Sunday, December 16, 2007

Ashok’s Conversion: A Buddhist Myth?

dec 16th, 2007

interesting indeed. not that i care whether ashoka was hindu or buddhist, but the nehruvian stalinists do care a whole lot: because they like buddhists, not hindus.

if this assertion is true, that is another blow to amartya sen who claims that "india has had no great hindu kings -- the greatest were buddhist ashoka and mohammedan akbar". of course, this anyway shows yet again that ye olde amartya has a) no clue about history, being innocent of any knowledge of the guptas for instance, and b) is a north indian bigot, for he has not heard of rajaraja chola or krishnadeva raya.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: v

Ashok's Conversion: A Buddhist Myth?

Recently I read a History text book published by NCERT for high
school students. In a chapter, there is lot of information about
Mouryan Emperor Ashok, but the book does not give any information on
his conversion to Buddhism. In the same chapter, while discussing
about Ashok's religion, the book gives some information on his
religion, but it doesn't mention anything about Buddhism.

I have read some authentic books on Ashok's inscriptions. None of his
inscriptions mentions that he had adopted Buddhism. Most of his
inscriptions preach to donate to `Bramhins and Shramans'. Buddhists
present Ashok as opponent of Vedics, but here you clearly see that
Ashok shows his respect for Bramhins and that too at beginning.
Further the word Shraman means not only Buddhists, as there were 6
major schools of Shramanic traditions including the most famous
Jainism and Ajivak philosophy. So if we see through his inscription,
we do not get any evidence of his conversion to Buddhism. Moreover we
do not get any evidence of his special attention towards Buddhism.

Ashokas inscriptions are in Prakrit language, not in the Buddhist
Pali. Ashok has used the word `Dhamma' everywhere in his
inscriptions. It is originally a Prakrit word and was equivalently
used by all Shramanic traditions.

The story of Ashok's conversion is found only in some Buddhist texts.
But it has not supported by any archaeological proofs.

I would like to get comments from the scholars and learned students
of this subject.

-M.S. Chavan

1 comment:

Sameer said...

I think its more to do with Ambedkarite Buddhism than real Buddhism.