Emperor Ashokas Biography

Emperor Ashokas Biography





Emperor Ashoka’s Biography

Emperor Ashoka who was also referred to as Asoka the Great was the ruler of the Mauryan Empire. He was born in 304 B.C and his name means, “without any sorrow”. He was an Indian ruler and also a promoter of Buddhism. During his reign, he built shrines and monasteries and also inscribed Buddhist writings on pillars and rocks. He was an avid Buddhist practitioner such that he sent his family on pilgrimage to different places in the world including his son who carried Buddhism to Sri Lanka. Despite the prosperity of Buddhism in the Empire during his reign, Asoka tolerated and respected other religions. Asoka became the emperor of the Empire in 268 B.C and died in 233 B.C.

Ashoka’s life is a great inspiration to many as he excelled in basically everything he did and in whatever he was taught. Under his reign, the Mauryan Empire became united as one single entity and had smooth administration where he performed his duties courageously. He was an able king, a benevolent ruler and a man of vision and unity.

Asoka was a cruel leader at first as he led a huge army and fought a battle with the Kalinga army which took place in Dhauli hills on the banks of River Daya. However, he had a sudden change of heart later in his reign after he saw numerous corpses lying across the battle field. The sight at the battle field made him heartbroken with disgust, guilt and shame and thus, pledged never to fight a battle again. This made him to convert to Buddhism as a way of seeking solace and got inspired by the Buddhist teachings and philosophies.

From Emperor Ashoka’s biography, it is unexpected that such a cruel leader would turn to be an avid religious practitioner imparting the Buddhist knowledge all over the world by making inscriptions on pillars and rocks until his death in 233 B.C.