Edicts of Ashoka – Other Minor Edicts

Inscriptions of Ashoka

Miscellaneous Minor Rock Edicts

 This edict is found at a separate boulder on the hill of Bairat near Jaipur. It is taken from there to the Museum of the Assiatic Society and later to be deposited in the Indian Museum at Kolkata, where it is now at present.

Bhabru-Calcutta-Bairat Minor Rock Edict

Sanskrit text by E Hultzsch

  1. प्रियदसी लाजा मागधे संघं अभिवादेतूनं आहा अपाबाधातं च फासुविहालतं चा
  2. विदिते वे भंते आवतके हमा बुधसि धंमसि संघसि ति गालवे चं प्रसादे ए कोचि भंते
  3. भगवता बुधेन भासति सर्वे से सुभसिते वा ए चु खो भंते हमियाये दिसेया हेवं सधंमे
  4. चिलठितीके होसती ति अलहामि हकं तं वातवे इमानि भंते धंमपालियायानी विनयसमुमसे
  5. आलियवसाणी अनागतभयानि मुनिगाथा मानेयसूते उपतिसपसिने ए चा लघुलो-
  6. वादे मूसावादं अधिगच्य भगवता बुधेन भासिते एतानि भंते धंमपालियायानी इछामि
  7. किंति बहूके भिखूपाये चा भिखूनिये चा अभिखिनं सुनेयु चा उपधालयेयु चा
  8. हेवंमेवा उपासका चा उपासिका चा एतेनि भंते इमं लिखापयामि अभिप्रेतं मे जानंतू

English translation by Meena Talim

  1. The beloved of Gods, king of Magadh conveys his regards to Samgha and wishes less obstacles and comforts at Vihara.
  2. It is known to you oh brethren, as far as I am concerned (inclined), my respect and devotion (goes) to Buddha, Dhamma and Samgha. Whatever, oh brethren,
  3. Lord Buddha had said is all well said. This is what I have (instructed) expounded. This good law will last for long.
  4. I say that which deserves to say. These, oh reverend ones, are disquisitions of Dhamma (and praise) of Vinaya – (such as),
  5. Ariya Vamsa, dangers that may occur in future, verses of monks, suttas of monks, and a Question of Upatissa, similarly Rahula-vada and
  6. Musavada have been well understood. All these have been said by Lord Buddha, oh, reverend ones, I desire them, as a disquisition on Dhamma.
  7. Some, and many monks and nuns should hear them and follow them, every moment.
  8. Similarly, this should be applied to lay devotees and female lay devotees too. For this purpose, oh reverend ones, I am inscribing (writing); know the motive behind this (writing).

English translation by V A Smith

His Grace, the King of Magadha (Priyadasi raja Magadhe) , addresses the Samgha with greetings and bids its members prosperity and good health.
You know, Reverend Sirs, how far extend my respect for and faith in the Buddha, the Sacred Law, and the Samgha.
Whatsoeve, Reverend Sirs, has been said by the Venerable Buddha, all of that has been well said.
However, Reverend Sirs, if on my account I may point out (a particular text), I venture of adduce this one:
“Thus the Good Law will endure”
Reverend Sirs, these passages of the Law, to wit:

  1. The exaltation of discipline
  2. The course of conduct of the great saints
  3. Fears of what may happen
  4. The song of the hermit
  5. The dialogues on the hermit’s life
  6. The questioning of Upatishya
  7. The address to Rahula, beginning with the subject of falsehood

Spoken by the Venerable Buddha, these, Reverend Sirs, I desire that many monks and nuns should frequently hear and meditate; and that likewise the laity, male and female, should do the same.
For this reason, Reverend Sirs, I cause this to be written, so that people may know my intentions.

English translation by D C Sircar

King Priyadarshi of Magadha salutes the monks of Samgha., wishes them good health and comfort in their movement, and addresses them in the following words.
It is known to you, Venerable Sirs, how far extend my reverence for the faith in the Buddha, the Dharma and the Samgha. Whatever, Venerable Sirs, has been said by the lord Buddha, is well said. But, venerable sirs. I deem it proper to speak out what appears to me the way as to how the true Dharma may be of long duration.
I desire, Venerable Sirs, that the largest number of monks and nuns should constantly listen to and reflect on the following which are the texts of Dharma:
Vinayasamutkarshah or the Exaltation of Discipline;
Aryavasah or the Noble States of Living;
Anagatabhayani or the Fears to Come;
Mauneyasutram or the Song of the Hermit;
Upatishyaprasnah or the Question of Upatishya; and
Rahulavavadah or the Exhortation to Rahula which was delivered by the Lord on the subject of falsehood.
In the same way, the lay followers of the Buddha, both male and female, should listen to and reflect on the sacred texts.
This record, Venerable Sirs, is caused to be written by me for the following purpose, viz., that people may known my intention.


