Sunday, February 17, 2008

The war that changed Ashoka's life..

The battle commenced in the 8th year of Ashoka's rule, possibly in 261 BC. Ashoka's father Bindusara had previously attempted to conquer Kalinga, but had been repelled. After a bloody battle for the throne after Bindusara's death, Ashoka tried to annex Kalinga. He was successful only after a savage war, whose outcomes changed Ashoka's views on war and led him to admit never to wage a war. It is said that in the aftermath of the Battle of Kalinga the Daya River running next to the battle field turned red with the blood of the slain; about 100,000 Kalinga civilians and more than 10,000 of Ashoka's own warriors were among those slain.

Dhauli hill is supposed to be the area where the Kalinga War was battled. The historically important Dhauli hills are situated on the banks of the Daya River, 8 km south of Bhubaneswar in Orissa (India). Dhauli hill, with a vast open space besides it, has major Edicts of Asoka engraved on a mass of rock by the side of the road leading to the summit of the hill.

One of the excerpts of the edicts is:

"Beloved-of-the-Gods, King Priyadarsi, conquered the Kalingas eight years after his coronation. One hundred and fifty thousand were deported, one hundred thousand were killed and many more died (from other causes). After the Kalingas had been conquered, Beloved-of-the-Gods came to feel a strong inclination towards the Dhamma, a love for the Dhamma and for instruction in Dhamma. Now Beloved-of-the-Gods feels deep remorse for having conquered the Kalingas." --Rock Edict No.13

1 comment:

Annoyz World said...

I think the Kalinga war never changed Ashoka. He was a shrewd ruler who understood worldly issues. There were some factors for his conversion from Chand-Ashok to a preacher:

He was aging.
He was becoming least popular among public.
If you can win by non-violence why use effort to wage wars?

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