CHAPTER I. THE SIX-FOLD POLICY, AND DETERMINATION OF DETERIORATION, STAGNATION AND PROGRESS.
THE Circle of States is the source of the six-fold policy.
My teacher says that peace (sandhi), war (vigraha) observance of neutrality (ásana), marching (yána), alliance (samsraya), and making peace with one and waging war with another are the six forms of state-policy.
But Vátavyádhi holds that there are only two forms of policy, peace and war, inasmuch as the six forms result from these two primary forms of policy.
While Kautilya holds that as their respective conditions differ, the forms of policy are six.
Of these, agreement with pledges is peace; offensive operation is war; indifference is neutrality; making preparations is marching; seeking the protection of another is alliance; and making peace with one and waging war with another, is termed a double policy (dvaidhíbháva). These are the six forms.
Whoever is inferior to another shall make peace with him; whoever is superior in power shall wage war; whoever thinks “no enemy can hurt me, nor am I strong enough to destroy my enemy,” shall observe neutrality; whoever is possessed of necessary means shall march against his enemy; whoever is devoid of necessary strength to defend himself shall seek the protection of another; whoever thinks that help is necessary to work out an end shall make peace with one and wage war with another. Such is the aspect of the six forms of policy.
Of these, a wise king shall observe that form of policy which, in his opinion, enables him to build forts, to construct buildings and commercial roads, to open new plantations and villages, to exploit mines and timber and elephant forests, and at the same time to harass similar works of his enemy.
Whoever thinks himself to be growing in power more rapidly both in quality and quantity (than his enemy), and the reverse of his enemy, may neglect his enemy’s progress for the time.
If any two kings hostile to each other find the time of achieving the results of their respective works to be equal, they shall make peace with each other.
No king shall keep that form of policy, which causes him the loss of profit from his own works, but which entails no such loss on the enemy; for it is deterioration.
Whoever thinks that in the course of time his loss will be less than his acquisition as contrasted with that of his enemy, may neglect his temporary deterioration.
If any two kings hostile to each other and deteriorating, expect to acquire equal amount of wealth in equal time, they shall make peace with each other.
That position in which neither progress nor retrogression is seen is stagnation.
Whoever thinks his stagnancy to be of a shorter duration and his prosperity in the long run to be greater than his enemy’s may neglect his temporary stagnation.
My teacher says that if any two kings, who are hostile to each other and are in a stationary condition expect to acquire equal amount of wealth and power in equal time, they shall make peace with each other.
“Of course,” says Kautilya, “there is no other alternative.”
Or if a king thinks:–
“That keeping the agreement of peace, I can undertake productive works of considerable importance and destroy at the same time those of my enemy; or apart from enjoying the results of my own works, I shall also enjoy those of my enemy in virtue of the agreement of peace; or I can destroy the works of my enemy by employing spies and other secret means; or by holding out such inducements as a happy dwelling, rewards, remission of taxes, little work and large profits and wages, I can empty my enemy’s country of its population, with which he has been able to carry his own works; or being allied with a king of considerable power, my enemy will have his own works destroyed; or I can prolong my enemy’s hostility with another king whose threats have driven my enemy to seek my protection; or being allied with me, my enemy can harass the country of another king who hates me; or oppressed by another king, the subjects of my enemy will immigrate into my country, and I can, therefore, achieve the results of my own works very easily; or being in a precarious condition due to the destruction of his works, my enemy will not be so powerful as to attack me; or by exploiting my own resources in alliance with any two (friendly) kings, I can augment my resources; or if a Circle of States is formed by my enemy as one of its members, I can divide them and combine with the others; or by threats or favour, I can catch hold of my enemy, and when he desires to be a member of my own Circle of States, I can make him incur the displeasure of the other members. and fall a victim to their own fury,”–if a king thinks thus, then he may increase his resources by keeping peace.
Or if a king thinks:–
“That as my country is full of born soldiers and of corporations of fighting men, and as it possesses such natural defensive positions as mountains, forests, rivers, and forts with only one entrance, it can easily repel the attack of my enemy; or having taken my stand in my impregnable fortress at the border of my country, I can harass the works of my enemy; or owing to internal troubles and loss of energy, my enemy will early suffer from the destruction of his works; or when my enemy is attacked by another king, I can induce his subjects to immigrate into my country,” then he may augment his own resources by keeping open hostility with such an enemy.
Or if a king thinks:–
“That neither is my enemy strong enough to destroy my works, nor am I his; or if he comes to fight with me, like a dog with a boar, I can increase his afflictions without incurring any loss in my own works,” then he may observe neutrality and augment his own resources.
Or if a king thinks:–
“That by marching my troops it is possible to destroy the works of my enemy; and as for myself, I have made proper arrangements to safeguard my own works,” then he may increase his resources by marching.
Or if a king thinks:–
“That I am strong enough neither to harass my enemy’s works nor to defend my own against my enemy’s attack,” then he shall seek protection from a king of superior power and endeavour to pass from the stage of deterioration to that of stagnancy and from the latter to that of progress.
Or if a king thinks:–
“That by making peace with one, I can work out my own resources, and by waging war with another, I can destroy the works of my enemy,” then he may adopt that double policy and improve his resources.
- Thus, a king in the circle of sovereign state shall, by adopting the six-fold policy, endeavour to pass from the state of deterioration to that of stagnation and from the latter to that of progress.
[Thus ends Chapter I, “The Six-fold Policy and Determination of Deterioration, Stagnation and Progress” in Book VII, “The end of the Six-fold Policy” of the Arthasástra of Kautilya. End of the ninety-ninth chapter from the beginning.]
CHAPTER II. THE NATURE OF ALLIANCE.
WHEN the advantages derivable from peace and war are of equal character, one should prefer peace; for disadvantages, such as the loss of power and wealth, sojourning, and sin, are ever-attending upon war.
The same holds good in the case of neutrality and war. Of the two (forms of policy), double policy and alliance, double policy (i.e., making peace with one and waging war with another) is preferable; for whoever adopts the double policy enriches himself, being ever attentive to his own works, whereas an allied king has to help his ally at his own expense.
One shall make an alliance with a king who is stronger than one’s neighbouring enemy; in the absence of such a king, one should ingratiate oneself with one’s neighbouring enemy, either by supplying money or army or by ceding a part of one’s territory and by keeping oneself aloof; for there can be no greater evil to kings than alliance with a king of considerable power, unless one is actually attacked by one’s enemy.
A powerless king should behave as a conquered king (towards his immediate enemy); but when he finds that the time of his own ascendancy is at hand due to a fatal disease, internal troubles, increase of enemies, or a friend’s calamities that are vexing his enemy, then under the pretence of performing some expiatory rites to avert the danger of his enemy, he may get out (of the enemy’s court); or if he is in his own territory, he should not go to see his suffering enemy; or if he is near to his enemy, he may murder the enemy when opportunity affords itself.
A king who is situated between two powerful kings shall seek protection from the stronger of the two; or from one of them on whom he can rely; or he may make peace with both of them on equal terms. Then he may begin to set one of them against the other by telling each that the other is a tyrant causing utter ruin to himself, and thus cause dissension between them. When they are divided, he may pat down each separately by secret or covert means. Or, throwing himself under the protection of any two immediate kings of considerable power, he may defend himself against an immediate enemy. Or, having made an alliance with a chief in a stronghold, he may adopt double policy (i.e., make peace with one of the two kings, and wage war with another). Or, be may adapt himself to circumstances depending upon the causes of peace and war in order. Or, he may make friendship with traitors, enemies, and wild chiefs who are conspiring against both the kings. Or, pretending to be a close friend of one of them, he may strike the other at the latter’s weak point by employing enemies, and wild tribes. Or, having made friendship with both, he may form a Circle of States. Or, he may make an alliance with the madhyama or the neutral king; and with this help he may put down one of them or both. Or when hurt by both, he may seek protection from a king of righteous character among the madhyama king, the neutral king, and their friends or equals, or from any other king whose subjects are so disposed as to increase his happiness and peace, with whose help he may be able to recover his lost position, with whom his ancestors were in close intimacy, or blood relationship, and in whose kingdom he can find a number of powerful friends.
- Of two powerful kings who are on amicable terms with each other, a king shall make alliance with one of them who likes him and whom he likes; this is the best way of making alliance.
[Thus ends Chapter II, “The Nature of Alliance” in Book VII, “The end of the Six-fold Policy” of the Arthasástra of Kautilya. End of the hundredth chapter from the beginning.]
CHAPTER III. THE CHARACTER OF EQUAL, INFERIOR AND SUPERIOR KINGS; AND FORMS OF AGREEMENT MADE BY AN INFERIOR KING.
A KING desirous of expanding his own power shall make use of the six-fold policy.
Agreements of peace shall be made with equal and superior kings; and an inferior king shall be attacked.
Whoever goes to wage war with a superior king will be reduced to the same condition as that of a foot-soldier opposing an elephant.
Just as the collision of an unbaked mud-vessel with a similar vessel is destructive to both, so war with an equal king brings ruin to both.
Like a stone striking an earthen pot, a superior king attains decisive victory over an inferior king.
If a superior king discards the proposal of an inferior king for peace, the latter should take the attitude of a conquered king, or play the part of an inferior king towards a superior.
When a king of equal power does not like peace, then the same amount of vexation as his opponent has received at his hands should be given to him in return; for it is power that brings about peace between any two kings: no piece of iron that is not made red-hot will combine with another piece of iron.
When an inferior king is all submissive, peace should be made with him; for when provoked by causing him troubles and anger, an inferior king, like a wild fire, will attack his enemy and will also be favoured by (his) Circle of States.
When a king in peace with another finds that greedy, .impoverished, and oppressed as are the subjects of his ally, they do not yet immigrate into his own territory lest they might be called back by their master, then he should, though of inferior power, proclaim war against his ally.
When a king at war with another finds that greedy, impoverished, and oppressed as are the subjects of his enemy, still they do not come to his side in consequence of the troubles of war, then he should, though of superior power, make peace with his enemy or remove the troubles of war as far as possible.
When one of the two kings at war with each other and equally involved in trouble finds his own troubles to be greater than his enemy’s, and thinks that by getting rid of his (enemy’s) trouble his enemy can successful wage war with him, then he should, though possessing greater resources, sue for peace.
When, either in peace or war, a king finds neither loss to his enemy nor gain to himself, he should, though superior, observe neutrality.
When a king finds the troubles of his enemy irremediable, he should, though of inferior power, march against the enemy.
When a king finds himself threatened by imminent dangers or troubles, he should, though superior, seek the protection of another.
When a king is sure to achieve his desired ends by making peace with one and waging war with another, he should, though superior, adopt the double policy.
Thus it is that the six forms of policy are applied together.
As to their special application:–
- When a powerless king finds himself attacked by a powerful king, leading a Circle of States, he should submissively sue for peace on the condition of offering treasure, army, himself or his territory.
- Agreement made on the condition that with a fixed number of troops or with the flower of his army, a king should present himself (when called for), is peace termed átmámisha, ‘offering himself as flesh.’
- Agreement made on the condition that the commander of the army together with the heir-apparent should present himself (when called for), is peace styled purushántarasandhi, ‘peace with hostages other than the king himself’; and it is conducive to self-preservation, as it does not require the personal attendance of the king.
- Agreement made on the condition that the king himself or some one else should march with the army to some place, as required, is peace termed adrishtapurusha, ‘peace with no specified person to serve’; and it is conducive to the safety of the king and the chiefs of his army.
- In the first two forms of the peace, a woman of rank should be given as an hostage, and in the last, a secret attempt should be made to capture the enemy; these are the forms of peace concluded on the condition of supplying his army.
- When, by offering wealth, the rest of the elements of sovereignty are set free, that peace is termed parikraya, ‘price.’
- Similarly, when peace is concluded by offering money capable of being taken on a man’s shoulders, it is termed upagraha, ‘subsidy’; and it is of various forms; Owing to distance and owing to its having been kept long, the amount of the tribute promised may sometimes fall in arrears.
