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Write the Manusamriti ideas in detail,
Discuss the central theme of Manusmriti and its contribution to ancient Indian Political History,
Discuss the state and kingship in Manusmriti, Throw the light on the inter-state relations described in Manusmriti,
What are the Sukraniti and the importance of Sukraniti in the political history of ancient India?
Q.1. Write the Manusamriti ideas in detail. (BALLB)
The King and His Duties Manu’s view of the sources of state law repeats that of the early Smritis. The king we read in the one place (VIII, 3) shall daily examine the suits of litigants failing under the eighteen titles of law in accordance with the principles derived from regional usage (desadrishta) and from the Sacred Canon (sastradrishta): the righteous king, we read elsewhere (VIII, 41) shall enquire into the usage (dharmas) of regions and castes (or according to another interpretation the regional dharmas applicable to each caste) as well as those of guilds (senior) and families (kula), and he shall then settle the distinctive usage (dharma) of each group the king we are told in a third extract (VIII, 46) shall establish as law what may have been practiced by good men as well as the virtuous twice-born classes, provided that this is not opposed to the usages of regions, families, and subcastes.
The ave extracts stamp the Sacred Canon and customs a the joint source of state law, the latter being taken as before in a wide sense so as to embrace the usages of local, social and economic groups. Also, he admits one’s own conscience as the source of law.
Manu asks the king, while discussing the modes of judicial of Virtue and Wealth as well as their opposites, and to discover the internal disposition of men by external signs: the king should discover the right path by inference as a hunter discovers the lair of a wounded deer by drops of blood, and he should pay full attention to the witnesses, to the time and early Smiriti principle that justice administered at the king’s court involves the application of human reason or one’s conscience to the sources of state law.
Manu expatiates at length on the ideal, the majesty of the kingship and the need of a firm policy-danda or chastisement; but he holds that the king should “behave like a father towards all men” and please all. He is most probably reflecting actual practice when he wants the king ‘to regulate the economic list of the community.
The king should watch and control traders-open cheats’ he must fix the prices of all marketable good, mark the weights and measures and re-examine them every six months. The followers of various occupations mechanics manual workers
come in for state supervision. Physicians or veterinary surgeons, who
wrong their patients must be fined. Manu again seems to steer close to facts when he insists on the appointment of a learned Brahmana as the royal priest and of seven or eight ministers. Every day they should be consulted on peace, war finance, endowments, and general administration.
The king should consult them first individually and then collectively. The king should consult them first individually and then collectively, and ultimately decide for himself. Another official of first-rate importance was the Ambassador, a sort of foreign secretary and plenipotentiary, who negotiated alliances and transacted that business by which kings are “disunited or not.” Manu also tells us about a number of other important officials who were concerned with mines, manufactures, storehouses, revenue, etc..
The complementary principle of the king’s obligation is developed by Manu along the three lines hinted at or indicated in the early Smritis, namely the divine, the ethics-religious, and the quasi-contractual, the first taking characteristically enough the foremost place in our author’s thought. Repeating in the first place the old Vedic dogma of creation of the four castes out of different limbs of the Creator’s body, Manu (I, 89) declares that he assigned to the Kshatriya the occupation of protecting the people and so forth: the king on receiving the Vedic sacrament, we are told more particularly (VII, 2-3) at the beginning of the author’s theory of the king’s creation is bound to protect the whole world, and the Lord created the king for the protection of the whole creation: the king, we read similarly (VII, 34), has been created as the protector of those who in due order is intent upon the performance of their duties. The king’s foremost duty (dharma) is the protection of their duties. The king’s foremost duty (dharma) is the protection of his subjects: for a Kshatriya, the most commendable occupation is the protection of the people. Thirdly and lastly, we red (VII, 144; VIII, 307-08) that the king who enjoys the specified rewards is bound to discharge his duty of protection, that the king who receives the agricultural tax, duties, fines, etc., but fails to protect his people, goes after death surely to hell; and the king who receives one-sixth of the agricultural produce as tax but fails to give protection takes upon himself the foulness of all people, and that when the king receives the agricultural tas but does not punish thieves, his kingdom is disturbed and he loses
heaven. In the above extracts, the author first develops the old Smriti! the doctrine of the Kshatriya’s divine ordination for protection as to lead to the conclusion that protection is the divine purpose of the king’s creation: secondly, he repeats the early Smriti principle declaring protection to be the king’s obligation by the law of his order; thirdly and lastly, the author while repeating the old Smiriti conception of the king’s obligation of protection in return for taxation, fortifies it with formidable temporal and spiritual sanctions.
