Friday, 21 February 2014

Ashoka's Dharma : Its interpretations and paradigms as gleaned from rock edicts; An article by Dr. G C Chauhan



          Dharma is one of those Sanskrit terms that defy all attempt at an exact rendering into English or any other language. This term has passed through several changes. My attempt here is to briefly define and examine the AsokaDharma’ through the lances of epigraphic traditions of Asoka’s times and explain the paradigms of Dharmaas  reflected in the edicts of Asoka and the changes introduced over the time. The notion of dharma which has been depicted in Asoken epigraphic traditions time and again in all-comprehensive, confusing and the same time difficult to define or understand.
          The term dharma is derived from root ‘dhr’ meaning to uphold to support and to nourish.1 It is therefore, the conceptual result of a contemplative empirical awareness by which the social, moral and material order of the world is upheld and efficiently maintained. But, at a deeper level dharma is also the awareness of these cosmic forces that hold things apart. Dharma seems to be a notion of par-excellence of the indic philosophical universe. Although it initially emerged in the Vedic cosmological and social speculation but has been employed with preeminent consistency by Jain, Buddha and Sikh systems of social and metaphysical discourse and occupies a very central part in the world views of all the streams of the Indic thoughts system. “An understanding of dharma is essential for the understanding of the world and man’s place in it. Dharma not only relates to the physical exteriority of manifested phenomena and the inner world of sentient existence, but also to the interrelationship of the two in which moral behaviour seeks to find meaning within the context of temporal flux and contingency.”2 Thus the world in which we are living appertains in significant manner to the world of our conscious thoughts, and the relivance of its meaning and order is intimately associated with the perceptional frame of observant mind.
          However, the society needs to follow the path of dharma, the happy synthesis of moral and material values, for securing true welfare on an enduring basis, with harmony between human being as also between human being and rest of the creation. Since living species are part of the world, their lives constitute an integral pattern of its rhythm. The world of human being inner self as well as his outer physical life are meaningful and integrated. The function of the dharma is to find out the parameters of this meaningfulness and integration. Dharma is decipherment and explication of the meaning of the world and human life. It seeks to understand social as well as ontological ethies.3Dharma is, therefore, associated, on the one hand with social life of an individual and his personal ethics, and on the other with the perennial principles of truth and cosmic order-the Satya and the rta, the imperishable, the unsubtatable and the fundamental. The seeking of dharma is to  seek answers to certain fundamental queries as follows:
What the world is? Who we are? What should we do? What is conducive to happiness? What is not? etc. Thus seeking cannot be static, and the answer to these queries can neither be finally stated nor fixed for all time to come. The Mahabharat4 speaks that  dhrama is extremely subtle, intricate and deep. At one level it is fundamental, timeless and eternal, at the other, it is swifter than light. It evolves with time and hence it is both absolute and dynamic. The Mahabharata further tells us that dharma is not a one-time revelation of fixed teleological precepts but a record of the relative and temporal contingency of his existence. Manu argues that ‘dharma’ is governed by the four ends of life or aims of human Endeavour. As per the code of Manu the uniqueness of dharma is truth and one should not adept any violent and servile methods; thus the same dharma which is truth is also non violence. He further interprets dharma in very plain language. “Thus it is good to teach dharma to the world, but it should be done without hurting people and using sweet and refined words. Manu Smrti5 speaks that dharmawhen  violated, verily destroys, dharma when preserved, preserves, dharma,  alone can be helpful in establishing peace and harmony all over the world. If we kill dharma, we ourselves shall be killed”.
