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Encyclopedia > Ashoka the Great
Ashoka the Great
Mauryan emperor
Modern reconstruction of Ashoka's portrait.
Reign 273 BC-232 BC
Full name Ashoka Maurya
Born 304 BC
Pataliputra (Modern Day, Patna)
Died 232 BC
Pataliputra
Buried Ashes immersed in Ganges River, possibly at Varanasi
Predecessor Bindusara
Emperor Mahindra
Successor Dasaratha Maurya
Consort Maharani Devi
Consort Rani Kaurwaki
Wife/wives Rani Tishyaraksha
Rani Padmavati
Kaurwaki
Royal House Maghada
Dynasty Mauryan dynasty, Magadha (India)
Father Bindusara
Mother Rani Dharma

Ashoka (Devanāgarī: अशोकः, IAST: Aśokaḥ, IPA: [aɕoːkə(hə)], Prakrit Imperial title: Devanampriya Priyadarsi (Devanāgarī: देवानांप्रिय प्रियदर्शी), "He who is the beloved of the Gods and who regards everyone amiably") and Dhamma (Devanāgarī: धम्मः), "Lawful, Religious, Righteous") (304 BC232 BC) was an Indian emperor, of the Maurya Dynasty who ruled from 273 BC to 232 BC. Often cited as one of India's greatest emperors, Ashoka reigned over most of present-day India after a number of military conquests. His empire stretched from present-day Afghanistan and parts of Persia in the west, to the present-day Bengal and Assam states of India in the east, and as far south as Mysore state. His reign was headquartered in Magadha (present-day Bihar state of India). He embraced Buddhism from the prevalent Vedic tradition after witnessing the mass deaths of the war of Kalinga, which he himself had waged out of a desire for conquest. He was later dedicated in the propagation of Buddhism across Asia and established monuments marking several significant sites in the life of Gautama Buddha. Ashoka or Ashok means without sorrow in Sanskrit. ... The Mauryan dynasty ruled the Mauryan empire, the first unified empire of India, from 322 BCE to 183 BCE. The rulers of the Mauryan dynasty were: Chandragupta Maurya (322 - 298 BCE) - founder of the Mauryan empire. ... Image File history File links Ashoka2. ... Centuries: 4th century BC - 3rd century BC - 2nd century BC Decades: 320s BC 310s BC 300s BC 290s BC 280s BC - 270s BC - 260s BC 250s BC 240s BC 230s BC 220s BC 278 BC 277 BC 276 BC 275 BC 274 BC - 273 BC - 272 BC 271 BC 270... Centuries: 4th century BC - 3rd century BC - 2nd century BC Decades: 280s BC 270s BC 260s BC 250s BC 240s BC - 230s BC - 220s BC 210s BC 200s BC 190s BC 180s BC Years: 237 BC 236 BC 235 BC 234 BC 233 BC - 232 BC - 231 BC 230 BC... ... For other uses, see Patna (disambiguation). ... ... “Ganga” redirects here. ... , Varanasi (Sanskrit: वाराणसी VārāṇasÄ«, IPA:  ), also known as Benares (Hindi: , Urdu: , IPA: ), or Kashi (Hindi: ), is a famous Hindu holy city situated on the banks of the river Ganges (Ganga) in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. ... Bindusara was the second Mauryan emperor (297 - c. ... An emperorrefers to Nick Herringshaw, a title, empress may only indicate the wife of an emperor (empress consort. ... Mahindra can refer to: Mahinda, the son of Emperor Ashoka and proponent of Buddhas teachings in Sri Lanka Mahindra & Mahindra Limited, an Indian automobile company Mahindra United, an Indian football club Category: ... Dasaratha Maurya was a king of the Mauryan empire, ruling 232 - 224 BC. He was the successor of Ashoka the Great. ... It has been suggested that Shri Vidya be merged into this article or section. ... Kaurwaki is a character in the legend of Indian emperor, Ashoka, set in the 3rd century BC. It is said she was a fisherwoman and later on became one of Ashokas wives. ... The introduction to this article provides insufficient context for those unfamiliar with the subject matter. ... The goddess Padmavati is a popular Jain goddess. ... The Mauryan dynasty ruled the Mauryan empire, the first unified empire of India, from 322 BCE to 183 BCE. The rulers of the Mauryan dynasty were: Chandragupta Maurya (322 - 298 BCE) - founder of the Mauryan empire. ... Bindusara was the second Mauryan emperor (297 - c. ... Also see: Ranee Rani (Ranee) means Queen in Hindi, and is the female equivalent of Raja (or Rajah). ... For other uses, see Dharma (disambiguation). ... () is an abugida script used to write several Indo-Aryan languages, including Sanskrit, Hindi, Gujarati,Marathi, Sindhi, Bihari, Bhili, Marwari, Konkani, Bhojpuri, Pahari (Garhwali and Kumaoni), Santhali, Nepali, Newari, Tharu and sometimes Kashmiri and Romani. ... IAST, or International Alphabet of Sanskrit Transliteration is the academic standard for writing the Sanskrit language with the Latin alphabet and very similar to National Library at Calcutta romanization standard being used with many Indic scripts. ... Prakrit (also spelt Pracrit) (Sanskrit: , original, natural, artless, normal, ordinary, usual, i. ... () is an abugida script used to write several Indo-Aryan languages, including Sanskrit, Hindi, Gujarati,Marathi, Sindhi, Bihari, Bhili, Marwari, Konkani, Bhojpuri, Pahari (Garhwali and Kumaoni), Santhali, Nepali, Newari, Tharu and sometimes Kashmiri and Romani. ... () is an abugida script used to write several Indo-Aryan languages, including Sanskrit, Hindi, Gujarati,Marathi, Sindhi, Bihari, Bhili, Marwari, Konkani, Bhojpuri, Pahari (Garhwali and Kumaoni), Santhali, Nepali, Newari, Tharu and sometimes Kashmiri and Romani. ... Centuries: 5th century BC - 4th century BC - 3rd century BC Decades: 350s BC 340s BC 330s BC 320s BC 310s BC 300s BC 290s BC 280s BC 270s BC 260s BC 250s BC 309 BC 308 BC 307 BC 306 BC 305 BC 304 BC 303 BC 302 BC 301... Centuries: 4th century BC - 3rd century BC - 2nd century BC Decades: 280s BC 270s BC 260s BC 250s BC 240s BC - 230s BC - 220s BC 210s BC 200s BC 190s BC 180s BC Years: 237 BC 236 BC 235 BC 234 BC 233 BC - 232 BC - 231 BC 230 BC... A representation of the Lion Capital of Ashoka, which was erected around 250 BCE. It is the emblem of India. ... Centuries: 4th century BC - 3rd century BC - 2nd century BC Decades: 320s BC 310s BC 300s BC 290s BC 280s BC - 270s BC - 260s BC 250s BC 240s BC 230s BC 220s BC 278 BC 277 BC 276 BC 275 BC 274 BC - 273 BC - 272 BC 271 BC 270... Centuries: 4th century BC - 3rd century BC - 2nd century BC Decades: 280s BC 270s BC 260s BC 250s BC 240s BC - 230s BC - 220s BC 210s BC 200s BC 190s BC 180s BC Years: 237 BC 236 BC 235 BC 234 BC 233 BC - 232 BC - 231 BC 230 BC... Anthem SorÅ«d-e MellÄ«-e Īrān Â² Capital (and largest city) Tehran Official languages Persian Demonym Iranian Government Islamic Republic  -  Supreme Leader  -  President Unification  -  Unified by Cyrus the Great 559 BCE   -  Parthian (Arsacid) dynastic empire (first reunification) 248 BCE-224 CE   -  Sassanid dynastic empire 224–651 CE   -  Safavid dynasty... For other uses, see Bengal (disambiguation). ... , Assam (  ) (Assamese: অসম Ôxôm) is a north eastern state of India with its capital at Dispur, a suburb of the city Guwahati. ... , For other uses, see Mysore (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Bihar (disambiguation). ... A statue of the Sakyamuni Buddha in Tawang Gompa, India. ... Kalinga in 265 B.C. Kalinga was an ancient Indo-Aryan kingdom of central-eastern India, in the province of Orissa. ... Siddhartha and Gautama redirect here. ...


His name "aśoka" means "without sorrow" in Sanskrit. In his edicts, he is referred to as Devānāmpriya (Devanāgarī: देवानांप्रिय)/Devānaṃpiya or "The Beloved Of The Gods", and Priyadarśin (Devanāgarī: प्रियदर्शी)/Piyadassī or "He who regards everyone amiably". Sanskrit ( , for short ) is a classical language of India, a liturgical language of Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, and Jainism, and one of the 23 official languages of India. ... The Edicts of Ashoka are a collection of 33 inscriptions on the Pillars of Ashoka, as well as boulders and cave walls, made by the Emperor Ashoka of the Mauryan dynasty during his reign from 272 to 231 BCE. These inscriptions are dispersed throughout the areas of modern-day Pakistan... () is an abugida script used to write several Indo-Aryan languages, including Sanskrit, Hindi, Gujarati,Marathi, Sindhi, Bihari, Bhili, Marwari, Konkani, Bhojpuri, Pahari (Garhwali and Kumaoni), Santhali, Nepali, Newari, Tharu and sometimes Kashmiri and Romani. ... () is an abugida script used to write several Indo-Aryan languages, including Sanskrit, Hindi, Gujarati,Marathi, Sindhi, Bihari, Bhili, Marwari, Konkani, Bhojpuri, Pahari (Garhwali and Kumaoni), Santhali, Nepali, Newari, Tharu and sometimes Kashmiri and Romani. ...


Science fiction novelist H. G. Wells wrote of Ashoka: Science fiction is a form of speculative fiction principally dealing with the impact of imagined science and technology, or both, upon society and persons as individuals. ... Herbert George Wells (September 21, 1866 – August 13, 1946), better known as H. G. Wells, was an English writer best known for such science fiction novels as The Time Machine, The War of the Worlds, The Invisible Man, The First Men in the Moon and The Island of Doctor Moreau. ...

In the history of the world there have been thousands of kings and emperors who called themselves 'their highnesses,' 'their majesties,' and 'their exalted majesties' and so on. They shone for a brief moment, and as quickly disappeared. But Ashoka shines and shines brightly like a bright star, even unto this day.

Along with the Edicts of Ashoka, his legend is related in the later 2nd century Aśokāvadāna ("Narrative of Ashoka") and Divyāvadāna ("Divine narrative"), and in the Sinhalese text Mahavamsa. The Edicts of Ashoka are a collection of 33 inscriptions on the Pillars of Ashoka, as well as boulders and cave walls, made by the Emperor Ashoka of the Mauryan dynasty during his reign from 272 to 231 BCE. These inscriptions are dispersed throughout the areas of modern-day Pakistan... The Ashokavadana (Sanskrit: अशॊकवदन, Narrative of Ashoka) is a 2nd century CE document related to the legend of the Maurya emperor Ashoka. ... Divyavadana, Devine Deeds (Avadana) is a Sarvastivadin anthology consisting 38 ledends including emperor Asoka. ... Sinhalese or Sinhala (සිංහල, ISO 15919: , IPA: [], earlier referred to as Singhalese) is the mother tongue of the Sinhalese, the largest ethnic group of Sri Lanka. ... The Mahavansha, also Mahawansha, (Pāli: great chronicle) is a historical record, often thought to be the oldest written record oh history, written in the Pāli language, of the Buddhist kings as well as Dravidian kings of Sri Lanka. ...


An emblem excavated from his empire is today the national emblem of India.