Q.2. Discuss the central theme of Manusmriti and its contribution to ancient Indian Political History. (BALLB)
Ans. Central Theme of Manusmriti. Whereas other Smritis have propounded any one of the four ends of life: Dharma, Artha, Kama, or Moksha. Manusmriti alone deals with all the Tour of them. About Dharma, it says that Dharma is that which has been ever followed by and sanctioned by the heart of the learned and the good, who are free from love and hate. Besides general dharma, it propounded at length the Varna dharma, Ashrama dharma, Varnashrama dharma, and Guna dharma. Rangaswami Aiyangar writes: ‘The scheme of polity that Manusmriti outlines are accordingly rooted in the general scheme of Hindu life, and in the postulates of Hindu social and economic organization. The former is comprehended under Vamashrama dharma in the wider sense of including the dharma of varna and ashrama, both in their inter-relations, of the dharma of position or guna, or the dharma of ‘special occasion’ and of the dharma ‘common to all’.
Rajadharına According to the same author and other writers, Rajdharma is commonly equated with Political Science. Its content is supposed to be the art of government. ‘It is forgotten that, literally and historically, it means not the art of government, but the indications of the duties of a particular functionary, viz., the crowned king’. Vijnancsvara explains that Yajnaralkya proceeds to indicate the special duties of a householder, who had acquired a special guna by being
crowned as a king after the specification of the duties of householders of all varnas generally. The duties of administration devolve on one who is put at the head of a state. In Indian conception, he has to discharge the duties must obviously belong to the second ashrama, as the other three are outside worldly life. The king has a personal responsibility for the dharma and the dharma of every subject, and it
is signified by the statement that he obtains a sixth part of the spiritual merit of his good subjects and a sixth part of the demerit of unpunished delinquent subjects.
Their Contents Manusmriti consists of twelve Chapters, which at with the following topics respectively : (1) origin of the creation, (2) duties and rituals for the different basics and celibacy, (3) five major sacrifices (Panch Mahayajna), (4) rules for the snataka, (5) food worth eating and otherwise, (6) Vanaprasth and Sanyas adjudication of civil disputes, taxation, and Rajauharma, (8) asking of questions from the witnesses, (9) duties of husband and wise, division of wealth and property, (10) duties in an emergency, (11) penances or expiation for sins and (12) sell-knowledge leading to moksha.
Thus we see that the Smriti of Manu only incidentally deals with things political. It is primarily concerned with social relations and conduct. Ils view of law is also colored by its preponderant Brahmanicalstand point. It does not make any advance in the formulation of concepts of philosophy or specifically of political philosophy. Manu does depend on our nation of Danda in a sociological way. He says that if the king did not wild the scepter of punishment then the stronger would roast the weaker, like fish on a spit. But Danda should always be used with discrimination and moderation. In reality, Danda is the king, the manager of affairs, the ruler, and the guarantee for the observance of Dharma by the four orders. Manu advances in the direction of an organic conception of Danda and ascribes the masculine character to Danda. He stresses that only due to the operative mechanism of Danda the social castes are maintained in purity.
Yajnavalkyasmriti is also divided into several sub-chapters. The titles of some of the important ones are as follows: celibacy, marriage, duties (dharma) of the snataka, duties of family duties of saints, duties of the king (raja dharma), punishment, dense, records, inheritance of property, etc. In all, it contains 1010 slokas, which have been grouped into three chapters. The first chapter is sub-divided into 13 prakarnas and the same is the most important, so far as we are concerned.
Q. 3. Discuss the state and kingship in Manusmriti.(BALLB)
Ans. Its Origin. While dealing the duties of the king (rajadharma), Manu spcaks about the origin of the state (or the king) as follows: “Wher creatures, being without a king, were through fear dispersed in
all directions, the Lord created a king for the protection of the whole creation. Taking (for the purpose) eternal particles of Indra, or the wind, of Yama, of the Sun, of Fire, of Varuna, of the Moon and of the Lord of Wealth (Kubera). Thus Brahma formed the king out of the essence of the light duties who guard the universe. So the king surpasses all mortals in glory. Regarding the origin of the state or kingship Yajnavalkyasmriti has nothing to say.’
