Samrat Ashok (a Biography) (Gujarati) Paperback Books- Buy Samrat Ashok (a Biography) (Gujarati) Books online at lowest price with Rating & Reviews, Free. Samrat Ashok (सम्राट अशोक) by Premchandra 'Mahesh' ebook pdf. Biraz Bohu by Sharat Chandra Chattopadhyay Hindi ebook pdf. Sambhog Se Children Story Book, Ebook Pdf, Book Jacket, Childrens Books, Book Cover Art. Ashoka sometimes Ashoka the Great, was an Indian emperor of the Maurya Dynasty, who ruled .. The reign of Ashoka Maurya might have disappeared into history as the ages passed by, .. hosted by actor-director Anupam Kher on Hindi news channel ABP News. Create a book · Download as PDF · Printable version.
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Since then, the association of "Devanampriya Priyadarsin" with Ashoka was confirmed through various inscriptions, and especially confirmed in the Minor Rock Edict inscription discovered in Maski , directly associating Ashoka with his regnal title Devanampriya "Beloved-of-the-Gods": He inspired the Buddhist monks to compose the sacred religious texts, and also gave all types of help to that end. Major Rock Edicts. This Ashoka is very different from the "shadowy do-gooder" of later Pali chronicles. Age of the Nandas and Mauryas. Ashoka fails to capture Kondna and Nirankush escapes. In Indian language:
Bindusara is the present king of Magadh, while his step-mother conspires against him. Impressed by her skills, Bindusara falls in love and marries her. Later, Dharma becomes pregnant. The session ends when one of Bindusara's other wives Noor and her father Mir Khorasan try to kill Dharma.
Dharma gives birth to a baby boy and names him " Ashoka " without sorrow. The show, later on, focuses on the life of young Ashoka getting guidance from Chanakya who helps Ashoka against all obstacles. Dharma does not let Ashoka know anything about his father. Ashoka managed to impress Bindusara with his skills at a young age.
Many times, Helena conspired against Bindusara. Bindusara's third wife Noor betrays him and married Justin the same day when Bishara married Dharma. She declared Siamak as Justin's son. Helena had prepared a trap during Justin's wedding but Ashoka manages to rescue everyone.
In order to save Helena, Justin lies in court and proved himself guilty, as a traitor due to which he gets executed. After a lot of struggles, Ashoka figures it out that his father is none other than Bindusara through certain clues and manages to re-unite Bindusara and Dharma. Chanakya also believed that Ashok will be the great ruler of Magadha because of his selfless nature and his oath of serving motherland till his last breath. But Ashok never wanted the throne as he thinks that his brother; Siyamak will be the perfect ruler for Magadha.
Meanwhile, Chanakya along with Radhagupta and his other disciples are busy in protecting the throne of Magadha from the evil and corrupt practices done by Helena and the other enemies of Magadha and Chanakya's oath of protecting his motherland forever created hindrance in the way of Helena; who at last created a plot to kill Chanakya. Meanwhile, Chanakya came to know that from some time; Charumitra practiced black magic on Dharma.
Susima hated Chanakya as he always favored Ashoka over him while Mahamatya Khalatak was always jealous of him as Bindusara always favored Chanakya over him in the matters related to Magadha. So Helena joined Charumitra; Sushim and Khattak. Siyamak also joined in this mission as he believed that his dear ones Justin and Noor had died due to Chanakya. They all killed Chanakya who in his last breath tells Ashoka that the only way to serve his motherland is to become the Emperor of Magadha by any means.
Thus; Ashoka takes a pledge to punish the culprits and fulfill Chanakya's last wish of becoming the Emperor of Magadha by any means. Meanwhile, to end the tyranny of Keechak, Ashok heads for Takshashila and after a lot of struggles, becomes successful. Also there, he meets Kalinga's Princess Kaurwaki, forms a unique bond of friendship.
Later on, both fall in love and Kaurwaki takes him to a temple and she ties a sacred thread around his hand, as a symbol of her love for him and her wish to be accepted as his wife, but Ashoka never realizes it. Later-on, Ashoka returns to Patliputra and in the meantime, found out that his own family members were involved in the death of Chanakya.
