Ans. About the origin of the state Kautilya has not said anything explicity. But incidentally he makes a remark which leads us to say that he accepted the social contract theory. In the course of a dialogue he tells us that the state originated when people got weary of the law of the fish (matsyanyaya). They selected I settled that the king should receive one-sixth of the grain and one-tenth of the merchandise and of gold as his due share. This revenue enabled the king to ensure the security and well-being of the subjects. Elements of sovereignty
Kautilya nowhere exactly defines the state or sovereignty, but he frankly adopts the time honoured seven elements. Like human body, the body-politic is supposed to possess various limbs (angas). Every element is supposed to be at par in importance to others: but their importance depends upon the achievements obtained by them. There in some difference in the nature of various elements, though their exists no difference in their number which was seven. Kautilya states these elements as, swamin (king), amatyas (ministers), janaraai (territory), durga (forts), koslm (ticasun), dunda (royal septic) and mitra (allies). Manu, on the other hand, mentions swamin (king), amatya (ministers), puram (forts), rashtra (territory), kosha (treasury), danda (force) and shudra (allies).
Even a glance at the Arthashastra will convince any one that Kautilya was a strong advocate of monarchy. As a matter of fact he keenly desired to establish the rule of a strong and powerful king over the country. But the Arthashastra also mentions other kinds of states as well,o.g., Dvairajya, (Do-rajjini) and the Republics. The Arthashastra
referring to the former says : Rule of a country by two kings perishes owing to mutual hatred, partiality and rivalry. Divided rule between father and son or between two brothers has similar consequences and is under the clutches of a minister.
Full one chapter of the Arthashastra has been devoted to the Samghas and the imperial policy towards them. They were still important although a decline had set in owing to the large monarchies and Alexander’s invasion. Kautilya has divided Samghas into two types : (1) Vartasastropajivinah, i.e., living by trade, agriculture and military profession, and (2) Rajasabdopajivinah, i.e., living by the title of Raja or king. Under the former type, he mentions (i) the Kambojas, (ii) the Saurashtras, (iii) the Kshatriyas, and (iv) the Srcnis and others. Among the latter type the enumerates: (i) the Lichchhavikas, (ii) the Vrijikas, (iii) the Mallahas, (iv) the Madrakas, (v) the Kukaras, (vi) the Kurus, (vii) the Panchalas and others.
. Kautilya laid down the imperial policy towards the republics in these words. : ‘Those which are united (in a large) should be treated with the policy of subsidy and peace, for they are invincible. Those which are not united should be conquered by army and disunion, thus the monarch should behave towards the Samghas.’ Misra comments : ‘The very exisience of these republics was incompatible with the imperialistic designs and centralised monarchical constitution of Kautilya. The Indian Machiavelli proceeded with the task of annexing the republics with a grim resolve … Kautilya excels in unscrupulousness,
ingenious devices, and most shocking and preserve means, which he invented and used for the one end of sowing dissension among the republics. He lays down the crooks! doctrine thus : ‘Spies gaining access to all the corporations (republics) and finding out jealousy, hatred and
other causes of quarrel among them should sow the seeds of a , well-planned dissension among them.’ His aim was to make his master
the sole monarch of all the republics. Ends and Functions of the State
. The state as described by Kautilya in the Arthashastra merely a police state. The ends of the state according to him are not merely the maintenance of peace and order or protection of the people, but to enable the individual to attain highest self-development with the help
Of the state.
