Religion Past and Present

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(220 words)

[German Version]

was the third ruler of the Indian Maurya dynasty and ruled approximately 270-230 bce. A bloody campaign against Kālinga is claimed to have contributed to the change in his disposition. Subsequently, he promoted Buddhism, according to Buddhist sources. That he himself became a Buddhist is not undisputed. Apart from the Buddhist Saṃgha he supported other religious groups (Jainas [Jainism], Ājīvikas, Brahmin). A vigorous Buddhist expansion occurred during his reign. According to Singhalese tradition, his son(?) Mahendra did missionary work in Śri Laṅka. The missi…

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Mürmel, Heinz, “Aśoka”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 21 July 2024 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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