Kunala was the son of Emperor Ashoka. He was named as the successor of Ashoka to rule the Maurya Empire which was spread throughout the Indian subcontinent. Unfortunately, Kunala could not succeed the throne as he was blinded by the queen of Ashoka , Tishyaraksha, who was his step-mother. Kunala was rather succeded by his son Samprati.
Story of Blinding
First story suggest that Queen Tishyaraksha use to love Kunala. Reason for her affection toward Kunala was that she was quite younger to Ashoka. Kunala considered Tishyaraksha as his mother and loved his wife Kanchanmala. Tishyaraksha hated the ignorance of Kunala toward her and she decided to take a revenge. She started her evil plans when there was a revolt in Taxila. The governor of Taxila was having bad relation with Ashoka, he went on a rebellion. To crush his rebellion Ashoka sent Kunala. Ashoka, in the meantime, got terribly sick because of the worry for his son Kunala. Queen Tishyarsksha healed Ashoka. Ashok was impressed by his wife’s affection. He gave her the authority to rule for seven days. Queen issued an order to new governor of Takshila to blind Kunala.
Life after blinding
After blinding Kunala became a wanderer with his wife Kanchanmala. He use to sing song and collected money by begging. One day Ashoka from his palace heard Kunala singing song but could not recognize him. He invited him to the palace to sing. After singing Kunala revealed his real identity. Kunala refused the crowned and made his son Samprati his official heir.
Ashoka after realizing the wrong-doing of his wife, Tishyaraksha, order to kill her. But Tishyaraksha, on realizing what she had done to her lover committed suicide before the Ashoka’s Gaurds could arrest her.