Ujjain was the capital of Avanti. It
was a beautiful city, and the home of knowledge, wealth and art. Within
a few days of taking over the administration of Avanti, Ashoka became an
excellent statesman. I t was when he was in this city tha he married Shakya
Kumari, the beautiful daughter of a merchant of Vidishanagar. She gave
birth to two children, mahendra and Sanghamitra.
Ashokas volour, courage and wisdom
were soon tested. The citizens of Taxila rose in revolt against the rule
of Magadha. Bindusaras eldest son, Susheema (also called could not put
down the rebellion. Bindusara sent Ashoka to suppress the revolt. Ashoka
to suppress the revolt. Ashoka did not have enough forces but yet moved
towards the city boldly.
A suprising thing happened. The citizens
of Taxila never thought of fighting against Ashoka. They gave him a grand
They pleaded, "We do not hate either
Bindusara or the royal family. The wicked ministers are responsible for
our revolt. We misunderstood you because of their evil advice. We are not
rebels. Please forgive us."
Ashoka understood the real situation
and punished those responsible for the revolt. He stayed there for some
days and gave the people some advice in simple and beautiful words. When
complete peace had been established in the city, Ashoka returned to his
Days and years passed.
Bindusara grew old. His body became
weak. His health decllined.
Among his ministers one minister by
name Radhagupta was prominent. He and the others began to think about the
future welfare of the empire.
Bindusaras eldest son was Susheema.
According to custom he should have succeeded to the throne.
But the rovolt of Taxila had exposed
Besides, he had begun to behave with
The council of ministers felt that
the empire would suffer and lose peace, and prosperity and that thee would
be no justice in the land if Susheema was crowned king. Therefore they
sent word to Ashoka that his father was ill and that he should rush to
the bed side of his sick father.