(Last Updated on : 01-07-2011)
The Ashokan Edicts is located at the foothills of the Mountains of Girnar in the Junagar district of Gujarat
. It is one of the major tourist attractions that depict the religious tolerance of the great Emperor, Ashoka
. The inscription speaks of the greatness of the king in matters of secularism and depicts him as a king who encouraged unity and integrity.
History of Ashokan Edicts
When Ashoka got converted to Buddhism and renounced violence, he had got edicts carved in stone and placed in places all across India. The edicts were placed in places ranging from Kandahar in present-day Afghanistan in the West, modern Bangladesh in the East and Andhra Pradesh
in the south. It had the messages of living a virtuous life, respecting others and creating a just society. The Edicts were later founded by James Todd, but it was much later by 1837 that Rev. Dr. John Wilson, who made them properly known to the world by copying the edicts and in 1843. They were enlisted in the Bombay branch journal by the Royal Asiatic Society.
Description of Ashokan Edicts
Ashoka's Rock Edicts belong to 250 BC where around 14 edicts of Ashoka are located on the route to the Mount Girnar Hills. These edicts have proved to be extremely valuable assets of India's Rich Cultural past. The edicts of Ashoka have been written in Brahmi in Pali language. It was engraved into large granite stone that spread the word of Ashoka's philosophy to the world. It helped in conveying and propagating the word of Lord Buddha to the whole world. The edicts mention the resistance to greed and animal sacrifice and also reflect the principles of purity of thought, secularism in thinking, kindness and gratitude.
The edicts of Ashoka are placed within a small building at the side of the road established at 210 31 N and 700 28 E. The first fourteen edicts here are that of Ashoka and are etched in the eastern side of the boulder. Of all the monuments and Forts in Junagadh, the edicts of Ashoka carry the philosophy in its weightiest terms. The Ashokan edicts suggest the philosophical ideas of Ashoka. The emperor after witnessing the massacre at the Kalinga War spread the word of Tolerance, Love and Emancipation. He stressed on the importance of religion in the life of every single human being, he urged everyone to respect and honor each other's belief and live in harmony.