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About The Methods Of Harm & Arms

Sangamithra Amudha

Translation: Ravindra N.L.

// KALINGA in India, Ages Ago...

Kalinga… has been won. King Ashoka… victorious in this battle. After many years, Ashoka's happiness now knew no bounds, even as the head of the Chief Commander of King Padmanabha's army rolled down the slope and stopped. Ashoka's father Bindusaara's dream of conquest has been realized. He felt that this victory had finally given meaning to all his efforts. Moments later, Ashoka walks a few steps to reach the peak of the Dhauly Hill, where he looks up in contentment and plants his kingdom's flag. He feels unbounded happiness that his name would now be etched in history forever.

Victory in mind, Ashoka heaves a sigh of relief, and walks down the slopes of the Dhauly Hill to soak in Kalinga's beauty. Used to walking face up, his legs frequently clamber over small obstacles. On every instance of his stride being broken, his feelings of glory are getting distracted, are getting diluted. Soon with nothing much on his mind, he stops to look around. Now, not just with his eyes, but with his mind he looks down at the ground ahead of him. Speechless, he then continues to look at the battlefield around him. Dark clouds of despair are engulfing him. For all that is visible, are the remnants of destruction, the remnants of war. He is struck by the fact that his strides had been breaking over dead people, mutilated parts and weapons.

Ashoka questions himself, "I had got the victory I had wanted all my life. Yet, why is my heart feeling heavy?"

Ashoka, dizzy in his head and with trembling in his legs, slowly falls to lie down beside a decapitated body torn apart beyond recognition. With vultures circling above and his eyes beginning to close in dizziness, the feel of some water suddenly on his face wakes him up. He looks around and realizes that it was not water, but blood. He looks on further to see the battlefield strewn all over with bodies of elephants, horses and soldiers, all to the ground with each other.

Further down, the body of a young soldier not from his army, lays in an open arm position with a lucky charm on one of the hands. Ashoka wonders, "Who must have tied that charm for him? His mother? His wife? Or his child? And what luck has it brought him or his family? Or is it like, what luck have I brought him? My dreams have come true, but for many others has it not been shattered? My dreams have shattered the dreams of others? Or is it also that, people like me don't let others dream? Surely he is different from me. He must have just wanted livelihood and a good life, to cherish with his folks. What could a war appeal to him as?"

Wars are not their dreams. Unlike me, they do not want to be involved in wars, to be a part of history. Unlike my father, their ancestors did not dream of conquests. That means, all these people perished because of the war started by me,' felt Ashoka sadly, knowing very well that this reasoning has gripped him forever, for good.

Even though Ashoka tried seeking solace by the thought that they all just did their duty, he could not console himself because another thought followed, 'I am a leader to lead my people through their lives, I am like their father because they consider me so. What could be so wanting that I can lead my own to death? Unfortunately, I have become that causative for so many deaths'.

Ashoka, now pained by guilt, walks to the River Dhaya. River Dhaya was flowing slowly with a reddish hue, polluted by blood. Fishes too had not been spared, for those along the banks could be seen twitching and fighting for survival in the polluted waters. Likewise Ashoka's mind too, is unable to rest. The king's pride is completely shattered, his ego devastated, his head lowered in shame and he is at a loss for words. He knows he cannot roll back the time and things that have already happened; he cannot remedy the damage caused and absolve himself from the happenings. Yet he wants to calm his mind that is now full of despair and hopelessness. He feels like a lost child yearning for guidance.

With a heavy heart and his surviving troops, Ashoka left for Pataliputra. There, the tearful faces of the mothers, widows and children, just decimated his dreams to finality. Ashoka in Pataliputra could only relate to silence and loneliness.

Later, came a day of upliftment for Ashoka too. He came across Buddha's teachings that captivated and then cleared his mind. He understood that, "Love is the greatest principle, Compassion is the greatest discipline". He abandoned war and war-like methods for seeking solutions! He followed the path of Buddha's teachings. He never needed anything else in his life to feel good about himself!

// Coexistence Forever Coexistence Forever

Since human rights too can be established in a humane way using compassion and non-violence, words and deeds inciting violence and agitation can be avoided, for all peoples to live with all rights and without fear.

People wishing to help the needy can do so through the UN or NGO's who support and empower the people to lead a peaceful life with equal rights.

People can continue to meditate for the wellbeing of the nations and all its peoples. Those not familiar with meditation can harbor feelings of harmonious development for the nations, and pray in silence with a clear mind, even if in groups.

Sanmarga Foundations continues advocating meditation for the harmonious development of nations and all its peoples, in its regular "Meditation For Global Peace & Harmony" sessions.

Our heartfelt thanks and appreciation for all those who support our efforts to bring about harmony through "meditation" and "ahimsa", upholding compassion, peace and calmness.

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