The miseries and deaths inflicted on the people during the Kalinga War brought about a great change in the personal and political life of Ashoka. He gave up the policy of conquest by force. After the war, Ashoka stopped hunting and eating meat on certain days. He also abandoned the life of luxury. Ashoka was inspired by the doctrines of Buddhism. He thus declared Buddhism as the state religion. He followed the policy of Dhamma. In this article, we have written a detailed note on Ashoka’s Dhamma.
As a result of Ashoka’s Dhamma, people began to follow a policy of religious tolerance and began to live a moral and ethical life.
Principals of Ashoka’s Dhamma
- To respect elders and to love children
- To follow ahimsa or non-violence
- To do good deeds as this will reap benefits in the next life
- To respect all religions
- Not to perform unnecessary rituals
Steps Taken by Asoka to spread Buddhism
- As wars were no longer fought by the kingdom, many welfare works were undertaken which helped people to live a peaceful life. Ashoka took the following steps to spread Buddhism far and wide. These were
- Many Dhamma Mahamatras were appointed by Ashoka for propagating Buddhism.
- Ashoka patronized Buddhism and sent his son and daughter to preach Buddhism in Ceylon (Sri Lanka).
- He banned the slaughter of animals for the royal kitchen. Fifty-six days in a year were fixed when animals could not be slaughtered throughout his kingdom.
- Ashoka’s orders were inscribed on edicts. These stone edicts spread the message of peace, nonviolence, and universal brotherhood among the people.
- Missionaries were sent to countries such as Nepal, Egypt, Syria, and Myanmar to spread Buddhism.
- Ashoka convened the Third Buddhist Council in his kingdom to resolve differences in Buddhism.
- Ashoka himself followed the policy of religious tolerance. People in his kingdom were not forced to accept Buddhism and were tolerant of other religions.
Also, Read The Mauryan Empire