The Emperor Asoka Speaks
All men are my children.
spelled Ashoka (died around 238 BC, India), last major emperor in the
Mauryan dynasty of India. His patronage of Buddhism during his reign
(approx. 265 to 238 BC) furthered the expansion of that religion
throughout India and subsequently beyond the frontiers of the country.
Following his bloody conquest of Kalinga (approximately corresponding
to the modern state of Orissa on India's east coast), Asoka renounced
armed conquest and adopted a policy he called conquest by dharma
(principles of right life).
He adopted a policy of respect towards all religions and guaranteed them full freedom to live according to their principles, but also urged them to "increase their inner worthiness," exhorting them to respect the creeds of others, praise the good qualities of others and refrain from vehement adverse criticism of the viewpoints of others.
By dharma he understood the energetic practice of the virtues of honesty, truthfulness, compassion, mercifulness, benevolence, nonviolence, considerate behavior toward all, nonextravagance, nonacquisitiveness and noninjury to animals.
|(Based on Asoka article in The New Encyclopaedia
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