Buddhist Texts mentioned in the edict – 

  • Vinaya-samukase
D R Bhandarkar Tuvatthaka (based upon Buddhaghosha’s Visuddhinmagga which mentions four suttas of which three found mention in this edict, hence the last one must be identified with Vinaya-samukase)
D Kosambi First sermon of Buddha (as this particular sermon known as Dhammachakkapavattana is no where mentioned in this edict and it must be most important one hence vinaya-samukase must be identified with this)
V A Smith First sermon of Buddha
E Senart First sermon of Buddha
Meena Talim Samatha-Khandaka of Cullavaggapali (narrates the disputes that occurred amongst monks and also the manner in which these may be settled down. The first way is called Sammukha-vinaya)
D C Sircar Atthavasavagga of Anguttara Nikaya
B M Barua Sigalovada Sutta of Digha Nikaya, as stated in the commentary of Buddhaghosha, it applies to householders and indeed to all classes of monks, nuns and laity
R K Mookerji Sigalovada Sutta of Digha Nikaya
A J Edmunds Samukkamsika-dhammadesana, an expression applied to the four truths expounded by Buddha in his first sermon
S N Mitra Sappurisasutta of Majjihima Nikaya


  • Aliya-vasani
D R Bhandarkar Ariya-vamsa of Anguttara II
D Kosambi Ariyavamsa Sutta of Anguttara Catukkanipata (narrates that a recluse should not grumble about cloth, food, resting place etc and should enjoy meditation)
V A Smith
E Senart
Meena Talim Anguttara Nikaya
D C Sircar
B M Barua
E Hultzsch Ariya vamsani, lineages or traditional ways of the holy
G Buhler
R K Mookerji Anguttara II


  •  Anagata-bhayani
D R Bhandarkar Anagatabhayni Sutta of Anguttara III
D Kosambi Anagatabhayni Sutta of Anguttara Pancakanipata (Buddha exhorts here the bhikshus to exert all the time lest old age, disease, famine, rebellion or schism)
V A Smith
E Senart
Meena Talim Anguttara Nikaya (narrates the fear which may arise in the mind of a monk)
D C Sircar
B M Barua
E Hultzsch
R K Mookerji Anguttara III
A Cunningham


  • Muni-gatha
D R Bhandarkar Muni-Sutta of Sutta-nipata
D Kosambi Muni Sutta of Suttanipata (narrates the qualities of a hermit)
V A Smith
E Senart
Meena Talim Suttanipata (narrates the ideal of a muni)
D C Sircar
B M Barua
E Hultzsch
G Buhler
R K Mookerji Sutta Nipata


  • Moneya-sute
D R Bhandarkar Nalaka-Sutta of Sutta-nipata
D Kosambi Nalaka Sutta of Suttanipata (narrates the behavior of a bhikshu)
V A Smith
E Senart
Meena Talim Anguttara Nikaya (narrates three ways of restrictions which would lead a monk to be a good sage)
D C Sircar
B M Barua
E Hultzsch
G Buhler
R K Mookerji Nalaka Sutta of Sutta Nipata


  • Upatisa-pasina
D R Bhandarkar Rathavinita-sutta of Majjhima Nikaya
D Kosambi Sariputta Sutta of Suttanipata
V A Smith
E Senart
Meena Talim It is the one question of Upatissa (Sariputta) which troubled him most and got answered by a novice monk named Assaji
D C Sircar
B M Barua
E Hultzsch
G Buhler
R K Mookerji Sariputta Sutta of Sutta Nipata


  • Laghulovada
D R Bhandarkar Rahulovada-sutta of Majjhima Nikaya
D Kosambi Rahulovada Sutta of Majjhima Nikaya
V A Smith
E Senart Rahulovada Sutta of Majjhima Nikaya
Meena Talim Rahula Suttam from Samyukta Nikaya
D C Sircar
B M Barua
E Hultzsch
G Buhler
R K Mookerji Majjhima Nikaya


  • Musavada
D R Bhandarkar
D Kosambi
V A Smith
E Senart
Meena Talim Musavadasutta from Anguttara Nikaya
D C Sircar
B M Barua
E Hultzsch
G Buhler
R K Mookerji takes it as ‘mrisa’ meaning falsehood


मागधे (Magadhe) – The controversy over this term is whether it qualifies the preceding word, raja, or the successive word, samgha. E Hultzsch takes it as the qualifying term for raja and translates as ‘Priyadarshi, the king of Magadha’. E Senart takes it as the qualification for Samgha and translates as ‘the samgha of Magadha’.

R K Mookerji mentions that the qualification for samgha does not hold as the boulder is found at Bairat which is at very far distance from Patna. If the edict is addressed to the samgha of Magadha then why it was found at such a distance from the center of that region. We cannot rule out a possibility that this boulder would have been transported from Magadha region to its finding spot however there is no reason possible on why this should be done.

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