Kamandakiya Nitisara is basically a text on polity which focuses on king and his duties.
Etymologically Nitisara means ‘Essence of polity’, ‘Niti’ meaning ‘politics’ and ‘Sara’ meaning ‘essence’.
Kamandakiya was a disciple of Kautilya and his Nitisara is an abridged version of Kautilya Arthashastra. Kamandakiya Nitisara falls into the category of Nitishastra. Etymologically, Nitishahstra is a Sanskrit word which means ‘science of proper governance’. ‘Ni’ means to ‘to lead’ and ‘Niti’ means ‘direction’.
His work is a substantial work of 1192 verses contained in 20 chapters(Sargas). It does not have anything to do with ethics, but only deals with governance, king and his kingdom. Main aim of this nitisara is to provide kings with all the answers for kingdom related queries.
For the protection of creatures, the science of Polity was formerly written by Brahma in ten million chapters which later was epitomised by Siva in ten thousand chapters. It was abridged further by Indra in five thousand chapters. Vrihaspati converted it into three thousand chapters, and Sukra into one thousand. At the end of the age of Rishis, Chanakya was the first to reform this science.
Kamandakiya Nitisara is an abridged version of Kautilya Arthashastra and was composed during period of Gupta Dynasty. While Kautilya arthashastra is written in Prose form, Kamandakiya Nitisara is written in metrical form, i.e., verses. But still its style is peculiarly unpoetical. Kamandakiya used concise expressions and avoided elaborate information.
DUTIES OF MASTER
Kamandakiya Nitisara compares king to ‘Kalpa’ tree, which fulfils every wish is fabled to in Indra’s paradise similarly King was supposed to fulfil every wish of his subjects.
He should be the source of subsistence to his kingdom otherwise he will be forsaken by his people just as a withered tree is forsaken by the birds. If the king does not possess all good qualities as given by kamandikaya in chapter IV in his Nitisara then king should not be consulted by his subjects. Rather than seeking maintenance from such king, people should die of hunger.
King should ensure that he has a big treasury and efficient army as it is liked by the people. He should, at regular intervals endow his supportive servants with remunerations comparable to their work. If he cancels any remunerations to any servant, he would bring disgrace upon himself. He should only select those men to be recipient of his favour, who have expelled themselves thoroughly in every quality. He should use his money intelligently and not waste it on unworthy people, by wasting it negligently not only he will do bad to his treasury, but this will also affect the people of his kingdom. He should never insult high-born and righteous people as these people for the sake of their honour may leave or even kill him for their insult. Dependents of mediocre or low origin who have sterling qualities should be promoted by the king as they try hard to enhance king’s prosperity out of gratitude. The high born and low born were not supposed to be promoted together by the king. The kings, whose dependents live a happy and prosperous life, they live a long life and are praise-worthy. They are respected by their dependents and are flourished with wealth.
Income and business are very important factors for deciding the enormity of a kingdom. Hence it is a major duty of the king to control and ensure the proper functioning of this system. For this purpose of collection of taxes, a king should appoint a loyal man from one of his relative to look after all the income sources. Only those men should be employed as administrator of all his business, who are truthful, loyal, energetic and possess theoretical and practical knowledge of all works. The person who is skilled in a task should be entrusted to do that thing only. He should be strict and regular in taking proper care for his treasury and granary. As the king and his kingdom solely depends on these things, he should not compromise with the security of its storehouse and should personally inspect it at appropriate times. He should never hinder anyone to choose any occupation or which they have already chosen but rather he ought to support the trading class .
Bravery and want to oppress are hence thought to be the important characteristics of a king. The presence of warring states normally weeps for the solid authority of exclusive who has the coarseness and ability of enslaving his foes and merging and safeguarding the security and tranquillity of the state. The support of the general population can’t be won by a lord who has not won the affections and respect of his subjects for whose welfare he more likely than not devoted his life.
The lord must find a way to secure his kingship by consistent readiness and active but subtle effort towards the expansion of the kingdom.
It is the duty of the king to protect his kingdom against enemies and thieves just as a farmer, using a stick protects his farms from thieves and monsters which comes to destroy his farm.
Just as cows are nourished at one time and are milked at another and a florist sprinkles water on flowers and raises them and pluck them at other time similarly the king should help his subjects with money and provisions when in need and should collect the taxes at proper time and season. Those who do not support their king in the hard times, they burn like insects on the flame of lamps. King should ever desire to increase his treasury and kingdom and at right times should use this money to for the realisation of Trivarga. The king who spends his money on religious purposes is praiseworthy. The one and the most important rule for the king is that he should never trust anyone and should always be suspicious, but this suspicion should not affect administration in anyway. He should always try to win the confidence of those people who don’t have confidence in him and should place excessive faith on the people who already have faith in him. The king should not be susceptible to change in in heart upon success, he should stay calm and look forward to fulfilling his very motive to take care of his kingdom.
The kingdom in which the people are obedient and fully satisfied, who are eager to be hear the sweet sound of his and king, and whose kinsmen have full faith on their king, the glory of such king glows for a long time.
Duties of servant
The person who want to serve his king should possess qualities like noble lineage, learned and a good moral character. Not only should he be patient but also should be true and beyond the range of falseness, hatred and ingenuinesness. He should be qualified in modesty, knowledge and should be well informed about different arts. If a servant is a real devotee of his master, he ought to have the encouragement in himself to show wisdom for learning and works of his master. Kamandakiya has emphasized on the noble qualities that a servant should possess like friendly personality, physical fitness. Such person should employ himself in the services of an eminent and admirable master for a successful career. He should always try to remain in good company and be devoted and respectful towards his master. A servant should do good to other people in the favourable time, but he should also skilfully try to promote his own interest.
Once he has obtained an access to the king’s court he should be present in the court on time, wearing decent attire and should pay his respect to the king. Discipline is the most important aspect that kamandakiya preaches in his nitisara on the part of the servant. In courtroom, he should keep in mind to not to disrespect his superiors or talk to them in disrespectful manner. He should always listen to what his master does and say so that he can learn the right actions to be performed and right behaviour to adapt.
A servant no matter what should act out of his boundaries in terms of emotions, feelings or any humanly behaviour which shows the state of mind of the servant. It basically relates the servant to live in formality around his master.
If at any point, king deviates from the path of morality or there is an emergency, or the any favourable point remained unnoticed. Otherwise, the servant should avoid giving uncalled advices. He should always think for the good of his master and never think of his dethronement and death. He should avoid the company of women, and representatives of enemies and those who had been turned away by his master. He should never every try to copy his kings’ habits and copy his master even if he possesses royal qualities.
On the off chance that a worker has every single such quality, the ace will be upbeat and tune in to each counsel and will enquire about his wellbeing and prosperity. Not just then the lord will give him a higher place in his court however will likewise tune in to should each counsel painstakingly and depend him. He ought to never spurn his lord during peril, the person who remains with his lord in rime of threat, there is nobody more excellent than him. They ought to dependably be mindful and watch out for the shades of malice which are winning close to the lord. He ought to likewise attempt to fend off his lord from wrongs like betting and incontinence. It is said that the hirelings share the annihilation and triumph with their lords.