While discussing the four traditional sciences, he expresses view about their ends, which imply the ends of the State as well. His view may briefly be stated here : Agriculture, cattle-breeding and trade constitute Varta. It is most useful in that it brings in grains, cattle, gold, forest produce and free labour. It is by means of the treasury and the army obtained solely through Varta that the king hold under his control both his and enemy’s party. The people consisting of four castes and four orders of religious life, when governed by the king, with his scepter, keep to their respective paths. Hence, the three other sciences are dependent for their well-being on the science of government. Danda, punishment, alone can procure safety and security of life. Thus, the main functions of the State are as follows :
Protection. It means guarding the country both against internal troubles as well as foreign aggression. Of all the ancient writers, Kautilya was most alive to these twin dangers facing the State, as is evident from the elaborate rules which he formulated concerning the calamities that might overtake a sovereign country. Obviously, the socio-economic sectors, both public and private, needed protection from the state. The state tried to meet the challenge of the day. Kautilya, therefore, laid down a number of ways and means to protect the people, and also their property and occupations from twin dangers of internal and external aggressions.
Maintaining Common Law. The state was expected to maintain the common law as embodied in the ancient customs and usages of the land. In order to facilitate the state in conducting the functions of the judiciary, Kautilya has divided legal disputes and allied problems under several titles, which include economic problems relating to non-payment of debts, deposit and pledge, sale without ownership, concern among partners, non-payment of wages, non-performance of agreements, recession of sale and purchase, disputes between the employer and the employee, adultery, etc. A king was expected to investigate and settle himself or through learned Brahmanas the mentioned matters in conformity to the sacred law.
Upholding Social Order. The third function of the state was the protection of the dhamne of the land, within the sphere of which both the state and the society moved. According to Kautilya, the duty of the
king consists in protecting his subjects with justice, as is observance
leads him to heaven. A king upsetting the social order would prove the vanity of the royal scepter (dandà). Evidently, the king during Mauryan period tried to keep and regulate the vocational and professional traits assigned to the people of various varnas, guaranteeing, to a great extent, the freedom from the state of occupational chaos.
Promotion of People’s Welfare. The Hindu king knew the ideal that in the happiness of his subjects was hidden his happiness, and in their welfare his welfare. Whatever pleased him was not considered as good, but whatever pleased his subjects was considered as good for hi. Similar sentiments are voiced in the great epic Mahabharata too. For his unjust acts, the king was to be punished with a line equaling to a thousand times of what it was otherwise recommended.
Important aspects of government (and administration) have been discussed in the succeeding section. Here we shall give only the main features of government as follows:
(1) Financial System. The sources of finance are as many as could be devised by human ingenuity.
(2) Control of Trade. The state should regulate trąde, commerce, , manufacture, labour, etc. The state should also conduct mining operations and manufactures.
(3) Conduct and Salary of Officials. Official conduct is governed by certain rules and regulations and almost all the officers are paid cash salaries. Moreover, everyone have to discharge his official duties properly in order that the prestige and reputation of the government may not suffer.
(4) Foreign Policy. External relations of the state, i.e., with other states have been visualised and systematised. All the external powers are -divided into three categories those that are allies, those that are enemies and those that are neutrals. Six-fold policy and manala theory.
‘Such are the broad outlines of the state envisaged by the Arthashastra. It was in the first place characterised by a comprehensiveness that had a double aspect. Internally it sought to comprehend and control the whole social life, externally, it aimed at the sovereignty of the whole of India. It sought to promote true religion…lo regulate the age and conditions under which one might announce the world. The state should see that husband and wife, father
and son, brother and sister, uncle and nephew, teacher and pupil are faithful to one another, and do not play each other false, state itself should provide support to the poor, the pregnant women, to their new offspring, to orphans, to the aged, the infirm, afflicted and the helpless.” The different ways of marriage are down as well as the ways of separation, subsequent marriages even of teaching manners to refractory women.
As for the second aspect, the external relations of the state have been made the object of a careful scrutiny and the surrounding these are divided into the three groups and the six-fold policy is prescribed to be followed. Almost half of the Arthashastra has been devoted to the treatment of this topic. One other aspect of Kautilya is his attitude towards morals and religion. For, the state as envisaged in the Arthashastra subordinates moral principles to the necessities of its own existence and welfare, and the same attitude is assumed towards religion. To the end of good government and political welfare, even thing is a means and hence every means is justifiable. Thus, Kautilya contemplates a state, that is very comprehensive in scope and comparatively catholic in spirit.
