(Last Updated on : 22/11/2010)
Creation of Councillor of ministers and Priests had been a vital part of king's administration. Arthashastra lays down that persons who are native, born of high family, influential, well trained in arts, possessed of foresight, wise, of strong memory, bold, eloquent, skilful, intelligent, possessed of enthusiasm, dignity and endurance, pure in character, affable, firm in loyal devotion, endowed with excellent conduct, strength, health and bravery, free from procrastination and fickle mindedness, affectionate, and free from such qualities as excite hatred and enmity shall be eligible for being included as the councillors of ministers or as Kautilya says 'Amatyasampat'.
Anyone who possesses only one- half or one-quarter of these qualifications will be ranked in the middle order or lower order in ranking. Further many of these qualifications like native birth and influential position shall be ascertained from reliable persons; educational qualifications from professors of equal learning; theoretical and practical knowledge, foresight, retentive memory, and affability shall be tested from successful application in works; eloquence, skilfulness and flashing intelligence from power shown in narrating stories; endurance, enthusiasm, and bravery in troubles; purity of life, friendly disposition, and loyal devotion by frequent association; conduct, strength, health, dignity, and freedom from indolence and fickle mindedness shall be ascertained from their intimate friends; and affectionate and philanthropies nature by personal experience.
Creation of the Councillors and Priests often hide the direct efforts of a king in creating his council of ministers. The participation can be visible, invisible or inferential. By this it means what is seen is visible and what is not seen is invisible; what is completed is inferential and what is not completed is inference. As the work of a king spreads through length and breadth of the kingdom, it is advised to the king to depute his ministers with the responsibility to carry them out. Among these the one who is best educated in Vedas and six angas belong to a well reputed family with noble birth, is skilful in reading portents, providential or accidental, is well versed in the science of government, and who is obedient and who can prevent calamities, providential or human, by performing such expiatory rites as are prescribed in the Atharva Veda
, the king shall employ as high priest. As a student his teacher, a son his father, and a servant his master, the king shall follow him. Among the ministers the counsels of good councillors and which faithfully follows the precepts of shastras, will become invincible and will attain success even without weapons.
Creation of council of ministers and priests after the selection of ministers and priests then lays the criteria under which the moral character of the council of ministers and priests are checked. Within this the king assisted by the Prime Minister or Mantrin will offer temptations to ascertain the character of the minister appointed to the government department. The king shall possess power to dismiss the priest who refuses to teach the Vedas or to officiate sacrifices in public functions. As such the king shall create such provocations for the priests as well as the commander in chief and the council of ministers through spies of classmates, women spies etc and those who refuse to doubt the king's intention will be considered as pure and will be included in the army as well as ministry. He invests the power to ascertain the level of purity among the teachers who shall be able to verify the level of purity among the priests as well as the men in army. Kautilya specifically claims that the king shall neither place himself nor his queen for such verification as that would pollute the water.
Thus, creation of council of ministers and priests not only lay down the criteria for selecting the ministers but also lay four kinds allurement through spies to check the level of purity of his people. These four allurements are, namely, religious allurement for the priests; monetary allurement for the commander in chief and men in the army; love allurement for the ministers particularly mahamantrin or the prime minister; and allurement under fear for the sailors and traders. Overall the king makes full efforts to check his ministry from impurities.