Subhadrangi or popularly known as Devi Dharma was the wife of the Mauryan King Bindusara, and mother of Ashoka the great.
She was known by different names. Divyavadana calls her Dharma, Vamsatthapakasini names her as Janapadakalyani, and she is also known as Queen Aggamahesi.
As per Ashokavadana, she was a Brahmin girl from the Champa region near Magadh. A priest once forecasted that her son will become a great king.
Prediction of a Priest
When Devi Dharma was young, a priest once predicted that she would marry an Emperor and she would have two sons. One of them would become a famous emperor and rule the entire continent. And other would follow the path of spirituality to attain nirvana.
Belongs to Ajivika Sect
The Ajivikas were atheists as they rejected the authority of the Vedas. They did not believe in the concept of karma. They believed that every living being is an atman. It is a core belief of Jainism and Hinduism,
How she married Bindusara?
Bindusara’s wives were jealous of her beauty. So, to degrade her, they trained her as a barber of a royal family.
Once, when Emperor Bindusara was pleased with her hairdressing skills, she expressed her desire to be a queen.
Initially, Bindusara was apprehensive, thinking that she belongs to a lower caste. But when he came to know that she belongs to the Brahmin caste, he married him.
Lower position than other wives
According to the legends, Bindusara’s chief wife was Charumati. Charumati was the mother of his elder son Sushim. She was from a royal family.
On the other hand, Dharma became his lower wife who cared for other wives of Bindusara. Devi Dharma was never given proper royal treatment in the palace.
Two Sons of Devi Dharma
Death of Subhadrangi
Subhadrangi died after the marriage of Ashoka. Sushim, who was the legal heir of the throne, came to kill Ashoka’s wife Devi. While saving Devi, Subhadrangi got injured and died. From this incident, Ashoka becomes cruel and vengeful.
Read what was the reason of conflict between Ashoka and Sushim?