Jun 28th, 2015
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In the latter part of the third century B.C. India was rapidly changing. The Mauryan dynasty was expanding across the sub-continent of India and the line of kings which had begun with Chandragupta had lost another of its sons, Bindusara. Bindusara's son Ashoka was the next of the Mauryan kings. The small amount of land left to conquer, Kalinga, was soon taken by Ashoka and with it, the entire Indian sub-continent was made a part of the Mauryan dynasty. Ashoka had finished what Chandragupta had started so many decades earlier. The conquest of the Mauryans had reached its natural climax and Ashoka was now left to deal with managing this new mass of people, beliefs, and languages. Along with a conversion to Buddhism, Ashoka began to promote ideas of tolerance, respect, and good will, ideas that made up his Dhamma, instituted in order to help unify the empire.Many argue Ashoka's motivations for promoting the Dhamma were rooted in attempts to manipulate the empire by ascribing to a set of familiar values, while others cite Ashoka's known inscriptions as true testaments to his own strong moral fiber and honest beliefs. At a time when power would have been all too easy to abuse, Ashoka chose a different path, one that would seek to create a peaceful and tolerant India. Above all, Ashoka's motivations are that of a realist; Rather than ignore the contradiction created by Ashoka's conquering of Kalinga and subsequent disavowal of non-violent acts, I embrace both actions as the ca

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