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THE LIFE OF A GREAT SON Oh INDIA , AS

DEPICTED IN THE PALI TEXTS

History chronicles innum erable kings


who w ere b rav e con querors and valiant
soldiers. But Ashoka stands above them
all b ecause he is the only one who at the
zenith of his conquests saw the futility
of violence and had the courage to
renounce it. That is why, H.G. W ells in
his Short History of The W orld' says
that A shokas reig n for eight and
twenty y ears was one of the brightest
interludes in the tro u b led history of
mankind.* W ells goes on to say, Such
was Ashoka, the g reatest of kings.
He was far in advance of his age/*
This volum e is based on the original
re se a rc h of the author into Mahavamsa,
Dipavamsa, Com m entary on Mahavamsa,
and the edicts of Ashoka. Pali manu
scripts and other secondary sources
have also b e e n extensively studied in
gleaning facts which should kindle a
new interest in Ashoka.

A M A R CHITRA K ATH A m ean s g o o d reading


Over 2 0 0 titles are n o w on sale

P u b lis h ed by H .G . Mirchandani for India Book H ouse Education T r u s t , 29,


Wode house R o ad , Bombay - 400 039 and printed by A. C. Chobe at IB H P rin ters ,
Marol N ak a, Mathuradas V is s a n ji R o ad , Andheri ( E a s t ) , B o m b a y -4 0 0 0 5 9 .

Editor: Anant Pai W ritten by i M eena Talim

Illustrated by > Ram W aeerk er

ASHOKA

a r ^ - '

\iC v tWn ___________________

A s h OKA WAS THE SO N O F KING 8INDUSA&A


WHO RULED INDIA FROM HIS CAPITAL O F
&TALIPUTRA IN THE THIRD CENTURA B.C.
H E EXCELLED H IS BROTHERS IN THE ART O F
WAR. THEREFORE, W HEN A REBELLION
BROKE O U T (N TH E D IST A N T PROVINCE OF
TAX/LA, H E W AS S E N T TO SU PPR ESS IT .

W EEKS LATER VOUR M A JE S T V ! W E HAVE


HAPPV n e w s h e r e , a s h o k a
HAS SUCCESSFULLY

HE SH A LL RULE
T H E R E A S TH E
V IC E R O V . HE
W IL L KEEP
PEA CE
THERE.

&/N PU SA R A H A P A H U N O R E P S O N S B E S /P E S A SH O K A . TH E V W ER E
N O T H A PPW T O H E A R T H E N E W S .
ASHO K A HAS
A L W A V S &EEN
PROU D. TH E
S U C C E S S W ILL
G O T O HIS
HEA D .

IT W IL L
M A K E HIM
M ORE
.A R R O G A N T,

6C/7" THEV W E R E UN HA PPIER ST IL L , M/A/7V TH E KING RECALLED ASHOKA


FR O M TAX/LA.

^
I AM
w o e e iE P
ABOUT
T H E FU TU G E
O F MV
K IN G C O M .

VOU HAVE A
HUNPQED A N P ONE
S O N S , V O U C M A JE S T V
V O U HAVE N O CA U SE

roe woecv.

THAT IS
EXACTLY
W HAT
w o r r ie s M E.
A SH O K A IS
RU TH LESS.
HE MAY
FIGHT
W ITH HIS
B R O TH ER S
FO R THE
TH RONE.

A REBELLIO N
T H IS TIM E IN
U U dA IN I.

TH E PROVINCE
O F U vJJA lN I
NEEDS
AN ABLE
v V IC E R O V . .

BU T TH E
VICERO V
D E SIG N A T E

I W OULD
LOVE
T O GO
SO U TH .

. . . W IL L HAVE
T O CR U SH T H E
REBELS THERE.
VOU ALONE
CA N D O IT .

A SH O K A M A R C H E D T O W A R D S U U U A /N /. A G R E A T E R
T H E aO U Q N E *-/ L V 4S O A / H O R S E B A C K -

& 4R T O F

L E T S C A M P
HERE FO G
A W H IL E . R E S T
TH E HORSES.

A SH O K A IA/AS C H A R M E D & V T H E B E A U T 'S O F T H E L E A D E R


O F T H E G R O U P.
T O W H IC H T E M P L E
.A R E V O U G O I N G ? /

W E ACE ON OUR
W A V T O T H E C H A IT V A
NOT T O A TEM PLE.

