It was a night. The sky was black and dark was the time. Silence was marking its imprints over history and he was trying to sleep at his palace. His body was lying on his magnificent bed, as if silence had embraced his soul for a moment. At first glimpse, it might look like he had died; but he was not dead and neither he was silent internally. His mind was fighting with his own thoughts. Thoughts of his own childhood. Thoughts of his ancestors and their glory. Thoughts of pleasant moments spent during his lifetime. But what disturbed his mind was something else. It were his decisions he made during his life. Eight years had been passed and he was thinking about all his mistakes since his coronation. Yes, he was a king. A king of kings, the emperor.
A few weeks ago
His feet were standing firmly on the battleground and his hands were ready to decapitate his enemy with the sword. Finally, the day, he was waiting for, had arrived; he was going to conquer the state against which his forefathers had failed. The army of four lakh warriors was standing behind him with willingness to fight for him till their last breath. He had never considered his enemy wimpish than him, but this time he was firm about winning; he would have to win for gaining pride, respect and glory. But at that time the king did not know that he would never forget that day for his lifetime and neither the future world ever would.
After the war
Although his enemy had been vanished, he did not know whether he had won or not? His eyes were full of grief and his heart was broken. Total two lakh people had died and river near by battlefield had turned red due to blood. He was walking on the battlefield that was covered with corpses of those slain. Some were moaning with pain and some had lost their limbs. One woman was crying because her husband had died and one because her son had. Someone had lost her brother or father then other-one had lost a child. Was that really a winning of mine? May be I am responsible for this devastation. he thought.
The wind had started to blow gently and those images of aftermath of war were slowly killing his pride and anger. He won that battle but he lost peace of his mind. Now he had one of the greatest empire of the world but he lost his self-respect and happiness. The day after day, he became deeply moved by thoughts and futilely of victory was understood by that monarch.
Due to reflection of that intuition, the king became Buddhist and made Buddhism as a state religion. He accepted non-violence by making friendship with nearby states and ruled his empire like a father takes care of a child. He believed that Buddhism is helpful to all living humans, animals and plants; so he helped to construct Buddhist temples and religious inscriptions on rocks. He donated for building intellectual universities and organised many religious conferences. His efforts made Buddhism as a well-known religion in world. After those ripples created in his mind he became a world known emperor for his love towards peace and humanity.
He had erected the capital containing four lions at Sarnath which was later adapted as national emblem of India. And his ‘wheel of religiousness’ is included in national flag of India.
That battle was Kalinga war.
And his name was Ashoka, Ashoka the great.
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