Hello, I’m interested in knowing if anyone knows of any good resources about studying how king Ashoka is relevant for early Buddhism. So far I have found the following two resources:
(Which is a study)
The Edicts of King Asoka
(Which is a translation of all the found edicts of Ashoka into English).
I personally find it very inspiring that the edicts are still left and what they say. It supports the claim that the suttapitaka was fixed early and actually contains what really happened historically. For instance in minor rock edict 3, it reads:
“These Dhamma texts — Extracts from the Discipline, the Noble Way of Life, the Fears to Come, the Poem on the Silent Sage, the Discourse on the Pure Life, Upatisa’s Questions, and the Advice to Rahula which was spoken by the Buddha concerning false speech — these Dhamma texts, reverend sirs, I desire that all the monks and nuns may constantly listen to and remember.”
This is very powerful since it shows that Ashoka actually can quote and name certain buddhist texts, meaning that they are most likely fixed and somewhat standardized by his time. It would be interesting if others have studied / given courses on how this impacts the validity of the EBT. Also, one interesting question would be if things like this could identify even parts of the EBT that are earlier than other parts of the EBT, or at least parts of the EBT in which we can have very strong confidence.
If you have any sources / courses I would be happy to hear about them. I have already listened to all the courses from the dhammaloka suttas youtube page given by Sujato and Brahmali. Such as these videos: YouTube.
Have a good day