"Let all listen and be willing to listen to the doctrines professed by others"- Ashoka Samrat
Ashoka Samrat, also known 'Ashoka the Great' had ruled the entire Indian subcontinent for about 36 years. He was the third ruler of the Mauryan dynasty and grew up to become an absolutely daunting king with a vision to expand his empire. However, the battle of Kalinga which was one of the most brutal and lethal, turned Emperor Ashoka into a peaceful and non-violent emperor from a fierce vengeful ruler. It was this war, that led to the formation of the group of the Nine Unknown Men. Ashoka followed the principles of Buddhism and had done tremendous of good works in his life. After his death, the Mauryan dynasty lasted just fifty more years. Also, Buddhism began to fade in India, but it started flourishing in other South-Asian countries.
Here in the story, you'll find the complete and detailed biography of Ashoka Samrat, his achievements, the theory behind his nine unknown men and the conspiracy behind it. Have a look!
Popularly known as Dharma Ashoka, Ashoka The Terrible, Ashoka The Great
One of the great Indian emperors of the Maurya Dynasty
Religion beliefs: Buddhism, Hinduism, Humanism
Born in 304 BC in Pataliputra.
Died at the age of 72 in 232 BC at the same place in Pataliputra
His common personality traits: Aggressive, courageous and ambitious.
Wives/ partners: Tishyaraksha, Karuvaki, Maharani Devi, Rani Padmavati
Children: Mahinda, Kunala, Tivala, Jaluka, Sangamitta, Charumati
The great ruler, Ashoka was born in the royal family as Devanampriya Priyadarshi Samrat Ashoka, in 304 BC, in Pataliputra (close to modern-day Patna), his father, Bindusara was the second emperor of the Mauryan Dynasty. His grandfather, Chandragupta Maurya was the founder of Mauryan dynasty. Ever since his childhood, he was very good at fighting and had received military training. He had excellent hunting skills and was able to kill a lion with a single wooden rod.
The major battle in Samrat Ashoka's history was when he attacked Kalinga in 261 BC to expand his Empire further and conquered it successfully. However, there was a massive destruction caused in terms of both; property and human lives.
All across South Asia and Central Asia, he was successful in building 84,000 stupas to store the relics of Buddha for the Buddhist monks.
Even the Indian Flag has adopted his 'Ashoka Chakra' or 'the wheel of righteousness', which is inscribed on many relics of the Mauryan Emperor, the most eminent among them is 'The Ashoka Pillar' and the 'Lion Capital of Sarnath'.
The borders of the Mauryan Empire, reaching as far as Nepal, Pakistan and Afghanistan were erected by the pillars or Ashokstambha, which measured 40 to 50 feet, although only ten of them survived till date.
He had even administered the construction of a sculpture of four lions standing back to back, which is now the National Emblem of India, known as the Lion Capital of Ashoka, on the top of the Ashoka pillar at Sarnath (Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh). It can be found at the Sarnath Museum.
He supervised the construction of 'viharas' or intellectual hubs – Nalanda University and Taxila University, stupas – Dhamek stupa, Bharhut stupa, Sannati stupa, Butkara stupa, Barabar Caves, Mahabodhi Temple, and Sanchi.
In 237 BC, when India was under the reign of Ashoka Samrat, a bloody war was going on. In this particular distressing war, Ashoka was in the kernel of conquering the region of Kalinga.
Though it was expected that it was an easy win, it turned out in the brutal slaughter of over 100,000 men. The glimpse of the horrors of war and the cold-blooded mass killing of so many people took its charge on Ashoka, and when he realised the horrors of all the bloodshed, he decided to abandon the idea of brutally subjugating others. He opted for a system where people could win over others by laws of duty and piety. To unite rather than destroy. He transformed his religion to Buddhism and went to spread his thoughts all across. He even preached vegetarianism and avoidance of the slaughter of animals.
One of his famous quotes,
"I have enforced the law against the killing of certain animals and many others, but the greatest progress of righteousness among men comes from the exhortation in favour of non-injury to life and abstention from killing living beings."
To shut this permanently, he deliberately formed a secret group tasked with keeping the new technology hidden from those who would use it to nefarious ends. Thus, led to the origin of Nine Unknown Men.
Nine devoted disciples of science were chosen and each assigned with a book containing all of mankind's compiled and ever growing knowledge in a specific field. No more and no less, every time there were nine of them. These nine unknown men were said to have unlocked the secrets of immortality and retain their position for eternity. To each book they were given, they were supposed to add, revise and perfect it.
Also, these nine men had to abstain themselves from the world, so as to avoid any dealings with politics or mainstream science. To keep their communication a secret, the Nine Unknown Men were said to speak in an artificial language of their own which an ordinary man may find hard to fathom.
They would serve as protectors and guardians of this hidden data contained within the ever expanding books and onlookers of the world around them. They were the observers of the rise and fall of whole civilisations, yet they could never poke their nose or play an active role in any of it except in times when mankind was in need of help.
The subjects of these mysterious books cover a wide range of disciplines and knowledge, much of which we still do not find today.
First: techniques of propaganda and psychological warfare
Second: human physiology
Third: area of microbiology
Fourth: subject of alchemy
Fifth: subject of communication
Sixth: the secrets of gravity
Seventh: information on cosmology
Eighth: nature of light
Who are the 'Nine Unknown Men'? Is it a fact or myth? Is it the historical data that is enough to give some facade of credibility? Was the compilation of the most powerful knowledge ever collected? If so, who are they, where are they now, and what is their ultimate plan? Are they truly generous or hostile? Will we ever find the answer to these questions?
Well, we may never know if they have any existence or not. Maybe the story of the Nine Unknown Men is fake, or maybe they are out there now, watching over us as they always have from the shadows, continuously collecting knowledge as they always have for many years and will for many more, guarding us against secrets and saving us from ourselves in the process.