The Great King Ashoka Awakening at the Aftermath of the Battle of Kalinga
The Battle of Kalinga took place in 262 BCE between King Ashoka of the Maurya Empire and the state of Kalinga, present day Odisha north of Andhra Pradesh. King Ashoka's grandfather Chandragupta was the first King of the Maurya empire who fought against Alexander The Great in 326 BCE. Its amazing how this story aligns itself to link Alexander and Ashoka as great Kings except the latter is part of the Buddha's grand design.
So, here is the scene for this commission
Ashoka's forces and the Kalinga's defenders fought around mid day and all through the evening. By night fall, the battle is essentially over and the battle field is covered with dead soldiers, horses and elephants while some struggling to hang on.
As dawn breaks with the first crack of sunlight, King Ashoka look out into the battlefield and all he could see was the death and destruction he had committed. Fortunately at that moment, a Buddhist monk was visible to the King while he recited prayers for the dead. This became the defining moment in King Ashoka's legacy. That became the triggering response where King Ashoka ended his reign of terror and became a Buddhist.
Need to draw viewer into the pain and sufferings of the war wounded with the monk praying while King Ashoka facial expression of disgust and remorse over what he had done.
King Ashoka is known in the Buddhist world as a major protagonist for the spread of Buddhism to neighboring countries in the north to Central Asia, which then became a fertile ground for early Buddhist missionaries who made their way across the deadly Taklimakan desert into China.
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