S H R E S H T H I, IF
VOU P L E A S E *
S IR ,
IS TH ERE
A N V TH IN G
VOU W A N T
ME TO
C O FOR
> VOU? /

I ...V E S . I WANT
TH E HAND O F
VOUR DAUGHTER >
k IN MARRIAGE.

I'V E NEVEQ
SEEN OUQ
PRINCE
HESITATE
TH U S.

A FT E R A Q U IC K W E D D IN G , H E PRO CEED ED
TOW ARDS U U JA /N ! ALONG W fT H 1//P/SH A .

a sh o k a / a

GREAT W ARRIOR, IN N O
<R O U TED TH E R EBELS-

t im e

t h e r e b e l s l a /d

dow n

TH EIR A R M S .

T H A T 'S SIL.LV,
VOU SAV I T ,
B E C A U SE
VO U ARE A
B U P P H IS T ,
I AM N O T .

I AM A
K SH A TRIV A
K IN G .
MV DUTV
BN vJO lN S
K IL L IN G
IF NEED
BE.

W H A T ABOUT
B IM B IS A P A ?
HE T O O W AS
A K IN G .
H E FO U N D
PE A C E IN T H E
T E A C H IN G S
O F BU DDHA.

TH E D IFFEREN CES B ETW EEN ASHOKA A M P


^
'
Z/DISHA P E R S IS T E D . M O N T H S L A T E R , W H EN
A sO N j \
VIPISHA G A /E BIRTH TO A S O N , A M VEQV
-.v, - :u \ ) t
) )' / v r
J! a
A jW lh i (ft. "
y

/ //

'

--------happv.
I WILL N A M b

/ifii

h i m m a h i n w a .

i\\

W,LL

///;U
///

'

CONQUER

I HE E N T IR E
W ORLD.

I W I S H , HE
C O N Q U ER S THE
H E A R T S O F M EN
A S PRIN C E
SID D H A R T H A
D ID .

*M A H I =W O R LD

TW O V EAJ?S LA TE R %1//D/SHA GAVE BIRTH TO A DAUGHTER.

I L L
NAM E H ER
SANG H A M ITC A

O H , NOl
T H A T S A
B u d d h is t
n a m e.

O N E DAW, A M ESSEN G ER CAME FRO M PA TALIPUTRA .

ASHOKA H A P HURRIED
I HAVE RECEIVED
CONSULTATIONSW ITH
A M E S S A G E FROM
V/D/SHA.
T H E .CHIEF MINISTER
-----------------------------t-------- MV FATHER IS ILL.
( I HAVE T O R U SH TO
y
\
P A T A L IP U T R A . . . S

W ILL V O U STA V
A T V ID ISH A -N A G A R
W ITH V O U R P A R E N T S ?
I'L L SE
A S VOU
W IS H ,
M V LO RD

PLEASE TAKE CA PE
V O U P HEALTH.
AND D O N T
PQEACH N O N -lfiS " "
VKX-ENCE
/ X gS
TO MV
/ J g y
V1AHINDPA. /

f BEFORE I
LEAV E, IS THERE
A N V T H IN G
VOU W A N T
ME TO
i
p o ?
A

I W IL L .
W H A T IS
IT ?

I W A N T HIM
T O BE A
KING O F
J
K IN G S .
00*

'
VES.
BUT GIVE ME
VOUR W O R D
THAT VOU
W IL L .
y

| W A N T VO U
T O SH U N
VIOLENCE
O F ALL
^
K IN D S .

A T PA TA LjPU TR A , ASHOKA W AS RECEIVED BW TH E C H IE F M IN IS T E R .

PRIN CE!
VOUC FATHER
IS NO M O R E .
A N P VOUR
BRO TH ERS AGE
FIG H TIN G
AM O N G ST
TH E M SE L V E S
FO P TH E
THCONE.

ASHOKA W AS RU TH LESS IN KILLING


ALL TH O SE THAT CHALLENGED H IS
RIG H T TO TH E THRONE. SUM ANAPEVt %
W IFE O F O N E O F H IS B R O TH ER S, W AS
EX PEC TIN G A 3A & Y A T T H E T IM E .

