(Last Updated on : 10/04/2012)
Ashoka's inscriptions are very significant from the historical point of view.
They furnish with sufficient information regarding the following subjects that can be mentioned below.
Extent of Ashoka's empire
: Ashoka's inscriptions provide us information regarding the provinces, which formed Ashoka's empire. On the basis of these inscriptions it can be known that leaving aside the far distant states of south, the whole of India was within Ashoka's empire.
Knowledge regarding Ashoka's religion
: These inscriptions, also tells about the personal religion of Ashoka and his attitude towards other religions. On the basis of these inscriptions it can be known that Ashoka was a follower of Buddhism and he laid great emphasis on the truthful speech, ahimsa and charity. Though a Buddhist himself, he was tolerant and kind towards other religions.
Ashoka's relations with foreign countries
: Ashoka's inscription also tells that Ashoka had sent his ambassador to Syria, Apriast, Egypt, Syria, etc. and had established friendly relations with these countries as well.
Administrative organization of Ashoka
: General people's knowledge of Ashoka's administrative organization and the reforms he made in the existing administrative system and machinery can also be derived from his inscriptions. Many of his inscriptions refer to his administrative orders to his officers and the people.
Character of Ashoka
: Ashoka's inscriptions also throw a flood of light upon his character. Through these inscriptions it can be known that the mind and heart of Ashoka completely changed after the Kalinga war. The death and destruction caused in the Kalinga war filled his heart with remorse, sorrow and regret. He made up his mind that from onward he would not resort to force and violence for the conquest of the territories. This period also marks the beginning of new epoch in which started his dharma vijay. After the Kalinga war he was greatly influenced by Buddhism and in "Bhabru rock edict he confessed his faith in the Buddha and the 'Samgha. In course of time, Ashoka became a symbol of charity, mercy, service and kindness."