Arthasastra,Ramayana and Tirukkural Compared (Post No.4534)

Compiled by London Swaminathan 

 

Date: 23 DECEMBER 2017 

 

Time uploaded in London- 7-56 am

 

 

Post No. 4534

Pictures shown here are taken from various sources such as Facebook friends, Books, Google and newspapers; thanks

 

 

Part 4 of Tirukkural- Bhagavad Gita Comparison by Rev. G U Pope and V R R Dikshitar (Post No.4534).

 

In this fourth part, Arthasastra, Ramayana, Mahabharata, Kamandaka and Manu’s verses are compared.

 

 

In the first two parts Tirukkural, Bhagavad Gita and Manava Dharma Sastra are compared,

 

In the third part Kautilya’s Arthasastra is also compared with Kural

It is continued in the Fourth Part

 

Kural 471 (Forethought)

 

In the opinion of Valluvar,

 

The force the strife demands, the force he owns, the force of foes,

The force of friends: these should he weigh ere to the war he goes.

 

On this Kautilya observes:

 

The conquering monarch shall acquaint himself with the comparative strength and weakness, of himself and of his enemy in regard to power, lace, time, season for march, season for recruiting the army, consequential advantages and difficulties arising from anger, diminution and loss and decide on expedition if he would feel assured of superiority in his force.

–Book 9, chapter 1

 

xxx

 

KURALS 472, 476, 477 (Assessment of Relative Strength)

 

 

Who know what can he wrought, with the knowledge of means, on this

Their mind firm set, go forth, nought goes with them amiss (Kural 472)

 

Who daring climbs, and would himself upraise

Beyond the branch’s tip, with life the forfeit pays (476)

With knowledge of the measure due, as virtue bids you, give!

That is the way to guard your wealth, and seemly live (477)

Kautilya says,

 

The power of mantra (counsel) is better. The king who possesses the eye of Sastraic knowledge can press his knowledge into service even with little effort. He can over reach the enemy with enthusiasm and power by means of conciliation, and application of strategic means. In this way success is due to enthusiasm, power, force of mantra/counsel of in the ascending order – Book 9, chapter 1

 

xxxx

Kural 481 and 482 (Right Time)

 

According to the author of Kural,

 

A crow will conquer owl in brad day light;

The king the foes would crush, need fitting time to fight.

 

The bond binds fortune fast is ordered effort made

Strictly observant still of favouring season’s aid.

 

Says the Kautilya, “That season is best which is suited to the manoeuvre of one’s own army and unsuited to ones enemny. The reverse is the worst. The ordinary season is the middling one. Book 9, Chap. 1

 

Time alone is better say some. For on this account the crow kills the owl in the day and the owl the crow in the night.

 

xxxxx

 

Kural 493 and 494 (Choice of Right Arena/ TACTIS)

 

Even weak ones mightily prevails, if place of strong defence

They find, protect themselves, and work their foes offence.

 

The foes who thought to trimph, find their thoughts in vain

If hosts advance, seize vantage ground, and thence the fight maintain

 

According to Arthasastra, ‘one should endeavour the means to increase the strength of one’s own force. That desa is the best which is the ground for manoeuvre of one’s own army but disadvantageous to the enemy. Otherwise it is the worst. That which is common is neither best nor worst.- Book 9, chap.1)

 

xxx

Kural 495, 497, 500 (Choice of Right Arena/ TACTIS)

 

The crocodile prevails in its own flow of water wide;

If this it leaves, it is slain by anything beside

 

Save their own fearless might they need no other aid, If in right place they fight, all due provision made

 

 

The jackal slays, in miry paths of foot-betraying fen

The elephant of fearless eye and tusks transfixing armed men.