Seven limbs of the State. Both Manu and Yajnaralkya believe in the organic theory of the state, i.e., it has seven limbs. Manusmriti says that (1) Lord (king), (2) Minister, (3) Capital, (4) Rashtra, (5) Treasurer, (6) Army (or force) and (7) Ally are the seven characteristics (Prakratis) of the state. For this reason, the state is called Saptange – having seven limbs. The same view has been expressed by Yajparalkya in the prakaran entitled ‘Rajadharma’. He says that lord (king), amatya (minister), the people (jana), fort (capital city), treasure, punishment (danda), and ally are the fundamentals of the state. This is why the state is called ‘Saptanga.’ The Manusmriti version of the Saptanga theory, fort and Janapada are replaced by pure and Rashtra, i.e., capital and kingdom. Yajanvalkya substitutes the rod of justice (danda) for the army in the traditional category. Since the king occupies a dominant position, the ‘state’ and ‘king are often used interchangeably.
The state in which Manusmriti was composed was a vast-state as has been described in this work. It was called Aryavarta, which extended from the Himalayas in the north to the Vindhyas in the south bounded by the season the eastern and western sides. The two major regions included in it were called Brahmavarta (northern part) and the Madhya Desha (the middle country).
Manusmriti as well as Yajnavalkyasmriti make mention of kingship only. But Manu has also mentioned ‘Swarashtra’, friendly and enemy states, Mandal Rashtra, which were associated with each other in different friendly relationships. Some of these were central some indifferent, neutral, and desirous of conquests. From this, it is clear that Aryavarta, depicted by Manu, was divided into several states and thus it was not a united state, from the political point of view. In Manu’s view, it was, the state which recruited its army from Kurukshetra, Matsya, Panch
Season. It was designated as Brahmarishi country, the capital was far away from the Ganges and Kurukshetra. This was known as ‘Rashtra”
and its citizens were called rashtrakas. The ‘rashtra’ consisted of its king and its subject. In a rashtra comprised several countries (deshas). or janpadas and Visah.
Scope of State Activity According to Manusmriti state should perform the following: make all Varnas observe their duties (dharma), observable of general laws, maintenance of peace within the state and keep the state free from external control. Besides these the state should make laws for controlling the prices of articles; settle disputes arising between families and guilds; compel the Vaishvas to carry on trade, agriculture and animal husbandry, and compel the Shudras to serve the twice. born (the higher castes). The state should stop conflicts arising between different groups and keep every individual in his due position. The state should also impart education and should be mindful of the teachers as well as the taught. For the purpose of performing these functions, the state has the authority to levy various taxes and also to punish the criminals. Thus the scope of activity is quite wide. It is for this reason that it has been very aptly remarked: ‘Some of the legislation recommended by Manu would seem almost socialistic to it of modern political science.
In Manu’s welfare state, prices are subject to governmental control and so are interest rates. The state assumes responsibility for promoting cultural institutions and granting certain charities to unfortunates unable to help themselves.
In Yajnavalkyasmriti, the scope of the activity of the state coincides with the whole of human life. It is the duty of the king to discipline and set families, castes, all guilds, and associations, in case they deviate their duties. In short, the social order has to be maintained with a firm hand. It was for this reason that justice was created by tana in the shape of
the rod (danda). The rod must always be against evil-doers. The king · should not allow even his brothers, or parents-in-law, if they are guilty
of any crimes, to go unpunished. To inflict punishment or death on those who deserve it, to perform many sacrifices and bestow the finest gifts. But punishment never to be arbitrary. It must conform to the scriptures. Manu nearly distinguishes between state and society. Like Mahabharata, Manusmriti declares that society is regulated by the ability to link to punish. It is danda that rules the subjects, it is danda that protects all, and it is danda that keeps awake and guards the people
when they sleep. Since there can be no dharma without the coercive power, the learned style danda itself as dharma. Behind the concept the learned, style danda itself as dharma. Behind the belief that evil is inherent in man. So the fear of danda mate righteous. This view postulates a state of nature not essentially different from that of Hobbes and Spinoza, in which a strong authority is required to impose restraints on the natural appetites of the people. The state without sanctions is no state at the alternative to danda is the law of the jungle-or to use the image beloved of Brahmana theorists, of the sea; the strong would devour the weak like fishes in the water.
The divinity of the king It has already been pointed out that the first king was created by the Lord (Brahma) for the protection of the whole creation. Since the king was created with the eternal particles of eight gods, he possesses their attributes and also exercises them. Even an infant king must not, therefore, be despised from an idea that he is a mere mortal, for he is a great deity. The code says that these gods came into the person of the king and he becomes a great Deity. The author of the Manava code made his king Divinity itself, to despise which was to be punished with powers of absolutism.
Manusmriti says: ‘Let no man, therefore, transgress that law which the king decrees with respect to those in his favour, nor his orders which inflict pain on those in disfavor. Manu enjoins the king in onė place to imitate the energetic action of eight duties, and he seizes the occasion to show how the king’s acts resemble severally the functions of those deities. Because a king has been formed of particles of those lords of the gods, he, therefore, surpasses all created beings in lustre; and like the sun, he burns eyes and hearts; nor can anybody on earth even gaze at him.’
