The history of Ashoka becoming a king is no less than a masala potboiler where the young and fierce yet unwanted child breaks all the barriers to become the next Samrat. He fights all the hardships, ignores even the hatred of his own father, kills his own brothers and then gets on the throne by all means.
Here we share the story of how Ashoka became a King:
Ashoka was not the probable king, he changed his destiny by himself
Being a son of a low grade Queen, Ashok was not Samrat Bindusar’s favorite son. In fact, he was the most neglected one. Samrat never gave him much attention or love and sidelined him most of the times.
However, this neglected son was very strong, brave and courageous. He once fought with a lion bare handed. No wonder, he became the subjects favorite Rajkumar. Besides, his behaviour and attitude was way better than the probable King Rajkumar Sushim who misbehaved with people as well as ministers.
So, though he was not the Samrat’s favorite he became people’s favorite. Even ministers supported him which ultimately made him the king.
Ashoka Won Where Sushim Lost
Once Rajkumar Sushim purposely asked his father Samrat Bindusar to send Ashok to Talshashila to curb an uprising. He thought he will fail but he came out victoriously. Post that, the ministers as well as the subjects gained full faith in him.
Rajkumar Sushim never respected the ministers. They knew if he becomes Samrat everything would fail – their position as well as their dream of an united nation. His atrocities were well known to all. They knew it is not Sushim but Ashok who fits best as Samrat.
The Ministers Forced Samrat
So when Samrat Bindusar was breathing his last and Sushim was away, the ministers didn’t lose much time in executing their plan. Samrat wanted Ashoka to go to Takshashila in place of Sushim so that Sushim could come back to Patliaputra and he could announce him as the next Samrat.
But the ministers faked Ashoka’s health, telling the Samrat that he is not well. They compelled Samrat Bindusar to make Ashoka a temporary Samrat in the absence of Sushim. Samrat denied but Ashoka had vowed to become Samrat by then and he was confident that nature himself will make him Samrat one day. Samrat didn’t approve Ashoka as his heir even as a temporary king but Ashoka was determined and the ministers too wanted the same.
The War of Succession
Samrat Bindusar died and the ministers made Ashoka the temporary king. Hearing the death of Samrat and the succession news Sushim headed back to Pataliaputra. For three years there was a war of succession but in the end Ashoka became the king by killing all his brothers except one.
This is how Ashoka became a king though he was neither the elder son nor Samrat’s favorite son. He changed his destiny on his own and made his own future by becoming a king. The contribution of the ministers especially Radhagupt was substantial though.