This preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.View Full Document
Unformatted text preview: Darren Pinder HIS 008 Paper #1 Feb 4, 2010 The Spread of Dhamma Asoka, at first, was a violent king. For the first eight years of his reign, Asoka waged constant war campaigning all over the India. He had inherited a sizable empire and expanded it to include most of the Indian subcontinent. His campaigns also garnered him areas from the current-day borders of Iran and Afghanistan in the west to Bangladesh and the Burmese border in the east. However we see an abrupt change in his ideals after his bloody campaign in 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…” 1 . It is believed that he converts to Buddhism and throws his violent ambitions away. Today, we would not know who Asoka is if he merely abided by the teachings of Buddha. Asoka was the first king of the Mauryan dynasty who accepted Buddhism not only as his personal religion but also attempted to establish it as his state’s official religion. Asoka followed a religious policy of his own and is remembered for his famous policy of "dhamma”. Asoka was the one man in history who singlehandedly accomplished the most progress in promoting his own religion. After converting into Buddhism, Asoka spread the teachings and knowledge of the Buddhist scriptures all around his empire and to parts outside of it using messengers as well as national landmarks called edicts....
View Full Document
- Spring '08
- Buddhism, Ashoka the Great, Asoka