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Ashoka, an old Indian tsar from the dynasty of Maurya, ruled the empire (in 268 — 232 BC) from Afghanistan to Madras. The glory about him was carried far beyond India. The legends were created about Ashoka and his activity in which his merit in Buddhism distribution became especially famous. These Buddhist legends were used by many countries of Asia. Ashoka’s rule changed India in the way that the state Mauryev reached a special power during his rule; the empire extended territorially and became one of the largest in the ancient East.

Having subordinated to himself whole India, except for the farthest South, Ashoka started to carry out the program of reforms. He encouraged the construction of irrigational systems and medicine development, constructed roads and caravanserais, softened the severe system of justice which had remained from the former governors. According to the quickly extended ideas of non-violence, Ashoka forbade the sacrifices connected with the murder of animals and a slaughter of some types of cattle for food. Special officials were appointed to supervise over fulfilling the norms of Dharma by the citizens. Their duties included the encouragement of kind human relations among the people and the fight against an arbitrariness of the officials. Patronizing the Buddhism “Ashoka did not fall to fanaticism and pursued the policy of the religious tolerance throughout almost all his rule”.

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Ashoka worked hard, especially for the distribution of education on the earth. Nalanda, the most known university of that time, was the education center in Magadkha – it was founded by tsar Ashoka. The students of that university were very much respected. All the money from the state treasury was spent on people’s welfare. He developed agriculture, trade and various crafts. The channels for irrigation and gateways for trading ships were under construction as trade was generally carried out on waterways at that time. Ashoka laid roads on the whole country to help the growth of trade and the development of various crafts. For the benefit of travelers, he planted trees from both parties of the road. Wells were dug, shelters were built, and rest houses were constructed.

The whole life of tsar Ashoka was devoted to the benefit of others. He worked hard without rest and taught people to live fairly, and according to Dharma, honestly and morally. The country was in peace. There were social meetings where people from all the castes and estates gathered, communicated freely and did not feel any difference among them. There was a free medical care – both for people and for animals. Ashoka was the first in the world who constructed hospitals for treatment of animals. He took herbs and various fruit trees from certain places and planted them where they were needed. In one of the inscriptions, he expressed his desire for the inhabitants of the woods to live in his empire happily.

Ashoka not only thought of happiness of the citizens, but also aspired to bring happiness to the whole mankind. He wished to win hearts of people and to serve the world through Dharma, through a good will and kind acts. He decided to direct all the efforts, all the power and richness on fulfillment of this purpose. The first thing which was made by Ashoka in Dharma was the distribution of pilgrimage among people. It occurred two years after the Kalinga war. His pilgrimage began with his visit to Sambodkhi, a holy place where Buddha had left for nirvana. He visited also other holy places during numerous pilgrimages. Ashoka explained the purpose of the pilgrimage as: “… to meet brahmen and shramen and to do them gifts, to meet the elders and to present them with gold, to meet people and to preach the Dharma law, to talk about the Dharma” (Pletcher, 2010). These were important purposes for him. Ashoka made for the distribution of the Buddhist doctrine much more than any of the previous governors. He forced the citizens to be guided by moral commandments of Buddha: to be always fair and to show to other people love and compassion. He declared that everybody should obey parents, respect any life, always tell the truth and render honor to the teachers. He not only constructed Buddhist temples and monasteries across the whole India but also created clinics for people and animals, planted a number of gardens. Ashoka even condemned the war having firmly declared that the only thing which was worth conquering was Dharma, the doctrine of the Buddha.

Ashoka’s rule changed India in the way that the state Mauryev reached special power during his rule; the empire extended territorially and became one of the largest in the ancient East. His twenty-eight years of rule were one of the brightest episodes in the uneasy history of mankind. He organized digging of wells and planting of shady trees everywhere in India. He built hospitals and planted gardens for people as well as gardens for cultivation of herbs. He created the ministry which cared for welfare aboriginals and the strange people of India. He created conditions for women’s education. He made generous donations to Buddhist monks and induced them to a more in-depth study of their own literature as distortions and superstitions in the clear and simple Doctrine of the Great Indian Teacher (Buddha) were very quickly collected. The missionaries sent by tsar Ashoka were in Kashmir, Persia, Ceylon and Alexandria. There was Ashoka, the greatest of tsars, who outstripped the time. Unfortunately, he did not leave the successor or the organization of people which would continue his work, and in a century after his death, great days of his rule became a nice memory of the destroyed and breaking-up India.

Today, the thought consoles and inspires that there was, at least, one great governor, well-known in history who found courage, trust and vision to attach the doctrine about non-violence, peace and love to the management of the extensive empire, in internal and foreign affairs. Ashoka was the great Buddhist emperor of India (the III century BC), “beloved-of-the- Gods” as he was called.

Code: writers15

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