But in the process of making the criminals punished for their sins, tables turned on him making Ashok attack on Bindusara and injuring Susima. So, in a fit of rage, Bindusara exiled him from Patliputra. For the protection of her son, Dharma went with him along with her newborn Vitta legally named vittashoka and the trio left Patliputra and settled in Ujjain.
That marked the end of the session. A ruthless Ashoka in the name of Chand along with Dharma and his brother Vit have been settled in Ujjain in the household of the merchant Dhanisharam who resides there with his daughter, Devi. In Kalinga, Kaurwaki's only ambition of life is to meet Ashoka and makes many futile attempts for the same angering Jagannath. Bindusara has grown more cruel and harsh within these years while with the help of black magic, Charumitra had made Susima stronger than ever.
After some days, in a wrestling match, in which Ashoka and Susima are fighting, Dharma comes with Vit and stops the fight. Everyone recognizes them. Bindusara forgives them and asks them to return to Patliputra. Dharma and Vit return to Patliputra. Ashoka did not follow Bindusara's orders. He roams in a jungle and meets Kaurvaki. In these years, Dharma too has turned clever and bold enough to face internal politics.
Ashoka sees Devi and her father being tortured by Nirankush and his men and saves them but fails to capture Nirankush. Ashoka returns to Patliputra and reveals to Bindusara that slavery was in practice in these 10 years. He also reveals that a man named Kondna is behind this. One night, Siamak secretly goes to meet Kondna. It is revealed that Kondna is none other than Helena. Ashoka sets out to capture Kondna using Nirankush.
Ashoka fails to capture Kondna and Nirankush escapes. However, he got a clue that Kondna is a woman. Ashoka got a clue from Nirankush that the woman's name starts from 'H'. He finds that Kondna is late Helena. Nobody believes it. Ashoka is sure that Kondna is Helena. He sets out to capture her and bring her in front of everyone. Ashoka, with Lasandra Helena's enemy , manages to expose Helena and forces Siamak to kill her.
Later, the marriage preparations of Ashoka and Kaurwaki begin. Just then, Dharma and Devi meet an astrologer and he says that this marriage is full of obstacles and many innocent people will be killed in the Kalinga war. Due to fear, Dharma decides that Ashoka should marry Devi, instead of Kaurwaki. Jagannath tells Bindusar that Ashok can marry Kaurwaki only when Bindusar gives the throne of Magadh to him after the marriage. Bindusar agrees. At the time of marriage, Ashoka comes to know about this and breaks the marriage with Kaurwaki and in a fit of rage injures Jagannath with a dagger.
Ashoka instead, marries Devi. Dharma had discovered the truth about Chanakya's death but Sushim and Siamak strangle her to death. Siamak goes to Takshashela as governor and calls in Unani guards. Ashoka kills Siyamak in a fit of rage for killing Dharma and returns to Patliputra. After Bindusara's death Susima and Ashoka fight, but Susima jumps into a flaming pit. Ashoka is crowned Magadha Samrat Ashoka Maurya. Devi gives birth to Ashoka's son, Mahendra.
While pregnant with Ashoka's second child, Angry Devi tells Ashoka that he has changed a lot over these years and takes Mahendra with her. Dharma did not live far from the palace till 14 years, and gave birth to Ashoka in the palace itself. Ashoka got the required royal training.
It is shown wrongly in the show that Ashoka was unaware of his lineage for 14 years. Ashoka did not have a brother like Siamak, not did Bindusara have Noor. Also, there was no character named Justin in the lives of the Mauryans. It is shown wrong in the show.
Helena, Bindusara's step-mother, also promised to the Mauryans that she won't interfere mostly or rebel. She also did not join hands with either Sushima nor Charumitra to down Ashoka in front of Bindusara. The set was erected in Karjat. The show was produced by Contiloe Entertainment. A battle of Buzkashi "goat dragging" sport on horses was also recreated. The Times of India praised Ashok Banker's reconstruction filled historical gaps and stated that they provide "interesting fictional turns" for the show.