King’s divinity in the Manusmriti, as described above, it is not referred to in Yajnavalkyasmriti. However, according to Yajanvalkya, the king has divine elements. Referring to an ancient myth that when gods and men could not be kept in control then the (Prajapati) asked the gods as to who should perform essential actions and protect the people. The gods replied that he should create a king in Human form. Thus it is clear that Yajnavalkya also believes in the divine origin of the king. de Ca Training and Qualities of the King and Vices to be Avoided by as
regards the qualities of the king, the Manusmriti lays down : (1) He should daily worship aged Bralımanas who know the Veda and are pure; for he who always reveres aged men is honored even by Rakshasas, (2) He should constantly learn modesty from them, for a king who is modest never perishes, (3) From those versed in the three Vedas he should learn the three-fold sacred science; the primeval science of government, the science of dialectics, and the knowledge of the Supreme Soul; and from the people the theory of the various trades and professions, (4) Day and night he must strenuously exert himself to conquer his senses; for he alone who has conquered his own senses, can keep subjects in obedience.
Besides the above qualities, the king should carefully shun the ten vices, springing from love of pleasure, and the eight, proceeding from wrath, for a king who is attached to the vices springing from above of pleasure, loses his wealth and his virtue, but he who is given to those arising from anger loses even his life. Hunting, gambling sleeping by day, sensuousness, excess with women, drunkenness, an inordinate love for dancing, singing and music, useless travel are the ten-fold set of vices springing from love of pleasure. Tale-bearing, violence, treachery, envy, slandering, unjust seizure of property, reviling and assault are the eight-fold set of vices produced by wrath. The king should also avoid greediness which all wise men declare to be the root of all these vices. On a comparison between vice and death, vice is declared to be more pernicious; because a vicious man sinks to the lowest hell and he who died., Free from vice ascends to heaven.
According to Yajnavalkyasmriti, the king should be zealous, grateful, humble, truthful, pure, religious, scholar, brave, and free from vice. Besides these qualities, the king should serve the elders; he should cultivate self-knowledge; and he should be proficient in the science of politics, the three Vedas, and the four means of policy. Functions and Duties of the King. As Indra, the God of the firmament sends plentiful showers during the four months of the rainy season; so let the Raja rain abundance on his people. As Surya, the sun-god draws up the water by his rays, so let the Raja by his sovereign power draw the legal revenue from his dominions. As Pavana, the god of air moves throughout the world; so let the Raja pervade all places by his spics. As Yama, the judge of the death punishes friends and foes; so let the Raja punish
all offending subjects. As Varuna, the god of the waters binds the guilty in fatal cords; 50 let the Raja keep evildoers in right bounds. As Chandra, the moon god delights the world in the fullness of his glory, so let the Raja appear before his subjects in the splendor of his sovereignty. As Agni, the god of fire burns and consumes; so let the wrath of the Raja destroy all evil ministers. As Prithivi, the earth goddess supports all creatures; so let the Raja protect all his subjects.
The duties of the king às enumerated in the Manusmriti, for the sake of convenience, may very briefly be analyzed under the following heads: (i) Executive. It had two aspects – protection and punishment The first referred to the protection of all castes and creeds with special reference to the minors and women. It involved three ideas – prevention of the confusion of castes, protecting the weak against the strong and kings right to receive one-sixth of the spiritual merit of the people for performing the duty of protection, (ü) Judicial To examine the cases daily in the court, the cases falling under the eighteen titles. (ii) Legislative. Since the eighteen titles were already laid down, the king’s major (legislative) duty was reduced to the mere application of the regulations already laid down before him, (iv) Administrative. These related to appointments and administrative problems, (v) Ecclesiastical. He was to appoint the chief priest and choose other officiating priests for performing his domestic rites and sacrifices; and he was to offer various Srauta sacrifices, (vi) Revenue. These comprised the fixation of rates, taxes, and duties, (vii) Military. He selected his royal residence and the fortress. He was to fight bravely and honorably, (viii) Enlightened. These referred to the kings being the promoter of learning and culture.
The above is an enumeration of the duties and functions of the 1. king, according to Manusmriti. Since the king has been created to be
the protector of the castes and orders. The king, who has received according to the rule the sacrament prescribed by the Veda, must duly protect the whole world. The enforcement of law governing the social order is part of the protection for which the kingship was instituted. The king should reward the good and punish the wicked. ‘Punishment is the perfection of justice, the true manager of the public affairs, the dispenser of all laws, the governor of all, and the protector of all. If the Raja were nor to punish the evildoers, the stronger would roast the
weaker like fish on a spit; the crow would peck at the consecrated food: the dog would eat up the sacred thee: the rich would be deprived of all their wealth: and the twice-born would be overcome by the Shudra.’
