Vijayawada: Amaravathi has flourished as the centre for Mahayana Buddhism which has now spread to Srilanka and South-East Asia said N. Ramesh Kumar, State Election Commissioner. Addressing the rotary club meeting, he said that the Maha Chaitya was constructed with the knowledge of Emperor Ashoka, even though there is no record to prove this. Pictorial depiction of Jataka tales can be seen in two layers. The edicts are in the Brahmi script. But, nobody has studied them. William James, who learnt Sanskrit, besides other languages revealed this secret about 150 years back.
Well known historian H.G. Wells, described Ashoka as a great ruler who based his rule on dharma and ahimsa. Mr Kumar pointed out that it was significant that Ashoka deputed his son and daughter to spread Buddhism rather than succeed him as rulers. The hundred feet tall Ashoka stupa bore the insignia of a four-headed lion, which we have adopted as our national emblem. He said that Ashoka laid great emphasis on Dharma to provide a just rule to his people. Rotary Club president, Bhagavantha Rao presided over the meeting and former mayors, Dr G.V. Mohana Prasad and M.C. Das attended.