World has seen greatest of Emperors and Samrat Ashok’s name fits in the top of this table. India has seen great Kings who protected the country from internal and external enemies. Chakravarti Ashok Samrat was the greatest native Indian emperor, first ever emperor in recent age to unify India, after successfully merging most of South Asia and Afghanistan. He was the first proponent of Akhand Bharat – believing that a nation that is big, resourceful and administered properly can keep its citizens happy and prosperous. Later he adopted a different religion which emerged from Hindu Dharma, Buddhism, and promoted protection of cows, animals and non-violence. But adoption of other policies of Buddhism shorten the existence of his empire.
- 1 The Creator of World’s Best Stambh, The Exceptional Indian Emperor Ashok The Great
- 2 Beginning of the End of Ashok’s Empire
- 3 Myths of Buddhist Missionaries Busted
- 3.1 Ashok Did Not Removed Caste System from India Since It Never Existed During His Time
- 3.2 Hindus Never Believed in Demolishing Non-Hindu Structures
- 3.3 Missions to Spread Buddhism
- 3.4 Decline of Ashok’s Empire and Maurya Dynasty Due to Atheism
- 3.5 Recommended by Readers:
The Creator of World’s Best Stambh, The Exceptional Indian Emperor Ashok The Great
Early Life of Samrat Ashok The Great
Samrat Ashok was born around 304 BCE in Patliputra, Patna. He was the son of Hindu King Bindusara and Maharani Dharma and grand son of the founder of Maurya Dynasty, Great Chandragupta Maurya.
Prediction and astrology is against the concepts of Buddism but then Buddhism is filled with contradictions, the principles Buddha followed himself but denied to do the same to his disciples. The legend associated with the emperor goes that his birth had been predicted by Buddha, in the story of ‘The Gift of Dust’. Indian Emperor Ashok had only one younger sibling, Vitthashok, but, several elder half-brothers. Right from his childhood days Ashok showed great promise in the field of weaponry skills as well as academics.
The meaning of Ashok in (Asok/Ashoka/Asoka/अशोक) Sanskrit is ‘without sorrow’, the one whom sadness cannot overcome. He was also few of the Kings who had different names due to affection and superiority of his leadership skills; Samrat Chakravarti (emperor of emperors), Devānāmpriya (the beloved of god), Priyadarśin (He who regards everyone with affection).
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In the early life as an emperor, Ashok engaged in war with different states. He was very short tempered person. At that time he was called ‘ChandaAshok’, which means “Ashok the Fierce”. Ashok quickly grew into an excellent warrior general and an astute statesman. His command on the Mauryan army started growing day by day and because of this, his elder half-brothers became suspicious of him being favored by Bindusara as the next emperor. The eldest son of Bindusara, Prince Susima, convinced him to send Ashok to Takshashila province (in Sindh) to control an uprising caused by the formation of different militias. However, the moment Ashok reached the province, the militias welcomed him with open arms and the uprising came to an end without any fight. This particular success of Ashok made his elder brothers, especially Susima, more insecure.
Ashok Became King of Bharat
Susima was not as intelligent and brave as Ashok but wanted to become next King so he started inciting Bindusara against Ashok, who was then sent into exile by the emperor. Ashok went to Kalinga, where he met a fisherwoman named Kaurwaki. He fell in love with her and later, made Kaurwaki his wife. Soon, the province of Ujjain started witnessing a violent uprising. Emperor Bindusara called back Ashok from the exile and sent him to Ujjain. The prince was injured in the ensuing battle and was treated by Buddhist monks and nuns. It was in Ujjain that Ashok first came to know about the life and teachings of Buddha. There are many legends that monks used his injuries to their advantage (like modern day christian missionaries utilize hospitals to convert their non-christian patients into Christianity) and convinced Buddhist nurse Devi to influence Ashok on Buddhism using evangelism methods. Buddhist monks unsuccessfully persuaded Ashok to adopt Buddhism and take responsibility in spreading Buddhism across India. Later while undergoing treatment in Ujjain, he married Devi.
In the following year, Bindusura became seriously ill and was literally on his deathbed. A group of ministers, led by Radhagupta, called upon Ashok to assume the crown. In the fight that followed his accession, Ashok attacked Pataliputra, now Patna, and killed all his brothers, including Susima. After he became the King, Ashok launched brutal assaults to expand his empire, which lasted for around eight years. After expansion, he proved himself by smoothly administrating his amassed territory, performed all his duties as an able and courageous king. Around this time, his Buddhist queen, Devi, gave birth to Prince Mahindra and Princess Sanghamitra.
