Shishupala-vadha (Study)

by Shila Chakraborty | 2018 | 112,267 words

This page relates ‘Spies in the Manusamhita’ of the study on the Shishupala-vadha (in English) in the light of Manusamhita (law and religious duties) and Arthashastra (science of politics and warfare). The Shishupalavadha is an epic poem (Mahakavya) written by Magha in the 7th century AD. It consists of 1800 Sanskrit verses spread over twenty chapters and narrates the details of the king of the Chedis.

Spies in the Manusaṃhitā

To protect the kingdom and the realm the king should perform some duties. Lord Manu says—

dūtasaṃpreṣaṇaṃ caiva kāryaśeṣaṃ tathaiva ca |
antaḥ purapracāraṃca praṇidhīnāñca ceṣṭitam || 7.153 ||[1]

“[He should deliberate] also, on the deputation of envoys, the execution of the undertakings, the whereabouts of the ladies of the harem and the doings of the spies.”[2]

In this context, commentator Kullūkabhatṛtṛa’ said about the appointment of spy.—

“cārāṇāñca pratirājādiṣu niyukrānāṃ carāntaraiścepṭitamavadhārayet ” |

Medhātithi commented about this:

“praṇidhīnāñca kāpaṭikādīnāṃ vā parasparābhiceṣṭitaṃ cintayet ” |

Here praṇidhi means cara or spy. As we have noticed elsewhere Manu does not mention the qualifications of Pranidhi or spy. Kauṭily has a most comprehensive treatment on the subject. It is worthy of notice that Kullūka has referred to a five fold classification of spies and described them in dtails.

Beside this, Manu also said about the compulsory duty of the king.

kṛtsnaṃ cāṣṭavidhaṃ karma pañcavargañca tattvataḥ anurāgāparāgau ca pracāraṃ maṇḍalasya ca ||” 7.154 ||[3]

“[He should deliberate], also on the entire eight fold acts, the fivefold group [of spies] correctly, the affection or disaffection [of his enemies servants and etc.] and the conduct of the circle [of the neighbouring kings].”[4]

In this context, ‘Manu’ used the technical term Pañcavarga. Here Pañcavarga means the five fold groups of spies. They are kāpaṭika, udāsthita, gṛhapativyañjana, vaidehika vyañjana and tāpasa vyañjana.

But, commentator ‘Kullūkabhaṭṭa presents and elaborates discourse on the nature and functions of the five kinds of spies, which are kāpaṭika, udāsthita, gṛhapativyañjana, vaidehika vyañjana and tāpasa vyañjana.

