Till very recently historians were confused as to the true nature of Asoka’s Dhamma. Some pointed on I that Buddhism and Asoka’s Dhamma are one and the same. But after a deep analysis of Asokan Edicts on Dhamma it has been found the these are two different things and one should not be confused with the other.
Indeed, Asoka embraced Buddhism after the Kalinga war According to Romila Thapar, Dhamma was Asoka’s own invention. In his Dhamma Asoka had suggested a moral life that was convenient to follow. Dhamma incorporated a way of life that included a number of ideals and practices. Abstinence from killing, respect to elder moderation in behaviour, etc. were the ideals that could be follow- by all people.
No matter to what religion they belonged. In conclusion it may be said that Buddhism was the personal religion of Asoka while Dhamma was the way of life that he wanted, as a king, the people in general to follow.