Asoka Sentence Examples
What is greatly needed is a new edition of this work including the Asoka inscriptions discovered during the last twenty years, and a similar edition of the other inscriptions.
In 272 B.C. he in turn was succeeded by Asoka, the Buddhist emperor, the religious side of whose reign has already been described.
Asoka recognized proselytism by peaceful means as a state duty.
According to tradition it was invaded by an Aryan-speaking colony from the valley of the Ganges in the 6th century B.C. It received Buddhism from north India in the time of Asoka, and has had considerable importance as a centre of religious culture which has influenced Burma and Siam.
It seems probable that the Vinaya and the four Nikayas were put substantially into the shape in which we now have them before the council at Vesali, a hundred years after the Buddha's death; that slight alterations and additions were made in them, and the miscellaneous Nikaya and the Abhidhamma books completed, at various times down to the third council under Asoka; and that the canon was then considered closed.Advertisement
Asoka was the grandson of Chandragupta, the founder of the Maurya (Peacock) dynasty, who had wrested the Indian provinces of Alexander the Great from the hands of Seleucus, and he was the son of Bindusara, who succeeded his father Chandragupta, by a lady from Champa.
Descendants of Asoka continued, however, to subsist in Magadha as subordinate rajas for many centuries; and as late as the 8th century A.D.
North-west of this another Asoka pillar has been discovered, recording his visit to the cairn erected by the Sakyas over the remains of Konagamana, one of the previous Buddhas or teachers, whose follower Gotama the Buddha had claimed to be.
Here arose the successive dynasties of Asoka, of the Guptas, and of Harshavardhana, which for a thousand years exercised imperial sway over the greater part of India.
The first empire, called Maurya,reached its greatest extent in the time of Asoka (264-227 B.C.), who ruled from Afghanistan to Madras.Advertisement
On the coins struck in India, the well-known Indian alphabet (called Brahmi by the Indians, the older form of the Devanagari) is used; on the coins struck in Afghanistan and in the Punjab the Kharoshthi alphabet, which is derived directly from the Aramaic and was in common use in the western parts of India, as is shown by one of the inscriptions of Asoka and by the recent discovery of many fragments of Indian manuscripts, written in Kharoshthi, in eastern Turkestan (formerly this alphabet has been called Arianic or Bactrian Pali; the true name is derived from Indian sources).
These works of the oldest period, the two centuries and a half, between the Buddha's time and that of Asoka, were followed by a voluminous literature in the following periods - from Asoka to Kanishka, and from Kanishka to Buddhaghosa, - each of about three centuries.
We can see now that the very event which seemed, in the eyes of the world, to be the most striking proof of the success of the new movement, the conversion and strenuous support, in the 3rd century B.C., of Asoka, the most powerful ruler India had had, only hastened the decline.
About the middle of the 3rd century B.C. Asoka, the king of Magadha or Behar, who reigned from 264 B.C. to 227 B.C., became a zealous convert to Buddhism.
In 246 B.C. Asoka is said 1 to have convened at Pataliputra (Patna) the third Buddhist council of one thousand elders (the tradition that he actually convened it rests on no actual evidence that we possess).Advertisement
Asoka, however, not only took measures to spread the religion; he also endeavoured to secure its orthodoxy.
The northern canon, or, as the Chinese proudly call it, the " greater vehicle of the law," includes many later corruptions or developments of the Indian faith as originally embodied by Asoka in the " lesser vehicle," or canon of the southern Buddhists.
The monuments of the great Buddhist monarchs, Asoka and Kanishka, confronted him from the time he neared the Punjab frontier; but so also did the temples of Siva and his " dread " queen Bhima.
On the east, in the Gangetic valley, Chandragupta (320-296 B.C.) firmly consolidated the dynasty which during the next century produced Asoka (264-228 or 227 B.C.), and established Buddhism throughout India.
After Asoka the Mauryas dwindled away, and the last of them, Brihadratha, was treacherously assassinated in 184 B.C. by his commander-in-chief, Pushyamitra Sunga, who founded the Sunga dynasty.Advertisement
It is not, however, as a conqueror that Kanishka mainly lives on in tradition, but as a Buddhist monarch, second in reputation only to Asoka, and as the convener of the celebrated council of Kashmir already mentioned.
The inscription is of the same type as the Asoka inscriptions, but, in Buhler's opinion (Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, xxx., 1898, p. 389), is older than Asoka's time.
This last institution indeed is not found in the ancient Vinaya, but was almost certainly modelled on the traditional account of the similar assemblies convoked by Asoka and other Buddhist sovereigns in India every fifth year.
The first figure, that of the date of Asoka, is arrived at by the mention in one of his edicts of certain Greek kings, as then living.
It is heard of first as the residence of Asoka (afterwards emperor), when viceroy of, the western provinces.Advertisement
James Prinsep was then devoting his rare genius to the decipherment of the early inscriptions of northern India, especially those of Asoka in the 3rd century B.C. He derived the greatest assistance from Tumour's work not only in historical information, but also as regards the forms of words and grammatical inflexions.
The name here used by the chronicler for Pali is "the Magadhi tongue," by which expression is meant, not exactly the language spoken in Magadha, but the language in use at the court of Asoka, king of Kosala and Magadha.
The existence, a few miles beyond the Nepalese frontier, of an inscribed pillar had been known for some years when, in 1895, the discovery of another inscribed pillar at Nigliva, near by, led to the belief that this other, hitherto neglected, one must also be an Asoka pillar, and very probably the one mentioned by Hsuan Tsang.
