Explain the main Principles of the policy of Dhamma.

Dhamma was not given any formal definition or structure. It emphasized on toleration and general behaviour. It also laid stress on non-violence and certain welfare measures. We can understand the development of the policy of Dhanuna chronologically by the Edicts :

Major Rock Edict I : declares prohibition of animal sacrifice and holiday of festive gatherings.

Major Rock Edict II : Relates to certain measures of society welfare like medical treatment of men and animals, construction of roads, tree planting, etc.

Major Rock Edict III : Says that liberality towards Brahamanas is a virtue, respect to mother and father etc. are all good qualities.

Major Rock Edict IV : Says that due to Dhamma the lack of morality and disrespect towards Brahamanas, violence and evils to friends and relatives have been checked. Killing of animals also stopped to a large extent.

Major Rock Edict V : Dhamma Mahamattas were appointed to look after these things and to spread the message of Dhamma.

Major Rock Edict VI : Dhama Mahattas were told that they could bring their reports to the king at any time. This Elect deals with speedy administration and transaction of smooth business.

Major Rock Edict VII : is a plea for toleration amongst all the sects. This plea is to maintain unity.

Major Rock Edict VIII : States that Dharmayatras would be undertaken by the emperor.

Major Rock Edict IX : Attacks ceremonies performed after birth, illness and marriages. Asoka instead lays stress on practice of Dhamma.

Major Rock Edict X : Denonces fame and glory and resserts the merits of Dhamma.

Major Rock Edict XI : Expasise on respect to elders, abstraining from killing animals and liberality towards friends.

Major Rock Edict XII : Says about toleration among sects, and his plea for harmony.

Major Rock Edict V : This is very important in understanding the Asoka’s policy of Dhamma. This is Ashoka testeement against war. It depicts the tragedy of war and shows why he turned against it. Asoka embarked on the policy of Dhamma after this war.

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