- Yet as such a burden can tolerably be paid in future, this peace is better than the one with a woman given as an hostage. When the parties making an agreement of peace are amicably united, it is termed suvarnasandhi, ‘golden peace.’
- Quite reverse from the former is the peace called kapála, ‘half of a pot,’ which is concluded on the condition of paying immense quantity of money.
- In the first two, one should send the supply of raw materials, elephants, horses and troops; in the third, money; and in the fourth, one should evade the payment under the plea of loss of results from works; these are the forms of peace concluded on the payment of money.
- When by ceding a part of the territory, the rest of the kingdom with its subjects are kept safe, it is termed ádishta, ‘ceded,’ and is of advantage to one who is desirous of destroying thieves and other wicked persons (infesting the ceded part).
- When with the exception of the capital, the whole of the territory, impoverished by exploitation of its resources is ceded, it is termed uchchhinnasandhi, ‘peace cut off from profit,’ and is of advantage to one who desires to involve the enemy in troubles.
- When by the stipulation of paying the produce of the land, the kingdom is set free, it is termed avakraya, ‘rent.’ That which is concluded by the promise of paying more than the land yields is paribhúshana, ‘ornament.’
- One should prefer the first; but the last two based upon the payment of the produce should be made only when one is obliged to submit to power. These are the forms of peace made by ceding territory.
- These three kinds of peace are to be concluded by an inferior king in submission to the power of a superior king owing to the peculiar condition of his own works, circumstances and time.
[Thus ends Chapter III, “The Character of Equal, Inferior, and Superior Kings; and Forms of Agreement made by an Inferior King” in Book VII, “The end of the Six-fold Policy” of the Arthasástra of Kautilya. End of the hundred and first chapter from the beginning.]
CHAPTER IV. NEUTRALITY AFTER PROCLAIMING WAR OR AFTER CONCLUDING A TREATY OF PEACE; MARCHING AFTER PROCLAIMING WAR OR AFTER MAKING PEACE; AND THE MARCH OF COMBINED POWERS.
NEUTRALITY or marching after proclaiming war or peace has been explained.
Sthána (keeping quiet), ásana (withdrawal from hostility), and upekshana (negligence) are synonymous with the word ‘ásana,’ ‘neutrality.’ As to the difference between three aspects of neutrality :—Keeping quiet, maintaining a particular kind of policy is sthána; withdrawal from hostile actions for the sake of one’s own interests is ásana; and taking no steps (against an enemy) is upekshana.
When two kings, who, though bent on making conquests, are desirous of peace, are unable to proceed, one against the other, they may keep quiet after proclaiming war or after making peace.
When a king finds it possible to put down by means of his own army, or with the help of a friend, or of wild tribes, another king of equal or superior power, then having set up proper defences against both internal and external enemies, he may keep quiet after proclaiming war.
When a king is convinced that his own subjects are brave, united, prosperous, and able not only to carry on their own works without interference, but also to harass his enemy’s works, then he may keep quiet after proclaiming war.
When a king finds that as his enemy’s subjects are ill-treated, impoverished and greedy and are ever being oppressed by the inroads of the army, thieves, and wild tribes, they can be made through intrigue to join his side; or that his own agriculture and commerce are flourishing while those of his enemy are waning; or that as the subjects of his enemy are suffering from famine, they will immigrate into his own territory; or that, though his own returns of agriculture and commerce are falling and those of his enemy increasing, his own subjects will never desert him in favour of his enemy; or that by proclaiming war, he can carry off, by force, the grains, cattle and gold of his enemy; or that he can prevent the import of his enemy’s merchandise, which was destructive of his own commerce; or that valuable merchandise would come to his own territory, leaving that of his enemy; or that war being proclaimed, his enemy would be unable to put down traitors, enemies, and wild tribes and other rebels, and would be involved in war with them; or that his own friend would in a very short time accumulate wealth without much loss and would not fail to follow him in his march, since no friend would neglect the opportunity of acquiring a fertile land and a prosperous friend like himself,–then in view of inflicting injuries on his enemy and of exhibiting his own power, he may keep quiet after proclaiming war.
But my teacher says that turning against such a king, his enemy may swallow him.
‘Not so,’ says Kautilya, ‘impoverishment of the enemy who is free from troubles is all that is aimed at (when a king keeps quiet after proclaiming war). As soon as such a king acquires sufficient strength, he will undertake to destroy the enemy. To such a king, the enemy’s enemy will send help to secure his own personal safety.’ Hence, whoever is provided with necessary strength may keep quiet after proclaiming war.
When the policy of keeping quiet after proclaiming war is found productive of unfavourable results, then one shall keep quiet after making peace.
Whoever has grown in strength in consequence of keeping quiet after proclaiming war should proceed to attack his enemy.
When a king finds that his enemy has fallen into troubles; that the troubles of his enemy’s subjects can by no means be remedied; that as his enemy’s subjects are oppressed, ill-treated, disaffected, impoverished, become effiminate and disunited among themselves, they can be prevailed upon to desert their master; that his enemy’s country has fallen a victim to the inroads of such calamities, as fire, floods, pestilence epidemics (maraka), and famine and is therefore losing the flower of its youth and its defensive power,–then he should march after proclaiming war.
When a king is so fortunate as to have a powerful friend in front and a powerful ally (ákranda) in the rear, both with brave and loyal subjects, while the reverse is the case with he enemies both in front and in the rear, and when he finds it possible for his friend to hold his frontal enemy in check, and for his rear-ally to keep his rear-enemy (párshnigráha) at bay, then he may march after proclaiming war against his frontal enemy.
When a king finds it possible to achieve the results of victory single-handed in a very short time, then he may march (against his frontal enemy) after proclaiming war against his rear-enemies; otherwise he should march after making peace (with his rear-enemies).
When a king finds himself unable to confront his enemy single-handed and when it is necessary that he should march, then he should make the expedition in combination with kings of inferior, equal, or superior powers.
When the object aimed at is of a definite nature, then the share of spoils should be fixed; but when it is of a manifold or complex nature, then with no fixity in the share of the spoils. When no such combination is possible, he may request a king either to supply him with the army for a fixed share, or to accompany him for an equal share of the spoils.
When profit is certain, then they should march with fixed shares of profit; but when it is uncertain, with no fixity of shares.
- Share of profit proportional to the strength of the army is of the first kind; that which is equal to the effort made is the best; shares may be allotted in proportion to the profit earned or to the capital invested.
[Thus ends Chapter IV, “Neutrality after Proclaiming War or after Concluding a Treaty of Peace; Marching after Proclaiming War or after Making Peace; and the March of Combined Powers,” in Book VII, “The end of the Six-fold Policy” of the Arthasástra of Kautilya. End of the hundred and second chapter from the beginning.]
CHAPTER V. CONSIDERATIONS ABOUT MARCHING AGAINST AN ASSAILABLE ENEMY AND A STRONG ENEMY; CAUSES LEADING TO THE DWINDLING, GREED, AND DISLOYALTY OF THE ARMY; AND CONSIDERATIONS ABOUT THE COMBINATION OF POWERS.
WHEN two enemies, one an assailable enemy and another a strong enemy, are equally involved in troubles, which of them is to be marched against first?
The strong enemy is to be marched against first; after vanquishing him, the assailable enemy is to be attacked, for, when a strong enemy has been vanquished, an assailable enemy will volunteer of his own accord to help the conqueror; but not so, a strong enemy.
Which is to be marched against—an assailable enemy involved in troubles to a greater degree or a strong enemy troubled to a lesser degree?
My teacher says that as a matter of easy conquest, the assailable enemy under worse troubles should be marched against first.
Not so, says Kautilya: The conqueror should march against the strong enemy under less troubles, for the troubles of the strong enemy, though less, will be augmented when attacked. True, that the worse troubles of the assailable enemy will be still worse when attacked. But when left to himself, the strong enemy under less troubles will endeavour to get rid of his troubles and unite with the assailable enemy or with another enemy in the rear of the conqueror.
When there are two assailable enemies, one of virtuous character and under worse troubles, and another of vicious character, under less troubles, and with disloyal subjects, which of them is to be marched against first?
When the enemy of virtuous character and under worse troubles is attacked, his subjects will help him; whereas, the subjects of the other of vicious character and under less troubles will be indifferent. Disloyal or indifferent subjects will endeavour to destroy even a strong king. Hence the conqueror should march against that enemy whose subjects are disloyal.
Which is to be marched against–an enemy whose subjects are impoverished and greedy or an enemy whose subjects are being oppressed?
My teacher says that the conqueror should march against that enemy whose subjects are impoverished and greedy, for impoverished and greedy subjects suffer themselves to be won over to the other side by intrigue, and are easily excited. But not so the oppressed subjects whose wrath can be pacified by punishing the chief men (of the State).
Not so, says Kautilya: for though impoverished and greedy, they are loyal to their master and are ready to stand for his cause and to defeat any intrigue against him; for it is in loyalty that all other good qualities have their strength. Hence the conqueror should march against the enemy whose subjects are oppressed.
Which enemy is to be marched against–a powerful enemy of wicked character or a powerless enemy of righteous character?
The strong enemy of wicked character should be marched against, for when he is attacked, his subjects will not help him, but rather put him down or go to the side of the conqueror. But when the enemy of virtuous character is attacked, his subjects will help him or die with him.
- By insulting the good and commending the wicked; by causing unnatural and unrighteous slaughter of life;
- by neglecting the observance of proper and righteous customs; by doing unrighteous acts and neglecting righteous ones;
- by doing what ought not to be done and not doing what ought to be done; by not paying what ought to be paid and exacting what ought not to be taken;
- by not punishing the guilty and severely punishing the less guilty; by arresting those who are not to be caught hold of and leaving those who are to be arrested;
- by undertaking risky works and destroying profitable ones; by not protecting the people against thieves and by robbing them of their wealth;
- by giving up manly enterprise and condemning good works; by hurting the leaders of the people and despising the worthy;
- by provoking the aged, by crooked conduct, and by untruthfulness; by not applying remedies against evils and neglecting works in hand;
- and by carelessness and negligence of himself in maintaining the security of person and property of his subjects, the king causes impoverishment, greed, and disaffection to appear among his subjects;
- when a people are impoverished, they become greedy; when they are greedy, they become disaffected; when disaffected, they voluntarily go to the side of the enemy or destroy their own master.
Hence, no king should give room to such causes as would bring about impoverishment, greed or disaffection among his people. If, however, they appear, he should at once take remedial measures against them.
Which (of the three) is the worst–an impoverished people? greedy people? or disaffected people?
An impoverished people are ever apprehensive of oppression and destruction (by over-taxation, etc.), and are therefore desirous of getting rid of their impoverishment, or of waging war or of migrating elsewhere.
A greedy people are ever discontented and they yield themselves to the intrigues of an enemy.
A disaffected people rise against their master along with his enemy.
When the dwindling of the people is due to want of gold and grain, it is a calamity fraught with danger to the whole of the kingdom and can be remedied with difficulty. The dearth of efficient men can be made up by means of gold and grain. Greed (is) partial and is found among a few chief officers, and it can be got rid of or satisfied by allowing them to plunder an enemy’s wealth. Disaffection or disloyalty (virága) can be got rid of by putting down the leaders; for in the absence of a leader or leaders, the people are easily governed (bhogya) and they will not take part in the intrigues of enemies. When a people are too nervous to endure the calamities, they first become dispersed, when their leaders are put down; and when they are kept under restraint, they endure calamities.
Having well considered the causes which bring about peace or war, one should combine with kings of considerable power and righteous character and march against one’s enemy.
‘A king of considerable power,’ means one who is strong enough to put down or capture an enemy in the rear of his friend or to give sufficient help to his friend in his march.
‘A king of righteous character,’ means one who does what one has promised to do, irrespective of good or bad results.
Having combined with one of superior power, or with two of equal power among such kings, should the conqueror march against his enemy?
