Asoka Enlightened Ruler Essay

Asoka: Ruthless Conqueror or Enlightened Ruler?
Asoka was the ruler of the Mauryan Empire from 268 B.C.E.   until 232 B.C.E. . He helped spread one of the world’s most popular religions, Buddhism, and established practices that still have a great impact for modern-day Indians. Asoka also placed stone edicts around his empire to educate people about Buddhism. Over his 30 years as ruler, he invaded Kalinga to gain more power and get richer, but later became Buddhist and spread it around the empire. Asoka was an enlightened ruler because he stopped being violent and started to help people, he influenced people in India, and spread Buddhism.
First, Asoka was an enlightened ruler because he stopped being violent and started to help people. Although Asoka took over Kalinga and killed many innocent people, his intentions were to incorporate all the people in India and not have people separate (Doc A). After the war in Kalinga was over, Asoka felt guilty and learned his lesson from invading them and decided never to be a violent person. Instead, he used his power to help out the public. For example, he gave rich gifts to the poor, consulted with local communities about proper governance, and about good conduct. He changed his attitude about violence and behaved better (Doc C). He also placed edicts to educate people and teach them good habits. This shows that he cared about people and was thoughtful about them (Doc D). Asoka wanted to be friends with everyone and asked for forgiveness (Doc E).   Finally, document B may be wrong about Asoka stopping because there was nowhere else to rule in India. In document A, the map showed that south India was not conquered. If he was ruthless, he would have conquered there as well (Doc B). Asoka became non-violent and felt sorrow for everyone after the battle in Kalinga.
Second, Asoka was an enlightened ruler because he influenced many people in India. Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru said that he was the greatest ruler ever because...

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Asoka: Ruthless Conqueror or Enlightened Ruler?

539 WordsFeb 19th, 20182 Pages

Or what about a peaceful leader who was deeply concerned about people? Apparently, no one would want to be known by anything negative acts they’ve done during their lifetime. But what about Asoka? Was he a ruthless conqueror or enlightened ruler? Asoka was the ruler of most of what became India from 268 BCE until his death in 232 BCE. He was the founder of India, and to Indians now and then, Asoka was a warrior and a ruler beyond any in their history. He made a large impact on the world, and became Buddhist. He spread his beliefs without force, but Asoka also had a dark side. Although he fits into multiple categories, which ones should he be identified as? Asoka should be remembered as an enlightened ruler because he ended violence and worked to help people, he spread Buddhism, and he inspired Modern India.
To begin with, Asoka was kind and concerned about people. He became peaceful, enlightened, and more open-minded after finding enlightenment. Asoka’s ideas changed after his conquering of Kalinga because he felt sorry for them. According to historian Michael Wood, “[It was] a rejection of a whole way of understanding history.” ( Doc C). By this, Wood means that Asoka rejected the way rulers in the past felt after conquering land. Regardless of who they were, they enjoyed being victorious. But instead of abandoning the Kalingans, who had lost so much, Asoka’s reaction to the…

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