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India’s Ancient Past$
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R. S. Sharma

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780195687859

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195687859.001.0001

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The Maurya Age

The Maurya Age

(p.170) 18 The Maurya Age
India’s Ancient Past

R.S. Sharma

Oxford University Press

The Maurya dynasty was founded by Chandragupta Maurya. He was succeeded by Bindusara. His son, Ashoka, is the greatest of the Maurya rulers. The history of Ashoka is restored on the basis of his inscriptions. Kalinga war was the only war he fought. He deserted the policy of physical occupation in favour of one of cultural conquest. It would also be wrong to think that the Kalinga war caused Ashoka to become an extreme pacifist. Ashoka was converted to Buddhism as a result of this war. He emphasized compassion towards animals and proper behaviour towards relatives. It is not true that Ashoka’s pacific policy destroyed the Maurya Empire. On the contrary, Ashoka has a number of achievements to his credit. It is most important to note that Ashoka is substantial in history for his policy of peace, nonaggression, and cultural conquest.

Keywords:   Chandragupta Maurya, Ashoka, Maurya Empire, Kalinga war, Buddhism, Bindusara

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