The king should perform sacrifices (Yajnas) accompanied with – gifts. The king should honor those Brahmanas who have returned from
their teacher’s house after studying the Vedas, for that money which is given to Brahmanas is declared to be an imperishable treasure of the king. When the king, who protects his people, is defied by foes, he must not shrink from battle, remembering the duty of Kshatriyas. “Not to turn back in battle, to protect the people, to honor the Brahmanas, is the best means for a king to secure happiness.’
The king should realize only due taxes, although the burden of taxes may be increased during an emergency. As head of the government (the executive), he should consult his ministers and take their aid as well as of his officials in the performance of his duties. He should personally supervise their actions, as supervision is the foundation of all administration. The king should also eradicate all sorts of corruption from government servants. Both Many and Yajavalkya say that the king should extent the corrupt officials after confiscating their property, ‘For the governmental departments, the king was to appoint intelligent supervisions, who were to inspect all the acts of those men who transacted state business. In other words, supervision was one of the chief features of the administrative machinery. Manu made ample provision for the protection of the common people against the dishonesty of officials.’
Daily Routine of the King. The traditional daily routine of the monarch for the performance of his heavy duties is laid down in many works, including Kautilya’s Arthashastra, which divides the day and night into sixteen equal parts land allots to each part a particular item of his duties. The routine as set forth in the Samhitas is in substance almost the same. Manu’s version is as follows.
Having risen in the last watch of the night, having performed (the rite of) personal purification, having with a collected mind offered oblations, in the fire, and having worshipped Brahmanas, hie (king) shall enter the hall of the audience which must possess the marks (considered) auspicious (for a dwelling). Tarrying there, he shall gratify all subjects (who come to see him) by a kind reception and afterward dismiss
them having dismissed his subjects, he shall take counsel with his ministers. Having consulted with his ministers on all these (matters). 1 having taken exercise, and having bathed afterward, the king may enter the harem at mid-day in order to dine. Adorned (with his robes of state), let him again inspect his fighting men, all his chariots and beasts of burden, the weapons, and accouterments. Having performed his twilight devotions, let him well-armed, hear in an inner apartment the doings of those who make secret reports and of his spies. But going to another secret apartment and dismissing those people, he may enter the harem, surrounded by a female (servants), in order to dine again. Having eaten there something for the second time, and having been recreated by the sound of music, let him go to rest at the proper time free from fatigue. A king who is in good health must observe these rules; but, if he is indisposed, he may entrust all this (business) to his
Yajnavalkya’s account runs thus: ‘Having risen up early in the morning, he (king) should personally look after the work of collection and disbursement, next he should attend to lawsuits, after which he should bathe and take his meal at ease. He should then deposit in the treasury the gold brought by persons engaged in the work and then see the secret agents, after which he should with his ministers send the envoys on their errands. Thereafter he should enjoy his leisure alone or in the company of ministers. Next, he should take counsel with his Commander-in-chief after the inspection of the army.’
‘Then after evening adoration, he should listen to the confidential reports of the secret agents. He should then enjoy singing and dancing, take his meal and study. He should then go to sleep amid sounds of trumpets and get up from bed similarly when he should cogitate the spiritual injunctions and all his duties. Then with respectful welcome, he should send secret emissaries to the dominions of other kings as well as his own, after receiving blessings from his sacrificial priest, domestic priest, and teacher. Next, he should see his astrologers and physicians and confer on the Brahmanas learned in the Vedas, kine, gold, land, houses, and their furniture.’
Is the King Absolute? Both Manu and Yajnavalkya have placed them under dharma, and they have also emphasized that the king should Always protect his people. Training of the prince and the daily routine
prescribed for the king would not permit a king to act arbitrarily or like an absolute monarch. Even though the king is an infant, no disrespect should be shown to him. Taking this view and the divinity of the king into consideration, some thinkers have concluded that Manu has made the king absolute, as no limitations have evidently been set on his powers. But this conclusion is not well-founded.