          The Buddhist tradition, explain dharma as Buddha’s doctrine or teaching, as in the well known formula where one seeks refuge in the Buddha, the dhamma and the Samgha. Gautama Buddha advised monks during his first sermon at Sarnath, “monks, I say that the dharma is to be seen for oneself, is timeless, is come and see, going further, to be actualized individually by the wise”6 The Buddhist tradition further speaks of dharma having its four meaning, features, teaching, scripture and things.7 Since the fundamental concern of Buddhism was the process and the possibility of deliverance from phenomenal life, and mainly concentrated on human existence.8 Buddhism  was concerned with the understanding the chains of causation, the transience of life, the insubstantiality of things, the conditioned nature of existence and the understanding of dependent origination.9 The main aim of Buddhism is to free its followers from the cycles of birth and death and from the suffering.10 Thus the notion of dharma which Buddha saw and then preached was not very different from what the sages and seers of India prior to him had expounded. Thus the Buddhism was grafted on the religious ideology that dated before the time of Buddha. The Buddhism offered an opportunity to the monks and the lay followers to pattern their social and individual lives as such as such ethical and spiritual values that would conduce towards happiness and a state of passionlessness.
          The literary traditions of Jainism interpreted the word dharma as signifying right conduct applicable for a monks particular station and stage of life, a path of personal and social purification which ultimately leads to all round spiritual welfare. Dharma in Jain traditions includes both philosophy and religion, theory and practice of good life, ascetic culture and ethical behavior. Therefore, as per jains traditions, dharma liberate the soul from all the impurities and ultimately it protect one from degradation and downfall.11 Asoka left behind his Edicts propagating dharma, might long endure. Asoka wished that his contemporaries, particularly his own peoples, to imbibe, and so too the future generations. Asoka inscribed his message on ‘Pillar Edict” II, where he had made an attempt to define or explicate the meaning of dharma. He said, “The practice of Dharma” is commendable but what constitutes the dharma, (these constitute the dharma, viz) – little sin, many good deeds, mercifulness, charity, thankfulness and purity.”12 Thus Asoka in his way, used the word dharma that existed in pre-Buddhist traditions. Asoka did not use the dharma in the sense of duty specific to a particular class of persons or community. Even Asoka’s use of the terms made his own contemporary translators render it differently.13Thus the dharma was applied to the idea and norms that maintained the social and moral order. Besides good, virtue and truth, forever, since its inception the word dharma was used to refer to the customs and duties observed by people.
          The Asokan Edicts contain two forms of records: one relating to the good faith which he professed as his dharma, and the other to the religious ideology which he propounded and propagated. Here a question arises – how far was the religious ideology he propounded and propagated consistent with the dharma professed by him? Thus the dichotomy between Asoka’s dharma and Buddhism remained debatable which drow my attention to this discourse, to revisit and re-examine the contents of the Asokan Edicts in regard to his dharma. However, despite the plethora of references contained in Asokan Edicts, historians hardly are unanimous in their arguments of such debatable issue as Asokandharma.  The plethora of reference to Asoka’s dharma and his application in Edicts assert that Asoka was a Buddhist, but, nowhere did he speak of essentials of Buddhism such as four noble truths, eightfold path and the notion of Nirvana. But, what Asoka called dharma and propagated among his subject, was not Buddhism. If dharma of Asokan Edicts was not Buddhism, what was it?