Bollywood Life reviewer, Letty Mariam Abraham, gave the show 3 out of 5 stars; praising the sets, visual effects and production value of the show. She further heaped praise on child prodigy Siddharth Nigam as "undoubtedly a brilliant actor"; stating that "his agile body makes him the perfect actor for the role. I'd recommend that people watch this historical drama for Siddharth Nigam and the special effects of the show.
The work is seriously commendable. He built Ashoka's Hell , an elaborate torture chamber described as a "Paradisal Hell" due to the contrast between its beautiful exterior and the acts carried out within by his appointed executioner, Girikaa. Professor Charles Drekmeier cautions that the Buddhist legends tend to dramatise the change that Buddhism brought in him, and therefore, exaggerate Ashoka's past wickedness and his piousness after the conversion.
Ascending the throne, Ashoka expanded his empire over the next eight years, from the present-day Assam in the East to Balochistan in the West; from the Pamir Knot in Afghanistan in the north to the peninsula of southern India except for present day Tamil Nadu and Kerala which were ruled by the three ancient Tamil kingdoms.
From the various sources that speak of his life, Ashoka is believed to have had five wives. Sanghamitta , and another daughter named Charumati. According to one version of the Mahavamsa , the Buddhist chronicle of Sri Lanka , Ashoka, when he was heir-apparent and was journeying as Viceroy to Ujjain , is said to have halted at Vidisha 10 kilometers from Sanchi , and there married the daughter of a local banker.
She was called Devi and later gave Ashoka two sons, Ujjeniya and Mahendra , and a daughter Sanghamitta. After Ashoka's accession, Mahendra headed a Buddhist mission, sent probably under the auspices of the Emperor, to Sri Lanka.
While the early part of Ashoka's reign was apparently quite bloodthirsty, he became a follower of the Buddha 's teachings after his conquest of the Kalinga on the east coast of India in the present-day states of Odisha and North Coastal Andhra Pradesh. Kalinga was a state that prided itself on its sovereignty and democracy. With its monarchical parliamentary democracy it was quite an exception in ancient Bharata where there existed the concept of Rajdharma.
Rajdharma means the duty of the rulers, which was intrinsically entwined with the concept of bravery and dharma. The Kalinga War happened eight years after his coronation.
From his 13th inscription, we come to know that the battle was a massive one and caused the deaths of more than , soldiers and many civilians who rose up in defence; over , were deported. Edict 13 of the Edicts of Ashoka Rock Inscriptions expresses the great remorse the king felt after observing the destruction of Kalinga:.
Thence arises the remorse of His Sacred Majesty for having conquered the Kalingas, because the conquest of a country previously unconquered involves the slaughter, death, and carrying away captive of the people.
That is a matter of profound sorrow and regret to His Sacred Majesty. Legend says that one day after the war was over, Ashoka ventured out to roam the city and all he could see were burnt houses and scattered corpses.
The lethal war with Kalinga transformed the vengeful Emperor Ashoka to a stable and peaceful emperor and he became a patron of Buddhism. According to the prominent Indologist , A. Basham , Ashoka's personal religion became Buddhism, if not before, then certainly after the Kalinga war. However, according to Basham, the Dharma officially propagated by Ashoka was not Buddhism at all. Ashoka ruled for an estimated 36 years and died in BCE. Ashoka had many wives and children, but many of their names are lost to time.
His chief consort agramahisi for the majority of his reign was his wife, Asandhimitra , who apparently bore him no children. In his old age, he seems to have come under the spell of his youngest wife Tishyaraksha. It is said that she had got Ashoka's son Kunala , the regent in Takshashila and the heir presumptive to the throne, blinded by a wily stratagem. The official executioners spared Kunala and he became a wandering singer accompanied by his favourite wife Kanchanmala.
