Ashoka the Great

Discussion in 'Defence & Strategic Issues' started by LETHALFORCE, Jan 3, 2010.

  1. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2009
    Messages:
    20,551
    Likes Received:
    6,556
    Asoka was one of the most powerful kings of the Indian subcontinent. A ruler of the Mauryan Empire, Ashoka ruled over the country from 273 BC to 232 BC. The reign of Emperor Asoka covered most of India, South Asia and beyond, stretching from present day Afghanistan and parts of Persia in the west, to Bengal and Assam in the east, and Mysore in the south. However, the Battle of Kalinga changed King Asoka completely. From a power hungry emperor, he turned into a Buddhist follower and started preaching the principles of Buddhism throughout the world. Read on this biography to know more about the life history of 'Ashoka the Great':

    Early Life
    Asoka was born in 304 BC, to Mauryan Emperor Bindusara and a relatively lower ranked queen, Dharma. The legend associated with the emperor goes that his birth had been predicted by Buddha, in the story of 'The Gift of Dust'. Buddhist Emperor Ashoka had only one younger sibling, Vitthashoka, but, several elder half-brothers. Right from his childhood days Ashoka showed great promise in the field of weaponry skills as well as academics.

    Accession to the Throne
    Asoka quickly grew into an excellent warrior general and an astute statesman. His command on the Mauryan army started growing day by day and because of this, his elder brothers became suspicious of him being favored by Bindusara as the next emperor. The eldest son of Bindusara, Prince Susima, convinced him to send Asoka to Takshashila province (in Sindh) to control an uprising caused by the formation of different militias. However, the moment Ashoka reached the province, the militias welcomed him with open arms and the uprising came to an end without any fight. This particular success of Asoka made his elder brothers, especially Susima, more insecure.

    Susima started inciting Bindusara against Ashoka, who was then sent into exile by the emperor. Asoka went to Kalinga, where he met a fisherwoman named Kaurwaki. He fell in love with her and later, made Kaurwaki his second or third wife. Soon, the province of Ujjain started witnessing a violent uprising. Emperor Bindusara called back Ashoka from the exile and sent him to Ujjain. The prince was injured in the ensuing battle and was treated by Buddhist monks and nuns. It was in Ujjain that Asoka first came to know about the life and teachings of Buddha. In Ujjain, he also met Devi, his personal nurse, who later became his wife.

    In the following year, Bindusura became seriously ill and was literally on his deathbed. A group of ministers, led by Radhagupta, called upon Ashoka to assume the crown. In the fight that followed his accession, Ashoka attacked Pataliputra, now Patna, and killed all his brothers, including Susima. After he became the King, Ashoka launched brutal assaults to expand his empire, which lasted for around eight years. Around this time, his Buddhist queen, Devi, gave birth to Prince Mahindra and Princess Sanghamitra.

    The Battle of Kalinga
    The battle of Kalinga (now Orissa) became a turning point in the life of 'Asoka the Great'. The exact reason for the battle is not known. However, it is believed that one of Ashoka's brothers took refuge at Kalinga and this enraged Asoka, who launched a brutal assault on the province. The whole of the province was plundered and destroyed and thousands of people were killed.

    Embracing & Spreading Buddhism
    It is said that after the battle of Kalinga was over, King Asoka went on a tour of the city. He could see nothing except burnt houses and scattered corpses. This was the first time in his life that Emperor Ashoka realized the consequences of wars and battles. It is said that even after he had returned to Patliputra, he was haunted by the scenes he saw in Kalinga. Even his queen, Devi, who was a Buddhist, left him after seeing the brutality at Kalinga.

    It was during this time that he embraced Buddhism under the Brahmin Buddhist sages, Radhaswami and Manjushri. After adopting Buddhism, Asoka started propagating its principles throughout the world, even as far as ancient Rome and Egypt. Infact, he can be credited with making the first serious attempt to develop a Buddhist policy.

    Policy
    Buddhist Emperor Asoka built thousands of Stupas and Viharas for Buddhist followers. One of his stupas, the Great Sanchi Stupa, has been declared as a World Heritage Site by UNECSO. The Ashoka Pillar at Sarnath has a four-lion capital, which was later adopted as the national emblem of the modern Indian republic. Throughout his life, 'Asoka the Great' followed the policy of nonviolence or ahimsa. Even the slaughter or mutilation of animals was abolished in his kingdom. He promoted the concept of vegetarianism. The caste system ceased to exist in his eyes and he treated all his subjects as equals. At the same time, each and every person was given the rights to freedom, tolerance, and equality.

