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Transformation Of King Ashoka

Decent Essays
King Ashoka, also known as “Ashoka the Great”, was the beloved third emperor of the ancient Indian Maurya Empire, a predominantly vast Hindu kingdom that stretched all the way from modern-day Afghanistan in the west to Bangladesh in the east, including parts of Iran and most of the Indian sub-continent. Ashoka ruled from approximately 268 BCE to 232 BCE, an era characterized by one of the largest religious expansions in ancient India.2 In 261 BCE, King Ashoka invaded and conquered the neighboring kingdom of Kalinga, in one of the most fiercest and bloodiest battles in ancient Indian history.3 The mass casualties and staggering loss of life caused a profound and drastic change in King Ashoka, as he was so deeply affected by the death and destruction of war. He sought peace/non-violence and found Buddhism, which he embraced whole-heartedly. King Ashoka’s personal journey and transformation not only affected him, but also helped transform an entire empire and inspire a world religion. King Ashoka was both influential and instrumental in the expansion of Buddhism throughout the Maurya Empire and beyond its borders. King Ashoka quickly renounced military expansionism and began to follow the teachings of Buddha and also incorporate Buddhist philosophy, teachings, and principles into his governing style. He ruled fairly and justly, stating that “the power of love is greater than the power of the sword.”4 Initially, Hinduism and Jainism were the dominant religions of the land,
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