SCIENCE OF GOVERNMENT
The great Manu says to the Rishis (who begged him to discourse upon the duties of man, etc., for their benefit), “After discoursing on the duties of the four Classes and the four Orders, we shall now describe Raaja Dharma or the duties and qualifications, etc., or Rulers, in other words, we shall discuss as to who is fit to be a king, how he is to be selected, and how he can attain the highest bliss -salvation. Let a Kshatriya (ruler), whose knowledge, culture and piety are as perfect as those of a Brahman, govern the country with perfect justice” MANU :A, in the following way:-
(God teaches), “Let there be for the benefit of the rulers and the ruled three Assemblies – .Religious . Legislative . Educational . Let each discuss and decide subjects that concern it, and adorn all men with knowledge, culture, righteousness, independence, and wealth, and thereby make them happy.” RIG VEDA :, .
“Let the three Assemblies, Military Councils, and the Army harmoniously work together to carry on the government of a country.” ATHARVA VEDA :, , .
“A king should address the Assembly thus:- Let the leader of the Assembly abide by the just laws passed by the Assembly, and let other members do the same.” ATHARVA VEDA :, , .
It means that no single individual should be vested with absolute power. The king, who is the president of the Assembly, and the Assembly itself should be inter-dependent on each other. Both should be controlled by the people, who in their turn should be governed by the Assembly.
If the system be not followed and the king be independent of the people and have absolute power, “He would impoverish the people, – being despotic and hence arrogant – and oppress them, aye, even eat them up, just as a tiger or any other carnivorous animal pounces upon a robust animal and eats it up. A despotic ruler does not let anyone else grow in power, robs the rich, usurps their property by unjust punishment, and accomplishes his selfish end. One man should, therefore, never be given despotic power.” SHATPATHA BRAAHMAN :, , , .
“O men! Let that man alone among you be made a king – the President of the Assembly – who is very powerful conqueror of foes, is never beaten by them, has the capacity to become the paramount sovereign, is most enlightened, is worthy of being made a President, who possesses most noble qualities, accomplishments, character and disposition;
who is thoroughly worthy of the homage, trust and respect of all.” ATHARVA VEDA : , , .
“O ye learned men ! Proclaim that man with one voice your king – the President and Head of the State – who is just, impartial, well-educated, cultured and friend of all. In this way alone shall ye attain universal sovereignty, be greater than all, manage the affairs of the State, obtain political eminence, acquire wealth, and rid the world of its enemies.” YAJUR VEDA ;.
God teaches in the Veda, “Rulers! Your implements of warfare, (such as, guns, rifles, bows, arrows, etc.) and war-materials (such as gun-powder) be worthy of praise, strong and durable to repel and conquer your enemies. Let your army be a glorious one, so that you may always be victorious. But the aforesaid things shall not be attainable to the contemptible, the despicable, and unjust.” RIG VEDA : , . In other words, it is only as long as men remain honourable, just and virtuous that they are politically great. When they become wicked and unjust, they are absolutely ruined.
Let a nation, therefore, elect the most learned men, as members of the Educational Assembly, the most devout men, as members of the Religious Assembly and men of the most praiseworthy character, as members of the Legislative Assembly; and let that great man in it, who possess most excellent qualities, is highly accomplished, and bears most honourable character, he made the Head or President of the Political Assembly.
Let the three Assemblies harmoniously work together, and make good laws, and let all abide by those laws. Let them all be of one mind in affairs that promote the happiness of all. All men should subordinate themselves to the laws that are calculated to promote general well-being; they should be free in matters relating to individual well-being.
QUALIFICATIONS OF THE HEAD OF THE STATE
“He should be as powerful as electricity: as dear to his people’s hearts as their very breath, able to read the inmost thoughts of others, and just in his dealings as a Judge. He should enlighten people’s mind by the spread of knowledge, justice, and righteousness, and dispel ignorance and injustice as the sun illuminates the world. He should be like one who consumes wickedness like fire, keeps the wicked and the criminal under control like a jailer, gladdens the hearts of the good like the moon; makes the country rich and prosperous, as a treasurer keeps his treasury full; is powerful and majestic like the sun, keeps the people in order and awe; and on whom no one in the whole world dares to look with a stern eye. He alone is then fit to be the Head of the State who is like fire, air, the sun, the moon, a judge, a treasurer, a goaler in keeping the wicked under control, and like electricity in power.” MANU : , , .
THE TRUE KING
“The Law alone is the real king, the dispenser of justice, the disciplinarian. The Law is considered as the surety for the four Classes and Orders to discharge properly their respective duties. The Law alone is the true Governor that maintains order among the people. The Law alone
is their Protector. The Law keeps awake whilst all the people are fast asleep. The wise, therefore, look upon the Law alone as Dharma or Right. When rightly administered the Law makes all men happy but when administered wrongly, i.e., without due regard to the requirement of justice, it ruins the king. All the four Classes would become corrupt, all order would come to an end, and there would be nothing but chaos and corruption if the Law were not properly enforced. Where the Law – which is likened unto a fear-inspiring man, black in color and with red eyes – striking fear into the hearts of the people (evil) and preventing them from committing crimes, rules supreme, there the people never go astray, and consequently live in happiness if it be administered by a just and learned man.
He alone is considered a fit person to administer the Law by the wise, who invariably speaks the truth, is thoughtful, highly intellectual and very clever in the attainment of virtue, wealth and righteous desires. The Law rightly administered by the king greatly promotes the practice of virtue, acquisition of wealth and secures the attainment of the heart-felt desires of his people. But the same Law destroys the king who is sensual, indolent, crafty, malevolent, mean and low-minded.
Great is the power and majesty of the Law. It cannot be administered by a man who is ignorant and unjust. It surely brings the downfall of the king who deviates from the path of rectitude.
The Law can never be justly administered by a man who is destitute of learning and culture, has no wise and good men to assist him, and is sunk in sensualism. He alone is fit to administer the Law- which is another name for justice – who is wise, pure in heart, of truthful character, associates with the good, conducts himself according to the law and is assisted by the truly good and great men in the discharge of his duties.” MANU : , ,, , , .
“The four chief Offices – Commander-in -Chief of the forces, Head of the Civil Government, Minister of Justice, and the Supreme Head of all – the King – should be held only by those persons who are well -versed in all the four Vedas and the Shaastraas, are conversant with all the sciences and philosophies, devout, and have perfect control over their desires, passions and possess a noble character.