    Missions to Spread Buddhism
    The third council of Buddhism was held under the patronage of Emperor Ashoka. He also supported the Vibhajjavada sub-school of the Sthaviravada sect, now known as the Pali Theravada. He sent his missionaries to the following places:

    * Kashmir - Gandhara Majjhantika
    * Mahisamandala (Mysore) - Mahadeva
    * Vanavasi (Tamil Nadu) - Rakkhita
    * Aparantaka (Gujarat and Sindh) - Yona Dhammarakkhita
    * Maharattha (Maharashtra) - Mahadhammarakkhita
    * "Country of the Yona" (Bactria/ Seleucid Empire) - Maharakkhita
    * Himavanta (Nepal) - Majjhima
    * Suvannabhumi (Thailand/ Myanmar) - Sona and Uttara
    * Lankadipa (Sri Lanka) - Mahamahinda

    His missionaries also went to the below mentioned places:

    * Seleucid Empire (Middle Asia)
    * Egypt
    * Macedonia
    * Cyrene (Libya)
    * Epirus (Greece and Albania)

    Death
    After ruling over the Indian subcontinent for a period of approximately 40 years, the Great Emperor Asoka left for the holy abode in 232 BC. After his death, his empire lasted for just fifty more years.

    Ashoka - Ashoka the Great, Emperor Asoka, Ashoka Biography, Ashoka Life History
     
    asoka250 and Kunal Biswas like this.
  2.  
  3. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2009
    Messages:
    20,551
    Likes Received:
    6,556
    Asoka the Great - King Asoka, Biography of Emperor Ashoka, Emperor Asoka Life History, Ashoka Edicts

    Ashoka the Great

    One of the greatest emperors of all times, Emperor Asoka was a Mauryan ruler whose empire spread across the Indian sub continent and the present day Pakistan and Afghanistan thus covering a vast area. He is known as Asoka the Great since he was one of the most able rulers who ruled India. Under his rule, the whole of India was united as one single entity with smooth administration. His life is an inspiration to many as he excelled in everything that he did. The name Ashoka means "without any sorrow" in Sanskrit. Read on this biography about the life history of famous Buddhist emperor Ashoka.

    Born in 265 B.C, the great king Ashoka was the grandson of the famous ruler Chandragupta Maurya. As a young lad, Ashoka excelled in whatever he was taught. Be it the art of warfare or reading the Holy Scriptures, Asoka excelled in whatever he did. Ashoka had many half brothers and he was loved by one and all. Thus, after his father died, he was crowned as the king of Magadha around 268 B.C. After being crowned as the king, he proved himself by smoothly administrating his territory and performing all his duties as an able and courageous king.

    Asoka the Great After a period of eight years of being a king, Ashoka planned to seize the territory of Kalinga, the present day Orissa. He led a huge army and fought a gruesome battle with the army of Kalinga. The battle of Kalinga made him pledge to never wage a war again. The battle took place on the Dhauli hills that are located on the banks of River Daya. Though Ashoka emerged victorious at the end, the sight of the battlefield made his heart break with shame, guilt and disgust. It is said that the battle was so furious that the waters of River Daya turned red with the blood of the slain soldiers and civilians.

    The sight of numerous corpses lying strewn across the battlefield made his heart wrench. He felt sick inside. The battle ground looked like a graveyard with bodies of not just soldiers but men, women and children. He saw young children crying over the bodies of their dead parents, women crying over the bodies of their dead husbands, mothers crying over the loss of a child. This made him heartbroken and he made a pledge to never ever fight a battle again. To seek solace, he converted to Buddhism. He was so inspired by the teachings of the Buddhist monks and Buddhist philosophies that he used his status to impart this knowledge all over the world. He is credited to be the first Emperor to make a serious attempt at developing Buddhist policies.
     
    Kunal Biswas likes this.
  4. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2009
    Messages:
    20,551
    Likes Received:
    6,556
  5. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2009
    Messages:
    20,551
    Likes Received:
    6,556
    Kalinga War

    Kalinga War


    The Kalinga War is among the most famous war fought between the Mauryan Emperor the Great Ashoka and the state of Kalinga. Kalinga was a feudal republic state located on the now Orissa of India. This Kalinga battle was first and last battle ever fought by Ashoka and changed the course of his life totally that turned him from `Chadashok` to `Dharmashok`. It was during the Kalinga war, Ashoka earned his name Ashoka the Great.

