Dhananand was the last king of ancient India’s Nand dynasty. In the fourth century BC, Nandavans ruled a large part of north-eastern India. The Nand empire was the largest empire of India at that time. Information about two kings of the Nand dynasty First Mahapradanand and second Dhanand. Usually it is found that Dhanand was the son of Mahapadmanand but in many places he was also said to be Mahapadmanand’s younger brother. One thing is clear from all the ancient texts that the King of Nandavans belonged to the Naai caste. Mahapadmanand had founded the Nand dynasty about 345 BC and ruled it till about 329 BC. After this, Dhananand switched on the throne of Magadha.
Almost all texts believe that Dhanand was a tyrannical, greedy and wealthy ruler who was unpleasant among the people of his kingdom. Dhananand had a habit of collecting money, because of which people started calling him ‘Dhanand’.
To collect the money, Dhananand had put a lot of tax on his subjects, even in the cremation ground there was a need to pay tax on the girls required to perform the last rites of the person. His soldiers used all kinds of methods to collect tax from the people.
Confirmation of Dhananand being a tyrannical ruler also comes from the description of the Greek historian Plutarch. Plutarch writes that Yuvi Chandragupta was once present in front of Alexander and had told him about the poorness of Dhananand and his disagreement among the people.
It is necessary to describe this description of Plutarch, because for some time some of the chaotic elements have been trying to prove that Dhananand was from the caste and therefore Chanakya (Brahmin) killed him and sat on a throne of Kshatriya Chandragupta. Plutarch wrote his description about 2200 years ago, so this thing can not be denied.
Dhananand’s 99 million gold mudras
According to Kathasaritsagar, Dhanand had the dense gold worth 99 crores, which he had hidden through a rock in the bottom of the Ganges river. Even though this thing has been written extensively, but we have to admit that Dhanand had a lot of wealth because it is also found in an ancient poem in Tamil. In the poem it is described that “first he (gold coins) was stored in Patali (Pataliputra, Patna) and then hid in the flood of Ganga.”
Name of Dhanand
Dhananand’s name is lying due to love for his wealth, but perhaps at that time his real name was something else. Greek authors have described that during the time of Alexander’s attack, King of Magadha was ‘Agrams’ or ‘Agrammes or Xandrames’.
‘Agrams’ or ‘Jandrams’ are added by historian Dhananand because the word ‘forearm’ is probably the impaired form of the Sanskrit word ‘Agrajasya’. The word ograsian means ‘son of Ugrasen’. Ugrasen is the second name of Mahapadmanand.
Army of Dhanand
Dhananand had got a huge state in the heritage, so it is a natural thing to have a large army. Yavan historians write that Dhanananda’s army had 2 million foot soldiers, 20 thousand horsemen, two thousand chariots and 3 thousand elephants.
Listening to such a huge army of Nanda, the soldiers of Sikandar who came to attack India were struck, so they refused to move forward after the terrible battle from Porus, because they were unable to compete with the huge army of Nandas.
Insult of Chanakya by Dhananand
All ancient texts believe that there was a great hostility between Chanakya and Nando. The epic drama shows that Chanakya was deposed by Dhananand after being removed from the political position, which led to the oath of annihilation of the Nand empire.
It may be that there is a position in the ministers of Dhananand to have Acharya Chanakya too and he has opposed Dhananand’s autocracy, due to which Dhananand has humiliated him and removed him from the post.
Dhananand and Chandragupta war
Chanakya was in search of a person who deserved to become an emperor by removing a tyrannical ruler like Dhananand, he soon got a person as Chandragupta.
After Sikandar’s departure, Chandragupta attacked Chakkya with the aid of Chanakya in about 324 BCE in the middle part of the Nand empire, but he was defeated. They used to underestimate the army of Nandas but they soon got to know their mistake.
Chandragupta and Chanakya first started conquering the surrounding areas of the Nand empire. Both of them prepared a large army from the areas of Punjab, which probably included some Greek soldiers and robbers. It is also known that Chandragupta had also tied up with the King Mounty of Kashmir to overthrow Dhanand. Many historians believe King Mountyak is none other than King Porus.
When Chanakya felt that Chandra Gupta had got enough army, he ordered the campaign against Dhanand to begin. There is no clear description of the war between Chandragupta and Dhanand. Some historians believe that Chandragupta used guerrilla methods to defeat Dhananand and surrounded Pataliputra and killed Dhananand. The historian also says that Chandragupta had defeated Dhananand in many different wars.
According to a Buddhist texts there was only one war between Dhananand and Chandragupta, and this war was so destructive that the loss due to it could not be fulfilled for many years to come.
Dhananand’s daughter and family
In most ancient legends, it is narrated that Chandragupta had killed Dhananand, but according to a treatise, after losing the war to Chandragupta, Dhananand married his daughter Dhrudhara with Chandragupta and with his two wives and a daughter Take permission to go out of Pataliputra. At the same time, the same property allowed him to take with him as much as one could get in a chariot.
Most historians believe that the final war between Chandragupta and Dhanand happened in 321 BC and some justify the time around 315 BCE.