- A large number of international scholars agree that Emperor Aśoka of India in the third century B.C. was one of the greatest conquerors who later achieved the most difficult conquest of all — the conquest of himself — through self-conviction and his perception of human suffering. After embracing the Dhamma of the Buddha as his guide and refuge, he transformed the goal of his regime from military conquest to conquest by Dhamma. By providing royal patronage for the propagation of Buddhism both within and outside his vast dominion, he helped promote the metamorphosis of Buddhism from one among many sects of Indian ascetic spirituality into a world religion that was eventually to penetrate almost all of southern and eastern
Asia. - Anuradha Seneviratna in King Asoka and Buddhism Historical & Literary Studies (editors preface ) (page. no. xi).
- We have no way of knowing how effective Asoka’s reforms were or how long they lasted but we do know that monarchs throughout the ancient Buddhist world were encouraged to look to his style of government as an ideal to be followed. King Asoka has to be credited with first attempt to develop a Buddhist polity. Today, with widespread disillusionment in prevailing ideologies and the search for a political philosophy that goes beyond greed, hatred, and delusion, Asoka’s edicts may make a meaningful contribution to development of a more spiritually based political system. - Ven. S. Dhammika in The Edicts of Ashoka.
- Many people ask: How can any nation be defended if all of its people adopt nonviolence? It is rather difficult to answer this hypothetical question. However, an emperor ruled over
with nonviolence and compassion in the third century B.C. Ashoka was the emperor - emperor of peace and social justice. He did not rule by force or by accumulating goods and means of comfort for himself or by pomp and show. He ruled by sacrificing material comforts and by treating all his subjects equal and with justice. His example can guide us, rulers and administrators, politicians and civil servants, religious leaders and laymen, to establish peace, justice and harmony in present-day world. - Sh. Duli Chandra Jain and Ms. Sunita Jain in Ashoka - Emperor Or Monk. India
- Ashoka was a man dedicated to peace, and the only emperor in history to forsake warfare after victory in the Kalinga war, devoting the balance of his lifetime serving not only his people, but mankind, with magnanimity and benevolence seldom seen in history. Thus he was able to build the Golden Period of Indian history." - Dr. Kirthisinghe.