Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Episode:13. Ashoka Part 1

Episode:13. Ashoka Part 1 and 2 together
The Discovery of India, Bharat ek Khoj (भारत एक खोज)بھارت ایک کھوج
Director: Shyam Benegal
Based on the book by: Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru

Alternate video

Ashoka, the greatest of the Indian rulers has too been given his due place in Nehru’s ‘The discovery Of India’. Though the documentary deals with the life and the details of Ashoka’s kingdom in two parts, I happen to go in accordance with the book and would sum up the whole in one chapter.
Ashoka who belong to the Maurya dynasty succeeded to the great empire in 273 B.C. the son of Bindusara and the grand son of Chandragupta Maurya, Ashoka too was ambitious to unite the whole of Indian subcontinent under the Mauryan flag and to fulfill this dream he had only to conquer Kalinga which roughly corresponded to modern Orissa and some part of Andhra Pradesh. Thought Ashoka won Kalinga, the bloodshed of the battle created a sense of dejection in his heart and he abandoned the conquered Kalinga and at the same time abandoned warfare and took the part of justice and welfare and later found his calm in the teachings of Buddhism. He imbibed on the journey of welfare and love and to spread this message he sent his son and daughter to far of places.
Ashoka, unique in his vision ruled the masses with justice and worked for the welfare of the society. He took precise care that no unkind treatment was installed to any of his subjects and he worked to spread the message of Buddhism through his ambassador to far off places like Syria, Egypt, Macedonia, Cyrene and Epirus. It may be credited to Ashoka for the speedy spread of Buddhism in the Asian subcontinent.
Apart form being a judicious ruler Ashoka was also a great builder and he emphasized on the employment of foreign craftsmen to assist in building some of his huge structures. Ashoka’s famous many-pillared hall in his palace in Pataliputra, which was dug out during excavation was found in such good condition that the joints between the stone couldn’t be distinguished and the logs which formed some or the other structure were as good as the time when they were laid.
The Nalanda University which lies between Pataliputra and Gaya and which were to become famous in later days has no records to prove when it began functioning and doesn’t have any striking cord the give the idea of its existence in Ashoka time.
Ashoka died in 232 B.C., after ruling for 41 years. Of him H.G.Wells says in his ‘Outline of History’: ‘Amidst the tens of thousands of names of monarchs that crowd the column of history, their majesties and graciousnesses and serenities and royal highnesses and the like, the name of Ashoka shines, and shines almost alone, a star.

1 comment:

You First said...

Watch this episode at

part 1