Contents

Early life

Scene of KAURWAKII"The Gift of Dirt", 2nd century Gandhara. The child Jaya, said to be reborn later as Asoka, offers a gift of dirt (which, in his game he imagines as food) to Buddha, hereby acquiring merit, by which the Buddha foresees he will rule India and spread the Buddhist faith.
Scene of KAURWAKII"The Gift of Dirt", 2nd century Gandhara. The child Jaya, said to be reborn later as Asoka, offers a gift of dirt (which, in his game he imagines as food) to Buddha, hereby acquiring merit, by which the Buddha foresees he will rule India and spread the Buddhist faith.

Ashoka was the son of the Mauryan Emperor Bindusara by a relatively lower ranked queen named Dharma. Dharma was said to be the daughter of a poor Brahmin who introduced her into the harem of the Emperor as it was predicted that her son would be a great ruler. Although Dharma was of priestly lineage, the fact that she was not royal by birth made her a very low-status consort in the harem.[1] Image File history File linksMetadata TheGiftOfDirt. ... Image File history File linksMetadata TheGiftOfDirt. ... Gandhāra (Sanskrit: गन्धार, Persian; Gandara, Waihind) (Urdu: گندھارا) is the name of an ancient Indian Mahajanapada, currently in northern Pakistan (the North-West Frontier Province and parts of northern Punjab and Kashmir) and eastern Afghanistan. ... Siddhartha and Gautama redirect here. ... The Mauryan empire (321 to 185 BCE), at its largest extent around 230 BCE. The Mauryan empire was Indias first great unified empire. ... Bindusara was the second Mauryan emperor (297 - c. ...


Ashoka had several elder half-brothers and just one younger sibling, Vigataśoka (also known as Tishya), another son of Dharma. The princes were extremely competitive, but as a youngster Ashoka is said to have excelled in the military and academic disciplines in which the boys were tutored. There was said to be significant sibling rivalry, especially between Ashoka and his brother Susima (also known as Sumana), both as warriors and as administrators. Brother and Sister redirect here. ... Sushima was a prince of Mauryan empire and half-brother of Asoka. ...


According to Buddhist tradition, described in the 2nd century "Legend of Asoka", the birth of Asoka was foretold by Buddha, in the story of "The Gift of Dust": The Ashokavadana (Sanskrit: अशॊकवदन, Narrative of Ashoka) is a 2nd century CE document related to the legend of the Maurya emperor Ashoka. ... Siddhartha and Gautama redirect here. ...

"A hundred years after my death there will be an emperor named Asoka in Pataliputra. He will rule one of the four continents and adorn Jambudvipa with my relics building eighty four thousand stupas for the welfare of people. He will have them honored by gods and men. His fame will be widespread. His meritorious gift was just this: Jaya threw a handful of dust into the Tathāgata's bowl." Ashokavadana[2]

According to Puranic cosmography, the earth is divided into seven concentric island continents (sapta-dvipa vasumati) separated by the seven encircling seas, each double the size of the preceding one. ... A stupa A stupa (from the Sanskrit) is a type of Buddhist structure found across the Indian subcontinent and Asia. ... Tathāgata (, Sanskrit; Pali The one thus-come or The one thus-gone; Chinese: 如來; Pinyin: Rú lái; Japanese: nyorai; Korean: yeo-rae) This is traditionally interpreted as one who comes and goes in the same way (as the previous Buddhas). Tathāgata is the name which the historical Buddha...

Rise to power

Map of the Maurya Empire under Ashoka's rule.
Map of the Maurya Empire under Ashoka's rule.

Developing into an impeccable warrior general and a shrewd statesman, Ashoka went on to command several regiments of the Mauryan army. His growing popularity across the empire made his elder brothers wary of his chances of being favoured by Bindusara to become the next emperor. The eldest of them, Prince Susima, the traditional heir to the throne, persuaded Bindusara to send Ashoka to quell an uprising in the city of Takshashila, of which Prince Susima was the governor. Takshashila was a highly volatile place because of the war-like Indo-Greek population and mismanagement by Susima himself. This had led to the formation of different militias causing unrest. Ashoka complied and left for the troubled area. As news of Ashoka's visit with his army trickled in, he was welcomed by the revolting militias and the uprising ended without a fight. (The province revolted once more during the rule of Ashoka, but this time the uprising was crushed with an iron fist). Image File history File links Mauryan_Empire_Map. ... Image File history File links Mauryan_Empire_Map. ... British regiment A regiment is a military unit, consisting of a variable number of battalions - commanded by a colonel. ... Bindusara was the second Mauryan emperor (297 - c. ... Sushima was a prince of Mauryan empire and half-brother of Asoka. ... Taxila (Urdu: , Sanskrit: , Pali:Takkasilā) is an important archaeological site in Pakistan containing the ruins of the Gandhāran city of Takshashila (also Takkasila or Taxila) an important Vedic/Hindu[1] and Buddhist[2] centre of learning from the 6th century BCE[3] to the 5th century CE.[4] [5... Maximum extent of Indo-Greek territory circa 175 BCE. The Indo-Greeks (or sometimes Greco-Indians) designate a series of Greek kings, who invaded and controlled parts of northwest and northern India from 180 BCE to around 10 BCE. They are the continuation of the Greco-Bactrian dynasty of Greek... Lebanese Kataeb militia A Militia is an army composed of ordinary [1] citizens to provide defense, emergency or paramilitary service, or those engaged in such activity. ...


Ashoka's success made his half-brothers more wary of his intentions of becoming the emperor, and more incitements from Susima led Bindusara to send Ashoka into exile. He went into Kalinga and stayed incognito there. There he met a fisherwoman named Kaurwaki, with whom he fell in love; recently found inscriptions indicate that she went on to become his second or third queen. Kalinga in 265 B.C. Kalinga was an ancient Indo-Aryan kingdom of central-eastern India, in the province of Orissa. ... Kaurwaki is a character in the legend of Indian emperor, Ashoka, set in the 3rd century BC. It is said she was a fisherwoman and later on became one of Ashokas wives. ...

The Sanchi stupa in Sanchi, Madhya Pradesh established by emperor Ashoka in the third century BC.
The Sanchi stupa in Sanchi, Madhya Pradesh established by emperor Ashoka in the third century BC.

Meanwhile, there again was a violent uprising in Ujjain. Emperor Bindusara summoned Ashoka back after an exile of two years. Ashoka went into Ujjain and in the ensuing battle was injured, but his generals quelled the uprising. Ashoka was treated in hiding so that loyalists in Susima's camp could not harm him. He was treated by Buddhist monks and nuns. This is where he first learned the teachings of the Buddha, and it is also where he met the beautiful Devi, who was his personal nurse and the daughter of a merchant from adjacent Vidisha. After recovering, he married her. Ashoka, at this time, was already married to Asandhimitra who was to be his much-loved chief queen for many years until her death. She seems to have stayed on in Pataliputra all her life. Download high resolution version (866x578, 111 KB) Wikipedia does not yet have an article with this exact name. ... Download high resolution version (866x578, 111 KB) Wikipedia does not yet have an article with this exact name. ... , Sanchi is a small village in India, located 46 km north east of Bhopal, and 10 km from Besnagar and Vidisha in the central part of the state of Madhya Pradesh. ... , Madhya Pradesh (abbreviated as MP)   (HindÄ«: मध्य प्रदेश, English: , IPA: ), often called the Heart of India, is a state in central India. ... , Ujjain   (Hindi:उज्जैन) (also known as Ujain, Ujjayini, Avanti, Avantikapuri) is an ancient city of central India, in the Malwa region of the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, on the eastern bank of the Kshipra River. ... Siddhartha and Gautama redirect here. ... Vidisha or Besnagar or old name Bhelsa is a city in Madhya Pradesh,near its capital Bhopal, state of central India. ... ...


The following year passed quite peacefully for him and Devi was about to deliver his first child. In the meantime, Emperor Bindusura took ill and was on his death-bed. A clique of ministers led by Radhagupta, who were hostile towards Susima, summoned Ashoka to take the crown, though Bindusara preferred Susima. As the Buddhist lore goes, in a fit of rage Prince Ashoka attacked Pataliputra (modern day Patna), and killed all his brothers, including Susima, and threw their bodies into a well in Pataliputra. It is not known if Bindusara was already dead at this time. At that stage of his life, many called him Chand Ashoka meaning murderer and heartless Ashoka. The Buddhist legends paint a gory picture of his sadistic activities at this time. Most are legendary, and must be read as supporting background to highlight the transformation in Ashoka which Buddhism brought about later. ... For other uses, see Patna (disambiguation). ...


Ascending the throne, Ashoka expanded his empire over the next eight years: it grew to encompass an area extending from the present-day boundaries of Bangladesh and the Indian state of Assam, in the east, to the territory of present-day Iran and Afghanistan, in the west, and from the Pamir Knots in the north almost to the peninsular tip of southern India. At that stage of his life, he was called Chakravarti which literally translates to "he for whom the wheel of law turns" (broadly meaning the emperor). Around this time, his Buddhist queen Devi gave birth to two children, Prince Mahindra and Princess Sanghamitra. , Assam (  ) (Assamese: অসম Ôxôm) is a north eastern state of India with its capital at Dispur, a suburb of the city Guwahati. ... A photograph of Ismail Samani Peak (then known as Peak Communism) taken in 1989. ... South India is a geographic and linguistic-cultural region of India. ... Chakravarti (Sanskrit cakravartin), literally meaning turner of the wheel is a term used for a successful conqueror or imperial ruler of all or most of the subcontinent of India, both in legend and in history. ... Mahindra can refer to: Mahinda, the son of Emperor Ashoka and proponent of Buddhas teachings in Sri Lanka Mahindra & Mahindra Limited, an Indian automobile company Mahindra United, an Indian football club Category: ... Sanghamitra was a princess of the Mauryan Empire of India. ...


Conquest of Kalinga

Main article: Kalinga War
Fragment of the 6th Pillar Edicts of Ashoka (238 BC), in Brahmi, sandstones. British Museum.
Fragment of the 6th Pillar Edicts of Ashoka (238 BC), in Brahmi, sandstones. British Museum.

The early part of Ashoka's reign was, according to both historical records & legedary myths, apparently quite bloodthirsty. Ashoka was constantly on the war campaign, conquering territory after territory and significantly expanding the already large Mauryan empire and adding to his wealth. His last conquest was the state of Kalinga on the east coast of India in the present-day state of Orissa. Kalinga prided itself on its sovereignty and democracy; with its monarchical-parliamentary democracy, it was quite an exception in ancient Bharata, as there existed the concept of Rajdharma, meaning the duty of the rulers, which was intrinsically entwined with the concept of bravery and Kshatriya dharma. Combatants Mauryan Empire State of Kalinga Commanders Ashoka Unknown Strength Unknown larger quantity Unknown smaller quantity Casualties 10,000 (approx. ... Image File history File links Fragment of the 6th pillar Edict of Ashoka. ... Image File history File links Fragment of the 6th pillar Edict of Ashoka. ... BrāhmÄ« refers to the pre-modern members of the Brahmic family of scripts, attested from the 3rd century BC. The best known and earliest dated inscriptions in Brahmi are the rock-cut edicts of Ashoka. ... The British Museum in London, England is a museum of human history and culture. ... , Orissa   (Oriya: ଓଡ଼ିଶା), is a state situated on the east coast of India. ... “Sovereign” redirects here. ... This article does not cite its references or sources. ...


