[from V. The Third Recital]

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[Asoka’s Ascension]
257-275 = Mhv 22-32

When Bindusāra was lying on his deathbed he remembered his son, and sent ministers to fetch him from the city of Ujjenī. They went to Asoka with the news and announced his bidding, and he went quickly into their presence.

He placed his children and wife there on the interior road of the city of Vedisa, and went into his Father’s presence. When his Father died in the city of Pāṭaliputta he did the proper duties to the body for seven days. Then he had his ninety-nine brothers by different mothers murdered, and raised the Royal canopy over himself, and was consecrated right there in the city. This appears to have been an initial coronation as King in the City, later (see v. 265) he was consecrated King over the whole Empire.01

After the two children were sent out of the presence of the King, the venerable mother herself resided right there in the city of Vedisa.

From the Emancipation of the Victor I.e. the Buddha.02 to the consecration in excess of two hundred and eighteen years had passed by. Within four years of attaining sole sovereignty the Greatly Famous One had himself consecrated in the city of Pāṭaliputta. From the very time of his consecration, in the firmament and the earth, league by league For the origin of this special power, see v. 298 below. 03 did his orders always have penetration.

Day by day the gods brought eight loads of water from Lake Anottata The purest water that can be found, being brought from the Himālaya.04 on carrying-poles, and the God-King distributed them to the people. In verse 328 it explains how the King later redistributed this water to those who were worthy.05 From the Himālaya the gods brought betel-wood toothpicks, sufficient for countless thousands of people, and also myrobalan medicine, yellow myrobalan, and supremely ripe, beautiful, sweet-smelling and tasty mangoes.

The protective gods brought five-coloured clothes, yellow strips of cloth for the hands, and divine water from Lake Chaddanta. The Nāgas brought fallen jasmine flowers, and unthreaded divine waterlilies, and collyrium ointments for the eyes from the divine Nāga mansions.

Moreover the parrots brought ninety thousand carts of finest rice from Lake Chaddanta day by day. After breaking that rice, the mice made it into fine rice without chaff or powder, and that was the food for the King’s family.

Honeybees constantly made honey for him, and bears wielded the hammers in the smiths' forges. The female cuckoo birds, which have pleasing and sweet voices, after going to the King, made sweet sounds for him.