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[[File: King_Ashoka_with_his_Queens.jpg|300px|thumbnail|left| Relief Depicting Ashoka with His Queens]]
The conversion of the Mauryan Indian King Ashoka (ruled 272-231 BC) to Buddhism is rightfully viewed as a major turning point in world history. Ashoka promoted the fairly new philosophy of Buddhism throughout his realm and allowed it to flourish, which eventually led to its dissemination throughout east Asia. Among the most visible ways in which the king promoted Buddhism was by erecting numerous pillar and rock edicts that detailed his version of Buddhist theology and by constructing numerous Buddhist monasteries, known as <i>sutpas</i>, throughout India that were used to house religious texts and relics. Before Ashoka converted to Buddhism, though, he was known to be a particularly brutal king who had thousands of people killed with impunity. The difference between Ashoka’s early and later life are striking and leads to the very obvious question – why did Ashoka convert to Buddhism?
[[Category: Ancient History]] [[Category: Asian History]] [[Category: Indian History]] [[Category: Religious History]]