Let no man transgress that law which has been passed by an Assembly of ten men learned and wise, or at the very least of three such men. This Assembly must consist of members who are well-versed in the four Vedas, keen logicians, masters of language, and men conversant with the science of religion, they must belong to the first three Orders – Brahmacharya, (celibacy), Grihastha (married life), Vaanaprastha (renunciation)
Let no man transgress what has been decided by even an Assembly of three men who are scholars of the Rig Veda, the Yajur Veda and Saama Veda respectively.
Even the decision of one Sanyaasi, (wise) who is fully conversant with all four Vedaas and is superior to all the twice-born (Dwijaas) should be considered of the highest authority. But let no man abide by the decision of myriads of ignorant men.
Even a meeting of thousands of men cannot be designated an Assembly, if they be destitute of such high virtues as self-control or truthful character, be ignorant of the Vedas and be men of no understanding like the Shoodraas.
Let no man abide by the law laid down by men who are altogether ignorant, and destitute of the knowledge of the Veda, or whosoever obeys the law propounded by ignorant fools falls into hundreds of kinds of sin and vice. Therefore, let not ignorant fools be ever made members of the aforesaid three Assemblies – Political, Educational and Religious. On the other hand let learned and devout persons only be elected to such high offices. MANU : , -.
QUALIFICATIONS OF MEMBERS OF THE POLITICAL ASSEMBLY
“Those men alone are fit to fill such high offices, as of the President or a member of the Political Assembly, who have learnt the three kinds of knowledge, of good deeds and their practice, of elevation of mind by meditation, and contemplation of abstruse subjects, and of that superior wisdom that results from the first two – from the scholars of the four Vedas, – the true system of Government, the science of Logic, the Divine science which consists of the knowledge of the nature, character and attributes of God and the arts of elocution and debate. Let all members and leaders always walk in the path of
rectitude, keep the senses under perfect control and keep aloof from sin. Let them always practise yoga, meditate on God morning and evening, for, he who cannot control his mind and senses – which are subjects of the soul – can never keep the people under control.
Let a man, therefore, most diligently shun (and help others to do the same) eighteen vices – vices from which a man once entangled into them can hardly escape – ten of which proceed from love of pleasure and eight from anger.
A kind addicted to vices arising from the love of pleasure loses his kingdom, wealth and power and even his character. Whilst one who is addicted to vices arising from anger may even lose his life. Ten vices proceeding from love of pleasure are:- . Hunting. . Gaming – playing with dices, gambling, etc. . Sleeping by day. . Gossiping or talking of sensual subjects. . Excess with women. . Use of intoxicants such as alcohol, opium, and its products, etc. . Saying unkind or hard words. . Useless wandering about from place to place.
The vices that proceed from anger are:- . Tale-bearing . Violence, such as outraging another man’s wife. . Malevolence. . Envy, i.e., mortification excited by the sight of another person’s superiority or success. . Detraction from one’s character. . Expenditure of money, etc., for sinful purposes. . Saying unkind or hard words. . Infliction of punishment without any offence.
Let him assiduously shun self-love that all wise men hold to be the root of all evils that are born of the love of pleasure and anger, it is through the love of self that a man contracts all these vices.
The use of intoxicants, gaming, excess with women, and hunting – these four are the most pernicious vices that arise from the love of pleasure.
Infliction of punishment without offence, the use of slanderous language, the expenditure of money for unrighteous purposes – these three are the great vices born of anger that bring extreme suffering on the possessor thereof.
Out of these seven vices proceeding from the love of pleasure and anger the one preceding is worse than the one following. In other words, the use of slanderous language worse than the abuse of money, punishing the innocent worse than the use slanderous language. Hunting is worse than punishing the innocent, excess with women worse than hunting, and use of intoxicants worse still.
It is certain that it is better to die than to be addicted to vices, since the longer a wicked man lives, the more sins he will commit and consequently lower and lower will he sink and thereby the more will he suffer. Whilst he who is free from vices enjoys happiness even if he dies.”
Therefore, it behoves all men, especially the king, to keep aloof form hunting, drinking, and other vices, and, instead, to develop a good character and noble disposition, and to devote themselves to the practice of virtuous deeds. MANU : -.
THE QUALIFICATIONS OF MINISTERS AND MEMBERS OF ASSEMBLIES
“Let a king appoint seven or eight good, righteous and clever ministers who are natives of the country, are thoroughly conversant with the Vedas and the Shaatraas, are very brave and courageous, whose judgement seldom errs, who come from a good family and are well-tried men.
Even an act easy in itself becomes difficult to be accomplished by a man when single-handed. How much more so then, is the great work of the government of a country by a man single-handed? It is, therefore, a most dangerous thing to make one man a despotic ruler, or entrust a single man with sole management of the affairs of the State.
Let the Head of State, then, constantly consult with his clever and learned ministers on the affairs of the State, such as:- . Peace. . War . Defense – quietly protecting his own country against a foreign attack and waiting for an opportunity. . Offence – attacking an enemy when he finds himself strong enough to do so. . Proper management of the internal affairs of the State, the exchequer and the Army. . Pacification of the newly
conquered countries by freeing them from all kinds of disturbance. Let him daily reflect on the six subjects.
Having ascertained the individual opinion of each of his ministers and other members of the Assembly, let him abide by the decision of the majority and do what is beneficial for him as well for others.
Let him likewise appoint other ministers who are men of great integrity, highly intellectual, of resolute minds, of great organizing power and of vast experience.
Let him appoint good, energetic, strong, and clever officers, as many as he requires, for the due transaction of the business of the State. Under them let brave, courageous strong men of great integrity and of noble lineage fill position involving great responsibility and risk, whilst let timid and faint-hearted men be employed for the administration of internal affairs.
Let him also appoint an Ambassador who comes from a good family, is very clever, perfectly honest, able to read the innermost thoughts of others and to foretell future developments and events by observing the expression of faces and other significant signs and acts of others, and is well-versed in all the Shaastraas – branches of knowledge.
He alone is fit person to be appointed an Ambassador who is very much devoted to politics, loves his country with all his heart, is of irreproachable character, pure in heart, highly intelligent and endowed with an excellent memory, who can adapt himself to the manners and customs of different countries and different times, is good looking, fearless and a master of elocution.” MANU : -, -, .
