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Ashoka

Ashoka

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THE EDICTS OF KING ASHOKA
An English rendering by Ven. S. Dhammika
Table of Contents
THE EDICTS OF KING ASHOKA..................................................................................................................1

An English rendering by Ven. S. Dhammika..........................................................................................1 PREFACE................................................................................................................................................1 INTRODUCTION...................................................................................................................................2 THE FOURTEEN ROCK EDICTS.........................................................................................................4 KALINGA ROCK EDICTS....................................................................................................................8 MINOR ROCK EDICTS.......................................................................................................................10 THE SEVEN PILLAR EDICTS............................................................................................................10 THE MINOR PILLAR EDICTS...........................................................................................................13 NOTES...................................................................................................................................................13 BIBLIOGRAPHY..................................................................................................................................16

THE EDICTS OF KING ASHOKA
i
THE EDICTS OF KING ASHOKA
An English rendering by Ven. S. Dhammika
This page copyright \u00a9 2001 Blackmask Online.
http://www.blackmask.com
PREFACE
\u2022
INTRODUCTION
\u2022
THE FOURTEEN ROCK EDICTS
\u2022
KALINGA ROCK EDICTS
\u2022
MINOR ROCK EDICTS
\u2022
THE SEVEN PILLAR EDICTS
\u2022
THE MINOR PILLAR EDICTS
\u2022
NOTES
\u2022
BIBLIOGRAPHY
\u2022

The Wheel Publication No. 386/387
ISBN 955\u221224\u22120104\u22126
Published in 1993
BUDDHIST PUBLICATION SOCIETY
KANDY SRI LANKA
Copyright 1993 Ven. S. Dhammika
DharmaNet Edition 1994
This electronic edition is offered for free distribution
via DharmaNet by arrangement with the publisher. DharmaNet International
P.O. Box 4951, Berkeley CA 94704\u22124951

King Asoka, the third monarch of the Indian Mauryan dynasty, has come to be regarded as one of the most
exemplary rulers in world history. The British historian H.G. Wells has written: "Amidst the tens of
thousands of names of monarchs that crowd the columns of history ... the name of Asoka shines, and shines
almost alone, a star." Although Buddhist literature preserved the legend of this ruler \u2212\u2212 the story of a cruel
and ruthless king who converted to Buddhism and thereafter established a reign of virtue \u2212\u2212 definitive
historical records of his reign were lacking. Then in the nineteenth century there came to light a large number
of edicts, in India, Nepal, Pakistan and Afghanistan. These edicts, inscribed on rocks and pillars, proclaim
Asoka's reforms and policies and promulgate his advice to his subjects. The present rendering of these edicts,
based on earlier translations, offers us insights into a powerful and capable ruler's attempt to establish an
empire on the foundation of righteousness, a reign which makes the moral and spiritual welfare of his
subjects its primary concern. The Australian bhikkhu Ven. S. Dhammika, the compiler of the present work, is
the spiritual director of the Buddha Dhamma Mandala Society in Singapore.

PREFACE

This rendering of King Asoka's Edicts is based heavily on Amulyachandra Sen's English translation, which
includes the original Magadhi and a Sanskrit and English translation of the text. However, many parts of the
edicts are far from clear in meaning and the numerous translations of them differ widely. Therefore, I have
also consulted the translations of C. D. Sircar and D. R. Bhandarkar and in parts favored their interpretations.

THE EDICTS OF KING ASHOKA
1

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