I am an Emperor

I rarely watch TV serials. Last night I was at my parents place and my grandmother was watching the serial based on the life of Emperor Ashoka - called Chakravartin Ashoka Samrat.

The scene was that the young boy Ashoka has been captured and presented at the court of the king Bindusara. He is to be tried for treason and for an assassination attempt on the life of the kind. Both accusations are false. Looking at the young age of the boy, in a moment of empathy, Bindusara asks him "Young lad, how would you like me to deal with you?". Pat comes the reply "Treat me like one emperor should treat another" - the famous statement that was originally uttered by King Puru when he was defeated and captured by Alexander during his conquest into the Indian subcontinent.

The self-belief, promptness and clarity in the boys response stunned the king Bindusara. He was taken back and asked the lad "of which land are you the emperor?". Immediately the young Ashoka replied "I am the emperor of the forest!". He truly believed it. His voice, his body language and his eyes clearly reflected his belief that his status is that of an emperor and nothing less.

At that time, Ashoka the boy did not know that he was indeed the grandson of Chandragupta Maurya and the son of the king Bindusara, in whose court he was being tried. Yet he believed that he is meant to be an emperor.

As I saw this scene, something inside me shook and changed forever. I wondered what does it take for someone to believe that they are meant for greatness.

I thought to myself, what do I think of myself? What am I meant to be? Do I, believe I am meant to be great? Do I believe I am meant to change the history of mankind?

But this is not the point.

The real question is - when I see myself as born to be an Emperor, then how should I live my life?

Can I be lazy anymore?
Can I be afraid anymore?
Can I allow myself to be unfit anymore?
Will I be comfortable thinking small anymore?
Can I allow myself to think only about my needs anymore?
Can I allow myself to hold on to hurt, revenge and misery anymore?

The lad Ashoka went on to become Chakravartin Ashok Samrat - Emperor of Emperors. He created a golden period of rule. H.G. Wells wrote in his book The Outline of History "Amidst the tens of thousands of names of monarchs that crowd the columns of history, their majesties and graciousnesses and serenities and royal highnesses and the like, the name of Ashoka shines, and shines, almost alone, a star."

It is not a surprise that the Ashoka Chakra is at the center of our national flag. It is a wheel with 24 spokes. It is the wheel of dharma - it symbolises that truth, satya, or virtue ought be our controlling principle. But more importantly, to me it denotes motion. There is death in stagnation. There is life in movement. We must never resist change, we must keep moving and go forward.

But first, we must believe that we are meant to be GREAT.