DUTIES OF MINISTERS AND OTHER HIGH OFFICIALS
“The power to enforce the law should be vested in a minister who should see that the law is administered justly, treasury and other affairs of the State should be under the control of the king, peace and war under that of the Ambassador, and everything under the control of the
Assembly. It is the Ambassador alone who can make peace between enemies, or war between friends. He should so strive as to divide enemies united against his country.
Thus having learnt the designs of his enemy let a king – the President of the Assembly (as well as members of the Assembly, Ambassadors and others) – endeavor to guard himself against all danger from him.
In a thickly wooded country, where the soil is rich, let him build himself a town surrounded by a fortress of earth, or one protected by water, or one surrounded by a thick wood on all sides, or a fortress of armed men, or one surrounded by a mountain.
Let him build a wall round the city, because one brave, well-armed soldier placed inside it is a match for a hundred, and a hundred for thousands. It is therefore, extremely necessary to build a fort. Let the fort be well-supplied with arms and ammunition, with various kinds of grain and other food stuffs, with conveyances and beasts of burden, etc., with teachers and preachers, artisans, various kinds of machines, with grass and grain, etc., for animals, and with water, etc. In the centre of the town let him build for himself a Government house, well- protected from wind, etc., suited to all weathers, with
well provided parks and gardens round it, and well-supplied with water. It should be big for all the state functions.
Having done so far, that is, having completed his studies in the order of Brahmacharya and settled the affairs of the State, let him choose a consort of Kshatriya Class, born of a high family, endowed with beauty and other excellent qualities, dearest to his heart, blessed with charming manners, etc., and equal to him in knowledge, acquisitions, accomplishments and of like temperament. Let him take one wife and one only, and consider all other women as unapproachable, therefore let him not even look at another woman (with the eye of lust).
Let him retain a chaplain and a spiritual teacher to perform Homa and Yajnas suitable for different seasons and other religious duties for him in the palace, and let him always devote himself to the business of the State. To devote himself day and night to the affairs of the State without allowing anything to go out of order is the highest duty of a king, aye, this is his worship, this is his communion.” MANU : , ,, , -.
“Let the king collect his revenue through honorable, trustworthy and accomplished men possessed of excellent character. Let him, who is the President of the Assembly, his ministers and other officials and the Assembly observe the eternal principles taught by the Vedas, and let them act like fathers to the people.
Let the Assembly appoint officials of various kinds whose sole duty it should be to see that the State officials in all departments do their duties faithfully according to the regulations. Let them, who discharge their duties satisfactorily, be honored, whilst those who do not, be punished properly.
In order to disseminate the knowledge of the Veda which is truly called the imperishable treasure of the kings, let the king and the Assembly show due respect to students, who return from their seminaries after having studied the Vedas and Shatraas in the Order of Brahmacharya as well as their teachers. This helps forward the spread of education and the progress of a country.
If a king, devoted to the welfare of his people, be defied by an enemy of equal, greater, or less strength, let him remember the duty of Kshatriya and never shrink from going to battle. Let him fight with such skill as may ensure his victory.
Those kings who, with the object of defeating their enemies, fight fearlessly to their utmost and never turn away from the field of battle shall obtain happiness. They must never turn their backs upon the field of battle, but it is sometime necessary to hide away from the enemy in order to obtain victory over him. Let them employ all kinds of tactics to ensure their success in battle, but let them not perish foolishly like a tiger who, when his temper is rouse, exposes himself foolishly to the fire and is thereby killed.
In the field of battle let soldiers bear in mind the duty of men of honor, and, therefore, never strike a man who is standing near a field of battle – a non-combatant – nor one who is a eunuch, nor one who with folded palms begs for peace, nor one whose hair is disheveled or scattered (over his eyes), nor one who is sitting at ease, nor one who says ‘I am at your mercy’, nor one who is asleep, nor one who is unconscious or in a fit, nor one who is disarmed, nor one who is naked, nor one who is a mere spectator, nor one who is only a camp-follower, nor one who is in agony of pain
from his wounds, nor one who is an invalid, nor one who is seriously wounded, nor one who is terrified, nor one who is running away (from the field of battle).
They should make them prisoners and provide them with food, drink and other necessaries of life. The wounded should be medically attended to. They should never be teased or made to suffer in any way. They should be employed in the kind of work that suits their station, etc. the king should especially see that no one strikes a woman, a child, and old man, a wounded man and one who is diseased or afflicted with sorrow.
Let him protect and bring up their children as if they were his own daughters or sisters. Nor should he ever look upon them with the eye of lust. After the country has settled down, let him send all those, from whom he does not fear a fresh revolt, away to their own homes; but let him, keep in prison all others who, he fears, may possibly raise the standard of revolt.
The soldier, who cowardly turns his back on a field of battle and is slain (by an enemy), is thus rightly punished for his disloyalty to his master who shall take unto himself all the honor due to the deceased on account of his past good conduct which begets happiness in this world and in the next. The soldier, who is killed whilst running away from the field of battle, shall never obtain happiness. All his good work is nullified by this act of cowardice. He alone wins laurels who fights faithfully.
Let the king never violate this law that carriages, horses, elephants, tents, umbrellas, grain, silver and gold, cattle such as cows, women, cases of oil and butter, and various other articles are lawful prize of the soldier or of the officer who takes them in war. The captors should give the sixteenth part of their loot to the king, and so should the latter distribute among the whole army the sixteenth part of what was taken by them collectively.” MANU : -, , , -.
Let the wife and children have the share of the man who is killed in war. The wife and children of that man should be well look after till the children are grown up when the king should offer them suitable state appointments.
Let no one, who is desirous of augmenting the prosperity of his State and of gaining fame, victory, and happiness, transgress this law.
“What the king and the Assembly have not, let them strive hard to get it, let them preserve what they get, what they preserved let them augment, and let them spend the augmented wealth in the diffusion of the knowledge of the Vedas, the spread of the principles of true religion, in helping scholars and preachers of the Vedic religion, and bringing up orphans. Having learnt the fourfold object of activity let him shun sloth and live an active life.
Let him obtain what he has not got by the observance of the law, and what he has acquired let him protect with diligent attention, what he has protected let him augment by investing profitably, and let him always spend his augmented wealth in the furtherance of the aforesaid cause.