Kullūkabhaṭṭa says in his commentary—

“kāpaṭikodāsthita—gṛhapati—vaidehika—tāpasa—vyañjanātmakaṃ pañcabidhaṃ cāravargaṃ pañcavargaśavdavācyaṃ tattvataścintayet | tatra paramadharmajñaḥ pragalbhacchātraḥ kapaṭavyavahāritvāt kāpaṭikastaṃ vṛttyarthinamarthamānābhyāmupagṛhya rahasi rājā vruyāt “yasya durvṛttaṃ paśyasi tattadānīmeba mayi vaktavyamiti | pravrajyārūḍhapatita udāsthitaḥ, taṃ lokeṣu viditadoṣaṃ prajñāśaucayukraṃvṛttyarthinaṃ jñātvā rahasi rājā pūrvavat vruyāt vahūtpattikamaṭhe sthapayet | pracuraśasyotpattikaṃ bhūmyantarañca tadvṛttyarthamupakalpayet | sa cānyeṣāmapi pravrajitānāṃ rājacārakarmakāriṇāṃ grāsācchādanādikaṃ dadyāt | karṣakaḥ kṣīṇavṛtriḥ prajñāśaucayukro gṛhapativyañjanastamapi pūrvavaduktvā svabhūmau kṛṣikarma kārayet | vāṇijakaḥ kṣīṇavṛttiḥ vaidehikavyañjanastaṃ pūrvavaduttcā dhanamānābhyāmātmīkṛtya vāṇijyaṃ kārayet |” muṇḍo jaṭilo vā vṛttikāmastāpasavyañjanaḥ, so'pi kvacidāśrame vasan vahumuṇḍajaṭilāntarakapaṭaśiṣyagaṇavṛto guptarājopakalpitavṛttiḥ tāpasyaṃ kuryāt, māsa— dvimāsāntaritaṃ prakāśaṃ vadarādimuṣṭimaśnīyāt, rahasi ca rājopakalpitaṃ yatheṣṭamāhāraṃ kalpayet | śiṣyāścāsyātītānāgatajñānādikaṃ khyāpayeyuḥ | tena vahulokaveṣṭanamāsādya sarveṣāṃ viśvāsanīyatvāt sarve kāryamakāryañca pṛcchanti | anyasya ca kukriyādikaṃ kathayantyevaṃrūpaṃ pañcavargaṃ yathāvaccintayet | evaṃ pañcavargaṃ prakaḍpya tenaiva pañcavargadvāreṇa patirājasyātmīyānāñcāmātyadīnāmanurāgavirogau jñātvā tadanurupaṃ cintayet | vakṣyamāṇasya ca rājamaṇḍalasya pracāraṃ kaḥ sandhyarthī ko vā vigrahārthītyadikaṃ cintayet | tañca jñātvā tadanuguṇaṃ cintayet | ”

“The spies would act under the guise of these men. A Kāpatika means an intelligent student capable of reading the thoughts of others through false behaviour. The king should win over such a man to his service and speak to him in secret in the following manner—“please keep me informed of any defect that you may notice in my administration”. An ascetic who has violated his vows is known as ‘Udāsthita’. The king; finding him to be a wise and pure man whose weaknesses have yet remained unexposed to the people, should employ him in his service with secret instruction (like the Kāpatika). He would place the man at the top of a monastery yielding a large income and would also give him large tracts of lands producing abundant crop so that he may give shelter to other disguised mendicants who are in the espionage of the king. A gṛhapati is a distressed agriculturist. The king finding him to be a man of intelligence and possessed of pure character, make provisions for his better livelihood and employ him in his work with secret instructions. Similarly a vaidehika is a decayed merchant fallen into rainy days. The king should grant vast amount of wealth and land to him and engage him in his service with instructions as before. A tāpasa is a false ascetic with paraphernalia of matted locks and surrounded by a group of fictitious disciples who are in the habit of propagating his knowledge of past and future. His uncommon austerities and mystic powers, his habit of taking handful of plums at an interval of two months and so on. His meal would be secretly sent by the king and he would try to secure information regarding the whereabouts of wicked persons as they confess to him on account of his occupying the privileged position.”[5]

Commentator ‘Medhātithi; commented about Pañcavarga

1. “paramadharmajñāḥ pragalbhachātrāḥ kāpaṭikāstānarthamānābhyāmupasaṃgṛhya mantrī pruyāt ”rājānaṃ māñca pramāṇaṃ kṛtvā yatra yadakuśalaṃ tat tadānīmevācchātavyaṃ tvaye” ti |

2. pravrajyāyāḥ pratyavasita udāsthitaḥ, sa ca prajñāśaucayukraḥ, sarvānnapradānasamarthāyāṃ bhūmau prabhūtahiraṇyāyāṃ dāsakarma kārayet | kṛṣikarmaphalaṃ tacca sarvapravrajitānāṃ grāsācchādanāvasathān pratividadhyāt, teṣāṃ ye vṛttikāmāstānupajapedevametenaiva vṛttena rājārthaścaritavyobhakravetanakāle copasthatavyamiti | sarvapravrajitāḥ svaṃ svaṃ karmopajapeyuḥ |

3. karṣako vṛttikṣīṇaḥ prajñāśaucayukrogṛhapativyañjanaḥ, sa kṛṣikarma kuryāda, yathokrāyāṃ bhūmāviti |