Ashok’s Life Changing Incident – Battle of Kalinga
The war of Kalinga (BC 261) was the turning point of his life. After a period of eight years of serving as the king, Ashok planned to seize the territory of Kalinga, the present day Orissa. It is chronicled that one of Ashok’s brothers took refuge at Kalinga, this enraged Ashok, who launched a brutal assault on the province. The whole of the province was plundered and destroyed and thousands of people were killed. He led a huge army and fought a gruesome battle with the army of Kalinga. The battle of Kalinga made him pledge to never wage a war again. The battle took place on the Dhauli hills that are located on the banks of River Daya. Though Ashok emerged victorious at the end, the sight of the battlefield made his heart break with shame, guilt, and disgust. It is said that the battle was so furiously fought that the waters of River Daya turned red with the blood of the slain soldiers.
Samrat Ashok Embraced and Promoted Buddhism Under Influence of His Buddhist Wife Devi
Samrat Ashok followed Vedic principles of administrating his kingdom. It was the Vedic practice to know the source of income of new places added to the kingdom and accordingly allocate resources to it. The administration was based on astute governance laid by his ancestor Kings under guidance of Great Chanakya. So, after the battle of Kalinga was over, King Ashok went on a tour of the cities. He could see nothing except burnt houses and scattered corpses. This was the first time in his life that Emperor Ashok realized the consequences of wars. It is said that even after he had returned to Patliputra, he was haunted by the scenes he saw in Kalinga.
Hindu Kings never forced their wife to change the religion to Hinduism after marriage, such was the freedom of life enjoyed by Hindu Queens unlike cruel wicked terrorist rulers: Akbar, Aurangzeb and Tipu. Ashok’s queen, Devi, was practicing Buddhism, even though she was married to a Hindu King, left him after seeing the brutality at Kalinga. It was opportune time for Buddhist monks, they again persuaded Ashok and he embraced Buddhism under the Buddhist sages, Radhaswami and Manjushri. After adopting Buddhism, Ashok started propagating its principles throughout the world, even as far as ancient Rome and Egypt. So Ashok is also credited with making the first serious attempt to develop an anti-Vedic Buddhist policy and promote the spread of Buddhism across the world.
Beginning of the End of Ashok’s Empire
Spread of Atheism in the form of Buddhism and Concocted Theories to Glorify the Myths
Atheism means not believing in gods. Buddha clearly said that he was not a god, but an awakened one, he meditated and did penance to get nirvana. The Buddha compared his teachings as a raft to get his disciples to the other side of the river. He suggested that once they get to where they need to go, they should abandon this raft because it will just hold them back. This was conflicting thought process; principles which make a good human being cannot be abandoned, even if they are internalized because common human beings are trapped in the materialistic pleasures so the concept of leaving raft given by Buddha is totally wrong. Though the biggest irony is set by Buddha himself who followed all Vedic ways of meditation – including poses, mantras, yogas and self-realization techniques. But when he attained Nirvana, he became critical of few of the Vedic concepts and became proponent of negating the concept of creator (God) and creation (God’s composition) which were informed in the Vedas. Followers of Buddha got confused, and no disciple ever became as ‘awakened’ as Buddha so none of his followers were able to comprehend differentiation of Being Awakened and Concept of God. So most of them became Atheists yet cynical devotees of Buddha. In short, Buddhism emerged from Hinduism through tweaking the concept of God to show uniqueness, thereby labeled by his followers as a new religion. The moot difference that still exists between Hinduism and Buddhism.
After converting to Buddhism, Emperor Ashok built thousands of Stupas and Viharas for Buddhist followers. He almost displaced from following Vedic rituals and traditions, the vital factors to keep his Kingdom prosperous and its civilians happy. One of his stupas, the Great Sanchi Stupa, has been declared as a World Heritage Site by UNECSO. The Ashok Pillar at Sarnath has a four-lion capital, which was later adopted as the national emblem of the modern Indian republic. He promoted the concept of vegetarianism. Even the slaughter or mutilation of animals was abolished in his kingdom. To this extent, he followed realms of Vedas. But when he reversed revering and thanking God then immorality, unscrupulousness, deviousness and corruption crept in the administration of the Ashok’s Empire which finally led to its demise. While Vedic tradition bought rise and expansion of Ashok Empire, Buddhism sowed seeds of death of the same regime. And it existed for mere 48 years. While other emperors of his caliber maintained the legacy that lasted for at least hundred years.
