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ASHOKA
The Seeds of Dharma

We read in history about many kings who put up inscriptions about their invasions, charities, donations and the extension of their territories. But it is only Ashoka who got inscriptions carved on rocks and pillars, which lead people from untruth to truth, from death to immortality and from darkness to light. To this day they are like lights of wisdom. The laws of Dharma are like the seeds of virtue sown in the hearts of the people. They are steps leading to salvation.

In order to foster greater understanding regarding Dharma, Ashoka took a bold and firm step. He wished to show that all religions teach the same path of virtue. In one of his inscriptions Ashoka says, 'We must respect the followers of other religions in every way. By doing so we can help the growth of our religion and we can help other religions also. If we act in a different way it will harm our religion and also other religions. The man who wants his religion to spread rapidly and honors only his religion and speaks ill of other religions will harm the interests of his own religion. The power of all religions should grow. Devanampriya does not consider charity and worship more important than this.' He appointed officers called 'Dharma - Mahamatras' in order to spread these ideas among the people. These officers met people of different religions and lived among them; they helped to remove the mistaken ideas they had about other religions and to know what was good in them. Often the money set apart for religious purposes in spent otherwise. Sometimes though it seems to have been spent for religious purpose, selfish people pocket it. It was the duty of the Dharma - Mahamatras to see that the money meant for religious purposes was spent properly. They toured the empire and visited the courts of justice also. They set right the errors in the conduct of affairs and in the awards of punishments. Such officers do not seem to have been appointed anywhere else in the history of the world. Besides these, other officers also toured the empire once in five years according to the orders of the emperor and spread the Dharma among the people.


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Ashoka - He was an Ideal Ruler, who dedicated himself to the victories of righteousness
About Ashoka
Introduction
Who Was 'Priyadarshi'?
The Emperors
At Taxila
Ashoka Becomes King
Kalinga
The Kalinga War- A Change Of Heart
Matchless In History
The Noblest Victory
Spreading The Message   Of Dharma
You are Here! The Seeds Of Dharma
A Religious Conference
The Pillar At Sarnath
The People's Friend
Vanquisted Kalinga
Vigilant On All Sides
An Old Age Of Sorrow
The Brightest Star In The History Of The World
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