that Ashoka’s wife Devi would mother a child who would later conquer Lanka further fanned his jealousy and he rushed to kill her when she was pregnant. However, in order to save Devi, Shubadrangi sustained a cruel death in the hands of Susheem which became the principal reason for Ashoka to kill him in avenging his beloved mother’s death.

Om Namah Shivay

***Write ” Om Namah Shivay ” if you ask for God’s blessing on your life today. Please Like, Tag and Share to bless others!


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