Asoka is discussed at length in Gertrude Emerson Sen, The Pageant of India's History 1948. One of India's greatest emperors, Ashoka reigned over most of present-day India after a number of military conquests. In one edict, for instance, he orders fruit and shade trees to be planted and wells to be dug along the roads for the benefit of travelers. Even though Buddhism faded in India after his death, it continued to flourish and spread in other parts, particularly in eastern and south-eastern Asia. These sources mention his skin disorder which is described as very rough and unpleasant to touch.
Accession to the Throne Susima started inciting Bindusara against Ashoka, who was then sent into exile by the emperor. He is known to have killed almost all his hundred or so step brothers who could have been possible claimants to his throne. Even the slaughter or mutilation of animals was abolished in his kingdom. Lenin, among many others —has been lauded by twentieth-century luminaries including H. Based on these legends, scholars such as conclude that Bindusara patronized the Ajivikas.
He is one of if not the only powerful ruler in world history that tried to conquer by way of morality, and his giant stone pillars, once lost to the sands of time, but now raised again from the Earth tell the story of a complicated man, once bloodthirsty and then tranquil. He annexed the whole of Southern India except Ceylon modern day Sri Lanka. He welcomed all religions as they desire self-control and purity of heart. He once put his ministers through a loyalty test in which he killed 500 of them. Throughout the ages, however, Aśoka was best known to Buddhists not through his edicts but through the legends that were told about him. When the emperor died, a group of nobles called on Ashoka to assume the throne of the Mauryan Dynasty. The emperor employed a network of spies who offered him tactical advantages in diplomatic matters.
Ashoka the Great ruled as a just and merciful king from his epiphany in 265 until his death at the age of 72 in 232 B. The Sulkadhyaksa was in charge of collecting the taxes. The devatas then miraculously placed the royal crown on his head, while Bindusara died. Ashoka had many half brothers and was loved by one and all. In others, he establishes medical facilities for humans and animals; he commissions officers to help the poor and the elderly; and he enjoins obedience to parents, respect for elders, and generosity toward and tolerance of priests and ascetics of all sects. Administration of Ashoka The administration of Ashoka after his spiritual transformation was focused solely on the well-being of his subjects. All we have is the descriptions given in some Buddhist texts related to Ashoka's life.
Thus Chandashoka morphed into Dharmashoka or the pious Ashoka. The stupa at Bhilsa still survives. It was a way of life, outlined in a code of conduct and a set of principles that he encouraged his subjects to adopt to lead a peaceful and prosperous life. This is when Ashoka was born ending all the sorrows of Subhadrangi. He was perhaps the first emperor in history of India who tried to establish a Buddhist polity by implementing the Dasa Raja Dharma or the ten precepts outlined by Lord Buddha himself as the duty of a perfect ruler. Is this justice or injustice? Reddy, therefore, believes that the Mauryan empire extended up to during Bindusara's reign. That the beloved of the gods finds very pitiful and grievous.
When Chanakya refused to oblige, the Emperor ordered Subandhu to pacify him. Some Buddhist texts mention that an astrologer or priest at Bindusara's court prophesied the future greatness of the prince Ashoka. Bindusara recalled his son to Maurya to help quell an uprising in Ujjain, the former capital of the Avanti Kingdom. The Vamsatthappakasini the Mahavamsa commentary names this man as Janasana, based on a commentary on. The Ashoka Pillar at Sarnath has a four-lion capital, which was later adopted as the national emblem of the modern Indian republic. The administration conducted regular census along with other information as caste and occupation. He had been born as a python during the period of , and had become very wise after listening to the discussions of the.
Stories about A śoka's past-life deeds and their consequences in the present have also enjoyed this more general religious significance in Buddhist countries. The name of Ashoka's father — Bindusara spotted one also suggests the possibility of a hereditary character of the skin disorder, which is known in von Recklinghausen disease. Monuments of Faith From the sixteenth year of his reign Asoka permanently recorded ethical doctrines by inscribing them on rocks, sandstone pillars, and cave walls in the various regional languages. He had only one younger sibling, Vithashoka, but, several elder half-brothers. Prisoners to be treated humanely 6. These provincial heads were altered from time to time to prevent any one of them exerting power over a long period of time.
Strong, The Legend of King A śoka Princeton, 1983 ; Strong also provides an important discussion of textual interpretation, the history of the Avad āna collection, and the political and religious dimensions of the A śokan paradigm contained in that text. They are generally asymptomatic but at time many have in addition hydrocephalus large head , scoliosis, short stature, hypertension, epilepsy and mental retardation. A śoka's landmark reign c. The accounts of Chinese pilgrims make clear that claimed associations with A śoka still mapped most of Buddhist Asia even in their day fourth to seventh centuries ce ; they relate their multiple versions of the A śoka legend in the context of places he was remembered to have visited or stupas he was remembered to have constructed, many of them far beyond A śoka's own reach. The prince was injured in the ensuing battle and was treated by Buddhist monks and nuns.
Taking A śoka as exemplary of proper Buddhist kingship was so common in premodern Therav āda Buddhist kingdoms in modern Myanmar, Thailand, and Sri Lanka, in fact, that scholars have theorized a specifically A śokan model of kingship, , and imperial formation that has even been invoked by contemporary politicians in these regions to a variety of political and personal ends. He introduced legal reforms like Danda Samahara and Vyavahara Samahara, clearly pointing out to his subjects the way of life that is to be led by them. The A śok āvad āna of the northern recension has been masterfully translated by John S. The overall judicial and administration were overseen by Amatyas or civil servants whose functions were clearly delineated by the Emperor. He introduced legal reforms like Danda Samahara and Vyavahara Samahara, clearly pointing out to his subjects the way of life that is to be led by them. Soon, the province of Ujjain started witnessing a violent uprising. But Asoka, while utilizing the full force of his administration, recognized frankly that permanent improvement was to be based on genuine change of heart, not on royal measures.
They are present as multiple, palpable, rubbery, tumors in the skin. There is a story that Ashoka killed his 99 brothers leaving only one brother Tissa to become the king. He exhorted his subjects to meditate; to practice nonviolence and noninjury toward fellowmen and animals; to revere parents, teachers, mendicants, and elders; to be kind to inferiors such as servants, serfs, and beasts of burden; to be truthful; and to respect the beliefs of fellowmen. We also saw how Ashoka's quotations reflect his commitment to the dharma, and how his family tree reflects his lineage as the grandson of the founder of the Mauryan dynasty. First, A śoka's own imperial strategies were appropriated and developed by his post-Mauryan successors, effectively constituting A śoka's empire as the one that all subsequent kings struggled to remake for themselves. His inscriptions speak of two queens; Buddhist legends mention several. The Buddhist ideas no longer inspire the government and at the same time, his descendents quarrel over the successions.