4. vāṇijiko vṛttikṣīṇaḥ prajñāśaucayukrovaidehikavyañjanaḥ, sa kṛṣikarma kuryād, yathokrāyāṃ bhūmāviti samānam |

5. muṇḍo jaṭilo vā vṛttikāmaḥ tāpasavyañjanaḥ, sa nagarābhyāse prabhūtajaṭilamuṇḍāntevāsivṛtaḥ śākaṃ yavamuṣṭiṃ vā māsāntaritaṃ prakāśamaśnīyāddharmavyājena guḍhaṃ yatheṣṭamāhāram | tāpasavyañjanāntevāsinaścainaṃ prasiddhayogairarthalābhamagre śiṣyāścādiśeyuḥ | dāhaṃ caurabhayaṃ duṣṭavadhañca videśaprabṛttamidamadya śvo vā bhaviṣyatīdaṃ vā rājā kariṣyatīti tasya gūḍhamantriṇastatprayukrāḥ sampādayeyu | ye cāsya rājño vaṃśalakṣaṇavihyāṃ saṅgavidyāṃ jambhakavidyāṃ māyāgatamāśramadharmaṃ nimittajñānañcādhīyānā mantriṇastatra rājā etatpañcasaṃsthayatairmantribhiḥ svaviṣaye'vasthapayet |mantripurohitasenāpatiyuvarāja— dauvārikāntarvaṃśikādiṣu sadvyapadeśaveṣaśilpabhāṣāvido janapadāpadeśena mantriṇaḥ sandhārayet | tathā kuvjavāmanakirātamūkajaḍavadhirāndhanaṭanarttakagāyanādayaḥ striyaścābhyantāracāriṇyo'ṭavyāṃ vanecarāḥ kāryāḥ, grāme grāmīṇakādayaḥ puruṣavyapārārthāḥ svavyāpāraparamparāḥ | parasparañcaite voddhavyāstādṛśaireva tādṛśāḥ | vārisaṃstha gūḍhasaṃjñitāḥ | evaṃ pañcavargaṃ prakalpya parasyātmanaścātmīyādeva pañcavargān mantripurohitādīnāmanurāgāparāgau vidyāt, pravarteta | tathā rājamaṇḍalapracāram, ko māṇḍalikaḥ sandhivigrahādau kasmin pracāre pravartata iti |

According to’ k Kullūkabhaṇa the king should say to Kāpatika to report to him any evil of any person which he notices. According to ‘Medhātithi, the minister should say this to Kāpatika. As king and minister are the authority of Kāpatika, he would report to king and minister about any evil of any person which he would notice. Beside this—Kullūkabhaṭṭa and ‘Medhātithi’ had recommended on five fold group of spies.

But Manu did not discuss in detail. He had discussed only about five fold group of spies using the word Pañcavarga. Manu’s pañcavarga is kauṇilya’s saṃstha type of spy.

According to the importance, utility etc. Kauṭilya described vividly about spy using the knowledge of Manusaṃhitā and its commentary in his Arthaśāstra.

In this way, appointing Pañcavarga, the king will come to know with the help of his own spy whether the priests and the ministers of his kingdom are pleased or not.

Manu also discussed that the king will know about rājamaṇḍala. He should know which of the kings are eager to make treaty and who are ready to fight. Rājamaṇḍala is discussed in details in the part of the principle of war in the, Manusaṃhitā. Great Kauṭilya followed Kullūkabhaṭṭa and Medhātithi.

Footnotes and references:

[1]:

Manabendu Bandyopadhaya: Op. cit., p.696.

[2]:

Ashoka Bandyopadhaya: Op. cit., p. 248.

[3]:

Manabendu Bandyopadhaya: Op. cit., p. 697.

[4]:

Ashoka Bandyopadhaya: Op. cit., p. 250.

[5]:

Ashokanath Shastri: Op. cit., pp. 161-162.

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