Sir William Jones could not believe
in the antiquity of the Bharata War because of his Christian faith
which told him that Creation took place at 9-00 a. m, on 23rd
October 4004 BC Similar were the impressions of other Britishers.
They did not believe in the veracity of Indian history books. Their
bias prohibited the Christians from accepting the antiquity of the
Indian nation. Arthur A. McDonnell wrote, "Early India wrote no
history because it never made any. The ancient Indians never went
through a struggle for life like the Greeks, the Persians and the
Romans. Secondly, the Brahmanas early embraced the doctrine that all
action and existence are a positive evil and could therefore have
felt but little inclination to chronicle historical events."
All these Britishers looked from their own glasses. Their nation
came into being after struggle for life and when they first got the
rule of a single political power. Later, they propagated that India
is a nation in making since the advent of the Britishers and their
establishing a single political rule in this country.
Jones was not satisfied with the
Indian sources. He tried to search the Greek and Roman accounts.
These accounts supplied some information about India of the time of
the Macedonian king Alexander. It mentioned seven names of three
successive Indian kings. Attributing one name each for the three
kings the names are Xandrammes, Sandrokottas and Sandrocyptus.
Xandrammes of the previous dynasty was murdered by Sandrokottas
whose son was Sandrocyptus. Jones picked up one of these three
names, namely, Sandrokottas and found that it had a sort of phonetic
similarity with the name Chandragupta of the Puranic accounts.
According to the Greek accounts, Palibothra was the capital of
Sandrokottas. Jones took Palibothra as a Greek pronunciation of
Pataliputra, the Indian city and capital of Chandragupta. He, then,
declared on 28-2-1793 that Sandrokottas of the Greek accounts is
Chandragupta Maurya of the Puranas. Jones died on 27-4-1794, just a
year after this declaration and possibly before his death, could not
know that Puranas have another Chandragupta of the Gupta dynasty.
Later scholars took this identity of
Sandrokottas with Chandragupta Maurya as proved and carried on
further research. James Princep, an employee of the East India
Company, deciphered the Brahmi script and was able to read the
inscriptions of Piyadassana. Turnour, another employee of the
Company in Ceylon, found in the Ceylonese chronicles that
Piyadassana was used as a surname of Asoka, the grandson of
Chandragupta Maurya. The inscription bearing the name of Asoka was
not found till the time of Turnour. In 1838, Princep found five
names of the Yona kings in Asoka's inscriptions and identified them
as the five Greek kings near Greece belonging to third century BC
who were contemporary to Asoka.