The Effects of Buddhism on the Structure of the Mauryan Empire

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Many tales begin with Ashoka the ruthless leader who had killed dozens of people including his own family to seize the throne. From those ruthless beginnings he became a king that was very wise and just. Third century B.C.E King Ashoka had seized much of the Indian subcontinent.

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He had successfully spread Buddhism throughout during his conquest. Using his guide of Dharma along the way, he began the spread of Buddhism while he was conquering all of India. Ashoka had been fighting a war with another empire when the Buddha revealed himself to Ashoka. He had realized that persecuting people was the opposite of what was morally right. Feeling guilty after all of his conquests, he converted to Buddhism and truly started spreading Buddhist principles. He even gave up many of his worldly possessions and meditated for many days in order to achieve inner peace. Since he had previously conquered lands before converting, he began spreading Buddhism throughout the land which greatly affected the Mauryan Empire. Following Buddhist principles, the message of peace was spread throughout the lang and an improved rule system and military was implemented while uniting the people under a single religion.

Buddhism spread peace over the Indian subcontinent and promoted region-wide peace. Buddhism was spread by the Mauryan empire and more specifically by their leader Ashoka. By spreading this religion, people put down their weapons and began living a more peaceful lifestyle. All the citizens began to work more towards a common goal of Nirvana. The religion appealed to all the people of the Mauryan Empire, even people with very little money and status. Everyone could reach the eternal peace of nirvana through meditation. Poor people were able to convert to Buddhism since they could easily give away their worldly possessions and they could gain nirvana through their meditation for several days. The upper class could pay for luxury items giving them a sense of Nirvana, whereas, with the principles of Buddhism, the lower class could reach Nirvana without money.

Many people also found this religion very easy to convert to because it did not have a definitive god. This allowed for people to peacefully convert and still retain some of their other religions. Based upon Ashoka’s conversion to Buddhism he himself converted the whole Mauryan empire to a calmer religion. He had been conquering people and killing them mercilessly before he realized that he wanted to be a calmer person who conquered people more peacefully. However, this ended up causing the decline of his own empire due to the passive nature of the new system. While the empire existed, it was a great change for the people to follow. Overall the spread of this religion was very peaceful and people were not forced to convert to Buddhism.

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