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.