Westward Bound Essay

1298 words - 6 pages

Buddhism is a philosophy about life that was created by Siddhartha Guatama, who was born a prince in India. He was pampered growing up and kept very sheltered by his father. Once he ventured outside his castle, he discovered the pain of the people under his father’s rule, he realized exactly how much the world was taken over by suffering. This triggered Guatama to go on a life search to try to discover why people need to suffer so much in the world. These quests ultimately lead him to enlightenment and the founding of Buddhism. Since the discovery of Buddhism, it has rapidly spread throughout the world evolving and becoming a religion. It is now one of the largest voluntarily joined ...view middle of the document...

The wave of guilt overcame the ruler, and showed him such remorse, he decided to give up violence and dedicate the rest of his life to acquire peace, life and tolerance for all under his domain. He in fact was the only ever known king to give up war after a victory. His subjects fought over differences, and his guilt caused him to blame himself, resulting in him forcing himself to fix the situations. His new found tolerance resulted in his discovery of the life teachings of Buddhism. The religion was exactly what the Emperor was trying so hard to become, and in 259 BC, he made his conversion reality by taking the Monastic Vows. “The only glory he sought, he said, was for having led his people along the path of Dharma.” Asoka’s never ending guilt of what he subjected his people to do, enforced his commitment to Buddhism and it’s beliefs.

The western culture was so drastically affected by Asoka’s messages because of the persistence and commitment Asoka put on the matter of spreading the word of The Buddha through missionaries, inscriptions, and books. Over his reign of 40 years he spread the beliefs and thoughts of the Buddha. His dedication even reached to the point where he sent his own son and daughter to Syria and Greece to spread the word. The Emperor was devote to trying to show his peers the life knowledge of the Buddha. Asoka established many temples and holy places all throughout India and the surrounding areas, so that all could read the prophets and words from the life philosophy. Through these temples and inscriptions he established, he also created a group of officials known as the Dhamma Mahammata. These officials traveled around teaching the ways of the religion, and read the inscriptions and prayers to people who were unable to read the messages in Prakrit and Brahmi on the scripts and pillars. These officials traveled spreading ideas to Syria, Greece, Sri Lanka, Egypt and more. The Emperor built roads, dug wells, built rest houses, and arranged for medical treatment to be available to all humans and animals in order to send a positive message about Buddhism. The missionaires were almost all well received. Buddhism origins traced back to missionaries that Asoka sent to a school called Sthaviravada school in Sri Lanka about 240 BC. “Archaeological finds indicate these missionaries have been favorably received in lands to the west.” Prove of the missionaires that Asoka sent westward were positively received and listened too. “Asoka called a third council of Pataliputra in 247 BC, almost two and a half centuries after Buddha’s death, and once more the doctrine was rehearsed and solemnly chanted. When Asoka’s son, Prince Mahindra, a monk of the Samgha, was sent as a missionary to Ceylon, he took with him a sort of walking library: a band of reciting monks,...

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