The Shunga Dynasty

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Shunga Dynasty ( 185 B.C.E.- 73 B.C.E)

After the death of Ashoka   the Maurya Empire started to decline and in 185 B.C.E the Shunga dynasty came into being  when Commander in Chief of the Mauryan army, Pushyamitra Shunga, killed the emperor Brhadrata, the last King of Mauryan Empire. He was taking the Guard of Honor from his troops when he got killed. Then Pusyamitra Sunga became the King and established the Shunga dynasty. The Magadha and surrounding areas became under the control of Pushyamitra Shunga. 

Shunga Empire

       Approximate Map of Shunga empire

The kingdom of Sunga was spread in Punjab,  northeastern region and in central India. In the south, the kingdom of Pushyamitra spread to Narmada (Narmada is a river in Gujrat, Madhya Pradesh India), Jalandhar, and Sialkot (a city in Pakistan).  Pataliputra was the capital of the Sunga Empire. Shunga Empire  was known for its many conflicts with local and foreign forces. Some monarchs  in the Shunga dynasty  favored Buddhism. During the Shunga Empire, Northern India was influenced by the Mathura School of Art and the writings of Patanjali (a text on Yoga theory and practice). 

 After the Mauryan Empire, the Shunga Dynasty safeguard India from attack and ensure stable administration. That time was reportedly marked by war but Shunga also participated in diplomacy. There had been considerable religious advancements in that era. When some of the most critical growth of Hindu philosophy occurred, the Shunga dynasty  played a significant part in supporting Indian culture. This era owes its success to the depth of India’s spiritual heritage that the whole world inherited.

Pushyamitra died after 36 years of reign (187-151 B.C.E.). His son Agnimitra was the successor to him. After that  Shungas eventually started to become weakened. Ten Sunga monarchs ruled India from 185 B.C to 73 B.C .

 Shunga kings

  • Pusyamitra Shunga                                  ( 185-149 B.C.E.)
  • Agnimitra                                               (149-141 B.C.E.)
  • Vasujyeshtha                                          (141-131 B.C.E.)
  • Vasumitra                                               (131-124 B.C.E.)
  • Andhraka                                                (124-122 B.C.E.)
  • Pulindaka                                                (122-119 B.C.E.)
  • Ghosha
  • Vajramitra
  • Bhagabhadra
  • Devabhuti                                                (83-73 B.C.E.)

Patanjali History

Patanjali History

   Patanjali Yoga Sutra

Patanjali history started during Shunga empire era. Patanjali was an Indian wise man who  believed to write or composed the Sutras of Yoga.  He was born during the Shunga empire.  Patanjali founded the gave the  philosophy of Yoga  in his scripture. He assembled Yoga Sutras from previous yogic writings and wrote a book . The clarity of yogic philosophy Patanjali is widely respected, and his work continues to inspire yoga education in present-day even. Yoga is performed by many people around the world nowadays. 

The Baba Ramdev and Acharya Balkrishan named their company on Sage Patanjali’s name because he was the one who assembled all the central beliefs about yoga under one roof in his famous writing “Patanjali Yoga Sutra.”  Baba Ramdev company “Patanjali” is one of India’s most significant products selling companies founded in 2006.

Shunga Dynasty Art

Bharhut’s towering stupa

In the Shunga Dynasty  art, education, philosophy, and other types of learning flourished and were shown into pottery figures, more significant stone sculptures, and heritage sites such as Bharhut’s towering stupa and the famous Sanchi Great Stupa. Shunga kings contributed to the establishment of royal teaching and creative culture . The scripts were written in Sanskrit. The Shunga dynasty played a crucial role in protecting art, culture and Hinduism norms.

Pushyamitra shunga and  Buddhism 

Pusyamitra Shunga was against Buddhism and he killed many Buddhist. He revived the Brahmanism (Hinduism) that pushed Buddhism into Kashmir, Gandara, and Bactria (a region in central Asia). Pusyamitra demolished the Sangharama (a Buddhist temple in China nowadays) and murdered many monks there.   After a while, he came to Sakala (Sialkot, Pakistan) and declared that he would give a hundred dinars as a reward, who would bring  the head of the Buddhist Monk’s leader.

 Later Shunga Kings were  Buddhist-friendly and helped to construct the stupa at Bharhut (a village in Madhya Pradesh, India).

Shunga dynasty last ruler

The last emperor of the Shunga empire was Devabhuti. He was a weak ruler. He was overfond of women’s company, and his minister took advantage of this weakness.  His minister, Vasudeva Kanva, killed him and established the Kanva Dynasty.   

Kanva Dynasty

The Kanva dynasty remained for a brief period and in a small area. Devabhuti was the final Shunga ruler killed by his minister Vasudeva in 73 B.C. and created a new dynasty named Kanva Dynasty.  It remained until 30 B.C. 


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