Jayaswal observes: The author of the Manava code made his king Divinity itself, to despise which was to be punished with powers of absolutism. But either when the code was revised, or originally in its desire to justify the removal of the Mauryas, the theory was superseded by another theory, which was inserted immediately below it: ‘The Lord created his own son and made him Law for the protection of the entire living world; it was endowed with Brahma’s own vigor as Law’s administration (danda). Law’s administration is the real king, it is the ruling authority (Danda i.e., executive authority in polity), it is the surety for the population. The king, who properly employs it, prospers, but if he is selfish, abnormal, and deceitful, Danda destroys him. Danda is of great luster, it cannot be held by despots, it strikes down the king who serves from the law, together with his relatives.
Many may be said to subscribe to the divine right of kings theory. But his emphasis is on the divinity, not on the right. This is different from the right divine to rule wrongly, as an English historian has put it. Notwithstanding his absolute power and authority, the king should consider himself subject to the rule of law. In addition to the authority of the Dharma-the law of Righteousness-the king-is-subject to be political sovereign. Manu also refers to the deposition and death of a king or the hands of the people. ‘That king who through folly rashly oppresses his kingdom, will together with his relatives, are long be deprived of his life and of his kingdom.’
Yajnavalkya has not subscribed to the theory of divine kingship. He tells the king in explicit terms that the consequence of his illegal actions will be his dethronement and exile together with his relatives. Not only this much, but The king may also be awarded maximum punishment. While comparing both Manu and Yajnavalkya, Jayaswal says the latter has adopted a higher standard in respect of political ideals than the
former. For example, while the absolutism of the king has been advocated – in the Manava Code, Yajnavalkya has rejected Manu’s position. The
Manava Code, like the Mauryan kings, permits the king to make law But Yajnavalkya does not even include the king among the sources of Law, although he accepts laws enacted by the king.
Q. 4. Throw the light on the inter-state relations described in Manusmriti. (BALLB)
Ans. Manu’s ideas on this subject may be discussed under the following heads :
General Guidelines. The king should appoint a person as an ambassador who is versed in all sciences, who understand hints. expressions of the face and gestures, who is honest, skillful, and of (noble) family. (Such) an ambassador is commended to a king (who is) loyal, honest, skillful, possessing a good memory; who knows the (proper) place and time (for action, who is) handsome, fearless and eloquent. The army depends on the official (placed in charge of it), the due control (of the subject) on the army, the treasury and the (government of) the realm on the king, and peace and it’s opposite (war) on the ambassador; for the ambassador alone makes (kings) allies and separates allies and transacts that business by which (kings) are disunited or not.
With respect to these affairs, the ambassador should explore the expression of the countenance, the gestures, and actions of the (foreign king) through the gestures and actions of his confidential (advisers), and discover his designs among his servants. Having learned exactly (from his ambassador) the designs of the foreign king, the king should take such measures as do not bring evil on him. The king should strive to gain what he has not yet gained; what he has gained he should carefully preserve; he should argue what he preserves, and what he has augmented he should bestow on worthy men.
King’s enemy must not know his weaknesses, but he must know the weaknesses of his enemy; like the tortoise (hides its limbs), so he should secure the members (of his government against treachery) and protect his own weak points. He should plan his undertakings (patiently meditating) like a heron; like a lion, he should put forth his strength; like a wolf, he should snatch (his prey); and like a hare, he should double in retreat. When he is thus engaged in conquest, he should subdue all the opponents whom he may find, by the (four) expedients, Four Expedients (Upayas), and six-fold policy (Sliajganyaniti). A king
should consider as hostile his immediate neighbor and the partisan of (such a) foe, as friendly the immediate neighbor of his foe, and as neutral (the king, beyond those two. He should overcome all of them by means of the (four) expedients, conciliation and the rest, (employed) either singly or conjointly, (or) by bravery and policy (alone). He should constantly think of the six measures of royal policy – alliance, war, marching halting dividing the army, and seeking protection.
An alliance, which yields present and future advantages, is of two descriptions (viz,) that when one marches together (with an ally) and the contrary (when the allies act separately). War is also of two kinds, (viz.) that which is undertaken in season or out of season, by oneself and for one’s own purposes, and (that waged to avenge) an injury done to a friend. Marching (to attack) is two-fold, (viz that undertaken) by one alone when an urgent matter has suddenly arisen, and (that undertaken) by one allied with a friend. Sitting quietly is also of two kinds; one who has gradually been weakened by fate or in consequence of former acts, and (that) in favor of a friend. If the array stop (in one place) and it’s master (in another’ in order to effect) some purpose, that is the two-fold division of the forces. Seeking refuge is declared to be of two kinds, (first) for the purpose of attaining an advantage when one is harassed by enemies (secondly) in order to become known among the virtuous (as the protege of a powerful king).
