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Saptanga Siddhant - Arthshastra

Updated: Oct 6, 2022

Chanakya, the greatest philosopher and King maker gave lot of ideas and ways to state craft. Check about the Arthshastra here and the Mandal Siddhant here.

What could be the Saptanga theory? Well, it explains the Seven limbs of the state, which means the seven elements of the Sovereignty. Kautilya takes systematic view of state.

Seven elements are:

1. King - King is the 'Nabhi' of the state. It is difficult to replace a personality and king is the most important and let's say if the King is strong but other elements are weak , the strong and smart king can convert the elements of the weakness into strength. Yet the single wheel cannot turn the chariot, means the king alone cannot run the state but requires others as well because state is the system of interdependence and Kautilya says the King should not be arrogant. For Kautilya

"In the happiness of the subject's lies the happiness of the KING".

2. Amatya - Senior Minister, most important among them is the ambassador who is the representative of the state and it should be chosen carefully. He should be carefully chosen and handsome and well versed in the shastras. Kautilya says, King should have 3 Amatya as 2 can conspire against him and king should be careful as Amatya can challenge the power of the King and he should keep testing their integrity.

3. Durg - means the Fort, If you read history you would find that Mauryan empire was known for different forts. Kautilya talks about forts on the hill, water, deserts. Forts are the symbol of defensive and offensive capabilities of state

4. Janpad - Places where the common man lives and operates, conduct the business and various activities. It is important for the King to provide them the economic resources and ensure that people are happy. Kautilya says the King should use spies to test the people. He even go on to mention the type of spies For example - Kapatika, Bhikshus, Women, Udasishita etc.

5. Bala - Means the military strength, according to him the army should be strong and comprised of Kshatriyas, however other Varna's should be incorporated as the need arises.

6. Kosha - means the treasury, the king should have enough so the king is able to fulfil any sort of emergency also and not only the daily needs.

7. Mitra - Allies, the friends which holds importance for the King. they are the symbol of strength for the King. Everyone wants to be part of the King so it is important to not let your friends ally with the enemies. it could become serious concern. In present context, Maldives or Sri Lanka are allying up with China by increasing economic interdependence on China.

Kautilya says the King should take up the calculated risk while attacking someone and use this Saptanga theory to evaluate his strength as well as the strength of the enemy.

stay tuned for more.



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