Edicts Asoka

download Edicts Asoka

of 17

  • date post

    02-Apr-2018
  • Category

    Documents

  • view

    264
  • download

    1

Embed Size (px)

Transcript of Edicts Asoka

  • 7/27/2019 Edicts Asoka

    1/17

    eBUDDHANET'SBOOK LIBRA

    RY

    E-mail: [email protected] site: www.buddhanet.net

    Buddha Dharma Education Association Inc.

    An English rendering by Ven. S. Dhammika

    The Edicts of King Asokahe Edicts of King Asoka

  • 7/27/2019 Edicts Asoka

    2/17

    The Edicts of King Asoka

    An English rendering by

    Ven. S. Dhammika

    Source: The Wheel Publication No. 386/387 (Kandy: BuddhistPublication Society, 1993). Transcribed rom the print edition in1994 under the auspices o the DharmaNet Dharma Book Tran-scription Project, with the kind permission o the Buddhist Pub-lication Society.

    Copyright 1993 Buddhist Publication SocietyAccess to Insight edition 1994

    For ree distribution. This work may be republished, reormatted,reprinted, and redistributed in any medium. It is the authors wish,however, that any such republication and redistribution be made

    available to the public on a ree and unrestricted basis and thattranslations and other derivative works be clearly marked as such.

  • 7/27/2019 Edicts Asoka

    3/17

    iii

    Contents

    Preace ............................................................................... vIntroduction .................................................................... v

    The Fourteen Rock Edicts 1 ....................................................................................... 1 2 ....................................................................................... 1 3 ...................................................................................... 2 4 ...................................................................................... 2 5 ....................................................................................... 3 6 ....................................................................................... 4 7 ....................................................................................... 5 8 ....................................................................................... 5 9 ...................................................................................... 6

    10 ....................................................................................... 711 ........................................................................................ 712 ...................................................................................... 813 ...................................................................................... 914 ........................................................................................ 11

    The Kalinga Rock Edicts1 .......................................................................................... 11

    2 ........................................................................................ 13Minor Rock Edicts

    1 .......................................................................................... 142 ......................................................................................... 153 ......................................................................................... 15

    The Seven Pillar Edicts1 .......................................................................................... 16

    2 ......................................................................................... 163 ......................................................................................... 174 .......................................................................................... 175 ........................................................................................ 186 ........................................................................................ 197 ......................................................................................... 19

    The Minor Pillar Edicts1 ......................................................................................... 22

    2 ........................................................................................ 22Bibliography ................................................................. 23

    http://-/?-http://-/?-http://-/?-http://-/?-http://-/?-http://-/?-http://-/?-http://-/?-http://-/?-http://-/?-http://-/?-http://-/?-http://-/?-http://-/?-http://-/?-http://-/?-http://-/?-http://-/?-http://-/?-http://-/?-http://-/?-http://-/?-http://-/?-http://-/?-http://-/?-http://-/?-http://-/?-http://-/?-http://-/?-http://-/?-http://-/?-http://-/?-http://-/?-http://-/?-http://-/?-http://-/?-http://-/?-http://-/?-http://-/?-http://-/?-http://-/?-http://-/?-http://-/?-http://-/?-http://-/?-http://-/?-http://-/?-http://-/?-http://-/?-http://-/?-http://-/?-http://-/?-http://-/?-http://-/?-http://-/?-http://-/?-http://-/?-http://-/?-http://-/?-http://-/?-http://-/?-http://-/?-http://-/?-http://-/?-http://-/?-http://-/?-http://-/?-http://-/?-http://-/?-http://-/?-http://-/?-http://-/?-http://-/?-http://-/?-http://-/?-http://-/?-http://-/?-http://-/?-http://-/?-http://-/?-http://-/?-http://-/?-http://-/?-http://-/?-http://-/?-http://-/?-http://-/?-http://-/?-http://-/?-http://-/?-http://-/?-http://-/?-http://-/?-http://-/?-http://-/?-http://-/?-http://-/?-http://-/?-http://-/?-http://-/?-http://-/?-http://-/?-http://-/?-
  • 7/27/2019 Edicts Asoka

    4/17

  • 7/27/2019 Edicts Asoka

    5/17

    v

    Preface

    This rendering of King Asokas Edicts is based heavilyon Amulyachandra Sens English translation, which includesthe original Magadhi and a Sanskrit and English translation o

    the text. However, many parts o the edicts are ar rom clear inmeaning and the numerous translations o them dier widely.Thereore, I have also consulted the translations o C. D. Sircarand D. R. Bhandarkar and in parts avored their interpretations.

