What was the Purpose of Ashoka's Dhamma?

By Shivank Goel|Updated : January 9th, 2023

The purpose of Ashoka's dhamma was to facilitate the innumerable religions and cultures of the Mauryan empire to live in sync with each other. Ashoka's policy for the Mauryan kingdom was essentially a set of edicts or commandments known as "Dhamma," which is the "Prakrit" form of the Sanskrit term "Dharma."

Ashoka's Dhamma and the Purpose

Dhamma was Ashoka's attempt to establish a set of rules and laws for the Mauryan empire so that the various cultures and religions could coexist in peace and harmony. Because of his public welfare policies, Ashoka is regarded as one of the greatest kings in Indian history.

In order to achieve harmony, Ashoka pleaded for tolerance of various religious sects. Dhamma's policy also emphasised non-violence, which was to be practised by foregoing war and conquests, as well as by refraining from killing animals. However, Ashoka realised that a little show of political power could be required to keep the primitive forest-dwelling tribes in check.

Furthermore, he etched his concepts of dhamma on the pillars and rocks and practised the philosophy of Ahimsa religiously to set an example. His dhamma emphasised tolerance and acceptance and the idea of showing consideration towards workers and slaves. Lastly, his doctrine of the dhamma is often referred to as ethical order or moral law.

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FAQs on Purpose of Ashoka's Dhamma

  • Ashoka created the Dhamma with the intention of making the various religions and cultures in the Mauryan empire live in fair harmony with each other. He wanted to create peace and tolerance among different religions and sects of people. His dhamma stood on the concept of Ahimsa and harmony.

  • Ashoka is considered one of the greatest kings in ancient India due to his innovative and thoughtful policies for public welfare. He pleaded for tolerance of various religious sects and his policies emphasised nonviolence, which was to be practised by foregoing war and conquests, as well as by refraining from killing animals.

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