Ashoka was a famous and successful Indian Emperor who ruled in Indian approximately around the period of 250 BCE. He was an Emperor in of the kingdom that was then called the Maurya Dynastry. The name of Emperor Ashoka has many social, cultural and historic significances in the Indian population. The values that Ashoka stands for has an important role to play in the psyche of all Indians and in the psychological development of India as a country.
Emperor Ashoka life can be broadly divided into the Pre-War, War and Post-War periods.
The success of an Emperor was determined by the number of wars fought, conquests won, new lands conquered and the expansion of the Empire. In line with this, Ashoka was a very successful Emperor. He was responsible for expanding his Empire to beyond present day India, into the foreign lands. He was a skilled warrior and fought many wars to expand his Empire.
During one particular war called the Kalinga War, he had a psychological and spiritual transformation. He experienced and witnessed the after-effects of the Kalinga War, just like he had so many times before in his life. But this was had a different effect on him. His mind was at a turning point after experiencing so many wars. The mass killings, destructive effects of war on life and property, the homes destroyed, the families destroyed, the children rendered orphans, etc. had a deep and profound effect on his mind. This pain forced him to change his entire outlook to life and violence. He came to see life in a very different light after this. His life was transformed.
Ashoka pledged to give up violence of all kinds. As a sign of his acceptance of non-violence he converted from Hinduism to Buddhism. The rest of his life he dedicated to the spread of Buddhism and the values of Peace and Non-violence in India and abroad.
The Lion Capital of Ashoka is India’s National Emblem. The Ashoka Chakra is placed at the centre of the Indian National Flag.