Arthashastra, Arthaśāstra, Artha-shastra: 15 definitions



Arthashastra means something in Hinduism, Sanskrit, Marathi. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.

The Sanskrit term Arthaśāstra can be transliterated into English as Arthasastra or Arthashastra, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).

In Hinduism

Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

[«previous (A) next»] — Arthashastra in Purana glossary
Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index

Arthaśāstra (अर्थशास्त्र).—One of the 18 vidyas1 Science of Polity pleaded by Indra in extenuation of his destruction of Diti's garbha2 No regard for the śāstra during Pṛthu's reign: Budha learned in;3 to be learnt by a prince.4

  • 1) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 31. 23; 35. 89; Vāyu-purāṇa 58. 23; 61. 79.
  • 2) Matsya-purāṇa 7. 63; 10. 32; Viṣṇu-purāṇa III. 6. 28.
  • 3) Matsya-purāṇa 24. 2.
  • 4) Matsya-purāṇa 144. 23; 220. 2.
Purana book cover
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The Purana (पुराण, purāṇas) refers to Sanskrit literature preserving ancient India’s vast cultural history, including historical legends, religious ceremonies, various arts and sciences. The eighteen mahapuranas total over 400,000 shlokas (metrical couplets) and date to at least several centuries BCE.

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Rasashastra (chemistry and alchemy)

[«previous (A) next»] — Arthashastra in Rasashastra glossary
Source: CBSE: Chemistry in India

Arthaśāstra (अर्थशास्त्र).—Kauṭilya’s Arthaśāstra is a well-known text of governance and administration authored probably in the 3rd or 4th century BCE , during the Mauryan era. It has much data on prevailing chemical practices, in particular a long section on mines and minerals (including metal ores of gold, silver, copper, lead, tin and iron). It also discusses the various characteristics of precious stones (pearl, ruby, beryl, etc.), details of fermented juices (from sugarcane, jaggery, honey, jambu, jackfruit, mango, etc.), and oil extraction.

Rasashastra book cover
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Rasashastra (रसशास्त्र, rasaśāstra) is an important branch of Ayurveda, specialising in chemical interactions with herbs, metals and minerals. Some texts combine yogic and tantric practices with various alchemical operations. The ultimate goal of Rasashastra is not only to preserve and prolong life, but also to bestow wealth upon humankind.

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Dharmashastra (religious law)

Source: Knowledge Traditions & Practices of India: Education: Systems & Practices

Arthaśāstra (अर्थशास्त्र) refers to the “science of polity” and represents one of the nine divisions of the Paurūṣeya classification of Śāstra knowledge; all part of the ancient Indian education system, which aimed at both the inner and the outer dimension of a person.

Dharmashastra book cover
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Dharmashastra (धर्मशास्त्र, dharmaśāstra) contains the instructions (shastra) regarding religious conduct of livelihood (dharma), ceremonies, jurisprudence (study of law) and more. It is categorized as smriti, an important and authoritative selection of books dealing with the Hindu lifestyle.

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Vastushastra (architecture)

[«previous (A) next»] — Arthashastra in Vastushastra glossary
Source: Knowledge Traditions & Practices of India: Architecture (1): Early and Classical Architecture

Arthaśāstra (अर्थशास्त्र) is the name of a Sanskrit word partly dealing with the “science of architecture” (vāstuvidyā).—Kauṭilya’s Arthaśāstra (c. 300 BCE) deals with town planning, fortifications and other structures of civil nature.

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Vastushastra (वास्तुशास्त्र, vāstuśāstra) refers to the ancient Indian science (shastra) of architecture (vastu), dealing with topics such architecture, sculpture, town-building, fort building and various other constructions. Vastu also deals with the philosophy of the architectural relation with the cosmic universe.

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Arthashastra (politics and welfare)

[«previous (A) next»] — Arthashastra in Arthashastra glossary
Source: Knowledge Traditions & Practices of India: Society State and Polity: A Survey

Arthaśāstra (अर्थशास्त्र) (4th century BCE) by Kauṭilya is one of the most influential treatises of political science. It visualizes a huge bureaucratic structure, a complex tax structure, and an intricate intelligence system for effective governance. Arthaśāstra is divided into sixteen books dealing with virtually every topic concerned with the running of a state: taxation, law, diplomacy, military strategy, economics, bureaucracy etc. It advocates rational ethics in the conduct of the affairs of the state and emphasises the codification and uniformity of the law throughout the state.

