Next Thursday evening, Mangalam Research Center will host Sonam Kachru for a discussion of the moral political leadership of King Ashoka. Aimed at a general audience, I believe this is a timely conversation that may be of interest to your students and well as you. Please find the description and details below. You can register for the Zoom link via Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/beyond-perfection-king-ashoka-engaged-buddhism-dharma-in-ancient-india-tickets-131934380283.
Academic Director, Mangalam Research Center
Beyond Perfection: King Ashoka, Engaged Buddhism and Dharma in Ancient India
A Conversation with Sonam Kachru
Thursday, January 21, 2021 5 - 6:30 PM PST
In the introduction to his book, The Buddha and his Dharma, the Indian scholar, politician and social reformer, B. R. Ambedkar entertained Buddhism’s future in modern India with the help of a question: “What was the object of the Buddha in creating the Bhikkhu? Was the object to create a perfect man? Or was his object to create a social servant devoting his life to service of the people and being their friend, guide and philosopher?” In this conversation we shall explore this question by examining the remarkable legacy of the ancient Buddhist king, Ashoka Maurya, whose experiments in moral leadership, as represented in the archeological record and Buddhist narratives, reveal the pro-social implications of Buddhist ethical and contemplative practices, and remain a powerful lens to think through the contested place of Buddhism in a political world.