    Kalinga was a prosperous kingdom located between the Godavari and Mahanadi river, close to Bay of Bengal. Itcorresponds to the area of modern northern Andhra Pradesh, most of Orissa and a portion of Madhya Pradesh. The infantry of Kalinga consisted about sixty thousand men, ten thousand horsemen and six hundred elephants. Ashoka wanted to win over this fertile land and so he surrounded it. The brave and loyal people of Kalinga did not want to loose their motherland and so they took ammunitions to protect their motherland. A fierce battle started between the Mauryans and the people of Kalinga.

    Daya River in view running next to the battle field turned red from the blood during Kaling WarAshoka`s father Bindusara had previously attempted to win over Kalinga but his effort was all in vain. The Kalinga war began at the eleventh year of Ashoka`s reign, probably in either 265 or 264 BC. Ashoka was able to conquer the throne through a bloody battle with his brothers and relatives after the death of his father Bindusara. He was successful to include Kalinga in his sovereignty after a savage war. But the bloody scenes of war and its consequences changed Ashoka`s view on war and he avowed not to take part in any war again. It was said that after the Battle of Kalinga, the Daya River running next to the battle field turned red from the blood of the slain as thousands and thousands of Kalinga civilians and ten thousand of Ashoka`s own army died in the battle. The war took place underneath the Dhauli Hills, situated in the banks of Daya River, now 8km south of Bhubaneswar in Orissa. Dhauli hills have the edicts of Ashoka on a mass of rock, by the side of the road leading to the summit of the hill.

    After seeing the bloodshed in his own eyes Ashoka could realize that he was responsible for this massacre and pathos of people. His response to the Kalinga War is recorded in the `Edicts of Ashoka`. Some of these rock edicts, e.g. the Rock Edict XIII and Minor Rock Edict I states that the Kalinga War prompted Ashoka to take Buddhist religion and to adopt the path of `Dhamma Vijaya` (win through religion) and `Ahimsa`(non-violence). After conquring Kalinga, Ashoka stopped the expansion of his empire and concentrate on spreading the Buddhist religion. He send his brother Mahendra and daughter Sanjukta to Simhal to propagate Buddhist religion.Ashoka reigned for more than forty years more and brought prosperity and harmony to his sovereignty.
     
    Kunal Biswas likes this.
  6. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2009
    Messages:
    20,551
    Likes Received:
    6,556
    Ashoka The Great - Great Indians

    Ashoka The Great


    One of the greatest emperors known to Indian history, Ashoka, was the grandson of Chandragupta Maurya and the son of Bindusar. The land he ruled stretched from the Himalayas, Nepal and Kashmir to Mysore in the South. From Afghanistan in the N.E. to the banks of the River Brahmaputra in the East. In the West his territory covered Saurashtra and Junagarh.


    Ashoka's Reign

    Born in 294 BC as second son to Bindusar, the King of Patliputra, Ashoka was not heir apparent. After his father died, his elder brother Suman was to take over the reins of the Kingdom. But as most of the ministers found Ashoka more efficient, they helped him attain power.

    Ashoka was a good administrator and at first set about restoring peace in his kingdom. This took about 3 years, after which he formally accepted the throne and was crowned King in 273 BC. During his reign, the country made progress in terms of science and technology as well as advanced in medicine and surgery. Religion was emphasized and so the people were honest and straightforward and truthful. Stealing was unheard of.

    Ashoka, himself was a great philanthropist and worked day and night for the welfare of his people. He knew exactly what was going on in each part of his vast territory. He would not partake any of his meals until and unless he had fed a thousand Brahmins.


    The Kalinga War

    This was the first and last battle that Ashoka ever fought and serves as a watermark in his life as it changed his course forever. It was during this war that he earned the title Ashoka the Great.

    Kalinga was a prosperous little kingdom lying between the river Godavari and Mahanadi, close to the Bay of Bengal. It had an infantry of 60,000 men, 10,000 horsemen and 600 elephants. Ashoka wanted to capture this fertile land, and so had it surrounded. But the brave and loyal people of Kalinga did not want to lose their independence.

