(Last Updated on : 22/11/2010)
Conduct of a Prince as included in Arthashastra
instructs the prince to faithfully follow his father even if he is put to trouble till his activities do not enrage the people in general. Conduct of a prince mainly stresses on prince's own activities to be under restrains. The prince with his own activities turns to be responsible for whatever he does for the well being of his people, king as well as the kingdom. It is the stage when the prince learns to function and be accountable to the people
Conduct of a Prince advises that if he is employed in a good or meritorious work, he shall try to win the good graces of the superintendent of that work, carry the work to a profitable end beyond expectation, and present his father with the proportional profit derived from that work as well as with the excessive profit due to his skill. If the king is not still pleased with him and shows undue partiality to another prince and other wives, he may request the king to permit him for a forest-life.
Conduct of a Prince further allows the prince to take refuge to any neighbouring country those who are known to be righteous, charitable, truthful and not given to cunning and welcomes and respects the guests of good character. Residing therein the prince is free to find his means of living and provide himself with men and money, contract marriage - contacts with influential personage, win alliances with wild tribal chiefs and even win over their areas which come under his father's jurisdiction. Along with this the prince can also earn his living by working in gold mines and ruby mines which fall in his kingdom, can manufacture gold and silver ornaments as well. He can further, with his discourse with others, learn the art of making poison and create his own contacts in the absence of the king's knowledge.
Conduct of the Prince further allows the prince to remain in disguise with the help of the spies of his own kingdom to when he can hide himself with various roles like a carpenter or a painter or a court bard when slowly and steadily he will acquire power with his new friends to present himself before the king to declare revolt against a desperate king.
On a negative aspect the prince may choose to conspire to kill the abandoned king and on doing so he may be caught by women, liquor at night or while hunting and brought back to the court where he shall be conciliated to the king with the king with a promise of sovereignty and kept under close watch. If the king has more than one son then the corrupt son will be banished.
Thus, along with the protection of the prince it remains equally important that the prince remains ethically and morally strong and righteous. Conduct of the Prince lays the conditions under which the prince can protect himself while at the same time look for future alliances with his newly made friends.