It is not possible from the available data to fix the exact date of any of these topes, but it may be stated that the smaller topes are probably of different dates both before and after Asoka, and that it is very possible that the largest was one of three which we are told was erected by Asoka himself.
After the death of the great Buddhist king, Asoka (c. 231), the Maurya empire began to break up, and it was finally destroyed about fifty years later when Pushyamitra Sunga murdered the Maurya king Brihadratha and founded the Sunga dynasty.
King Asoka in the 3rd century B.C. sent Buddhist missionaries from India to the Mediterranean lands; their preaching has, it is true, left little or no trace in our Western records.
Tradition states that Asoka set up 64,000 memorial columns; and the thirty-five inscriptions extant in our own day show how widely these royal sermons were spread over India.
Asoka did not think it enough to convert the inferior races without looking after their material interests.
Antiochus Theos (grandson of Seleucus Nicator) and Asoka (grandson of Chandragupta), who ruled these two monarchies in the 3rd century B.C., made a treaty with each other (256).
The Chola kingdom, like the Pandya, is mentioned by the Sanskrit grammarian Katyayana in the 4th century B.C., and was recognized by Asoka as independent.
On the death of Asoka in 231 B.C. the empire of the Mauryas broke up, and their heritage in the west fell to the Andhra dynasty of the Satavahanas of Paithan on the Godavari, a Dravidian family whose dominion by 200 B.C. stretched across the peninsula from the deltas of the Godavari and Kistna to Nasik and the Western Ghats.
The stone was split into two portions, apparently by lightning, and was inscribed with Pali characters as used in the time of Asoka.
The extent of Asoka's dominion included all India from the thirteenth degree of latitude up to the Himalayas, Nepal, Kashmir, the Swat valley, Afghanistan as far as the Hindu Kush, Sind and Baluchistan.
Such heresies were now corrected; and the Buddhism of southern Asia practically dates from Asoka's council.
The historians who chronicled his march, and the Greek ambassador Megasthenes, who succeeded them (300 B.C.) in their literary labours, bear witness to the predominance of the old faith in the period immediately preceding Asoka.
Megasthenes draws a distinction between the Brahmans (Bpaxµ.aves) and the Sarmanae (Iap,u6.pat), from which some scholars have inferred that the Buddhist Sarmanas were a recognized class fifty years before the council of Asoka.
The inspectors or sixth class of Megasthenes have been identified with Asoka's Mahamatra and his Buddhist inspectors of morals.
Asoka's empire included the greater part of Afghanistan, a large part of Baluchistan, Sind, Kashmir, Nepal, Bengal to the mouths of the Ganges, and peninsular India down to the Palar river.
The authentic history of the south does not begin until the 9th and 10th centuries A.D., though the kingdoms are known to have existed in Asoka's time.
The most ancient mention of the name Pandya occurs in the 4th century B.C., and in Asoka's time the kingdom was inde 1 His era, however, is dated from 606.
The dates of these last are approximately known; and arguing from these dates the date of Asoka's accession has been fixed by various scholars (at dates varying only by a difference of five years more or less) at about 270 B.C. The second figure, the total interval between Asoka's accession and the Buddha's death, is given in the Ceylon Chronicles as 218 years.
Adding these two together, the date of the Buddha's death would be 488 B.C., and, as he was eighty years old at the time of his death, the date of his birth would be 568 B.C. The dates for his death and birth accepted in Burma, Siam and Ceylon are about half a century earlier, namely, 543 and 623 B.C., the difference being in the date of Asoka's accession.
The Niganthas are referred to in one of Asoka's edicts (Corpus Inscriptionum, Plate xx.).
Specified texts or subjects Asoka, rock edicts 1-4, 13.
Senart has collected in his Inscriptions de Piyadasi (Paris, 1881-1886) those inscriptions of Asoka which were known up to the date of his work, subjecting them to a careful analysis, and providing an index to the words occurring in them.
That one is theKatha Vatthu, ascribed to Tissa the son of Moggali,3 who presided over the third council held under Asoka.
A collection of legends about Asoka, included in the Divyavadana, a work composed probably in the ist or 2nd century A.D., tells us (pp. 3 8 9, 39 0) how Asoka, the Buddhist emperor, visited the traditional site of this grove, under the guidance of Upagupta.
The date, the twenty-first year after the formal coronation of Asoka, would be 248 B.C. The name Piyadassi is the official epithet always used by Asoka in his inscriptions when speaking of himself.
The exact site of this garden has been recently rediscovered, marked by an inscribed pillar put up by Asoka (see J.R.A.S., 1898).
After thirty-seven years of war he set himself to emulate Asoka and became a patron of art and literature.
The name Piyadassi is the official epithet always used by Asoka in his inscriptions when speaking of himself.
The latter give the names of the donors of particular portions of the architectural ornamentation, and most of them are written in the characters used before and after the time of Asoka in the middle of the 3rd century B.C. The monuments are Buddhist, the bas-reliefs illustrate passages in the Buddhist writings, and the inscriptions make use of Buddhist technical terms. Some of the smaller topes give us names of men who lived in the Buddha's time, and others give names mentioned among the missionaries sent out in the time of Asoka.
In this way Kanishka and his Kashmir council became in some degree to the northern or Tibetan Buddhists what Asoka and his council had been to the Buddhists of Ceylon and the south.'
It was also the seat of the Nlaurya Empire, founded by Chandragupta, which extended over all India under Asoka; and, later, of the powerful Gupta dynasty.
His empire rivalled that of Asoka, extending from the Hugli on the east to the Jumna and Chambal on the west, and from the foot of the Himalayas on the north to the Nerbudda on the south.