Development of Buddhism. Asoka. Titles – Piyadasi; Chakravartin and ‘beloved of the gods’. The conversion of Asoka to Buddhism is a major factor in the development of the religion, along with the proliferation of sects and convening of councils. Introduction on Asoka.
The conversion of Asoka to Buddhism is a major factor in the development of the religion, along with the proliferation of sects and convening of councils
It took c250 years for the Sangha to fully impress a monarch.
160 years after the Buddha’s death, the Jain, Chandagupta Maurya established his dynasty and enlarged Magadha.
3. Asoka was his grandson who inherited the empire in 272 B.C.E. – 268 B.C.E.
4. He adopted the Kautilyan theory of statecraft of good karma by conquest of lands.
5. The violent Kalingan campaign converted Asoka to the cultivation of peace and he became a lay Buddhist.
By persuasion – the stone pillars (rock edicts). These urged role responsibility and non – violence, benevolence and charity.
By legislation – setting up welfare centres, officers, parks and banning sacrifices.
3. Through the 3rd Council – At Patilaputra, his capital. Asoka sided with the Sthviras against the Sarvastavadins. He agreed on the three baskets of The Pali Canon and sent missionaries
Increased the popularity of Buddhism at home and abroad.
Buddhism became a universal religion during his rule.
Asoka improved the status and influence of the Sangha.
4. Asoka encouraged and established peace, tolerance and morality.
5. Asoka made it easy to be a monk or a lay devotee
6. Asoka incorporated and tolerated non Buddhist elements – all inclusive; a Buddhist ideal!
Asoka antagonised Brahmins.
Asoka antagonised other sects.
Asoka weakened the dharma by encouraging other sects to practice their beliefs freely.
4. Asoka was an autocrat.
5. Asoka used Buddhism for his clever political ends.
6. Asoka made it too easy to become a Monk.
7. Asoka separated out sila from the other trainings on the Eightfold Path –can it ever be separated out?
1. His empire crumbled within 50 years
2. He only ever promoted morality3.
3. Missionaries were sent to Sri Lanka; Kashmir; Gandhara; Himalayas; Malaya; Southern India; Egypt and Syria
4. Buddhism had become a popular cult by the time of Asoka’s death
5. The three fold relationship envisaged by the Buddha for the survival of Buddhism of The Sangha, the King and the people had become a reality