Asoka and the Buddhist Faith Essay

Asoka and the Buddhist Faith Essay

Length: 1774 words (5.1 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Asoka was the third ruler of the Mauryan Empire and is considered the greatest ruler of ancient India. Asoka not only unified India under one government, he also introduced the concept of conquest by moral force over violence. Furthermore, he is arguably one of the most important figures in the early development of Buddhism. It is because of Asoka’s royal patronage that Buddhism spread beyond India and became the world religion that it is today.
Buddhism is one of the oldest religions in the world, which began in India. The origin of Buddhism is traced back to the experience of single man, Siddhartha Gautama, later known as the Buddha. Born around 563 B.C.E., legend follows that Siddhartha was the son of a prince in a kingdom near the border of what is now India and Nepal. As such, he was sheltered from the world and lived a life of luxury and comfort. (Molloy 124) However, at age 29 Siddhartha left the royal grounds and witnessed the suffering of ordinary life for the first time. What he saw deeply affected him and caused him to question everything in his materialistic life. Siddhartha made the decision to give up his possessions and embark on a search for enlightenment, an event known as the Great Going Forth. (Molloy 125)
After many years of seeking answers to his questions, particularly about suffering and death, Siddhartha came to a revelation and decided to adopt a path of moderation known as the Middle path, which found ground somewhere in between self-indulgence and asceticism. According to legend, Siddhartha sat under what is known as the Bodhi Tree and meditated intensely until at last he achieved Enlightenment when he reached a state of profound understanding. From that point on he was known as the Buddha. (Molloy 127)...

... middle of paper ... parts of India, becoming the predominant faith for much of the population. (Allen 399)
Asoka did not force anyone to adopt Buddhism as his or her faith. Rather, he spread the principles in the hope that people would choose to follow them on their own and lead an ethical life. After Asoka’s death the Mauryan Empire gradually declined (Molloy 138). His Empire may not have survived, but Asoka is known today as one of the greatest rulers of ancient India and the most important figure in Buddhism after the Buddha himself. Buddhism may not be the dominant religion in India today, but there are millions of Buddhism followers worldwide today because of Asoka’s influence. If not for Asoka, Buddhism may have remained an entirely Indian religion. It is due to his influence that Buddhism is practiced worldwide today. His memory will always live on in the Buddhist community.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Asoka, Messenger of India and the World Essay

- Asoka messenger of India and the world; he taught and spread Buddhism all over Asia. Asoka was the ruler of most of India. Asoka left an important message in India some were his edicts. Asoka ruled the Mauryan Empire that was one of the greatest Empires of India. Asoka was very wealthy but after he became the ruler of the Mauryan Empire and fought many vicious wars and fights, he felt a “hole” inside of himself and began to seek a transformation. So was Asoka a merciless killer or a wise ruler. Asoka was an enlightened ruler or also a wise ruler because Asoka left a very important message in India....   [tags: spreading of Budddhism]

Better Essays
583 words (1.7 pages)

Buddhism : A Popular Living Tradition Essay

- Buddhism continues to be a popular living tradition, surviving over 2,500 years, as it provides adherents with a harmonious way of living. The diagram above depicts that in a religion, there is an interwoven relationship between a significant person, ethics and a significant practice. Furthermore Buddhism principal beliefs offer assistance to adherents on bioethical issues such as abortion, organ donation and suicide. They are also essential in a Buddhist pilgrimage and are explored, as well as reinforced in the edicts of King Asoka and with his actions that promoted Buddhism....   [tags: Buddhism, Gautama Buddha, Religion, Karma]

Better Essays
1072 words (3.1 pages)

Buddhist Teachings On Adherents And The Buddhist Community Essay

- Buddhist teachings and worshipping both have impacts on adherents and the Buddhist community. Both provide an insight into how to achieve the ultimate goal of enlightenment and reach Nirvana. Bioethics is a major concern in Buddhist teachings and the ethical regulations are derived from the concepts of the Eightfold Path, karma, four noble truths and the five precepts. These are the ethics that judge human actions as morally right or wrong. Moreover, significant practices drawn from Temple Puja can be used to convey worship of the Buddha and offer Buddhists a greater understanding of their path to enlightenment....   [tags: Buddhism, Gautama Buddha, Four Noble Truths]

Better Essays
1282 words (3.7 pages)