In Pataliputra , Ashoka heard Kunala's song, and realised that Kunala's misfortune may have been a punishment for some past sin of the emperor himself. He condemned Tishyaraksha to death, restoring Kunala to the court. In the Ashokavadana, Kunala is portrayed as forgiving Tishyaraksha, having obtained enlightenment through Buddhist practice. While he urges Ashoka to forgive her as well, Ashoka does not respond with the same forgiveness. The reign of Ashoka Maurya might have disappeared into history as the ages passed by, had he not left behind records of his reign.
These records are in the form of sculpted pillars and rocks inscribed with a variety of actions and teachings he wished to be published under his name. The language used for inscription was in one of the Prakrit "common" languages etched in a Brahmi script. In the year BCE, about fifty years after Ashoka's death, the last Maurya ruler, Brihadratha , was assassinated by the commander-in-chief of the Mauryan armed forces, Pushyamitra Shunga , while he was taking the Guard of Honor of his forces.
King Ashoka, the third monarch of the Indian Mauryan dynasty, is also considered as one of the most exemplary rulers who ever lived.
One of the more enduring legacies of Ashoka was the model that he provided for the relationship between Buddhism and the state. Emperor Ashoka was seen as a role model to leaders within the Buddhist community. He not only provided guidance and strength, but he also created personal relationships with his supporters.
Under this model of 'Buddhist kingship', the king sought to legitimise 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 led 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. Ashoka also said that all his courtiers always governed the people in a moral manner. According to the legends mentioned in the 2nd-century CE text Ashokavadana , Ashoka was not non-violent after adopting Buddhism.
In one instance, a non-Buddhist in Pundravardhana drew a picture showing the Buddha bowing at the feet of Nirgrantha Jnatiputra identified with Mahavira , 24th Tirthankara of Jainism. On complaint from a Buddhist devotee, Ashoka issued an order to arrest him, and subsequently, another order to kill all the Ajivikas in Pundravardhana. Around 18, followers of the Ajivika sect were executed as a result of this order.
Ashoka burnt him and his entire family alive in their house. According to Ashokavadana , as a result of this order, his own brother was mistaken for a heretic and killed by a cowherd.
Ashoka had almost been forgotten, but in the 19th century James Prinsep contributed in the revelation of historical sources. After deciphering the Brahmi script , Prinsep had originally identified the " Priyadasi " of the inscriptions he found with the King of Ceylon Devanampiya Tissa. Since then, the association of "Devanampriya Priyadarsin" with Ashoka was confirmed through various inscriptions, and especially confirmed in the Minor Rock Edict inscription discovered in Maski , directly associating Ashoka with his regnal title Devanampriya "Beloved-of-the-Gods": Two and a half years [and somewhat more] have passed since I am a Buddha - Sakya.
Those gods who formerly had been unmingled with men in Jambudvipa , have how become mingled with them. This object can be reached even by a lowly person who is devoted to morality. One must not think thus, — viz. Both the lowly and the exalted must be told: His main interests were Sanchi and Sarnath , in addition to Harappa and Mohenjodaro.
Sir Alexander Cunningham , a British archaeologist and army engineer, and often known as the father of the Archaeological Survey of India , unveiled heritage sites like the Bharhut Stupa, Sarnath, Sanchi, and the Mahabodhi Temple.
Mortimer Wheeler , a British archaeologist, also exposed Ashokan historical sources, especially the Taxila. Information about the life and reign of Ashoka primarily comes from a relatively small number of Buddhist sources. Additional information is contributed by the Edicts of Ashoka , 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 Priyadarshi —'He who regards everyone with affection' as a title or additional name of Ashoka Maurya.
Architectural remains of his period have been found at Kumhrar , Patna , which include an pillar hypostyle hall. Edicts of Ashoka -The Edicts of Ashoka are a collection of 33 inscriptions on the Pillars of Ashoka , as well as boulders and cave walls, made by Ashoka during his reign. These inscriptions are dispersed throughout modern-day Pakistan and India, and represent the first tangible evidence of Buddhism.
The edicts describe in detail the first wide expansion of Buddhism through the sponsorship of one of the most powerful kings of Indian history, offering more information about Ashoka's proselytism, moral precepts, religious precepts, and his notions of social and animal welfare.