It is better to march combined with two kings of equal power; for, if combined with a king of superior power, the ally appears to move, caught hold of, by his superior, whereas in marching with two kings of equal power, the same will be the result, only, when those two kings are experts in the art of intrigue; besides it is easy to separate them; and when one of them is wicked, he can be put down by the other two and made to suffer the consequence of dissension.
Combined with one of equal power or with two of lesser power, should a king march against his enemy?
Better to march with two kings of lesser power; for the conqueror can depute them to carry out any two different works and keep them under his control. When the desired end is achieved, the inferior king will quietly retire after the satisfaction of his superior.
- Till his discharge, the good conduct of an ally of usually bad character should be closely scrutinised either by suddenly coming out at a critical time from a covert position (sattra) to examine his conduct, or by having his wife as a pledge for his good conduct.
- Though actuated with feelings of true friendship, the conqueror has reason to fear his ally, though of equal power, when the latter attains success in his mission; having succeeded in his mission, an ally of equal power is likely to change his attitude even towards the conqueror of superior power.
- An ally of superior power should not be relied upon, for prosperity changes the mind. Even with little or no share in the spoils, an ally of superior power may go back, appearing contented; but some time afterwards, he may not fail to sit on the lap of the conqueror and carry off twice the amount of share due to him.
- Having been satisfied with mere victory, the leading conqueror should discharge his allies, having satisfied them with their shares he may allow himself to be conquered by them instead of attempting to conquer them (in the matter of spoils); it is thus that a king can win the good graces of his Circle of States.
[Thus ends Chapter V, “Considerations about Marching against an Assailable Enemy and a Strong Enemy; Causes Leading to the Dwindling, Greed, and Disloyalty of the Army; and Considerations about the Combination of Powers” in Book VII, “The end of the Six-fold Policy” of the Arthasástra of Kautilya. End of the hundred and third chapter from the beginning.]
CHAPTER VI. THE MARCH OF COMBINED POWERS; AGREEMENT OF PEACE WITH OR WITHOUT DEFINITE TERMS; AND PEACE WITH RENEGADES.
THE Conqueror should thus over-reach the second element, (the enemy close to his territory):–He should engage his neighbouring enemy to undertake a simultaneous march with him and tell the enemy: “Thou, march in that direction, and I shall march in this direction; and the share in the spoils is equal.”
If the booty is to be equally divided, it is an agreement of peace; if otherwise, it is overpowering the enemy.
An agreement of peace may be made with promise to carry out a definite work (paripanita) or with no such promise (aparipanita).
When the agreement is to the effect that “Thou, march to that place, and I shall march to this place,” it is termed an agreement of peace to carry out a work in definite locality.
When it is agreed upon that “Thou, be engaged so long, I shall be engaged thus long,” it is an agreement to attain an object in a fixed time.
When it is agreed upon that “Thou, try to accomplish that work, and I shall try to finish this work,” it is an agreement to achieve a definite end.
When the conqueror thinks that “my enemy (now an ally) has to march through an unknown country, which is intersected with mountains, forests, rivers, forts and deserts which is devoid of food-stuffs, people, pastoral grounds, fodder, firewood and water, and which is far away, different from other countries, and not affording suitable grounds for the exercise of his army; and I have to traverse a country of quite the reverse description,” then he should make an agreement to carry out a work in a definite locality.
When the conqueror thinks that “my enemy has to work with food stuffs falling short and with no comfort during the rainy, hot or cold season, giving rise to various kinds of diseases and obstructing the free exercise of his army during a shorter or longer period of time than necessary for the accomplishment of the work in hand; and I have to work during a time of quite the reverse nature,” then he should make time a factor of the agreement.
When the conqueror thinks that “my enemy has to accomplish a work which, not lasting but trifling in its nature, enrages his subjects, which requires much expenditure of time and money, and which is productive of evil consequences, unrighteous, repugnant to the Madhyama and neutral kings, and destructive of all friendship; whereas, I have to do the reverse,” then he should make an agreement to carry out a definite work.
Likewise with space and time, with time and work, with space and work, and with space, time, and work, made as terms of an agreement, it resolves itself into seven forms.
Long before making such an agreement, the conqueror has to fix his own work and then attempt to overreach his enemy.
When, in order to destroy an enemy who has fallen into troubles and who is hasty, indolent, and not foresighted, an agreement of peace with no terms of time, space, or work is made with an enemy merely for mutual peace, and when under cover of such an agreement, the enemy is caught hold of at his weak points and is struck, it is termed peace with no definite terms (aparipanita). With regard to this there is a saying as follows:–
“Having kept a neighbouring enemy engaged with another neighbouring enemy, a wise king should proceed against a third king, and having conquered that enemy of equal power, take possession of his territory.”
Peace with no specific end (akritachikírshá), peace with binding terms (kritasleshana), the breaking of peace (kritavidúshana), and restoration of peace broken (apasírnakriyá) are other forms of peace.
Open battle, treacherous battle, and silent battle (i.e. killing an enemy by employing spies when there is no talk of battle at all), are the three forms of battle.
When, by making use of conciliation and other forms of stratagem and the like, a new agreement of peace is made and the rights of equal, inferior, and superior powers concerned in the agreement are defined according to their respective positions, it is termed an agreement of peace with no specific end (other than self-preservation).
When, by the employment of friends (at the Courts of each other), the agreement of peace made is kept secure and the terms are invariably observed and strictly maintained so that no dissension may creep among the parties, it is termed peace with binding terms.
When, having proved through the agency of traitors and spies the treachery of a king, who has made an agreement of peace, the agreement is broken, it is termed the breaking of peace.
When reconciliation is made with a servant, or a friend, or any other renegade, it is termed the restoration of broken peace.
There are four persons who run away from, and return to, their master : one who had reason to run away and to return; one who had no reason either to run away or to return; one who had reason to run away, but none to return; and one who had no reason to run away, but had reason to come back.
He who runs away owing to his master’s fault and returns in consideration of (his master’s) good nature, or he who runs away attracted by the good nature of his master’s enemy and returns finding fault with the enemy is to be reconciled as he had reason to run away and to return.
Whoever runs away owing to his own fault and returns without minding the good nature either of his old or new master is a fickle-minded person having no explanation to account for his conduct, and he should have no terms of reconciliation.
Whoever runs away owing to his master’s fault and returns owing to his own defects, is a renegade who had reason to run away, but none to return: and his case is to be well considered (before he is taken back).
Whoever returns deputed by the enemy; or of his own accord, with the intention of hurting his old master, as is natural to persons of such bad character; or coming to know that his old master is attempting to put down the enemy, his new master, and apprehensive of danger to himself; or looking on the attempt of his new master to destroy his old master as cruelty, these should be examined; and if he is found to be actuated with good motives, he is to be taken back respectfully; otherwise, he should be kept at a distance.
Whoever runs away owing to his own fault and returns owing to his new master’s wickedness is a renegade who had no reason to run away, but had reason to come back; such a person is to be examined.
When a king thinks that “This renegade supplies me with full information about my enemy’s weakness, and, therefore, he deserves to remain here; his own people with me are in friendship with my friends and at enmity with my enemies and are easily excited at the sight of greedy and cruel persons or of a band of enemies,” he may treat such a renegade as deserved.
My teacher says that whoever has failed to achieve profit from his works, lost his strength, or made his learning a commercial article, or is very greedy, inquisitive to see different countries, dead to the feelings of friendship, or has strong enemies, deserves to be abandoned.
But Kautilya says that it is timidity, unprofessional business, and lack of forbearance (to do so). Whoever is injurious to the king’s interests should be abandoned, while he who is injurious to the interests of the enemy should be reconciled; and whoever is injurious to the interests of both the king and his enemy should be carefully examined.
When it is necessary to make peace with a king with whom no peace ought to be made, defensive measures should be taken against that point where he can show his power.
- In restoring broken peace, a renegade or a person inclined towards the enemy should be kept at such a distance that till the close of his life, he may be useful to the State.
- Or, he may be set against the enemy or may be employed as a captain of an army to guard wild tracts against enemies, or thrown somewhere on the boundary.
- Or, he may be employed to carry on a secret trade in new or old commodities in foreign countries and may accordingly be accused of conspiracy with the enemy.
- Or, in the interests of future peace, a renegade who must be put to death may at once be destroyed.
- That kind of wicked character which has from the beginning grown upon a man owing to his association with enemies is as ever fraught with danger as constant living in company with a snake;
- and is ever threatening with destruction just as a pigeon living on the seeds of plaksha (holy fig-tree) is to the salmali (silk-cotton) tree.
- When battle is fought in daylight and in some locality, it is termed an open battle; threatening in one direction, assault in another, destruction of an enemy captured while he was careless or in troubles;
- and bribing a portion of the army and destroying another portion, are forms of treacherous fight; and attempt to win over the chief officers of the enemy by intrigue, is the characteristic of silent battle.
[Thus ends Chapter VI, “The March of Combined Powers; Agreement of Peace with or without Definite Terms; and Peace with Renegades,” in Book VII, “The end of the Six-fold Policy” of the Arthasástra of Kautilya. End of the hundred and fourth chapter from the beginning.]
CHAPTER VII. PEACE AND WAR BY ADOPTING THE DOUBLE POLICY.
THE conqueror may overpower the second member (i.e., the immediate enemy) thus:–
Having combined with a neighbouring king, the conqueror may march against another neighbouring king. Or if he thinks that “(my enemy) will neither capture my rear nor make an alliance with my assailable enemy against whom I am going to march; (for otherwise) I shall have to fight against great odds; (my ally) will not only facilitate the collection of my revenue and supplies and put down the internal enemies who are causing me immense trouble, but also punish wild tribes and their followers entrenched in their strongholds, reduce my assailable enemy to a precarious condition or compel him to accept the proffered peace, and having received as much profit as he desires, he will endeavour to endear my other enemies to me,” then the conqueror may proclaim war against one and make peace with another and endeavour to get an army for money or money for the supply of an army from among his neighbouring kings.
When the kings of superior, equal or inferior power make peace with the conqueror and agree to pay a greater, or equal, or less amount of profit in proportion to the army supplied, it is termed even peace; that which is of the reverse character is styled uneven peace; and when the profit is proportionally very high, it is termed deception (atisandhi).
When a king of superior power is involved in troubles, or is come to grief or is afflicted with misfortune, his enemy, though of inferior power, may request of him the help of his army in return for a share in the profit proportional to the strength of the army supplied. If the king to whom peace is offered on such terms is powerful enough to retaliate, he may declare war; and otherwise he may accept the terms.
In view of marching for the purpose of exacting some expected revenue to be utilised in recouping his own strength and resources, an inferior king may request of a superior the help of the latter’s army for the purpose of guarding the base and the rear of his territory in return for the payment of a greater share in the profit than the strength of the arm supplied deserves. The king to whom such a proposal is made may accept the proposal, if the proposer is of good intentions; but otherwise he may declare war.
When a king of inferior power or one who is provided with the aid of forts and friends has to make a short march in order to capture an enemy without waging war or to receive some expected profit, he may request a third king of superior power involved under various troubles and misfortunes the help of the latter’s army in return for the payment of a share in the profit less than the strength of the army supplied deserves. If the king to whom this proposal is made is powerful enough to retaliate, he may declare war; but otherwise he may accept the proposal.
When a king of superior power and free from all troubles is desirous of causing to his enemy loss of men an money in the latter’s ill-considered undertakings, or of sending his own treacherous army abroad, or bringing his enemy under the clutches of an inimical army, or of causing trouble to a reducible and tottering enemy by setting a inferior king against that enemy, or is desirous of having peace for the sake of peace itself and is possessed of good intentions, he may accept a less share in the profit (promise for the army supplied to another) and endeavour to make wealth by combining with an ally if the latter is equally of good intentions; but otherwise he may declare war (against that ally).
A king may deceive or help his equal as follows:–
When a king proposes peace to another king of equal power on the condition of receiving the help of the latter army strong enough to oppose an enemy’s army, or to guard the front, centre, and rear of his territory, or to help his friend, or to protect any other wild tracts of his territory in return for the payment of a share in the profit proportionally equal to the strength of the army supplied, the latter may accept the terms if the proposer is of good intentions; but otherwise he may declare war.