    Any credit this small book deserves is due entirely to the laborsand learning o these scholars.

    Introduction

    Dhamma sadhu, kiyam cu dhamme ti?

    Apasinave, bahu kayane, daya, dane, sace, socaye.Dhamma is good, but what constitutes Dhamma?(It includes) little evil, much good, kindness,generosity, truthulness and purity.

    King Asoka

    With the rediscovery and translation o Indian literatureby European scholars in the 19th century, it was not justthe religion and philosophy o Buddhism that came to light, butalso its many legendary histories and biographies. Amongst thisclass o literature, one name that came to be noticed was that o

    Asoka, a good king who was supposed to have ruled India in thedistant past. Stories about this king, similar in outline but dier-

    ing greatly in details, were ound in the Divyavadana, the Asoka-vadana, the Mahavamsa and several other works. They told o

  • 7/27/2019 Edicts Asoka

    6/17

    vi

    an exceptionally cruel and ruthless prince who had many o hisbrothers killed in order to seize the throne, who was dramati-cally converted to Buddhism and who ruled wisely and justly orthe rest o his lie. None o these stories were taken seriously ater all many pre-modern cultures had legends about too good

    to be true kings who had ruled righteously in the past and who,people hoped, would rule again soon. Most o these legends hadtheir origins more in popular longing to be rid o the despoticand uncaring kings than in any historical act. And the numer-ous stories about Asoka were assumed to be the same.

    But in 1837, James Prinsep succeeded in deciphering anancient inscription on a large stone pillar in Delhi. Several otherpillars and rocks with similar inscriptions had been known orsome time and had attracted the curiosity o scholars. Prinsepsinscription proved to be a series o edicts issued by a king callinghimsel Beloved-o-the-Gods, King Piyadasi. In the ollowingdecades, more and more edicts by this same king were discov-ered and with increasingly accurate decipherment o their lan-guage, a more complete picture o this man and his deeds beganto emerge. Gradually, it dawned on scholars that the King Piya-dasi o the edicts might be the King Asoka so oten praised in

    Buddhist legends. However, it was not until 1915, when anotheredict actually mentioning the name Asoka was discovered, thatthe identication was conrmed. Having been orgotten ornearly 700 years, one o the greatest men in history became

    known to the world once again.Asokas edicts are mainly concerned with the reorms he insti-tuted and the moral principles he recommended in his attemptto create a just and humane society. As such, they give us littleinormation about his lie, the details o which have to be culledrom other sources. Although the exact dates o Asokas lie are amatter o dispute among scholars, he was born in about304 b.c.

    and became the third king o the Mauryan dynasty ater thedeath o his ather, Bindusara. His given name was Asoka but he

  • 7/27/2019 Edicts Asoka

    7/17

    vii

    assumed the title Devanampiya Piyadasi which means Beloved-o-the-Gods, He Who Looks On With Aection. There seemsto have been a two-year war o succession during which at leastone o Asokas brothers was killed. In262 b.c., eight years aterhis coronation, Asokas armies attacked and conquered Kalinga,

    a country that roughly corresponds to the modern state o Orissa.The loss o lie caused by battle, reprisals, deportations and theturmoil that always exists in the atermath o war so horried

    Asoka that it brought about a complete change in his personal-ity. It seems that Asoka had been calling himsel a Buddhist orat least two years prior to the Kalinga war, but his commitmentto Buddhism was only lukewarm and perhaps had a politicalmotive behind it. But ater the war Asoka dedicated the rest ohis lie trying to apply Buddhist principles to the administrationo his vast empire. He had a crucial part to play in helping Bud-dhism to spread both throughout India and abroad, and prob-ably built the rst major Buddhist monuments. Asoka died in

    232 b.c. in the thirty-eighth year o his reign.Asokas edicts are to be ound scattered in more than thirty

    places throughout India, Nepal, Pakistan and Aghanistan. Mosto them are written in Brahmi script rom which all Indian scriptsand many o those used in Southeast Asia later developed. Thelanguage used in the edicts ound in the eastern part o the sub-continent is a type o Magadhi, probably the ocial languageo Asokas court. The language used in the edicts ound in the

    western part o India is closer to Sanskrit although one bilingualedict in Aghanistan is written in Aramaic and Greek. Asokasedicts, which comprise the earliest decipherable corpus o writ-ten documents rom India, have survived throughout the centu-ries because they are written on rocks and stone pillars. Thesepillars in particular are testimony to the technological and artis-tic genius o ancient Indian civilization. Originally, there must

    have been many o them, although only ten with inscriptionsstill survive. Averaging between orty and ty eet in height,