Let him on all occasions act without guile and never without sincerity, but, keeping himself well on his guard let him discover and ward off the evil designs of his enemy.
Let him ponder over the acquisition of wealth like a heron that is meditative for catching fish. Having obtained the necessary material and augmented his power, let him put forth his strength like a lion to vanquish his foe; like a tiger let him stealthily creep towards his enemy and catch him. When a powerful enemy has come close by, let him run away from enemy like a hare and then capture enemy by stratagem.
Let not his foe discover his weak points but the vulnerable points of his foe let he himself well discern. Let him hide his vulnerable points from his enemy just as a tortoise draws in his limbs and keeps them concealed from view.
Let such a victorious sovereign reduce all dacoits, robbers and the like to submission by conciliating them, by giving them presents or by turning them against each other. If he fails to restrain them by those means let him do so by infliction of heavy punishment on them.
As a farmer separates the husk from the corn without injuring the latter, so should a king exterminate dacoits and burglars, and thus protect his people.
The king, who, through neglect of duty and lack of understanding oppresses his people, soon loses his kingdom and perishes with his family before his time. MANU :
Just as living beings lose their lives through the failure of their bodily strength, so do kings as well as their families lose their power, and even their lives by oppressing their subjects.
Therefore, in order to conduct the government properly let the king and the assembly so strive as to fully accomplish this object. The king who is always devoted to the welfare of his people obtains perpetual happiness.
Let him, therefore, have an administrative office in the midst of two, three, five and a hundred villages, wherein he should keep the required number of officials to carry on government business. Let him appoint an official at the head of one village, a second one over ten such villages, a third one over twenty, a fourth one over one hundred villages, and a fifth one over a thousand such villages.*
Let the Lord (i.e., the administrator) of one town daily apprise the Lord of Ten Towns privately of all crimes committed within his jurisdiction and the Lord of Ten submit his report to the Lord of Twenty. Let the Lord of Twenty notify all such matters to the Lord of one hundred every day and the Lord of one Hundred, to the Lord of one Thousand, in other words, five Lords of Twenty, to a Lord of one Hundred, ten Lords of a Hundred, to a Lord of Ten thousand, and the Lord of Ten Thousand to an assembly which governs the affairs of a hundred thousand townships and all such Assemblies, to the Supreme International Assembly representing the whole world.
Over every ten thousand villages let him appoint two presiding officials, one of whom should preside over the Assembly, whilst the
* In other words, the present system of having a Surveyor (Patwari) in one village, a branch Police Station for every ten villages and Head Police Station over two branch stations, a Tahsil over the five such Police Stations, a district over ten such Tahsils, and so on, has been borrowed from our ancient system of Government as taught by Manu.
Other should tour all over the country and diligently inspect the work and conduct of all the magistrates and other officials.
For the purpose of holding the meetings of town councils let him erect a Town Hall in every big town. It should be lofty, capacious, and beautiful like the moon, wherein let the members of the town council, who should be men of vast learning and experience, deliberate over the affairs of their town, and make such laws as will promote the welfare of the people and advance the cause of education and enlightenment.
Let the inspecting governor have detectives under him – who should come from Kshatriya (protectors) as well as other Classes – and through them let him secretly know perfectly the conduct – good or bad – of the Government servants as well as that of the people. Let him punish those who do not faithfully discharge their duties and honor those whose conduct is praiseworthy.
Let the king appoint such men guardians of his people as are virtuous, well-experienced, learned and of good lineage; under such learned officials let him also place men who are very wicked* as burglars and robbers, i.e., who live by seizing what belongs to others. It will help to keep those men from the pursuit of their wicked ways, as well as, to protect the people properly.
Let the king punish properly the magistrate who accepts bribe either from the plaintiff or the defendant in a case and, thereby,
* On the principle that the best keeper is an old poacher. -Tr.
gives an unjust decision, confiscate all his possessions, and banish him to a place from which he can never return. Were that man to go unpunished, it would encourage other officials to commit similar wicked crimes, whilst the infliction of punishment would serve to check them. But let those officials be paid handsomely for their services – either by gifts of land or in lump sums of money, paid annually or monthly – enough to keep them in comfort and even to make them rich.
Let an old official in consideration of his services be granted a pension equal to half his pay. This pension must last only so long as he lives, not after. But let his children be properly honored or given Government appointments according to their qualifications. Let his wife and children* be given an allowance by the State enough for their subsistence which should be stopped if they turn wicked. Let the king constantly follow this policy.”
“Let the king in conjunction with the Assembly, after full consideration, so levy taxes in his dominions as to ensure the happiness of both the rulers and the ruled. Let the king draw an annual revenue from his people little by little just as the leech, the suckling calf and the bee take their food** little by little. Let him not, through extreme covetousness, destroy the very roots of his own and others, happiness, since
*Till they are able to earn their own living. ** i.e., the blood, the milk and the honey respectively. -Tr.
he, who cuts off the roots of happiness and temporal prosperity, brings nothing but misery on himself as well as on others.
The king who can be both gently and stern as occasion demands is highly honored if he be gentle to the good and stern towards the wicked.
Having thus arranged the affairs of the State, let him devote himself to the protection and welfare of his people with diligent attention. Know that king as well as his ministers to be dead, not alive, where the lives and property of those subjects are violently taken away by ruffians whilst they lament and cry aloud for help. Great shall be his suffering. Promotion of happiness of their subjects, therefore, is the highest duty of kings. The king who discharges this duty faithfully, levies taxes and governs the country with the help of the Assembly* enjoys happiness, but he who does otherwise is afflicted with misery and suffering.” MANU : , ,, ,-.
“Let the king rise early, have a wash, meditate on God with his whole attention, perform Homa, pay his respects to the devoutly learned men, take his meal and enter the audience chamber. Let him standing there show respect to the people present. Having dismissed them let him take counsel with his Prime Minister on state affairs. Thereafter let him go with his Prime Minister out for a walk or a ride, seek the top of a mountain wilderness, where there is not even the tiniest tree (to hide a person), or a sequestered house and discuss (state affairs) with him in all sincerity.
* As described in Manu in the th Chapter. -Tr.
“That king, whose profound thoughts other men even though combined cannot unravel, in other words, whose thought are deep, pure, centered on public good, and hidden shall rule the whole earth, even though they be poor. Let him never do even a single thing without the approval of the Assembly.” MANU : – .