          Historians and scholars of religions have offered different interpretations of Asoka’s dharma. J.F. Fleet argues that Asoka’s dharma was a form of Rajadharma consisting in the politico-moral principles such as those embodied in the Great Epic,14  and S.J. Heras calls it as Brahmanism.15 J.M., Macphail16 is of the view that “Asoka dharma was  nothing new but Hinduism” D.R., Bhandarkar, is of the opinion that Asoka dharma can be considered as upasaka Buddha dharma and  propounded the theory of secular Buddhism. He states that Asokadharma comprised such principles of Buddhism as had a universal appeal and applicability.17 But a couple of scholars like E. Thomas and Rhys Davids negated Bhandarkar view on the basis that Asokan edicts did not contain the theory of four noble truth, eight fold paths and Nirvana.18 D.R. Bhandarkar argues that Asoka held a status intermediate between an upasaka and a bhiksu monk is debatable. He came to this conclusion by interpreting the evidence of the visit to the Sangha as an indication of Asoka’s temporary stay in the community as a monk,19 but visiting to the Sangha does not proves Asoka’s as Buddhist monk, his visit to Sangha might be simply political and social obligation and the part of his policy of appeasement  towards community. In B.M.Barua’s view, “the Asokan Edicts which are Buddhist in spirit, describes Asoka as a ruler and the monk”.20 But we do not find the slightest suggestion as to his withdrawal from the world. The political philosophy of ancient India speak of the king who was a active functionary and the final authority and the fountain head of the state not monk or sage. There were only two courses open to him king was either to rule or to abdicate. Some scholars believed that “Asoka was a Brahmanist and not a Buddhist, thy argue that Asoka dharma was in fact only Brahmanic notion, in the wide range of application.21 The view  has been expressed that Asoka was adherent of Jainism.22 But, if he was a jain, he would have mentioned the Tirthankaras or principles of Jainism. N.K.Sastri states that “Asoka could make use of some well known traditional idea of Brahmanism, which had still retained considerable importance in that period. However, all this does not disprove the view that Asoka was a follower of Buddhism.”23 The importance of Brahmanic tradition form an analysis of the Edicts seems justified, however, one can hardly agree with his negative attitude towards the interpretation of some words and terms from a Buddhist perspective.24 R.K. Mookerji, R.S. Tripathi and V.A. Smith consider Asoka dharma as universal religion, “the dharma of the edicts was not any particular dharma or religious system, but the moral law independent of any caste and creed, the sara or essence of all religion”  and G.M. Bongard Levin, too argues that the dharma of the Edicts can not be identified with the Buddhist doctrine.25 No religion can be called universal religion, we have to bear in mind that the social, cultural, political and geographical variation while studying any religious ideology, since no particular religion can not be a replica of other religious ideology. RomilaThapar depicts that dharma was Asoka’s own invention and used it as device to solve the political, social, religious and economic tensions prevailing during his time. She argues that it may have borrowed from Buddhist and Hindu thought, but it was in essence an attempt on part of the king to suggest a way of life, which was both practical and convenient as well as being highly moral. It was intended as a happy compromise for those of his subjects who did not have the leisure to indulge in philosophic speculation.26Romila further states that Asoka dharma as his own to solve conflicts in the social fabric and the other tensions created by the states of the mercantile community, the power of the guild in urban centre, the strain of a highly centralized political system and the sheer size of the empire”27 is to  inject modern idea in its nature and scope. But as dharma always aimed at building up an attitude of mind in which social responsibility, the behavior of one person towards another was considered of great relevance.”28The  so-called  conflicts and tensions referred by Thapar are more imaginary than real, we do not notice any positive evidence to show that the mercantile community, guild and the centralized political system had created any menace to the society of Ancient India. In fact, they provided greater strength and stability to it. She has taken religion and philosophy as if they were antagonistic to each other. V.C.Pandey rightly argues that Ancient India had no religion without some philosophy. Asoka’s dharmaitself  rested on the philosophy of Svadharma (one’s duty). So where is the question of a compromise between religion and philosophy? Philosophy in society and community was the pastime of leisure of the masses. It was always the product of the deep sight and insight of a few intellectual peers.29 Although RomilaThaparacknowledged the debt of Asoka’s dharma to Brahmanism  and Buddhism, but ignored Jainism which produced a great impact of Asoka’s dharma. Dharma, in its wider sense, had always been a non-sectarian duty-oriented code of conduct for individuals and institutions. It was always rooted in morality, steering clear of philosophical speculations. Its fundamentals were the common property of all dharma.30 Thus it is wrong to consider it as Asoka’s device to solve the political, social, religious and economic problems of his time.31
          It is argued that “Asoka’s dharma was the most appropriate way to bind together a vast and variegated society of the empire and providing it with a cultural and spiritual value-system.”31 Thus the practicability, morality, simplicity and the harmonizing features of Asoka’s dharma were its eternal contents and not Asoka’s innovative intents.
