Title: Devanam Priyadarshi
Birth: 304 B.C.
Birthplace: Pataliputra (modern day Patna)
Parents: Bindusara and Devi Dharma
Reign: 268 –232 B.C.
Spouse: Asandhimitra, Devi, Karuvaki, Padmavati, Tishyaraksha
Children: Mahendra, Sanghamitra, Tivala, Kunala, Charumati
Ashoka was the next ruler of this illustrious Maurya dynasty and has been among the most effective kings of the Indian subcontinent in historical times. His reign between 273 BC and 232 B.C. was among the richest periods in the history of India. Buddhist literature record Ashoka as a cruel and ruthless monarch who experienced a change of heart after experiencing an especially grisly war, the Battle of Kalinga.
Following the war, he adopted Buddhism and committed his entire life towards dissemination of the tenets of their faith. He turned into a king, forcing his government to produce a just and bountiful environment for his or her subjects. Due to his nature for a ruler, he had been given the name’Devanampriya Priyadarshi’.
Ashoka and his glorious rule is connected with a few of the very rewarding time in the history of India and as a tribute to his non-partisan philosophies, the Dharma Chakra adorning the Ashok stambh was made part of the Indian National Flag. The logo of the Republic of India was accommodated by the Lion Capital of Ashoka.
Ashoka was Created to Mauryan King Bindusara along with his queen Devi Dharma at 304 B.C.. Dharma (alternatively called Subhadrangi or Janapadkalyani) was the daughter of a Brahmin priest by the kingdom of Champa, also has been assigned relatively low status in the royal family due to politics. By virtue of his mommy’s standing, Ashoka also obtained a minimal position one of the princes. He had just one younger sibling, Vithashoka, however, many elder half-brothers. Right from his childhood days, Ashoka showed excellent promise in the area of weaponry abilities in addition to academics. Ashoka’s dad Bindusara, impressed with his ability and understanding, appointed him as the Governor of Avanti. He met and wed Devi, the daughter of a tradesman from Vidisha. Ashoka and Devi had two kids, son Mahendra, and daughter Sanghamitra.
Asoka rapidly grew into a superb warrior overall and also an astute statesman. His control on the Mauryan army began growing daily. King Bindusara’s eldest son Sushima persuaded his dad to send Ashoka away in the capital city of Pataliputra into Takshashila province.
The explanation given was to subdue a revolt from the taxpayers of Takshashila. On the other hand, the second Ashoka attained the state, the militias welcomed him with open arms and the uprising came to an end with no fight. This specific victory of Asoka created his older brothers, particularly Susima, more insecure.
Accession to the Throne
Susima started inciting Bindusara from Ashoka, who was subsequently sent into exile from the emperor. Ashoka moved to Kalinga, where he met a fisherwoman called Kaurwaki. Shortly, the state of Ujjain began observing a violent uprising. Emperor Bindusara phoned back Ashoka out of exile and delivered him to Ujjain. The prince was hurt in the ensuing conflict and has been treated with Buddhist monks and nuns. It had been in Ujjain which Asoka initially came to learn more about the life and teachings of Buddha.Susima started inciting Bindusara from Ashoka, who was subsequently sent into exile from the emperor. Ashoka moved to Kalinga, where he met a fisherwoman called Kaurwaki. Shortly, the state of Ujjain began observing a violent uprising. Emperor Bindusara phoned back Ashoka out of exile and delivered him to Ujjain. The prince was hurt in the ensuing conflict and has been treated with Buddhist monks and nuns. It had been in Ujjain which Asoka initially came to learn more about the life and teachings of Buddha.
The Battle of Kalinga and Submission to Buddhism
Ashoka launched an attack to conquer Kalinga through 265 B.C. along with the struggle of Kalinga became a turning point in his lifetime. Ashoka personally headed the conquest and procured success. On his orders, the entire of state had been plundered, cities had been destroyed and tens of thousands of people were murdered.
The morning following the success he moved outside to survey the conditions of things and struck nothing except burnt houses and scattered corpses. Having brought face to face with the effects of warfare, for the very first time he felt overwhelmed with all the brutality of his activities. He saw flashes of the devastation his conquest had wrought after returning to Pataliputra.
