"How an unruly and angry young prince transformed into a beacon of benevolence and peace. As the son of an emperor, Ashoka was destined for a life of greatness. But as a boy, Ashoka felt like he was living in the shadow of his brother, growing to become arrogant, impatient, and above all, angry. Wanting nothing more than to be king, Ashoka learned to be cunning, and when he finally managed to ascend to the throne, he was eager for war. After a brutal battle for the kingdom of Kalinga, Ashoka went to survey his new lands. On his ride through the battlefield, Ashoka was haunted by the great destruction that he had caused. This moment marked a change of heart for Ashoka. Upon returning home, his closest friend and wife, Asandamitra, encouraged him to study the wisdom of the Buddha, the dharma, and to learn meditation as a way forward from his destructive past. When Ashoka finally met the wise Buddhist monk Upagupta, it transformed the way he saw the role of a king. He became compassionate toward animals, people, and the environment that encompassed his kingdom as the first emperor of India. Ashoka's life is a real, foundational story in Indian history, and the pillars erected during his reign over two thousand years ago have become the emblem of the national flag. Ashoka's journey is a story of profound transformation, demonstrating the power of reflection, compassion, and wisdom. This is a modern telling of how Ashoka the Fierce became known as Ashoka the Great."-- publisher
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