          Thus we can surmise that Asoka grafted his dharma on one of the branches of already existed tree of religious ideologies in early India.  In fact, dharma policy of Asoka was his deliberate political policy of appeasement towards non-Buddhist sect like Ajivikas, the jains, Brahmanism and other who remained active during Asoka’s time. It was, therefore, basically an exercise to restrain all factions from tormenting trouble, and he could not afford the growth of tension and conflict in a multi-religious society of early India.
          It would be of prime importance to re-examine the contents of the Asokan Edicts in regards to the paradigms of Asokadharma. B.M. Barua, states that treat it as a paradigm of Rajadharma, or as paradigm of Buddhism-upasaka – dharma, or even as a paradigm of  universal religion, this position remains and unaltered, KautilyaArthasastr speaks of Rajadharma which was based on the notion of dandaniti33 supported by the science of wealth (varta), both elements of Rajadharma were/are indispensable for the survival of any king or state. Kautilya further argues that to uphold the social customs; general principles of law of equity by the king. The Brahmanical traditions mention that king supreme duty is to pleases his subject and the king and his subjects are inseparable and he should always give priority to the good of his subject.34 The  Kalinga war described in terms of remorse  and poignant grief by Asoka himself in Rock Edict XIII35 involved for so small an area the slaughter of a hundred thousand, the enslavement of half as many more and the death and suffering of yet more among whom were Brahmanas, Sramanas, women and children. It was simply his remorse over the slaughter and suffering of the innocent  people. Asoka assured paternal care and kindness to the people of Kalinga. The Asoka’s notion of paternal treatment to all his subject was in fact the Brahmanic concept, in its wide range of application. He applied the doctrine of ‘natal debt to the relation of king and subject and of the king and his officers. He discharges his duty to all living beings by righteous rule; and the officers discharge their debt to their master by faithfully carrying out his beneficent intentions towards the people. This indebtedness extends to all men, like that of a father to his children. Asoka stresses upon each and every constituent of the state and society to follow its dharma.  The ruler and the bureaucracy were the two indispensable wheels and elements of the Mauryan state. Asoka’s personal religions might be Buddhism, but his Rajadharma forbade him to discriminate between the Buddhist and the non-Buddhist. That is why, he assures his subject through his Edicts that he respects and gives gifts to all religious sects, and Brahmana. “The beloved of gods, reverenus people of all (religious) sects, whether (wandering) ascetics or householders with gifts and various kinds of reverence as that-what is it? There should be a growth of the essence in all sects. By doing thus one promotes one’s own sect and at the same time does good to other sect”36 Again the notion of Rajadharma forced Asoka to abolish restrictions on certain sections of society to live only in demarcated area, now could live anywhere in his empire, irrespective of their caste and creeds: “The Beloved of the Gods desires everywhere – may all the sects live or devil. For they all desire sect-control and mental purity. Man, however, is possessed of various impulses and attachment.”37 The enjoyment of freedom of settlement for all sects was part of a general environment of communal amity that Asoka wished to foster. For such amity, Asoka regarded self-restraint, especially in speech. He advocated a mutual dialogue by which the different sects should all prosper together. Thus Asoka undertook several philanthropic works to translate his wishes into practice, not only in his empire but also in the border regions and outside his empire. Rock Edicts II speaks of medical aid where medicines were not available were imported and planted medicinal, dug wells and planted trees for man and animals.38 Asoka R.E. XII speaks of the stryadhyaksha-mahamatras who were directed to protect the interest of the women folk,39 doing of justice to his subject is the supreme duty of the king. Asoka’s main ambition was to win the support and affection of all men; and followed the policy of appeasement towards his subject by adopting several philanthropic works during his time. He depute those officers to deal with the subjects who were not harsh in their language not fierce in their nature but were of winsome cordiality.40 He appointed a special class of dharmamahamatra, to look after Brahman and Snamanas while they were carrying on their noble missions.41 He liberally helped them with alms and gifts and honoured them in various ways. He tried to persuade them to co-operate with one another for their healthy growth in knowledge and matters essential so that they might be better equipped for the great work before them. Thus these philanthropic works were the need of the time.