  • 7/27/2019 Edicts Asoka

    8/17

    viii

    and weighing up to ty tons each, all the pillars were quarriedat Chunar, just south o Varanasi and dragged, sometimes hun-dreds o miles, to where they were erected. Each pillar was orig-inally capped by a capital, sometimes a roaring lion, a noble bullor a spirited horse, and the ew capitals that survive are widely

    recognized as masterpieces o Indian art. Both the pillars andthe capitals exhibit a remarkable mirror-like polish that has sur-vived despite centuries o exposure to the elements. The loca-tion o the rock edicts is governed by the availability o suitablerocks, but the edicts on pillars are all to be ound in very specicplaces. Some, like the Lumbini pillar, mark the Buddhas birth-place, while its inscriptions commemorate Asokas pilgrimageto that place. Others are to be ound in or near important popu-lation centers so that their edicts could be read by as many peo-ple as possible.

    There is little doubt that Asokas edicts were written in his ownwords rather than in the stylistic language in which royal edictsor proclamations in the ancient world were usually written in.Their distinctly personal tone gives us a unique glimpse into thepersonality o this complex and remarkable man. Asokas styletends to be somewhat repetitious and plodding as i explainingsomething to one who has diculty in understanding. Asokarequently reers to the good works he has done, although notin a boastul way, but more, it seems, to convince the reader ohis sincerity. In act, an anxiousness to be thought o as a sincere

    person and a good administrator is present in nearly every edict.Asoka tells his subjects that he looked upon them as his chil-dren, that their welare is his main concern; he apologizes orthe Kalinga war and reassures the people beyond the borders ohis empire that he has no expansionist intentions towards them.Mixed with this sincerity, there is a denite puritanical streak in

    Asokas character suggested by his disapproval o estivals and o

    religious rituals many o which while being o little value werenonetheless harmless.

  • 7/27/2019 Edicts Asoka

    9/17

    ix

    It is also very clear that Buddhism was the most infuen-tial orce in Asokas lie and that he hoped his subjects likewisewould adopt his religion. He went on pilgrimages to Lumbiniand Bodh Gaya, sent teaching monks to various regions in Indiaand beyond its borders, and he was amiliar enough with the

    sacred texts to recommend some o them to the monastic com-munity. It is also very clear that Asoka saw the reorms he insti-tuted as being a part o his duties as a Buddhist. But, while hewas an enthusiastic Buddhist, he was not partisan towards hisown religion or intolerant o other religions. He seems to havegenuinely hoped to be able to encourage everyone to practicehis or her own religion with the same conviction that he prac-ticed his.

    Scholars have suggested that because the edicts say nothingabout the philosophical aspects o Buddhism, Asoka had a sim-plistic and naive understanding o the Dhamma. This view doesnot take into account the act that the purpose o the edicts wasnot to expound the truths o Buddhism, but to inorm the peo-ple o Asokas reorms and to encourage them to be more gen-erous, kind and moral. This being the case, there was no reasonor Asoka to discuss Buddhist philosophy. Asoka emerges romhis edicts as an able administrator, an intelligent human beingand as a devoted Buddhist, and we could expect him to take askeen an interest in Buddhist philosophy as he did in Buddhistpractice.

    The contents o Asokas edicts make it clear that all the leg-ends about his wise and humane rule are more than justiedand qualiy him to be ranked as one o the greatest rulers. Inhis edicts, he spoke o what might be called state morality, andprivate or individual morality. The rst was what he based hisadministration upon and what he hoped would lead to a more

    just, more spiritually inclined society, while the second was

    what he recommended and encouraged individuals to practice.Both these types o morality were imbued with the Buddhist

  • 7/27/2019 Edicts Asoka

    10/17

    x

    values o compassion, moderation, tolerance and respect orall lie. The Asokan state gave up the predatory oreign pol-icy that had characterized the Mauryan empire up till then andreplaced it with a policy o peaceul co-existence. The judicialsystem was reormed in order to make it more air, less harsh

    and less open to abuse, while those sentenced to death weregiven a stay o execution to prepare appeals and regular amnes-ties were given to prisoners. State resources were used or use-ul public works like the importation and cultivation o medicalherbs, the building o rest houses, the digging o wells at regularintervals along main roads and the planting o ruit and shadetrees. To ensue that these reorms and projects were carried out,