    A fierce battle followed, in which there were too many casualties. There were more than a lakh prisoners of war. In the midst of the battlefield, Ashoka stood with the wounded, crippled and the dead all around him. This was the consequence of his greed. A new light dawned on him, and he swore that he would never wage war again.


    Ashoka's Conversion

    Ashoka was initiated into Buddhism, after which his life was completely transformed. He religiously followed the principles of Buddhism - that of truth, charity, kindness, purity and goodness.

    He did his bit towards the propagation of this religion by engraving it's principles on pillars throughout his kingdom. The Ashoka pillars, as they are now called, were over 40 feet high and extremely heavy. He also attempted to spread this religion to Syria, Egypt and Macedonia, and sent his son Mahendra and daughter Sangamitra to Sri Lanka for this purpose.

    Ashoka opened charitable hospitals and dispensaries for the welfare of the poor. He planted trees to provide shade and opened inns for the shelter of travelers and laid out green parks and gardens to beautify his kingdom. Wells and tanks were also constructed for the benefit of his people. He believed in non-violence and so he banned the sacrifice of animals. Besides this he opened clinics for birds and animals too. His good works earned him the name of Devanamapriya Priyadarshi.


    Ashoka Chakra

    He died in 232 BC. After doing a great deal of good for his kingdom and the world at large. His fame has spread far and wide. To commemorate his rule and its implications the Government of India has adopted the Ashoka Chakra as its national symbol, which can be seen till today on the national flag.
     
    Kunal Biswas likes this.
  7. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2009
    Messages:
    20,551
    Likes Received:
    6,556
    Ashoka the Great Religious Monarch: King Ashoka's Patronage and Expansion of Buddhism

    Ashoka the Great Religious Monarch


    King Ashoka's Patronage and Expansion of Buddhism

    Sep 15, 2008 Nathaniel Moya
    KIng Ashoka was the epitome of a religious and spiritual leader who sought to unify all the people of his land. Without him Buddhism may have never blossomed as it did.

    King Ashoka, the third ruler of the Mauryan Empire, lived from 304 b.c. to 232 b.c. When he gained his seat as the head of the family’s dynasty in 264 b.c, it marked the beginning of one of the most influential political and religious lives the world has yet seen. A life who’s mission was to see the grand dissemination of the Buddhist tradition.
    Ashoka’s Conversion to Buddhism

    The initial years of Ashoka’s reign were typical of almost all rulers, in that he projected his political power by overthrowing the neighboring Kalinga kingdom. An estimated one hundred and fifty thousand Kalinga soldiers were killed, and another fifty thousand were taken into captivity. And as is too often in the aftermath of political warfare, thousands more perished amid rapid famine and diseases.

    Soon after his bouts of warfare, his important conversion to Buddhism took place. Heinrich Zimmer, in his book Philosophies of India, says: “the conversion of King Ashoka to the Buddhist faith ranks in importance, for the Orient, with the conversion of Constatine the Great to Christianity, for the West.” For without the patronage of Ashoka it may well have happened that Buddhism would have never reached its widespread influence, nor simply endured for over two millennia.
    Ashoka’s Edicts and Declaration Against Warfare

    One of the most important religious literary influences of all the world’s religions is King Ashoka’s edicts written on stone columns and pillars. They comprise his thoughts on reform, political organization, ethics, and the relationship of the ruler to his subjects. Most importantly they represent a ruler’s attempt to establish an authentic empire of peace, tranquility, and respect among individuals.

    Edict XIII is greatly important, for in it, as a response to the mass killings of the Kalingas, Ashoka proclaims his subsequent interest in the Dhamma, and his promise to end all warfare. A couple of lines from a translation by Ven. S. Dhammika follows:

    * “Now Beloved-of-the-Gods [Ashoka] feels deep remorse for having conquered the Kalingas. Indeed, Beloved-of-the-Gods is deeply pained by the killing, dying and deportation that take place when an unconquered country is conquered.”

    * “Now Beloved-of-the-Gods thinks that even those who do wrong should be forgiven where forgiveness is possible.”

    Also in the edict Ashoka claims that he is pained to see that ascetics, Brahmans, and followers of other religions, although they are not of the Buddhist faith, are injured, killed, and prosecuted.

