"మౌర్య సామ్రాజ్యం" కూర్పుల మధ్య తేడాలు

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==Natural history==
[[File:Patna Yakshas.jpg|thumb|The two [[Yaksha]]s, possibly 3rd century BCE, found in [[Pataliputra]].]]
The protection of animals in India became serious business by the time of the Maurya dynasty; being the first empire to provide a unified political entity in India, the attitude of the Mauryas towards forests, their denizens, and fauna in general is of interest.<ref>{{Cite book|title=Ashoka: The Search for India's Lost Emperor|last=Allen|first=Charles|publisher=Hachette Digital|year=2012|isbn=978-1-408-70388-5|location=London|pages=274}}</ref>
 
The Mauryas firstly looked at forests as resources. For them, the most important forest product was the elephant. Military might in those times depended not only upon horses and men but also [[War elephants|battle-elephants]]; these played a role in the defeat of [[Seleucus I Nicator|Seleucus]], one of [[Alexander]]'s former generals. The Mauryas sought to preserve supplies of elephants since it was cheaper and took less time to catch, tame and train wild elephants than to raise them. [[Kautilya]]'s ''[[Arthashastra]]'' contains not only maxims on ancient statecraft, but also unambiguously specifies the responsibilities of officials such as the ''Protector of the Elephant Forests''.<ref name="IWH4">Rangarajan, M. (2001) India's Wildlife History, pp 7.</ref>
 
{{quote|On the border of the forest, he should establish a forest for elephants guarded by foresters. The Office of the Chief Elephant Forester should with the help of guards protect the elephants in any terrain. The slaying of an elephant is punishable by death.|[[Arthashastra]]}}
 
The Mauryas also designated separate forests to protect supplies of timber, as well as lions and tigers for skins. Elsewhere the ''Protector of Animals'' also worked to eliminate thieves, tigers and other predators to render the woods safe for grazing cattle.{{citation needed|date=August 2016}}
 
The Mauryas valued certain forest tracts in strategic or economic terms and instituted curbs and control measures over them. They regarded all forest tribes with distrust and controlled them with bribery and political subjugation. They employed some of them, the food-gatherers or ''aranyaca'' to guard borders and trap animals. The sometimes tense and conflict-ridden relationship nevertheless enabled the Mauryas to guard their vast empire.<ref name="IWH5">Rangarajan, M. (2001) India's Wildlife History, pp 8.</ref>
 
When [[Ashoka]] embraced [[Buddhism]] in the latter part of his reign, he brought about significant changes in his style of governance, which included providing protection to fauna, and even relinquished the royal hunt. He was the first ruler in history{{failed verification|date=September 2017}} to advocate [[Conservation (ethic)|conservation]] measures for wildlife and even had rules inscribed in stone edicts. The edicts proclaim that many followed the king's example in giving up the slaughter of animals; one of them proudly states:<ref name="IWH5"/>
{{quote|Our king killed very few animals.|[[Edicts of Ashoka|Edict on Fifth Pillar]]}}
 
However, the edicts of Ashoka reflect more the desire of rulers than actual events; the mention of a 100 'panas' (coins) fine for poaching deer in royal hunting preserves shows that rule-breakers did exist. The legal restrictions conflicted with the practices freely exercised by the common people in hunting, felling, fishing and setting fires in forests.<ref name="IWH5"/>
 
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