Asoka, the King of Magadha, ruled around 200 BC and were listed on the Bible Timeline Chart during that period. Magadha is a kingdom that is made up of several districts including Nalanda, Nawadah, Gaya, Patna and some areas of Bengal. Some boundaries make up this kingdom such as the River Ganges, River Champa, Vindhya mountains and River Sone. Anga was also a part of its boundary during the time of the Buddha.
The kingdom was the center of religion and culture. During 500 BC, it witnessed urbanization, and Buddhism began to flourish. The culture of Magadha is evident in Jainism and Buddhism, and these religions involved some of the features of the kingdom’s rich culture, particularly the belief in karmic retribution and reincarnation. The belief in obtaining liberation through having a deeper knowledge of oneself was practiced in Greater Magadha’s culture, specifically in the earlier dates in history.
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About Asoka, the Emperor
Emperor Asoka ruled an empire that stretched throughout the subcontinent of India, including modern-day Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. The empire covered a large area, as well as the states of Assam, Andhra, and Kerala. Asoka was considered as one of India’s most powerful emperors, and he was able to facilitate a smooth and successful rule over the land. In Sanskrit, his name can be translated as “without any sorrow”. Hence, in everything he engaged in, he was able to excel well. Asoka was Chandragupta Maurya‘s grandson, who was the kingdom’s famous and respected ruler. His parents were Dharma and Bindusara, the Mauryan emperor. During his childhood, Asoka showed great skill in the academics, Holy Scriptures, and warfare. The bright child was well-loved and look up to by several people in the kingdom because of his unique gifts and intelligence. At the time of his father’s death, his older brother named Suman took his place as king. However, most of the ministers realized that Asoka was more capable of ruling. Thus, they helped him gain control of the kingdom, which he finally received after a war that lasted for three years. In 273 BC, Asoka was crowned as Magadha’s king.
Asoka the King of Magadha
As a ruler of the land, he was able to ensure a smooth administration over his territories. He was a brave and responsible king who genuinely undertook all of his duties. Asoka served the land for eight years, and he eventually decided to conquer Kalinga. To achieve this goal, he led a powerful army, and this resulted in a harsh battle with Kalinga’s army. The war between two armies occurred on the hills of Dhauli.
Asoka and his army won the battle, but the effects of the war caused him to feel shame and disgust. After this painful experience, Asoka pledged never to take part in any battles again. The image of corpses and children crying because of their parents’ death remained in his mind. The negative feeling that the war brought lingered in his heart, and this caused him to turn to Buddhism for solace.
The king was inspired and overwhelmed by the Buddhist monks’ teachings, and this fueled his desire to spread the philosophies of Buddhism throughout the world. He was the first emperor who developed Buddhist policies in his kingdom.
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