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8 Principles of Ashoka’s Dhamma: History with definition |

8 Principles of Ashoka’s Dhamma |

Ashoka Dhamma –

In general, Ashoka laid down a code of conduct for the moral upliftment of his subjects called ‘Dhamma’ in his inscriptions. Dhamma is a derivative of the word ‘Dharma’, but it has a special meaning for King Ashoka. The reason Ashoka became famous was because of his teachings on the Dhamma.

In his second pillar inscription, Ashoka himself asks- ‘Kiya chu dhamma?’ (What is Dhamma?). Ashoka himself gives the answer to this question in the second and seventh pillar inscriptions. He enumerates the qualities that make up the Dhamma. We can put them in this way – ‘Apasinve bahukyane dayadane che chye maddesadhave ch.’ i.e. Dhamma.

Principles of Ashoka’s Dhamma –

1. There is little sin (passive).

2. There is a lot of welfare (bahukayane).

3. Have mercy.

4. There is charity.

5. Truthfulness.

6. Purity (think).

7. There is softness (Made).

8. Sadhuta (Sadhwe).

8 Principles of Ashoka’s Dhamma |

History of Chandragupta –

Maurya It is that aspect of religion that deals with the legislature. Ashoka’s religion also has some negative aspects, including the fact that certain demerits are listed. Many obstacles come in the way of the spiritual development of this evil person. The meaning of Asinva can be expressed in the word ‘Asinva’. Ashoka refers to Asinava as a sin in the third pillar inscription. Because of the human "Asinava", he gets distracted from the qualities. These demerits may affect your future in the academy.

1. Vigor

2. Brutality

3. Anger

4. Pride

5. Jealousy.

It is possible to fully implement the Dhamma only when a person is free from harmful doshas, ​​which have their respective qualities. It is important for a man to introspect so that he can become aware of the negative influences that lead him to the path of downfall. Only by experiencing the practice of Dhamma can one develop a deep feeling for it. By following the path of Buddha, you will attain happiness in this life and in the coming births. You will also get abilities that will help you both in this life and in the hereafter.

Dhamma was very important to King Ashoka. To make the Dhamma more accessible to those who are not already familiar with it, teachers compare it to various practices of worldly life. He then declares that the Dhamma is the best of these practices. In the ninth inscription, the author advises performing auspicious deeds at various points in one’s life to bring good fortune. According to him, Dhamma-Mangal is a very fruitful path.

This personality trait is displayed in many ways, including the behavior of slaves and servants, respect for teachers, and kindness toward living beings. In inscription 11, Dhammadan is compared with ordinary charity and Dhammadan is described as superior in terms of its effects. Dhammadan means preaching the Dhamma, participating in the Dhamma, and joining the Dhamma.

In the 13 inscriptions, Ashoka notes that victory in the army equates to the attainment of ‘Dhamma-Vijaya’ (i.e. victory over knowledge). Against this background, he describes the widespread violence and massacre that took place during the conquest of Kalinga. He deeply regrets this. According to him, with every military victory, there are incidents of hatred, violence, and murder. Inspired by father etc.

What is the meaning of Ashoka’s Dhamma victory? –

Dhamma-Vijay – In the thirteenth inscription, Ashoka, while discussing the victory of Dhamma, says that ‘the beloved of the gods (Ashok) considers Dhamma-Vijay as the most important victory. This victory has been achieved by him in his kingdom and in all the frontier territories for six hundred years, in which the Yavana king named Antiyok and the other four kings are Turmay Antikin, Maga, and Alik Sundar, and towards the south the Cholas, the Pandyas and the Tamrapparni.

In every kingdom, in the Yavanas and Kambojas, in the Nabhapankis and Nabhakas, in the hereditary feasts, in the Andhrakas and Pulindas – everyone celebrates the Divine Beloved in his own way. Discipline is a must when it comes to believing these things. Even where the angels of God’s love do not go, people will follow orders and decrees and continue to practice. The victory received is full of love and respect. Love comes from the victory of religion, but it is not a very important thing.

The devotee of God considers the welfare of Paratpar to be the most important thing. This scripture was written to help us avoid the temptation to conquer new lands. We must focus on tolerance and capital punishment and see the Dhamma as a real victory. The story is good for both kids and adults. Let the love of religion be the love of all the gods. This difference in perspective is indicative of the two different worldviews that underlie these two religious traditions.

The description of Dharma Vijay in ancient texts such as Kautilya’s Arthashastra, Mahabharata, and Kalidasa’s Raghuvansh show that he was a highly skilled warrior. That this was clearly an imperialist policy. There is much debate about the meaning of Dhammavijaya, and it is often used in political contexts. The political dominance of the victorious ruler is accepted by his rivals. Half a king is satisfied only with the gifts of kings and never takes possession of his kingdom or treasury.

The victory of Samudragupta and Harsha’s victory over Sindh has been called “Dharmavijay” in this sense. Kalidas has told in the context of Raghu’s victory over Chandranath that he had received Lakshmi from Chandranath and not from his kingdom. In Buddhist literature also find the form of Dhammavijaya political. Apart from the fact that Buddhism teaches that one can attain enlightenment by peaceful means rather than conquering other territories or imposing one’s will, the two religions are essentially the same.

