Brightest Star in the history of the world
For thirty-seven years Ashoka ruled
over a vast realm as an able emperor, a skilled lawgiver, a hero who knew
no defeat, a monk among the kings, a noble preacher of Dharma and as a
friend of his subjects. He is unique in the history of mankind.
Ashoka has called himself 'Devanampriya'
and 'Priyadarshi' ion his inscriptions. 'Devanampriya' means the beloved
of the Gods and 'Priyadarshi means one those appearance brings joy. These
names are appropriate to Ashoka's nature. The Gods cannot but love a man
of such virtues. There was no one to check him, no one to punish him if
he did wrong. But he became his own teacher and checked his desires. He
dedicated his life to the happiness and welfare of his people; it is no
wonder that his subjects rejoiced when they saw him.
Some historians say that Ashoka followed
the teachings of Buddhism so devotedly that he himself became a Buddhist
monk. Though he was the emperor he probably stayed in the Viharas often.
When he stayed in the Viharas often. When he stayed in Viharas he must
have fasted like the monk very strictly and must have rigidly observed
religious practices. During his stay there he learnt the teachings of Buddha
in great detail.
Ashoka passed away from this world
two thousand years ago, but his empire of truthfulness, Dharma, nonviolence,
compassion and love of subjects has remained an ideal for the world to
this day. This empire is deathless. Therefore H.G.Wells, an English historian,
has said, "In the history of the world there have been thousands of kings
and emperors who called themselves 'Their Highnesses', 'Their majesties'
and 'Their Exalted Majesties' and so on. They shone for a brief movement
and disappeared. But Ashoka shines and shines brightly like a bright star
even today." This praise is fully merited.