Arthashastra book cover
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Arthashastra (अर्थशास्त्र, arthaśāstra) literature concerns itself with the teachings (shastra) of economic prosperity (artha) statecraft, politics and military tactics. The term arthashastra refers to both the name of these scientific teachings, as well as the name of a Sanskrit work included in such literature. This book was written (3rd century BCE) by by Kautilya, who flourished in the 4th century BCE.

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Vaishnavism (Vaishava dharma)

[«previous (A) next»] — Arthashastra in Vaishnavism glossary
Source: Pure Bhakti: Bhagavad-gita (4th edition)

Arthaśāstra (अर्थशास्त्र) refers to “scriptures on economic development”. (cf. Glossary page from Śrīmad-Bhagavad-Gītā).

Vaishnavism book cover
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Vaishnava (वैष्णव, vaiṣṇava) or vaishnavism (vaiṣṇavism) represents a tradition of Hinduism worshipping Vishnu as the supreme Lord. Similar to the Shaktism and Shaivism traditions, Vaishnavism also developed as an individual movement, famous for its exposition of the dashavatara (‘ten avatars of Vishnu’).

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Languages of India and abroad

Marathi-English dictionary

[«previous (A) next»] — Arthashastra in Marathi glossary
Source: DDSA: The Aryabhusan school dictionary, Marathi-English

arthaśāstra (अर्थशास्त्र).—n The law of secularity, as con- trasted from dharmaśāstra, the law of reli- gion. In recent literature it has ac- quired the sense of the Science of economics, political economy.

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Marathi is an Indo-European language having over 70 million native speakers people in (predominantly) Maharashtra India. Marathi, like many other Indo-Aryan languages, evolved from early forms of Prakrit, which itself is a subset of Sanskrit, one of the most ancient languages of the world.

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Sanskrit dictionary

[«previous (A) next»] — Arthashastra in Sanskrit glossary
Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Arthaśāstra (अर्थशास्त्र).—

1) the science of wealth (political economy).

2) science of polity, political science, politics; अर्थशास्त्रविशारदं सुधन्वानमुपाध्यायम् (arthaśāstraviśāradaṃ sudhanvānamupādhyāyam) Rām.2.1.14. Dk.12; इह खलु अर्थशास्त्रकारास्त्रिविधां सिद्धिमुपवर्णयन्ति (iha khalu arthaśāstrakārāstrividhāṃ siddhimupavarṇayanti) Mu.3; °व्यवहारिन् (vyavahārin) one dealing with politics, a politician; Mu.5.

3) science giving precepts on general conduct, the science of practical life; Pt.1.

Derivable forms: arthaśāstram (अर्थशास्त्रम्).

Arthaśāstra is a Sanskrit compound consisting of the terms artha and śāstra (शास्त्र).

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Shabda-Sagara Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Arthaśāstra (अर्थशास्त्र).—n.

(-straṃ) The science of polity or moral and political government. E. artha possession, property, and śāstra institutes of a science.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Cappeller Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Arthaśāstra (अर्थशास्त्र).—[neuter] manual of practical life.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Aufrecht Catalogus Catalogorum

Arthaśāstra (अर्थशास्त्र) as mentioned in Aufrecht’s Catalogus Catalogorum:—Quoted by Rāyamukuṭa.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Monier-Williams Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Arthaśāstra (अर्थशास्त्र):—[=artha-śāstra] [from artha] n. a book treating of practical life (cf. -vidyā above) and political government (cf. -cintana above), [Mahābhārata etc.]

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Sanskrit, also spelled संस्कृतम् (saṃskṛtam), is an ancient language of India commonly seen as the grandmother of the Indo-European language family (even English!). Closely allied with Prakrit and Pali, Sanskrit is more exhaustive in both grammar and terms and has the most extensive collection of literature in the world, greatly surpassing its sister-languages Greek and Latin.

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