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The war to occupy Kalinga was considered the bloodiest and most lethal that Emperor Ashoka had ever waged.The massive loss of lives and damage left him shattered and regretful, which ultimately caused him to transform from a fierce and vengeful ruler to a peaceful and benevolent emperor.For this we have to depend solely on Buddhist texts like the Divyavadana and Ceylonese chronicles like Avadana, Dipavamsa and Mahavamsa to obtain the information regarding his early life.Ashoka (304 – 232 BCE) was born in the town of Pataliputra and was given the name Devanampriya Priyadarshi Samrat Ashoka.Durdhara was not informed that the food eaten by Emperor Chandragupta always had a controlled amount of poison to build up his immunity towards being poisoned.The poison was added to the food by his Chief Minister, Chanakya, as a precautionary measure to protect Emperor Chandragupta because he had many enemies, and many attempts were made to poison him.According to the Ashokavadana, an Indian text in Sanskrit that describes the birth and reign of the Emperor Ashoka, Shubhadrangi was the daughter of a Brahmin from the city of Champa.The legend says that through palace intrigue she was initially kept away from Emperor Bindusara.
By the virtue of his parenting, he was the grandson of the Founder of the Mauryan Dynasty, Chandragupta Maurya.
Like his father, Emperor Bindusara Maurya also maintained good diplomatic relations with the Greek rulers and his step grandfather Selecus Nicator, a former general of Alexander the Great.
He also shared cordial relations with his step uncle, the Syrian King, and the Egyptian rulers.
Having been born into a royal family, Emperor Ashoka received extensive royal military training, and he was believed to be the most intelligent among the many sons of his father.
He was intellectual, energetic, fearless, strong, fought well and possessed great military skills.