It is essentially a Hinayana text, and its world is that of Mathura and North-west India. The emphasis of this little known text is on exploring the relationship between the king and the community of monks the Sangha and setting up an ideal of religious life for the laity the common man by telling appealing stories about religious exploits. The most startling feature is that Ashoka's conversion has nothing to do with the Kalinga war, which is not even mentioned, nor is there a word about his belonging to the Maurya dynasty.
Equally surprising is the record of his use of state power to spread Buddhism in an uncompromising fashion. The legend of Veetashoka provides insights into Ashoka's character that are not available in the widely known Pali records.
As it often refers to the royal dynasties of India, the Mahavamsa is also valuable for historians who wish to date and relate contemporary royal dynasties in the Indian subcontinent.
It is very important in dating the consecration of Ashoka. Dwipavamsa -The Dwipavamsa, or "Dweepavamsa", i. The chronicle is believed to be compiled from Atthakatha and other sources around the 3rd or 4th century CE.
King Dhatusena 4th century had ordered that the Dipavamsa be recited at the Mahinda festival held annually in Anuradhapura. Numismatic research suggests that this symbol was the symbol of king Ashoka, his personal " Mudra ". The use of Buddhist sources in reconstructing the life of Ashoka has had a strong influence on perceptions of Ashoka, as well as 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.
Some scholars have tended to question this assessment. Romila Thappar writes about Ashoka that "We need to see him both as a statesman in the context of inheriting and sustaining an empire in a particular historical period, and as a person with a strong commitment to changing society through what might be called the propagation of social ethics. In his edicts, Ashoka expresses support for all the major religions of his time: Buddhism , Brahmanism , Jainism , and Ajivikaism , and his edicts addressed to the population at large there are some addressed specifically to Buddhists; this is not the case for the other religions generally focus on moral themes members of all the religions would accept.
For example, Amartya Sen writes, "The Indian Emperor Ashoka in the third century BCE presented many political inscriptions in favor of tolerance and individual freedom, both as a part of state policy and in the relation of different people to each other".
However, the edicts alone strongly indicate that he was a Buddhist. In one edict he belittles rituals, and he banned Vedic animal sacrifices; these strongly suggest that he at least did not look to the Vedic tradition for guidance.
Furthermore, many edicts are expressed to Buddhists alone; in one, Ashoka declares himself to be an " upasaka ", and in another he demonstrates a close familiarity with Buddhist texts. He erected rock pillars at Buddhist holy sites, but did not do so for the sites of other religions. He also used the word "dhamma" to refer to qualities of the heart that underlie moral action; this was an exclusively Buddhist use of the word.
However, he used the word more in the spirit than as a strict code of conduct. Romila Thappar writes, "His dhamma did not derive from divine inspiration, even if its observance promised heaven.
It was more in keeping with the ethic conditioned by the logic of given situations. His logic of Dhamma was intended to influence the conduct of categories of people, in relation to each other.
Especially where they involved unequal relationships. The Ashokavadana presents an alternate view of the familiar Ashoka; one in which his conversion has nothing to do with the Kalinga war or about his descent from the Maurya dynasty. Instead, Ashoka's reason for adopting non-violence appears much more personal. The Ashokavadana shows that the main source of Ashoka's conversion and the acts of welfare that followed are rooted instead in intense personal anguish at its core, from a wellspring inside himself rather than spurred by a specific event.
It thereby illuminates Ashoka as more humanly ambitious and passionate, with both greatness and flaws. This Ashoka is very different from the "shadowy do-gooder" of later Pali chronicles.
Much of the knowledge about Ashoka comes from the several inscriptions that he had carved on pillars and rocks throughout the empire. All his inscriptions present him as compassionate and loving. In the Kalinga rock edits, he addresses his people as his "children" and mentions that as a father he desires their good.