When a king of equal power, capable of receiving the help of an army from another quarter requests of another king in troubles due to the diminished strength of the elements of sovereignty, and with many enemies, the help of the latter’s army in return for the payment of a share in the profit less than the strength of the army supplied deserves, the latter, if powerful, may declare war or accept the terms otherwise.
When a king who is under troubles, who has his works at the mercy of his neighbouring kings, and who has yet to make an army, requests of another king of equal power the help of the latter’s army in return for the payment of a share in the profit greater than the strength of the army supplied deserves, the latter may accept the terms if the proposer is of good intentions: but otherwise war may be declared.
When, with the desire of putting down a king in troubles due to the diminished strength of the elements of sovereignty, or with the desire of destroying his well-begun work of immense and unfailing profit, or with the intention of striking him in his own place or on the occasion of marching, one, though frequently getting immense (subsidy) from an assailable enemy of equal, inferior, or superior power, sends demands to him again and again, then he may comply with the demands of the former if he is desirous of maintaining his own power by destroying with the army of the former an impregnable fortress of an enemy or a friend of that enemy or laying waste the wild tracts of that enemy, or if he is desirous of exposing the army of the ally to wear and tear even in good roads and good seasons, or if he is desirous of strengthening his own army with that of his ally and thereby putting down the ally or winning over the army of the ally.
When a king is desirous of keeping under his power another king of superior or inferior power as an assailable enemy and of destroying the latter after routing out another enemy with the help of the latter, or when he is desirous of getting back whatever he has paid (as subsidy), he may send a proposal of peace to another on the condition of paying more than the cost of the army supplied. If the king to whom this proposal is made is powerful enough to retaliate he may declare war; or if otherwise, he may accept the terms; or he may keep quiet allied with the assailable enemy; or he may supply the proposer of peace with his army full of traitors, enemies and wild tribes.
When a king of superior power falls into troubles owing to the weakness of the elements of his sovereignty, and requests of an inferior king the help of the latter’s army in return for the payment of a share in the profit proportionally equal to the strength of the army supplied, the latter, if powerful enough to retaliate, may declare war and if otherwise, accept the terms.
A king of superior power may request of an inferior the help of the latter’s army in return for the payment of a share in the profit less than the cost of the army supplied; and the latter, if powerful enough to retaliate, may declare war, or accept the terms otherwise.
- The king who is sued for peace and also the king who offers peace should both consider the motive with which the proposal of peace is made, and adopt that course of action which on consideration seems to be productive of good results.
[Thus ends Chapter VII “Peace and War by Adopting the Double Policy” in Book VII, “The end of the Six-fold Policy” of the Arthasástra of Kautilya. End of the hundred and fifth chapter from the beginning.]
CHAPTER VIII. THE ATTITUDE OF AN ASSAILABLE ENEMY; AND FRIENDS THAT DESERVE HELP.
WHEN an assailable enemy who is in danger of being attacked is desirous of taking upon himself the condition which led one king to combine with another against himself, or of splitting them from each other, he may propose peace to one of the kings on the condition of himself paying twice the amount of profit accruing from the combination. The agreement having been made, he may describe to that king the loss of men and money, the hardships of sojourning abroad, the commission of sinful deeds, and the misery and other personal troubles to which that king would have been subjected. When the king is convinced of the truth, the amount promised may be paid; or having made that king to incur enmity with other kings, the agreement itself may be broken off.
When a king is inclined to cause to another, loss of men and money in the ill-considered undertakings of the latter or to frustrate the latter in the attempt of achieving large profits from well-begun undertakings; or when he means to strike another at his (another’s) own place or while marching; or when he intends to exact subsidy again in combination with the latter’s assailable enemy; or when he is in need of money and does not like to trust to his ally, he may, for the time being, be satisfied with a small amount of profit.
When a king has in view the necessity of helping a friend or of destroying an enemy, or the possibility of acquiring much wealth (in return for the present help) or when he intends to utilize in future the services of the one now obliged by him, he may reject the offer of large profit at the present in preference of a small gain in future.
When a king means to help another from the clutches of traitors or enemies or of a superior king threatening the very existence of the latter, and intends thereby to set an example of rendering similar help to himself in future, he should receive no profit either at the present or in the future.
When a king means to harass the people of an enemy or to break the agreement of peace between a friend and a foe, or when he suspects of another’s attack upon himself, and when owing to any of these causes, he wants to break peace with his ally, he may demand from the latter an enhanced amount of profit long before it is due. The latter under these circumstances may demand for a procedure (krama) either at the present or in the future. The same procedure explains the cases treated of before.
The conqueror and his enemy helping their respective friends differ according as their friends are such or are not such as undertake possible, praiseworthy or productive works and as are resolute in their undertakings and are provided with loyal and devoted subjects.
Whoever undertakes tolerable work is a beginner possible work: whoever undertakes an unblemished work is a beginner of praiseworthy work; whoever undertakes work of large profits is a beginner of a productive work; whoever takes no rest before the completion of the work undertaken is a resolute worker; and whoever has loyal and devoted subjects is in a position to command help and to bring to a successful termination any work without losing anything in the form of favour. When such friends are gratified by the enemy or the conqueror, they can be of immense help to him; friends of reverse character should never be helped.
Of the two, the conqueror and his enemy, both of whom may happen to have a friend in the same person, he who helps a true or a truer friend overreaches the other; for, by helping a true friend, he enriches himself, while the other not only incurs loss of men and money and the hardships of sojourning abroad, but also showers benefits on an enemy who hates the benefactor all the more for his gratification.
Whoever of the two, the conqueror and his enemy, who may happen to have a friend in the same Madhyama king, helps a Madhyama king of true or truer friendship overreaches the other; for, by helping a true friend, he enriches himself, while the other incurs loss of men and money and the difficulties of sojourning abroad. When a Madhyama king thus helped is devoid of good qualities, then the enemy overreaches the conqueror: for, such a Madhyama king, spending his energies on useless undertakings and receiving help with no idea of returning it, withdraws himself away.
The same thing holds good with a neutral king under similar circumstances.
In case of helping with a portion of the army one of the two, a Madhyama or a neutral king, whoever happens to help one who is brave, skillful in handling weapons, and possessed of endurance and friendly feelings will himself be deceived while his enemy, helping one of reverse character, will overreach him.
When a king achieves this or that object with the assistance of a friend who is to receive the help of his army in return later on, then he may send out of his various kinds of army–such as hereditary army, hired army, army formed of corporations of people, his friend’s army and the army composed of wild tribes–either that kind of army which has the experience of all sorts of grounds and of seasons or the army of enemies or of wild tribes, which is far removed in space and time.
When a king thinks that, “Though successful, my ally may cause my army to move in an enemy’s territory or in wild tracts, and during unfavourable seasons and thereby he may render it useless to me,” then under the excuse of having to employ his army otherwise, he may help his ally in any other way; but when he is obliged to lend his army, he may send that kind of his army, which is used to the weather of the time of operation, under the condition of employing it till the completion of the work, and of protecting it from dangers. When the ally has finished his work, he should, under some excuse, try to get back his army or he may send to his ally that army which is composed of traitors, enemies, and wild tribes; or having made peace with the ally’s assailable enemy, he may deceive the ally.
- When the profit accruing to kings under an agreement, whether they be of equal, inferior, or superior power, is equal to all, that agreement is termed peace (sandhi); when unequal, it is termed defeat (vikrama). Such is the nature of peace and war.
[Thus ends Chapter VIII, “The Attitude of an Assailable Enemy; and Friends that Deserve Help,” in Book VII, “The end of the Six-fold Policy” of the Arthasástra of Kautilya. End of the hundred and sixth chapter from the beginning.]
CHAPTER IX. AGREEMENT FOR THE ACQUISITION OF A FRIEND OR GOLD.
OF the three gains, the acquisition of a friend, of gold, and of territory, accruing from the march of combined powers, that which is mentioned later is better than the one previously mentioned; for friends and gold can be acquired by means of territory; of the two gains, that of a friend and of gold, each can be a means to acquire the other.
Agreement under the condition, “let us acquire a friend, etc.,” is termed even peace; when one acquires a friend and the other makes an enemy, etc., it is termed uneven peace; and when one gains more than the other, it is deception.
In an even peace (i.e., agreement on equal terms) whoever acquires a friend of good character or relieves an old friend from troubles, overreaches the other; for help given in misfortune renders friendship very firm.
Which is better of the two: a friend of long-standing, but unsubmissive nature, or a temporary friend of submissive nature, both being acquired by affording relief from their respective troubles?
My teacher says that a long-standing friend of unsubmissive nature is better inasmuch as such a friend, though not helpful, will not create harm.
Not so, says Kautilya: a temporary friend of submissive nature is better; for such a friend will be a true friend so long as he is helpful; for the real characteristic of friendship lies in giving help.
Which is the better of two submissive friends: a temporary friend of large prospects, or a longstanding friend of limited prospects?
My teacher says that a temporary friend of large prospects is better inasmuch as such a friend can, in virtue of his large prospects, render immense service in a very short time, and can stand undertakings of large outlay.
Not so, says Kautilya: a long-standing friend of limited prospects is better, inasmuch as a temporary friend of large prospects is likely to withdraw his friendship on account of material loss in the shape of help given, or is likely to expect similar kind of help in return; but a long-standing friend of limited prospects can, in virtue of his long-standing nature, render immense service in the long run.
Which is better, a big friend, difficult to be roused, or a small friend, easy to be roused?
My teacher says that a big friend, though difficult to be roused, is of imposing nature, and when he rises up, he can accomplish the work undertaken.
Not so, says Kautilya: a small friend easy to be roused is better, for such a friend will not, in virtue of his ready preparations, be behind the opportune moment of work, and can, in virtue of his weakness in power, be used in any way the conqueror may like; but not so the other of vast territorial power.
Which is better, scattered troops, or an unsubmissive standing army?
My teacher says that scattered troops can be collected in time as they are of submissive nature.
Not so, says Kautilya: an unsubmissive standing army is better as it can be made submissive by conciliation and other strategic means; but it is not so easy to collect in time scattered troops as they are engaged in their individual avocations.
Which is better, a friend of vast population, or a friend of immense gold?
My teacher says that a friend of vast population is better inasmuch as such a friend will be of imposing power and can, when he rises up, accomplish any work undertaken.
Not so, says Kautilya: a friend possessing immense gold is better; for possession of gold is ever desirable; but an army is not always required. Moreover armies and other desired objects can be purchased for gold.
Which is better, a friend possessing gold, or a friend possessing vast territory?
My teacher says that a friend possessing gold can stand any heavy expenditure made with discretion.
Not so, says Kautilya: for it has already been stated that both friends and gold can be acquired by means of territory. Hence a friend of vast territory is far better.
When the friend of the conqueror and his enemy happen to possess equal population, their people may yet differ in possession of qualities such as bravery, power of endurance, amicableness, and qualification for the formation of any kind of army.
When the friends are equally rich in gold, they may yet differ in qualities such as readiness to comply with requests, magnanimous and munificent help, and accessibility at any time and always.
About this topic, the following sayings are current:–
- Long standing, submissive, easy to be roused, coming from fathers and grandfathers, powerful, and never of a contradictory nature, is a good friend; and these are said to be the six qualities of a good friend;
- that friend who maintains friendship with disinterested motives and merely for the sake of friendship and by whom the relationship acquired of old is kept intact, is a long-standing friend;
- that friend whose munificence is enjoyable in various ways is a submissive friend, and is said to be of three forms:–One who is enjoyable only by one, one who is enjoyable by two (the enemy and the conqueror), and one who is enjoyable by all, is the third;
- that friend who, whether as receiving help or as giving help, lives with an oppressive hand over his enemies, and who possesses a number of forts and a vast army of wild tribes is said to be a long-standing friend of unsubmissive nature;
- that friend who, either when attacked or when in trouble, makes friendship for the security of his own existence is temporary and submissive friend;
- that friend who contracts friendship with a single aim in view and who is helpful, immutable, and amicable is a friend never falling foul even in adversity;
- whoever is of an amicable nature is a true friend; whoever sides also with the enemy is a mutable friend and whoever is indifferent to neither (the conqueror and his enemy) is a friend to both;
- that friend who is inimical to the conqueror or who is equally friendly to the conquerors enemy is a harmful friend, whether he is giving help or is capable of helping;
- whoever helps the enemy’s friend, protege, or any vulnerable person or a relation of the enemy is a friend common to (both) the enemy (and the conqueror);
- whoever possesses extensive and fertile territory and is contented, strong, but indolent, will be indifferent (towards his ally) when the latter becomes despicable under troubles;
- whoever, owing to his own weakness, follows the ascendancy of both the conqueror and his enemy, not incurring enmity with either, is known as a common friend;
- whoever neglects a friend who is being hurt with or without reason and who seeks help with or without reason despises his own danger.