Ans. The normal form of government in India was monarchical, but it was different from that which flourished in Europe during the Roman Empire, for the most part during the Middle Ages, and in the modern period upto the outbreak of the French Revolution. The Hindu Slate rarely presented that high degree of centralization which is ‘associated with the Roman Empire and the modern nation-State.
But it had a centre whose main features demand attention. This . was the king, usually hereditary in accordance with the rule of primogeniture, living in high style and a blaze of glory, i enjoyment of an immense revenue from private and public property. Political theory which usually, though not uniformly, approached political questions from the ethical standpoint, expected the king to lead a blameless life, disciplined to ceaseless administrative labour and consecrated to the public good. It laid heavy responsibilities, temporal and spiritual, on him, promised him lasting bliss in heaven or threatened him with all. the tortures of hell in accordance with his success or failure in the great
moral and political venture . In practice, doubtless, the absence of constitutional, as distinct from conventional, checks left many a crowned | head comparatively free to indulge in luxury and vice, caprice and injustice. But it is only fair to remember that all despotic authority was tempered by rebellion or assassinations. So long as he was on the throne, the king presided over the executive and judicial departments of government and was expected to take the lead on the field of battle.
The machinery for executive administration was well organized. It was the special care of the king assisted by ministers and a number of high officials. Below the great functionaries stood a host of minor officials, ‘military officers, diplomats and spies, secretaries, clerks, technical employees and so forth.
No Separation of Powers
There was no separation of the executive and judicial functions. But in practice there were a number of men whose primary function was adjudication and who were assisted by a set of minor functionaries. Hindu theory laid the highest emphasis on justice. In theory and practice alike judicature was one of the most important aspects of governance.
Such was the machinery outlined that normally worked at the centre. But is was difficult to ensure its extension to the provinces, districts and towns or villages. It was necessary to devise means for reconciling central with local government and administration. Three lines were struck by political theory..:
(i) Federalism: A great deal of autonomy was left to feudatories and sub-seudatories.
(ii) Feudalism : The king or feudatory organized a regular system of provincial and district administrations.
(iii) Autonomy A great deal of autonomy was left to villages, . more in the Deccan than in the North, and most of all in the South. Parallel Organisations
Thus territorial organization contained element of federalism, feudalism and local autonomy. But it did not exhaust the whole subject of social regulation. There existed parallel organizations, on the basis of function, in the form of village communities, kinship associations, and guilds of manufacturers, merchants, bankers or others. They enjoyed
considerable autonomy in the management of their affairs. Their customs or rules wee recognised by the state and upheld by the law-gives. It will be observed that in India the principle of function dovetailed into that of kingship and was, therefore, often vested with greater significance than in medieval Europe. In any case, it was the basis of an important part of the machinery of social control. Horizontal and Vertical Govt.
Thus, organization was both horizontal and vertical, and comprised a number of local and functional jurisdictions and intermediate associations standing in various, more or less ill-defined, relations with the State. Incidentally, the vocational association often cut across the lines of caste and locality. For instance, Sherni or guild consisted of persons of following the same craft thought belonging to different castes, while the Nigama formed a guild of traders belonging to various towns.
Ans. The idea that asking is not to be despised has been suggested by some discussion in the Arthashastra. A man in the pay of the Government is made to say: ‘The kings office is that of Indra and Yama, visible inflector of punishment and bestower of reward. On those who despite them even divine punishment descends. Hence they are to be despised.’ This has been urged by the official spy in defence of the new king and was intended to support him in reply to those who cited the social contract theory of kingship. ‘But no divine gin of king is preached in the passage of the Arthashastra, nor is any absolutism preached there. The divine punishment mentioned in speech refers to the consequences of sin which in every case is supposed to be visited with divine punishment and treason was always regarded as a sin. The government spy is not advancing any theory of absolutism.
