Asoka ruthless conqueror an enlightened ruler? Asoka the “founding father” ruled what is now present-day India. He ruled from 268 BCE to 232 BCE. He was the third Mauryan Emperor. He was the grandson of Chandragupta Maurya and son of Bindusara. When Asoka was ruler he made thirty-three edicts some were even on pillars. But only ten of the edicts were well known. Asoka had them spread out across his realms. Which today are known as present day India, Nepal and Pakistan. This was so that travelers within the land would get familiar with the edicts. All of these edicts were created after Asoka ruthlessly conquered Kalinga. After Asoka conquered Kalinga, he wanted to prove that he wasn’t a ruthless conqueror but an enlightened ruler. Asoka established to be an enlightened ruler by constructing the edicts, looking for Buddha, and operating out on his best interests for his kingdom.