Besides enumerating the importance of kosa or treasury for the state and
various sources of revenue, the law-givers have also laid down certain
principles for the collection of revenue. These principles seem to have
considerably restrained the kings in their demand for revenue.
     Yanjnavalkya says that the king takes the sixth part of the virtuous deeds
(of his subjects) by protecting them with justice. While commenting upon
Yajnavalkya, the Mitaksara says that by administering justice according to
the scriptures, and by protecting the subjects, the king takes up a sixth share
from the virtuous deeds. While describing the duties of the king, Vishnu
starts with the protection of his subjects and Kamandaka regards protection of
people and their gainful occupations as of prime importance.
     However, Katyayana (a law-giver of about the 6th century AD) for the first
time declares the king to be the lord of the land, but never of any other kind
of wealth: therefore, he should secure the sixth part of the fruits of land but
not otherwise.
     This concept of the protection of the subject by the king seems to have
survived even in the seventh century. This can be inferred from a verse in the
fourth vuchvasa of Bana’s Harshacharita, where, he describes the king as
protecting the world so well that not even the meanest had ever to cry for
     The king was thus entitled to revenue not only because of the protection
he provided to the people but also because he was the lord of the land. This
dual legality which the king had acquired by the end of the seventh century
undoubtedly made him very powerful. However, the situation seems to have
been greatly offset by certain admirable principles of taxation embodied in
early Indian sources.
     The main idea which seems to have guided the law-givers in enunciating
certain principles for the king in levying taxes on his subjects, was that of
avoiding the oppression of the people. These deal with the fixation of the
rates of taxation for various commodities, the realisation of taxes in a very
smooth manner and the censure of the king for oppressive taxation.
     For those rulers, who demand unlawful taxes in the form of revenue, and
fill their treasuries, Yajnavalkya foresees ill luck and doom for the kingdom.
The Mitaksara on this passage says that the sovereign, who increases his own
treasure by taking property through illegal means from his kingdom ‘soon