DO VOU SUGGEST
T H A T I R U N AW AV
F R O M HERE ?
BUT W HERE
CAN I G O ?

OClNJCESSl
I F E A R FO R
T H E L IFE O F
T H E UNBORN
C H IL D .

oo.o o o

(A
E S C A P IN G FROM TH E PALACE ,
SUM ANADEVt W A N O EQ EP IN
TH E F O R E S T .

I CAN S H O W VOU
A SECRET DOOR.
VOU C A N E S C A P E
IN T O T H E
W OODS .

l l K

A N O L P M A M , W H O WAS PA SSIN G V ,
T O O K P tT V O N H ER .

S H E A CCOM PA NIED H IM . W H IL E
THEW W ER E O N TH EIR WAW -

IF V O U C O M E
W IT H M E T O
M V V IL L A G E ,
\ l W IL L ARRANGE
FO R VOUR
y
f \^ S T A V .

IT W AS UNDER TH AT N/GRODH.A TREE


THAT A &OV WAS &OQN TO SUMANADEW.

D O N T W O RRV
DAUGHTER!
M V H O M E IS
CLOSE 6V .
IL L F E T C H M V
W IF E . VOU
R E S T U N D ER
THIS

L E T S
C A L L H IM
N IG R O D H A
KUM AR. ^

NIGRODHA KUM AR G REW U P


IN THAT V/LLAGE A N D
BECA M E A M O N K A T A VERW
TEN D ER A G E .

M EA N W H ILE , ASHOHA HAD B EC O M E A PO W ERFU L V E S , V O U R M A J E S T V .


K /.*JG . A rr /-ffS C O U G T _ ____________
. ^_________ EV EN TAXI LA A N D
----------- ----------- ' |l l ll Im JT M IN IS T E R , IS A
\ U J J A I N I ARE
/
m w k in g p o m
!
\^ o u ie t.
J f T .........
PEA CEFUL? y
Jy
i
are th e
r
^
M

v - E fT < 2 b o r d e r s
M v q u ie t ? /

s t il l

w e

sh o u ld

N O T R E S T TILL
K A L IN G A IS

_ r~

IT IS IN D E P E N D E N T
TO D A V A N D M AV
>AISE ITS H E A D A N V
M OM ENT.

w a p 7 t^ a / / ll
HAVE TO B L .

ASHOKA'S
AGMV
INVAPEP
KAUNGA.
/////.

W E HAVE W O N
KALINGA IS
v
OURS.

SHALL
V IS IT
KALINGA

AS H E PR O C EED ED , H E SA W HOQP/BLE SIG H TS


H EA PS O F DEAD M E N i J
^
W E HAVE KILLED
J
v
MANV.
./ O V E R
/
/
V
W

W E HAVE
CA PTU RED
1 ,5 0 ,0 0 0
M EN,
VOUR
M A JE S T V

. ^ - ^ 1,0 0 , 0 0 0

[ M EN T O BE
\
P R E C IS E ,
\
VOUR
\
M A JE S T V .

L E T S
RETURN
VOUR
M A JE S T V l
A R E N T
VOU
W ELL?
j

I HAVE
L O S T MV
PEACE O F
M IN D .

W H E R E IS V IP IS H A ? J
SH E
.
PLA NS
I (----- T O J O I N
( T H E SA N G H A
/
V
V O F 6U D P H A .

*u -v o u

am

e M td lh e n

ASHOKA DQEIA/ SO M E C O M FO R T
FR O M T H E PR E SE N C E O F H IS
C H IL D R E N . B U T H E C O N TIN U ED
TO 6& O O D O l/E R TH E K ILLIN G S.

O /V E D A V , F R O M H fS P A L A C E W IN D O W ,
H E S A W A M O N K P A S S IN G A L O N G T H E R O A D .
S'

W H E N TH E M O N K CA M E
VENERABLE O N E,
W H O ARE V O U ?

MAV I K N O W
VOUR N A M E ,
PLEASE ? ,

M V M OTHER
CALLED ME

NIGRODHA
KUM AR.

n ig r o d h a

KUM AR I
I KNOW ,
T H A T IS
T H E NAME
OF MV
b R O T H E R S
SON .
^

VES.
I A M VOUR
NEPHEW .
I CAN G U E S S
W H A T IS
G O IN G O N
IN V O U R
\
M IN D . /

W H V SHOULD I ?
BECA U SE
V O U K ILLED M V
FA TH ER ?

