Supervisors of liquor, animal slaughter and courtesans

After a gap of about 2.5 months, I am restarting to post on Artha SAstra today. We have covered till 24th chapter of book 2 – Adhyaksha pracAraH in the last post.

I make an attempt to summarize three chapters in this post.
25th adhyAya – surAdhyakshaH – Superintend of spirituous liquors.
26th AdhyAya – sUnAdhyakshaH – Superintend of animal slaughter
27th AdhyAya – gaNikAdhyakshaH – Superintend of courtesans

cANakya considered the matters related to today what we call as “Night Life” very diligently.


The surAdhyaksha is responsible to establish the places of brewing and selling of liquors within the kingdom. There are fines applied if the liquors are made or sold in any other places than where it is approved. The ill effects of liquor are “maryAdAtrikramaNa bhayAdAryANAm; utsAhana bhayAt ca tIkhsNAnAm.” i.e, the good people in the influence of liquor can cross the limits of law; and the evil minded will take up to criminal activity”

So, it is important to keep the people who are in the influence of alcohol indoors. So, each place selling liquor should have the facilities for the stay of those who have consumed the liquors. The activities happening in the pAnaSAla (a bar / pub) should be monitored by spies.

Details of various liquors made by different grains, fruits and other materials is given according to the qualities.

All the private players who are in the business of liquor should be taxed for both the stock of liquor they keep (16th part) and tax on daily sales (20th part) and most importantly they should be kept under right conduct all the way through the process….


It is the responsibility of the sUnAdhyaksha to keep at least 1/6 th of all animals in various protected forests. Fines are applied if anyone injures the animals in the protected parks.

Of the rest of animals and birds the young ones and the ones who are capable of still reproduction should not be slaughtered.

should make sure the sold meat is not of bad quality. Fines applied for selling bad meat.


The laws related to courtesans applies to all the entertainers like actors, dancers, singers, musicians, story-tellers, bards, rope-dancers, showmen etc., All these entertainers have a good chance of making money during the period that they can perform but they would need to be taken care when they turn old and not able to perform. The old entertainers welfare is taken care by the gaNikAdhyaksha by showing alternative employment at that time.

Specific to the courtesans, based on the beauty and skill in arts they are appointed in the king’s court to attend to the king. They also be used in getting the information about the wicked, spying, and damaging the wicked doers by the skill of talking multiple languages and performing to attract those evil doers.

So, it is important to understand and put each of the profession within the kingdom in necessary regulation and govern it. Some may be socially not accepted but a king can’t exclude them. All inclusive governance is the mantra of cANakya.

This brings us to the end of 27th chapter of book 2 of artha SAstra.

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