Elaborating the four expedients, Manu utters a note of warning. The issue of a battle is always unpredictable, and victory may not be too strong. To appeal to war for the settlement of a dispute must therefore be the last resort. Kings must therefore study policy. It is four-fold: conciliation, concession or gifts, sowing dissension, and war. Each preceding among these is superior to those that follow. Manu favors the first and the last above the others, as the intervening two are obviously not straightforward, six measures sandhi (agreement for co-operation), vigraha (hostility), yana (marching or mobilization), asana (readiness to attack), dvaidhi bhava (a division of troops) and asraya (subordinate alliance) in a circle of states (Rajamandala). A king is looked at (in regard to foreign policy) as vijigistt (aspirant for victory). Common frontiers are fertile sources of conflict. The neighbors on four sides of a kingdom are therefore its natural foes. Their neighbors, being potential enemies of theirs, may be regarded as united by common
enmity to the same person or state by the first-named kingdom, Kingdon whose boundaries march together with those of two others which are on terms of hostility, is forced into a position of neutrality. A neighbor in the rear is ever a danger if one has to advance against in the other direction; he must either be secured as an ally, or be embroiled with his neighbor. In this manner, the total number of interests comes to twelve, which has to be multiplied by the six prakrtis or elements of the kingdom (i.e., the saptanga), each of which might pull with or against each of the twelve. There are thus seventy-two sectors in all. The subject is developed on the lines of works on policy, with the modification that Manu will not countenance in foreign relations immoral action. His diplomacy is to be straight because he feels that duplicity can beget the only duplicity.
Other Important Points. These may briefly be stated as follows: Whenever a king is threatened by an enemy of equal or superior force, he must never turn his face from battle, nor forget the duties of the · Kshatriya caste to which he belongs, namely to accept every challenge, to protect the general community and to honor the Brahmanas. Every king who fights briskly to the last will ascend to heaven immediately after death. When a king perceives that his subjects are firm in their allegiance, and feels that he is powerful against the enemy, he should stand on the defensive. When a king knows that his troops are in good spirits and well equipped and that his enemy disheartened, and ill provided, he should eagerly mare against him. On the other hand, when a king is expecting reinforcements and suffering but little injury meanwhile, he should temporize. When a king invades the territory of an enemy, he should advance towards the enemy’s metropolis. He should commence his march either in the spring or in the autumn, so that he may find either the vernal or autumnal crops on the ground; but if he has clear prospects of victory or if his enemy is weakened by disasters, he may commence his march at any season.
Men should not fight with concealed weapons, nor with arrows mischievously barbed, nor with poisoned arrows, nor with darts blazing with fire. Again, à horseman or a soldier in a chariot, should not fight – a man who is on foot. A quarter should be given to the following individuals, üamely; one who sues for life with joined hands; one whose hair is loose and obstructs his sight; one who is sitting down fatigued; one who
surrenders himself a prisoner; one who is asleep; one who is only grievously wounded or terrified; and one who is running away,
When a king has conquered a country, he should respect the duties who are worshipped in that country as well as the virtuous priests of those deities. He should also distribute largesses, and reassure the people by loud proclamation. He should respect the laws of the country and place it under a prince of the royal race, and gratify him with presents of jewels. Or he may form an alliance with the king whom he was conquered, and act in unison with him. 1. Yajnmalkya’s Ideas. Ideas of Yajnavalkya with regard to war etc. are as follows: There is no greater religious duty of a king than that he should always keep the Brahmana and his subjects free from fear, with the wealth acquired from the prosecution of the war. That king and those warriors, who are killed in fighting bravely, ascend to heaven like the ascetics. That king who in the midst of the destruction of his forces, marches forward, gels the reward of as many horse-sacrifices as the paces he is able to move. A soldier, who says “I am yours’, who is unarmed, who is fighting with another, or who has merely come to see the battle, should not be killed. A conquered territory should be governed in accordance with its own customs and family usages. The king whose kingdom has a common frontier with that of a king desirous of conquest, the kingdom beyond that and the kingdom further away from that should respectively be regarded as an enemy, friendly and neutral. Understanding their desired’ objectives, the king should employ the four means-conciliation, gist, division, and force. By using these means with proper consideration, the king succeeds in fulfilling his own objectives. But the use of force should be resorted to only when other means fail. The king should also make proper use of the measures advocated by – six-fold policy, according to need.
Comments Foreign policy, diplomacy and welfare are treated together ‘by Manu. Here he enunciated no ethical principles but deals with the whole matter on the plane of expediency. He fully recognizes the importance of ambassadors in the delicate negotiations that were always in progress among the numberless states. By force or diplomacy, by conciliation or gifts, he should try to impose his suzerainty on all.