VO U
HATE M E
D O N T
VOU?

N O . I LOVE A L L .
H A T R E D IS
D E S T R U C T IV E .
IT S H O U D 6 E
C O N Q U E R E D BV
LOVE.

IS N O T
TH A T R E A S O N
ENOUGH
T O HATE
ANOTHER ?

PRAV , W H ERE
D ID V O U
I LEARN T H I S ?
AT SUCH A
TENDER
AGE ?

M V M IN P H A S
N O T KNOW N
PEA CE.
^

T H E N SEEK
R E F U G E IN
&U PPHA .

j r 'W I L L
\
";
vou
a
i
r A CCEPT ME
A S VOU R
-------^
P / S C lP L E ? / f
V FQ
REPEAT
A F T E R ME
^ 2 4
fi
1 take
' 3 1
REFUGE
IN t h e
/ L X W l;lfy \ B U P P H A .

I TAKE
REFUGE
IN T H E
6U PPH A

I TA K E
REFUGE
IN T H E
PHARM A

A T R A N SFO R M A T IO N CA M E
A B O U T /A/ A SH O K A . A L L H IS
A T T E N T IO N M O W 14/AS O N
B R IN G IN G P E A C E A N D
H A P P IN E S S TO
TH E PEO PL E.

FO R T H E C O M F O R T O F TR A V ELLER S , E V E N IN
T H E W O O D S H E B U IL T R E S T H O U S E S A N D
u
I. m u | t D IS P E N S A R IE S .

. . . A N D C A R V ED
IN S T R U C T IO N S
O N R O C K S.

PR/VAPAeSHL T H E E>ELOVED K IN G
O F G O D S A Y S TH/S - - -

I HAVE GIVEN
AWAV A L L
T H IN G S P E A R
K . TO M E . /

VOUR
C H IL D R E N

EX CEPT
W HAT,
m a h in d r a

VOUR S O N
M UST V O U ,
M A H IN D R A ? IT IS
W IS H E S T O)
U O IN T H E
/ W IT H A H E A V V
SA N G H A . / H EA RT- BUT
/
I G IV E V O U
P E R M IS S IO N .

FATHER, ALLOW
M E T O U O IN T H E
NUNNERV.

m v

h u sb a n p

and

S O N HAVE R E N O U N C E P
T H E VMQRLP. I T A K E
NO PLEA SU RE
/
V
IN L I F E .
/
.

VOU M A V
JO N THE
NUNNERV.

TIA /O V EA Q S L A T E & FATHER,


I HAVE C O M E
T O B ID V O U
G O O P -B V E .

A M E SSA G E HAS
B E E N R E C E IV E P
FRO M LA N K A .
THEV N EEP
N U N S A T THE
M IS S IO N .

S A N G H A M IT R A ,
I HAVE G R O W N O L D
I C A N B E A R G R IE F
\
NO M ORE.

UNDERSTA N D
I W IS H VOU
SUCCESS.
G O , MV
^
C H IL D .

BE B R A V E . V O U
F O R G E T S A N G H A M IT R A
.
IS A M E M B E R O F
a
TH E SA N G H A .

THANK
VOU,
FATHER.

DO NOT
G R IE V E .

T H U S A SH O K A B E C A M E D H A R M A SH O K A .
H E R U L E P F O R MAAAY W EARS A A /O LO O K ED
a f t e r t h e w e l f a r e o r t h e s u b je c t s
O F H IS i/A S T E M P IR E A S A F A T H E R
W O U L P LO O K A F T E R H /S C H IL D R E N .

TH E n i/ C P R IN C IP L E S O F C O -E X IS T 6 N C E , W H IC H H E P R O PA G A T E D , A & E S T I L L R E S P E C T E D T H E W O P L P O i/E R . T H E A SH O K A
P lL L A P A T S A G N A T H R E M IN D S U S E i/E N T IL L T H IS DAW O F
H IS G R E A T N E S S . T H E ' D H A & M A C H A K P A Q V T H E A S H O K A
P/LL A /? A D O G N S O U R N A T IO N A L F L A G .

.noii/iaous

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