One of the greatest Indian Emperors honored with a new stamp issue

One of the greatest Indian Emperors honored with a new stamp issue
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StampNews.com is glad to inform that India Post released commemorative stamp on Samrat Ashok at a function held at Vidyapati Bhavan in Patna on 24th August 2015. The issue was put into circulation and is available for purchasing.

Ashoka Maurya, commonly known as Ashoka or Ashoka the Great, was an emperor of the Maurya Dynasty who ruled almost the entire Indian subcontinent from circa 269 BCE to 232 BCE. Ashoka was born to the Mauryan emperor Bindusara and Dharmā (or Dharmmā). He was the grandson of Chandragupta Maurya, founder of Mauryan dynasty.

The Avadana texts mention that his mother was queen Subhadrangī. According to Ashokavadana, she was the daughter of a Brahmin from the city of Champa. One of India's greatest emperors, Ashoka reigned over a realm that stretched from the Hindu Kush Mountains in the west to Bengal in the East and covered the entire Indian subcontinent except parts of present-day Tamil Nadu and Kerala. The empire's capital was Pataliputra (in Magadha, present-day Bihar), with provincial capitals at Taxila and Ujjain.

Samrat AshokIn about 260 BCE Ashoka waged a bitterly destructive war against the state of Kalinga (modern Odisha). He conquered Kalinga, which none of his ancestors had done. He embraced Buddhism after witnessing the mass deaths of the Kalinga War, which he himself had waged out of a desire for conquest. "Ashoka reflected on the war in Kalinga, which reportedly had resulted in more than 100,000 deaths and 150,000 deportations". Ashoka ruled for an estimated forty years.

Ashoka converted gradually to Buddhism beginning about 263 BCE. He was later dedicated to the propagation of Buddhism across Asia, and established monuments marking several significant sites in the life of Gautama Buddha. Ashoka is now remembered as a philanthropic administrator.

The Ashoka Chakra (the wheel of Ashoka) was built by Ashoka during his reign. Chakra is a Sanskrit word which also means "cycle" or "self-repeating process". The process it signifies is the cycle of time-as in how the world changes with time. The Ashoka Chakra is a depiction of the Dharmachakra (the Wheel of Dharma). The wheel has 24 spokes which represent the 12 Laws of Dependent Origination and the 12 Laws of Dependent Termination. The Ashoka Chakra has been widely inscribed on many relics of the Mauryan Emperor, most prominent among which is the Lion Capital of Sarnath and The Ashoka Pillar.

The Lion capital of Ashoka is a sculpture of four lions standing back to back. It was originally placed atop the Ashoka pillar at Sarnath, now in the state of Uttar Pradesh. The pillar, sometimes called the Ashoka Column is still in its original location, but the Lion Capital is now in the Sarnath Museum. This Lion Capital of Ashoka from Sarnath has been adopted as the National Emblem of India and the wheel "Ashoka Chakra" from its base was placed onto the center of the National Flag of India.

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