IN PEACE AND WAR – MILITARY.
“The king and other persons in authority should keep it in view that it is their duty to adopt after due deliberation one of the following six measures as occasion demands:-
. Remaining passive.
. Marching to action.
. Making peace with the enemy.
. Declaring war against wicked enemies.
. Gaining victory b(by) dividing his forces.
. In weakness seeking the protection of or alliance with powerful king
Let the king thoroughly acquaint himself with the twofold nature of these measures:- The two kinds of peace with the enemy are:_
The contracting parties act in conjunction.
They act apart.
But let the king always go on doing whatever is necessary for the present or will be required for the future.
War is of two kinds:-
When it is waged on account of an injury to himself.
When it is waged on account of an injury to a friendly power or an ally in season or out of season.
Remaining quiet is of two kinds – firstly, it is done when the king’s own power is weakened through some cause, and secondly, when he remains quiet on the advice of his ally.
To divide one’s force – rank and file – into two sections in order to gain victory is called the Division of the force.
Seeking the protection of or alliance with a powerful ruler or the advice of a great man in self defense when threatened by an enemy or when on the offensive is the twofold Protection or Alliance.
When a king ascertains that by going to war at the present time he will suffer, whilst by waiting and going to war at some future time he will certainly gain in power and vanquish his enemy, let him , then, make peace with him and patiently wait for that favorable opportunity.
When he finds his people and the army considerable happy, prosperous and full of spirits and himself the same, let him then declare war against his foe.
When knows his own troops to be contented, cheerful and fit – well-fed, well-nourished and well-clothed, etc., – and those of his enemy the reverse, let him then attack or march against his foe.
When he finds his foe much stronger than himself, let him accomplish his object by doubling or dividing his forces.
When it becomes clear to him that his enemies will soon march against him, let him then seek speedily the protection of or alliance with, a just and powerful king.
Let a king serve him who would help him in restoring order among his people or in keeping his army under control or his enemy in check, as he would, his teacher – temporal and spiritual. But if he finds his protector or ally full of evil designs, let him then fight him fearlessly.
Let him never be hostile to a king who is just and virtuous. On the other hand, let him always be on friendly terms with him. All the aforesaid measures are to be adopted in order to vanquish a wicked man who is in power. MANU : –
“Let the king who is a true statesman, adopt such measures that neither his allies, neutral powers, nor his foes may grow in power or gain any great advantage over him. Let him thoroughly deliberate over the advantages and disadvantages of his past actions, his present and future duties. Then let him strive to ward off evils and promote good results. That king shall never be vanquished by his enemies who can foresee the good and evil results likely to follow from the measures that he would adopt in the future, who acts according to his convictions in the present without delay and knows his failings in the past.
Let a statesman, especially the king, viz., the President of the Assembly, so endeavor that the power of his allies, neutral powers and foes may be kept within limits and not otherwise. Never should he be negligent of this. This alone is, in brief, true statesmanship.” MANU :-
“Before a king begins his march against his enemy, let him secure the safety of his dominions, provide himself with all that is necessary for the expedition, take the necessary number of troops, carriages and other conveyances, weapons, fire-arms, etc., and dispatch his spies in all quarters.
Having seen that all the three ways -by land, on water, and through the air – are clear and well secured, let him travel on land by means of cars, on foot, on horseback, or on elephants, on water by boats, and through air by air-ships and the like, well provide himself with infantry, cavalry, elephants, cars. Weapons of war, provisions and other necessary things, and proceed gradually towards the chief city of the enemy having first given out some reason for his march.
In his conversation let him be well on his guard against, and keep a strict watch on the movements of a man who is inwardly a friend of the enemy and privately gives him information, whilst outwardly keeps with him also on friendly terms; because he who is inwardly an enemy and outwardly a friend must be looked upon as the most dangerous foe.
Let the king see that all officers learn the science and art of war, as well as he himself and other people. It is only those warriors who
are well -experienced in the art of war that can fight well on the field of battle. Let them be well-drilled in the following various dispositions:-
. Marching troops in file.
. Marching troops in column.
. Marching troops in square.*
. Marching troops at the double.**
. Marching troops in Echelon.***
. Advancing in skirmishing order.
Let him extend his troops to the flank form which he apprehends danger like a lotus flower.
Let him keep his troops with their Commanders on four sides and himself in the center. Let him place his Generals, and Commanding Officers with their brave troops in all the eight directions.**** Let him turn his front towards the fighting.
He must also have his flanks and rear well-guarded, otherwise, the enemy may attack him on these positions on all sides let him station those soldiers who are well-trained in the art of war, firm in their places like the pillars of a roof, virtuous, clever in charging and sustaining a charge, fearless and faithful.
When he has to fight an enemy superior to himself in numbers, let him then arrange his troops in close formation or quickly deploy as occasion demands. When he has to fight his way into a city, a fort or the ranks of his enemy, let him arrange his troops in various forms of military array, such as marching them in Echelon or in the form of a double-edged that cuts both ways; let them fight as well as advance. Before artillery or musketry fire let him order his
*Just as boars run after one another and then form one close formation. **Just as fish swim in water. ***Pointed at the end and thicker at the base – like a needle or a wedge. **** N,S, E, W &NE, NW, SE, SW.
troops to crawl like snakes till they get near the guns, shoot or capture the gunners and turn those very guns on the enemy or shoot him with his rifles. Or let him make old soldiers run on horses before the guns, keep good soldiers in the middle and thus attack the enemy. Let him shoot the enemy, scatter his forces, or capture them by a vigorous assault.
On level ground let him fight on foot, on horseback, or in cars, on sea in men-of-war, in shallow water on elephants, among trees and bushes with arrows, and in sandy places with swords and shields.
When his troops are engaged in fighting, let him cheer and encourage them. At the close of a battle let him gladden the hearts of those, who have distinguished themselves, by making nice speeches, providing them with everything they need, looking after their comfort, and helping them in every other way. Let him never engage in a fight without forming his troops into the necessary array of battle. Let him always watch the behavior of his troops and see whether they discharge their duties faithfully or not.
Let him destroy the reservoirs, city walls, the trenches of his enemy, alarm him by night, and adopt measures to vanquish him.
