|Board||CBSE Board, UP board, JAC board, HBSE Board, Bihar Board, PSEB board, RBSE Board, UBSE Board|
|Subject||History | Social Science|
|Chapter Name||Ashoka, The Emperor Who Gave Up War|
|Topic||Ashoka, The Emperor Who Gave Up War CBSE Class 6 History Chapter 7 Notes|
|Especially Designed Notes for||CBSE, ICSE, IAS, NET, NRA, UPSC, SSC, NDA|
Ashoka, The Emperor Who Gave Up War
A Very Big Kingdom – An Empire
- The lions that we see on our notes and coins were carved in stone, and placed on top of a massive stone pillar at Sarnath.
- Ashoka was one of the greatest rulers known to history and on his instructions, inscriptions were carved on pillars, as well as on rock surfaces.
- The empire’ that Ashoka ruled was founded by his grandfather, Chandragupta Maurya, more than 2300 years ago.
- Chandragupta Maurya was supported by a wise man named Chanakya or Kautilya.
- Many of Chanakya’s ideas were written down in a book called the Arthashastra.
- There were several cities in the empire viz the capital’ Pataliputra, Taxila and Ujjain.
- Taxila was a gateway to the North-West, including Central Asia, while Ujjain lay on the route from North to South India.
- Merchants, officials and crafts persons probably lived in these cities.
- In other areas, there were villages of farmers and herders.
- In some areas such as Central India, there were forests where people gathered forest produce and hunted animals for food.
- People in different parts of the empire spoke different languages, ate different kinds of food, and wore different kinds of clothes.
Difference between Empires and Kingdoms
- Emperors need more resources than kings because empires are larger than kingdoms and need to be protected by armies.
- Emperors also need a larger number of officials who collect taxes.
Ruling the Empire
- The ruling pattern was varying in empires due to the largeness of the empire.
- The area around Pataliputra was under the direct control of the emperor.
- Officials were appointed to collect taxes from farmers, herders, crafts persons and traders, who lived in villages and towns in the area.
- Officials also punished those who disobeyed the ruler’s orders, and many of these officials were given salaries.
- Messengers went to and fro, and spies kept a watch on the officials, and of course the emperor supervised them all, with the help of members of the royal family, and senior ministers.
- The other areas or provinces were ruled from a provincial capital such as Taxila or Ujjain.
- Although there was some amount of control from Pataliputra, and royal princes were often sent as governors, local customs and rules were probably followed.
- There were vast areas between the provincial centres, here the Mauryas tried to control roads and rivers, which were important for transport, and to collect whatever resources were available as tax and tribute”.
- The Arthashastra tells us that the North-West was important for blankets, and South India for its gold and precious stones.
- It is possible that these resources were collected as tribute.
- There were also the forested regions where people were more or less independent, but may have been expected to supply elephants, timber, honey and wax to Mauryan officials.
Ashoka- A Unique Ruler
- He was the most famous Mauryan ruler, and was the first ruler who tried to take his message to the people through inscriptions.
- Most of Ashoka’s inscriptions were in Prakrit and were written in the Brahmi script.
Ashoka’s War in Kalinga
- He fought a war to conquer Kalinga, the ancient name of coastal Orissa.
- However he was so horrified when he saw the violence and bloodshed that he decided not to fight any more wars.
- Ashoka is the only king in the history of the world who gave up conquest after winning a war.
- Ashoka’s dhamma did not involve worship of a God, or performance of a sacrifice.
- He felt that just as a father tries to teach his children, he had a duty to instruct his subjects, and he was also inspired by the teachings of the Buddha.
- A number of problems such as the people in the empire followed different religions, and this sometimes led to conflict, troubled him a lot.
- Slaves and servants were ill-treated, besides, there were quarrels in families and amongst neighbours.
- Ashoka felt it was his duty to solve these problems.
- So, he appointed officials, known as the dhamma mahamatta who went from place to place teaching people about dhamma.
- Ashoka got his messages inscribed on rocks and pillars, instructing his officials to read his message to those who could not read it themselves.
- He also sent messengers to spread ideas about dhamma to other lands, such as Syria, Egypt, Greece and Sri Lanka.
- He built roads, dug wells, rest houses, and he also arranged for medical treatment for both human beings and animals.
1. Empire: An extensive group of states or countries ruled over by a single monarch, an oligarchy, or a sovereign state.
2. Capital: The city or town that functions as the seat of government and administrative centre of a country or region.
3. Official: It is relating to an authority or public body and its activities and responsibilities.
4. Messenger: A person who carries a message or is employed to carry messages.
5. Tribute: Payment of a variety of things collected as and when possible from people.
6. Dhamma: Essential quality or character, as of the cosmos or one’s own nature.