India has given birth to several famous and noble personalities that have shaped and enriched Indian history, philosophy, literature, arts, culture and society. In their time and in their field, these Indian heroes have battled against all odds and have reached the pinnacle of success by their courage, skill, determination and perseverance. Their lives have inspired a whole generation of Indians and continue to inspire millions of Indians and others all around the world.
Here in the Biography portal, we explore the biographies of such great Indians. These include people from all walks of life such as great indian emperors, freedom fighters, leaders, scientists, saints and philosophers, poets, devotees, writers, painters, musicians, social reformers and entrepreneurs.
Ashoka (304 BCE–232 BCE) was an Indian emperor, who ruled the Maurya Empire across the Indian subcontinent from 273 BCE to 232 BCE. After a number of military conquests, Ashoka reigned over most of India, South Asia and beyond, from present-day Afghanistan and parts of Persia in the west, to Bengal and Assam in the east, and as far south as Mysore. A later convert to Buddhism, Ashoka established monuments marking several significant sites in the life of Shakyamuni Buddha, and according to Buddhist tradition was closely involved in the preservation and transmission of Buddhism.
The word "ashoka" means "without sorrow" in Sanskrit. In his edicts, he is referred to as Devānāmpriya ("The Beloved Of The Gods")
Science fiction novelist H. G. Wells wrote of Ashoka:
According to Buddhist tradition, described in the 2nd century "Legend of Asoka", the birth of Asoka was foretold by the Buddha, in the story of "The Gift of Dust". Following this prophecy, the "Legend of Asoka" further states that Ashoka was finally born as the son of the Mauryan Emperor Bindusara by a relatively lower ranked queen named Dharma. Dharma was said to be the daughter of a poor Brahmin who introduced her into the harem of the Emperor as it was predicted that her son would be a great ruler. Although Dharma was of priestly lineage, the fact that she was not royal by birth made her a very low-status consort in the harem.
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