    Asoka made himsel more accessible to his subjects by goingon requent inspection tours and he expected his district oc-ers to ollow his example. To the same end, he gave orders thatimportant state business or petitions were never to be kept romhim no matter what he was doing at the time. The state had aresponsibility not just to protect and promote the welare o itspeople but also its wildlie. Hunting certain species o wild ani-mals was banned, orest and wildlie reserves were establishedand cruelty to domestic and wild animals was prohibited. Theprotection o all religions, their promotion and the ostering oharmony between them, was also seen as one o the duties othe state. It even seems that something like a Department oReligious Aairs was established with ocers called Dhamma

    Mahamatras whose job it was to look ater the aairs o variousreligious bodies and to encourage the practice o religion.The individual morality that Asoka hoped to oster included

    respect (susrusa) towards parents, elders, teachers, riends, serv-ants, ascetics and brahmans behavior that accords with theadvice given to Sigala by the Buddha (Digha Nikaya, DiscourseNo. 31). He encouraged generosity (dana) to the poor (kapana

    valaka), to ascetics and brahmans, and to riends and relatives.Not surprisingly, Asoka encouraged harmlessness towards all

  • 7/27/2019 Edicts Asoka

    11/17

    xi

    lie (avihisa bhutanam). In conormity with the Buddhas advicein the Anguttara Nikaya, II:282, he also considered moderationin spending and moderation in saving to be good (apa vyayataapa bhadata). Treating people properly (samya pratipati), he sug-gested, was much more important than perorming ceremonies

    that were supposed to bring good luck. Because it helped pro-mote tolerance and mutual respect, Asoka desired that peopleshould be well-learned (bahu sruta) in the good doctrines (kala-nagama) o other peoples religions. The qualities o heart that arerecommended by Asoka in the edicts indicate his deep spiritu-ality. They include kindness (daya), sel-examination (palikhaya),truthulness (sace), gratitude (katamnata), purity o heart(bhavasudhi), enthusiasm (usahena), strong loyalty (dadha bhatita), sel-control (sayame) and love o the Dhamma(Dhamma kamata).

    We have no way o knowing how eective Asokas reormswere or how long they lasted but we do know that monarchsthroughout the ancient Buddhist world were encouraged tolook to his style o government as an ideal to be ollowed. King

    Asoka has to be credited with the rst attempt to develop a Bud-dhist polity. Today, with widespread disillusionment in pre-vailing ideologies and the search or a political philosophy thatgoes beyond greed (capitalism), hatred (communism) and delu-sion (dictatorships led by inallible leaders), Asokas edicts maymake a meaningul contribution to the development o a morespiritually based political system.

  • 7/27/2019 Edicts Asoka

    12/17

    1

    The Fourteen Rock Edicts

    1

    B

    eloved-of-the-Gods, King Piyadasi, has caused thisDhamma edict to be written.1 Here (in my domain) no liv-

    ing beings are to be slaughtered or oered in sacrice. Nor shouldestivals be held, or Beloved-o-the-Gods, King Piyadasi, seesmuch to object to in such estivals, although there are some esti-vals that Beloved-o-the-Gods, King Piyadasi, does approve o.

    Formerly, in the kitchen o Beloved-o-the-Gods, King Piya-dasi, hundreds o thousands o animals were killed every day

    to make curry. But now with the writing o this Dhamma edictonly three creatures, two peacocks and a deer are killed, andthe deer not always. And in time, not even these three creatureswill be killed.

    2

    Everywhere2 within Beloved-of-the-Gods, King Piya-

    dasis domain, and among the people beyond the borders,the Cholas, the Pandyas, the Satiyaputras, the Keralaputras, as aras Tamraparni and where the Greek king Antiochos rules, andamong the kings who are neighbors o Antiochos,3 everywherehas Beloved-o-the-Gods, King Piyadasi, made provision or twotypes o medical treatment: medical treatment or humans andmedical treatment or animals. Wherever medical herbs suita-ble or humans or animals are not available, I have had them1. Girnar version issued in 257 b.c. These ourteen edicts, with minor di-

    erences, are ound in ve dierent places throughout India. In two otherplaces, they are ound minus numbers 11, 12 and 13.