Which is better, an immediate small gain, or a distant large gain?
My teacher says that an immediate small gain is better, as it is useful to carry out immediate undertakings.
Not so, says Kautilya: a large gain, as continuous as a productive seed, is better; otherwise an immediate small gain.
- Thus, having taken into consideration the good aspects of a permanent gain or of a share in a permanent gain, should a king, desirous of strengthening himself, march combined with others.
[Thus ends Chapter IX, “Agreement for the Acquisition of a Friend or Gold” in the section of “Agreement for the Acquisition of a Friend, Gold, or Land and Agreement for Undertaking a Work,” in Book VII, “The end of the Six-fold Policy” of the Arthasástra of Kautilya. End of the hundred and seventh chapter from the beginning.]
CHAPTER X. AGREEMENT OF PEACE FOR THE ACQUISITION OF LAND.
THE agreement made under the condition, “Let us acquire land,” is an agreement of peace for the acquisition of land.
Of the two kings thus entering into an agreement whoever acquires a rich and fertile land withstanding crops overreaches the other.
The acquisition of rich land being equal, whoever acquires such land by putting down a powerful enemy overreaches the other; for not only does he acquire territory, but also destroys an enemy and thereby augments his own power. True, there is beauty in acquiring land by putting down a weak enemy; but the land acquired will also be poor, and the king in the neighbourhood who has hitherto been a friend, will now become an enemy.
The enemies being equally strong, he who acquires territory after beating a fortified enemy overreaches the other; for the capture of a fort is conducive to the protection of territory and to the destruction of wild tribes.
As to the acquisition of land from a wandering enemy, there is the difference of having a powerful or powerless enemy close to the acquired territory; for the land which is close to a powerless enemy is easily maintained while that bordering upon the territory of a powerful enemy has to be kept at the expense of men and money.
Which is better, the acquisition of a rich land close to a constant enemy, or that of sterile land near to a temporary enemy?
My teacher say that a rich land with a constant enemy is better, inasmuch as it yields much wealth to maintain a strong army, by which the enemy can be put down.
Not so, says Kautilya: for a rich land creates many enemies, and the constant enemy will ever be an enemy, whether or not he is helped (with men and money to conciliate him); but a temporary enemy will be quiet either from fear or favour. That land, on the border of which there are a number of forts giving shelter to bands of thieves, Mlechchhas, and wild tribes is a land with a constant enemy; and that which is of reverse character is one with a temporary enemy.
Which is better, a small piece of land, not far, or an extensive piece of land, very far?
A small piece of land, not far, is better, inasmuch as it can be easily acquired, protected, and defended, whereas the other is of a reverse nature.
Of the above two kinds of land, which is better, that which can be maintained by itself, or that which requires external armed force to maintain?
The former is better, as it can be maintained with the army and money produced by itself, whereas the latter is of a reverse character as a military station.
Which is better, acquisition of land from a stupid or a wise king?
That acquired from a stupid king is better, as it can be easily acquired and secured, and cannot be taken back, whereas that obtained from a wise king, beloved of his subjects, is of a reverse nature.
Of two enemies, of whom one can only be harassed and another is reducible, acquisition of land from the latter is better; for when the latter is attacked, he, having little or no help, begins to run away, taking his army and treasure with him, and he is deserted by his subjects; whereas the former does not do so, as he has the help of his forts and friends..
Of two fortified kings, one who has his forts on a plain is more easily reduced than the other owning a fort in the centre of a river; for a fort in a plain can be easily assailed, destroyed or captured along with the enemy in it, whereas a fort, surrounded by a river requires twice as much effort to capture and supplies the enemy with water and other necessaries of life.
Of two kings, one owning a fort surrounded by a river, and another having mountainous fortifications, seizing the former’s land is better, for a fort in the centre of a river can be assailed by a bridge formed of elephants made to stand in a row in the river or by wooden bridges, or by means of boats; and the river will not always be deep and can be emptied of its water, whereas a fort on a mountain is of a self-defensive nature, and not easy to besiege or to ascend; and when one portion of the army defending it is routed out, the other portions can escape unhurt and such a fort is of immense service, as it affords facilities to throw down heaps of stone and trees over the enemy.
Which is easier, seizing land from those who fight on plains, or from those who fight from low grounds?
Seizing the land from the latter is easier, inasmuch as they have to fight in time and space of adverse nature whereas the former can fight anywhere and at any time.
Of the two enemies, one fighting from ditches and another from heights (khanakákásayodhibhyám), seizing land from the former is better; for they can be serviceable inasmuch as they fight from ditches and with weapons in hand, whereas the latter can only fight with weapons in hand.
- Whoever, well-versed in the science of polity, wrests land from such and other enemies will outshine both his allies in combination with him and enemies out of combination.
[Thus ends Chapter X, “Agreement of Peace for the Acquisition of Land” in the section of “Agreement for the Acquisition of a Friend, Gold, or Land and Agreement for Undertaking a Work,” in Book VII, “The End of the Six-fold Policy” of the Arthasástra of Kautilya. End of the hundred and eighth chapter from the beginning.]
CHAPTER XI. INTERMINABLE AGREEMENT.
THE agreement made under the condition, “Let us colonize waste land,” is termed an interminable agreement.
Whoever of the two parties of the agreement colonizes a fertile land, reaping the harvest earlier, overreaches the other.
Which is better for colonization: a plain or watery land?
A limited tract of land with water is far better than a vast plain, inasmuch as the former is conducive to the growth of crops and fruits throughout the year.
Of plains, that which is conducive to the growth of both early and late crops and which requires less labour and less rain for cultivation is better than the other of reverse character.
Of watery lands, that which is conducive to the growth of grains is better than another productive of crops other than grains.
Of two watery tracts, one of limited area and conducive to the growth of grains, and another, vast and productive of crops other than grains, the latter is better, inasmuch as it affords vast area not only to grow spices and other medicinal crops, but also to construct forts and other defensive works in plenty: for fertility and other qualities of lands are artificial (kritrimah).
Of the two tracts of land, one rich in grains and another in mines, the latter helps the treasury, while the former can fill both the treasury and the store-house; and besides this, the construction of forts and other buildings requires grains. Still, that kind of land containing mines and which yields precious metals to purchase large tracts of land is far better.
My teacher says that of the two forests, one productive of timber, and another of elephants, the former is the source of all kinds of works and is of immense help in forming a store-house, while the latter is of reverse character.
Not so, says Kautilya, for it is possible to plant any of timber-forests in many places, but not an elephant-forest; yet it is on elephants that the destruction of an enemy’s army depends.
Of the two, communication by water and by land, the former is not long-standing, while the latter can ever be enjoyed.
Which is better, the land with scattered people or that with a corporation of people?
The former is better inasmuch as it can be kept under control and is not susceptible to the intrigues of enemys while the latter is intolerant of calamities and susceptible, of anger and other passions.
In colonizing a land with four castes, colonization with the lowest caste is better, inasmuch as it is serviceable in various ways, plentiful, and permanent.
Of cultivated and uncultivated tracts, the uncultivated tract may be suitable for various kinds of agricultural operations; and when it is fertile, adapted for pasture grounds, manufacture of merchandise, mercantile transactions of borrowing and lending, and attractive to rich merchants, it is still far better (than a cultivated tract).
Which is better of the two, the tract of land with forts or that which is thickly populated?
The latter is better; for that which is thickly populated is a kingdom in all its senses. What can a depopulated country like a barren cow be productive of?
The king who is desirous of getting back the land sold for colonization to another when the latter has lost his men and money in colonizing it, should first make an agreement with such a purchaser as is weak, base-born, devoid of energy, helpless, of unrighteous character, addicted to evil ways, trusting to fate, and indiscreet in his actions. When the colonization of a land entails much expenditure of men and money, and when a weak and base-born man attempts to colonize it, he will perish along with his people in consequence of his loss of men and money. Though strong, a base-born man will be deserted by his people who do not like him lest they may come to grief under him; though possessing an army, he cannot employ it if he is devoid of energy; and such an army will perish in consequence of the loss incurred by its master; though possessing wealth, a man who hesitates to part with his money and shows favour to none, cannot find help in any quarter; and when it is easy to drive out a man of unrighteous character from the colony in which he has firmly established himself, none can expect that a man of unrighteous character would be capable of colonizing a tract of waste land and keeping it secure; the same fact explains the fate of such a colonizer as is addicted to evil ways; whoever, trusting to fate and putting no reliance on manliness, withdraws himself from energetic work, will perish without undertaking anything or without achieving anything from his undertakings; and whoever is indiscreet in his actions will achieve nothing, and is the worst of the set of the colonizers.
My teacher says that an indiscreet colonizer may sometimes betray the weak points of his employer, the conqueror.
But Kautilya says that, just as he betrays the weak points, so also does he facilitate his destruction by the conqueror.
In the absence of such persons to colonize waste lands, the conqueror may arrange for the colonization of waste land in the same way as we shall treat of later on in connection with the “Capture of an enemy in the rear.”
The above is what is termed verbal agreement (abhihitasandhih).
When a king of immense power compels another to sell a portion of the latter’s fertile territory of which the former is very fond, then the latter may make an agreement with the former and sell the land. This is what is termed “unconcealed peace” (anibhritasandhih).
When a king of equal power demands land from another as above, then the latter may sell it after considering “whether the land can be recovered by me, or can be kept under my control; whether my enemy can be brought under my power in consequence of his taking possession of the land; and whether I can acquire by the sale of the land friends and wealth, enough to help me in my undertakings.”
This explains the case of a king of inferior power, who purchases lands.
- Whoever, well versed in the science of polity, thus acquires friends, wealth, and territory with or without population will overreach other kings in combination with him.
[Thus ends Chapter XI, “Interminable Agreement” in the section of “Agreement for the Acquisition of a Friend, Gold, or Land and Agreement for Undertaking a Work”, Book VII, “The End of the Six-fold Policy” of the Arthasástra of Kautilya. End of the hundred and ninth chapter from the beginning.]
CHAPTER XII. AGREEMENT FOR UNDERTAKING A WORK.
WHEN an agreement is made on the condition “Let us have a fort built,” it is termed agreement for undertaking a work.
Whoever of the two kings builds an impregnable fortress on a spot naturally best fitted for the purpose with less labour and expenditure overreaches the other.
Of forts such as a fort on a plain, in the centre of a river, and on a mountain, that which is mentioned later is of more advantage than the one previously mentioned; of irrigational works (setu-bandha), that which is of perennial water is better than that which is fed wit water drawn from other sources; and of works containing perennial water, that which can irrigate an extensive area is better.
Of timber forests, whoever plants a forest which produces valuable articles, which expands into wild tracts, and which possesses a river on its border overreaches the other, for a forest containing a river is self-dependent and can afford shelter in calamities.
Of game-forests, whoever plants a forest full of cruel beasts, close to an enemy’s forest containing wild animals, causing therefore much harm to the enemy, and extending into an elephant-forest at the country’s border, overreaches the other.
My teacher says that of the two countries, one with a large number of effete persons, and another with a small number of brave persons, the latter is better inasmuch as, a few brave persons can destroy a large mass of effete persons whose slaughter brings about the destruction of the entire army of their master.
