The Mudrarakshasa (“Signet Ring of the Rakshasa,the chief minister of the last Nanda king”), a historical play in Sanskrit by Vishakhadatta (4th century CE) narrates the ascent of the king Chandragupta Maurya to power in Northern India with the aid of Chanakya, his Guru and chief minister.
Storyline: Chanakya, minister of the king Nanda (Dhana Nanda), allies himself with Chandragupta in the latter’s plans for usurpation and is forced out by the king. Chanakya’s pact with king Parvata from the Northwest ensures his victory over Nanda.
Parvata and Chandragupta divide up the old possessions of Nanda. Next, Parvata dies poisoned by a youth and his son Malayaketu succeeds him. Malayaketu, together with Rakshasa, the last minister of Nanda, demands the inheritance of all the old territories of the Nanda.
The drama begins when Malayaketu and his allies (the kings of Persia, Sind and Kashmir) are poised to attack Pataliputra (present day Patna), the capital of Chandragupta.
The outcome arrives when Chanakya, by the use of guile, manages to attract Rakshasa to the Maurya side, thus undoing the coalition of Malayaketu.
The historical authenticity of the Mudrarakshasa is somewhat supported by the description of this period of history in Classical Hellenistic sources: the violent rule of the Nanda, the usurpation of Chandragupta, the formation of the Maurya Empire, and the various battles with the kingdoms of the Northwest resulting from the conquests of Alexander the Great.