The Mauryan empire was an efficient and highly organized autocracy with a standing army and civil service.
This bureaucracy and its operation were the model for the Artha-shastra (“Treatise on the Aims of Life”), an important Indian manual on the art of politics, attributed to the chief minister to King Candragupta.
The Edicts of Aśoka are a collection of 33 inscriptions on the Pillars of Aśoka, as well as boulders and cave walls.
These are some of the oldest deciphered original texts of India.
The inscriptions proclaim Ashoka's beliefs in the Buddhist concept of dharma and although Buddhism and the Buddha are mentioned, they tend to focus on social and moral precepts rather than religious practices.