Originally posted by Sandhya.A
There was a discussion in a JA thread regarding 'Greatness.' Isn't MP as great if not greater than Akbar,...and the like. My thoughts . ...
Our country has given birth to many precious men and women, rulers who have exhibited heroism and exceptional achievements. Chandragupta Maurya , Harshavardhana, Maharana Pratap, Chand Bibi, Chatrapati Shivaji, Raja RajaChola,Vikramaditya, PrithviRaj Chauhan, Rana Sanga and many more. Each of them were special and heroic in their own way.
But Ashoka and Akbar are accorded the suffix 'Great' due to the scale of their achievements and due to their humility and humanity inspite of such huge achievements. And deservedly so.
The world has seen innumerable scientists whose contributions to science has been special and valuble. But why is Einstein considered the greatest of them all ?
What makes Tulsidas the greatest among Hindi poets? Aren't others' works valuble?
What makes Amitabh's voice the most sought after in India? Why is M.S. Subbulakshmi considered the best Carnatic Singer? Why is the Mona Lisa the most famous painting? Why is Don Bradman and Sachin's cricket hailed? Aren't other's cricket good enough? What makes Shakespeare's plays superior to the rest. What makes Mahatma Gandhi the Father of the nation? Aren't other's patriotism and sacrifice great?
Not that others are not good, but they are extra good, so good that they have beome symbolic and iconic.
Ashoka and Akbar are the greatest among great rulers and warriors of India. Two greatest kings who have ruled India and are called 'The Great'
The fact that Asoka adopted a policy of gentleness not after a defeat, but after a victory, is what makes him great. The fact that he practised and preached the virtues of amity, toleration and non-violence while he still possessed the vast resources of a mighty empire makes him one of the greatest rulers of the ancient world.
He directed all his zeal to the promotion of spiritual and moral welfare of his subjects, whom he referred to as his "children" in his edicts. He gave up the policy of foreign annexation and military conquest and chose the path of well being of his subjects while at helm.
Akbar has a high place among the rulers of the world for he successfully brought together the Hindus and the Muslims. During a time when in Europe, warring sects (Catholics and Protestants) were killing each other, Akbar ensured peace to all religious sects. He is among the first rulers of a barbaric era to promote tolerance.
In his 49 years of rule, India was never invaded by a foreign ruler. He established a strong administration because he gave equal opportunities to all deserving men no matter what sect they belonged to. He transformed the Mughals from military invaders into a permanent Indian dynasty. He laid the foundation of an empire which worked brilliantly, even years after his death.
The modern visionaries that Asoka and Akbar were in their age is what makes them great.
The reign of Akbar bears a strange resemblance to that of Asoka though they were separated from each other by an interval of
eighteen centuries; the main features of their respective lives were
practically the same.
Asoka was occupied for years in conquering and consolidating his empire; so was Akbar.
Asoka conquered India to the north of the Nerbudda; so did Akbar.
Ashoka conquered and ruled almost entire India. So did Akbar.
Ashoka was a fearless excellent warrior who could inspire fear in his enemies. So was Akbar.
Asoka was tolerant of other religions; so was Akbar.
Ashoka was an excellent administrator. So was Akbar.
Ashoka had a very capable samithi and council of ministers. So were Akbar's Navratans.
Ashoka introduced many policies with public welfare in mind. So did Akbar.
Both of them were excellent judges of personalities.
Asoka went against the priests; so did Akbar.
Asoka taught a religion and promoted it; so did Akbar.
Asoka abstained from flesh meat; so did Akbar.
In the end Asoka took refuge in Buddha, the law, and the assembly. In the end Akbar too sought peace in religion, one which he himself originated.
(Btw, none of this info fits in our present buddhuram. begum bhajan singer.)
Akbar's greatness attributed to his fighting qualities, forgiving nature against his family who did harm to him, His intuitiveness for picking up extraordinary people to lead and govern, His ambition in terrotorial expansion, his penchant for good governance, his ability to streamline things, his vision for a united Hindustan and wellfare, bravery, arts and multi-faceted personality.
I of what little I know about both place Akbar a tab above Ashoka . Some personal choice.