We come to know from the RE V42 that king Asoka dedicated four beautiful cave – dwelling to the Ajivikas, in the Khalitika hills which can be treated as Asoka’s policy of appeasement towards non-Buddhist. However, these royal edicts, whose aim was to impress the subjects the idea of equality pursued by the king, but real situation was sometime quite different from that depicted in the Edicts. The certain Edicts of Asoka’s stresses upon various social and state obligation towards the subjects such as, proper treatment towards slaves, servants, parents, relatives, friends, acquaintances, Brahmana, Sramanas etc.43 giving proper treatment and respects to parents, Brahmanas, Sramanas slaves and servants was not the innovation of Asoka’s it is as old as our literary traditions, so followed the established norms. In fact, all these referred duities were shared by the ancient state and was a part of Rajadharma.
The DhauliSepanate RE I, speaks of applying balm to the wounds of the people of a devastated Kalinga, Asoka emphasizes his Rajadharma to treat those people as his children, assures them of his kindness and intense desire to see them happy and well in this life and hereafter. The king Asoka directed his bureaucrats to rise above lethargy, rashness, anger and other view and see to it that no one was imprisoned need or tortured without reason.44 Asoka was the victims of the guilt, after the Kalinga war and his guilt forced him to apply the balm to the wounds of the people of ruined Kalinga. Asoka seems to be one of the few politicians of the world, who realized that propaganda is more important than legislation in matter relating to the people’s inclination and sentiments. He adopted different ways to propagate his dharma. RE I reveals us that he prohibited the killing of those animals and birds which neither eatable nor were of any utility.45 But the  killing of animals remained as use of the daily practice. Asoka confession regarding the killing of thousands of animals for royal kitchen previously is remarkable, but during his time this killing was minimized  to three lives only. King Asoka was very critical of certain popular ceremonies, such as Samajas,  religious gathering where animals were slaughtered for sacrifice, and stopped vihara-yatra and Asoka personally contacted people exchanged views on dharma, replying their question, the Edict further informs us that he replaced vihara-yatra by dharma-yatras.46 Asoka took administrative measures to propagate his dharma-yatras.46 Asoka took administrative measures to propagate his dharma by appointing Dharma mahamatras whose main duty was to ensure the growth of dharma. Appointing separate cadre of officers for the prorogation of a particular religion was not in the interest of any state which ultimately proved a heavy economic burden and heavy economic losses to the state. But it is not fair to designate them as a type of priesthood of dharma,47 as RomilaThapar argues. Priest were only Brahmanas, had their classified literature and ritualistic expertise. But the dharmmahamatra were the bureaucrate belonged from any section of society for administrative and religious purposes. The Pradesikes and the Nagara – Vyaraharikas were divested exclusively to the Rajukas48 to dispense uniform justice, granted three day’s respite to convicts sentenced to death. The idea behind this respite was to give sometime to those convicts to prepare themselves mentally for death and make their last wishes known to their families. To expedite the dispensation of justice, he directed his reporters to call on him any time whether he was in the dining room or harem on his private Chamber or on horse-back or in pleasure-garden.49Since the propaganda of Dharma was the prime concern of Asoka, the bureaucracy was involved in the propagation of religion. The involvement of bureaucracy for preaching religion might have resulted heavy administrative losses to the state.
