Ashoka's Reflection

After the famous Kalinga war, Ashoka’s soldiers were celebrating their victory with a lot of zing. They were beating drums and blowing trumpets. The atmosphere of festivity and joy was all pervading.

Ashoka was also enjoying the great victory. He was roaming from place to place congratulating and thanking his soldiers. He felt as if he was on top of the world. There were no bounds to his happiness.

Suddenly he saw a soldier sitting quietly with a gloomy face. His eyes were full of tears. Ashoka went to him and enquired why was he not celebrating. The soldier replied that he was brooding over whether the victory was worth the loss of thousands and thousands of soldiers.

The reply of the soldier suddenly put King Ashoka in a reflective mood. He also started questioning the meaning of victory. That reflective moment changed the life of Ashoka and he became a Buddhist.

Reflection leads to introspection. It bears the seed of change. It guides and drives the course of action.