Ashoka, The Emperor Who Gave Up War – CBSE Notes for Class 6 Social

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Facts that Matter:

• Chandragupta Maurya founded an empire more than 2300 years ago. His grandson Ashoka ruled the empire later. Chandragupta was supported by a wise man called Chanakya or Kautilya who wrote a book Arthashastra.
• The Mauryan empire had several important cities like the capital Pataliputra, Taxila, Ujjain, etc.
• The area adjacent to the capital was under the direct control of the emperor. Officials were used to collect taxes. There were other areas or provinces which had their own provincial capitals. According to Arthashastra, the northwest was important for blankets, and south India for gold and precious stones.
• The most famous of the Mauryan emperors was Ashoka. He sent his message to the general public through inscriptions written in Prakrit (in Brahmi script).
• Ashoka fought a war in the quest to conquer Kalinga (present-day Orissa). But the violence and bloodshed in the war touched him and he became the only king who gave up conquest forever after winning a war.
• Ashoka believed he had a responsibility to instruct his subjects, which he did through his ‘DHAMMA’. He was a Buddhist. He appointed officials called as ‘DHAMMA MAHAMATTA’ who went to places teaching people about ‘DHAMMA’. He got his messages inscribed on rocks and pillars as well.
• Ashoka built roads, dug wells, and built rest-houses. He arranged for the treatment of unwell humans and animals.
                                                                         The Lion Capital
                                                                      The Rampurwa Bull

Words that Matter:

• Brahmi:  It was a script used to write inscription in Ashoka’s time.
• ‘Dhamma’:  Ashoka’s ideas which he wanted to use to instruct his subjects were called
the ‘dhamma’.
• ‘Dhamma Mahamatta’:  The officials Ashoka sent from place to place to teach the people his ‘dhamma’ were called ‘dhamma mahamatta’.
• The Arthashastra:  Chanakya’s book ‘Arthashastra’ contains his ideas. The word means ‘economics’.


• Around 2300 years ago (about 300 B.C.) – Chandragupta Maurya founded the Maurya empire.
• 273 B.C. – Ashoka’s region began.
• 232 B.C. – Ashoka’s death.
• 185 B.C. – the end of the Mauryan empire.