Emperor Ashoka was one of the important Buddhist follower in the history of Buddhism in all era. In simple words, Ashoka can be considered as the true patriot of Buddhism and his later work have changed the scale of Buddhism in the Whole world. Most of you may know the history or biography of Ashoka emperor whereas this article tells you about the patriotism of Ashoka towards Buddhism.
Emperor Ashoka created a huge empire before he became the followers of Buddhism. But after his ordination of Buddhism, he himself spread the word of Buddhism all over his empire as well as some parts of Nepal and Sri Lanka. But what’s more important was his campaign to send many Buddhist missionaries in order to spread the knowledge, wisdom and words of Lord Buddha all over the Asia. It is said that Emperor Ashoka’s missionaries even reached Egypt as well as Greece. If considered in whole, Emperor Ashoka’s campaign was a huge success in spreading the knowledge of Buddhism.
After the Kalinga War (265 BCE), Ashoka regretted the massacre caused by his conquests and become the lay Buddhist monks. After becoming the lay Buddhist, the action of Emperor Ashoka was lead by his knowledge of Dharma. Later Emperor Ashoka started believing true meaning of Buddhism started a campaign to spread Buddhism all over his empire and even outside the India. His campaign started by promoting peace, harmony, compassion, as well as justice which are based on the true principles of Buddhism instead of teaching and spreading the Lord Buddha’s teachings.
During his campaign to spread Buddhism in his empire, he ordered his military officials to help all the poor and sick people all over the empire in order to truly promote the virtue of truthfulness, kindness & generosity. The famous Ashoka pillars were ordered to build in many neighboring countries such Nepal, Pakistan and Afghanistan. Even though it got lost during the dark times of Buddhism in India, in 1895 a German Archeologist found the lost Ashokan pillars in Lumbini known as the Birthplace of Lord Buddha.
Some Sutra can be found on the Emperor Ashoka great campaign. These Buddhist texts such as Mahavamsa and Dipavamsa contained the life biography and religious biography of Ashoka. According to these texts, many Knowledgeable monks were sent by Ashoka as emissaries to teach the knowledge of Dharma and assigned in nine destinations such as gandhara, Kashmir, Greece, Sri Lanka, Burma, Egypt, Greece and Thailand. It is also believed that during this campaign, his military official constructed some Buddha statues, images, etc.