There is a pervasive legend in India of a secret organization that allegedly has a vast amount of advanced knowledge in their possession.
Believed to have been formed over 2000 years ago, the Nine Unknown Men is widely suspected of manipulating political and societal trends in order to further the personal goals of the Nine.
But is such a secret organization a reality or is it merely the stuff of legend?
The society of the Nine Unknown Men was formed shortly after 226 BC by Emperor Ashoka.
Grandson of the legendary Emperor who unified the Indian subcontinent, Chandragupta, Ashoka was anxious to uphold his grandfather’s legacy and maintain the empire.
In the region between Calcutta and Madras, the Kalingan’s resisted the imperial rule, leading to an all-out war. Ashoka’s vastly superior forces are said to have killed over 100,000 of Kalinga’s warriors and deported over 150,000 of the region’s villagers.
Even though he had won the war, Ashoka was aghast at the carnage such a victory entailed.
From then on, he swore off violence forever.
Emperor Ashoka is best known for his conversion to Buddhism and his efforts to spread the peaceful religion throughout India as well as Malaya, Ceylon, and Indonesia.
His efforts contributed to Buddhism’s later rise in China, Nepal, Tibet, and Mongolia. Ashoka was a sworn vegetarian but did not force others to do likewise. Indeed, he was incredibly tolerant of other religious sects.
He did, however, prohibit the consumption of alcohol.
“He renounced the idea of trying to integrate the rebellious people, declaring that the only true conquest was to win men’s hearts by observance of the laws of duty and piety, because the Sacred Majesty desired that all living creatures should enjoy security, peace and happiness and be free to live as they pleased”.
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So committed was the Emperor to this mission that he sought to prevent his fellow man from putting their intelligence towards perpetrating evil, particular the evil involved with warfare.
The task of collecting, preserving, and containing all knowledge was too great for one emperor to do alone, not the least because of the other duties required by ruling an empire.
So Ashoka summoned nine of the most brilliant minds in India at the time. For security purposes, the identity of these men was never made public.
Together, these geniuses formed a secret society that came to be known as the Nine Unknown Men.