King Asoka & Buddhism
King Asoka was one of 101 sons of King Bindusara who had 16 wives. His name means “No Sorrow”. His eldest brother, Prince Susima plotted to kill Asoka’s wife and child but was intervened by his mother who got killed instead. Because of this event, Prince Asoka was driven by hatred and vengeance, he killed all his brothers except one brother from the same mother. He started conquest of neighbouring territories with furious wars.
After Kalinga war, the brutality of the conquest and the sight of the aftermath led Asoka to adopt Buddhism and he used his position to propagate the relatively new religion to new heights, as far as ancient Rome and Egypt. He made Buddhism his state religion around 260 BC, and propagated it and preached it within his domain and worldwide from about 250 BC. Asoka undoubtedly has to be credited with the first serious attempt to develop a Buddhist policy.
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