The pretext for the start of the Kalinga War (265 BC or 263 BC) is uncertain. One of Ashoka's brothers - and probably a supporter of Susima - might have fled to Kalinga and found official refuge there. This enraged Ashoka immensely. He was advised by his ministers to attack Kalinga for this act of treachery. Ashoka then asked Kalinga's royalty to submit before his supremacy. When they defied this diktat, Ashoka sent one of his generals to Kalinga to make them submit. Combatants Mauryan Empire State of Kalinga Commanders Ashoka Unknown Strength Unknown larger quantity Unknown smaller quantity Casualties 10,000 (approx. ... Centuries: 4th century BC - 3rd century BC - 2nd century BC Decades: 310s BC 300s BC 290s BC 280s BC 270s BC - 260s BC - 250s BC 240s BC 230s BC 220s BC 210s BC Years: 270 BC 269 BC 268 BC 267 BC 266 BC - 265 BC - 264 BC 263 BC... Centuries: 4th century BC - 3rd century BC - 2nd century BC Decades: 310s BC 300s BC 290s BC 280s BC 270s BC - 260s BC - 250s BC 240s BC 230s BC 220s BC 210s BC Years: 268 BC 267 BC 266 BC 265 BC 264 BC - 263 BC - 262 BC 261 BC...


The general and his forces were, however, completely routed through the skilled tactics of Kalinga's commander-in-chief. Ashoka, baffled by this defeat, attacked with the greatest invasion ever recorded in Indian history until then. Kalinga put up a stiff resistance, but they were no match for Ashoka's powerful armies, superior weapons and experienced generals and soldiers. The whole of Kalinga was plundered and destroyed; Ashoka's later edicts say that about 100,000 people were killed on the Kalinga side and 10,000 from Ashoka's army; thousands of men and women were deported.


Embrace of Buddhism

Main article: Buddhism in India
The Ashoka Chakra, featured on the flag of the Republic of India
The Ashoka Chakra, featured on the flag of the Republic of India

Ashoka was a devotee of Lord Buddha although there are a few scholars such as Rev. Henry Heras, S.J. claiming that Ashoka was not a Buddhist but a Hindu.[3] According to legend, one day after the war was over Ashoka ventured out to roam the eastern city and all he could see were burnt houses and scattered corpses. This sight made him sick and he cried the famous quotation, "What have I done?" Upon his return to Paliputra, he could get no sleep and was constantly haunted by his deeds in Kalinga. The brutality of the conquest led him to adopt Buddhism under the guidance of the Brahmin Buddhist sages Radhaswami and Manjushri[4] and he used his position to propagate the relatively new philosophy to new heights, as far as ancient Rome and Egypt. When the war against Kalinga ended, Asoka's warriors had killed over 100,000 people. He was filled with sorrow. He gave up war and violence, thus becoming almost the exact opposite of his grandfather, Chandragupta Maurya. He freed his prisoners and gave them back their land. He declared in his edicts: A fresco from the Ajanta caves in Maharashtra, India, once a gathering places for Buddhist monks. ... Image File history File links Ashoka_Chakra. ... Image File history File links Ashoka_Chakra. ... The Ashoka Chakra (Pronunced as Ashok Chakra, not Ashokaa Chakraa) is an ancient Indian depiction of the Wheel of Life and Cosmic Order (Sanskrit: Chakra, wheel. ... A statue of the Sakyamuni Buddha in Tawang Gompa, India. ... Look up sage in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Radha Soami (also Radhasoami Satsang or Radhaswami) is a faith that has followers among all religions, caste and creed. ... Statue of Manjusri (Monju) at Senkoji in Onomichi, Japan Mañjuśrī (文殊 Ch. ... For other uses, see Rome (disambiguation). ... Allegiance: Maurya Dynasty Rank: Emperor Succeeded by: Bindusara Maurya Reign: 322 BC-298 BC Place of birth: Indian subcontinent Chandragupta Maurya (Sanskrit: चन्द्रगुप्त मौर्य; Romanized Greek: Sandrakottos), whilst often referred to as Sandrakottos outside India, is also known simply as Chandragupta (born c. ...

There is no country, except among the Greeks, where these two groups, Brahmans and ascetics, are not found, and there is no country where people are not devoted to one or another religion. Therefore the killing, death or deportation of a hundredth, or even a thousandth part of those who died during the conquest of Kalinga now pains Beloved-of-the-Gods. Now Beloved-of-the-Gods thinks that even those who do wrong should be forgiven where forgiveness is possible.[5]

Legend has it that there was another factor that lead Ashoka to Buddhism. A Mauryan princess who had been married to one of Ashoka's brothers (who Ashoka executed) fled her palace with a maid, fearing for her unborn child. After much travel, the pregnant princess collapsed under a tree in the forest, and the maid ran to a nearby ashram to fetch a priest or physician to help. Meanwhile, under the tree, the princess gave birth to a son. The young prince was brought up by the Brahmins of the ashram and educated by them. Later, when he was around thirteen years old, he caught the eye of Ashoka, who was surprised to see such a young boy dressed as a sage. When the boy calmly revealed who he was, it seemed that Ashoka was moved by guilt and compassion, and moved the boy and his mother into the palace. The term Brahmin denotes both a member of the priestly class in the Hindu varna system, and a member of the highest caste in the caste system of Hindu society. ... An ascetic is one who practices a renunciation of worldly pursuits to achieve spiritual attainment. ... An Ashram (Pronounced aashram) in ancient India was a Hindu hermitage where sages (See Rishi) lived in peace and tranquility amidst nature. ...


Meanwhile Queen Devi, who was a Buddhist, had brought up her children in that faith, and apparently left Ashoka after she saw the horrors of Kalinga. Ashoka was grieved by this, and was counselled by his nephew (who had been raised in the ashram and was more priest than prince) to embrace his dharma and draw away from war. Prince Mahindra and Princess Sanghamitra, the children of Queen Devi, abhorred violence and bloodshed, but knew that as royals war would be a part of their lives. They therefore asked Ashoka for permission to join the Buddhist Sangha, which Ashoka reluctantly granted. The two siblings established Buddhism in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka). Mahinda was the son of Emperor Ashoka. ... Sanghamitra was a princess of the Mauryan Empire of India. ... Sangha (संघ saṃgha) is a word in Pali or Sanskrit that can be translated roughly as association or assembly or community. It is commonly used in several senses to refer to Buddhist or Jain groups. ...


From that point Ashoka, who had been described as "the cruel Ashoka" (Chandashoka), started to be described as "the pious Ashoka" (Dharmashoka). He propagated the Vibhajjavada school of Buddhism and preached it within his domain and worldwide from about 250 BC. Emperor Ashoka undoubtedly has to be credited with the first serious attempt to develop a Buddhist policy. This article does not cite its references or sources. ... Centuries: 4th century BC - 3rd century BC - 2nd century BC Decades: 300s BC 290s BC 280s BC 270s BC 260s BC - 250s BC - 240s BC 230s BC 220s BC 210s BC 200s BC Years: 255 BC 254 BC 253 BC 252 BC 251 BC - 250 BC - 249 BC 248 BC... Look up policy in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...

Silver punch-mark coins of the Mauryan empire, bear Buddhist symbols such as the Dharmacakra, the elephant (previous form of the Buddha), the tree under which enlightenment happened, and the burial mound where the Buddha died (obverse). 3rd century BC.
Silver punch-mark coins of the Mauryan empire, bear Buddhist symbols such as the Dharmacakra, the elephant (previous form of the Buddha), the tree under which enlightenment happened, and the burial mound where the Buddha died (obverse). 3rd century BC.

Coin of the Mauryan empire, c. ... Coin of the Mauryan empire, c. ... The Dharmacakra (Sanskrit) or Dhammacakka (Pāli), Tibetan , Chinese fălún 法轮, Wheel of Dharma is an auspicious Buddhist symbol representing a Buddhas teaching of the path to enlightenment. ... The 3rd century BC started the first day of 300 BC and ended the last day of 201 BC. It is considered part of the Classical era, epoch, or historical period. ...

Policy

Emperor Ashoka's edicts tell of a supposed immense public works program. He built thousands of Stupas and Viharas for Buddhist followers (the Ashokavadana says 84,000 such monuments were built). The Stupas of Sanchi are world famous and the stupa named Sanchi Stupa 1 was built by Emperor Ashoka. During the remaining portion of Ashoka's reign, he pursued an official policy of nonviolence or ahimsa. The unnecessary slaughter or mutilation of animals was immediately abolished. Wildlife became protected by the king's law against sport hunting and branding. Limited hunting was permitted for consumption reasons but Ashoka also promoted the concept of vegetarianism. Enormous resthouses were built through the empire to house travellers and pilgrims free of charge. Ashoka also showed mercy to those imprisoned, allowing them outside one day each year. He attempted to raise the professional ambition of the common man by building universities for study and water transit and irrigation systems for trade and agriculture. He treated his subjects as equals regardless of their religion, politics and caste. The weaker kingdoms surrounding his, which could so easily be overthrown, were instead made to be well-respected allies. In all these respects, Ashoka far exceeded even modern-day world leaders. The Great Stupa at Sanchi. ... Vihara (विहार) is Sanskrit or Pali for (Buddhist) monastery. ... The Ashokavadana (Sanskrit: अशॊकवदन, Narrative of Ashoka) is a 2nd century CE document related to the legend of the Maurya emperor Ashoka. ... , Sanchi is a small village in India, located 46 km north east of Bhopal, and 10 km from Besnagar and Vidisha in the central part of the state of Madhya Pradesh. ... Nonviolence (or non-violence), whether held as a moral philosophy or only employed as an action strategy, rejects the use of physical violence in efforts to attain social, economic or political change. ... Ahimsa (Devanagari: ; IAST ) is a Sanskrit term meaning non-violence (literally: the avoidance of violence - himsa). ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... This article is about the hunting of prey by human society. ... A cattle rancher brands a young steer using an electric branding iron while another rancher makes an earmark. ... A variety of vegetarian food ingredients Vegetarianism is the practice of a diet that excludes all animal flesh, including poultry, game, fish, shellfish or crustacea, and slaughter by-products. ... For the community in Florida, see University, Florida. ... Irrigation is the artificial application of water to the soil usually for assisting in growing crops. ... It has been suggested that Commerce be merged into this article or section. ... Caste systems are traditional, hereditary systems of social classification, that evolved due to the enormous diversity in India (where all three primary races met, not by forced slavery but by immigration). ...


He is acclaimed for constructing hospitals for animals and people alike, and renovating major roads throughout India. Dharmashoka defined the main principles of dharma (dhamma in Pāli) as nonviolence, tolerance of all sects and opinions, obedience to parents, respect for the Brahmins and other religious teachers and priests, liberal towards friends, humane treatment of servants, and generosity towards all. These principles suggest a general ethic of behavior to which no religious or social group could object. For the town in the Republic of Ireland, see Hospital, County Limerick. ... Pāli is a Middle Indo-Aryan dialect or prakrit. ... It has been suggested that toleration be merged into this article or section. ... This article is about religious groups. ... Look up Obedience in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... This article is about the emotion. ... The term Brahmin denotes both a member of the priestly class in the Hindu varna system, and a member of the highest caste in the caste system of Hindu society. ... This article is about religious workers. ... Look up liberal on Wiktionary, the free dictionary Liberal may refer to: Politics: Liberalism American liberalism, a political trend in the USA Political progressivism, a political ideology that is for change, often associated with liberal movements Liberty, the condition of being free from control or restrictions Liberal Party, members of... A servant is a person who is hired to provide regular household or other duties, and receives compensation. ... Look up generosity in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...


