An advice to the advisors

The last three chapters of yOga vRttam deals with the guidance to the counsellors who have mastered artha SAstra from a qualified teacher.

4th chapter is named anujIvi vRttam – The conduct of counsellor (of king)

Firstly, having learnt the science of politics one should approach a king who has Atma-sampat and dravya-sampat. (In this earlier post we discussed about the victory over senses – which relates to Atma-sampat) In simple terms wealth is of two types, one pertains to the internal wealth and the other pertains to external or material wealth. A counsellor should never approach a leader (or king) who has no internal wealth i.e. Atma sampat. If a King is not with both internal and external wealth is approachable then approach one who has good Atma-sampat. Even a person may have all external wealth and laking the qualities of self, all the wealth will be lost due to the association with wrong men (and thoughts!!) 

It should be a mutually beneficial as the mentor is seeking a good leader to mentor and the leader is seeking a good mentor for excellence.

Then, having gained the attention of the leader through the righteous means, the counsellor should gently demonstrate his knowledge and experience to the leader. By doing so, the counsellor builds the confidence of the leader. All the advise should consider short term and long term consequences of the decision and should be given without any fear or reservation.

However, a counsellor should never command the king/leader. Only advise as needed. Never show superiority over King.

Give the pleasing counsel in the presence of others, when any unpleasant advice to be given, it should be done in solitude of the King.

Finally, dealing with powerful king is like dealing with the fire. Having understood the circumstances, one should protect oneself first from the wrath of the king as needed.

5th chapter is titled samayAcArikam – balanced behaviour based on changing times (with king for the courtiers)

Anyone working closely to a King should understand the type of work assigned, weather it is internal or external, secret or open/public, urgent or that can wait;

When king is getting addicted to any habits (hunting, gambling, wine or women) they should not be directly condemned. Only the hints of the observation should be given.

Always observe the inGita – expressions and AkAra – gestures of the King. Sometimes to cover up the thoughts, powerful kings display a reversal of feelings like liking and hatred, joy and distress etc.,

cANakya gives some signs of pleased king – offers a seat, listens interestingly, gives time one-on-one, lets you stay (in the room) when others come in etc.,

On the other hand, the opposite indications are of a dissatisfied king.

Not only the kings behaviour should be observed closely, even the non-human beings associated with the king as well should be observed. Here cANakya gives 7 examples of ministers who have left the king observing abnormal behavior of pets and people close to King.

When artha (salary / money) and mAna (honor / respect) are deprived by the king one should leave the King.

Before leaving king, one should introspect the attitude of King and one’s own defect causing the dissatisfaction, and decide. If there is a self defect, being with king, one should try to remedy it.

All the above points are still valid, even in modern day. They are called soft-skills…..

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