Radhagupta was born around 332 BC and was the grandson of Chanakya who was popularly known as Kautilya or Vishnugupta. Radhagupta was Jain at birth but converted to a staunch Buddhist later in his life along with the King Ashoka.
Radhagupta – Role in the Accession of Throne to Ashoka the Great
Ashoka Maurya, grandson of Chandragupta Maurya and son of Bindusara is the greatest king of Mauryan dynasty is popularly known as Ashoka the great. Ashoka was not a royal prince and hence was not eligible to enthrone Mauryan throne. Radhagupta, a minister of Bindusara has said to have played a major role in Ashoka rise to the throne.
Radhagupta – Conspiracy and Death of Sushim
When Ashoka was a prince and was competing with the royal heirs for the succession of the throne; it was Radhagupta that offered a royal elephant to ride to the Gold Pavilion to see the king Bindusara. There is a legend according to which Radhagupta helped Ashoka in getting rid of legitimate heir Susima, where they tricked him to enter the pit filled with coal fire. Radhagupta was promised position of a prime minister by Ashoka once he ascends the throne.
Radhagupta – Served as the Chief Minister to Ashoka the Great
Radhagupta has served Ashoka as chief minister and the accession of Ashoka to the Maurya throne is accredited to him. Radhagupta knew Ashoka right from his childhood and knew that the prince is aggressive and ambitious the two qualities which superior emperor needs to possess. He understood that Ashoka is the skilful son of the King Bindusara and has decided to make him the emperor of the Mauryan kingdom. It was Chanakya who started training Ashoka to attain the throne by identifying his potential and strength which was later taken over by Radhagupta.
Radhagupta – Administration of Constant Expansion
With the help of Radhagupta, King Ashoka was able to create most powerful, successful and largest empire in India. Radhagupta was a shrewd, experienced and an expert political strategist. He has acquired great qualities of political thinker, king-maker and economist from his grandfather Chanakya. He advised Ashoka to continuously conquer various kingdoms in India to expand his empire to emerge as the powerful emperors of India.
Death of Radhagupta
Radhagupta attained nirvana around 246 BC while serving as chief minister of King Ashoka. He was a staunch follower of Buddhism.
By: Ramani J.