(Last Updated on : 27/12/2010)
Battles of Intrigues describe the situation when the enemy does not agree to the methods of peace. In such conditions the enemy king should be told that such king who does not accept peace gets perished by surrendering to the aggregate of six enemies. Chapter II of Book XII in Arthashastra
advises such a king that it is not worthy to follow the unwise kings; be mindful of virtue and wealth and be away from such people who advises the king to be brave in violating wealth, causing sin and danger as these people are enemies under the guise of friends. Kautilya
claims it is dangerous to fight with men who are reckless with their own lives and cannot be regarded as brave individuals; causing unnecessarily the loss of lives of innocent people is considered to be sin; while it is the violation of wealth to abandon the wealth in hand. Thus the treatise suggests that when a powerful king who has a number of friends who shall be set against you at times of crisis and who continues to have strong influence over the Circle of Madhyama and Neutral States is opposed to the weaker king; he should be defeated only with the methods of intrigues under which the weak king should enlist those enemies who bear the face of friends and pretend to loose before the powerful enemy for some time.
Battles of Intrigues entails that without caring for any advises if the powerful enemy continues to proceed in his own way then the weak king is supposed to create disaffection among the enemy's people by adopting such measures which are mentioned in chapters like Conduct of Corporations and Enticement of the Enemy in Secret Contrivances. He should also make use of the fiery spies and poisons; the keepers of harlots should excite love in the minds of the leaders of the enemy's army. The fiery spies should bring about quarrels among them. The weak king can further employ the spies under guise of ascetics who shall administer poison in the form of medicines. Further spies can also be employed in guise of merchants who shall further employ spies in guise of maid- servants. All these shall be required to penetrate inside the household and apply poison in the form of medicines.
Battles of Intrigues also includes the spies in guise of astrologers who shall be employed to delude the enemy's prime minister with the belief that he possesses some physiognomic characteristics of a king and in the process encourages him deceive his king. Among other forms of spies the weak king can employ spies in guise of a cook, or a servant. The spies, who are placed under the charge of the officers who control the waste lands in the enemy area, shall be helpful in spreading wrong information from the country side to the people who reside in the fortified areas which shall bring unrest in the kingdom.
Thus, Battles of Intrigue mainly authorises the weak king to use methods of intrigue and treachery who cannot challenge the powerful king with the strength of his army or with his resources. In this Institution of Spies
come as big relief to the weak king who can intrude in any way in the areas of the enemy.