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Asoka Paperback – January 1, 2002
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He made his values, principles and what he was doing known by publication -that is carved- in rock faces and on pillars all over India, of which many can still be seen to day ('the Rock Edicts"). He even apologized for his bad actions in this public way. He established a special department with Dhamma -Mahamatras, high-ranking civil servants that were responsible t control that the moral principles he had declared to be applied were adhered to in every part of the empire.
He also organized a medicinal service for all and installed policies to protect natural resources and made a list of animals that had to be protected. He established a corps of inspectors to controls the application. He stopped hunting animals and religious sacrifices of animals.
Asoka sent his daughter to Sri Lanka to spread the teachings of Buddha at the request of King Devanampiya Tissa who was a contemporary of Asoka. His daughter started the nun-lineage of Bhikkhunis (a fully ordained female Buddhist monastic) at the request of King Tissa.
The book described the history, the policies, the administration, the monuments, the social conditions and each of the Rock Edicts in great detail. It is the most complete and interesting book about Asoka that I have been able to find.
Many of Asoka's policies would still be considered advanced today, like healthcare for all.