How Did Emperor Ashoka Contribute To The Spread Of Buddhism

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What led to the spread of Buddhism during the Mauaryan period? What lead to such rapid growth of a religion? In the following essay I will try to argue how Emperor Ashoka's kingdom was a doorway for the spread of Buddhism. This happened majorly due to three reasons- Firstly, Ashoka the emperor of such a vast kingdom himself preached the religion of Buddhism. Secondly Emperor Ashoka played a major role in propagation of Buddhism by spreading the teachings of Buddhism through his rock and pillar edicts and also by sending his missionaries to various places in India as well as abroad. Thirdly Ashoka made a huge contribution in institutionalizing Buddhism by stating the basic principles of Buddhism through his philosophy of 'DHAMMA' . Emperor Ashoka was not an extra ordinary emperor until a major turning point came to his life. During the expansion of the Mauryan Empire, Ashoka led a war against the state of Kalinga (present day Orissa) with the goal of conquering its territory, something that his grandfather had already attempted to do. The conflict took place around 261 BCE and it is considered one of the most brutal and bloodiest wars in world history. After the war, Ashoka issued an edict expressing his regret for the suffering inflicted …show more content…
The contribution of Ashoka to the spread of Buddhism can be attributed to three important factors. First being the institutionalization of Buddhism by Ashoka by introducing the philosophy of 'DHAMMA'. Secondly, the propagation of Buddhism by spreading the teachings of Buddhism through his rock and pillar edicts and also by sending his missionaries to various places in India as well as abroad. And third being his patronage towards Buddhism. The most important factor which influenced the spread of Buddhism was that Buddhism as a religion earned respect due to its adoption and practice by the extra ordinary emperor

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