Qualities of A king
Kautilya was a firm believer in kingship. But the qualities of a king, according to him, are : born of a high firmily, godly, possessed of valour, seeing through the medium of aged persons, virtuous, truthful, not of a contradictory nature, grateful, having large aims, highly enthusiastic, not addicted to procrastimation, powerful to control his Leighbouring kings, of resolute mind, having an assembly of ministers
of no means quality and possessed of a taste for discipline these are qualities of a high order and of an inviting nature.
Further, Kautilya prescribes restraint of the OB Success in study and discipline depends on the restraint of sense, which can be enforced by abandoning lust, an (mana), haughtiness (mada) and overjoy. (harsha). discrepancy in the perception of sound, touch, colour, flavour, and scent by means of the ear, the skin, the eyes, the tongue, and what is meant by the restraint of the organs of sense. Strict observance of the precepts of science also means the same, for the sole aim of all the sciences is nothing but restraint of the
organs of sense. Whosoever the sciences is nothing but restraint of the organs of sense is of reverse character, i.e., whoever does not have his organ under his control, will soon perish, though he may possess earth. For example, Bboja, who made a lascivious attempt on a brahmana maiden, perished alongwith his kingdom and relations. So also Karala, the Vaidehas. Likewise Janamejaya under the influence of anger against Brahmanas, as well as Talajangha against the family of Bhrigus.
Hence by overthrowing the aggregate of the six enemies, the king must restrain the organs of sense, acquire wisdom by keeping company with the aged, see through his spies, establish safety and security by being ever active, maintain his subject in the observance of their respective duties by exercising authority, keep up his personal discipline by receiving lessons in the sciences, and endear himself to the people by bringing them in contact with wealth and doing good to them.
Thus with the organs of sense under his control, he must keep away from hurting the women and property of others; avoid not only lustfulness, even in dream, but also falsehood, haughtiness, and evil proclivitics, and keep away from unrighteous and uneconomical transactions. Thus, he shall fulfil his desires and shall never of happiness. He may enjoy in an equal degree the three pursuits of life – dharma, wealth and desire – which are interdependent upon each other. Any one of these three, when enjoyed to an excess, hurts not only the other two, but also itself.. Prince’s Education
After the performance of the tensive ceremony, the prince should apply himself to learn writing and arithmetic; after his investitive with sacred thread he should learn the sacred canon and Philosophy from
cultured persons. Economics from the heads of the administrative departments, and Politics from those versed in its theory and practice. The education is to be continued after the sixteenth year, when the prince has undergone the ceremonies of shaving the head and marriage; he should devote the first part of the day to learning the military science and the second part to hearing lessons on a large number of sciences grouped together under the heading of traditional history. Along with and partly through this intellectual training the prince should learn discipline (vinaya).
The curriculum of the prince’s advanced studies is sufficiently comprehensive to comprise not only the per traditional sciences, but also traditional history and military science. The anther also enjoys · upon the king a strict moral discipline by a solemn warning against the consequences sits neglect. We may sum up by saying that Kautilya formulates for the first time an integrated scheme of education, based upon his appreciation of the danger of its neglect alike to the king and his dynasty, for the simultaneous development of the prince’s intellect and character. Not only does Kautilya give us our first known complete scheme of the prince’s education, but he also presents us with our first classified list of the king’s qualifications.
Troubles of the King and His Kingdom
The king and his kingdom are the primary elements of the state. The troubles of the king may be either internal or external. Internal troubles are more serious than external troubles, which are like the anger arising from a lurking snake. Troubles due to a minister are Ire serious than other kinds of internal troubles. Hence, the king should keep under his own control the powers of finance and the army. A king who is not possessed of an eye in sciences, is indiscriminate in doing works, very obstinate, and is led by others, such a the kingdom by his own administration.