    The war against the Kalingas obviously had an immense impact on Ashoka’s understanding of the world. An understanding which made the grotesque nature of war seem wholly other than what the world could be, and simply of no use to him any more.
    The Expanding Buddhist Empire

    Ashoka also instigated “the pious custom of state pilgrimages to the holy places of the Buddha legend” (Zimmer, 495). One such pilgrimage included visits to the birth place of the Buddha; to Kapliavastu, where the Renunciation took place; to the Bo Tree, where Guatama reached Nirvana and became the Buddha; the Deer Park, location of the first sermon where the Dharma was told; to the monastery where the Buddha lived and taught; and finally to Kusinagara, where the Buddha passed away.

    At these different location shrines were built, gold in massive quantities was handed out, towns were raised and taxes were lifted from already existing towns. In total, Zimmer says Ashoka supported “sixty-four thousand monks, built eighty thousand stupas, as well as countless monasteries.” And, as leaders of great religions often do, he sent missionaries all over the world, some as far west as Egypt.

    Read more at Suite101: Ashoka the Great Religious Monarch: King Ashoka's Patronage and Expansion of Buddhism Ashoka the Great Religious Monarch: King Ashoka's Patronage and Expansion of Buddhism
     
    Kunal Biswas likes this.
  8. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2009
    Messages:
    20,551
    Likes Received:
    6,556
    National Emblem : Ashok Chakra

    National Emblem : Ashok Chakra


    [​IMG]

    State emblem is an adaptation from the Sarnath Lion Capital of Ashoka. In the original, there are four lions, standing back to back, mounted on an abacus with a frieze carrying sculptures in high relief of an elephant, a galloping horse, a bull and a lion separated by intervening wheels over a bell-shaped lotus. Carved out of a single block of polished sandstone, the capital is crowned by the Wheel of the Law (Dharma Chakra).

    In the state emblem adopted by the Government of lndia on 26 January 1950, only three lions are visible, the fourth being hidden from view The wheel appears in relief in the centre of the abacus with a bull on right and a horse on left and the outlines of other wheels on extreme right and left. The bell-shaped lotus has been omitted. The words 'Satyameva Jayate' from Mundaka Upanishad, meaning 'Truth Alone Triumphs', are inscribed below the abacus in the Devanagari script.
     
    Kunal Biswas likes this.
  9. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2009
    Messages:
    20,551
    Likes Received:
    6,556
    http://www.ancientworlds.net/aw/Article/550508

    Ashoka the Great

    During our Springfest celebration here in The Orient, one of our focus events was to solicit articles from our citizens on the various ancient wonders of our world. King Asoka, an altogether fascinating figure from India's distant past, is such an enigmatic figure in shaping India's history that for me he is an ancient wonder all his own. Writing this article simply provided me with an excuse to educate myself more about him and his rule. So I invite you to enjoy this article and learn with me. Please note however, this is not a purely academic article, and is really just one who is intrigued researching into the history of an interesting man.

    India's history, from prehistoric to British rule is marked by several dynastic eras. Asoka the great falls under the relatively short lived Mauryan rule, started by his grandfather Chandragupta Maurya. (not to be confused with Chandragupta II, a later Gupta era ruler). There is much fascinating history to be learned about the founder of the Mauryan dynasty and his brilliant advisor Kautilya but for now we'll dwell briefly on how his grandfather and father may have influenced him.

    Chandragupta Maurya; 321 b.c. - Forging his new found kingdom through both warfare and diplomatic tactics, Chandragupta appears by all records to have been a true figure of power. He was born of a low caste, or commoner, and apprenticed to Kautilya, who later became his chief advisor. This founder of the Mauryan rule placed his kingdom center in Magadha, present day Bihar, at the time the reign of the Nanda rulers and India's powerful Brahman class and considered a religious center due to the world's first university constructed there. His empire united much of the surrounding area's formerly regional kingdoms, with their chieftains paying him tribute and owing allegiance to his rule. His conquests began with Magadha itself, then on to the northwest up to the Indus, after diplomatic treaties were founded with the invading Greeks and this northern territory claimed, he eventually moved on and conquered most of central India, then continued on in the north again to extend his rule well into modern day Afghanistan. At the end of his life he abandoned rule over his kingdom to his son Bindusara for life as an aesthetic Jain priest. An act of religious obedience that may have influenced his grandson Ashoka?

    Bindusara Maurya; 297 b.c. -Bindusara, also known as Amitrochates to his Greek contemporaries, evidently possessed his father's military mind and intelligence. He expanded Mauryan rule through conquest to modern day Bangladesh and the area known as the southern Deccan. His strength in warfare was tempered in historical accounts by his appreciation for knowledge and exotic goods and luxuries of Greece, available to him through his father's diplomatic treaties. His rule lasted 29 years until his death in 272 b.c.