Having conquered his foe let him have a treaty signed by him. Let him, if necessary, depose him from the throne and appoint another righteous man from the same dynasty as king, and have a document signed by him to the effect that he would carry out his orders, in other-words that he would adopt a just system of Government, serve his people and protect them. Let him give him the aforesaid advice and leave such men with him as would prevent any further disturbance.
Let him honor his vanquished foe with the gifts of gems and other valuable presents. Let him not behave so meanly as to deprive him even of his subsistence. Even if he were to keep him as his prisoner, let him show him such respect as may free him from the sorrow consequent on his defeat and make his life happy; because the seizure of others’ property in this world gives rise to hatred, whilst the bestowal of gifts on others is the cause of love. Let him especially do the right thing for him at the right moment, it is a laudable thing to give the vanquished foe what is his heart’s desire.
Let him never taunt him, nor laugh at him, nor poke fun at him, not even remind him of his defeat. Instead let him always show him respect by addressing him as his own brother.” MANU :-, -, , .
THE QUALIFICATIONS OF A FRIEND
“A king does not gain in power so much by the acquisition of gold and territory as by securing a friend who is firm, loving and far-seeing. Such a friend is valuable no matter whether he is powerful enough to
help him in the attainment of his wishes or is even weak. It is laudable for a king to secure a friend- feeble though he be – who knows what is right, remembers gratefully any kindness shown to him, is cheerful in temper, affectionate and preserving. Let him bear in mind that it is not proper to make a foe of a man who is eminently wise, comes from an excellent family, and is brave, courageous, clever, liberal-minded, grateful, firm, and patient. Whosoever makes such a man his foe is sure to suffer.
He is called neutral (i.e., neither an avowed friend nor a declared foe) who is possessed of good qualities, knowledge, of mankind, valor, kindness of heart, and who never discloses the secret of his heart.
Let the king get up early in the morning, attend to his toilet, worship God, perform Homa himself or have it done by his chaplain, consult with his ministers, inspect and review his troops, cheer their spirits, inspect stables of horses and elephants, cow houses, etc., stores of arms and ammunition, hospitals and the treasury, in short, inspect everything with his own eyes and point out shortcomings.
Let him then go to the gymnasium, take physical exercise and, thereafter, in the middle of the day enter his private apartments to dine with his wife. His food should be well-tested and be such as will promote health, strength, energy and intellect. It should consist of various kinds of eatables, drinks, and sweets, juicy and fragrant dishes as well as condiments, sauce, etc., that may keep him free from disease.” MANU :-.
Let him thus promote the welfare of his people.
RATE OF TAXES
“Let the king take from trades-people and artisans one-fiftieth part of their profits in silver and gold, and one-sixth, one eight, or one-twelfth of agricultural produce such as rice.” MANU : .
If he takes it in cash instead of in kind, then too let him take it in such a way that the farmers and others would not suffer from poverty or from want of necessaries of life, such as food, drink, and so on. Because when the people are rich, healthy and have abundance of necessaries of life, the king flourishes. Let him therefore make his subject happy as he would his own children, and let the people regard the king, his ministers and other officials as their natural protectors, since it is a fact that the farmers and other wealth producers are the real source of kingly power. The king is their guardian. If there were no subjects whose king would he be? Or on the other hand if there were no king whose subjects will they be called?
Let both – the rulers and the ruled – be independent of each other in the performance of their respective duties, but let them subordinate themselves to each other in all those matters that require mutual harmony and co-operation. Let not the rulers go against the voice of the people, nor let the people and ministers do anything against the wish of the sovereign.
The political duties of kings have thus been briefly described. Let those who want to study this subject in detail consult the four Vedas, the Manu Smriti, the shukraniti, the Mahabharat and other books. The method of administering justice may be studied from the eighth and ninth chapters of Manu, but they are also described below:-
THE ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE
“Let the king, the Court and the Judges daily decide justly lawsuits – which are classified under eighteen heads – according to the laws of the land and the teachings of the Dharm Shastraa.* If it be found necessary to undertake fresh legislation – respect of matters about which
*Books on the principles of justice written by Rishis in conformity with the Vedas.-Tr.
no laws are to be found in the Law books of Rishis – let such laws be framed as will promote the welfare of the rulers and the ruled.
These are the following eighteen causes of disputes:-
. Deposit – dispute arises when a man deposits an article with another and is refused its return on demand.
. Sale by one person of a thing that is owned by another.
. Association of some persons against a particular individual for a criminal purpose.
. Refusal to return a loan.
. Non-payment of inadequate payment of one’s wages.
. Disputes with regard to sale or purchase
. Disputes between the owner of an animal and the man who looks after it.
. Boundary disputes.
. Larceny, burglary, and dacoity.
. Disregard of conjugal duties.
. Disputes about inheritance.
. Gambling – with animate as well as inanimate things.
These are the eighteen causes of disputes among men.
Let the judge observe the eternal law of justice and decide all these cases of disputes among men justly, without partiality.
Where Justice, having been wounded by injustice, approaches the Court, and no one extracts the dart, shot by injustice, from the wound,* all the judges who constitute the bench deserve also to be counted as wounded.
Either a just and virtuous man should not enter an Assembly ( or a Court of Justice), or, when he does enter it, should invariably speak the truth. He who looks on injustice perpetrated before his very eyes and still remains mute, or says what is false or unjust, is the greatest sinner.
Where justice is destroyed by injustice and truth by untruth under the very nose of the Judges who simply look on, all those who preside over that Court are as if dead, not one of them is alive. Justice being destroyed shall destroy the destroyer, Justice being protected shall protect the protector. Let no man, therefore, violate the laws of justice, lest justice, being destroyed, destroy him.
He who violates the laws of justice – justice that gives power and prosperity, and showers happiness like rain from heaven – is considered as lowest of the low by the wise. Let no one, therefore, violate the laws of justice. Justice alone, in this world, is the true friend that accompanies a man even after death; all other companions become extinct with the extinction of the body. Justice never forsakes a man.
*i.e., where the iniquitous go unpunished and the good, unrewarded and unhonored. -Tr.
When justice is perpetrated in a Court of Justice (or an assembly) by partiality being shown to one party, the justice is divided into four equal parts. One quarter falls to the share of the party in the cause, one quarter to his witnesses, one quarter to all the judges ( or members of the assembly), and one quarter to the presiding judge (or President of the Assembly). Where he, who deserves condemnation, is condemned; he, who is worthy of praise, is praised; he, who merits punishment, is punished; and he, who deserves honor, is honored, in that court (or assembly) the Presiding Judge and other Judges (or the President and the members of the Assembly) are guiltless and innocent, and the evil deed recoils on him alone who committed it.” MANU : -, , -.