The paradigm of upasaka dharma is clearly reflected in Asokan Edicts which denote – the householders included in a religious community as lay adherents the followers of a sect of the Sramanas or the Brahmanas or jain.50 Each sect had its own doctrinal tradition, and the upasakas of a particular sect were supposed to believe in whatever was embodied in such a tradition. The upasakas were mere householders and their lives were regulated by certain social customs and usages, certain rules of decorum and conduct, and certain law of the land enforced by the state.51B.M.Barua  rightly argues that Rajadharma was primarily concerned with secular affairs of the subject, it is ultimately reducible to upasak or Grihastha dharma. Intact, there is state sanction behind the rajadharma, while the upasak-dharma had nothing behind it. The common aim of both are the attainment of good and happiness here and the attainment of heaven hereafter the attainment of Nirvana or Moksha is for beyond their scopes. The chief interest of both centre round the three (topes) ingredient of the upasaka-dharma such as dana and sila are considered two means to the attainment of heaven.52 The six fold duties of a good householders are depicted in various Rock Edicts of Asoka and their reciprocal relationship are as follows – the reciprocal relations between the parents and son, teachers and pupil, husband and wife, kinsmen and kinsmen, friend and friends, master and slaves and hirelings, the Sramanas and Brahmanas and the lay supporter. There is nothing to prevent one from adding to these such other relation as those between king and subject, brother and brother, brother and sister, neighbour and neighbour, the rich and poor etc.53 Thus Asokan Edicts recommended the development of respect, understanding the cordiality among these social units in the name of dharma-mangla and dharma dana and took several measures to end the discrimination on the basis of religious ideologies. We must bear in mind that in outlining the principles of pious social behaviors, he made use of some well known traditional beliefs system, which had still retained considerable importance during Asoka’s time.
The early Indian traditions speak of deep concern for parents, teachers, servant and slaves etc, these traditions further state that all beings should be viewed with friendly eye, it include proper conduct towards neighbors, friends, relatives, servant and slaves, gave highest respect to teachers.54Kautilya threatened penal against those who abandoned their parents. Atharaveda aim at achieving the good of all people including the Sudras.Kautilya further ordains that the king was like a father to his subject and that the happiness of his subject was his happiness. Asoka tried to re-affirmed this already existed concept.55Asokan edicts refer six, greatest good, kindness, liberality, truthfulness and purity,56 they are as ancient as our Vedic traditions, these too find mention in them.
The notion of universal religion applied to Asokadharma by scholars is vague and empty word of over glorification. His dharma was mainly based upon the principle of toleration which was not invented by Asoka, it is as ancient as our non-Buddhist traditions. Asoka being a shrewd statesman, he understood the importance of controlling the non-Buddhist sects and their lives and activities that is why he embarked on a policy of religious tolerance, but the towards the end of his period his policy of religious toleration was proved myth. Asoka patronized Buddhism and actively interfered in the affairs of the Sangha. Asoka openly declares his devotion to the Buddha the dharma and the Sangha.57The tone of the “Schism Edicts”58 clear shows the emptiness and myth of Asoka  notion of religious toleration.
          The contents Asokan Rock Edicts are nothing but apologies that reflected deeply ingrained sin and guilt psychosis of Asoka that had after Kalinga war. These confessions reveal the shattered psyche of the so called great king, who was tying to seek comforts thereof. This was not a religion which historians have wrongly termed as Asokadharma. The term itself is a misnomer. Realistically analyzing the said observation, it can be conclusively inferred that Asoka was only practicing the values of a system of beliefs, that were already in existence, but had been ignored and negated by him in lust of power. His reverting to imbibing of old values wrongly construed as a new religion – Asoka Dharma, whereas it is nothing best reinforcing the basic religions of the times – the Brahmanism, Buddhism and Jainism. It is a different matter that he learnt the lesson the hard way. Perhaps it is only in this limited context that the resultant transformation can be termed as a realization if it can be termed one. In such an eventuality, then the basic religion – the ancient Indian religions can also be termed as Asokadharma. But then ifs and buts do not form or make history.
1.      VishvaVandhu (ed) Rigveda with commentaries, in 7 parts, Hoshiarur, 1963-65 (Tr) by Swami SatyaParkashSarsvati and SatyakamVidyalankar, Various Vols., Delhi, 1977, I. 18.7.1, X.9.2 (hereafter R.V.)
