(Last Updated on : 20/11/2010)
Associated with Aged is an extensive chapter in Book I of Arthashastra. It is deals with observation of the disciplines with the help of which the prince will be in a position to maintain the relevance of Danda Niti. The chapter claims that disciplines which are to govern the society are of two types: artificial and natural. According to Kautilya an instruction can be delivered to only those who are docile and comfortable with the rule of laws and not to the undocile beings. The study of sciences claim certain level of eligibility as it cannot be inferred by all. As such the chapter, Associated with Aged, gives detailed instructions regarding the observance of some discipline in life which will regulate a pure soul with larger assets of life. The study of sciences can tame those who possess the qualities of obedience, hearing, grasping retentive memory, discrimination, inference and deliberation.
Associated with Aged then describes the role of the instructor or experienced teacher who shall guide the prince in the study of Sciences. After pursuing the ceremony of tonsure the prince is supposed to study alphabets and arithmetic. With the possession of the sacred thread the prince or Brahman is now eligible to study the three forms of sciences, the sciences of Avinshaki under the authorised teachers, Varta under government superintendents and Danda Niti under theoretical and practical politicians.
Associated with Aged lays down the instructions for the prince which he is supposed to observe till he reaches the age of sixteen after which he will observe the ceremony of tonsure and marry. In view of maintaining efficient discipline the prince is advised to be invariably in the company of the aged professors in whom the roots of discipline of life is already firm ad they remain as a role model for the prince. Along with this the king is supposed to spend his forenoon in receiving lessons on military art concerning elephants, horses, chariots and weapons while the afternoons are supposed to be spent in listening Itihas and various stories of legends. The subject mentioned as Itihasa includes subjects like Indian Puranas
, Itivritta (history), Akhyayaka (tales), Udaharanas (illustrative stories), Dharmashastra and Arthashastra
Having spent his day in learning the sciences of discipline, Association with Aged then advises the prince to spend his rest of the day in not only receiving new lessons but also in revising the old ones. This will help him to have better retention power and re understand all that he missed earlier. Kautilya
insists that by hearing this will ensure better knowledge; from knowledge steady application or yoga is possible; from Yoga
self possession is possible as this will lead to efficient learning. As such the king kin the long run who is well disciplined with high level of knowledge will be in a position to render better administration to its people with more oriented peace and security for its kingdom.
Thus, Associated with Aged mainly stresses on spread of pure companies with pure teachings which will form the base of a strong empire. Associated with aged has been intended to provide the philosophical base associated with strong teachings to equip the king with strong foundation.