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Pillar edict of Emperor Asoka
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Тнis pillar fragment bears an inscription of Asoka, the last emperor of the Mauryan dynasty (reigned about 265-238 вс). The inscription is in Brahmi, the ancestor of all modern Indian scripts. The technique of writing must have developed in India much earlier, but nothing readable survives, making these edicts important historical records.

The text on this example is not specifically Buddhist, but refers to the emperor's personal and benevolent policy towards all sects and classes, which he calls dhamma, a word also used by Buddhists for their religion.

The pillars themselves were highly symbolic and venerated. The best-known Mauryan pillar is at Sarnath, where the Buddha gave his first sermon. Its crowning sculpture of a four-headed lion has been adopted as the symbol of the Republic of India, while the symbol of the chakra (wheel) that once surmounted it has been used as the central motif of the Indian flag.

Pillar edict of Emperor Asoka


Probably from the Mccrut Pillar, Uttar Pradesh, India, c. 238 вс
Ht 33.6 cm



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