Appendix 5 translates all the edicts of Asoka. Afterwards, now that Kalinga was annexed, the Beloved of the Gods very earnestly practised Dhamma, desired Dhamma and taught Dhamma. On conquering Kalinga the Beloved of the Gods felt remorse, for when an independent country is conquered the slaughter, death and deportation of the people is extremely grievous to the Beloved of the Gods and weighs heavily on his mind. What is even more deplorable to the Beloved of the Gods, is that those who dwell there, whether brahmans, shramans, or those of other sects, or householders who show obedience to their superiors, obedience to mother and father, obedience to their teachers and behave well and devotedly towards their friends, acquaintances, colleagues, relatives, slaves and servants - all suffer violence, murder and separation from their loved ones. Even those who are fortunate to have escaped and whose love is undiminished suffer from the misfortunes of their friends, acquaintances, colleagues and relatives.
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Start your review of Asoka and the Decline of the Mauryas Write a review Shelves: ancient-asia , asia-history-culture , south-asia When he had been consecrated eight years the Beloved-of-the-Gods, the king Piyadassi, conquered Kalinga. A hundred and fifty thousand people were deported, a hundred thousand were killed and many times that number perished. Afterwards, now that Kalinga was annexed, the Beloved-of-the-Gods very earnestly practised Dhamma, desired Dhamma and taught Dhamma.
On conquering Kalinga the Beloved-of-the-Gods felt remorse, for, when an independent country is conquered the slaughter, death, and When he had been consecrated eight years the Beloved-of-the-Gods, the king Piyadassi, conquered Kalinga. On conquering Kalinga the Beloved-of-the-Gods felt remorse, for, when an independent country is conquered the slaughter, death, and deportation of the people is extremely grievous to the Beloved-of-the-Gods, and weighs heavily on his mind.
Is there enough scientifically founded evidence to try to determine who the actual Ashoka was? And even more interesting to me, what does one know about Mauryan India during this historically first unification of nearly all of greater India? The noted Indian historian Romila Thapar b. After his ascent to power, the sole war of Ashoka for which we have solid evidence - the Kalinga War in BCE - was a source of deep regret for him see the above quote from one of his edicts carved into stone.
It would appear that he renounced war thenceforth. What he did instead was to promote religious tolerance and social responsibility in an attempt to meld an empire of many peoples, religions and cultures into a harmonious whole ultimately failing, at least in the latter goal. One of the ways in which he did so was to have moral "edicts" carved into pillars and stones all over the empire in the local languages and regularly read out to the people.
The very embodiment of the enlightened ruler, he travelled throughout the realm preaching the Dhamma and listening to the problems of the people. He also promoted the spreading of the Buddhist Word to other countries, called the for Buddhism extremely important Third Buddhist Council together, and endowed the Buddhist infrastructure.
An ancient ruler who held a vast empire together not by force but by moral suasion is indeed noteworthy, particularly since his suasion was based on respect for all living beings and not on threats of horrible afterlives for transgressors. Though the beginnings of the caste system were pre-Mauryan, there was still a great deal of social mobility prior to the rise of the Mauryas. It was during the Mauryan dynasty that the ramification into finer and finer castes and the crystallization of the caste system preventing any movement between the castes really started, despite the fact that none of the important Mauryan monarchs were followers of the mainline brahmanical religion.
The Dhamma Dharma is the Way or Law of the universe for Buddhism and Hinduism, very roughly speaking, at least ordinarily. But Ashoka appropriated the word to denote also his own Buddhism-inspired view of social order, which he promoted in his edicts.
Let me say in advance that anyone making an ad hominem attack on either the author or myself in any thread of mine will find their comment deleted and themselves blocked permanently. Just so you know.
One of the things I have learned over the past few years is just how closely linked the ancient world actually was.
Asoka and the Decline of the Mauryas
Aśoka and the Decline of the Mauryas