The conquered rulers become subordinate to his authority and become his vassals. Despite his formidable military achievements, Alexander the Great was actually a very kind and gentle man. Occurred. However, Ashoka’s ‘Dhammavijay’ was not completed in this way. In the thirteenth inscription, Ashoka claims that he practiced dharma in himself and in his neighboring kingdoms, and that time has been attained. Successful Dhamma propagation indicates that he spread the teachings of Dhamma to both native and foreign states. So…So Dhammavijay was purely a campaign to spread religion.

It Is also interesting to note that Ashoka himself claimed to have conquered Dharma in his kingdom. Had the incident been politically motivated, there would have been no reason for him to make such a claim. This does not happen because he had complete control over his empire. The foreigners, especially the rulers of the Yavana kingdoms, were never satisfied with this lifestyle.

Sixteen Mahajanapadas –

Therefore, it can be seen that there was no place for war or violence in Ashoka’s conquest of Dhamma. Ashoka was one of the earliest rulers of India, and his dedication to leading a selfless life made him a powerful political figure. He carried forward the principle of renunciation, which is an important part of Indian culture. It is true that many thinkers before Ashoka had promoted the principle of giving up violence and practicing non-violence.

However, Ashoka was one of the most notable proponents of this belief. But that was only in relation to his personal life. Even the Buddha himself was not opposed to using political violence to achieve his goals, as evidenced by his advice to the Magadha king Ajatashatru or Vajatashatru. He advised that the king should win through persuasive reasoning.

We know that the Buddhist ruler Ajatashatru and Jainism’s Paushak Nanda Raja and Kalinga King Kharavela both believed that political violence was not against religion. Therefore, the concept that political violence is against religion appears to be the brainchild of Ashoka. Ashoka incorporated personal values ​​into official morality. Then he repented. The way Ashoka defined his concept of “Dhamma Vijay” was different from the way other writers defined “Dharma Vijay”.

Form of Ashoka’s Dhamma –

It becomes clear from the above discussion that the social and moral ethics which have been included under Ashoka’s religion are those which are accepted equally by all the sects. This simplicity and comprehensiveness of the Dhamma have made its form an enigma. Clearly, no philosophical or metaphysical question has been reviewed in it. There is neither mention of the Four Noble Truths of Mahatma Buddha, the Eightfold Path, nor the concepts related to the Self-Parmatma.

The Fleet considers it to be ‘Rajdharma’, which was enacted by Ashoka for the upholding of his state employees. But such a conclusion does not seem logical because it becomes clear from the writings of Ashoka that his religion was not limited only to the state employees, but it was also for the general public. Radhakumud Mukherjee has described it as ‘the common property of all religions.

According to him, the personal religion of Ashoka was Buddhism, and the kind of legislation he presented for the common people. He was literally ‘the essence of all religions. Similarly, some other scholars like Ramashankar Tripathi and Vincent Smith have also supported this view. According to Tripathi, the elements of Ashoka’s Dhamma are universal and we cannot blame it for encouraging or patronizing any particular religion.

In contrast, the French scholar Senart is of the view that the Dhamma mentioned by Ashoka in his writings presents a complete and comprehensive picture of the Buddhism of his time. Romila Thapar is of the view that Dhamma was Ashoka’s own invention. It may have been borrowed from Buddhist and Hindu thought, but ultimately it was a special attempt by the emperor to suggest a way of life that was practical and convenient as well as highly ethical. Its purpose was to establish a pleasant harmony among those who had no time to engage in philosophical thought.

Buddhism and its principles –

In contrast to all the above views, famous scholar DR Bhandarkar has presented a new theory. According to him, neither Ashoka’s Dhamma is the essence of all religions nor does it contain a complete and all-around depiction of Buddhism. In his view, the original source of Ashoka’s Dhamma is Buddhism itself. There were two forms of Buddhism at the time of Ashoka – (1) Monk Buddhism and (2) Worship Buddhism. The second in this, i.e. worshiping Buddhism, was for ordinary householders. Ashoka was a householder.

This conclusion is also corroborated by his first small inscription, in which he says that ‘after the association with the Sangha, he showed more enthusiasm for the Dhamma.’ If the Dhamma of Ashoka’s writings were not Buddhism, then the Buddhist text plot never portrays him as the great nurturer and protector of his religion. Thus worshiping Buddhism was the original source of Ashoka’s Dhamma. This is the reason that its goal is not to attain Nirvana but to attain heaven.

Dhamma-promotional measures by Ashoka –

After a year of converting to Buddhism, Ashoka remained an ordinary worshiper and in the meantime did not do any industry for the promotion of Buddhism. After this, he came to the refuge of the Sangh and stayed with the Sangh for a little more than a year.

He employed all the means from his vast empire in the propagation of Buddhism. Some of the measures taken by him were sufficiently original. We can put the means adopted by Ashoka for the propagation of Buddhism as follows:

1. Commencement of religious tours

2. Appointment of State Office bearers

3. Arrangement of Dharma Shravan and Sermon

4. Appointment of religious greats

5. Demonstration of Divine Forms

6. Acts of Philanthropy-

7. Engraving of Religious Scripts

8. Sending missionaries abroad


By Chanchal Sailani | October 06, 2022, | Editor at Gurugrah_Blogs



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