Opinion

Why did Emperor Ashoka build a secret society of “nine unknown men”, what was the truth behind it?

It was around 270 BC that Emperor Ashoka formed an all-powerful clandestine society known as the ‘Nine Unknown Men’. It is said to have advanced knowledge in its possession. The nine men were entrusted with safeguarding this knowledge which if fell into wrong hands could bring destruction to the world. Each of the nine is to guard & improve a single book.

Origin of the Secret Society

Ashoka was the grandson of legendary Emperor & unifier of the Indian subcontinent Chandragupta. It was in the region between Calcutta & Madras that the Kalingan’s resisted the imperial rule. This lead to a war in which Ashoka’s vastly superior forces killed over 100,000 of Kalinga’s warriors & deported over 150,000 of the region’s villagers.

This was an astounding victory, yet Ashoka was left aghast at the carnage left behind by the violence. It was from then on that he swore off violence forever, & began to turn his attention to preserving knowledge for good means.

Ashoka was extremely dedicated in his mission to prevent the usage of knowledge for evil purposes, especially warfare. He desired to collect & preserve important knowledge, but he couldn’t alone achieve the task. It was an arduous task & he had other duties to perform.

So, he summoned nine of the most brilliant minds in India at the time whose identities were kept secret. And together, these geniuses formed a secret society that came to be known as the ‘Nine Unknown Men’.

Purpose of the Society

Only the Nine Men were allowed to study & develop scientific theories & technology as they wanted to keep this knowledge out of the reach of the ordinary man which would risk the misuse of the knowledge.

Each of the nine men was charged with a specific book that he was to update, revise, & ultimately perfect the knowledge therein.When one of the nine could no longer complete the task – whether from the wish to retire, fading health, or death – the obligation was passed to a chosen successor. This is how the society of the ‘Nine Unknown Men’ has lived on for over 2000 years!

The Nine Books

  • Propaganda & Psychological Warfare – The first book dealt with techniques of propaganda & psychological warfare. Propaganda in its most basis sense presents information in order to influence the audience.It is regarded as the most dangerous of all the sciences as it has the power to mould mass opinion, thus enabling one to govern the whole world.
  • Physiology – Physiology is the study of the mechanical, physical & biochemical functions of living organisms. This book explains how to kill a person simply by touching him or her, known as the ‘the touch of death,’ simply by the reversal of a nerve impulse. It is even said that the martial art of Judo is a result of ‘leakages’ from this book.
  • Microbiology – The third volume focused on microbiology which deals with study on micro-organisms and & some say even biotechnology.
  • Alchemy – The fourth one dealt with alchemy &transmutation of metals.According to legend, in times of severe drought or natural calamities, temples receivedlarge quantities of gold from a ‘secret source.’ The mystery is deepened by the fact that the mind-boggling quantity of gold in temples &with kings can never be accurately accounted for keeping in mind that India has very few gold mines.
  • Communication – The fifth book contained a study of all means of communication – terrestrial & extra-terrestrial.
  • Gravity – The sixth book focused on the secrets of gravitation & actual instructions on how to make the ancient Vedic Vimana.
  • Cosmology – The seventh contained cosmology &matters of the universe.
  • Light – The eighth dealt with light including its speed & how it can be used as a weapon.
  • Sociology – The ninth & final book discussed sociology. It included rules for the evolution of societies & the means of foretelling their decline.

    Vinayak Jain**

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