One also gets some primary information about the Kalinga War and Ashoka's allies plus some useful knowledge on the civil administration. The Ashoka Pillar at Sarnath is the most notable of the relics left by Ashoka. Made of sandstone, this pillar records the visit of the emperor to Sarnath, in the 3rd century BCE. 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. In translating these monuments, historians learn the bulk of what is assumed to have been true fact of the Mauryan Empire.
It is difficult to determine whether or not some events ever actually happened, but the stone etchings clearly depict how Ashoka wanted to be thought of and remembered. Recently scholarly analysis determined that the three major foci of debate regarding Ashoka involve the nature of the Maurya empire; the extent and impact of Ashoka's pacifism; and what is referred to in the Inscriptions as dhamma or dharma , which connotes goodness, virtue, and charity.
The dhamma of the Edicts has been understood as concurrently a Buddhist lay ethic, a set of politico-moral ideas, a "sort of universal religion", or as an Ashokan innovation. On the other hand, it has also been interpreted as an essentially political ideology that sought to knit together a vast and diverse empire.
Scholars are still attempting to analyse both the expressed and implied political ideas of the Edicts particularly in regard to imperial vision , and make inferences pertaining to how that vision was grappling with problems and political realities of a "virtually subcontinental, and culturally and economically highly variegated, 3rd century BCE Indian empire.
Nonetheless, it remains clear that Ashoka's Inscriptions represent the earliest corpus of royal inscriptions in the Indian subcontinent, and therefore prove to be a very important innovation in royal practices. Until the Ashokan inscriptions were discovered and deciphered, stories about Ashoka were based on the legendary accounts of his life and not strictly on historical facts.
These legends were found in Buddhist textual sources such as the text of Ashokavadana. The Ashokavadana is a subset of a larger set of legends in the Divyavadana , though it could have existed independently as well.
Following are some of the legends narrated in the Ashokavadana about Ashoka:. Once when Jaya was playing on the roadside, the Buddha came by.
The young child put a handful of earth in the Buddha's begging bowl as his gift to the saint and declared his wish to one day become a great emperor and follower of the Buddha. Ashoka wanted to become king and so he got rid of the heir by tricking him into entering a pit filled with live coals. He is said to have subjected his ministers to a test of loyalty and then have of them killed for failing it.
He is said to have burnt his entire harem to death when certain women insulted him. He is supposed to have derived sadistic pleasure from watching other people suffer. And for this he built himself an elaborate and horrific torture chamber where he amused himself by torturing other people.
A Chinese traveler who visited India in the 7th century CE, Xuan Zang recorded in his memoirs that he visited the place where the supposed torture chamber stood.
Ashoka is said to have started gifting away the contents of his treasury to the Buddhist sangha. His ministers however were scared that his eccentricity would be the downfall of the empire and so denied him access to the treasury. As a result, Ashoka started giving away his personal possessions and was eventually left with nothing and so died peacefully. At this point it is important to note that the Ashokavadana being a Buddhist text in itself sought to gain new converts for Buddhism and so used all these legends.
Devotion to the Buddha and loyalty to the sangha are stressed. Such texts added to the perception that Ashoka was essentially the ideal Buddhist monarch who deserved both admiration and emulation. According to Buddhist legend, particularly the Mahaparinirvana , the relics of the Buddha had been shared among eight countries following his death. This story is amply depicted in the reliefs of Sanchi and Bharhut.
This scene is depicted on the tranversal portion of the southern gateway at Sanchi. According to Indian historian Romila Thapar, Ashoka emphasized respect for all religious teachers, and harmonious relationship between parents and children, teachers and pupils, and employers and employees.
As a Buddhist emperor, Ashoka believed that Buddhism is beneficial for all human beings as well as animals and plants, so he built a number of stupas , Sangharama , viharas , chaitya , and residences for Buddhist monks all over South Asia and Central Asia.
According to the Ashokavadana, he ordered the construction of 84, stupas to house the Buddha's relics.
According to the Mahavamsa XII, 1st paragraph ,  in the 17th year of his reign, at the end of the Third Buddhist Council , Ashoka sent Buddhist missionaries to nine parts of the world eight parts of Southern Asia, and the "country of the Yonas Greeks " to propagate Buddhism. Ashoka also invited Buddhists and non-Buddhists for religious conferences.