Myths of Buddhist Missionaries Busted
There are two myths which are highly promoted by Buddhist missionaries and conversion brigade – Ashok removed caste system, Ashok stopped demolition of Buddha Stupas.
Let us take a look at first myth Ashok removed caste system
Ashok Did Not Removed Caste System from India Since It Never Existed During His Time
There was no caste system during Samrat Ashok’s rule, the function of Kingdom was purely based on Varna System. If caste system ever persisted then Ashok becoming an Emperor in Maurya dynasty would never had happened. Due to the perils of caste system, offering of throne based on administrative capability was never possible. But it did happened, Ashok was made Emperor based on his merits and not birth. Ashok was son of a daasi* but still he was made a King, this proves that there was no caste system so Ashok revoking this evil system is false. There was complete freedom in ancient India to all citizens on rights to tolerance, equality and culture. *Shudra as per Varna System.
Second myth populated was Ashok stopped demolition of Buddha stupas.
Hindus Never Believed in Demolishing Non-Hindu Structures
Hindus never dismantled any of the structures made by Buddhist Monks. Destruction of structures was always ordered by muslim rulers; whether it was Kailashnath temple or Ajanta Ellora demolition done by Aurangzeb or recent Bamiyan statues of Buddha demolished by Taliban terrorists. All types of destructive activities were executed by muslims in India and across the world. Koran teaches muslims to demolish idol worshiping structures. Vedas taught Hindus to respect the idol as it is the easiest medium to simply connect with the God. Without correct symbol, connection of thoughts to the origin of source is nearly impossible by common Humans.
Demolition of mosques is not sin because it does not have idols in it. But any structure made over dismantled Hindu temples whether it is mosque or tomb can be demolished because they are against the nature of earth and science of building temples.
Hindus never routed to aggression to protect the Dharma of Mankind, Hinduism. Invaders and foriegners when tried to enforce their men-made religion on Hindus. Hindus asked them simple question “Show us How Can Your Religion Be True and Prove us It is Superior and Best of All – Scientifically and Spiritually”. They defined simple rule, if non-Hindus think they are following great religion then they should have debate of Shastragya (शास्त्रज्ञ).
(1) Any one who loses the debate will accept the way of life of the winner
(2) If the loser is Sage or Monk then he should become disciple of the winner
(3) If the debater is not ready to accept the above conditions fearing that their religion is superior cannot be proven in debate then they should leave Bharat (India). This 3rd rule is applicable to all Hindus and non-Hindus.
Such great level playing debate without any battle was the reason that Hinduism always advocated peace and respect towards Gods of not just to Sanatan Dharmis but people of different faiths too. But when the invader resorted to aggression then Hindus replied in the same langauge to teach them lesson of true Dharma. Protection of Dharma is the right of every Hindu.
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Buddha Stupas was never demolished by Hindu Kings. Since common Hindus never objected to practicing of different faiths. Religious conversion was never a method of spreading Hindu Dharma. Hinduism is the only way of life in the world which is never promoted by missionaries like Christianity or Islam or Buddhism. Hindus believe that every human being born are Sanatan Dharmis. The concept of soul, reincarnation and we all souls (now residing in human form) are as ancient as super soul (Supreme Bhagwan Krishna himself) is clearly informed in Vedas. And it were Hindus who first taught this truth about the soul to the world. Religious conversion is done for the body and not the bearer of the mortal body – immortal soul. For Hindus soul is Sanatan Dharmi – protector of morality, virtues and piousness so that we elevate ourselves to the higher planets when we are destined to born in human form after surpassing millions of years as 8.4 million creatures in different life forms. So Hindus never gave importance to conversion, which is very primitive concept introduced to the world by recent religions founded by men and not God. People can revert to Hinduism but they cannot convert because the soul in our body is a Hindu (Sanatan Dharmi).
There is no single evidence found yet which can prove otherwise that Buddhist structures were harmed by Indian rulers, the concocted theories were developed by mughal rulers and later britishers to justify their denigration of Hindu ethos, texts and temples, continuing their massive anti-Vedic drive of decimating Bharat’s native culture.