2.      S.S.Sharma, Imagined Manuvad, Delhi, 2005, p.38, (hereafter Manuvad).
3.      Ibid., p.39.
4.      D. SatavakaParodi (Tr.) (Hindi) Mahabharta, Varnasi edition, 1952, and critical edition, B.O.R.I., Poona, 1971-74, Sabha-Parva, 68, XII. 28, 51, 68, 29.110-112. AnusasanaParva, 115.1, VanaParva, 373. 76. (hereafterMbh)
5.      J.P.Chalturvedi (tr) Manusmrti, Haridwar, 6th edition, 2002, 11.224, 159, VII. 15.
6.      MotilalPandit, Beyond the World: Buddhist Approaches to Knowledge and Reality, Delhi, 1997, p.IX, (hereafter beyond the word).
7.      HirakawaAkira, (tr) Paul Grover: A History of Indian Buddhism, Delhi, 1998, pp. 39-46 (hereafter as HiraKawa).
8.      Beyond the world, op. cit. p. 65.
9.      Hirakawa, op.cit., p. 39.
10.    Manuvad, op.cit., p.45.
11.    Ibid., pp. 44-46, N.J. Shah (tr) JainaDarsana, Delhi, 2000, pp. 27-96.
12.    R.K. Mookharji, Asoka, 3rd revised edition, Delhi; 1962, pp. 174-175 (hereafter as Mookherji Asoka) S. Dutt, Early Buddhist Monks and Monasteries of India, Delhi, 2000, pp. 111-112.RomilaThapar, Asoka and the Decline of Mauryas, 6th edition, Delhi, 1985, p. 262 (hereafter RomilaAsoka). P.K.Muzamdar, India’s Ancient Epigraphs, Delhi, 2006, pp. 30-97.
13.    IrfanHabib, and V.K.Jha. Mauryan India, 3rd, edition, Delhi, 2002, p. 63.
14.    J.F. Fleet, “The Date of Buddha’s Death as Determined by a  record of Asoka,” JRAS, London, 1908, p. 471.
15.    S.J. Heras, “Asoka’s Dharma and Religion” in Cr JMS, Banglsore, vol. XVIII, No.4, p. 255.
16.    J.M.Macphail, Asoka, rep. Calcutta, 1980, pp. 29-30.
17.    D.R.Bhandarkar, Asoka, London, 1877, pp. 130-140.
18.    E.Thomas, Early Faith of Asoka, JRAS, London, Vol. X, pp. 1-21, RhgsDavids, Buddhist India, London, 1903, rep. Delhi, 1995, p.297.
19.    D.R.Bhandarkar, Asoka, pp. 73-74.
20.    B.M.Barua, Asoka and his Inscription, Calcutta, 2nd edition, 1955, pp. 216-217.
21.    V.R.M., Dikshtar, TheMauryan Polity, University of Madrass, 1953. pp – 276-299. D.C. Sircar, Inscription of Asoka, Ootcamund, 1956, pp. 16-17; G.S. Murti and A.N. KrishanaAiyangar, Edicts of Asoka, Madras, 1950, pp. XXIV-XXV.
22.    T.L. Shah, Ancient India, Vol, II pt. IV, Baroda, 1939, pp. 302-305.
23.    N.K.Sastro. Age of Nanda and Mauryas, Benaras, 1952, p. 230.
24.    G. Bahler, The pillar Edicts of Asoka, in EpigraphiaIndica (E1) Vol, 2 1894, pp. 245-274.
25.    V.A.Smith, Asoka – The Buddhist Emperor of IndiaLondon,  1901 and 2nd edition 1964, Delhi, pp. 18-25, V.C. Panday, New History of Ancient India, Jallandhar, 1998, p. 231, R.S. Trapathi, History of Ancient India, Delhi, rep. 1985, pp. 162-175. R.K.Mookerji, Asoka, 3rd Edition, Delhi, 1962, pp, 60-79.G.M. Bongavol-Lenin, MauryanIndia, Dellhi; 1985, pp – 340-369.
