Was Asoka An Enlightened Ruler Essay

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Many people may say that Asoka was a ruthless conqueror because of his conquest of Kalinga which was a bloody battle where many people died and many more were driven out of their country, but I bet the evidence I will show you will make you believe he was an enlightened ruler. From 268 BCE to 232 BCE Asoka was the ruler of the Mauryan Empire, which is now known as India. During that time many of his actions shows that he was enlightened. First, the conquest of Kalinga which many people think was ruthless was something that the Mauryan people needed so I believe that battle was one of an enlightened ruler rather than a ruthless conqueror. Asoka can also be considered an enlightened ruler because he went on a pilgrimage looking for a teacher and after finding a Buddhist monk and following his instructions he was able to understand history, reject violence, and form ideas that had never been thought of before. My final reason for saying Asoka was an enlightened ruler is because of the rock edicts, the pillar edicts, and the Asoka Chakra. As you will see later on they tell us a lot about who Asoka really was. Evidence shows that the conquest of Kalinga where 100,000 people were…show more content…
Doc C states “And there the power of ideas and the power of the state came together in a uniquely Indian way. [It was] a rejection of the path of violence [and] of a whole way of understanding history”. While on his pilgrimage Asoka must have realized he had plenty and the people around him did not have enough because he gave valuable gifts to those who needed them. During this time Asoka talked with neighboring cities about good behavior and the right way to rule. Doc C shows enlightenment during this time with the statement “forming in his mind now was a political order the sort of which had never been conceived of before in the history of the
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