"Live amongst the people, among men as if thou wert one of them."This is a quote from Ashoka the great, an ancient Indian Emperor who lived around 2200 years ago.
Ashok means painless, without sorrow.
He was called the wild Prince.
Ashoka was an Indian emperor of the Maurya Dynasty who ruled almost all of the Indian subcontinent from 269 BC to 232 BC. One of India's greatest emperors, Ashoka reigned over most of present-day India after a number of military conquests. His empire stretched from the Hindu Kush mountains in Afghanistan to Bangladesh in the east and as far south as northern Karnataka. As king, Ashoka conquered many territories throughout India. He also expanded into Afghanistan, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Nepal; these conquests helped spread Buddhism throughout Asia.
Though many come and go, there are few who just never go. They live among us. Samrat Ashok was a phenomenon.
Samrat Ashok was born in 304 BC to the Mauryan king Bindusara and Subhadrangi, a princess of Kalinga. His name means “Without Sorrow” in Sanskrit. From his childhood he was a fearless and ambitious warrior even though he was the second son of his father.
After the death of his father Bindusara, Ashoka waged war against his own brother to become the next king of Mauryan dynasty. In the year 272 BC, Ashoka became one of the most powerful kings in Indian history and extended the borders of his empire from Afghanistan to Karnataka, covering almost all of south Asia.
He has been described as "the greatest monarch that India has ever known" by British historian Vincent Smith. He is known for being one of the greatest military minds in history and for waging cruel wars but later converting to Buddhism after witnessing what he had done on a previous battle.
However, after years of warring against other kingdoms—and winning—Ashoka decided he did not want any more bloodshed between humans over religion or politics. Instead he wanted everyone to live peacefully together under one set of rules .
The Lion Capital is the official emblem of India. It was adopted as the national emblem of India on 26 January 1950, the day that India became a republic. The Lion Capital was erected in the third century BC by Emperor Ashoka to mark the spot where Buddha first taught the Dharma, and is a key art object in Indian culture.
The Lion Capital is at Sarnath, 13 kilometres (8.1 mi) north-east of Varanasi. It was originally placed atop an Ashoka Pillar, at the centre of a structure called Dharmarajika Stupa or Dharmarajikathanaka (also known as "Dharmarajika Stupa" or "Dharmarajika Chaitya") which was commissioned by Emperor Ashoka in 249 BC shortly after his conversion to Buddhism following his bloody Kalinga war conquest in eastern India (present-day Odisha state).
The four lions of Sarnath (Uttar Pradesh) are still there; they guard the pillar erected by Emperor Ashoka circa 250 BC., which remains in its original place today. The Lion Capital from this pillar has been adopted as the National Emblem of India and the wheel "Ashoka Chakra" from its base has been placed onto the center of India's flag!
The effects of Ashoka's new way of living were far-reaching and powerful. People who had never been allowed to participate in their government were suddenly given a voice in the systems that governed them. Those who needed food had access to it; those who needed shelter found it. He insisted on treating foreigners with respect and mercy instead of disdain and cruelty.
He also established hospitals for animals and humans alike, which were staffed with medical practitioners who took care of both poor and rich patients alike.
Perhaps most famously, Ashoka ordered that pillars be erected all over India as a way to share both moral lessons and news with the public.
Though Ashoka's reign ended almost twenty-two centuries ago, his legacy lives on in India today.