He inspired the Buddhist monks to compose the sacred religious texts, and also gave all types of help to that end. Ashoka also helped to develop viharas intellectual hubs such as Nalanda and Taxila. Ashoka helped to construct Sanchi and Mahabodhi Temple. Ashoka also gave donations to non-Buddhists.
As his reign continued his even-handedness was replaced with special inclination towards Buddhism. Ashoka also helped to organise the Third Buddhist council c. Emperor Ashoka's son, Mahinda, also helped with the spread of Buddhism by translating the Buddhist Canon into a language that could be understood by the people of Sri Lanka. The VIth Rock Edict about "oral orders" reveals this. It was later confirmed that it was not unusual to add oral messages to written ones, and the content of Ashoka's messages can be inferred likewise from the XIIIth Rock Edict: They were meant to spread his dhammavijaya, which he considered the highest victory and which he wished to propagate everywhere including far beyond India.
There is obvious and undeniable trace of cultural contact through the adoption of the Kharosthi script, and the idea of installing inscriptions might have travelled with this script, as Achaemenid influence is seen in some of the formulations used by Ashoka in his inscriptions.
This indicates to us that Ashoka was indeed in contact with other cultures, and was an active part in mingling and spreading new cultural ideas beyond his own immediate walls.
In his rock edicts, Ashoka states that he had encouraged the transmission of Buddhism to the Hellenistic kingdoms to the west and that the Greeks in his dominion were converts to Buddhism and recipients of his envoys:. Now it is conquest by Dhamma that Beloved-of-the-Gods considers to be the best conquest. And it conquest by Dhamma has been won here, on the borders, even six hundred yojanas 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.
Here in the king's domain among the Greeks, the Kambojas, the Nabhakas, the Nabhapamktis, the Bhojas, the Pitinikas, the Andhras and the Palidas, everywhere people are following Beloved-of-the-Gods' instructions in Dhamma. Even where Beloved-of-the-Gods' envoys have not been, these people too, having heard of the practice of Dhamma and the ordinances and instructions in Dhamma given by Beloved-of-the-Gods, are following it and will continue to do so.
Some Hellenistic philosophers, such as Hegesias of Cyrene , who probably lived under the rule of King Magas , one of the supposed recipients of Buddhist emissaries from Asoka, are sometimes thought to have been influenced by Buddhist teachings. 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 .
Some Greeks Yavana may have played an administrative role in the territories ruled by Ashoka. The Girnar inscription of Rudradaman records that during the rule of Ashoka, a Yavana Governor was in charge in the area of Girnar , Gujarat , mentioning his role in the construction of a water reservoir.
Ashoka's military power was strong, but after his conversion to Buddhism, he maintained friendly relations with three major Tamil kingdoms in the South—namely, Cheras , Cholas and Pandyas —the post-Alexandrian empire, Tamraparni , and Suvarnabhumi.
His edicts state that he made provisions for medical treatment of humans and animals in his own kingdom as well as in these neighbouring states. He also had wells dug and trees planted along the roads for the benefit of the common people.
Ashoka's rock edicts declare that injuring living things is not good, and no animal should be sacrificed for slaughter. He imposed a ban on killing of "all four-footed creatures that are neither useful nor edible", and of specific animal species including several birds, certain types of fish and bulls among others. He also banned killing of female goats, sheep and pigs that were nursing their young; as well as their young up to the age of six months.
He also banned killing of all fish and castration of animals during certain periods such as Chaturmasa and Uposatha. Ashoka also abolished the royal hunting of animals and restricted the slaying of animals for food in the royal residence. The wheel has 24 spokes which represent the 12 Laws of Dependent Origination and the 12 Laws of Dependent Termination.
The most visible use of the Ashoka Chakra today is at the centre of the National flag of the Republic of India adopted on 22 July , where it is rendered in a Navy-blue color on a White background, by replacing the symbol of Charkha Spinning wheel of the pre-independence versions of the flag.