The Arthashastra is the title of a handbook for running an empire, written by Kautilya (also known as Chanakya, c. BCE) an Indian. Arthashastra, the treatise on Economic Administration was written by Kautilya in the 4th century before Christ. It consists of 15 chapter, Shlokas and INTRODUCTION PURUSHARTAS MEANING OF ARTHA MEANING OF ARTHASHASTRA KAUTILYA ROLE OF ARTHASHASTRA IN.

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Kautilya and His ArthashastraLanham: This translation is from Weber: Kautilya’s philosophy is based on the principles of “sam, dam, dand, bhed” persuasion, temptation, punishment, and division as various, different, and sequential means to achieve an end. Journal of the American Oriental Society.

In sum, what is perhaps most fascinating is how many ideas Kautilya articulated that would appear in the West centuries later — while Kautilya wrote the Arthashastra briefly after Thucydides, he long preceded Machiavelli and Hobbes, which thought along similar lines. The cardinal principle of economic administration was laid down in Kautilya’s Arthshastra in the following words – ” The root of wealth is economic activity and lack of it brings material distress.

Kautilya’s Arthashastra: Quick overview

Diplomacy therefore does not seek to avoid war, but rather to assure that one is successful in warfare which occurs frequently.

In Topic 19, chapter 2, the text suggests:. During the same period, an ancient Hindu text artbashastra Arthashastra included a recipe Agriculture on privately owned land was taxed at the rate of It opens by stating that wherever “good people are snubbed, and evil people are embraced” distress increases.

Femme fatale as a secret agent To undermine a ruling oligarchy, make chiefs of the [enemy’s] ruling council infatuated with women possessed of great beauty and youth.


However, there are many scholars who believe that Kautilya should be credited with the creation of this text as even though it contains some other schools of thought, the main body of the text was composed by Kautilya and the other schools were seen as an addition to the original text in later periods.

Retrieved from ” https: This work is a translation and has a separate copyright status to the applicable copyright protections of the arthasnastra content.

The entire book has about 5, sentences on politics, governance, welfare, economics, protecting summzry officials and king, gathering intelligence about hostile states, forming strategic alliances, and conduct of war, exclusive of its table of contents and the last epilogue-style book. The verses cited have been dismissed as later additions.

The Arthashastra – A Treatise on Statecraft and Military Strategy

More recent scholarship presents a more nuanced reception for the text. The Arthashastra explores issues of social welfarethe collective ethics that hold a society together, advising the king that in times and in areas devastated by famine, epidemic and such acts of nature, or by war, he should initiate public projects such as creating irrigation waterways and building forts around major strategic holdings and towns and exempt taxes on those affected.

Arthashastra and state We should never forget that the Arthashastra means by the “state” an order of society which is not created by the king or the people, but which they exist to secure. Thus, the lessons of discipline could be imparted to those whose intellect had the desire to learn, capacity to listen attentively, power to grasp what was taught, to retain it in memory, discriminate between the important and the unimportant, draw inferences, deliberate and imbibe the truth and not to others.

To undermine a ruling oligarchy, make chiefs of the [enemy’s] ruling council infatuated with women possessed of great beauty and youth. Kautilya belonged to the Magadh State, which corresponds to present day South Bihar. Kautilya is described by historians as both the emperor’s “Prime Minister” and the grand theorist of the politics and economics of the Mauryan state, thus comparable to Bismarck regarding his political power and to Machiavelli in his function as a chronicler – leaving, naturally, some doubts about in how far his work is normative and in how far it describes reality.


Kautilya’s scheme of taxation involved the elements of sacrifice by the taxpayer, direct benefit to the taxpayers, redistribution of income the state took care of the poorand tax incentives for desired investments.

Kautilya, The Machiavelli of India – Education Today News

It is from these four that all other knowledge, wealth and human prosperity is derived. Intellect is defined as the capacity to control the mind and this comes from study and reflection. Good governance in Kautilya’s literature is aimed at fulfilling the welfare of the people.

Kangle published a critical edition of the text, based on all the available manuscripts. Scholars state that the Arthashastra was influential in Asian history.

For example, arthashasta “Identity and Violence: Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments. The text dedicates Book 3 and 4 to economic laws, and a court system to oversee and resolve economic, contracts and market-related disputes.

Kautilya said that good governance and stability go hand in hand.

Washington State University Press. Where scriptural laws conflict with what is righteous and just, there justice shall be the valid criterion, the written text loses its relevance.

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