The Indian subcontinent has never been unified into a single empire; Asoka Maurya came close, but never united the entire south. Asoaka was a Buddhist emperor. India is regarded as a continent more then as a country. The Indus River valley was taken by the Aryanians, and eventually the Aryanians settles in the Ganges Valley. Political groups were called janapadas. Archaeology explains that the Ganges valley was not very accessible. Philology helps keep track of Indo-Aryanians by tracking the spread of their language. Written texts are also a good source. The Puranas were myths and contained genealogical list of rulers. The Veda was religion based and did not have historical accounts. India had two great myths, the Mahabharata and the Ramayana. The Maurya dynasty had an imperial government, hereditary family lineage continued to be important. The Mauryan Empire was not as large as Asoka's, but still encompassed most of the Indian sub-continent.
Guilds were associations made up of businessmen and producers. The Gupta Empire was a new dynasty that began around 320 C.E and Gupta rule was indirect.