The Accidental Buddhist Essay examples

- The Accidental Buddhist: Mindfulness, Enlightenment, and Sitting Still by Dinty M. Moore is a personal memoir about Moore’s journey into the world of American Buddhism. Although Moore is an Irish-American who lives in central Pennsylvania, was raised in a Catholic family, and attended Catholic school, he decided at a young age that God had let him down, he gave up religion. However, later on in his adult life he came across the book Being Peace by Thich Naht Hanh, and desired to know what the “Buddhists had discovered” and what he was “missing” (19)....   [tags: Dinty Moore, American Buddhist, buddhism]

Better Essays
1617 words (4.6 pages)

Buddhist Teachings And Worship On Individuals And The Buddhist Community

- With reference to the quotations and a significant person studied, analyse the impact of Buddhist teachings and worship on individuals and the Buddhist community. Buddhist teachings and temple puja has had a significant impact upon Buddhist adherents and the wider community, in a way that allows them to further their understanding and strengthen their faith. The key Buddhist tenet involves leading a life that avoids the extremes of indulgence and denial through the proposition of a middle way. General Buddhist teachings include The Eightfold Path, The Four Noble Truths and The Five Precepts....   [tags: Buddhism, Gautama Buddha, Karma, Four Noble Truths]

Better Essays
1636 words (4.7 pages)

Asoka of India Essay

- Asoka was one of the greatest rulers of ancient India. He was the grandson of Chandragupta Maurya of Magadha who established the first Indian empire. Chandragupta reigned for twenty-four years before relinquishing his throne in favor of his son, Bundusara (Asoka’s father), who left no noticeable mark upon the empire. Asoka was born in 304 B.C. and was known in his youth as Canda Asoka (the fierce Asoka) because of his aggressive nature. Asoka came to the throne in 270 B.C. after a power struggle that ended in the death of one of his brothers....   [tags: essays research papers]

Free Essays
1254 words (3.6 pages)

Essay on Buddhist Perspectives On Charity And Philanthropy

- Buddhist perspectives on charity and philanthropy in Vietnamese society. Buddhism is the most influential religion in Vietnam (). Buddhism plays a pivotal role in social contribution to TTXH in the country (). The critical participation of Buddhism in TTXH activities in Vietnam is mostly explained from its doctrines and teaching (). Reviewing the classic collection of the Buddhist scriptures, neither charity nor philanthropy is mentioned. In fact, the classic Buddhist teaching only mentions the term of ‘giving’....   [tags: Buddhism, Gautama Buddha, Vietnam, Buddhist texts]

Better Essays
831 words (2.4 pages)

Buddhist Art in Japan Essay

- Buddhist Art in Japan Buddhism had an important role in the development of Japanese art between the sixth and the sixteenth centuries. Buddhist art and religion came to Japan from China, with the arrival of a bronze Buddhist sculpture alongside the sutras. Buddhist art was encouraged by Crown Prince Taishi in the Suiko period in the sixth century and Emperor Shomu in the Nara period in the eighth century. In the early Heian period Buddhist art and architecture greatly influenced the traditional Shinto arts, and Buddhist painting became fashionable among the wealthy class....   [tags: Art Artistic Arts Buddhist Buddhism Essays]

Better Essays
2007 words (5.7 pages)

The Path of a Buddhist Essay

- The Path of a Buddhist Buddhism is a religion and philosophy based on the teachings of the Buddha, Siddhartha Gautama. Today, Buddhism has an estimated seven hundred million followers, known as Buddhists. Most practicing Buddhists believe in ideas such as karma, dharma, samsara and nirvana. In addition to these, Buddhists base their lives and actions on the Four Noble Truths and the Noble Eightfold Path. Taught by Gautama, the Noble Eightfold path is a theory, that when put into action, serves as a way to end suffering (The Noble Eightfold Path)....   [tags: Religion Buddhism]

Better Essays
1292 words (3.7 pages)

Masters and Gautama: A Synthesis of Buddhist Philosophy Essay

- Masters and Gautama: A Synthesis of Buddhist Philosophy Regardless of who we are or where we come from, we are unlucky enough to be subject to a world consisting of modifiers, pre-established social elements, systems of opinion and belief, which, though we may be unaware of them while they work their magic on us, ultimately serve to wrap us in a prison of thought. At the same time, there exist modifiers which may serve to free us. Depending on the right conditions, the time, we can be fortunate enough to see through the shroud pulled over our head at birth, to the true explanation of why we’re here, the truth of our existence....   [tags: Buddhism Buddhist Philosophy Papers]

Free Essays
2399 words (6.9 pages)