Tao Te Ching

The Power of Goodness, the Wisdom Beyond Words
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Ashoka

304 – 232 BCE

One of the world's most enlightened leaders

One of India’s greatest emperors, after witnessing the immense bloodshed during a war Ashoka became the first Buddhist leader and sent teachers as far away as Egypt, Greece, Nepal, China, Thailand and Viet Nam. He brought about a golden age for India, renounced violence and religious intolerance, built 84,000 monasteries, hospitals for people and animals, championed the environment, human rights and gender equality. He was the first ruler in human history to ban slavery, the death penalty, animal cruelty, and deforestation. H.G. Wells wrote that his reign, “was one of the brightest interludes in the troubled history of mankind.”

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Quotes by Ashoka (5 quotes)

“It is forbidden to decry other sects; the true believer gives honor to whatever in them is worthy of honor.”

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“All men are my children. What I desire for my own children—and I desire their welfare and happiness both in this world and the next—that I desire for all men.”

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“The greatest of all victories is the victory of righteousness.”

Themes: Integrity Victory

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“May the partisans of all doctrines in all countries unite and live in a common fellowship. For all alike profess mastery to be attained over oneself and purity of the heart.”

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“Whoever praises his own religion, due to excessive devotion, and condemns others with the thought 'Let me glorify my own religion,' only harms his own religion. Therefore contact (between religions) is good. One should listen to and respect the doctrines professed by others.”

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Quotes about Ashoka (4 quotes)

“Somewhere, sometime, in the name of humanity, we must challenge a thousand evil precedents , and dare to apply the Golden Rule to nations as the Buddhist King Ashoka did in 262 BCE”

Will (and Ariel) Durant 1885 – 1981 CE
from Lessons of History

Themes: Golden Rule

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“Buddhism, at this time, was a vigorous proselytizing religion. Ashoka, the saintly Buddhist king, records, in a still extant inscription, that he sent missionaries to all the Macedonian kings”

Bertrand Russell 1872 – 1970 CE
“20th century Voltaire”
from History of Western Philosophy

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“the great Buddhist Emperor Ashoka is an example of the effect of Buddhist teaching upon character and policy... Quoting 'All men are my children,' he ordered the establishment of hospitals, that shade and fruit trees should be planted by the high roads, that animals should not be killed for his table, that all animate beings should have security, self-control, peace of mind, and joyousness”

Ananda Coomaraswamy குமாரசுவாமி 1877 – 1947 CE
Perennial philosophy's Citizen of the World
from The Dance of Shiva (1918)

Themes: Leadership

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Ashoka's reign was one of the brightest interludes in the troubled history of mankind... For 28 years he worked sanely for the real needs of men. Amidst the tens of thousands of names of monarchs that crowd the columns of history, the name of Asoka shines, and shines, almost alone, a star... the only military monarch on record who abandoned warfare after victory... his life was devoted to the spreading of Buddhism throughout the world.

H. G. Wells 1866 – 1946 CE
A father of science fiction and One World Government apostle
from Outline of History

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