(Last Updated on : 16-11-2010)
Concerning Vices and Calamities, Book VIII of Arthashastra
, includes the aggregate of the calamities of the elements of sovereignty; considerations about the troubles of the king and his kingdom; the aggregate of the troubles of men; the group of molestations; the group of obstructions; and the group of financial troubles; the group of troubles of the army; and the group of troubles of a friend. Specifically it talks about the problems which appear in running a virtuous state.
Concerning Vices and Calamities defines the meaning of both vices as well as calamities. Vices, according to the book, means pursuit of some course of action which is opposed to the six fold path of living. Kautilya mentions that when calamities happen together, the form of consideration should be whether it is easier to take an offensive or defensive attitude. National calamities, coming from providence or from man, happen from one's misfortune or bad policy. According to Kautilya
a national calamity comes when the King, people, army and everyone falls into distress and insecurity prevails with weak fortification, weak treasury. Through a debate with Bharadvaja and the schools of Para Sara and Pisuna, Kautilya establishes his definition to assess the aggregate of calamities of the elements of sovereignty.
Concerning Vices and Calamities further includes the description and remedy regarding the troubling factors affecting the king and his kingdom. The troubles of the king may be either internal or external. Internal troubles are more serious than external troubles. Troubles due to a minister are more serious than other kinds of internal troubles. Hence, the king should keep under his own control the powers of finance and the army.
Regarding vices of men it mainly occurs through anger and as mentioned in Arthashastra. Vices due to anger form a triad and those due to desire are fourfold. Providential calamities may also occur which includes natural calamities like floods and famines. This further talk of group of people engaged in molestation and other social vices primarily as mentioned in the book VIII of Arthashastra.
Thus, Book VIII of Arthashastra takes notice of all such factors which hamper in serving the state along with security.