viernes, 27 de agosto de 2010

Ashoka - Asoka

Ashoka. (a "without" + shoka "sorrow") 1. Vishnu's 336 th name as listed in the Vishnu Sahasranama. 2. The 34th of Lakshmi's 108 names. 3. A celebrated king of the Maurya dynasty of Magadha, and grandson of its founder, Chandragupta. According to Dowson, "This king is the most celebrated of any in the annals of the Buddhists. In the commencement of his reign he followed the Brahmanical faith, but became a convert to that of Buddha, and a zealous encourager of it. He is said to have maintained in his palace 64,000 Buddhist priests, and to have erected 84,000 columns (or topes) throughout India. A great convocation of Buddhist priests was held in the eighteenth year of his reign, which was followed by missions to Ceylon [Sri Lanka] and other places." He reigned thirty-six years, from about 234 to 198 BCE, and exercised authority more or less direct from Afghanistan to Sri Lanka. This fact is attested by a number of very curious Pali inscriptions found engraved upon rocks and pillars, all of them of the same purport, and some of them almost identical in words, the variations showing little more than dialectic differences. That found at Kapurdigiri, in Afghanistan, is in the Bactrian Pali character, written from right to left; all the others are in the India Pali character, written from left to right. The latter is the oldest known form of the character now in use in India, but the modern letters have departed so far from their prototypes that it required all the acumen and diligence of James Prinsep to decipher the ancient forms. These inscriptions show a great tenderness for animal life, and are Buddhist in their character, but they do not enter upon the distinctive peculiarities of that religion. The name of Ashoka never occurs in them; the king who set them up, is called Piyadashi (Sanskrit Priyadarshi), "the beautiful," and he is entitled Devanampiya, "the beloved of the gods." Buddhist writings identify this Piyadashi with Ashoka, and little or no doubt is entertained of the two names representing the same person. One of the most curious passages in these inscriptions refers to the Greek king Antiochus, calling him and three others "Turamayo, Antakana, Mako, and Alikasunari," which represent Ptolemy, Antigonus, Megas, and Alexander. Dowson pointed out that the date of Ashoka is not exactly that of Antiochus the Great, but it is not very far different; and the corrections required to make it correspond are no more than the inexact manner in which both Brahmanical and Buddhist chronology is preserved may well be expected to render necessary." 4. A special term used in the Kama Sutra for the Saraca indica. (The Manurishi Foundation, Encyclopedic Dictionary of Hindu Terms).

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balaram_.ttf - 45 KB
indevr20.ttf - 53 KB

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