The Mauryas

Inscriptions of Ashoka

Kandhar Aramaic Inscription

This inscription is engraved on a block of limestone procured from the bazar of Kandhar, but believed to have been discovered in the ruins of the old city of Kandhar (Shar-i-Kuna). It might have been originally installed in or near that locality. D Schlumberger was the first scholar to know the existence of this epigraph in or sometime before May, 1964.

Sanskrit text translated from the original Aramaic text by N P Rastogi

1. ( एस हि धंमापदाने धंमपटिप) ति च (या इयं दया दाने सचे सोचवे मदवे) साधवे च
2. (लोकस हेवं वढिसति ति | देवानंपिये लाज हेवं आह ) यानि हि कानिचि (ममिया साधवानि
3. कटानि तं ) लोके अनुपटीपंने तं च अनुविधियतिं (तेन ) वढिता च  वढिसतिं च (माता
4. पितिसु सुसूसाया) गुलुसुया सुसुसाया वयो महालकानं  अनुपटीतिया (बभनसमनेसु) कपनवलोकेसु
5. (आव ) दास (भटकेसु  संपटिपतिया) |

English translation by Meena Talim

1. This is admonishing of Dhamma and way to follow Dhamma.
2. The one who has accomplished (followed) compassion, charity, truth, purity and gentleness will grow in this world,
3. Thus said King Piyadassi, the beloved of God.
4. To those whom I have made my followers (my disciples) they have been following right way, there by Dhamma will grow and will be grown.
5. Tender service to mother and father, service to teacher (Guru), reverence to elderly ones and proper behavior (courtesy) to Brahmanas, monks, poor, servants and those thake meals in this world.

English translation by B N Mukherjee

“(Practice) [of Dhamma] – (so) it is said – to (?)….and (or and which is) goodness [.] Whatever…….- (so) it is said – the world [has] to [follow] totally [and] the world has imitated – (so) it is said-….and (they) have been caused to increase and [will continue to] be caused to increase for [i.e. in respect of] obedience totally …….- (so) it is said – , for [i.e. in repsect of] obedience to precious [i.e. venerable] persons…..by proper regard (or respectful behavior) to the aged…..to weak (persons) [and] to slaves”.


Script and Text – This fragmentary inscription is partly written in Aramaic and partly in Prakrit dialect. The text is borrowed from pillar edict (PE) II and minor rock edict (MRE) I.

Date – B N Mukherjee believes that this edict is an abridged version of Pillar Edict (PE) VII which was engraved in twenty-seventh year after consecration of Ashoka, therefore this edict should be dated in that year of afterwards.

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