 

In the Arthasastra, it is said:

The ground is better, some say. On this account the dog on the ground can overreach even a crocodile, and the crocodile in the low ground the dog. –Book 9- Chapter 1

 

Thus we come across similar ideas both in the Arthasastra and Tirukkural. While the Arthasastra has dealt in one chapter all the three means of Sakti, Desa and Kala, the Kural devotes three separate chapters of the Kural Venbas each

 

xxx

 

Kural 501(On choosing the right men)

 

How treats he virtue, wealth and pleasure? How, when life is at stake,

Comports himself? This four-fold test of man will full assurance make

 

Says Kautilya:

 

The ministers shall be tested by the Upadhas which are in the nature of temptations. These are for kinds, the temptation of virtue, wealh, lust and fear- Book 1, chap.10

 

xxx

 

Kural 510 On choosing the right men)

 

Trust where have you not tried, doubt of a friend to feel,

Once trusted, wounds inflict that nought can heal

 

The Arthasastra says:

The Acaryas (teachers) have prescribed that the king should appoint government servants in their respective posts after the four-fold test according to the satisfaction afforded by such test.

–Book 1, Chapter 10

 

xxx

 

Kural 518 and 520 (Employment of Chosen men)

 

As each man’s special aptitude is known

Bid each man make that special work his own

 

Let king search out his servants’ deeds each day;

When these do right, the world goes rightly on its way

 

is corroborated by the Arthasastra

 

Those who have come out successful from the Dharmopadhaa are to be appointed as judges and commissioners, from the Arthopadhaa to office of treasurer and he collector-general, from Kaamopadhaa to guarding frontiers, harem and sporting grounds and from the Bhayopadhaa in the king’s household.

 

Those who have gone through the four ordeals are to be chosen as ministers.

 

Having thus chosen his servants by the four fold tests, the king shall endeavour through his spies to get at their loyalty or otherwise –Book 1, Chapter 10

 

xxx

 

Kural 517(Employment of Chosen men)

 

This man, this work halt thus work out, let thoughtful king command:

Then leave the matter wholly in his servant’s hand

 

Kamandaka says,

 

He whose capacity is too well known for a particular job is appointed to it, just like the different senses which are employed to perceive particular objects – Kamandaka 5-75

 

xxxx

Kural 541 (Just Rule)

 

Search out, to no one favour show, with heart that justice loves,

Consult, then act; this is the rule that right approves.

 

The Ramayana furnishes a parallel

If the punishment accorded to the offenders is meted out according to the laws of the land, it leads the monarch to heaven

–Ramayana 7-79-9

 

Kural 543 (Just Rule)

 

Learning and virtue of the sages spring

From all-controlling sceptre of the king

 

According to the Arthasastra,

That state which is disciplined by the established laws of the Aryas, which is rooted in the organisation of castes and orders, and which is protected by the three Vedas, progresses and never deteriorates – Book 1-3

 

Kural 545 (Just Rule)

 

Where king, who righteous law  regards, the sceptre wields,

There fall the showers, there rich abundance crowns the fields

 

A Parallel is furnished in the Ramayana,

The fields are rich with crops, the rains shower in proper seasons, and the soldiers are free from disease during Satrughna’s rule.

–Ramayana 7-70-10

 

xxxxx

 

Kural 554 (On Tyranny, Oppression)

 

Whose rod from right deflects, who counsel doth refuse,

At once his wealth and people utterly shall lose.

 

Manu rules,

 

The king who allows the kingdom to deteriorate owing to sheer neglect and lethargy will soon fall from his position and life with all his relatives -Manu 7-111

 

Kural 560 (Oppression, Tyranny)

 

Where guardian guardeth not, udder of kine grows dry

And Brahmin’s sacred lore will all forgotten lie

 

 

The Mahabharata furnishes a parallel,

When Dandaniti is given the death blow and when the ancient Raja Dharma of the Kshatriyas become lost, the sacred lore gets extinct, as also all the dharmas including those dharmas pertaining to the asramas

–Santi Prava Chap.112-28

 

xxxxxxxxxx

 

Kural 562 and 569 (Penalties)

 

For length of days with still increasing joys on heaven who call

Should raise the rod with bow severe, but let it gently fall.

 

Manu furnishes a parallel,

The king should be harsh and mild according to the nature of the work. He endears himself to the people, being harsh and soft—Manu 7-140

 

Kural 569

 

Who builds no forth whence he may foe defy,

In time of war shall fear and swiftly die

 

Manu gives expression to similar sentiments:

The enemies do not wrong those resident in fortresses, as they do not attack the king who shelters under a fort – Manu7-73

 

 

to be continued……………………

 

–SUBHAM–

 

 

 

 

Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: