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Asandhamitra was a queen and chief consort of the Mauryan emperor Ashoka. She was Ashoka's third queen consort[1][2]

Given the title "agramahisi", or "Chief Queen",[3] Asandhimitra was likely from a royal family.[2] She did not have any children.[2] After her death, Tishyarakshita became the chief queen of Ashoka.[1]

Born302 BC
Asandhiwat Kingdom (Today’s Assandh)
Died240 BC
IssueCharumati (adopted daughter)


She was born in the kingdom of Asandivat (Today’s Assandh) in 302 BC. She was married to Ashoka in 270 BC.[3] She was a trusted, faithful, and favourite wife of Ashoka. She is often referred to as his "beloved" or his "dear" consort and is said to have been a trusted adviser of the king.[3][2] At her death in 240 BC,[3] Ashoka was deeply grieved.[2]

Karmic legends[edit]

The Mahavamsa tells a legend of how she became queen, stating that she became Ashoka's queen because in a previous life, she had given directions to a pratyekabuddha who was looking for a honey merchant. The story says that after the merchant filled his bowl completely with honey, the pratyekabuddha made a vow to become the lord of Jambudvipa. After hearing this, she herself wished they would be reborn as King and Queen, leading them to be reborn as Ashoka and Asandhimitra.[4]

In the Extended Mahavamsa, a story is additionally told that in a separate past life, Asandhimitra gave a pratyekabuddha a piece of cloth, which is thought to have given her the status of Queen, karmically independent of Asoka.[4]

In the Dasavatthuppakarana, it combines both stories into one, telling the story of the pratyekabuddha and the honey merchant and adding that Asandhimitra's past self gifted the same pratyekabuddha with a piece of cloth.[4]


  1. ^ a b Barua, Beni Madhab; Topa, Ishwar Nath. Asoka and his inscriptions. Vol. 1. New Age Publishers. p. 53.
  2. ^ a b c d e Gupta, Subhadra Sen. Ashoka: The Great and Compassionate King. Penguin Books. ISBN 978-81-8475-807-8. Retrieved 25 September 2020.
  3. ^ a b c d The Maha Bodhi: Volume 104. University of Michigan. 1996. pp. 25–26.
  4. ^ a b c Holt, John Clifford; Kinnard, Jacob N.; Walters, Kinnard, eds. (2003). Constituting Communities: Theravada Buddhism and the Religious Cultures of South and Southeast Asia. SUNY Press. pp. 43–51. ISBN 978-0-7914-8705-1. Retrieved 25 September 2020.