After seventeen years of Ashoka's
rule, unfortunately difference of opinion arose among the Buddhist monks and there was a
split. There were many lazy and bad monks given to evil ways. These willful sanyasins were
a curse to Buddhism. Buddhism was, therefore, losing its power. Ashoka felt unhappy over
this. In order to save Buddhism for total eclipse and to increase its influence, Ashoka
threw out many lazy monks from the Buddhist fold. He invited the worthy and the serious -
minded monks to Ashokarama in Pataliputra for a conference. Moggaliputra Tishya presided
over the conference attended by the Buddhist monks from the Four Corners of the country.
Ashoka sat with the great teaches and sent for each Bhikshu and asked him, "What did
Lord Buddha teach?" He discussed many things with them. After long discussions what
Lord Buddha had taught came out clearly and unambiguously.
Buddhism gained a new strength from this conference. Ashoka did not like other kings
send his armies to foreign lands to conquer them. He who declared that the victory of
Dharma was the real victory sent Buddhist monks to other lands the light he had received
from Buddhism. He sent Buddhist preachers to Syria, Egypt, Macedonia, Burma and Kashmir.
To Ceylon (Srilanka) he sent his own children Mahendra and Sanghamitra. As a result off
this, Buddhism spread to all countries in East Asia.