In the Maurya Empire, citizens of all religions and ethnic groups also had rights to freedom, tolerance, and equality. The need for tolerance on an egalitarian basis can be found in the Edicts of Ashoka, which emphasize the importance of tolerance in public policy by the government. The slaughter or capture of prisoners of war was also condemned by Ashoka.[6] Slavery was also non-existent in ancient India, if one considers Dalits to be free.[7] For other uses, see Freedom. ... It has been suggested that toleration be merged into this article or section. ... EQUAL is a popular artificial sweetener Equal (sweetener) Equality can mean several things: Mathematical equality Social equality Racial equality Sexual equality Equality of outcome Equality, a town in Illinois See also Equity Egalitarianism Equals sign This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might... Egalitarianism (derived from the French word égal, meaning equal or level) is a political doctrine that holds that all people should be treated as equals from birth. ... Geneva Convention definition A prisoner of war (POW) is a soldier, sailor, airman, or marine who is imprisoned by an enemy power during or immediately after an armed conflict. ... In the Indian caste system, a Dalit, often called an untouchable,or an outcaste, is a person who according to traditional Hindu belief does not have any varnas. Varna refers to the Hindu belief that most humans were supposedly created from different parts of the body of the divinity Purusha. ...


The Edicts of Ashoka

Main article: Edicts of Ashoka
Distribution of the Edicts of Ashoka and Ashokan territorial limits.
Distribution of the Edicts of Ashoka and Ashokan territorial limits.[8]

The Ashoka Pillar at Sarnath is the most popular of the relics left by Ashoka. Made of sandstone, this pillar records the visit of the emperor to Sarnath, in the 3rd century BC. It has a four-lion capital (four lions standing back to back) which was adopted as the emblem of the modern Indian republic. The lion symbolises both Ashoka's imperial rule and the kingship of the Buddha. The bulk of what is known about the Maurya Empire comes from inscriptions on these monuments. It is assumed that the inscriptions convey factual information about the Empire. It is difficult to determine whether certain events ever happened, but the stone etchings convey clearly how Ashoka wanted to be seen and remembered. The Edicts of Ashoka are a collection of 33 inscriptions on the Pillars of Ashoka, as well as boulders and cave walls, made by the Emperor Ashoka of the Mauryan dynasty during his reign from 272 to 231 BCE. These inscriptions are dispersed throughout the areas of modern-day Pakistan... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 455 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (1092 × 1440 pixel, file size: 280 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 455 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (1092 × 1440 pixel, file size: 280 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... The pillars of Ashoka are a series of columns dispersed throughout the northern Indian subcontinent, and erected by the Mauryan king Ashoka during his reign in the 3rd century BCE. SAlMAN Ashish Many of the pillars are carved with proclamations reflecting Buddhist teachings: the Edicts of Ashoka. ... Sarnath (also Mrigadava, Migadāya, Rishipattana, Isipatana) is the deer park where Gautama Buddha first taught the Dharma, and where the Buddhist Sangha came into existence through the enlightenment of Kondanna. ... Red sandstone interior of Lower Antelope Canyon, Arizona, worn smooth due to erosion by flash flooding over millions of years Sandstone is a sedimentary rock composed mainly of sand-size mineral or rock grains. ... The 3rd century BC started the first day of 300 BC and ended the last day of 201 BC. It is considered part of the Classical era, epoch, or historical period. ... Emblem of India. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ...


Ashoka's own words as known from his Edicts are: "All men are my children. I am like a father to them. As every father desires the good and the happiness of his children, I wish that all men should be happy always." Edward D'Cruz interprets the Ashokan dharma as a "religion to be used as a symbol of a new imperial unity and a cementing force to weld the diverse and heterogeneous elements of the empire".


Ashoka's Major Rock Edict is the first edict and remains in its original location and condition. It has not been dismantled and placed in a museum or made into a monument. Ashokas Major Rock Edict is one of the most important Edicts of Ashoka, and is located outside the town of Junagadh on the Saurashtra peninsula in the state of Gujarat, India. ...


Missions to spread the Dharma/Dhamma

Ashoka was the sponsor of the third Buddhist council. According to Theravada accounts, Ashoka supported the Vibhajjavada sub-school of the Sthaviravāda sect (which would become known by the Pali Theravada), but historians have concluded "this was clearly not the case," finding instead that the council was convened to expel non-Buddhists from the sangha in Pataliputra.[9] After this council he sent Buddhist monks to spread their religion to other countries. The following table is a list of the countries he sent missionaries to, as described in the Mahavamsa, XII:[10] This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Theravada (Pāli: theravāda; Sanskrit: स्थविरवाद sthaviravāda; literally, the Way of the Elders) is the oldest surviving Buddhist school, and for many centuries has been the predominant religion of Sri Lanka (about 70% of the population[1]) and most of continental Southeast Asia (Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand). ... This article does not cite its references or sources. ... Sthaviravāda (Sanskrit; Chinese 上座部) literally means Teaching Of The Elders. It was one of the two main movements in early Buddhism, the other being that of the Mahāsāṅghika. ... Theravada (Pāli: theravāda; Sanskrit: स्थविरवाद sthaviravāda; literally, the Way of the Elders) is the oldest surviving Buddhist school, and for many centuries has been the predominant religion of Sri Lanka (about 70% of the population[1]) and most of continental Southeast Asia (Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand). ... ... The Mahavansha, also Mahawansha, (Pāli: great chronicle) is a historical record, often thought to be the oldest written record oh history, written in the Pāli language, of the Buddhist kings as well as Dravidian kings of Sri Lanka. ...

Country name Name of leader of mission
(1) Kashmir-Gandhara Majjhantika
(2) Mahisamandala (Mysore) Mahadeva
(3) Banavasi (Karnataka) Rakkhita
(4) Aparantaka (Konkan) the Yona Dhammarakkhita
(5) Maharattha (Maharashtra) Mahadhammarakkhita
(6) "Country of the Yona" (Bactria/ Seleucid Empire) Maharakkhita
(7) Himavanta (Nepal) Majjhima
(8) Suvannabhumi (Thailand/ Myanmar) Sona and Uttara
(9) Lankadipa (Sri Lanka) Mahamahinda (Ashoka's son)

Regarding the "Country of the Yona", Ashoka further specifies in his Edict No 13 (quoted hereafter), that most Hellenistic rulers of the period received the teaching of the "Dharma". Thus, Ashoka claims to have introduced Buddhism to ancient Greece and Egypt. In the same Edict, Ashoka adds the Cholas and the Pandyas as recipients of the faith. Edict number 13 lists the following rulers and countries as places where conquest by Dhamma (acceptance of Dhamma) has been won: Kashmir (or Cashmere) may refer to: Kashmir region, the northwestern region of the Indian subcontinent India, Kashmir conflict, the territorial dispute between India, Pakistan, and the China over the Kashmir region. ... Gandhāra (Sanskrit: गन्धार, Persian; Gandara, Waihind) (Urdu: گندھارا) is the name of an ancient Indian Mahajanapada, currently in northern Pakistan (the North-West Frontier Province and parts of northern Punjab and Kashmir) and eastern Afghanistan. ... , For other uses, see Mysore (disambiguation). ... Banavasi ಬನವಾಸಿ is an ancient temple town on the border of Uttara Kannada District and Shimoga district in the south Indian state of Karnataka. ... , Karnataka (Kannada: , IPA:  ) is a state in the southern part of India. ... It has been suggested that History of the Konkan be merged into this article or section. ... For the village on Guam, see Yona Yona is a Pali word used in ancient India to designate Greek speakers. ... Dharmaraksita (Pali: Dhammarakkhita) was one of the missionaries sent by the Mauryan emperor Ashoka to proselytize the Buddhist faith. ... , Maharashtra (Marathi: महाराष्ट्र , IPA  , translation: Great Nation) is Indias third largest state in area and second largest in population after Uttar Pradesh. ... For the village on Guam, see Yona Yona is a Pali word used in ancient India to designate Greek speakers. ... Bactria, about 320 BC Bactria (Bactriana, Bākhtar in Persian, also Bhalika in Arabic and Indian languages, and Ta-Hia in Chinese) was the ancient Greek name of the country between the range of the Hindu Kush and the Amu Darya (Oxus); its capital, Bactra or Balhika or Bokhdi (now... The Seleucid Empire was a Hellenistic successor state of Alexander the Greats dominion. ... Suvarnabhumi is ancient name for lower Burma or the Malay Peninsula in Southeast Asia. ... Mahinda was the son of Emperor Ashoka. ... For the village on Guam, see Yona Yona is a Pali word used in ancient India to designate Greek speakers. ... The Edicts of Ashoka are a collection of 33 inscriptions on the Pillars of Ashoka, as well as boulders and cave walls, made by the Emperor Ashoka of the Mauryan dynasty during his reign from 272 to 231 BCE. These inscriptions are dispersed throughout the areas of modern-day Pakistan... The term ancient Greece refers to the periods of Greek history in Classical Antiquity, lasting ca. ... The Chola Dynasty (Tamil: , IPA: ) was a Tamil dynasty that ruled primarily in southern India until the 13th century. ... The Pandyan kingdom was an ancient state at the tip of South India, founded around the 6th century BCE. It was part of the Dravidian cultural area, which also comprised other kingdoms such as that of the Pallava, the Chera, the Chola, the Chalukya and the Vijayanagara. ... The word dharma (Sanskrit; धर्म in the Devanagari script) or dhamma (Pali) is used in most or all philosophies and religions of Indian origin, Dharmic faiths, namely Hinduism (Sanatana Dharma), Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism. ...

Ruler of country Name of empire
Antiochus II Theos Seleucid Empire (today's Middle Asia)
Ptolemy II Philadelphus Ptolemaic Egypt
Antigonus Gonatas Macedon
Magas of Cyrene Cyrene (today's Libya)
Alexander II of Epirus Epirus (today's Greece and Albania)
... Cholas
... Pandyas

While some countries like the Maldives, where there is a great wealth of Buddhist archaeological remains, are not mentioned in the edicts, several of these countries are well attested recipients of Ashoka's missions (such as Sri Lanka and Thailand), lending credence to the historicity and the success of these missions. It is all the more surprising that no records of them have remained in the West. The only known record in that sense is that of the 2nd century Saint Origen, who stated that Buddhists co-existed with Druids in pre-Christian Britain: Coin of Antiochus II. The Greek inscription reads ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΑΝΤΙΟΧΟΥ (of king Antiochus). ... The Seleucid Empire was a Hellenistic successor state of Alexander the Greats dominion. ... This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ... 309–246 BC), with Arsinoë II. Ptolemy II Philadelphus (Greek: , 309 BC–246 BC), was the king of Ptolemaic Egypt from 281 BC to 246 BC. He was the son of the founder of the Ptolemaic kingdom Ptolemy I Soter and Berenice. ... The Ptolemaic dynasty in Egypt began following Alexander the Greats conquest in 332 BC and ended with the death of Cleopatra VII and the Roman conquest in 30 BC. It was founded when Ptolemy I Soter declared himself Pharaoh of Egypt, creating a powerful Hellenistic state from southern Syria... Coin of Antigonus II Gonatas (c. ... Ancient Macedons regions and towns Macedon or Macedonia (Greek ) was the name of an ancient kingdom in the northern-most part of ancient Greece, bordered by the kingdom of Epirus to the west and the region of Thrace to the east. ... Magas of Cyrene (r. ... Cyrene can refer to: The USS Cyrene (AGP-13), a motor torpedo boat tender Cyrene, a figure from Greek mythology Cyrene, a Greek colony in Libya (north Africa) 133 Cyrene, an asteroid Cyrene, fictional character who is the mother of Xena in the series Xena: Warrior Princess See also: Cyrenaica... Alexander II, king of Epirus, succeeded his father Pyrrhus in 272 BC. He attacked Antigonus Gonatas and conquered the greater part of Macedonia, but was in turn driven out of both Epirus and Macedonia by Demetrius, the son of Antigonus. ... The name Epirus, from the Greek Ήπειρος meaning continent may refer to: // Epirus (region) - a historical and geographical region of the southwestern Balkans, straddling modern Greece and Albania Epirus (periphery) - one of the thirteen peripheries (administrative divisions) of Greece. ... The Chola Dynasty (Tamil: , IPA: ) was a Tamil dynasty that ruled primarily in southern India until the 13th century. ... The Pandyan kingdom was an ancient state at the tip of South India, founded around the 6th century BCE. It was part of the Dravidian cultural area, which also comprised other kingdoms such as that of the Pallava, the Chera, the Chola, the Chalukya and the Vijayanagara. ... Origen Origen (Greek: Ōrigénēs, 185–ca. ...