A remarkable feature which characterised Kautilya consists in his reaction against the anti-monarchic and anti-dynastic tendencies of his predecessors. This is illustrated by the author’s discussion of a series of problems raised about the relative evils of pairs of kings in distress. · Kautilya holds that a king of the existing dynasty, however physically weak he might bc, remains faithful to the traditional conception of royality, and is supported by the natural respect of the subjects due to
high birth. A new-king therefore, is worse than a discased king, the role of a conqueror is worse than the dual rule of lather and son or else of two brothers; a strong but lowborn king is worse than a weak but high-born one. These arguments evidently involve a strong plea for the dynastic principle as well as the principle of high birth in relation to kingship.
Duties of a King
Kautilya maintained that it was the duty of the king to chasten the conduct of the people, to be the promulgator of right law and duty and to coordinate the laws of various orders and sections of society. If a king is energetic, his subjects will be equally energetic. A reckless king easily falls into the hands of his enemies, so a king should always be wakeful. He should divide both the day and the night parts of 1:30 hours each. His daily time-table (or routine) should be as follows:
|Day|| Night |
|attend to the account. |
bathe, dine and study.
correspond in writs and receive secret information.
superintend elephants, horses,chariots and infantry.
receive secret emissaries.
enter the bed chamber.
recall to his mind the injunctions of sciences as well as the day’s duties.
receive benedictions from priests and teachers.
|look to the affairs of the people. |
receive revenue and attend to the appointments of superintendents.
may engage in favourite amusements.
consider various plans of military operation with his commander-in-chief.
attend to bathing, supper and study.
4-5 enjoy sleep.
consider administrative measuresand sent
When a court, a king should never cause his petitioners to at the door. He should personally attend to the business of gods, of Brahmanas learned in the Vedas, of sacred places, of cattle, of minors, the aged, the afflicted and the helpless and of women. The religious vow of a wing is his readiness to action; satisfactory disregards of duties is his
performance of sacrifice; equal attention to 11 is the offer of fees and
ablutions towards consecration, ‘In the happiness of his subjects lies his happiness, in their welfare his welfare, whatever pleases himself he shall not consider as good, but whatever pleases his subjects, he shall consider as good.’ Hence he should always be active and discharge his duties, the root of the wealth is in activity, and of evil is its reverse.
Duties of the king may briefly be grouped under several subheads as follows: (i) Executive. Protection was the foremost. Alongwith it was the good government of the subjects, and the duty of doing good to all the people. It was also his duty to protect the kingdom against the nationat calamities, viz., fire, floods, pestilential diseases, famines, tigers, serants, demons, etc. These do not forgive in Manusmriti; and Kautilya also laid stress on the need to remove the disturbing elements of peace, (ii) Judicial. He was head of the judiciary, but not the fountain of law, (iii) Legislative. Some legislative activity was added in the Kautilyan state in the form of legislative edict (sawna-adesh). (iv) Administrative. These included the appointment of ministers and the control exercised over them by the king, (v) Ecclesiastical. He appointed the high priest. The domestic priest and the officiating priests appointed by the king performed his domestic rites and the sacrifices. (vi) Revenue. It was his duty to see that the treasury was not depleted. He also looked into the accounts of receipts and expenditure. He appointed the Controller General, who was responsible for collecting the revenue. (vii) Military. As supreme commander of the army, the king had the duty of inspecting the elephants, the horses, the chariots and the infantry. 1 these may also be added his duties in relation to the conduct of i state relations, espionage and diplomacy, (viii) Enlightened. Patronage of learned men, of those who were experts in yoga and even of those who were experts in witch craft. The construction of hospitals in the capital city may also be included in this group.