He underwent a complete tragedy of religion in this period and hunted penance for his past actions. He vowed to not clinic violence and committed himself entirely to Buddhism. He also followed the directives of Brahmin Buddhist professionals Radhaswami and Manjushri and began dispersing Buddhist principles during his realm.
Administration of Ashoka
The government of Ashoka following his religious transformation was concentrated only on the well-being of the subjects. The emperor was at the helm of this government following the established version put forward by Mauryan Kings earlier Ashoka.
He had been closely trained in his administrative responsibilities by his younger brother, Vithashoka along with a group of reliable ministers, whom Ashoka consulted before adopting any new administrative coverage. Asoka’s reign saw debut of a high number of policies when compared with his predecessors. He embraced a paternalistic perspective on government and proclaimed”These guys are my Children”, as evident from the Kalinga edict.
In addition, he voiced his indebtedness to his issues to get bestowing using their love and esteem, which he believed it his obligation to serve to their higher good.
Religious Policy: Ashoka’s Dhamma
Ashoka made Buddhism the state religion around 260 B.C.. He was possibly the first emperor in history of India who strove to set up that a Buddhist polity by using the Dasa Raja Dharma or the ten precepts outlined by Lord Buddha himself since the responsibility of a ideal ruler. They’re enumerated as:
1.To be liberal and avoid selfishness
2. To maintain a high moral character
3. To be prepared to sacrifice one’s own pleasure for the well-being of the subjects
4. To be honest and maintain absolute integrity
5. To be kind and gentle
6. To lead a simple life for the subjects to emulate
7. To be free from hatred of any kind
8. To exercise non-violence
9. To practice patience
10. To respect public opinion to promote peace and harmony
According to these 10 principles preached by Lord Buddha, Ashoka ordered the custom of Dharma which became the backbone of the philanthropic and citizenship government. Dharma was a brand new faith nor a new political doctrine. It was a method of life, outlined in a code of behavior and a set of principles he invited his subjects to embrace to direct a peaceful and prosperous life. He undertook the propagation of those philosophies through book of 14 edicts he spread out during his empire.
1. No living being were to be slaughtered or sacrificed.
2. Medical care for human as well as animals throughout his Empire
3. Monks to tour the empire every five years teaching the principles of dharma to the common people.
4. One should always respect one’s parents, priests and monks
5. Prisoners to be treated humanely
6. He encouraged his subjects to report to him their concerns regarding the welfare of the administration at all times no matter where he is or what he is doing.
7. He welcomed all religions as they desire self-control and purity of heart.
Role in Dissemination of Buddhism
During his lifetime,’Asoka the Great’ followed the coverage of non-violence or ahimsa. The slaughter or mutilation of animals was abolished in their own realm. He encouraged the idea of vegetarianism. The caste system ceased to exist in his eyes and he handled all of his subjects . At precisely the exact same time, each and each individual has been given the rights to liberty, tolerance, and equality. In addition, he affirmed the Vibhajjavada sub-school of this Sthaviravada sect, currently called the Pali Theravada. He engaged members of their royal household, including his son and daughter, Mahendra and Sanghamitra, to execute obligations of Buddhist missionaries. His missionaries went into the under mentioned areas – Seleucid Empire (Middle Asia), Egypt, Macedonia, Cyrene (Libya), also Epirus (Greece and Albania). In addition, he delivered dignitaries throughout his empire to disperse his ideals of Dhamma according to Buddhist philosophy. A number of these are recorded as follows:
- 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
After judgment through the Indian subcontinent for a period of about 40 decades, the Great Emperor Asoka abandoned for the sacred abode in 232 BC. Following his death, his empire lasted only fifty years.
Buddhist Emperor Asoka constructed tens of thousands of Stupas and Viharas for Buddhist followers. Among the stupas, the Great Sanchi Stupa was announced as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The Ashoka Pillar at Sarnath includes a four-lion capital, which was afterward adopted as the national symbol of the modern Indian republic.