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Given here is information about the rock edicts of Asoka / Ashoka. Read about Ashokan rock edicts.

Asoka Edicts

Asoka was one of the greatest emperors of India. His high ideals and philosophies are inscribed in the form of rock edicts all over northern India. The Ashokan rock edicts are basically a collection of 33 inscriptions that are carved on the Pillars of Ashoka along with big boulders, caves, etc. These rock edicts have not been modified in any way and are preserved the way they were carved during that time. Read on about Ashoka's rock edict.

The rock edicts of Ashoka are spread all through the northern part of India as well as modern day Pakistan. These rock edicts are supposed to be one of the primary concrete evidences of the spread of Buddhism. The inscriptions on these edicts basically provide information about the spread of Buddhism in India and other places. According to the information provided on the edicts, Buddhism spread as far as Mediterranean. Many Buddhist monuments and temples were constructed during this time in order to promote this peaceful religion and make the world aware of Buddha's ideals and philosophies.

The rock edicts declare Emperor Ashoka's belief in the concept of Dharma or Righteousness. The inscriptions focus on not just the religious aspects and practices but more on the social and moral concepts. The rock edicts very clearly mention the efforts of Emperor Ashoka to spread Buddhism throughout the kingdom. However, the rock edicts do not mention the Four Noble Truths or the Eight Fold Path to Nirvana. This could be because Ashoka wanted to remain simple in his approach to Buddhism and connect with the common man.

The rock edicts describe Ashoka as the "Beloved of Gods". This was discovered in an inscription that was discovered in the year 1915 on a rock edict. The language used in the rock edicts and inscriptions of Ashoka was Pali. As the edicts and inscriptions were scattered over different parts of the empire, as many as four scripts were used in different edicts and inscriptions of Ashoka. These scripts were Kharoshti, Greek, Aramic and Brahmi.