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ASHOKA
The Noblest Victory

'The victory of Dharma brings with it love and affection. Devanampriya believes that, however small may be the love gained by its victory, it brings ample reward in the other world."

This is what Ashoka has said in one of his inscriptions.

The teaching of Buddha brought peace to Ashoka who was haunted by memories of the agony he had seen in Kalinga.

Buddha's message of nonviolence, kind- ness and love of mankind appealed to the unhappy Ashoka. A disciple ofBuddha. Upagupta initiated him into Buddhism. From that day Ashoka's heart became the home of compassion, right living, love and nonviolence. He gave up hunting and eating meat. He put an end to the killing of animals for the royal kitchen. Realizing that it was not enough if he lived a righteous life, he proclaimed that all his subjects also should live a life of righteousness.

'Of all victories, the victory of Dharma is the noblest. One may win a piece of land by fighting a war. But by kindness, love and pity one can win the hearts of people. The sharp point of the sword spills blood; but from Dharma springs the fountain of love. The victory won by arms brings fleeting joy but the victory of Dharma brings lasting joy'-Ashoka realized this truth. So he taught his subjects this lesson:

'All people should live a life of truthfulness, justice and love. Respect your parents. Treat your teachers and relatives with affection. Be modest in their presence. Give charity. Do not be unkind to animals. No one should think that he end his religion are the greatest. All religions preach the same virtues. Just as it is bad to indulge in self-praise and slandering others, it is bad to condemn other religions. Respect for other religions brings glory to one's own religion.'

Ashoka did not think of the good of only his subjects; he thought of the good of all mankinds'. He wished to win the hearts of people and to serve the world through religion and through good will and good action. He decided to dedicate his energy and all his powers and wealth to this goal.

The first thing that Ashoka did to spread righteousness among his people was to undertake a pilgrimage. It took place two years the Kalinga war. His pilgrimage started with his visit so Sambodhi, the holy place where Gauthama, the Buddha breathed his last. He visited other holy places during the pilgrimage. Ashoka has explained in his own words the purpose of his pilgrimage. 'To meet Brahmins and Shramanas and to give gifts to them. To meet the elders and to honor them with gifts of gold. To meet people and to preach the law of Dharma and to discuss Dharma.' These were the important objects.

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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
You are Here! The Noblest Victory
Spreading The Message   Of Dharma
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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