    2. Girnar version, issued in257 b.c.

    3. The Cholas and Pandyas were south Indian peoples living outside Asokasempire. The Satiyaputras and Keralaputras lived on the southwest sea-board o India. Tamraparni is one o the ancient names or Sri Lanka. On

    Antiochos see Note28.

  • 7/27/2019 Edicts Asoka

    13/17

    2

    imported and grown. Wherever medical roots or ruits are notavailable I have had them imported and grown. Along roads Ihave had wells dug and trees planted or the benet o humansand animals.4

    3Beloved-of-the-Gods, King Piyadasi, speaks thus:

    5 Twelveyears ater my coronation this has been ordered Every-

    where in my domain the Yuktas, the Rajjukas and the Pradesi-kas shall go on inspection tours every ve years or the purposeo Dhamma instruction and also to conduct other business.6

    Respect or mother and ather is good, generosity to riends,acquaintances, relatives, Brahmans and ascetics is good, not kill-ing living beings is good, moderation in spending and moder-ation in saving is good. The Council shall notiy the Yuktasabout the observance o these instructions in these very words.

    4

    In the past, or many hundreds o years, killing or harmingliving beings and improper behavior towards relatives, andimproper behavior towards Brahmans and ascetics has increased.7But now due to Beloved-o-the-Gods, King Piyadasis Dhammapractice, the sound o the drum has been replaced by the soundo the Dhamma.8 The sighting o heavenly cars, auspicious ele-phants, bodies o re and other divine sightings has not hap-

    pened or many hundreds o years. But now because Beloved-

    4. By so doing, Asoka was ollowing the advice given by the Buddha at Sam-yutta Nikaya, I:33.

    5. Girnar version, issued in257 b.c.

    6. The exact duties o these royal ocers are not known.

    7. Girnar version, issued in257 b.c.

    8. This probably reers to the drum that was beaten to announce the punish-ment o lawbreakers. See Samyutta Nikaya, IV:244.

  • 7/27/2019 Edicts Asoka

    14/17

    3

    o-the-Gods, King Piyadasi promotes restraint in the killingand harming o living beings, proper behavior towards relatives,

    Brahmans and ascetics, and respect or mother, ather and elders,such sightings have increased.9

    These and many other kinds o Dhamma practice have been

    encouraged by Beloved-o-the-Gods, King Piyadasi, and he willcontinue to promote Dhamma practice. And the sons, grand-sons and great-grandsons o Beloved-o-the-Gods, King Piya-dasi, too will continue to promote Dhamma practice until theend o time; living by Dhamma and virtue, they will instructin Dhamma. Truly, this is the highest work, to instruct inDhamma. But practicing the Dhamma cannot be done by onewho is devoid o virtue and thereore its promotion and growthis commendable.

    This edict has been written so that it may please my suc-cessors to devote themselves to promoting these things and notallow them to decline. Beloved-o-the-Gods, King Piyadasi, hashad this written twelve years ater his coronation.

    5

    Beloved-of-the-Gods, King Piyadasi, speaks thus:10 To do

    good is dicult. One who does good rst does somethinghard to do. I have done many good deeds, and, i my sons, grand-sons and their descendants up to the end o the world act inlike manner, they too will do much good. But whoever amongst

    them neglects this, they will do evil. Truly, it is easy to do evil.11In the past there were no Dhamma Mahamatras but suchocers were appointed by me thirteen years ater my corona-tion. Now they work among all religions or the establishment

    9. Like many people in the ancient world, Asoka believed that when a justking ruled, there would be many auspicious portents.

    10. Kalsi version, issued in256 b.c.11. This seems to be a paraphrase o Dhammapada163.

  • 7/27/2019 Edicts Asoka

    15/17

    4

    o Dhamma, or the promotion o Dhamma, and or the welareand happiness o all who are devoted to Dhamma. They workamong the Greeks, the Kambojas, the Gandharas, the Rastri-kas, the Pitinikas and other peoples on the western borders.12They work among soldiers, chies, Brahmans, householders, the

    poor, the aged and those devoted to Dhamma or their wel-are and happiness so that they may be ree rom harassment.They (Dhamma Mahamatras) work or the proper treatmento prisoners, towards their unettering, and i the Mahamatrasthink, This one has a amily to support, That one has beenbewitched, This one is old, then they work or the release osuch prisoners. They work here, in outlying towns, in the wom-ens quarters belonging to my brothers and sisters, and among myother relatives. They are occupied everywhere. These DhammaMahamatras are occupied in my domain among people devotedto Dhamma to determine who is devoted to Dhamma, who isestablished in Dhamma, and who is generous.

