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Rise to Power

Emperor Ashoka

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Rise to Power

The Buddhist text Divyavadana describes Ashoka putting down a revolt due to activities of wicked ministers. This may have been an incident in Bindusaras times. Taranathas account states that Chanakya, one of Bindusaras great lords, destroyed the nobles and kings of 16 towns and made himself the master of all territory between the eastern and the western seas. Some historians consider this as an indication of Bindusaras conquest of the Deccan while others consider it as suppression of a revolt. Following this, Ashoka was stationed at Ujjayini as governor.Bindusaras death in 273 BCE led to a war over succession. According to Divyavandana, Bindusara wanted his son Sushim to succeed him but Ashoka was supported by his fathers ministers, who found Sushim to be arrogant and disrespectful towards them. A minister named Radhagupta seems to have played an important role in Ashokas rise to the throne. The Ashokavadana recounts Radhaguptas offering of an old royal elephant to Ashoka for him to ride to the Garden of the Gold Pavilion where King Bindusara would determine his successor. Ashoka later got rid of the legitimate heir to the throne by tricking him into entering a pit filled with live coals. Radhagupta, according to the Ashokavadana, would later be appointed prime minister by Ashoka once he had gained the throne. The Dipavansa and Mahavansa refer to Ashokas killing 99 of his brothers, sparing only one, named Vitashoka or Tissa although there is no clear proof about this incident (many such accounts are saturated with mythological elements). The coronation happened in 269 BCE, four years after his succession to the throne.


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The Life of Ashoka the Great
Rise to Power
Biography
Early Life
Conversion to Buddhism
Perceptions
As Administrator
Ashoka the Terrible
Ashokstambha
Accession to the Throne
Ashoka Chakra
Embracing Spreading Buddhism
More ...


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