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Word Count: 233
Asoka Asoka was the third member of the Mauryan dynasty and the grandson of the founder of the first Indian empire Chandragupta Maurya of Magadha Some say Asoka was the most powerful monarch to embrace Buddhism Asoka was born in 304 BC and came to power in 270 BC after a short struggle in which one of his brothers was killed When Asoka came to power he tried to conquer the rest of the Indian peninsula to make the already huge empire even bigger In his quest for more territory however he left behind much death and destruction When he saw his men and others lying on the battle field dead and mauled he renounced war forever After seeing the cruelties of war he converted to Buddhism and lead a peaceful life He launched a campaign to bring about a moral spiritual and social renewal within his empire The administrative and judicial systems were reformed useful public works were initiated the previously aggressive foreign policy was replaced by one of peaceful co-existence and wildlife reserves were established He was tolerant of all religions especially Buddhism which inspired him to write his works of literature that contained his life and his good works He also sent missionaries out to spread Buddhism When Asoka died in 232 BC the Mauryan empire fell apart but Asokas teachings lived on through his followers and works of literature
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