Not so, says Kautilya, a large number of effete persons is better, inasmuch as they can be employed to do other kinds of works in the camp: to serve the soldiers fighting in battlefields, and to terrify the enemy by its number. It is also possible to infuse spirit and enthusiasm in the timid by means of discipline and training.
Of mines, whoever exploits with less labour and expenditure a mine of valuable output and of easy communication overreaches the other.
Which is better of the two, a small mine of valuable yield, or a big mine productive of commodities of inferior value?
My teacher says that the former is better inasmuch as valuable products, such as diamonds, precious stones, pearls, corals, gold and silver, can swallow vast quantities of inferior commodities.
Not so, says Kautilya, for there is the possibility of purchasing valuable commodities by a mass of accumulated articles of inferior value, collected from a vast and longstanding mine of inferior commodities.
This explains the selection of trade-routes:
My teacher says that of the two trade-routes, one by water and another by land, the former is better, inasmuch as it is less expensive, but productive of large profit.
Not so, says Kautilya, for water route is liable to obstruction, not permanent, a source of imminent dangers, and incapable of defence, whereas a land-route is of reverse nature.
Of water-routes, one along the shore and another in mid-ocean, the route along, and close to the shore is better, as it touches at many trading port-towns; likewise river navigation is better, as it is uninterrupted and is of avoidable or endurable dangers.
My teacher says that of land-routes, that which leads to the Himalayas is better than that which leads to the south.
Not so, says Kautilya, for with the exception of blankets, skins, and horses, other articles of merchandise such as, conch-shells, diamonds, precious stones, pearls and gold are available in plenty in the south.
Of routes leading to the south, either that trade-route which traverses a large number of mines which is frequented by people, and which is less expensive or troublesome, or that route by taking which plenty of merchandise of various kinds can be obtained is better.
This explains the selection of trade-routes leading either to the east or to the west.
Of a cart-track and a foot-path, a cart-track is better as it affords facilities for preparations on a large scale.
Routes that can be traversed by asses or camels, irrespective of countries and seasons are also good.
This explains the selection of trade-routes traversed by men alone (amsa-patha, shoulder-path, i.e., a path traversed by men carrying merchandise on their shoulders).
- It is a loss for the conqueror to undertake that kind of work which is productive of benefits to the enemy, while a work of reverse nature is a gain. When the benefits are equal, the conqueror has to consider that his condition is stagnant.
- Likewise it is a loss to undertake a work of less out-put and of a greater outlay, while a work of reverse nature is a gain. If the out-put and outlay of a work are at par, the conqueror has to consider that his condition is stagnant.
- Hence the conqueror should find out such fort-building and other works as, instead of being expensive, are productive of greater profit and power. Such is the nature of agreements for undertaking works.
[Thus ends Chapter XII, “Agreement for Undertaking a Work,” in the section of “Agreement for the Acquisition of a Friend, Gold, or Land and Agreement for Undertaking a Work”‘ in Book VIII, “The End of the Six-fold Policy” of the Arthasástra of Kautilya. End of the hundred and tenth chapter from the beginning.]
CHAPTER XIII. CONSIDERATIONS ABOUT AN ENEMY IN THE REAR.
WHEN the conqueror and his enemy simultaneously proceeded to capture the rear of their respective enemies who are engaged in an attack against others, he who captures the rear of one who is possessed of vast resources gains more advantages (atisandhatte); for one who is possessed of vast resources has to put down the rear-enemy only after doing away with one’s frontal enemy already attacked, but not one who is poor in resources and who has not realised the desired profits.
Resources being equal, he who captures the rear of one who has made vast preparations gains more advantages for one who has made vast preparations has to put down the enemy in the rear only after destroying the frontal enemy, but not one whose preparations are made on a small scale and whose movements are, therefore, obstructed by the Circle of States.
Preparations being equal, he who captures the rear of one who has marched out with all the resources gains more advantages; for one whose base is undefended is easy to be subdued, but not one who has marched out with a part of the army after having made arrangements to defend the rear.
Troops taken being of equal strength, he who captures the rear of one who has gone against a wandering enemy gains more advantages; for one who has marched out against a wandering enemy has to put down the rear-enemy only after obtaining an easy victory over the wandering enemy; but not one who has marched out against an entrenched enemy, for one who has marched out against an entrenched enemy will be repelled in his attack against the enemy’s forts and will, after his return, find himself between the rear-enemy, and the frontal enemy who is possessed of strong forts.
This explains the cases of other enemies described before.
Enemies being of equal description, he who attacks the rear of one who has gone against a virtuous king gains more advantages, for one who has gone against a virtuous king will incur the displeasure of even his own people, whereas one who has attacked a wicked king will endear himself to all.
This explains the consequences of capturing the rear of those who have marched against an extravagant king or a king living from hand to mouth, or a niggardly king.
The same reasons hold good in the case of those who have marched against their own friends.
When there are two enemies, one engaged in attacking a friend and another an enemy, he who attacks the rear of the latter gains more advantages: for one who has attacked a friend will, after easily making peace with the friend, proceed against the rear-enemy; for it is easier to make peace with a friend than with an enemy.
When there are two kings, one engaged in destroying a friend, and another an enemy, he who attacks the rear of the former gains more advantages; for one who is engaged in destroying an enemy will have the support of his friends and will thereby put down the rear-enemy, but not the former who is engaged in destroying his own side.
When the conqueror and his enemy in their attack against the rear of an enemy mean to enforce the payment of what is not due to them, he whose enemy has lost considerable profits and has sustained a great loss of men and money gains more advantages; when they mean to enforce the payment of what is due to them, then he whose enemy has lost profits and army, gains more advantages.
When the assailable enemy is capable of retaliation and when the assailant’s rear-enemy, capable of augmenting his army and other resources, has entrenched himself on one of the assailant’s flanks, then the rear-enemy gains more advantages; for a rear enemy on one of the assailant’s flanks will not only become a friend of the assailable enemy, but also attack the base of the assailant, whereas a rear-enemy behind the assailant can only harass the rear.
- Kings, capable of harassing the rear of an enemy and of obstructing his movements are three: the group of kings situated behind the enemy, and the group of kings on his flanks.
- He who is situated between a conqueror and his enemy is called an antardhi (one between two kings); when such a king is possessed of forts, wild tribes, and other kinds of help, he proves an impediment in the way of the strong.
When the conqueror and his enemy are desirous of catching hold of a madhyama king and attack the latter’s rear, then he who in his attempt to enforce the promised payment separates the madhyama king from the latter’s friend and obtains, thereby, an enemy as a friend, gains more advantages; for an enemy compelled to sue for peace will be of greater help than a friend compelled to maintain the abandoned friendship.
This explains the attempt to catch hold of a neutral king.
Of attacks from the rear and front, that which affords opportunities of carrying on a treacherous fight (mantrayuddha) is preferable.
My teacher says that in an open war, both sides suffer by sustaining a heavy loss of men and money; and that even the king who wins a victory will appear as defeated in consequence of the loss of men and money.
No, says Kautilya, even at considerable loss of men and money, the destruction of an enemy is desirable.
Loss of men and money being equal, he who entirely destroys first his frontal enemy, and next attacks his rear-enemy gains more advantages; when both the conqueror and his enemy are severally engaged in destroying their respective frontal enemies, he who destroys a frontal enemy of deep rooted enmity and of vast resources, gains more advantages.
This explains the destruction of other enemies and wild tribes:
- When an enemy in the rear and in the front, and an assailable enemy to be marched against happen together then the conqueror should adopt the following policy:–
- The rear-enemy will usually lead the conqueror’s frontal enemy to attack the conqueror’s friend; then having set the ákranda (the enemy of the rear-enemy) against the rear-enemy’s ally,
- and, having caused war between them, the conqueror should frustrate the rear-enemy’s designs; likewise he should provoke hostilities between, the allies of the ákranda and of the rear-enemy;
- he should also keep his frontal enemy’s friend engaged in war with his own friend; and with the help of his friend’s friend, he should avert the attack, threatened by the friend of his enemy’s friend;
- he should, with his friend’s help, hold his rear-enemy at bay; and with the help of his friend’s friend, he should prevent his rear-enemy attacking the ákranda (his rear-ally);
- thus the conqueror should, through the aid of his friends, bring the Circle of States under his own sway both in his rear and front;
- he should send messengers and spies to reside in each of the states composing the Circle and having again and again destroyed the strength of his enemies he should keep his counsels concealed, being friendly with his friends;
- the works of him whose counsels are not kept concealed, will, though they may prosper for a time, perish as undoubtedly as a broken raft on the sea.
[Thus ends Chapter XIII, “Considerations about an Enemy in the Rear,” in Book VII, “The End of the Six-fold Policy” of the Arthasástra of Kautilya. End of the hundred and eleventh chapter from the beginning.]
CHAPTER XIV. RECRUITMENT OF LOST POWER.
WHEN the conqueror is thus attacked by the combined army of his enemies, he may tell their leader: “I shall make peace with you; this is the gold, and I am the friend; your gain is doubled; it is not worthy of you to augment at your own expense the power of your enemies who keep a friendly appearance now; for gaining in power, they will put you down in the long run.”
Or he may tell the leader so as to break the combination: “Just as an innocent person like myself is now attacked by the combined army of these kings, so the very same kings in combination will attack you in weal or woe; for power intoxicates the mind; hence break their combination.”
The combination being broken, he may set the leader against the weak among his enemies; or offering inducements, he may set the combined power of the weak against the leader; or in whatever way be may find it to be conducive to his own prosperity, in that way he may make the leader incur the displeasure of others, and thus frustrate their attempts; or showing the prospect of a larger profit, he may through intrigue, make peace with their leader. Then the recipients of salaries from two states, exhibiting the acquisition of large profits (to the leader), may satirise the kings, saying, “You are all very well combined.”
If some of the kings of the combination are wicked, they may be made to break the treaty; then the recipients of salaries from two states may again tell them so as to break the combination entirely: “This is just what we have already pointed out.”
When the enemies are separated, the conqueror may move forward by catching hold of any of the kings (as an ally).
In the absence of a leader, the conqueror may win him over who is the inciter of the combination; or who is of a resolute mind, or who has endeared himself to his people, or who, from greed or fear, joined the combination, or who is afraid of the conqueror, or whose friendship with the conqueror is based upon some consanguinity of royalty, or who is a friend, or who is a wandering enemy,–in the order of enumeration.
Of these, one has to please the inciter by surrendering oneself; by conciliation and salutation; him who is of a resolute mind; by giving a daughter in marriage or by availing oneself of his youth (to beget a son on one’s wife?); him who is the beloved of his people, by giving twice the amount of profits; him who is greedy, by helping with men and money; him who is afraid of the combination, by giving a hostage to him who is naturally timid; by entering into a closer union with him whose friendship is based upon some consanguinity of royalty; by doing what is pleasing and beneficial to both or by abandoning hostilities against him who is a friend; and by offering help and abandoning hostilities against him who is a wandering enemy; one has to win over the confidence of any of the above kings by adopting suitable means or by means of conciliation, gifts, dissension, or threats, as will be explained under “Troubles.”
He who is in troubles and is apprehensive of an attack from his enemy, should, on the condition of supplying the enemy with army and money, make peace with the enemy on definite terms with reference to place, time, and work; he should also set right any offence he might have given by the violation of a treaty; if he has no supporters, he should find them among his relatives and friends; or he may build an impregnable fortress, for he who is defended by forts and friends will be respected both by his own and his enemy’s people.
Whoever is wanting in the power of deliberation should collect wise men around himself, and associate with old men of considerable learning; thus he would attain his desired ends.
He who is devoid of a good treasury and army should direct his attention towards the strengthening of the safety and security of the elements of his sovereignty; for the country is the source of all those works which are conducive to treasury and army; the haven of the king and of his army is a strong fort.
Irrigational works (setubandha) are the source of crops; the results of a good shower of rain are ever attained in the case of crops below irrigational works.
