INTRODUCTION //Dhamma sadhu, kiyam cu dhamme ti?
Residential real estate, which was the primary reason that the S&L industry existed, can be a risky business, but was far less risky than commercial real estate. In building tract homes, sometimes before the ground is even broken the homes are bought. The first house that my family owned was purchased that way, and I saw it being built in 1964. Even if a buyer is not found before building commences, home building is usually a response to demand, and developers have to shoulder some of the risk. A bank will not provide a construction loan unless the developer is putting up some money, similar to a bank not giving a mortgage loan to a homeowner without a downpayment. If the homeowner has not made an investment in the deal, his/her incentive to take care of the house is questionable. Requiring a downpayment is simply a sound business practice.
And the numerous stories about Asoka were assumed to be the same.
There are quite a number of excellent introductions to the history of epidemics and their effects on history. General works, covering broad swaths of human history and geographic space, necessarily overlap slightly. However, the following each offer a unique approach. The global history is perhaps the most accessible starting point and a touchstone for all future work. Taking a more topical approach, and written after the appearance of HIV/AIDS, is comprehensive and readable. presents essays on a wide variety of topics concerning the ways in which people have thought about epidemic disease. Writing on different time scales, and considering different places, , , and all consider epidemics and the transfer of germs across space to be defining elements of human history. offers a thoughtful discussion of the various features epidemics have in common. Not discussed here are the many works on the history of medicine more generally that consider epidemic disease yet do not make it a focus.
KALINGA ROCK EDICTS
Beloved-of-the-Gods says that the Mahamatras of Tosali who are judicial officers in the city are to be told this: I wish to see that everything I consider to be proper is carried out in the right way.
And in time, not even these three creatures will be killed.
Scholars have suggested that because the edicts say nothing about the philosophical aspects of Buddhism, Asoka had a simplistic and naive understanding of the Dhamma.
Truly, this is the highest work, to instruct in Dhamma.
This view does not take into account the fact that the purpose of the edicts was not to expound the truths of Buddhism, but to inform the people of Asoka's reforms and to encourage them to be more generous, kind and moral.
One who does good first does something hard to do.
Asoka emerges from his edicts as an able administrator, an intelligent human being and as a devoted Buddhist, and we could expect him to take as keen an interest in Buddhist philosophy as he did in Buddhist practice.
But whoever amongst them neglects this, they will do evil.
He went on pilgrimages to Lumbini and Bodh Gaya, sent teaching monks to various regions in India and beyond its borders, and he was familiar enough with the sacred texts to recommend some of them to the monastic community.
I am never content with exerting myself or with despatching business.
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However, this is difficult to do without great exertion.
The contents of Asoka's edicts make it clear that all the legends about his wise and humane rule are more than justified and qualify him to be ranked as one of the greatest rulers.