Administration & Management

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Monthly Archives: August 2009


“Kautilya’s Arthashastra’, The oldest Book on Total Management”

Kautilya’s Arthashastra could be credited to be one of the oldest books on Management available to the world. It was written, edited and compiled by Kautilya (also known as Chanakya and Vishnugupta) in 300 BC. Arthashastra when literally translated it means ‘Scripture of Wealth’. The main focus of the book is on Creation and Management of Wealth.

The book is a masterpiece, due to the virtue of its extensive coverage, spread over a wide range of topics like: Statecraft, politics, military warfare, strategy, Selection and training of Employees, leadership skills, legal systems, accounting systems, taxation, fiscal policies, civil rules, internal and foreign trade etc. It also covers various technical subjects including Medicine, gemology, metallurgy, measures of length, tables of weights, divisions of time, among many others. Therefore, the Kautilya has been described as a rare mastermind by the scholars over centuries, as developing specialization or having command over so many vast and numerous areas is an unparalleled task even till date, to have been accomplished by any single individual.

He credited for the fall of Nanda dynasty and establishing Chandragupta Maurya [who happened to be his student] on the throne as the emperor; thus rightly getting the title of being a ‘King Maker’. He is also credited to have masterminded the defeat of Saleucus, a commander of a faction of army of Alexander; who was appointed as caretaker to govern the area conquered by him.public administration psycholog

As a scholar, philosopher and thinker of the domain called ‘Political Science’, he has the distinction of being first person in the entire Human History; who visualized, conceptualized, practiced and popularized the concept of ‘NATION’. The India of today was nowhere in the era to which he belonged. There were numerous kingdoms, estates and spread over this whole geographical area. He was instrumental in bringing all of these smaller kingdoms together, by conquest or by forcing them to accept the sovereignty; and bringing them one umbrella of central governance. This resulted in birth of the Nation called ‘Aryavartha’, which later came to be known as India.

“Arthashatra” is documentation of Kautilya himself as regards to his lifelong learning, practicing and thinking applied in the governance of a nation. Rulers across the world, for ages, have referred to the Arthashastra for building a nation on sound polity based on spiritual values. It was since advent of british rulers that made “Arthshatra” outlandish but it never lost and will never lose its relevance for the scholars and practitioners involved in the study and practical application of the art and science of governance.

It was Prof. Shama Shastry who rediscovered the book in 1905, and was the first person to write its English Translation. Since then, the English translations produced are limited to two only. The credit for these translations rest one each with Prof Kangle and Shri Rangarajan.

However, apart from the scholarly work this book today needs to be once again represented for practical application in today’s world. The book has got many principles and techniques, which once applied can prove a tremendous improvement even in our day-to-day management.

Certainly there are learned individuals who many a times question the relevance of the classical work of “Arthasharta” written over 2000 years ago in the present context. The answer to this question has been provided by numerous learned thinkers, scholors and others related to the field that by stating the fact that ‘“The Arthashastra” is a book about the management of the ‘human mind’, the art and science of which has remained same since ages’.

“As long as the Human mind remains filled with negative ideas, thought and or emotions of jealousy, ego, hatred, over indulgence etc. and requires self control, discipline and management, ‘Kautilya’s Arthashastra’ will remain relevant.”


1. Business leaders
2. Managers
3. Politicians
4. Chartered Accountants
5. Human resource personals
6. Management Trainers
7. Management Consultants
8. Intelligence Agencies
9. Public / Civil servants
10. Government officials
11. Military personals
12. Students of various fields etc.

The reactions and comments are welcome for improvement of any task of any nature. Therefore, the blogger requests the audiences to express their feelings on the subject.

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