King Ashoka, who died 232 years before Christ was born, was a Yogi. Upon learning the Dharma adopted Ahimsa, and gave up war. He freed those peoples he had conquered, and made reparations for their dead. When it was learned that he adopted Ahimsa, and gave up war, he was attacked. His response was diplomacy, and this succeeded in restoring peace without bloodshed. He then sent diplomatic missions across the world to establish friendship among all nations, and to teach Ahimsa - and the Dharma. In an edict declaring his policy of Diplomacy, not war, he said,
I conquered the Kalingas eight years after my coronation. One hundred and fifty thousand were deported, one hundred thousand were killed and many more died (from other causes). After the Kalingas had been conquered, I came to feel a strong inclination towards the Dhamma, a love for the Dhamma and for instruction in Dhamma. Now I feel deep remorse for having conquered the Kalingas.
Indeed, I am deeply pained by the killing, dying and deportation that take place when an unconquered country is conquered. But I am pained even more by this: that Brahmans, ascetics, and householders of different religions who live in those countries, and who are respectful to superiors, to mother and father, to elders, and who behave properly and have strong loyalty towards friends, acquaintances, companions, relatives, servants and employees, that they are injured, killed or separated from their loved ones. Even those who are not affected (by all this) suffer when they see friends, acquaintances, companions and relatives affected. These misfortunes befall all (as a result of war), and this pains me.
There is no country, except among the Greeks, where these two groups, Brahmans and ascetics, are not found, and there is no country where people are not devoted to one or another religion. Therefore the killing, death or deportation of a hundredth, or even a thousandth part of those who died during the conquest of Kalinga now pains me. Now I think that even those who do wrong should be forgiven where forgiveness is possible.
Even the forest people, who live in my domain, are entreated and reasoned with to act properly. They are told that despite his remorse I have the power to punish them if necessary, so that they should be ashamed of their wrong and not be killed. Truly, I desire non-injury, restraint and impartiality to all beings, even where wrong has been done.
Now it is conquest by Dhamma that I consider to be the best conquest. And it (conquest by Dhamma) has been won here, on the borders, even six hundred yojanas away, where the Greek king Antiochos rules, beyond there where the four kings named Ptolemy, Antigonos, Magas and Alexander rule, likewise in the south among the Cholas, the Pandyas, and as far as Tamraparni. Here in the king's domain among the Greeks, the Kambojas, the Nabhakas, the Nabhapamkits, the Bhojas, the Pitinikas, the Andhras and the Palidas, everywhere people are following my instructions in Dhamma. Even where my envoys have not been, these people too, having heard of the practice of Dhamma and the ordinances and instructions in Dhamma given by me are following it and will continue to do so. This conquest has been won everywhere, and it gives great joy -- the joy which only conquest by Dhamma can give. But even this joy is of little consequence. I consider the great fruit to be experienced in the next world to be more important.
I have had this Dhamma edict written so that my sons and great-grandsons may not consider making new conquests, or that if military conquests are made, that they be done with forbearance and light punishment, or better still, that they consider making conquest by Dhamma only, for that bears fruit in this world and the next. May all their intense devotion be given to this which has a result in this world and the next.