Kautilya Arthashastra

by R. Shamasastry | 1956 | 174,809 words | ISBN-13: 9788171106417

The English translation of Arthashastra, which ascribes itself to the famous Brahman Kautilya (also named Vishnugupta and Chanakya) and dates from the period 321-296 B.C. The topics of the text include internal and foreign affairs, civil, military, commercial, fiscal, judicial, tables of weights, measures of length and divisions of time. Original ...

Chapter 34 - The Superintendent of Passports and Pasture Lands

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

Summary: The Superintendent of Passports and the Superintendent of Pasture Lands.

The superintendent of passports shall issue passes at the rate of a māṣa per pass. Whoever is provided with a pass shall be at liberty to enter into or go out of, the country. Whoever, being a native of the country, enters into or goes out of the country without a pass fined 12 paṇas. He shall be punished with the first amercement for producing a false pass. A foreigner guilty of the same offence shall be punished with the highest amercement.

The superintendent of pasture lands shall examine passes.

Pasture grounds shall be opened between any two dangerous places.

Valleys shall be cleared from the fear of thieves, elephants, and other beasts.

In barren tracts of the country, there shall be constructed not only tanks, buildings for shelter, and wells, but also flower gardens and fruit gardens.

Hunters with their hounds shall reconnoitre forests. At the approach of thieves or enemies, they shall so hide themselves by ascending trees or mountains as to escape from the thieves, and blow conch shells or beat drums. As to the movements of enemies or wild tribes, they may send information by flying the pigeons of royal household with passes (mudrā) or causing fire and smoke at successive distances.

It shall be his duty to protect timber and elephant forests, to keep roads in good repair, to arrest thieves, to secure the safety of mercantile traffic, to protect cows, and to conduct the transaction of the people.[1]

[Thus ends Chapter XXXĪV, “The Superintendent of Passports, and the Superintendent of Pasture Lands,” in Book II, “The Duties of Government Superintendents” of the Arthaśāstra of Kauṭilya. End of the fifty-fifth chapter from the beginning.]

Footnotes and references:


In śloka-metre.

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