    On to Ashoka, or Asoka the Great. While his father was alive, he acted as a military general for his father's kingdom, and governor of Ujjan and Taxila. It appears he may have been a bit bloodthirsty here, as some accounts depict him murdering his brothers in order to secure the throne for himself. Other sources simply state that he "sidelined" the others and rose to rule by some other means. It is commonly noted that regardless of how he rose to power, he was already considered the most trustworthy of all of Bindusara's sons. Either way, a famously adept warrior hungry for power is not exactly what one pictures when they consider a Buddhist leader. I guess people really can change.

    After his mysterious coronation as the new Mauryan king following his father's death, he immediately sets about extending Mauryan rule even further to include parts of central Asia and the south to southeast India minus the very bottom peninsula. The only region left unconquered is Kalinga, modern day Orissa, located on the far east coast of India's mainland. One may think this is enough, but personally I see the young Ashoka as being a ruler raised on the belief that a kingdom is only as strong as it's continued conquests are far-flung. It is only 50 years at this point that the Mauryan rule has even existed, built on the might of his grandfather's sword and he a commoner at it's start. I imagine that for him, the royal throne and war are inseparable, one cannot have the first without the second.

    As most know or have heard, it is Kalinga that broke the camel's proverbial back, causing Ashoka to convert to Buddhism and abandon his urge to conquest. The victory over Kalinga, hard won and bloody, was so vicious it is often considered a massacre. Figures agreed upon by every source that noted it in my research list the war tallies as over 100,000 dead & 150,000 prisoners claimed after. Though these numbers seem so high as to be inconceivable, it is often noted that Kalinga's proud defenders were so beloved of their land they refused surrender of it to Asoka's army, so unto the death it was for a great number of it's citizens. Contemporary accounts claim that disgusted at so much bloodshed, he converted to Buddhism directly on the battlefield. Melodramatic perhaps, but possibly true.

    After Kalinga, his story takes a fascinating turn. From here to the end of his life, he forsakes warfare and conquest altogether, refrains from hunting and the eating of meat, and turns to the teachings of Buddhism (a religion born in Magadha itself some 300 years earlier). He also completely alters his method of rule, so drastically as to make him remarkable among nearly every ruler in all memory. Evident from contemporary accounts and his infamous edicts, Ashoka embraces the concept of a fair ruler including the belief that a king's responsibilities surpass any personal need. He instituted many governmental reforms throughout his now massive kingdom; creating an intelligence network of secret agents to protect his kingdom and it's citizens from attacks by neighboring lands, a system of land taxation that provided better representation and fairness to the people under his rule, enabled state sponsored loans to citizens in need and established vast international trade. He also improved national quality of life in many ways including state-run hospitals, roads, safety for travellers, protection of cities with the building of guarded walls and ordered improved agricultural methods to be developed including irrigation and land-ownership for farmers.

    Ashoka's belief that mankind should follow tolerance, obedience and respect in the Buddhist tradition was transcribed in Sanskrit on a series of stone monuments called Edicts and placed at intervals throughout his kingdom. He also erected many Buddhist shrines known as Stupas, and sent peace emissaries and Buddhist missionaries to distant lands, successfully spreading Buddhism during his reign to many countries throughout nearby Asia. Ashoka attempted to embrace Buddhism in all his methods of government, but felt he failed to this end for the most part, and several of his methods were abandoned towards the end of his life. Non-violent beliefs such as no death penalties for criminals and the lack of desire to go to war or maintain an army were perhaps at odds with governing an empire in this ancient period of India's history.

    Asoka the Great's legacy..Although Hinduism's hold as the main religion resumed after the Mauryan empire ended (only half a century after his own rule), the vegetarian lifestyle instituted by Asoka and his court remain to this day the majority of India. Another presence of Asoka's lasting imprint; one of his Edicts is topped by a stone lion, now depicted in India's national flag to commemorate this first united kingdom of India's heritage held together by non-violent beliefs.

    It is this king's remarkable vision and ability to truly embrace a change in his own belief system that place him in history as one of the most memorable men ever to rule a nation and make him one of my personal favorites in the tapestry of ancient India.
     
