Shaken by the harrowing cries of
the sorrowing downtrodden, he opened his tearful eyes. "Stop fighting", went forth from his
The royal command was at once
carried out. Swords were cheated, withdrawals were made, and retreat
was ordered and hastened.
By then, as many as a lakh and a
half of the Kalingas were found bounden ready for dispatch to the jails in
Pataliputra. More than a hundred thousand were slain and many times that number died the
battle field. And a little more than thrice the number was estimated to
succumb to mortal wounds and misery.
Asoka was burnt with remorse on having learnt this.
Of course Kalinga was annexed and the Mauryan empire swelled in its size and strength. The imperial
banner fluttered atop the Kalinga Palace, declaring proudly Asoka's victory to the high heavens. Armies
returned home. The campaign was over. Along with it, Asoka's cherished desire too was fulfilled.
But, at what cost to public weal, or