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what influenced Ashoka to formulate the principles of dhamma?

The rigidity of the  Brahmanical class sharpened the division within the  society. The lower orders turned to the various heterodox sects and this created social tensions. Asoka was aware of these tensions. Buddhism, Jainism and Ajivikism had generated in society. They were all opposed to the domination of the Brahmanas in some way or the other and had a growing number of supporters. Asoka's private beliefs and his own perceptions of how he should respond to  the problems of  his empire were responsible for the  formulation of the policy of Dhamma.

 The Kalinga war can be said as the immediate cause of the formation of Ashoka’s Dahamma. The early part of Ashoka's reign was apparently quite bloodthirsty. After seeing the consequence of Kalinga war, he became a follower of the Buddha's teachings. During the remaining portion of his reign, he pursued an official policy of nonviolence (ahimsa). Even the unnecessary slaughter or mutilation of animals was immediately abolished. Everyone became protected by the king's law against sport hunting and branding.

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