The roads of traffic are a means to overreach an enemy; for it is through the roads of traffic that armies and spies are led (from one country to another); and that weapons, armour, chariots, and draught-animals are purchased; and that entrance and exit (in travelling) are facilitated.
Mines are the source of whatever is useful in battle.
Timber-forests are the source of such materials as are necessary for building forts, conveyances and chariots.
Elephant-forests are the source of elephants.
Pasture-lands are the source of cows, horses, and camels to draw chariots.
In the absence of such sources of his own, he should acquire them from some one among his relatives and friends. If he is destitute of an army, he should, as far as possible, attract to himself the brave men of corporations, of thieves, of wild tribes, of Mlechchhas, and of spies who are capable of inflicting injuries upon enemies.
He should also adopt the policy of a weak king towards powerful king in view of averting danger from enemies or friends.
- Thus with the aid of one’s own party, the power of deliberation, the treasury, and the army, one should get rid of the clutches of one’s enemies.
[Thus ends Chapter XIV, “Recruitment of Lost Power,” in Book VII, “The End of the Six-fold Policy” of the Arthasástra of Kautilya. End of the hundred and twelfth chapter from the beginning.]
CHAPTER XV. MEASURES CONDUCIVE TO PEACE WITH A STRONG AND PROVOKED ENEMY; AND THE ATTITUDE OF A CONQUERED ENEMY.
WHEN a weak king is attacked by a powerful enemy, the former should seek the protection of one who is superior to his enemy and whom his enemy’s power of deliberation for intrigue cannot affect. Of kings who are equal in the power of deliberation, difference should be sought in unchangeable prosperity and in association with the aged.
In the absence of a superior king, he should combine with a number of his equals who are equal in power to his enemy and whom his enemy’s power of purse, army, and intrigue cannot reach. Of kings who are equally possessed of the power of purse, army, and intrigue, difference should be sought in their capacity for making vast preparations.
In the absence of equals, he should combine with a number of inferior kings who are pure and enthusiastic, who can oppose the enemy, and whom his enemy’s power of purse, army, and intrigue cannot react. Of kings who are equally possessed of enthusiasm and capacity for action, a difference should be sought in the opportunity of securing favourable battle fields. Of kings who are equally possessed of favourable battle fields, difference should be sought in their ever being ready for war. Of kings who are equal possessed of favourable battlefields and who are equally ready for war, difference should be sought in their possession of weapons and armour necessary for war.
In the absence of any such help, he should seek shelter inside a fort in which his enemy with a large army can offer no obstruction to the supply of food-stuff, grass, firewood and water, but would sustain a heavy loss of men and money. When there are many forts, difference should be sought in their affording facility for the collection of stores and supplies. Kautilya is of opinion that one should entrench oneself in a fort inhabited by men and provided with stores and supplies. Also for the following reasons, one should shelter oneself in such a fort:–
“I shall oppose him (the enemy) with his rear-enemy’s ally or with a madhyama king, or with a neutral king; I shall either capture or devastate his kingdom with the aid of a neighbouring king, a wild tribe, a scion of his family, or an imprisoned prince; by the help of my partisans with him, I shall create troubles in his fort, country or camp; when he is near, I shall murder him with weapons, fire, or poison, or any other secret means at my pleasure; I shall, cause him to sustain a heavy loss of men and money in works undertaken by himself or made to be undertaken at the instance of my spies; I shall easily sow the seeds of dissension among his friends or his army when they have suffered from loss of men and money; I shall catch hold of his camp by cutting off supplies and stores going to it; or by surrendering myself (to him), I shall create some weak points in him and put him down with all my resources; or having curbed his spirit, I shall compel him to make peace with me on my own terms; when I obstruct his movements troubles arise to him from all sides; when he is helpless, I shall slay him with the help of my hereditary army or with his enemy’s army; or with wild tribes; I shall maintain the safety and security of my vast country by entrenching myself within my fort; the army of myself and of my friends will be invincible when collected together in this fort; my army which is trained to fight from valleys, pits, or at night, will bring him into difficulties on his way, when he is engaged in an immediate work; owing to loss of men and money, he will make himself powerless when he arrives here at a bad place and in a bad time; owing to the existence of forts and of wild tribes (on the way), he will find this country accessible only at considerable cost of men and money; being unable to find positions favourable for the exercise of the armies of himself and of his friends, suffering from disease, he will arrive here in distress; or having arrived here, he will not return.”
In the absence of such circumstances, or when the enemy’s army is very strong, one may run away abandoning one’s fort.
My teacher says that one may rush against the enemy like a moth against a flame; success in one way or other (i.e., death or victory) is certain for one who is reckless of life.
No, says Kautilya, having observed the conditions conducive to peace between himself and his enemy, he may make peace; in the absence of such conditions, he may, by taking recourse to threats secure peace or a friend; or he may send a messenger to one who is likely to accept peace; or having pleased with wealth and honour the messenger sent by his enemy, he may tell the latter: “This is the king’s manufactory; this is the residence of the queen and the princes; myself and this kingdom are at your disposal, as approved of by the queen and the princes.”
Having secured his enemy’s protection, he should behave himself like a servant to his master by serving the protector’s occasional needs. Forts and other defensive works, acquisition of things, celebration of marriages, installation of the heir-apparent, commercial undertakings, capture of elephants, construction of covert places for battle (sattra), marching against an enemy, and holding sports,–all these he should undertake only at the permission of his protector. He should also obtain his protector’s permission before making any agreement with people settled in his country or before punishing those who may run away from his country. If the citizens and country people living in his kingdom prove disloyal or inimical to him, he may request of his protector another good country; or he may get rid of wicked people by making use of such secret means as are employed against traitors. He should not accept the offer of a good country even from a friend. Unknown his protector, he may see the protector’s minister, high priest, commander of the army or heir-apparent. He should also help his protector as much as he can. On all occasions of worshipping gods and of making prayers, be should cause his people to pray for the long life of his protector; and he should always proclaim his readiness to place himself at the disposal of his protector.
- Serving him who is strong and combined with others and being far away from the society of suspected persons, a conquered king should thus always behave himself towards his protector.
[Thus ends Chapter XV, “Measures Conducive to Peace with a Strong and Provoked Enemy and the Attitude of a Conquered Enemy,” in Book VII, “The End of the Six-fold Policy” of the Arthasástra of Kautilya. End of the hundred and thirteenth chapter from the beginning.]
CHAPTER XVI. THE ATTITUDE OF A CONQUERED KING.
IN view of causing financial trouble to his protector, a powerful vassal king, desirous of making conquests, may, under the permission of his protector, march on countries where the formation of the ground and the climate are favourable for the manœuvre of his army, his enemy having neither forts, nor any other defensive works, and the conqueror himself having no enemies in the rear. Otherwise (in case of enemies in the rear), he should march after making provisions for the defence of his rear.
By means of conciliation and gifts, he should subdue weak kings; and by means of sowing the seeds of dissension and by threats, strong kings. By adopting a particular, or an alternative, or all of the strategic means, he should subdue his immediate and distant enemies.
He should observe the policy of conciliation by promising the protection of villages, of those who live in forests, of flocks of cattle, and of the roads of traffic as well as the restoration of those who have been banished or who have run away or who have done some harm.
Gifts of land, of things, and of girls in marriage and absence of fear,–by declaring these, he should observe the policy of gifts.
By instigating any one of a neighbouring king, a wild chief, a scion of the enemy’s family, or an imprisoned prince, he should sow the seeds of dissension.
By capturing the enemy in an open battle, or in a treacherous fight, or through a conspiracy, or in the tumult of seizing the enemy’s fort by strategic means, he should punish the enemy.
He may reinstate kings who are spirited and who can strengthen his army; likewise he may reinstate those who are possessed of a good treasury and army and who can therefore help him with money; as well as those who are wise and who can therefore provide him with lands.
Whoever among his friends helps him with gems, precious things, raw materials acquired from commercial towns, villages, and mines, or with conveyances and draught-animals acquired from timber and elephant-forests, and herds of cattle, is a friend affording a variety of enjoyment (chitrabhoga); whoever supplies him with wealth and army is a friend affording vast enjoyment (mahábhoga); whoever supplies him with army, wealth, and lands is a friend affording all enjoyments (sarvabhoga); whoever safeguards him against a side-enemy is a friend affording enjoyments on one side (ekatobhogi); whoever helps also his enemy and his enemy’s allies is a friend affording enjoyment to both sides (ubhayatobhogi); and whoever helps him against his enemy, his enemy’s ally, his neighbour, and wild tribes is a friend affording enjoyment on all sides (sarvatobogi).
If he happens to have an enemy in the rear, or a wild chief, or an enemy, or a chief enemy capable of being propitiated with the gift of lands, he should provide such an enemy with a useless piece of land,; an enemy possessed of forts with a piece of land not connected with his (conqueror’s) own territory; a wild chief with a piece of land yielding no livelihood; a scion of the enemy’s family with a piece of land that can be taken back; an enemy’s prisoner with a piece of land which is (not?) snatched from the enemy; a corporation of armed men with a piece of land, constantly under troubles from an enemy; the combination of corporations with a piece of land close to the territory of a powerful king; a corporation invincible in war with a piece of land under both the above troubles; a spirited king desirous of war with a piece of land which affords no advantageous positions for the manœuvre of the army; an enemy’s partisan with waste lands; a banished prince with a piece of land exhausted of its resources; a king who has renewed the observance of a treaty of peace after breaking it, with a piece of land which can be colonized at considerable cost of men and money; a deserted prince with a piece of land which affords no protection, and his own protector with an uninhabitable piece of land.
(The king who is desirous of making conquests) should continue in following the same policy towards him, who, among the above kings, is most helpful and keeps the same attitude; should by secret means bring him round who is opposed; should favour the helpful with facilities for giving further help, besides bestowing rewards and honour at all costs upon him; should give relief to him who is under troubles; should receive visitors at their own choice and afford satisfaction to them; should avoid using contemptuous, threatening, defamatory, or harsh words towards them; should like a father protect those who are promised security from fear; should punish the guilty after publishing their guilt; and in order to avoid causing suspicion to the protector, the vassal-king should adopt the procedure of inflicting secret punishments upon offenders.
He should never covet the land, things, and sons and wives of the king slain by him; he should reinstate in their own estates the relatives of the kings slain. He should install in the kingdom the heir-apparent of the king who has died while working (with the conqueror); all conquered kings will, if thus treated, loyally follow the sons and grandsons of the conqueror.
Whoever covets the lands, things, sons, and wives of the kings whom he has either slain or bound in chains will cause provocation to the Circle of States and make it rise against himself; also his own ministers employed in his own territory will be provoked and will seek shelter under the circle of states, having an eye upon his life and kingdom.
- Hence conquered kings preserved in their own lands in accordance with the policy of conciliation will be loyal to the conqueror and follow his sons and grandsons.
[Thus ends Chapter XVI, “The Attitude of a Conquered King,” in Book VII, “The End of the Six-fold Policy,” of the Arthasástra of Kautilya. End of the hundred and fourteenth chapter from the beginning.]
CHAPTER XVII. MAKING PEACE AND BREAKING IT.
THE words sama (quiet), sandhi (agreement of peace), and samádhi (reconcilement), are synonymous. That which is conducive to mutual faith among kings is termed sama, sandhi, or samádhi.
My teacher says that peace, depended upon honesty or oath, is mutable, while peace with a security or an hostage is immutable.
No, says Kautilya, peace, dependent upon honesty or oath is immutable both in this and the next world. It is for this world only that a security or an hostage is required for strengthening the agreement.
Honest kings of old made their agreement of peace with this declaration: “We have joined in peace.”
In case of any apprehension of breach of honesty, they made their agreement by swearing by fire, water, plough, the brick of a fort-wall, the shoulder of an elephant, the hips of a horse, the front of a chariot, a weapon, seeds, scents, juice (rasa), wrought gold (suvarna), or bullion gold (hiranya), and by declaring that these things will destroy and desert him who violates the oath.