As the occasions, demanded, he should yield or go ahead, make peace Ege alliances. The royal policy consists of six measures alliance, war, marching,
halting, dividing the army, and seeking protection. These are divided and sub-divided by Manu. ‘He embarks on a long and rather amateurish discussion of military maneuvers, seasons and modes of campaigning, the formation of military maneuvers, and formation of military ranks, etc. He permits the devastations of hostile territory. When a king has shut up in a town, let him sit encamped, harass his kingdom and continually spoil his grass, food, fuel, and water. Likewise, let him destroy the lanks, ramparts, and ditches.’ ‘It was almost the duty of a king to sow dissensions in the ranks of his enemies. In dealing with foreign states, the usual means of conciliation, diplomacy, fraud, and force are explained by Yajnavalkya. A king should attack the enemy when the latter is weak and has his realm filled with corn and provisions. There is nothing more meritorious than to acquire wealth by war and bestow it on Brahmanas. But warfare has a law that must always be respected. One should ever strike eunuchs, those who are unarmed, who are fighting with others, who desist from fighting or who surrender. When a country has been conquered, its customs,
laws, and family usages must be lined. It is essential for a monarch to • make adequate provision or the defense of his own realm. The safety
of the king, his treasure, and his people demands that numerous fortresses should be erected and placed in charge of experts.
Q. 5. What are the Sukraniti and the importance of Sukraniti in the political history of ancient India?
Ans. Skukraniti (Shukranitisara), which caused considerable excitement at the time of its discovery, is possible, according to Drekmeiere, a nineteenth-century forgery. The Shitkraniti was ostensibly composed by an anonymous medieval writer, who credited the work to Shukracharya to give it credence and the authority of antiquity. Oppert, who discovered the treatise places thė work prior to the Christian era, while P.C. Ray has it as recent as the sixteenth century. Jayaswal placed it in the eighth century A.D., and others attribute it to the fourth. The authors of the medieval digests of politics do not quote the Nitisara of Shukra, and for this reason among others, the tendency is to place the work in the period bounded by the ninth and sixteenth centuries A.D.
However, it is admitted by all that a more important work than that of Kamandaka, after Kautilya’s Arthashastra, is that ascribed to Soukracharya. Indeed, after Somadeva Suri, Shukraniti is the most
too short to permit the study of the archetype of Nitishastra prepared by the god Brahma.”
Though Shukraniti is a smaller work than Arthashmtra, yet the former is broader in scope. Shukra, in fact, criticizes the more limited character of other shastras. ‘In addition to defining and describing the duties and functions of the prince and ministers, diplomacy and the conduct of war, political and social institutions and customs, and the broad principles of state-craft, the manual provides a standard for human behavior. Shukra enlarges the concept of Nitishastra to include conduct on all levels, in all situations; it is as ethical as political in nature. In this work attributed to Shukra, Nitishastra emerges as the comprehensive and integrating science that the founders of modern sociology conceived their study to be. But Shukra’s predecessors had prepared the way.’
Importance of Nitishastra. Politics or the art of government in Shukra’s system is not an independent branch of study, but it merged in the science of general morals. Since the rules of kingly policy are conceived to be the core of the Nitishastra, it follows that its primary use must be for the king. Since the Nitishastra is the root of virtue, wealth, and desire and bestows salvation, it should be constantly studied with care by the king. Through its knowledge kings and others conquer their foes, and gratify their subjects. Shukra says: ‘Other Shastras treat of certain specialized departments of human activity (and hence can be useful only in limited cases), whereas Nitishastra is useful to all and in all cases and is the means for the preservation of human society. The two primary functions of the king are the protection of subjects and the constant punishment of offenders; these two cannot be achieved without Nitishastra. In order that the whole slate may be productive of good and comforts to the people without effort, Niti must be maintained and followed by the king for his own interests. Of the prince who does not follow Niti the kingdom is weakened, the army is inefficient, and the civil service is disorganized; other elements of the state get topsy turvy, in short evils prevail everywhere.’
It (Niti) is regarded as the giver of emancipation. It conduces to the realization of the wishes and interests of all and hence has won universal approbation. If the king adheres to the code of Niti, he is respected but if he transgresses it then his prestige declines. ‘But Shukra must not be imagined to be an advocate only of the rules of Niti. He is a realist and he also realizes the significance of power in the political and economic processes. Hence for the realization of universal prosperity: he recommends both Niti and power. The king, therefore, according to Shukra, should wield the scepter of Danda and be an adherent of the paths leading to the maximization of intelligence, power, vigor, and Niti.‘
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