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Primary Source Analysis: Week 3 (Buddha and Asoka)
You have now read the some of the teachings of the Buddha [3.1] and Rock and Pillar Edicts from King Asoka [3.2]. Asoka saw himself as a follower of the Buddha’s Law of Righeousness (dharma). Based on your understanding of the lessons by the Buddha, please make an historical argument about these questions: Whould the Buddha agree with any of Asoka’s policies and beliefs? If so, which ones? Would the Buddha disagree with any of Asoka’s policies and beliefs? If so, which ones? Remember, you are using one set of primary sources (Buddha’s teachings) to evaluate another set of primary sources (Asoka’s edicts). This means that evidence is key to answering this question well. I am not asking your personal opinion, but rather what you think the Buddha would have thought about Asoka based on the evidence in the primary sources.”*
Another way of thinking about this is, if Asoka was trying to prove he was a good Buddhist, how does he do that?
Write between 150 – 350 words, and compare at least two things found in Asoka’s decrees to two values found in the Buddha’s sermon.