foreign policy based on the relative strengths of the participants are as
applicable today as they were in his day.
If we are to comprehend clearly Kautilya’s teachings and apply them
judiciously to the modern world, we also have to be aware of the essential
characteristics of the work. The treatise is about an ideal state—not that such
a state actually ever existed or is even likely to exist now or in the future.
The Arthasastra is essentially a treatise on the art of government and is,
by nature, instructional. It seeks to instruct all kings and is meant to be useful
at all times wherever dharma is held to be preeminent. Because it is
instructional, its basis is the practice of government. We will not find in it a
theoretical discussion about why there should be a state at all or, if there is to
be one, what kind of state is the best. For Kautilya, the existence of the state
and the king are axioms.
Kautilya offers two special contributions to the theoretical analysis of the
functioning of a state. These are: (i) analysis of aspects of internal
administration in terms of the seven constituent elements of the state and (ii)
analysis of the relations between states in terms of the theory of the circle of
states. The two chapters of Book 6 are used to set out these theoretical
concepts and define the terms used in their development. The rest of the
treatise is a manual of instruction for kings and officers of the state.
Tabular Information Based on Arthasastra
Table 1: List of Adhyakshas
Sl. Nomenclature State Office chief
1. Akaradhyaksha Controller of Mining & Metallurgy
2. Akshapataladhyaksha Controller of Accounts
3. Asvadhyaksha Commander of Cavalry
4. Ayudhagaradhyaksha of Ordnance
5. Bandanagradhyaksha Superintendent of Jails
6. Devatadhyaksha Superintendent of Temples
7. Dhyutadhyksha Controller of Gambling
8. Ganikadhyaksha Controller of Entertainers
9. Go-adhyaksha Superintendent of Crown Herds