The island (Britain) has long been predisposed to it (Christianity) through the doctrines of the Druids and Buddhists, who had already inculcated the doctrine of the unity of the Godhead.

Origen, Commentary on Ezekiel[11]

Origen himself seems to have been a proponent of the doctrine of rebirth and reincarnation[12] The doctrines of Origen were rejected by a narrow margin at the First Council of Nicaea in 325. Origen Origen (Greek: Ōrigénēs, 185–ca. ... The First Council of Nicaea, held in Nicaea in Bithynia (present-day Iznik in Turkey), convoked by the Roman Emperor Constantine I in 325, was the first Ecumenical council[1] of the early Christian Church, and most significantly resulted in the first uniform Christian doctrine, called the Nicene Creed. ... Events May 20 - First Council of Nicaea - first Ecumenical Council of the Christian Church: The Nicene Creed is formulated, the date of Easter is discussed. ...


Relations with the Hellenistic world

Greek Late Archaic style capital from Patna (Pataliputra), thought to correspond to the reign of Ashoka, 3rd century BC, Patna Museum (click image for references).

Some critics say that Ashoka was afraid of more wars, but among his neighbors, including the Seleucid Empire and the Greco-Bactrian kingdom established by Diodotus I, none seem to have ever come into conflict with him - though the latter eventually conquered at various times western territories in India, but only after the empire's actual collapse. He was a contemporary of both Antiochus I Soter and his successor Antiochus II Theos of the Seleucid Dynasty as well as Diodotus I and his son Diodotus II of the Greco-Bactrian kingdom. If his inscriptions and edicts are well studied, one finds that he was familiar with the Hellenistic world but never in awe of it. The Edicts of Ashoka, which talk of friendly relations, give the names of both Antiochus of the Seleucid empire and Ptolemy III of Egypt. But the fame of the Mauryan empire was widespread from the time that Ashoka's grandfather Chandragupta Maurya met Seleucus Nicator, the founder of the Seleucid Dynasty, and engineered their celebrated peace. Chandragupta even supplied 500 elephants to Seleucus, which were critical to his success in his conflict with the Western dynast Antigonus, in exchange for peace (a state that would endure for as long as the Mauryan Empire existed, and was even renewed during the Eastern campaigns of Antiochus III the Great) and the latter's territories in India. Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (889x708, 418 KB) Summary Greek capital from Pataliputra (Patna), India. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (889x708, 418 KB) Summary Greek capital from Pataliputra (Patna), India. ... Kouros of the Archaic period, Thebes Archaeological Museum The sculpture of Ancient Greece is by far the most important surviving form of Ancient Greek art, although only a small fragment of Greek sculptural output has survived. ... A capital of the Composite order In Western architecture, the capital (from the Latin caput, head) forms the crowning member of the column, which projects on each side as it rises, in order to support the abacus and unite the square form of the latter with the circular shaft. ... For other uses, see Patna (disambiguation). ... ... Patna Museum was built by the British during the British Raj in the year 1917 to house the historical artefacts found in the vicinity of Patna. ... The Seleucid Empire was a Hellenistic successor state of Alexander the Greats dominion. ... Approximate extent of the Greco-Bactrian kingdom circa 220 BCE. The Greco-Bactrians were a dynasty of Greek kings who controlled Bactria and Sogdiana, an area comprising todays northern Afghanistan and parts of Central Asia, the easternmost area of the Hellenistic world, from 250 to 125 BCE. Their expansion... Gold coin of Diodotus c. ... Silver coin of Antiochus I. The reverse shows Apollo seated on an omphalos. ... Coin of Antiochus II. The Greek inscription reads ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΑΝΤΙΟΧΟΥ (of king Antiochus). ... After the death of Alexander the Great in the afternoon of 11 June 323 BC, his empire was divided by his generals, the Diadochi(successors). ... Coin of Diodotus II Diodotus II was a Greco-Bactrian king, son of Diodotus I. He is known for concluding a peace with the Parthians (Justin l. ... Inscriptions are words or letters written, engraved, painted, or otherwise traced on a surface and can appear in contexts both small and monumental. ... An edict is an announcement of a law, often associated with monarchism. ... The term Hellenistic (derived from HéllÄ“n, the Greeks traditional self-described ethnic name) was established by the German historian Johann Gustav Droysen to refer to the spreading of Greek culture over the non-Greek peoples that were conquered by Alexander the Great. ... The Edicts of Ashoka are a collection of 33 inscriptions on the Pillars of Ashoka, as well as boulders and cave walls, made by the Emperor Ashoka of the Mauryan dynasty during his reign from 272 to 231 BCE. These inscriptions are dispersed throughout the areas of modern-day Pakistan... Ptolemy III Euergetes I, (Ptolemaeus III) (Evergetes, Euergetes) (246 BC-222 BC). ... Allegiance: Maurya Dynasty Rank: Emperor Succeeded by: Bindusara Maurya Reign: 322 BC-298 BC Place of birth: Indian subcontinent Chandragupta Maurya (Sanskrit: चन्द्रगुप्त मौर्य; Romanized Greek: Sandrakottos), whilst often referred to as Sandrakottos outside India, is also known simply as Chandragupta (born c. ... Silver coin of Seleucus. ... After the death of Alexander the Great in the afternoon of 11 June 323 BC, his empire was divided by his generals, the Diadochi(successors). ... Antigonus may refer to: Three Macedonian kings of the Antigonid dynasty that succeeded Alexander the Great in Asia: Antigonus I Monophthalmus (382–301 BC) Antigonus II Gonatas (319–239 BC) Antigonus III Doson (263–221 BC) Antigonus of Sokho, Jewish scholar of the third century BC. Antigonus the Hasmonean (died... Silver coin of Antiochus III Antiochus III the Great, (ruled 223 - 187 BC), younger son of Seleucus II Callinicus, became ruler of the Seleucid kingdom as a youth of about eighteen in 223 BC. (His traditional designation, the Great, stems from a misconception of Megas Basileus (Great king), the traditional...


Greek populations in India

Greek populations apparently remained in the northwest of the Indian subcontinent under Ashoka's rule. In his Edicts of Ashoka, set in stone, some of them written in Greek, Ashoka describes that Greek populations within his realm converted to Buddhism: The Edicts of Ashoka are a collection of 33 inscriptions on the Pillars of Ashoka, as well as boulders and cave walls, made by the Emperor Ashoka of the Mauryan dynasty during his reign from 272 to 231 BCE. These inscriptions are dispersed throughout the areas of modern-day Pakistan...

Here in the king's domain among the Greeks, the Kambojas, the Nabhakas, the Nabhapamkits, the Bhojas, the Pitinikas, the Andhras and the Palidas, everywhere people are following Beloved-of-the-Gods' instructions in Dharma. The Kambojas are a very ancient Kshatriya tribe of the north-western parts of the Indian subcontinent and what is now Afghanistan, frequently mentioned in ancient texts, although not in the Rig Veda. ... Andhra Pradesh (ఆంధర దేశం), a state in South India, lies between 12°41 and 22°N latitude and 77° and 84°40E longitude . ... For other uses, see Dharma (disambiguation). ...

Edicts of Ashoka, Rock Edict Nb13 (S. Dhammika)
Bilingual edict (Greek and Aramaic) by king Ashoka, from Kandahar - Afghan National Museum. (Click image for translation).
Bilingual edict (Greek and Aramaic) by king Ashoka, from Kandahar - Afghan National Museum. (Click image for translation).

Fragments of Edict 13 have been found in Greek, and a full Edict, written in both Greek and Aramaic, has been discovered in Kandahar. It is said to be written in excellent Classical Greek, using sophisticated philosophical terms. In this Edict, Ashoka uses the word Eusebeia ("Piety") as the Greek translation for the ubiquitous "Dharma" of his other Edicts written in Prakrit: The Edicts of Ashoka are a collection of 33 inscriptions on the Pillars of Ashoka, as well as boulders and cave walls, made by the Emperor Ashoka of the Mauryan dynasty during his reign from 272 to 231 BCE. These inscriptions are dispersed throughout the areas of modern-day Pakistan... Ashokas Major Rock Edict is one of the most important Edicts of Ashoka, and is located outside the town of Junagadh on the Saurashtra peninsula in the state of Gujarat, India. ... ImageMetadata File history File links AsokaKandahar. ... ImageMetadata File history File links AsokaKandahar. ... Aramaic is a Semitic language with a four-thousand year history. ... This article is about the city in Afghanistan. ... Founded in the 1920s, the Afghan National Museum is a place for storage and appreciation of old Afghan items of interest. ... This article is about the city in Afghanistan. ... Eusebeia (Greek:εὐσέβεια, from eu meaning well, and sebomai meaning reverence, itself formed from seb meaning sacred awe and reverence especially in actions) is a Greek word abundantly used in Greek philosophy as well as in the New Testament, meaning inner piety, spiritual maturity, or godliness. ... In spiritual terminology, piety is a virtue. ... For other uses, see Dharma (disambiguation). ... Prakrit (also spelt Pracrit) (Sanskrit: , original, natural, artless, normal, ordinary, usual, i. ...

Ten years (of reign) having been completed, King Piodasses (Πιοδάσσης, Ashoka) made known (the doctrine of) Piety (εὐσέβεια, Eusebeia) to men; and from this moment he has made men more pious, and everything thrives throughout the whole world. And the king abstains from (killing) living beings, and other men and those who (are) huntsmen and fishermen of the king have desisted from hunting. And if some (were) intemperate, they have ceased from their intemperance as was in their power; and obedient to their father and mother and to the elders, in opposition to the past also in the future, by so acting on every occasion, they will live better and more happily. Eusebeia (Greek:εὐσέβεια, from eu meaning well, and sebomai meaning reverence, itself formed from seb meaning sacred awe and reverence especially in actions) is a Greek word abundantly used in Greek philosophy as well as in the New Testament, meaning inner piety, spiritual maturity, or godliness. ...

Ashoka the Great, Edicts of Ashoka (Trans. by G.P. Carratelli [1])

The Edicts of Ashoka are a collection of 33 inscriptions on the Pillars of Ashoka, as well as boulders and cave walls, made by the Emperor Ashoka of the Mauryan dynasty during his reign from 272 to 231 BCE. These inscriptions are dispersed throughout the areas of modern-day Pakistan...

Exchange of Ambassadors

Ptolemy II Philadelphus, the ruler of Ptolemaic Egypt and contemporary of Ashoka, is recorded by Pliny the Elder as having sent an ambassador named Dionysius to the Mauryan court at Pataliputra in India: 309–246 BC), with Arsinoë II. Ptolemy II Philadelphus (Greek: , 309 BC–246 BC), was the king of Ptolemaic Egypt from 281 BC to 246 BC. He was the son of the founder of the Ptolemaic kingdom Ptolemy I Soter and Berenice. ... The Ptolemaic dynasty in Egypt began following Alexander the Greats conquest in 332 BC and ended with the death of Cleopatra VII and the Roman conquest in 30 BC. It was founded when Ptolemy I Soter declared himself Pharaoh of Egypt, creating a powerful Hellenistic state from southern Syria... Pliny the Elder: an imaginative 19th Century portrait. ... Dionysius was a Greek of the 3rd century BCE, who was sent as ambassador to the court of the Indian emperor Ashoka, by Ptolemy Philadelphus. ... The Mauryan empire (321 to 185 BCE), at its largest extent around 230 BCE. The Lion Capital of Asoka, erected around 250 BCE. It is the emblem of India. ... ...

