Birth of King Ashoka Mother – Queen Subhadrangi
Subhadrangi (or Shubhadrangi) born 319 BC, also known as ‘Dharma’ is the mother of Great Emperor Ashoka of the Mauryan kingdom. She belongs to the Ajivika sect and is a Brahmin by birth. Subhadrangi is the daughter of a Brahmin in Champa City of the Telangana region. Sage Pilindavatsa popular known as Aias Janasana of the Ajivika sect who was a Kalupaga Brahmin has suggested Subhadhrangi as a suitable match for the King Bindusara.
Prophesy of Ashoka the Great, Subhadrangi
Many astrologers foretold Subhadrangi that she would marry an emperor and would give birth to two sons; one will become a famous emperor and would rule the entire continent and other would adorn spirituality to attain nirvana. When Subhadrangi attained age of marriage, her Brahmin father offered her in the marriage to the King, which has been accepted by the king for conducting duties of the harem.
Queen Subhadrangi and King Bindusara
Beauty of the Subhadrangi has become the cause of jealousy of the queens of the Bindusara thinking that king can take fancy to her and ignore them. The queens decided to teach her Barber’s act and use her for trimming and grooming hair and beard of the king. She has excelled the art of hair grooming and whenever Subhadrangi is at grooming work the king Bindusara used to fall asleep and relax.
Bindusara was very pleased with Subhadrangi at work and asked her what she would like to have most of all. And to the Bindusara’s surprise, she asked for a son from him politely and thoughtfully. King astonished by her reply said that he being a Kshatriya cannot marry a barber girl. She then replied and explained that she is not a barber girl but daughter of a Brahmin and has been gifted by her father to him as a wife. When the king found out that his queens have appointed Subhadrangi as a barber, he passed orders that henceforth she would serve as Chief Queen and will not continue barber act.
Mother Queen Subhadrangi and Son Ashoka
Subhadrangi the Chief Queen gave birth to a son and named him as Ashoka which means without sorrow and later to another son who was named Veetashoka means end of sorrow. Subhadrangi instilled confidence in Ashoka right from his childhood that one day he would become the emperor of the Kingdom even though he is not good looking and handsome as other prince. Subhadrangi taught Ashoka to be brave, fearless, and confident and appreciated his valour.She sent Ashoka confidently when the king was choosing his successor saying that he will be surely chosen by the king for succession.
Later the role and name of Ashoka’s mother Subhadrangi went unnoticed and sources say that her death is not a natural or accidental one but she has been murdered. She died around 295BC.