Innocent and infirm, weak and sick, beggars
and vagabonds, ascetics and devotees related to neither and nothing to do with
either party were all butchered mercilessly and endlessly. Arson and loot, then
reigned supreme. The horrors of the war spread far and wide. Smiling nature
smoldered; bracing air polluted; eyeful greenery withered; colourful flora and fauna
dithered; blooming life doomed. Everywhere in Kalinga and around.
The report of the progress of war
reached the ears of Asoka. Flushed with victory, he came out to see for
himself, the bloody battle in progress. He stood on a mound. And looked.
Oh! Dreadful! Gruesome!!
Disastrous!!! Horror of horrors - the vast battle-field strewn with bodies
dead; heads, mutilated; limbs, mangled; hands, maimed; trunks, severed; faces, disfigured;
soldiers, unidentified, and vehicles, powdered greeted his sight. The
ground was soaked in hot, young blood and flowed down in streams between the piles of the dead. It
looked as though the hell had emptied all its contents to set up an earthy capital here. What a
tragedy? How disastrous! How obnoxious!! How grievous!!! It was a sight ghastly, and