But [India] has been treated of by several other Greek writers who resided at the courts of Indian kings, such, for instance, as Megasthenes, and by Dionysius, who was sent thither by Philadelphus, expressly for the purpose: all of whom have enlarged upon the power and vast resources of these nations.

Pliny the Elder: an imaginative 19th Century portrait. ... Naturalis Historia, 1669 edition, title page. ...

Buddhist Conversion

Buddhist proselytism at the time of king Ashoka (260-218 BC), according to his Edicts.

Also, in the Edicts of Ashoka, Ashoka mentions the Hellenistic kings of the period as a convert to Buddhist, although no Western historical record of this event remain: Download high resolution version (959x577, 19 KB) This image has been released into the public domain by the copyright holder, its copyright has expired, or it is ineligible for copyright. ... Download high resolution version (959x577, 19 KB) This image has been released into the public domain by the copyright holder, its copyright has expired, or it is ineligible for copyright. ... Proselytism is the practice of attempting to convert people to another opinion, usually another religion. ... Centuries: 4th century BC - 3rd century BC - 2nd century BC Decades: 310s BC 300s BC 290s BC 280s BC 270s BC - 260s BC - 250s BC 240s BC 230s BC 220s BC 210s BC Years: 265 BC 264 BC 263 BC 262 BC 261 BC - 260 BC - 259 BC 258 BC... The Roman empire in 218 BC (in dark red) A Carthaginian army under Hannibal attacks Romes Spanish allies. ... The Edicts of Ashoka are a collection of 33 inscriptions on the Pillars of Ashoka, as well as boulders and cave walls, made by the Emperor Ashoka of the Mauryan dynasty during his reign from 272 to 231 BCE. These inscriptions are dispersed throughout the areas of modern-day Pakistan... The Edicts of Ashoka are a collection of 33 inscriptions on the Pillars of Ashoka, as well as boulders and cave walls, made by the Emperor Ashoka of the Mauryan dynasty during his reign from 272 to 231 BCE. These inscriptions are dispersed throughout the areas of modern-day Pakistan... A statue of the Sakyamuni Buddha in Tawang Gompa, India. ...

The conquest by Dharma has been won here, on the borders, and even six hundred yojanas (5,400-9,600 km) away, where the Greek king Antiochos rules, beyond there where the four kings named Ptolemy, Antigonos, Magas and Alexander rule, likewise in the south among the Cholas, the Pandyas, and as far as Tamraparni (Sri Lanka). For other uses, see Dharma (disambiguation). ... ŖŅA yojana is a Vedic measure of distance, possibly somewhere from 5. ... Coin of Antiochus II. The Greek inscription reads ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΑΝΤΙΟΧΟΥ (of king Antiochus). ... 309–246 BC), with Arsinoë II. Ptolemy II Philadelphus (Greek: , 309 BC–246 BC), was the king of Ptolemaic Egypt from 281 BC to 246 BC. He was the son of the founder of the Ptolemaic kingdom Ptolemy I Soter and Berenice. ... Coin of Antigonus II Gonatas (c. ... Magas of Cyrene (r. ... Alexander II, king of Epirus, succeeded his father Pyrrhus in 272 BC. He attacked Antigonus Gonatas and conquered the greater part of Macedonia, but was in turn driven out of both Epirus and Macedonia by Demetrius, the son of Antigonus. ... The Chola Dynasty (Tamil: , IPA: ) was a Tamil dynasty that ruled primarily in southern India until the 13th century. ... The Pandyan kingdom was an ancient state at the tip of South India, founded around the 6th century BCE. It was part of the Dravidian cultural area, which also comprised other kingdoms such as that of the Pallava, the Chera, the Chola, the Chalukya and the Vijayanagara. ... Tamraparni is an ancient region of southern India, corresponding to the area of a Tamraparni river, in Tirunelveli, Tamil Nadu. ...

Ashoka the Great, Edicts of Ashoka, Rock Edict 13 (S. Dhammika)

Ashoka also claims that he encouraged the development of herbal medicine, for men and animals, in their territories: The Edicts of Ashoka are a collection of 33 inscriptions on the Pillars of Ashoka, as well as boulders and cave walls, made by the Emperor Ashoka of the Mauryan dynasty during his reign from 272 to 231 BCE. These inscriptions are dispersed throughout the areas of modern-day Pakistan... Ashokas Major Rock Edict is one of the most important Edicts of Ashoka, and is located outside the town of Junagadh on the Saurashtra peninsula in the state of Gujarat, India. ... The term Herbalism refers to folk and traditional medicinal practice based on the use of plants and plant extracts. ...

Everywhere within Beloved-of-the-Gods, King Piyadasi's [Ashoka's] domain, and among the people beyond the borders, the Cholas, the Pandyas, the Satiyaputras, the Keralaputras, as far as Tamraparni and where the Greek king Antiochos rules, and among the kings who are neighbors of Antiochos, everywhere has Beloved-of-the-Gods, King Piyadasi, made provision for two types of medical treatment: medical treatment for humans and medical treatment for animals. Wherever medical herbs suitable for humans or animals are not available, I have had them imported and grown. Wherever medical roots or fruits are not available I have had them imported and grown. Along roads I have had wells dug and trees planted for the benefit of humans and animals. The Chola Dynasty (Tamil: , IPA: ) was a Tamil dynasty that ruled primarily in southern India until the 13th century. ... The Pandyan kingdom was an ancient state at the tip of South India, founded around the 6th century BCE. It was part of the Dravidian cultural area, which also comprised other kingdoms such as that of the Pallava, the Chera, the Chola, the Chalukya and the Vijayanagara. ... Tamraparni is an ancient region of southern India, corresponding to the area of a Tamraparni river, in Tirunelveli, Tamil Nadu. ... Coin of Antiochus II. The Greek inscription reads ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΑΝΤΙΟΧΟΥ (of king Antiochus). ...

Ashoka the Great, Edicts of Ashoka, Rock Edict 2

The Greeks in India even seem to have played an active role in the propagation of Buddhism, as some of the emissaries of Ashoka, such as Dharmaraksita, are described in Pali sources as leading Greek ("Yona") Buddhist monks, active in spreading Buddhism (the Mahavamsa, XII[14]). The Edicts of Ashoka are a collection of 33 inscriptions on the Pillars of Ashoka, as well as boulders and cave walls, made by the Emperor Ashoka of the Mauryan dynasty during his reign from 272 to 231 BCE. These inscriptions are dispersed throughout the areas of modern-day Pakistan... Ashokas Major Rock Edict is one of the most important Edicts of Ashoka, and is located outside the town of Junagadh on the Saurashtra peninsula in the state of Gujarat, India. ... Dharmaraksita (Pali: Dhammarakkhita) was one of the missionaries sent by the Mauryan emperor Ashoka to proselytize the Buddhist faith. ... Pāli is a Middle Indo-Aryan dialect or prakrit. ... For the village on Guam, see Yona Yona is a Pali word used in ancient India to designate Greek speakers. ... The Mahavansha, also Mahawansha, (Pāli: great chronicle) is a historical record, often thought to be the oldest written record oh history, written in the Pāli language, of the Buddhist kings as well as Dravidian kings of Sri Lanka. ...


Marital alliance

A "marital alliance" had been concluded between Seleucus Nicator and Ashoka's grandfather Chandragupta Maurya in 303 BC: Silver coin of Seleucus. ... Allegiance: Maurya Dynasty Rank: Emperor Succeeded by: Bindusara Maurya Reign: 322 BC-298 BC Place of birth: Indian subcontinent Chandragupta Maurya (Sanskrit: चन्द्रगुप्त मौर्य; Romanized Greek: Sandrakottos), whilst often referred to as Sandrakottos outside India, is also known simply as Chandragupta (born c. ...

He (Seleucus) crossed the Indus and waged war with Sandrocottus [Maurya], king of the Indians, who dwelt on the banks of that stream, until they came to an understanding with each other and contracted a marriage relationship.

Appian, History of Rome, The Syrian Wars 55[15]

The term used in ancient sources (Epigamia) could refer either to a dynastic alliance between the Seleucids and the Mauryas, or more generally to a recognition of marriage between Indian and Greeks. Since there are no records of an Indian princess in the abundant Classical litterature on the Seleucid, it is generally thought that the alliance went the other way around, and that a Seleucid princess may have been bethrothed to the Mauryan Dynasty. This practice in itself was quite common in the Hellenistic world to formalize alliances. There is thus a possibility that Ashoka was partly of Hellenic descent, either from his grandmother if Chandragupta married the Seleucid princess, of from his mother if Chandragupta's son, Bindusura, was the object of the marriage. This remains a hypothesis as there are no known more detailed descriptions of the exact nature of the marital alliance, although this is quite symptomatic of the generally good relationship between the Hellenistic world and Ashoka.[16] Appian (c. ... In ancient Greece Epigamia (Greek language: Επιγαμια), designated the legal right to contract a marriage. ...


Historical sources

Main articles: Edicts of Ashoka and Ashokavadana
"The legend of King Asoka, A study and translation of the Asokavadana", John Strong, Princeton Library of Asian translations.

Information about the life and reign of Ashoka primarily comes from a relatively small number of Buddhist sources. In particular, the Sanskrit Ashokavadana ('Story of Ashoka'), written in the 2nd century, and the two Pāli chronicles of Sri Lanka (the Dipavamsa and Mahavamsa) provide most of the currently known information about Asoka. Additional information is contributed by the Edicts of Asoka, whose authorship was finally attributed to the Ashoka of Buddhist legend after the discovery of dynastic lists that gave the name used in the edicts (Priyadarsi – meaning 'favored by the Gods') as a title or additional name of Ashoka Mauriya. The Edicts of Ashoka are a collection of 33 inscriptions on the Pillars of Ashoka, as well as boulders and cave walls, made by the Emperor Ashoka of the Mauryan dynasty during his reign from 272 to 231 BCE. These inscriptions are dispersed throughout the areas of modern-day Pakistan... The Ashokavadana (Sanskrit: अशॊकवदन, Narrative of Ashoka) is a 2nd century CE document related to the legend of the Maurya emperor Ashoka. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (1071x1679, 1045 KB) Summary Book cover of The legend of King Asoka, John Strong, Princeton Library of ASina translations, ISBN 0691014590 Licensing This image is of a book cover, and the copyright for it is most likely owned either by the... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (1071x1679, 1045 KB) Summary Book cover of The legend of King Asoka, John Strong, Princeton Library of ASina translations, ISBN 0691014590 Licensing This image is of a book cover, and the copyright for it is most likely owned either by the... The Ashokavadana (Narrative of Ashoka) is a 2nd century CE book related the legend of the Maurya emperor Ashoka. ... Sanskrit ( , for short ) is a classical language of India, a liturgical language of Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, and Jainism, and one of the 23 official languages of India. ... The Ashokavadana (Sanskrit: अशॊकवदन, Narrative of Ashoka) is a 2nd century CE document related to the legend of the Maurya emperor Ashoka. ... Pāli is a Middle Indo-Aryan dialect or prakrit. ... The Dipavamsa (Island Chronicle in Pali) is the oldest historical record of Sri Lanka, believed to be compiled in the 4th century. ... The Mahavansha, also Mahawansha, (Pāli: great chronicle) is a historical record, often thought to be the oldest written record oh history, written in the Pāli language, of the Buddhist kings as well as Dravidian kings of Sri Lanka. ... Capital of one of the inscription-bearing pillars erected by Emperor Ashoka (272-231 BCE), at Sarnath around 250 BCE. The Edicts of Ashoka are a collection of 33 inscriptions on the Pillars of Ashoka, as well as boulders and cave walls, made by the Emperor Ashoka of the Mauryan...


