Summary Of Axoka's 13th Edicts

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Aśoka’s 13th edict starts by mentioning Aśoka’s victory over the kingdom of Kalinga. Calling him Devanampiya (Beloved of the Gods), and Piyadarsi (One who looks at others with love), the edict goes on to enumerate the number of captives and casualties, both human and animal, in the Kalinga war. The number of captives is stated to be one hundred and fifty thousand. The number of men and animals killed in action is placed at one hundred thousand, and many times this number are said to have perished. Such numbers act as a prelude to revealing the fact that Aśoka has given up violent conquest, and has devoted himself to Dhamma. The magnitude of such numbers brings the reader to think in grief, over the huge losses, who feels relief almost instantly…show more content…
This immediately sets Aśoka’s idea of a non-violent rule into place. Aśoka’s Dhamma is indeed, built on the foundations of universal love and non-violence. The edicts elucidates how any casualty in a war directly affects the life of Brahmanas and Sramanas, who live by firm morals, obedience and devotion. The passage explains how a loss to/of a relative of the aforementioned, is their own loss, due to the affection they had for each other. In this light, Aśoka says that this fate is shared by all classes of men in war, and is considered deplorable. The next verse indicates that there is no person not devoted to a certain sect, and hence, the loss of even a thousandth part of those in the Kalinga war was considered appalling. This verse shows how Aśoka believed in respecting all religions/sects equally, as his views towards loss are not necessarily biased towards the Brahmanas and Sramanas, despite them being the sects exclusively mentioned in the edict. Aśoka is seen to care for all segments of society, and harmonious living among these sects is seen to be emphasized upon in his edicts on

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