While he (Sandrocottus [Chandragupta]) was lying asleep, after his fatigue, a lion of great size having come up to him, licked off with his tongue the sweat that was running from him, and after gently waking him, left him. Being first prompted by this prodigy to conceive hopes of royal dignity, he drew together a band of robbers, and solicited the Indians to support his new sovereignty. Some time after, as he was going to war with the generals of Alexander, a wild elephant of great bulk presented itself before him of its own accord, and, as if tamed down to gentleness, took him on its back, and became his guide in the war, and conspicuous in fields of battle. Sandrocottus, having thus acquired a throne, was in possession of India, when Seleucus was laying the foundations of his future greatness; who, after making a league with him, and settling his affairs in the east, proceeded to join in the war against Antigonus. As soon as the forces, therefore, of all the confederates were united, a battle was fought, in which Antigonus was slain, and his son Demetrius put to flight.— Marcus Junianus Justinus, 2nd-century CE, Epitome of the Philippic History of Pompeius Trogus, Book XV, Translator: John Selby Watson, XV.4.19
Archeological discoveries in the modern age, such as Didarganj Yakshi discovered in 1917 buried beneath the banks of the River Ganges suggest exceptional artisanal accomplishment. It has been dated to the 3rd century BCE by many scholars, but later dates such as 2nd century BCE or the Kushan era (1st-4th century CE) have also been proposed. The competing theories are that the arts linked to Chandragupta Maurya's dynasty was learnt from the Greeks and West Asia in the years Alexander the Great waged war, while the other credits more ancient indigenous Indian tradition. According to Frederick Asher, "we cannot pretend to have definitive answers; and perhaps, as with most art, we must recognize that there is no single answer or explanation".
Along with texts, several Jain monumental inscriptions dating from the 7th-15th century refer to Bhadrabahu and Chandragupta in conjunction. While this evidence is very late and anachronistic, there is no evidence to disprove that Chandragupta converted to Jainism in his later life. Mookerji, in his book, quotes Vincent Smith and concludes that conversion to Jain monk provides adequate explanation to Chandragupta's abdication and sudden exit at a relatively young age and at the height of his power. The hill on which Chandragupta is stated in Jain tradition to have performed asceticism is now known as Chandragiri hill, and there is a temple named Chandragupta basadi there.