The use of Buddhist sources in reconstructing the life of Ashoka has had a strong influence on perceptions of Ashoka, and the interpretations of his edicts. Building on traditional accounts, early scholars regarded Ashoka as a primarily Buddhist monarch who underwent a conversion to Buddhism and was actively engaged in sponsoring and supporting the Buddhist monastic institution.


Later scholars have tended to question this assessment. The only source of information not attributable to Buddhist sources – the Ashokan edicts – make only a few references to Buddhism directly, despite many references to the concept of dhamma (Sanskrit: dharma). Some interpreters have seen this as an indication that Ashoka was attempting to craft an inclusive, poly-religious civil religion for his empire that was centered on the concept of dharma as a positive moral force, but which did not embrace or advocate any particular philosophy attributable to the religious movements of Ashoka's age (such as the Hindus, Jains, Buddhists, and Ajivikas). The word dharma (Sanskrit; धर्म in the Devanagari script) or dhamma (Pali) is used in most or all philosophies and religions of Indian origin, Dharmic faiths, namely Hinduism (Sanatana Dharma), Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism. ... For other uses, see Dharma (disambiguation). ... This article discusses the adherents of Hinduism. ... JAIN is an activity within the Java Community Process, developing APIs for the creation of telephony (voice and data) services. ... Ajivika (also transliterated Ä€jÄ«vika) was an ancient philosophical and ascetic movement of the Indian subcontinent. ...


Most likely, the complex religious environment of the age would have required careful diplomatic management in order to avoid provoking religious unrest. Modern scholars and adherents of the traditional Buddhist perspective both tend to agree that Ashoka's rule was marked by tolerance towards a number of religious faiths.


Death and legacy

Ashoka ruled for an estimated forty years, and after his death, the Maurya dynasty lasted just fifty more years. Ashoka had many wives and children, but their names are lost to time. Mahindra and Sanghamitra were twins born by his fourth wife, Devi, in the city of Ujjain. He had entrusted to them the job of making his state religion, Buddhism, more popular across the known and the unknown world. Mahindra and Sanghamitra went into Sri Lanka and converted the King, the Queen and their people to Buddhism. So they were naturally not the ones handling state affairs after him. http://www. ... http://www. ... Ashokas Major Rock Edict is one of the most important Edicts of Ashoka, and is located outside the town of Junagadh on the Saurashtra peninsula in the state of Gujarat, India. ... Girnar (also known as Girnar Hill) is a collection of mountains in the Junagadh District of Gujarat, India. ... Mahinda was the son of Emperor Ashoka. ... Sanghamitra was a princess of the Mauryan Empire of India. ... It has been suggested that Shri Vidya be merged into this article or section. ... , Ujjain   (Hindi:उज्जैन) (also known as Ujain, Ujjayini, Avanti, Avantikapuri) is an ancient city of central India, in the Malwa region of the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, on the eastern bank of the Kshipra River. ... Sanghamitra was a princess of the Mauryan Empire of India. ...


In his old age, he seems to have come under the spell of his youngest wife Tishyaraksha. It is said that she had got his son Kunala, the regent in Takshashila, blinded by a wily stratagem. But the official executioners spared Kunala and he became a wandering singer accompanied by his favourite wife Kanchanmala. In Pataliputra, Ashoka hears Kunala's song, and realizes that Kunala's misfortune may have been a punishment for some past sin of the emperor himself and condemns Tishyaraksha to death, restoring Kunala to the court. Kunala was succeeded by his son, Samprati. But his rule did not last long after Ashoka's death. The introduction to this article provides insufficient context for those unfamiliar with the subject matter. ... “Kunal” redirects here. ... Taxila (Urdu: , Sanskrit: , Pali:Takkasilā) is an important archaeological site in Pakistan containing the ruins of the Gandhāran city of Takshashila (also Takkasila or Taxila) an important Vedic/Hindu[1] and Buddhist[2] centre of learning from the 6th century BCE[3] to the 5th century CE.[4] [5... ... Samprati Maurya was a king of the Mauryan empire. ...

Ashokan Pillar at Vaishali
Ashokan Pillar at Vaishali
This is the famous original sandstone sculpted Lion Capital of Ashoka preserved at Sarnath Museum which was originally erected around 250 BCE atop an Ashoka Pillar at Sarnath. The angle from which this picture has been taken, minus the inverted bell-shaped lotus flower, has been adopted as the National Emblem of India showing the Horse on the left and the Bull on the right of the Ashoka Chakra in the circular base on which the four Indian lions are standing back to back. On the far side there is an Elephant and a Lion instead. The wheel "Ashoka Chakra" from its base has been placed onto the center of the National Flag of India.
This is the famous original sandstone sculpted Lion Capital of Ashoka preserved at Sarnath Museum which was originally erected around 250 BCE atop an Ashoka Pillar at Sarnath. The angle from which this picture has been taken, minus the inverted bell-shaped lotus flower, has been adopted as the National Emblem of India showing the Horse on the left and the Bull on the right of the Ashoka Chakra in the circular base on which the four Indian lions are standing back to back. On the far side there is an Elephant and a Lion instead. The wheel "Ashoka Chakra" from its base has been placed onto the center of the National Flag of India.

The reign of Ashoka Maurya could easily have disappeared into history as the ages passed by, and would have, had he not left behind a record of his trials. The testimony of this wise king was discovered in the form of magnificently sculpted pillars and boulders with a variety of actions and teachings he wished to be published etched into the stone. What Ashoka left behind was the first written language in India since the ancient city of Harappa. Rather than Sanskrit, the language used for inscription was the current spoken form called Prakrit. Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 450 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (1704 × 2272 pixel, file size: 857 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 450 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (1704 × 2272 pixel, file size: 857 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Vaishali or Vesali (Pali) was a city, the capital of the Licchavis and the Vajjian Confederacy. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... The Lion Capital of Ashoka is a sculpture of four lions standing back to back. ... (Redirected from 250 BCE) Centuries: 4th century BC - 3rd century BC - 2nd century BC Decades: 300s BC 290s BC 280s BC 270s BC 260s BC - 250s BC - 240s BC 230s BC 220s BC 210s BC 200s BC Years: 255 BC 254 BC 253 BC 252 BC 251 BC - 250 BC... Fragment of the 6th Pillar Edict of Ashoka (238 BCE), in Brahmi, sandstone. ... Sarnath (also Mrigadava, Migadāya, Rishipattana, Isipatana) is the deer park where Gautama Buddha first taught the Dharma, and where the Buddhist Sangha came into existence through the enlightenment of Kondanna. ... The inverted bell is a metaphorical name for geometric shape that resembles a bell upside down. ... Binomial name Nelumbo nucifera Gaertn. ... The Emblem of India The Emblem of India is an adaptation from the Sarnath Lion Capital of Ashoka. ... The Ashoka Chakra (Pronunced as Ashok Chakra, not Ashokaa Chakraa) is an ancient Indian depiction of the Wheel of Life and Cosmic Order (Sanskrit: Chakra, wheel. ... Trinomial name Panthera leo persica Meyer, 1826 Current distribution of the Asiatic Lion in the wild Synonyms Leo leo goojratensis (India) Leo leo persicus (Persia) The Asiatic Lion (Panthera leo persica; also known as Indian Lion) is a subspecies of the lion found only in India. ... Indian National Flag - tiranga Flag ratio: 2:3 The National Flag of India was adopted as such during an ad hoc meeting of the Constituent Assembly held on 1947-07-22, just before Indias independence on 1947-08-15. ... Location of Harappa in the Indus Valley. ... Prakrit (also spelt Pracrit) (Sanskrit: , original, natural, artless, normal, ordinary, usual, i. ...


In the year 185 BC, about fifty years after Ashoka's death, the last Maurya ruler, Brhadrata, was brutally murdered by the commander-in-chief of the Mauryan armed forces, Pusyamitra Sunga, while he was taking the Guard of Honor of his forces. Pusyamitra Sunga founded the Sunga dynasty (185 BC-78 BC) and ruled just a fragmented part of the Mauryan Empire. Much of the northwestern territories of the Mauryan Empire (modern-day Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan) became the Indo-Greek Kingdom. Centuries: 3rd century BC - 2nd century BC - 1st century BC Decades: 230s BC 220s BC 210s BC 200s BC 190s BC - 180s BC - 170s BC 160s BC 150s BC 140s BC 130s BC Years: 190 BC 189 BC 188 BC 187 BC 186 BC - 185 BC - 184 BC 183 BC... Brhadrata was the last ruler of the Indian Mauryan dynasty. ... Pusyamitra Sunga (also Pushyamitra Shunga) was the founder of the Indian Sunga dynasty (185-78 BCE). ... The Sunga dynasty ruled the Sunga empire of central and eastern India from 185 BCE to around 73 BCE. The last ruler of the Mauryan dynasty was Brithadratha. ... Centuries: 3rd century BC - 2nd century BC - 1st century BC Decades: 230s BC 220s BC 210s BC 200s BC 190s BC - 180s BC - 170s BC 160s BC 150s BC 140s BC 130s BC Years: 190 BC 189 BC 188 BC 187 BC 186 BC - 185 BC - 184 BC 183 BC... Centuries: 2nd century BC - 1st century BC - 1st century Decades: 120s BC 110s BC 100s BC 90s BC 80s BC - 70s BC - 60s BC 50s BC 40s BC 30s BC 20s BC Years: 83 BC 82 BC 81 BC 80 BC 79 BC - 78 BC - 77 BC 76 BC 75... The Indo-Greek Kingdom (or sometimes Graeco-Indian Kingdom[2]) covered various parts of the northwest and northern Indian subcontinent from 180 BCE to around 10 CE, and was ruled by a succession of more than thirty Hellenic and Hellenistic kings,[3] often in conflict with each other. ...


Not until some 2,000 years later under Akbar and his great-grandson Aurangzeb would as large a portion of the subcontinent as that ruled by Ashoka again be united under a single ruler. When India gained independence from the British Empire it adopted Ashoka's emblem for its own, placing the Dharmachakra(The Wheel of Righteous Duty) that crowned his many columns on the flag of the newly independent state. This article needs additional references or sources for verification. ... Aurangzeb (Persian: (full title Al-Sultan al-Azam wal Khaqan al-Mukarram Abdul Muzaffar Muhiuddin Muhammad Aurangzeb Bahadur Alamgir I, Padshah Ghazi) (November 3, 1618 – March 3, 1707), also known by his chosen Imperial title Alamgir I (Conqueror of the Universe) (Persian: ), was the ruler of the Mughal Empire from... Map of South Asia (see note on Kashmir) A subcontinent is a large part of a continent. ... The British Empire in 1897, marked in pink, the traditional colour for Imperial British dominions on maps. ... It has been suggested that Dharma-chakra be merged into this article or section. ... Indian National Flag Flag ratio: 2:3 The National Flag of India was adopted in its present form during an ad hoc meeting of the Constituent Assembly held on the 22 July 1947, a few days before Indias independence from the British on 15 August, 1947. ...


In 1992, Ashoka was ranked #53 on Michael H. Hart's list of the most influential figures in history. In 2001, a semi-fictionalized portrayal of Ashoka's life was produced as a motion picture under the title Asoka. Michael H. Hart (born April 28, 1932 in New York City) is an American astrophysicist turned author and activist. ... The cover of the 1992 edition. ... Asoka is a 2001 Bollywood film, a historical drama. ...


