Mauryas (Dynasty) Details about Rock Edicts

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Major Rock Edicts

  • 1st Major Rock Edict:

    • declares prohibition animal sacrifice; also prohibits the holding of festivals, royal hunting was discontinued; only two peacock and a deer and killed in the kitchens of the beloved of Gods;

  • 2nd Major Rock Edict:

    • It mentions medical treatment human and animals; also mentions construction of roads, wells etc. and also tree planting;

  • 3rd Major Rock Edict:

    • It mentions about the Pradeshikas Rajuka (also in the 4th Pillar Edict) and Yuktas; declares the liberty towards Bramanas and the Sramanas;

  • 4th Major Rock Edict:

    • It mentions that the Beri-gosha has been replaced by dhrama-gosha (i.e. sound of Dhamma); it also mentions that the Rajuks had the power to punish;

  • 5th Major Rock Edict:

    • Reference to the appointment of Dhamma Mahamatas for the first time in the 14th year of his regime; it also mentions that Dhamma Mahamattas promoting the welfare of prisoners;

  • 6th Major Rock Edict:

    • Mantri parishad has been mentioned; officials like Pulisani and Pratividikar has also been mentioned; It mentions "All times, I am available to the Mahamattas' i.e. Mahamattas could being their report to the king at any time;

  • 7th Major Rock Edict:

    • It mentions religions tolerations amongst all the sects it gives information that tension among the sects was expressed intensely; it gives information about self center and purity of mind;

  • 8th Major Rock Edict:

    • In his 10th Regnal year, he went to Dharmyatras to Sambodhi in Bodhgaya;

  • 9th Major Rock Edict:

    • It mentions about the uselessness of the various ceremonies; it stresses on morality and moral code of conducts; it also mentions about the ceremony of Dhamma; it includes regards for slaves and servants, respect for teachers, restrained behavior towards living beings and donation to Sarmanas and the Brahmanas;

  • 10th Major Rock Edict:

    • It mentions that the king desires no more fame or glory (i.e. - denounces fame and glory), except in the field of Dhamma; it mentions about the supreme quality of Dhamma policy (also in the 2nd and 8th Pillar Edict and IXth Major Rock Edict.);

  • 11th Major Rock Edict:

    • It further explains the policy of Dhamma; it emphasises on giving respect to the elders, abstain from killing animals and liberalism and charity towards friends, Sramanas and Brahmans and good behaviours towards slaves and servants;

  • 12th Major Rock Edict:

    • Ithijika Mahamatta has been mentioned; appeal for toleration among sects i.e. to honour the another men's sects; it mentions that the beloved of the Gods does not consider gifts or honour to be as important as the progress of the essential doctrines of all sects;

  • 13th Major Rock Edict:

    • It is the largest inscription; from the edict, we know that the Kalinga war took place in the 9th regnal year Asoka has expressed sorrow over it; King considered the victory the victory by Dhamma to be the foremost victory; Mention the Dhamma victory on the Greek being named Antiochus (probably Antichus II, Theos of Syria); it also mentions the Dhamma victory over the following foreign brings: -

      • Ptolemy II Philadelphus - King of Egypt (285-247 B.C.);

      • Alexander - King of Epirus (273- 255 BC)

      • Antigonous Gonatus -King of Macedonia (276 -239 BC)

      • Magas - King of Cyrene; It also mentions the Dhammavictory in south over the Cholas and Pandyas, as far as Ceylon (Sri Lanka); 2nd and 13th R.E. mentions that Pandyas, Cholas had Dhamma victory over Ceylon.

  • 14th Major Rock Edict:

    • the purpose of the Rock Edicts has been mentioned.

    • The Major Rock Edict are 14 in number found in Manshera (Hazara),Shahbazgarhi (Peshawar), Girnar (Gujarat), Sopara (Maharashtra), Sannati (Karnataka), Yerragudi (Andhra Pradesh), Dhauli (Orissa), Jaugada (Orissa) and Kalsi (Dehradun).

Minor Rock Edicts

The Minor Rock Edicts have been found from 20 different places:

  1. 2 in Afghanisatn:

    1. Lamghan; and

    2. Kandhar.

  2. 9 in Karnataka:

    1. Brahmagiri,

    2. Jatinga-Ram-eshvara,

    3. Siddapura, Maski,

    4. Gavimath,

    5. Palki-gundu,

    6. Nittur,

    7. Uddeg-olam,

    8. Sannati.

  3. 3 in Madhya Pradesh:

    1. Rupanath,

    2. Gujara,

    3. Pango-raria.

  4. 2 in Andhra Pradesh:

    1. Yerragudi,

    2. Rajula-Mandagiri,

  5. 1 in Bihar: Sahasaram

  6. 1 in Rajasthan: Bairat

  7. 1 in UP: Ahraura

  8. 1 in Delhi: Bahapur

The Pillar Edicts have been found at 13 places: 10 pillars have inscriptions upon them and 3 pillars do not have any inscriptions.

  1. The 10 inscribed pillars have been found at:

    1. Rampurva (Bihar),

    2. Lauriya-Araraja (Bihar),

    3. Lauriya-Nandangarh (Bihar).

    4. Rummindei (Nepal),

    5. Nigalva (Nepal).

    6. Sarnath (UP),

    7. Kausambi (UP)

    8. (Delhi-Topra (Delhi),

    9. Delhi-Meerut(Delhi) and

    10. Madhya Pradesh at Sanchi.

  2. The 3 uninscribed pillars have been found at:

    1. Rampurva (Bihar),

    2. Bakhira/Koluha (Bihar)

    3. Sankisha (UP)


Highest pillar: Rampurva.

  1. Shortest pillar: Rummendei

  2. The best preserved pillar: Lauriya-Nanadangarh

  3. Most ancient Pillar: Bakhira

  4. Last of the pillar: Sarnath.

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