Sample History Essays on Ashoka of the Mauryan Dynasty

Ashoka of the Mauryan Dynasty is perceived today as one of the greatest rulers in Indian history due to his leadership qualities, which helped expand the religion of Buddhism to the Mauryan Empire in India. He was the third monarch of the Mauryan Dynasty in India; his reign started in 268 BC up until 232 BC. The religion of Buddhism, which was spread and practiced by King Ashoka during his leadership played a vital role in the political development of the Mauryan empire of India.

After witnessing a massacre during the Kalinga war in 262 BC, King Ashoka renounced warfare and started practicing dhamma, which are doctrines and teachings of the Buddha. The loss of life caused by battle, reprisals, deportations, and the turmoil that always exists in the aftermath of war horrified Ashoka that it brought about a complete change in his personality (Dhammika 4). From them onwards, Ashoka renounced war and started practicing Buddhism; both in his life and in the administration of the Mauryan Dynasty. He also asked his people to adopt and practice the dhamma, and by doing so, Ashoka gave the Mauryan Empire a common script and language, which significantly contributed to the political unification and development of the Mauryan Dynasty. During his reign, the Mauryan Empire experienced an extended period of peace during which the government actively sponsored agriculture and trade.

Ashoka was determined to bring and sustain peace in India. After the the Kalinga war, Ashoka adopted Buddhism which became an influential force in both his life and rule. Moreover, Ashoka hoped to transmit the principles of Buddhism to his subjects. He did so by sending monks to teach Buddhism all over the Mauryan empire whilst he also embarked on pilgrimages to teach the dhamma around India. By adopting the principles of the dhamma in his leadership style, Ashoka laid the foundation for the political development of the Mauryan people.


Work Cited

Dhammika, Shravasti. “The Edicts of King Asoka: An English Rendering.” Wheel Publication, (1993): 1-56.