Ashoka and Buddhist Kingship

Main article: History of Buddhism

One of the more enduring legacies of Ashoka Maurya was the model that he provided for the relationship between Buddhism and the state. Throughout Theravada Southeastern Asia, the model of rulership embodied by Ashoka replaced the notion of divine kingship that had previously dominated (in the Angkor kingdom, for instance). Under this model of 'Buddhist kingship', the king sought to legitimize his rule not through descent from a divine source, but by supporting and earning the approval of the Buddhist sangha. Following Ashoka's example, kings established monasteries, funded the construction of stupas, and supported the ordination of monks in their kingdom. Many rulers also took an active role in resolving disputes over the status and regulation of the sangha, as Ashoka had in calling a conclave to settle a number of contentious issues during his reign. This development ultimately lead to a close association in many Southeast Asian countries between the monarchy and the religious hierarchy, an association that can still be seen today in the state-supported Buddhism of Thailand and the traditional role of the Thai king as both a religious and secular leader. The History of Buddhism spans from the 6th century BCE to the present, starting with the birth of the Buddha Siddhartha Gautama. ... Map of the Angkor region in Cambodia. ... Sangha (संघ saṃgha) is a word in Pali or Sanskrit that can be translated roughly as association or assembly or community. It is commonly used in several senses to refer to Buddhist or Jain groups. ... Buddhism in Thailand is largely of the Theravada school. ...


Ashoka also said that all his courtiers were true to their self and governed the people in a moral manner.


Ashoka in popular culture

Asoka is a 2001 Bollywood film, a historical drama. ... This article is about motion pictures. ... A conspiracy theory is a theory that defies common historical or current understanding of events, under the claim that those events are the result of manipulations by two or more individuals or various secretive powers or conspiracies. ... According to occult lore, the Nine Unknown Men are a two millennia-old secret society founded by the Indian Emperor Asoka c. ... Computer and video games redirects here. ... Civilization IV is a turn-based strategy computer game currently being developed by Sid Meier and his studio Firaxis Games. ... Motto Satyameva Jayate (Sanskrit)  (Devanagari) Truth Alone Triumphs[1] Anthem Jana Gana Mana Thou art the ruler of the minds of all people[2] Vande Mataram I bow to thee, Mother[4] Capital New Delhi Largest city Mumbai Official Languages: Scheduled Languages: Hindi, English Hindi in the Devanagari script is... Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (October 2, 1869 – January 30, 1948) (Devanagari: मोहनदास करमचन्द गांधी, Gujarati મોહનદાસ કરમચંદ ગાંધી), called... Piers Anthony Dillingham Jacob (born August 6, 1934 in Oxford, England) is an American writer in the science fiction and fantasy genres, publishing under the name Piers Anthony. ... Classic pulp space opera cover, with the usual cliché elements. ... The Bio of a Space Tyrant series is a six-book science-fiction series by Piers Anthony based within our solar system. ... Air India (formerly Air-India, Hindi: ) is the national flag carrier of India with a worldwide network of passenger and cargo services. ... Blake and Mortimer, The Yellow M Blake and Mortimer is a comic book/graphic novel series that was created by the Belgian writer and artist Edgar P. Jacobs (1904-1987). ...

See also

The Edicts of Ashoka are a collection of 33 inscriptions on the Pillars of Ashoka, as well as boulders and cave walls, made by the Emperor Ashoka of the Mauryan dynasty during his reign from 272 to 231 BCE. These inscriptions are dispersed throughout the areas of modern-day Pakistan... The Lion Capital of Ashoka is a sculpture of four lions standing back to back. ... Ashokas Major Rock Edict is one of the most important Edicts of Ashoka, and is located outside the town of Junagadh on the Saurashtra peninsula in the state of Gujarat, India. ... The Ashokavadana (Sanskrit: अशॊकवदन, Narrative of Ashoka) is a 2nd century CE document related to the legend of the Maurya emperor Ashoka. ... Magadha was an ancient kingdom of India, mentioned in both the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. ... A representation of the Lion Capital of Ashoka, which was erected around 250 BCE. It is the emblem of India. ... Allegiance: Maurya Dynasty Rank: Emperor Succeeded by: Bindusara Maurya Reign: 322 BC-298 BC Place of birth: Indian subcontinent Chandragupta Maurya (Sanskrit: चन्द्रगुप्त मौर्य; Romanized Greek: Sandrakottos), whilst often referred to as Sandrakottos outside India, is also known simply as Chandragupta (born c. ... Bindusara was the second Mauryan emperor (297 - c. ... Chānakya (Sanskrit: चाणक्य) (c. ... Chakravarti (Sanskrit cakravartin), literally meaning turner of the wheel is a term used for a successful conqueror or imperial ruler of all or most of the subcontinent of India, both in legend and in history. ... Dasaratha Maurya was a king of the Mauryan empire, ruling 232 - 224 BC. He was the successor of Ashoka the Great. ... The Arthashastra (more precisely Arthaśāstra) is a treatise on statecraft and economic policy which identifies its author by the names Kautilya[1] and Viṣṇugupta,[2] who are traditionally identified with the Mauryan minister Cāṇakya. ... Hinduism (known as in modern Indian languages)[1] is a religious tradition[2] that originated in the Indian subcontinent. ... A statue of the Sakyamuni Buddha in Tawang Gompa, India. ... Combatants Mauryan Empire State of Kalinga Commanders Ashoka Unknown Strength Unknown larger quantity Unknown smaller quantity Casualties 10,000 (approx. ... The History of India begins with the Indus Valley Civilization, which flourished in the north-western part of the Indian subcontinent from 3300 to 1700 BCE. This Bronze Age civilization was followed by the Iron Age Vedic period, which witnessed the rise of major kingdoms known as the Mahajanapadas. ... Hinduism has prehistoric roots, including suspected survivals of traditions of the Bronze Age and right through to when yamum got down and funky. ... The History of Buddhism spans from the 6th century BCE to the present, starting with the birth of the Buddha Siddhartha Gautama. ... Wikipedia does not yet have an article with this exact name. ... The following list of Indian monarchs is one of several lists of incumbents. ... This is a list of people whose names in English are commonly appended with the phrase the Great, or who were called that or an equivalent phrase in their own language. ...

Sources

  • Swearer, Donald. Buddhism and Society in Southeast Asia (Chambersburg, Pennsylvania: Anima Books, 1981) ISBN 0-89012-023-4
  • Thapar, Romila. Aśoka and the decline of the Mauryas (Delhi : Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997, 1998 printing, c1961) ISBN 0-19-564445-X
  • Nilakanta Sastri, K. A. Age of the Nandas and Mauryas (Delhi : Motilal Banarsidass, [1967] c1952) ISBN 0-89684-167-7
  • Bongard-Levin, G. M. Mauryan India (Stosius Inc/Advent Books Division May 1986) ISBN 0-86590-826-5
  • Govind Gokhale, Balkrishna. Asoka Maurya (Irvington Pub June 1966) ISBN 0-8290-1735-6
  • Chand Chauhan, Gian. Origin and Growth of Feudalism in Early India: From the Mauryas to AD 650 (Munshiram Manoharlal January 2004) ISBN 81-215-1028-7
  • Keay, John. India: A History (Grove Press; 1 Grove Pr edition May 10, 2001) ISBN 0-8021-3797-0

is the 130th day of the year (131st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2001 (MMI) was a common year starting on Monday (link displays the 2001 Gregorian calendar). ...

Notes

  1. ^ The unknown Ashoka
  2. ^ The Gift of Dust
  3. ^ Chatterjee, Ramananda, P. 200 The Modern Review
  4. ^ "Bodhisattva that the Brahman," see Chap. xvi
  5. ^ http://www.cs.colostate.edu/~malaiya/ashoka.html
  6. ^ Amartya Sen (1997). Human Rights and Asian Values. ISBN 0-87641-151-0.
  7. ^ Arrian, Indica:

    This also is remarkable in India, that all Indians are free, and no Indian at all is a slave. In this the Indians agree with the Lacedaemonians. Yet the Lacedaemonians have Helots for slaves, who perform the duties of slaves; but the Indians have no slaves at all, much less is any Indian a slave. Amartya Kumar Sen CH (Hon) (Bengali: Ômorto Kumar Shen) (born 3 November 1933), is an Indian economist, philosopher, and a winner of the Bank of Sweden Prize in Economic Sciences (Nobel Prize for Economics) in 1998, for his contributions to welfare economics for his work on famine, human development theory... Alexander the Great Lucius Flavius Arrianus Xenophon (c. ... Indica is the name of an ancient book about India written by Arrian, one of the main ancient historians of Alexander the Great. ... Laconia (Λακωνία; see also List of traditional Greek place names), also known as Lacedaemonia, was in ancient Greece the portion of the Peloponnese of which the most important city was Sparta. ... Helots were Peloponnesian Greeks who were enslaved under Spartan rule. ...

  8. ^ Reference: "India: The Ancient Past" p.113, Burjor Avari, Routledge, ISBN 0415356156
  9. ^ Skilton, Andrew. A Concise History of Buddhism. Windhorse. Birmingham: 2004.
  10. ^ Full text of the Mahavamsa Click chapter XII
  11. ^ Donald A. Mackenzie, Buddhism in pre-Christian Britain, p. 42.
  12. ^ "Is it not rational that souls should be introduced into bodies in accordance with their merits and previous deeds, and that those who have used their bodies in doing the utmost possible good should have a right to bodies endowed with qualities superior to the bodies of others?" "The soul, which is immaterial and invisible in its nature, exists in no material place without having a body suited to the nature of that place; accordingly, it at one time puts off one body, which is necessary before, but which is no longer adequate in its changed state, and it exchanges it for a second." (Origen, Contra Celsum, also discussed in De Principiis.)
  13. ^ Pliny the Elder, "The Natural History", Chap. 21
  14. ^ Full text of the Mahavamsa Click chapter XII
  15. ^ Appian, History of Rome, The Syrian Wars 55
  16. ^ "Demetrius, who was a Seleucid on his mother's side, may conceivably have regarded himself as possessing some sort of hereditary title to the throne of the Mauryas, inasmuch as the Seleucid and Maurya lines were connected by the marriage of Seleucus' daughter (or niece) either with Chandragupta or to his son Bindusara, in which case Ashoka himself would have been half a Seleucid." John Marshall, Taxila, p28

Contra Celsus, or (probably better Latin) Contra Celsum, is the title of a major work by the Church Father Origenes, refutating the anti-christian writings of Celsus the Platonist. ... Silver tetradrachm depicting the Greco-Bactrian king Demetrius (r. ...

External links

Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to:
Ashoka the Great
Ashoka the Great
Mauryan dynasty
Born: 304 BC Died: 232 BC
Preceded by
Bindusara
Mauryan Emperor
272 BC232 BC
Succeeded by
Dasaratha

  Results from FactBites:
 
Ashoka The Great - Great Indians (600 words)
One of the greatest emperors known to Indian history, Ashoka, was the grandson of Chandragupta Maurya and the son of Bindusar.
Born in 294 BC as second son to Bindusar, the King of Patliputra, Ashoka was not heir apparent.
Ashoka, himself was a great philanthropist and worked day and night for the welfare of his people.
Ashoka - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (3569 words)
Emperor Ashoka the Great (Devanagari: अशोक(:); IAST transliteration: Aśoka(ḥ), pronunciation: [aɕoːkə(h
Ashoka was the son of the Maurya Emperor Bindusara by a relatively lower ranked queen named Dharma.
Ashoka was grieved by this, and was counselled by his nephew (who had been raised in the ashram and was more priest than prince) to embrace his dharma and draw away from war.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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