Not surprising, that even anti-Hindu authors Etienne Lamotte and Romila Thapar, among others, have argued that archaeological evidence in favor of the allegations of persecution of Buddhists are lacking, and that the extent and magnitude of the victimization have been overly exaggerated. When demolition of Buddha structures never happened under Hindu Kings (there is no single proof to suggest so while there are thousands of proofs with Badshahnama confessions that show instead Hindu structures were dismantled) then how Ashok got the opportunity to stop destruction of Buddha Stupas and if Hindu Kings were against Buddha structures then how Ashok and his next generation were able to construct Buddha Stupas. The theory of destruction of Buddha Stupas is totally false and wrong.
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Missions to Spread Buddhism
After the battle of Kalinga, Emperor Ashok was heart broken. Buddhist Monks utilized this time as an opportunity to convince Ashok that his faith is the reason for the bloodshed. Monks were lying and presenting Ashok with farce theories, what Buddhist Monks were doing was conversion method followed by man-made religion followers. They never comprehended the truth that India is the only country in the world which had Vedic concept of Atithi Devo Bhavah (अतिथिदेवो भव – Guest is Like my God) and still India remains the only country to have the highest number of unique sects who follow most different religions ever found on earth. Thanks to the cohesive and harmonious nature of the Hindus. Few of the 23 different non-Hindu religions found in India are: Bahá’í, Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, Jainism, Meivazhi, Sikhism, Zoroastrianism (only country in the world to have most number of Parsis, another Zoroastrian community, who were victims of genocide, r@pe and loot by muslims in persia, they all migrated to India and Hindus welcomed, allowing them to practice their religion). Buddhist monks were eager to pounce on the opportunity offered by Samrat Ashok, after he converted to Buddhism. Special decorated rooms were created for Buddhist monks and emperor gradually started paying attention to the suggestions of monks on administrating his kingdom. The third council of Buddhism was held under the patronage of Emperor Ashok. He also supported the Vibhajjavada sub-school of the Sthaviravada sect, now known as the Pali Theravada. He sent his missionaries to the following places where it was hardly successful:
- Kashmir – Gandhara Majjhantika
- Mahisamandala (Mysore) – Mahadeva
- Vanavasi (Tamil Nadu) – Rakkhita
- Aparantaka (Gujarat and Sindh) – Yona Dhammarakkhita
- Maharattha (Maharashtra) – Mahadhammarakkhita
- “Country of the Yona” (Bactria/ Seleucid Empire) – Maharakkhita
- Himavanta (Nepal) – Majjhima
- Suvannabhumi (Thailand/ Myanmar) – Sona and Uttara
- Lankadipa (Sri Lanka) – Mahamahinda
His missionaries also went to these places where the conversion to Buddhism failed miserably:
- Seleucid Empire (Middle Asia)
- Cyrene (Libya)
- Epirus (Greece and Albania)
Decline of Ashok’s Empire and Maurya Dynasty Due to Atheism
Ashok’s Empire was followed for 50 years by a succession of weaker kings. The decline started due to over reliance on failed Buddhism policy – Pacifism, Atheism and Abandonment – to manage the Kingdom. Brihadrata, the last ruler of the Mauryan dynasty, held territories that had shrunk considerably from the time of emperor Ashok.
The territorial shrinkage of future Kings after emperor Ashok deteriorated to an area which was not even equivalent to original Maurya Dynasty founded by Chandragupta Maurya
After failing to convert devout Hindus who were adamant believers of Vedas and scientific Hindu customs and texts. Ashok made Buddhism his state religion. Later he was appointed as ‘Dharma Mahapatro’ to propagate Buddhism all over Asia. He sent his son Mahinda and daughter Sanghamitra to Ceylon (Sri Lanka) for spreading Buddhism.
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He build Vedic symbol lion stambh’s to spread Buddhism, these stambh’s are now called Ashok Stambh. Ashok Stambh of sarnath was adopted as national emblem of India. Besides stambh, Ashok had build many constructions-Dhamek Stupa ( Sarnath, Uttar Pradesh), Bharhut stupa ( Madhya Pradesh), Mahabodhi Temple (Bihar). After ruling over the Indian subcontinent for a period of approximately 40 years, the Great Emperor Ashok left for the holy abode in 232 BC. After his death, his empire lasted for just fifty more years due to inclination on policies of Buddhism.
The fall of the Mauryas left the Khyber Pass unguarded, and a wave of foreign invasion followed, the major acceptance of Buddhism among the Maurya royals made India a fragile state.
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