Asoka Maurya Dbq Analysis

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The place is India, the year is 268 BCE and Asoka Maurya has just been crowned king of the Mauryan empire. Will he be an enlightened ruler, or a ruthless conqueror? Asoka was an enlightened ruler, because he tried to copy the Buddha, he was obsessed with the spread of Buddhism, and he was guilty about the battle of Kalinga. First, when he found out the devastating effect the battle of Kalinga had had on his empire, he tried to emulate the Buddha: ”Asoka found within himself… Buddha had found enlightenment” (Doc C), says historian Michael Wood. This shows that Asoka wanted to amend his ways and find peace with himself and what he had done. In his own Pillar Edict XIII, he said, “The Beloved of the Gods… possible to forgive him.” (Doc E)This…show more content…
Historian Michael WOod describes the feeling as “a stirring… a meaning for remorse” (Doc C). This means that Asoka felt remorseful in his conquest, and that means he could not have been ruthless if he did feel sorry. And more than that, “Asoka ceased to indulge in wars of aggression.” Not only did Asoka feel guilty, he stopped fighting at all. Asoka didn’t want to suffer any more guilt or pain for his lost soldiers, and he accomplished that by halting any further acts of violence. Some may argue otherwise, that Asoka was a ruthless bloodthirsty conqueror. Well, would a ruthless, bloodthirsty conqueror stop taking over land because people were dying? Would a ruthless, bloodthirsty conqueror stop taking land because he wanted to be fair? Would a ruthless, bloodthirsty conqueror stop conquering just for the good of the people? The answer to every single one of these questions is no, and that is the reason Asoka is an enlightened ruler: He did the exact opposite of what a ruthless conqueror would do. In conclusion, Asoka Maurya of the Mauryan empire was an enlightened ruler because of his Buddhist beliefs and his rejection of violence.This could change the way one looks at their leaders and respects them
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