WITNESSES AND THEIR APTITUDES, ETC.
“Among all classes those persons alone are eligible as witnesses who are men of character, learned, straightforward, who know their duty properly, and are truthful and free from covetousness. Never should men of opposite character be considered as eligible to bear witness.
Let women be witnesses for women, the twice-born for the twice-born; Shudras for Shudras, and outcasts for outcasts.
Let the judge never deem it extremely necessary to examine too strictly, the competence of witnesses in cases of violence, theft, adultery, the use of abusive language and assault, all these things being done in the private, witnesses are not easily available in such cases.
If there be contradictory evidence let him accept as true the evidence of the majority; if the conflicting parties are equal in number, that of those distinguished witnesses, that of the best among the twice-born, viz., sages, seers and Sanyasis – altruistic teachers of humanity.
Two kinds of evidence is admissible:-
o What has been seen.
o What has been heard by the witnesses.
A witness who speaks the truth in a court of law neither deviates from righteousness nor deserves to be punished, but he, who does otherwise, should be properly punished.
A witness, who says anything in a court of law or in an assembly of good men, different from what he had seen or heard, should have his tongue cut-off. He will consequently live in misery and pain for the rest of his life and will have no happiness after death in consequence of having perjured himself.
Let only that which a witness declares naturally be received as evidence, but what he says on being tutored by others be considered useless for the purposes of evidence by a judge.
The witnesses being assembled in the court, let the judge or the counsels in the presence of the plaintiffs and defendants address them in the following way:-
“O ye witnesses ! Whatever you know with regard to the matter before us in relation to both parties declare truthfully, for, your evidence is needed in this case. A witness who speaks the truth shall hereafter – in future rebirths – attain to exalted regions and states, and enjoy happiness; he will obtain glory in this life as well as in the next, because the power of speech has been declared in the Vedas as the cause of honor and disgrace. He who invariably speaks the truth is worthy of honor, while he who falsifies his speech is disgraced. By truthfulness in speech is the cause of Justice and Righteousness advanced.
It behoves witnesses of all classes, therefore, to speak the truth and nothing but the truth. Verily, the soul itself is its own witness, the soul itself is its own motive power. O Man! Thou art the chief witness on behalf of others destroy not the purity of thy own soul; in other words do thou know what is in they own mind and to which thy speech corresponds as truth and the reverse as untruth. The wise consider no man greater than one whose discerning soul feels no misgivings when he speaks.
O man! If thou desirest to obtain happiness by uttering a falsehood when thou art alone, thou are mistaken, for the Supreme spirit that resideth in thy soul seeth whatever thou doest – good or bad. Fear Him O man! And live constantly a truthful life.” MANU :
“Evidence given through covetousness, through love, through fear, through anger, through ignorance and through childishness, must be held false. Should a witness give false evidence from either to these motives, let fitting punishment be inflicted on him. If a man gives false evidence through covetousness he shall be fined one thousand panas* or one pound ten pence, if through love four shillings three pence, if through fear eight shillings four pence, if through friendship sixteen shillings eight pence, if through lust one pound thirteen shillings four pence, if through anger, three pounds two shillings six pence, if through ignorance eight shillings, and if through childishness two shillings one pence.
Punishment may be inflicted, through property, the penis, the back, the tongue, hands, feet, eyes, ears, noses, and the whole body. The amount of various punishments ( with regard to fines) that have been described above or shall be done hereafter, should vary with the pecuniary circumstances of the offender:** with the time and place and nature of the offence, and with the general character and position (social and the like) of the offender.
The infliction of unjust punishment destroys reputation and honor -past, present and future – in this world as well as the glory to come. It causes great misery and intense suffering even after death; let a judge, therefore, avoid infliction of unjust punishment.
*A pana is equal to a farthing. -Tr. **For instance if he be poor, let the fine be lighter than the ordinary rate, while if he be rich, let it be double, triple or even quadruple. -Tr.
A king who inflicts punishment on such as deserve it not, and inflicts no punishment on such as deserve it brings infamy on himself in this life and shall sink to great depths of misery in the next. Let the guilty, therefore, be invariably punished, and the innocent never punished.
First gentle admonition punishment, the second harsh reproof, the third a fine in wealth, and the fourth corporeal chastisement, such as flogging and caning, or by imprisonment or death penalty.” MANU :-, -.
“With whatever limb a man commits an offence, even that limb shall the king remove or destroy in order to set an example to others and prevent the repetition of the same crime. Whosoever – be he father; tutor, friend, wife, son, or spiritual teacher – deviates from the path of duty, becomes liable to punishment; in other words, when a judge sits on the seat of justice, let him show partiality to no one and punish all justly.
Where an ordinary man is fined one penny, a king shall be fined a thousand, i.e., punishment inflicted on a king should be a thousand times heavier than that on an ordinary man, the king’s minister eight hundred times, the official lower than him seven
hundred, and one still lower, six hundred, and so on; even the lowest officials such as a constable, should be punished not less than eight times as heavily as an ordinary man would be, for if the government officials or servants be not punished more severely than ordinary people they would tyrannize over them.
As a lion requires a severer punishment than a goat to be well-broken, similarly do the rulers (from the highest officials – the king – to the meanest servant of the State), require heavier punishment than ordinary people. If a person possesses the power of discrimination, an yet commit theft, let his punishment be eight-fold – i.e., eight times the amount of the theft – if he be a Shudra; sixteen-fold, if a Vaishaya; thirty-two fold, if a Kshatriya; sixty-four or hundred-fold, or even a hundred and twenty-eight-fold if he be a Brahman, i.e., the more knowledge a man possesses and the greater his reputation and influence, the heavier his punishment should be.
Let not the king and other persons in authority, who desire wealth and prosperity, and love justice and righteousness, delay even for a single moment the punishment of man who has committed atrocious violence as dacoity, robbery, etc. A man who commits violence is more wicked and a more grievous offender than a slander, a thief, a king who lets a man that perpetrates such atrocities to go un-
punished, incurs public displeasure and shall soon perish. Neither through friendship, nor even at the offer of immense wealth should a king let a criminal, who commits violent acts, go unpunished. On a criminal who is a terror to the people, let the king inflict just punishment, such as imprisonment or death.
