Asoka DBQ

Decent Essays
Asoka: Ruthless Conqueror or Enlightened Ruler? Prior to the ruling of Emperor Ashoka, kings, emperors, and rulers were rarely thought to be representations of God. Ashoka was the ruler of the Mauryan Empire which stood in India from 273 BCE to 232 BCE. The Mauryan Empire included most of India's grounds as well as what is now known today as Bangladesh and Pakistan. Once conquering Kalinga, Asoka sought to find a Guru, seeking enlightenment. After sitting beneath the Bodhi tree, Asoka became a more fulfilling leader. Throughout Asoka's life, he had proven himself to be an enlightened ruler by seeking Buddha, creating the Asokan edicts, and acting out on his best interests for his people. Asoka quickly became converted to Buddhism as a…show more content…
The edicts are Asoka's messages that have traveled far and wide with Asoka being loved by the Gods. Asoka was instilling this into the minds of the people of his empire but Asoka was confident enough to hold himself to high standards and was well prepared to take on the responsibilities of being a God-like-figure to the people. Document E also states that, “The Beloved of the Gods believes that one who does wrong should be forgiven as far as it is possible to forgive him.” This made Asoka feel as though the war he created was acceptable because he believes everyone should find it possible to forgive him as he sought Buddha and perched beneath the Bodhi tree. As a result of the Kalinga war, Asoka was converted to Buddhism. Throughout his ruling of the Mauryan Empire, Asoka set extremely high ideals for himself, the ideals of power and authority balanced with peace. With the creation of his 33 edicts, he taught people to live, emphasized compassion towards animals and nature, and spread teachings to strengthen family ties along with the existing social classes (document F). After the war concluded, Asoka spent much of his time trying to make-up for his “mistakes” of the Kalinga war. In his edicts, Asoka vows to care for his people (document D). “Asoka's pillars of stone containing the inscriptions speak magnificent words...” (document F). Asoka also devoted himself to spread the teachings of Buddha to the people after discovering the enlightenment Buddha's teachings
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