You are to write an essay of no more than 2000 words, explaining the contribution of King Ashoka to the development and expression of Buddhism.
IN 322 BCE, during the period of the Macedonians and Greek armies of Alexander the Great, the Mauryan empire was established by Chandragupta Maurya. Maurya had taken advantage of conquering and expanding into a great empire of significant military power and not to mention increased social, political and religious renewal across it's society. Ashoka was the grandson and second successor of Chandragupta after Bindusara. In the 19th Century inscriptions of Asoka were deciphered and by the early 20th century the identity of Ashoka was established. These inscriptions included the Edicts of Ashoka which, along with the Arthashastra (Sanskrit treatise on statecraft, economy and military issues written at the time of Chandragupta) are the primary sources of written records of the Mauryan Dynasty and it's empire.
Ashoka (meaning "without sorrow"), was a king who is arguably the greatest king to rule India, leading a vast empire that almost united India as a whole. He reigned between 273-232 BCE, expanding his empire through various conquests of battle. These battles left devastating consequence upon the respective armies as well as surrounding Indian peoples. After Ashoka embraced the teachings of Buddha, he transferred his efforts from military conquest to Dharmavijaya; victory by righteousness and truth. "One of Ashoka's most significant contributions to the development and expression of Buddhism is the development of the principles of Dharma, which is deemed to be a key element of Buddhist philosophy and worship (Bulmer and Doret, pp. 256, 2008).
Dharmavijaya encompassed the contributions which Ashoka made to Buddhism during his time which are still present today, and it was this "righteous" victory which lead to the propagation of Buddhism both within and beyond his empire wh...