26.    RomilaThapar, Asoka, op. cit, pp. 145-149.
27.    RomilaThapar, History of India, I rep. Delhi, 1990, p. 86.
28.    Ibid.
29.    V.C.Panday, New History, op. cit, pp 232-233.
30.    Ibid.
31.    B.Avari, India :The Ancient Past,  New-York, 2007, p-114.
32.    B.M.Barua, Asoka, op.cit., pp. 225-226.
33.    KautilyaArthasastra, RakeshSastri, Delhi, 2009, R.Shamasastry (tr) KautilyaArthasastra, Mysore, 1960, I.1 (hereafter as AS).
34.    AS X. 1-4.
35.    R.G.Basak, Asokan Inscription, Calcutta, 1959, pp. 70-73. S.R.E.IIKalinga Rock Edict II, pp. 125-120.
36.    A.N. KrishanaAiyangar, Edicts of Asoka,op.cit., pp. 33-38, R.G. Basak, Asokan Inscription, op.cit., pp. 57-69.
37.    A.N.KrishanaAiyangar, Edicts of Asoka, op.cit., pp. 38-39, pp. 115-119, V.C. Pandey, New History, op.cit., p. 228.
38.    D.C. Sircar, Inscription of Asoka, op.cit., pp. 40-41.
39.    A.N. Krishna Aiyangar, Edicts of Asoka, op.cit., pp. 57-60.
40.    Ibid., pp. 53-54, D.C. Sircar, Inscription of Asoka, op.cit., pp. 48-49.
41.    R.G.Basak, Asokan Inscription, op.cit., pp. 26-27.
42.    B.M.Barua, Asoka, op.cit., p. 239.
43.    S.N.Bhattacharya, Select Asokan Epigraphs, Calcutta, 1960, p. 40 (hereafter as Bhattacharya) R.G.Basak, op.cit., pp. 57-61. Dr.  Bhandarkar, Asoka, op.cit., pp. 177-78, 357-58, R.K.Mookarji, Asoka, op.cit. p.3.
44.    D.C. Sircar, Inscriptions of Asoka, op.cit., pp. 64-65, Minor Pillar Edict II, RE XI, RE. VIII.
45.    R.G.Basak, Asokan Inscriptions, op.cit., pp. 3-5.
46.    Ibid., pp. 100-103, A.N.KrishanAiyangar, Edicts of Asoka, op.cit., pp. 2-4; 99-102.
47.    D.C. Sircar, Inscription of Asoka, op.cit., pp. 43-44. R.G.Basak, Asokan Inscriptions, op.cit., pp. 26-27.
48.    Ibid., P.E. IV, pp. 94-95.
49.    Ibid., R.E. VI, pp. 34-35.
50.    Ibid., R.E.XII, R.E.XIII, pp.
51.    B.M.Barua, Asoka, op.cit., p. 266.
52.    R.G.Basak, Asokan Inscriptions, op.cit., p. 39, RI VII.
53.    B.M.Barua, Asoka, op.cit., pp. 267-268. Asokan Edicts. RE III, IV; VIII;IX, XI; XIII, PEVII; SREII.
54.    DeviChand, tr. Atharvaveda, Delhi, 1982. III. 30, 2-3, 36.18.
55.    AS, 11.1.18; IV. 3.43.
56.    R.V. VI. 75.70 VI, 75.18, Raj BahadurPandey, Yajurveda, Delhi, 2002, V. 1.5. S.Radhakrishnan (tr.) TheBhagavatGita, and ShrimadBhagavatGita, by YagaVadantSena.
57.    R.G.Basak, AsokanInscription, op. cit., Smiti, Ahamadava, 2002, pp. 129-130. A.N. Krishna Aiyangar, Edicts of Asoka, op.cit., pp. 77-81.
58.    D.C.Sircar, Inscription of Asoka, op.cit., pp. 63-65, A.N. Krishna, Aiyangar, Edicts of Asoka, op.cit., pp. 120-125.

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