Appointing amAtyas

Topic 4 – Chapter 8 of vinayAdhikaraNa is about appointing the “operating officers” or amAtyas. As mentioned earlier, cANakya first states all the opinions of the past teachers and finally gives his opinion.

Who should be appointed as amAtya? is the topic called amAtyOtpatti.

bhAradwaja says one should consider appoiting his classmates (saha-adhyAyi) as amAtyas as the Leader knows their purity and other qualities.

viSAlAksha says it is not right. As the classmates have been playing together from childhood, they do not give respect to the Leader / King what is needed. King should consider appointing those who have similar strengths and weaknesses as himself as amAtyas.

parASara says viSAlaksha’s approach leads to the weakness as both the leader and amAtyas will have same weaknesses. In parASara’s view Leader should consider appointing those who have saved him during the times of deep troubles.

“No” says piSunaH. One who has saved the King in troubled time shows his loyalty alone. It will not prove his ability to serve as amAtya. Only loyalty is not sufficient to be an amAtya. One who meets targets should be appointed as amAtya.

“No” says kauNapadantaH. Meeting targets alone is not sufficient. One should consider appointing those who were serving as amAtyas from generations at the past Kings are the one’s suitable to be appointed as amAtyas.

Uddhava (the minister of Lord SrI kRSna ) says, that is not right. Those who are amAtyas from generations are proud about their birth and behave as if they are the King. So, one should consider appointing those who are new and well educated in the SAstra as amAtyas.

bAhudantIputra says that is also not correct. Even if they are well educated in SAstras, without practical experience they fail at the duties. So, one should consider birth, capability, purity, initiative and friendship with the Leader as prerequisites for amAtyas.

सर्वम् उपपन्नं इति कौटिल्यः कार्य सामर्थ्यात् हि पुरुषसामर्थ्यम् कल्पते सामर्थ्यतः च –

विभज्यामात्य विभवं देशकालै च कर्म च
अमात्याः सर्व एवैते कार्याः स्युर्न तु मन्त्रिणः ॥।

kauTilya says all the above arguments are valid. Every person has unique capabilities and can achieve best results in different types of activities. So, one should evaluate individual capabilities to achieve required types of activities, considering the place and time of needed activities, all the co-students can be appointed in suitable positions. But one should never make classmates as mantri (thought leader!)

It is important to make a note of comprehensiveness of cANakya’s approach. “right person to preform the right duty” is the key. Everyone has some or the other capability; it is the skill of the leader to put the right person to perform the right duty leads to the prosperous structure in the “cooperative leadership

This brings to the end of 8th chapter of artha SAstra which completes discussion on “Appointing amAtyas”.


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