Jambudwipa: The Seeds Of Political Unity In The Indian Subcontinent
By Sumedha Verma Ojha
Swarajya - July 29, 2016
The peacock flag of the Mauryans was the first to unify the Indian subcontinent under one political rule. From the Kubha River of modern Kabul in the north to the Vaigai River of Madurai in the south, Saurashtra on the coast of the Sindhu Sagar in the west and the Gangasagar Sangam of the Bay of Bengal in the east – the dwipa-chakravartin ruled them all 2,300 years ago.
The name Jambudwipa comes from the sapta-dwipa vasumati formulation of antiquity and was consciously used by the Mauryans to refer to the kingdom.
From the emerging contours of the civilisation on the banks of the Sindhu and the Saraswati dating to nine thousand years ago, the scattered settlements of the intermediate periods, the emergence of the Vedic Age, the efflorescence of the sixteen janapadas that led to the primacy of Magadha and then that of the Nandas and the Mauryas, it was a long journey for the subcontinent.
The brain behind the political unification was that of Chanakya, whose legacy is with us in the form of the Sanskrit-language treatise, Arthashastra; the sword was that of Chandragupta, the son of a goatherd, a boy picked out for his destiny; and that of Jambudwipa, by Chanakya, according to legend.