    This Dhamma edict has been written on stone so that itmight endure long and that my descendants might act in con-ormity with it.

    6

    Beloved-of-the-Gods, King Piyadasi, speaks thus:13 In

    the past, state business was not transacted nor were reportsdelivered to the king at all hours. But now I have given this order,

    that at any time, whether I am eating, in the womens quarters,the bed chamber, the chariot, the palanquin, in the park or wher-ever, reporters are to be posted with instructions to report to methe aairs o the people so that I might attend to these aairswherever I am. And whatever I orally order in connection with12. The Greeks (Yona) settled in large numbers in what is now Aghanistan

    and Pakistan ater the conquests o Alexander the Great, although small

    communities lived there prior to this.13. Girnar version, issued in256 b.c.

  • 7/27/2019 Edicts Asoka

    16/17

    5

    donations or proclamations, or when urgent business pressesitsel on the Mahamatras, i disagreement or debate arises in theCouncil, then it must be reported to me immediately. This iswhat I have ordered. I am never content with exerting mysel orwith despatching business. Truly, I consider the welare o all to

    be my duty, and the root o this is exertion and the prompt des-patch o business. There is no better work than promoting thewelare o all the people and whatever eorts I am making is torepay the debt I owe to all beings to assure their happiness in thislie, and attain heaven in the next.

    Thereore this Dhamma edict has been written to last longand that my sons, grandsons and great-grandsons might act inconormity with it or the welare o the world. However, this isdicult to do without great exertion.

    7

    Beloved-of-the-Gods, King Piyadasi, desires that all reli-gions should reside everywhere, or all o them desire sel-control and purity o heart.

    14

    But people have various desires andvarious passions, and they may practice all o what they should oronly a part o it. But one who receives great gits yet is lacking insel-control, purity o heart, gratitude and rm devotion, such aperson is mean.

    8

    In the past kings used to go out on pleasure tours duringwhich there was hunting and other entertainment.15 But tenyears ater Beloved-o-the-Gods had been coronated, he went ona tour to Sambodhi and thus instituted Dhamma tours.16 During

    14. Girnar version, issued in256 b.c.

    15. Girnar version, issued in256 b.c.

    16. Bodh Gaya, the site o the Buddhas enlightenment, was known in ancienttimes as either Sambodhi or Vajirasana.

  • 7/27/2019 Edicts Asoka

    17/17

    6

    these tours, the ollowing things took place: visits and gits toBrahmans and ascetics, visits and gits o gold to the aged, vis-its to people in the countryside, instructing them in Dhamma,and discussing Dhamma with them as is suitable. It is this thatdelights Beloved-o-the-Gods, King Piyadasi, and is, as it were,

    another type o revenue.

    9

    Beloved-of-the-Gods, King Piyadasi, speaks thus:17 In

    times o sickness, or the marriage o sons and daughters, atthe birth o children, beore embarking on a journey, on theseand other occasions, people perorm various ceremonies. Womenin particular perorm many vulgar and worthless ceremonies.These types o ceremonies can be perormed by all means, butthey bear little ruit. What does bear great ruit, however, isthe ceremony o the Dhamma. This involves proper behaviortowards servants and employees, respect or teachers, restrainttowards living beings, and generosity towards ascetics and Brah-

    mans. These and other things constitute the ceremony o theDhamma. Thereore a ather, a son, a brother, a master, a riend,a companion, and even a neighbor should say: This is good, thisis the ceremony that should be perormed until its purpose isullled, this I shall do.18 Other ceremonies are o doubtulruit, or they may achieve their purpose, or they may not, andeven i they do, it is only in this world. But the ceremony o the

    17. Kalsi version, issued in256 b.c. Asoka obviously had the Mangala Sutta(Sutta Nipata258-269) in mind when he issued this edict. The word heretranslated as ceremony is mangala.

    18. Other versions substitute the ollowing up to the end o the edict.It has also been said: Generosity is good. But there is no git or bene-

    t like the git o the Dhamma or benet like the benet o the Dhamma.There a riend, a well-wisher, a relative or a companion should encourageothers thus on appropriate occasions: This should be done, this is good,by doing this, one can attain heaven. And what greater achievement isthere than this, to attain heaven?