Discuss the notions of kingship that developed in the post-Mauryan period.

In the post Mauryan period, the idea of kingship got associated with divine theory of state. Monarchs were now talking about the divine sanction to rule the people.

The social origin of Shakas – who established kingdom in the north and North West and Satvahanas - who ruled over central and western India was ambiguous. But ones they acquired power, they attempted to claim social status in a variety of ways.

i) Divine Origin- Rulers often indentified themselves with a variety of deities for e.g;

a. A colossal statue of Kushana rules have been found installed at mat near Mathura.

b. A Kushana ruler’s coin depicts king Kamishka on one side and a deity on the other probably suggesting that the king was god like.

c. Kushana rulers adopted the title “Devputra”or ‘son of god’

ii) Eulogies (poems in praise)

a. Rulers also tried to increase their status by patronising poets who composed verses in praise of kings. For eg: Prayag Prashasti composed by Harishana in praise of King Samudara Gupta.

b. In this inscription Samudara Gupta is referred to as “Purusha” or Supreme Being who bestows prosperity on the good and destruction on the bad.

c. He is equal to the god of wealth (Kuber) oceans (Varun) Rain (Indra) and death (Yama).

iii) Literature, coins and inscriptions helped us creating history of those days. Their rule and praise reflect the way of lifestyle and rule they had and the impact on the people.