Kautilya regarded royalty as being of vital importance to the body-politic. It was the mainspring of all national exertions for common good as well as the embodiment of the unity of the interests of the various sections of the community. Like many of his predecessors, Kautilya was a firm believer in royal paternalism. The idea finds expression in many places. In the chapter on Janapada-nibesa (II-I), the king is instructed to protect the newly settled as if they were his
children. Kautilya’s king was a benevolent despot-responsible only to himself, accountable to one, like the father in the management of children, guided only by his assections and the duties which affection implants in the paternal heart. But though not responsible to nay one the king could not become a despot because his own interest should be identified with that of his subjects. Kautilya gives to the welfare of/ the citizens the first plate in all considerations of policy; the good of the people and their sustained happiness were the main ends for the service of which he chalked out an elaborate administrative system.
Ans. (1) The Arthashashtra of Kautliya gives description of the different aspects of administration and Hindu polity.” It deals with the branches of knowledge which were in existence in those times. The human knowledge was divided into four branches (i) Anvikashki (philosophy) (ii) Trayi (theology) (iii) Varta (cconomics) and (iv) Dandaniti (polity). It also shows that Hindus showed equitable regard to the sciences making material progress and those conducive to spiritual
(2) It is a manual of administration. It lays down certain practical suggestion for the functioning of administration. In the words of an eminent scholar. “The Arthashashtra is more a manual for the administration than theoretical work on policy discussing the philosophy and fundamental principles of administration or the political sciences. It mainly concerned with the practical problems of government and describes its machinery and functions, both in peace and war, with an exhaustiveness not seen in and later work, with the possible exception of Shukra Niti.”
(3). The book superseded the works of all the predecessors. In this book reference have been made to Manu Smriti and Yajnavalkya Smriti. This will be clear from the following:
“The conclusion is supported by the data of Arthashashtra of Kautliya, for innumerous place it refers to and discusses the views of Vishalaksha. Indra Brashpati Shukra, Manu, Bhardwaj, G Parsara. Pishun and other scholars of science of polity that are referred to in Arthashashtra.”
The book has been studied by critics very minutely. They have held the book monumental work. This will be clear from the following
“This monument work has been for some years before the scholars for critical study. It is no longer correct to assert that Hindu mind did not conduct to the development of political theories. It is no longer correct to affirm that Indian never freed their politics from theological and metal physical environment and never set up its science or art as an independent branch of knowledge. The very first chapter of Kautliya. enlightens us on the subject. It deals with vidyas (branches of knowledge) which were prevalent in his time. All human knowledge known to India in the time of Kautilya was divided into four branches. They were Anvikshaki (Philosophy), Trayi (Theology). Varta (Economics) and Dandaniti (Polity). It is not clear that Hindu mind sharply and unmistakably separated polity, as also economics from philosophy and theology and regarded it as an independent subject of study. It will further be seen that in the time of Kautilya Hindu mind showed equitable regard to the sciences making material progress and those conducive to spiritual culture. There was no encroachment of either philosophy or theology on the domerian of polity or economics, as no doubt was the case in later times. On the contrary, we have every reason to suspect that there was encroachment the other way that its the encroachment of polity on theology or philosophy-It is absurd to affirm that Indian had for every subordinated the study of the science of politics to that of theology and philosophy and had never developed it as an independent branch of knowledge.”
(4) It is a practical book of administration in which upto date knowledge of the requirements of administration is vividly described. It is in several kingship. It gives an exhaustive picture of the civil administration in BooK II. The next two books deal with the civil, criminal and personal law. The book V deals with the duties and responsibilities of the courties and retainers of the King. Book VI lessons the nature of ‘Prakritis of the State. Then the work devotes its last nine books contain exhaustive discussion of problem connected with foreign policy, the circles of King and the policy to the followed in connection with the different members, the way and means by which to establish one ascendancy among them the occasion suitable for war and peace. The manners in which warfare was to be carried out on or
dissensions were to be sworn among the enemies.”
It deals with the function of King. Council of Ministers Ambassador, Spy system and the administration of the village and cities.”
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