Ashoka The Great

Ashoka The Great

Who is Ashoka? What are they works for their people? Family, Education, Interests  

Ashoka Vardhana was, popularly known as Ashoka, his father succeeded emperor Bindusara in 273 BC. Before that he had been a very successful viceroy first at Takshila and then at Ujjain. He ruled over a vast and united kingdom of India for 41 years.

We know how much about his kingdom and rein from his rock edicts and pillar inscriptions spread all over the country. The Kaling war, which he waged to acquire and annexes the country of that name, was a very terrible war in which thousands of people died and many were wounded and maimed.

Life Period in Buddhism Religion of Ashoka & Chandragupta Mauryan

It proved a turning point in his life. Filed with great remorse and repentance, he renounced war and violence forever and became a devout Buddhist. Earlier he was a Hindu and worshiper of Shiva.

After his initiation into Buddhism, Ashoka made a pilgrimage to the principal holy places and centers of Buddhism which included Lumbini Park, the birthplace of Siddhartha Gautam, Kushinagar where Buddha entered into final nirvana and Bodha Gaya were Buddha attained enlightenment.

The Kaling war made him realize that true conquest was in the conquest of the hearts of the people. Haunted by remorse, pity and repentance he sought refuge in Buddhism and engaged himself in the well being and happiness of his subjects.

He used to say “All people are my children.” He was initiated into Buddhism by a great Buddhist monk called Upagupta. Since then he always made himself busy in bingeing about peace, culture, dignity, true morality and prosperity in his kingdom. He was the grandson of Chandragupta Mauryan Empire.

Journey of Patliputra

Patliputra (Modern Patna) was his capital city. He further enlarged and consolidated his empire which spread to the Hindu Kush, Afghanistani in the north –west to Nepal in the north east and form Kashmir in the north to Mysore and Madras in the south. Baluchistan, Makran, Sindh, Cutch, Swat, including Kashmir and Nepal were parts of huge empire.

There were many small autonomous States as well which owed obedience to the Emperor and paid regular homage to him. The vast territory of the empire was ruled by 5-6 Viceroys. Takshila, Toshali, Ujjain and Suvarngiri were the chief centers of administration and governance.

As a Monk For Short Period and take a lesson of Love and peace in Buddhism

He also became a monk temporarily and assumed the holy grab of a bhikku. He also raised grand holy monuments at centers of Buddhist pilgrimage. He gave up hunting, meat-eating and violence in their all forms and manifestations. The promotion of religion and the teaching of morals became his life’s mission.

He prohibited the slaughter of animals and birds and urged and ordained his subjects to follow ahisma or non-injury. To spread Buddhism and the message of love, peace and non-violence he sent mission to various places outside his kingdom. One such mission to Ceylon was led by his son Mahinda. He also called the great Buddhist council at Patliputra.

How He became a Great Ashoka and Story Behind Four Lions of Ashokan

Ashoka ruled over his vast empire according to the Buddhist dharma and law. He has been called a great and the just king because of his piety, compassion and his mission to spread Buddhism. He was tolerant of other religions and religious sects.

In a pillar edict he has proclaimed that he had “Bunyan tress planted for shade to beasts, and well dug and rest houses built-every nine miles. “ Buddha wanted that kings should be protective and generous and Ashoka confirmed to this injunction both in letter and spirit.

Most of his inscriptions are in Prakrit dialects which were spoken in northern India, but in the far eastern regions in Afghanistan etc. they were in Greek. Ashoka’s column has four lion capital which symbolize both his imperial rule and the kingship of Buddha. The famous Ashokan column’s famous lion capital is now preserved at Sarnath, near Varanasi. Ashokan column with four lions is the emblem of modern Indian State.

Death of Ashoka the Great is too Mysterious  

A tradition would have us believe that Ashoka died at Takshila but it is not known how he find died. He was succeeded by his two grandsons named Dashartha in the eastern and Samprati in the western region. Perhaps Brihadratha was the last Mauryan  king who was slain in 185 BC by is commander-in-chief Pushpamitra Sung who established a new dynasty known as the Sung dynasty.