No Thief, No Miser, No illiterate in my Kingdom- Asvapati of Kekaya (9482)


Post No. 9482

Date uploaded in London – –11  APRIL  2021     

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There is a beautiful verse in Chandogya Upanishad which describes the ancient Hindu society.

This was the condition that existed at least 3000 years ago in India.

“Within my realm (Janapada ) there is no thief

No misser, nor a drinking man

None altarless, none ignorant,

Nno man unchaste , no wife unchaste.”

–Asvapati of Kekaya

The same ideals are described in several discourses of the Mahabharata. The Vidura Niti in the

Mahabharata is a summary of those ideals of virtue and common sense which were cultivated by the Janapada citizens.

Panini mentioned it with the word Vainayika 5-4-34. It is in the Santi parva of 68-4 of Mahabharata.

The Vainayika functions of the Janapada state are described at length in the epic in a chapter

in Santi parva 68.1-61 where we see

‘Yadi raja na paalayet’.

Dharma is the base on which the society rests. We see it inUdyoga parva of the epic.

‘Namo Dharmaya mahate dharmo dharayati prajaha’- Udyoga parva 137-9

Panini uses ‘Dhaarmika’, ‘Dharmam charati’ 4-4-41

‘Charati’ means habitual moral conduct or practice of virtue. Dharma denoted both justice and virtue.

This ideal is embodied in the famous words of king Asvapati of Kekaya which he uttered in the presence of such citizens who were householders possessing magnificent mansions (Mahasala), supplied with all the luxuries that Janapada life would provide, but who still chose the Path of virtue and learning (Maha strotriya ).

Source book- India as known to Panini by VS Agrawala


Kambar in Ramayana

Kambar in Ramayana also describes such a society

When Kambar describes the conditions of the people in Ayodhya, he says,

“There is no untimely death because there is no crime;

There is no anger because everyone behaves”

He continued in another verse,

“No one donated anything because there is no one to accept it;

No one’s valour is seen because no one came for a fight;

There is no truth visible because no one spoke a lie;

Every one is learned and so there is elementary education!

This is only a rough translation. In short people had no needs. Every one is happy

and the society is peaceful.

Valmiki also says the same in his Ramayana( Please see the link below for my old article)

Ayodhya | Tamil and Vedas › tag › ayodhya


9 Jul 2014 — “Ayodhya was founded by Manu, a lord among men. The city’s thoroughfares

extended for sixty miles. It had massive gates and numerous …


tags- Asvapati, Kekaya, Chandogya Upanishad, No thief

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