Let him put a man, who is convicted of the murder of another (but not in self-defense, etc.) to death without a moment’s hesitation, be he his tutor, his child, his father or some other elderly person, a Brahman, or a great scholar. He commits no sin who passes the sentence of death on a criminal convicted of murder and such other highly heinous crimes whether he be executed publicly or privately. It is like opposing anger to anger.*
Most excellent is the king in whose realm there is neither a thief nor an adulterer, nor a slanderer, nor a perpetrator of atrocious violence such as a dacoit nor a transgressor of the law.” MANU :-, -, , , .
“Should a wife out of her family pride desert her husband and misconduct herself, let the king condemn her to be devoured by dogs before all men and women. Similarly should a husband forsake his wife and misconduct himself with other women, let the king cause the sinner to be burnt alive publicly on a red hot iron-bed.” MANU : , , , , .
*i.e., fighting the criminal with his own weapon. -Tr.
Who shall punish the king or the queen, the Lord Chief Justice or his wife, if any one of them commits such wicked crimes as adultery?*
A.~ The Assembly ( or the court of justice), They should be punished even more severely than other people.
Q.Why will the king and other high personages let the Assembly (or the court of justice) punish them?
A.~ What is a king but a man endowed with virtue and favored by fortune. Were he to go unpunished, why would others obey the law? Besides if the people and other persons in authority and the Assembly would deem it just and necessary to punish the king, how can he single-handed refuse to suffer punishment? Were king and other high personages to go free, the king, ministers, and other men of influence and power would simply see justice and righteousness as naught, sink into the depths of injustice and ruin the people as well as themselves.
Remember ye the teaching of the Vedic text that says “Verily the just Law alone is the true king , yes, the just Law is the true religion.” Whosoever violates it is lowest of the low.
How can it be right to inflict such severe punishments, since man has no power to make a limb or bring the dead to life again?
A.~ Whosoever calls it severe punishment is ignorant of the true principles of Right Government. The infliction of a heavy punishment on one man prevents others from committing similar crimes, and tends to keep them steadfast in righteousness. Truly speaking this so-called heavy punishment is no heavier than the weight of a mustard seed when distributed among all the members of a
*According to the Roman Law which holds sway in the occident at the present time ” The king can do no wrong; and no court is competent to try a sovereign for all the courts derive their authority from him. The ancient Aryan Judges derived their authority from God because they had to administer justice according to principles sanctioned by the Veda – Divine Law. The king, therefore, like his meanest subject, was subject to judicial trials, Unlike modern states the ancient state had means of legal redress against the sovereign, now the only redress is rebellion. In this as in so many other respects the ancient Aryan Sage was ahead of the modern jurists. – (Rama Deva)
community, whilst so-called light punishment, by its failure to check crime, is really a thousand times heavier than the first, as it is multiplied a thousand times by the proportional increase of crime. Now take for an illustration a community of one thousand persons. If every one of them be punished, say, one pound each, the total punishment will be one thousand pounds, whilst if one man in this community of one thousand persons be punished, say, one hundred pounds and should that punishment succeed in preventing the repetition of similar crimes, the total punishment will not be more than a hundred pounds, which is ten times less than one thousand pounds. Thus the seemingly light punishment in the long run turns out to be the heavier one.
“Let the king impose toll on all the ships and boats passing up and down sea-canals ( or bays) and rivers – big and small – proportionate to the length of the country that they traverse; at sea no settled duty can be imposed, hence let him do what best suits the occasion. Let him in such cases make laws that may prove beneficial both to the state and the proprietors of ships.”*
Let him always protect his subjects, who go to different foreign lands by means of these ships, wherever they are. Let them never suffer in any way.
“Let the king daily watch the results of various measures (adopted for the good of the state, etc.), inspect elephants, horses and other conveyances, inquire into his income and expenditure, inspect his mines of precious gems, and his treasury.
A king who discharges all these duties most faithfully is freed from all taint of sin, and shall attain the Supreme State.” MANU : , , , .
Is the ancient Aryan system of Government perfect or imperfect?
A.~ Perfect; because all other systems of Government, that prevail at present or shall prevail, have and will have for their basis the Aryan System of Government. The laws that have not been declared expressly have been provided for by the text. “Let the Parliament composed of scholars, frame such laws as are just and beneficial to the rulers and the ruled.”
*Here it must be borne in mind that those people who say that there were no ships in ancient times are absolutely in the wrong.
Let the king as well as his advisers bear in mind that early marriage must not, be allowed, nor the marriage of grown up people without mutual consent. Let the king encourage the practice of Brahmacharya; let him put a stop to prostitution and the custom of plurality of wives (as polygamy, etc.) so that both body and soul may attain perfect strength and power. For if only mental powers and knowledge be developed, but not physical strength, one man of great physical strength may vanquish hundreds of scholars. On the other hand if physical strength alone be sought after and not mental, the high duties of Government can never be rightly discharged.
Without proper training and requisite knowledge and without the proper discharge of these duties, there can be no harmony. All will be discord, division, mutual disputes, quarrels and feuds that ultimately ruin all. Let, therefore, both mind and body be developed. There is nothing more prejudicial to the growth of physical and mental powers than prostitution and excessive sexual indulgence.
Kshatriyaas should, in particular, be physically strong and possess well developed bodies, because if they be lascivious, the government of the country is irrevocably ruined. The proverb “As is the king, so shall the people be” should never be lost sight of. It, therefore, behoves the king and other high personages never to misconduct themselves. Instead, let them always set a good example to others in the matter of just and righteous living.
Thus have the duties of Ruler been briefly described. Those, who want to study them in detail, are referred to the Vedas, the seventh, eighth and ninth chapters of Manu, the Shukraniti, Vidurprajaagar, Rajadharma, and Apatadharma, chapters of Shantiparva of the Mahabharata. They should perfectly master the science and art of government, and rule one country or Empire or the whole earth. Let all understand “We are the subjects of the Lord of the universe – the king of kings. He is true king and we are all His humble servants,” (Yajur Veda). May we in this world, through His mercy, be privileged to occupy kingly and other high offices and may He make us the means of advancing His eternal Justice.