King Asoka has come to be regarded as one of the most exemplary rulers in world history. His edicts, inscribed on rocks and pillars, proclaim Asoka’s reforms and policies and promulgate his advice to his subjects.
The present book makes a pioneering attempt to provide the texts of Asoka’s edicts converted into Pali along with English translations and observations. The introduction discusses pertinent problems, viz: Dates of the edicts, why King Asoka did not eulogize Buddha?, who inscribed the edicts and how were they inscribed? For the first time all the edicts – rock edicts, pillar edicts, cave edicts and edicts inscribed outside India – have been studied together. In addition, tables of chronology of all the edicts have been enumerated. Also provided are the maps giving the exact location of the edicts.
The present rendering of his edicts offers the reader insights into a powerful and capable ruler’s attempt to establish an empire on the formulation of righteousness, a reign which makes the moral and spiritual welfare of his subjects its primary concern. The volume would thus provide a peep into the life and personality of King Asoka and is bound to be an asset for the scholars, students and those interested in Ancient Indian History and Culture.