In order to avoid the contingency of violation of oath, peace made with the security of such persons as ascetics engaged in penance, or nobles is peace with a security. In such a peace, whoever takes as security a person capable of controlling the enemy gains more advantages, while he who acts to the contrary is deceived.
In peace made with children as hostages, and in the case of giving a princess or a prince as an hostage, whoever gives a princess gains advantages; for a princess, when taken as an hostage, causes troubles to the receiver, while a prince is of reverse nature.
With regard to two sons, whoever hands over a highborn, brave and wise son, trained in military art, or an only son is deceived, while he who acts otherwise gains advantages. It is better to give a base-born son as an hostage than a high-born one, inasmuch as the former has neither heirship nor the right to beget heirs; it is better to give a stupid son than a wise one, inasmuch as the former is destitute of the power of deliberation; better to give a timid son than a brave one, inasmuch as the former is destitute of martial spirit; better, a son who is not trained in military art than one who is trained, inasmuch as the former is devoid of the capacity for striking an enemy; and better one of many sons than an only son, since many sons are not wanted.
With regard to a high-born and a wise son, people will continue to be loyal to a high-born son though he is not wise; a wise son, though base-born, is characterized with capacity to consider state matters; but so far as capacity to consider state matters is concerned, a. high-born prince associating himself with the aged, has more advantages than a wise but base-born prince.
With regard to a wise and a brave prince, a wise prince, though timid, is characterized with capacity for intellectual works; and a brave prince though not wise, possesses warlike spirit. So far as warlike spirit is concerned, a wise prince overreaches a brave one just as a hunter does an elephant.
With regard to a brave and a trained prince, a brave prince, though untrained, is characterized with capacity for war; and a trained prince, though timid, is capable of hitting objects aright. Notwithstanding the capacity for hitting objects aright, a brave prince excels a trained prince in determination and firm adherence to his policy.
With regard to a king having many sons and another an only son, the former, giving one of his sons as a hostage and being contented with the rest, is able to break the peace but not the latter.
When peace is made by handing over the whole lot of sons, advantage is to be sought in capacity to beget additional sons; capacity to beget additional sons being common, he who can beget able sons will have more advantages than another king (who is not so fortunate); capacity to beget able sons being common, he by whom the birth of a son is early expected will have more advantages than another (who is not so fortunate).
In the case of an only son who is also brave, he who has lost capacity to beget any more sons should surrender himself as an hostage, but not the only son.
Whoever is rising in power may break the agreement of peace. Carpenters, artisans, and other spies, attending upon the prince (kept as an hostage) and doing work under the enemy, may take away the prince at night through an underground tunnel dug for the purpose. Dancers, actors, singers, players on musical instruments, buffoons, court-bards, swimmers, and saubhikas (?), previously set about the enemy, may continue under his service and may indirectly serve the prince. They should have the privilege of entering into, staying in and going out of, the palace at any time without rule. The prince may therefore get out at night disguised as any one of the above spies.
This explains the work of prostitutes and other women spies under the garb of wives; the prince may get out, carrying their pipes, utensils, or vessels.
Or the prince may be removed concealed under things, clothes, commodities, vessels, beds, seats and other articles by cooks, confectioners, servants employed to serve the king while bathing, servants employed for carrying conveyances, for spreading the bed, toilet-making, dressing, and procuring water; or taking something in pitch dark, he may get out, disguised as a servant.
Or he may (pretend to) be in communion with god Varuna in a reservoir (which is seen) through a tunnel or to which he is taken at night; spies under the guise of traders dealing in cooked rice and fruits may (poison those things and) distribute among the sentinels.
Or having served the sentinels with cooked rice and beverage mixed with the juice of madana plant on occasions of making offerings to gods or of performing an ancestral ceremony or some sacrificial rite, the prince may get out; or by bribing the sentinels; or spies disguised as a nágaraka (officer in charge of the city), a court-bard, or a physician may set fire to a building filled with valuable articles; or sentinels or spies disguised as merchants may set fire to the store of commercial articles; or in view of avoiding the fear of pursuit, the prince may, after putting some human body in the house occupied by him, set fire to it and escape by breaking open some house-joints, or a window, or through a tunnel; or having disguised himself as a carrier of glass-beads, pots, and other commodities, he may set out at night; or having entered the residence of ascetics with shaven heads or with twisted hair, he may set out at night, disguised as any one of them; or having disguised himself as one suffering from a peculiar disease or as a forest-man, he may get out; or spies may carry him away as a corpse; or disguised as a widowed wife, be may follow a corpse that is being carried away. Spies disguised as forest-people, should mislead the pursuers of the prince by pointing out another direction, and the prince himself may take a different direction.
Or he may escape, hiding himself in the midst of carts of cart-drivers; if he is closely followed, he may lead the pursuers to an ambuscade (sattra); in the absence of an ambuscade he may leave here and there gold or morsels of poisoned food on both sides of a road and take a different road.
If he is captured, he should try to win over the pursuers by conciliation and other means, or serve them with poisoned food; and having caused another body to be put in a sacrifice performed to please god Varuna or in a fire that has broken out (the prince’s father), may accuse the enemy of the murder of his son and attack the enemy.
- Or taking out a concealed sword, and falling upon the sentinels, he may quickly run away together with the spies concealed before.
[Thus ends Chapter XVII, “Making Peace and Breaking It,” in Book VII, “The End of the Six-fold Policy” of the Arthasástra of Kautilya. End of the hundred and fifteenth chapter from the beginning.]
CHAPTER XVIII. THE CONDUCT OF A MADHYAMA KING, A NEUTRAL KING, AND OF A CIRCLE OF STATES.
THE third and the fifth states from a madhyama king are states friendly to him; while the second, the fourth, and the sixth are unfriendly. If the madhyama king shows favour to both of these states, the conqueror should be friendly with him; if he does not favour them, the conqueror should be friendly with those states.
If the madhyama king is desirous of securing the friendship of the conqueor’s would-be friend, then having set his own and his friend’s friends against the madhyama, and having separated the madhyama from the latter’s friends, the conqueror should preserve his own friend; or the conqueror may incite the Circle of States against the madhyama by telling them; “this madhyama king has grown haughty, and is aiming at our destruction: let us therefore combine and interrupt his march.”
If the Circle of States is favourable to his cause, then he may aggrandise himself by putting down the madhyama; if not favourable, then having helped his friend with men and money, he should, by means of conciliation and gifts, win over either the leader or a neigbbouring king among the kings who hate the madhyama, or who have been living with mutual support, or who will follow the one that is won over (by the conqueror), or who do not rise owing to mutual suspicion; thus by winning over a second (king), he should double his own power; by securing a third, he should treble his own power; thus gaining in strength, he should put down the madhyama king.
When place and time are found unsuitable for success in the above attempt, he should, by peace, seek the friendship of one of the enemies of the madhyama king, or cause some traitors to combine against the madhyama; if the madhyama king is desirous of reducing the conqueror’s friend, the conqueror should prevent it, and tell the friend: “I shall protect you as long as you are weak,” and should accordingly protect him when he is poor in resources; if the madhyama king desires to rout out a friend of the conqueror, the latter should protect him in his difficulties; or having removed him from the fear of the madhyama king, the conqueror should provide him with new lands and keep him under his (the conqueror’s) protection, lest he might go elsewhere.
If, among the conqueror’s friends who are either reducible or assailable enemies of the madhyama king, some undertake to help the madhyama, then the conqueror should make peace with a third king; and if among the madhyama king’s friends who are either reducible or assailable enemies of the conqueror, some are capable of offence and defence and become friendly to the conqueror, then he should make peace with them; thus the conqueror cannot only attain his own ends, but also please the madhyama king.
If the madhyama king is desirous of securing a would-be friend of the conqueror as a friend, then the conqueror may make peace with another king, or prevent the friend from going to the madhyama, telling him: “It is unworthy of you to forsake a friend who is desirous of your friendship,” or the conqueror may keep quiet, if the conqueror thinks that the Circle of States would be enraged against the friend for deserting his own party. If the madhyama king is desirous of securing the conqueror’s enemy as his friend, then the conqueror should indirectly (i.e., without being known to the madhyama) help the enemy with wealth and army.
If the madhyama king desires to win the neutral king, the conqueror should sow the seeds of dissension between them. Whoever of the madhyama and the neutral kings is esteemed by the Circle of States, his protection should the conqueror seek.
The conduct of the madhyama king explains that of the neutral king. If the neutral king is desirous of combining with the madhyama king, then the conqueror should so attempt as to frustrate the desire of the neutral king to overreach an enemy or to help a friend or to secure the services of the army of another neutral king. Having thus strengthened himself, the conqueror should reduce his enemies and help his friends, though their position is inimical towards him.
Those who may be inimical to the conqueror are a king who is of wicked character and who is therefore always harmful, a rear-enemy in combination with a frontal enemy, a reducible enemy under troubles, and one who is watching the troubles of the conqueror to invade him.
Those who may be friendly with the conqueror are one who marches with him with the same end in view, one who marches with him with a different end in view, one who wants to combine with the conqueror to march (against a common enemy), one who marches under an agreement for peace, one who marches with a set purpose of, his own, one who rises along with others, one who is ready to purchase or to sell either the army or the treasury, and one who adopts the double policy (i.e., making peace with one and waging war with another).
Those neighbouring kings who can be servants to the conqueror are a neighbouring king under the apprehension of an attack from a powerful king, one who is situated between the conqueror and his enemy, the rear-enemy of a powerful king, one who has voluntarily surrendered one-self to the conqueror, one who has surrendered oneself under fear, and one who has been subdued. The same is the case with those kings who are next to the territory of the immediate enemies of the conqueror.
- Of these kings, the conqueror should, as far as possible, help that friend who has the same end in view as the conqueror in his conflict with the enemy, and thus hold the enemy at bay.
- When, after having put down the enemy, and after having grown in power, a friend becomes unsubmissive, the conqueror should cause the friend to incur the displeasure of a neighbour and of the king who is next to the neighbour.
- Or the conqueror may employ a scion of the friend’s family or an imprisoned prince to seize his lands; or the conqueror may so act that his friend, desirous of further help, may continue to be obedient.
- The conqueror should never help his friend when the latter is more and more deteriorating; a politician should so keep his friend that the latter neither deteriorates nor grows in power.
- When, with the desire of getting wealth, a wandering friend (i.e., a nomadic king) makes an agreement with the conqueror, the latter should so remove the cause of the friend’s flight that he never flies again.
- When a friend is as accessible to the conqueror as to the latter’s enemy, the conqueror should first separate that obstinate friend from the enemy, and then destroy him, and afterwards the enemy also.
- When a friend remains neutral, the conqueror should cause him to incur the displeasure of his immediate enemies; and when he is worried in his wars with them, the conqueror should oblige him with help.
- When, owing to his own weakness, a friend seeks protection both from the conqueror and the latter’s enemy, the conqueror should help him with the army, so that he never turns his attention elsewhere.
- Or having, removed him from his own lands, the conqueror may keep him in another tract of land, having made some previous arrangements to punish or favour the friend.
- Or the conqueror may harm him when he has grown powerful, or destroy him when he does nut help the conqueror in danger and when he lies on the conqueror’s lap in good faith.
- When an enemy furiously rises against his own enemy (i.e., the conqueror’s friend) under troubles, the former should be put down by the latter himself with troubles concealed.
- When a friend keeps quiet after rising against an enemy under troubles, that friend will be subdued by the enemy himself after getting rid of his troubles.
- Whoever is acquainted with the science of polity should clearly observe the conditions of progress, deterioration, stagnation, reduction, and destruction, as well as the use of all kinds of strategic means.
- Whoever thus knows the interdependence of the six kinds of policy plays at his pleasure with kings, bound round, as it were, in chains skillfully devised by himself.
[Thus ends Chapter XVIII, “The Conduct of a Madhyama King, a Neutral King and of a Circle of States,” in Book VII, “The End of the Six-fold Policy” of the Arthasástra of Kautilya. End of the hundred and sixteenth chapter from the beginning. With this ends the seventh Book “The End of the Six-fold Policy” of the Arthasástra of Kautilya.]