- from Indian Empires
Can people change who they are? Are there good people and bad people in the world? Or just good and bad actions? The story of the emperor Ashoka suggests that even someone who has done very bad things can change for the better.
Ashoka, the grandson of Chandragupta, led the Maurya Empire from around 270 to 232 BCE. At first, he ruled the way his father and grandfather had. He used the threat of punishment to control his people. To expand the empire, he waged wars in which many people died.
But around 10 years after he took the throne, something happened to Ashoka. He reached a turning point in his life. This means that his life changed in a big way. The emperor led his army into battle and conquered Kalinga. This was a kingdom in eastern India. Ashoka later said that more than 100,000 people died in the war. Even though he won the battle, the emperor felt that his victory wasn’t worth so much death. After that, Ashoka converted to Buddhism. He practiced peace.