|Prince of the Maurya Empire|
|Born||3rd Century BC
Possibly Pataliputra, India
Vitashoka as called in Divyavadana or Tissa (born 3rd-century BC) was a prince of the Maurya Empire as the only uterine of Ashoka, and the only brother left alive by Ashoka. According to Divyavadana he was a follower of the Tirthikas and used to criticize the Buddhist monks for living a comfortable life. He was made to sit on the throne by the courtiers. When Ashoka found out about that, he persuaded Vitashoka to become a Buddhist.
Vitashoka became a monk and practiced austerities rigorously.
Divyavadana narrates a story of someone in Pundravardhana and then again at Pataliputra, drew a picture of the Buddha bowing before Nirgrantha Nataputta. As a punishment Ashoka ordered the Ajivikas to be put to death and declared a reward for killing of Nirgranthas. Someone killed Vitashoka taking him to be a Nirgrantha. His head was taken to Ashoka. After identifying that it was his own brother, Ashoka stopped giving orders for executions.
- Vitashoka appears in the 2001 epic Indian historical drama film Aśoka. Madhu Varshitt portrayed Vitashoka in the film.
- The Legend of King Aśoka: A Study and Translation of the Aśokāvadāna,John Strong, Motilal Banarsidass Publ., 1989, p. 222-234
- Divyavadana apparently equates the Nirgranthas and Ajivikas here.
- Yuan Chwang's travels in India Volumes 14-15 of Oriental Translation Fund Volume 2 of On Yuan Chwang's Travels in India, 629-645 A.D, Stephen Wootton Bushell Authors Thomas Watters, Vincent Arthur Smith Editors Thomas William Rhys Davids, Stephen Wootton Bushell Royal Asiatic Society, 1905 p. 95
- Ashoka, the Buddhist Emperor of India, Volume 28 Volume 29 of Rulers of India, Ashoka, the Buddhist emperor of India, Vincent Arthur Smith, Edition 2, Clarendon Press, 1901, p. 162
- Ashoka, Radhakumud Mookerji, Edition 3, Motilal Banarsidass, 1995, p.7