same story was repeated by Fahien, although
Later Mauryas (232–184 BC)
The evidence for the later Mauryas is very meagre, and whatever is there is in
a confused and uncertain form rendering the reconstruction of their history
very difficult. The Puranas, besides Buddhist and Jaina literature, do provide
us with some information on the later Mauryas, but there is no agreement
among them. Even among the Puranas, there is a lot of variance between one
Purana and another. But, the one point on which all the Puranas are in
agreement is that the Mauryan dynasty lasted 137 years. So, giving 90 years
for the three Mauryas, we are left with 47 years for the later Mauryas.
    Asoka’s death was followed by the division of the Mauryan empire into
two parts—western and eastern. The western part came to be ruled by Kunala
(one of the sons of Asoka) and then for a short while by Samprati. It was later
threatened by the Bactrian Greeks in the north-west and by the Satavahanas
and others in the northern Deccan. The eastern part of the empire, with
Pataliputra as the capital, came to be ruled by Dasaratha (probably one of the
grandsons of Asoka).
    Dasaratha, apart from being mentioned in the Matsya Purana, is also
known to us from the caves in the Nagarjuni Hills, which he dedicated to the
Ajivikas. Three inscriptions ordered by Dasaratha Devanampriya state that the
caves were dedicated immediately on his accession.
    Samprati, also mentioned in the Matsya Purana, is referred to in both the
Buddhist and the Jaina literature as the son of Kunala. According to Jaina
tradition he was a grandson of Asoka and a patron of Jainism. He is said to
have been converted to Jainism by Suhastin, after which he gave the religion
both his active support as a ruler, and encouragement in other ways.
    The western part including the north-western province, Gandhara, and
Kashmir was governed by Kunala. It is possible that Kunala gradually
extended his territory to include the western province of the empire.
    According to the Puranas, Dasaratha reigned for eight years. This would
suggest that he died without an heir old enough to come to the throne without
necessitating a regency of some sort. The same sources speak of Kunala
ruling for eight years. He must have died at about the same time as
Dasaratha, so that Samprati now ruling in the west may have successfully
regained the throne at Pataliputra, thus uniting the empire again. This event