Asoka: A Love Story
by Harish Singhal
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Though H.G. Wells called Asoka the greatest king in history, he did not mention that Asoka is just as great a puzzle. He has been called a monster, a saint, a coward, a hero, orthodox, radical, and a visionary. He killed like Genghis Khan, and yet, became the St. Paul of Buddhism. He blindly followed his fundamentalist religion, and left it because it oppressed the masses. Then he provided equality, social justice, religious tolerance and freedom to his people. And above all, he provided free medical care. He built the first beautiful monuments of India. Who was this man? Was he a Tristan in love--a doomed romantic lover? An artist in search of personal expression? A philosopher looking for meaning in chaos? This is the first fictional biography of this enigmatic world figure; it keeps peeling layer after layer of his mind to find the real man.
The story zig zags like the man. Asoka is an underdog--fourth in line of succession. At eleven, he runs into cannibals and narrowly escapes getting cooked. He is adopted by his grandfather's widow, Livia, a Persian princess. She too is a strange figure; she poisons Asoka's mother to make him king and become Queen Mother. At seventeen, he is found making love in a temple room to a flower girl--oblivious of the bodies swaying outside to holy chants. He is charged with rape, and runs away to Taxila (modern Peshawar in Pakistan) to study religion, which was the source of political power in those days. As it still is in many states--including perhaps America. He mercilessly puts down an uprising by Taxila Administrator to secede from the empire, and becomes governor. He is only twenty when he falls in love with the seventeen year old Anga -- the most beautiful girl in the kingdom. She has an Egyptian soldier on her mind.
Meanwhile, the king dies. Asoka gambles his life and enters the palace at night, kills two of his brothers, and seizes the throne -- but not quite. The crown prince escapes, and Asoka has to ...
Genre: Action & Adventure
Length: 390 Pages (948 KB)Lending: EnabledAdded: May 26th, 2020