    Kunal Biswas and A.V. like this.
  10. Rage

    Rage DFI TEAM Stars and Ambassadors

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2009
    Messages:
    5,410
    Likes Received:
    971
    A German documentary on the young Ashoka, with footage from the movie Aśoka:




    And a realistic amateur documentary from one Asoka fan:

     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 10, 2015
    LETHALFORCE likes this.
  11. threadbrowser

    threadbrowser Regular Member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2009
    Messages:
    84
    Likes Received:
    2
    A Pity that he did not take steps to ensure a worthy successor and implement an orderly mode of transition. One thing about our great dynasties that always saddened me was their short lifetimes.
    We should have been like rome going on and on and on for a few hundred years at least.
     
  12. sdsingh

    sdsingh New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2010
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    hi

    hi am thank ful to u for providing the info
     
  13. amoy

    amoy Senior Member Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2010
    Messages:
    5,524
    Likes Received:
    1,548
    also watched the movie Asoka. can somebody pls enlighten why later Buddhism didn't prevail in Ind. ? Instead it was Hinduism?
     
  14. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2009
    Messages:
    24,274
    Likes Received:
    11,287
    Location:
    BANGalore
    Budhism did prevail for quite sometime. The biggest problem with Buddhism was actually its belief in non violence which made it open to invasion without much retaliation i think. I am not a scholar on Buddhism, but i think that may be the reason why it did not prevail. Sooner or later they were converted back to Hinduism.
     
  15. Oracle

    Oracle New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2010
    Messages:
    8,120
    Likes Received:
    1,541
    Location:
    Bangalore, India
    Hinduism is older than Budhism, so naturally the population of people following Hinduism was far more than that of Budhism. Apart from that what Yusuf said is correct.
     
  16. Singh

    Singh Phat Cat Administrator

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2009
    Messages:
    20,305
    Likes Received:
    8,270
    Location:
    011
    Iirc there were 3 problems with Buddhism as per Hindu scholars

    1. Asceticism, India had virtually turned into a massive monastery
    2. Desire for a state of void which was contrary to the desire of Happiness.
    3. Rejection of Vedas.

    Alexander the Great was greatly influenced by the Buddhist monks to turn back.
     
  17. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2009
    Messages:
    12,038
    Likes Received:
    715
    what are the similarity between ashoka and aurangzeb???
     
  18. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2009
    Messages:
    24,274
    Likes Received:
    11,287
    Location:
    BANGalore
    They were butchers of humans at some point in their lives if not full.
     
  19. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2009
    Messages:
    12,038
    Likes Received:
    715
    They both were youngest of the brothers and came to power by killing their elder brothers.
     
  20. Iamanidiot

    Iamanidiot Elite Member Elite Member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2009
    Messages:
    5,326
    Likes Received:
    1,493
    He was actually ***** at the battle of hydaspes by the ancestors of pagadis and would have been ***** by nandas ancestos of beharis if he crossed indus
    refer Plutarchs account
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 21, 2010
  21. LurkerBaba

    LurkerBaba Staff Administrator

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2010
    Messages:
    6,769
    Likes Received:
    3,678
    Location:
    India
    The Maski edict found nearly a century ago is important because it changed experts’ understanding of Indian history. The edict revealed beyond doubt that ‘Devanampriya’ was none other than the legendary Mauryan emperor, Ashoka the great, writes Srinivas Sirnoorkar

    British gold mining engineer C Beadon did not, in his wildest dreams, think he would soon be creating history when he went for a stroll around the hillocks of Maski in Raichur district’s Lingsugur taluk. Way back in 1915, on January 26, he chanced upon a minor edict on a boulder in a cavern. This triggered a debate on the use of the title ‘Devanampriya’ found in a number of edicts across the country. Historians and scholars of India and abroad were thrilled over the discovery, because, for the first time, it revealed beyond doubt that ‘Devanampriya’ was none other than legendary Mauryan emperor Ashoka, the great.

    [​IMG]

    A reconstruction of the edict reads thus: “For two and a half years I am a lay worshipper of Buddha. (For more than)...I have gone to...the Sangha...I have gone to...Before in Jambudvipa...now they have become mixed...This purpose is even able to be attained by a lowly person who is joined with dharma. It is not only to be seen that a high person might attain this. It is to be said to a lowly person and a high person...Doing thus...Thus (it will be) long standing and will increase (up to) one and half.” The edict is highly fragmented.

    Stories writ in stone
     
    Kunal Biswas likes this.

Share This Page