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Ashoka The Great

Ashoka The Great

By on April 20, 2017
Ashoka was a great ruler of the Maurya Empire, and he was known as Ashoka the Great. Ashoka was the only ruler who ruled in almost every part of India, even till today’s Afghanistan was the kingdom of Ashoka. Ashoka’s reign lasted from 273 B.C.E. To 232 B.C.E. Ashoka had dedicated his entire life to Buddhism and had set up many huge and grand monuments in the time of Shakyamuni Buddha. After this Ashoka devoted himself completely to respecting Buddhism and spent his entire life in its protection and transmission. After the famous Mahabharata ruler, Ashoka was the first ruler of ancient India. Keeping such a large empire was not an easy task; Even that empire was much bigger than today’s India. Ashoka in Sanskrit means “painless”. Thousands of kings and emperors came here in the world and they tried to look and make themselves look great. These people were called by different names like His Excellency; His Majesty, etc. But after some time all the rulers were forgotten. On the other hand, Ashoka was a ruler, whose name was shining in the past, still, shines and shines even further.
Mauryan ruins of pillared hall at Kumrahar site of Pataliputra

 Ashoka had established his rule over India, including Kalinga. But after seeing the war and destruction of war, Ashoka’s mind became distracted. And Ashok gave up violence and put his whole life in the service of welfare. Ashoka publicized religious ideas and human rights. He wanted to create a society in which the respect of life, parental Care, and respect for teachers and where the judiciary and law system are properly followed. Ashok also gave a lot of time in the protection of animals and the environment and told the people about their importance. Ashoka is seen as a great hero. However, when Ashoka started his rule, in the beginning, he had committed a lot of violence. Even he killed his brothers. That is why Ashoka gave up the violence, cruelty, and jealousy in the last and decided to change his lifestyle. This decision of Ashoka shows that if a person determines firmly than he can bring a fundamental change in his personality. More information about Ashoka’s rule and life can be taken from Buddhist sources. More information related to Ashoka is taken from Dipavamsa and  Mahavamsa. Ashoka’s mother was Dharma who was the lowest queen of Bindusara. There was many older brothers and sisters of Ashoka, but a little brother whose name was Vitthashoka. He used to be favorite of his grandfather Chandragupta due to his war skills and exemplary wisdom. According to mythology, Ashoka got the sword of his grandfather Chandragupta when he was about to start the life of a Jain ascetic.
Mauryan Statue
Ashoka was a smart and brave warrior; his bravery stories were famous throughout the Maurya empire. He had great popularity in the empire and for this reason, his elder brother was jealous of him. Prince Susima was the first heir to the throne, and he always used to conspire against Ashoka. He has sometimes tried to force Ashoka to fight in other states. Prince Susima used to create such condition that there was no way in front of Emperor Bindusara. And according to the order of the emperor, Ashoka went to other states to read and deal with the rebellion. Discussions of Ashoka’s success were now taking place in the entire empire; because of this Prince Susima began to feel that Ashoka would now grab his throne.Susima forced Ashoka to exile by emperor Bindusara and ordered to go away from the state.After that Ashoka stayed in Kalinga (Orissa) for some time.The Emperor Bindusara had called Ashoka back after two years after the revolt started in Ujjain. Ashok took part in the war as soon as he returned and he got injured. Then the loyal warrior of Ashoka hid them so that Prince Susima could not harm him. The place where Ashoka was hidden, Buddhist monks used to live there. The same monk treated Ashoka and it was here that Ashoka had followed the teachings of the Buddha for the first time. Ashok’s meeting took place here with a Devi who was his nurse. She was the daughter of a businessman, Ashok got married to her. Bindusara did not accept Ashoka’s marriage. Because of this, Emperor Bindusara did not allow Ashoka to stay in Pataliputra and sent him back to Ujjain. Because of this marriage, the Saints called this Buddhist religion a threat to Hindu and also said that these religions are like Hindu religion is not holy. Ashok spent some years in Ujjain with peace and after some time Goddess Ashoka was giving birth to the child. And during this time Emperor Bindusara died.Susima felt the fear that if Ashoka had a son, he would be entitled to the heirs of the Maurya dynasty and the throne. For this, he planned to kill the child, but the Deviwas accidentally killed. When Ashok realized that Susima had killed Devi then he attacked Pataliputra.He murdered all of his brothers with great ruthlessness. During this time, Ashok was known as “Chanda Ashok” (merciless killer).