yOga vRttam – Secret conduct – Part 1

In the last post we have reached the end of 4th adhikaraNa called kaNTaka Sodhanam – removing of criminals from the fort and territory.

This first part relating to tantra (Home Affairs – First adhikarana dealt with training, second establishing a structure for governance, third related to judiciary system and forth removing criminals.) of artha SAstra ends with the fifth book called yOga vRttam – secret conduct to be followed by the King in some special situations. It also gives some important directions to the mentor (who is well versed with artha SAstra and guiding the king in primary position).

Overall the fifth book has six chapters, three for the consumption of the King/Leader and three for the people working closely with a King/Leader. I will give the overview of first three chapters of fifth book in this post.

First chapter of yOga vRttam is called dANDa kArmikam: This chapter deals with inflicting secret punishment for those who have acquired public support. The subordinates controlling a section gain popularity in the wrong means and opposing the sovereignty of the kingdom based on local support. In such cases, they can’t be publicly tried punished due to the angering public supporting them.

Primarily there are two techniques used to inflict secret punishment to them using someone close to them – “Apya-prayOgam” or using “dUshya-daNda” by involving them in a corrupt activity through one of the weakness they have.

Second chapter gives techniques to collect unlawfully acquired wealth from certain anti-social elements who are cleverly working around the system and accumulating the wealth but appear as social workers deceiving the public. (kOSAbhisamvaraNam)

In both the above cases, an open action is not possible due to social / communal / political reasons. But the fundamental principle guiding the rAjarShi is the overall welfare of the country / territory. For a larger good, sometimes secret methods should be employed. cANakya clearly mentions this at the end of second chapter.

Third chapter called bhRtyu-bharaNIyam, gives guideline wages to be paid for different positions within the fort and in the government. Highest is for AcArya and purOhita at 48000 paNas a year followed by smAharta and sannidhata getting 24000 paNas, followed by prince getting 12000, followed by commanders of forces getting 8000 goes all the way down to 60 paNas per Annam for servants.

For spy a salary of 1000 paNas per year and based on complexity of task assigned they get additional allowance.

This chapter is added in yOga vRttam as these pays are not to be publicly known. 


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