men are my children), which shows his paternalistic attitude towards the
people. The edict also stresses the importance of efficient administration.
Besides, all the major sources prescribe an extremely busy schedule for the
Ministry Ministry forms an important limb of the body politic. According
to Kautilya, it is as reasonable to expect an administration to function
efficiently with king alone unaided by a ministry as to expect a chariot to
move on one wheel only.
Mantrins were the ministers and advisers of the highest grade whose
advice had to be sought by the king in all administrative matters. Kautilya
talks about their qualifications and the tests they had to pass.
MantriparishAD, together with the mantrins, constituted the Mauryan
ministry. There is no rigid rule about its strength. Its important members
included purohita, mahamantri, senapati, yuvaraja, etc. The Asokan edicts
confirm its existence.
Kautilya clearly distinguishes mantrins from the members of the
mantriparishad on the basis of their pay and functions.
Amatyas Amatyas were some sort of administrative personnel or civil
servants who filled the highest administrative and judicial appointments.
Their pay scales, service rules and method of payment were clearly laid
Kautilya refers to those who had come out successfully in religious tests
(dharmopadhasuddha) and were employed in administering justice (both
civil and criminal); those who had stood the rigours of monetary test
(arthopadhasuddha) were employed as revenue officials; those who were
purified by love test (kamopadhasuddha) were to superintend the pleasure
grounds; and those immune from fear (bhayopadhasuddha) were appointed
to do work requiring immediate attention.
Only those whose character had been tested under all kinds of allurements
and not just one kind were to be promoted to the still higher position, viz. that
of mantrins or advisers to the king. Though their qualifications and method of
selection were given by Kautilya, it is doubtful whether they were strictly
implemented in practice. Their role and functions were very important, for all
governmental work proceeded from them.