No account of Brickfields will be complete without mention of the Buddhist Temple here. The temple or Vihara celebrated its 100th anniversary in 1995, which makes it 114 years old now.
The Centenary Celebration booklet mentions that the Sasana Abhiwurdhi Wardana Society was born out of hardship, perseverance and confidence to make it what it is today.
In the late 19th century a group of 87 Sinhalese applied to the then British Resident, W H Treacher to grant them a parcel of land to build a temple to practice their faith and to bring down from Ceylon a number of monks for the propagation of Buddhism.
This looks like an Ashoka Pillar.
Ashoka ascended to the throne in 269 BCE inheriting the empire founded by his grandfather Chandragupta Maurya. Ashoka was reputedly a tyrant at the outset of his reign. Eight years after his accession he campaigned in Kalinga where in his own words, "a hundred and fifty thousand people were deported, a hundred thousand were killed and as many as that perished..." After this event Ashoka converted to Buddhism in remorse for the loss of life. Buddhism didn't become a state religion but with Ashoka's support it spread rapidly. The inscriptions on the pillars described edicts about morality based on Buddhist tenets. Legend has it that Ashoka built 84,000 Stupas commemorating the events and relics of Buddha's life. Some of these Stupas contained networks of walls containing the hub spokes and rim of a wheel, while others contained interior walls in a swastika shape. The wheel represents the sun, time, and Buddhist law (the wheel of law, or dharmachakra), while the swastika stands for the cosmic dance around a fixed center and guards against evil.