Sunday, April 20

A- Ashoka

  I am taking up the A-Z challenge of writing about the great kings of the world.


       The reign of Bindusara probably terminated in, or within a few years as of, 273 BC. Some four years later according to tradition his Successor was solemnly enthroned at patliputra and died after a reign of 36 years f 37 years, in or about 232 BC. The name of the new king was ASHOKA. He is, however, generally mentioned in his inscriptions as Devanampiya Priyadarsi.

       The kalinga war proved a turning point in the career of Ashoka and produced results of far-reaching consequences in the history of india and the whole of the eastern world.The sight of the whole misery and bloodshed in the Kalinga campaign smote the emperor's conscience and awakened his sincere feelings of repentance and sorrow. It made Asoka intensely devoted to the practice of Dharma the love of Dharma and the instruction of the people of dharma. It also led to a momentous change in the foreign policy.

      Asoka had doubtless inherited the traditional devotion of hindu kings of gods and the brahmanas. His favorite deity was lord Siva.Shortly after the kalinga war he seems to have been greatly influenced by the buddhist teaching. He became a lay worshipper of the Buddha, but for sometime did not show much  zeal for the new faith. He then went out to Sambodhi, taken by some to refer to Bodh-gaya, and also established intimate relations with the Buddhist sangha or order of monk.Contact with the place of enlightenment of the blessed One. his new born zeal showed in self in many ways.He made  a deep study of the buddhist scriptures and undertook many tours.In the course of thesetours he visited the people of the country,instructing them in Dharma and questioning them about the dharma. The royal preacher was highly pleased with the result of his tours.

Ashokas Dharma:

     In one of his inscriptions, Ashoka made an open confession of his faith in the Buddha. He went on pilgrimage to the places of the blessed one's nativity and enlightenment and worshipped at the former place. He declared that whatever had been spoken by the buddha, all that was quite well spoken.he took much interest in the exposition of the buddhist Dharma so that it might long endure.

    But with all his faith in buddhism, Ashoka was not intolerant of other religions.he sought, it is true, to put an end to practices and institutions that he considered to be opposed to the fundamental principles of the morality which, according to him constituted the "essence of all religion". But he never became an enemy of the devas or the Brahmanas or any other religious fraternity.

   In Short, Ashoka was one of the most remarkable personalities in the history of india.He was tireless in his exertions, and flagging in his zeal all directed to the promotion of teh spiritual and moral welfare of his people. He was the statesman who conducted Successfully great military campaign.He preached and practised the virtues of concord, toleration and non-violence. The example of the pious Maurya king exercised an ennobling influence on succeeding generations.

2. Basic facts on history- Manoj publications.
3.Contemporary India- 10th CBSE book


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