Saptanga theory of kautilya||Kautilya on state

 Saptanga theory

The time period and date of Kautilya’s birth are highly controversy. Kautilya was born in a brahmin family. According to Buddhist text mahavamsa tika, kautilya was born in taxila. But the jain scripture of the adbidhan chintamani mention that kautilya was native of south India. Similarly Jain writter Hemachandra’s parishishtaprava claim that kautilya was born in a brahmin family and his wife name was chaneswari. Kautilya was born in charak within taxila, hence he was called chanakya. As his father was devotee of Lord Vishnu, hence he is known as Vishnugupta. He was born in toten of kutala, that’s why he was know as kautilya. He was Universally known as kautilya because of his complex theory in politics

Saptanga theory of kautilya
Saptanga theory of kautilya




Kautilya wrote as many as 6000 slokas. Arthashastra is the great contribution toward Indian society which is the outcome of his knowledge, experience , wisdom and his research.

Arthashastra is a tremendous intermixture of ethics, sociology, economics and politics. By artha in narrow sense it meant the profession or vocation of man. In a larger sense, the term “Arthashastra” refers to the text that contains the fundamentals of state acquisition, maintenance, and upkeep.

Arthashastra is a treatise on statecraft, a mouthpiece which serve as a Valuable guide For statesman of all ages. In this book the wise Kautilya has highlighted the most essential things of Our Social life for the Construction of a dynamic Society.



Kautilya’s statecraft was divided into 4 parts which are described below.

(a) Saptanga Theory of State

(b)king and Council of Ministers,

(c) Village Administration

(d) Law and Justice.


The Saptanga Theory:

According to  Kautilya, a state consists of seven elements, or Prakritis, they are

(a) Swami= the king or Sovereign

(b) Amatya= the ministers

(c) Janapada= Population or territory

(d) Durga = Fort

(e) Kosa = The treasury

(f) Bala = The army

(9) Mitra= Ally/ Friends


(a) Swami 

Swami is the 1st and most important person. To Kautilya, Swami Can be  Single or multiple person. He is not a  feudal authority but responsible sovereign. He have absolute control over the  Complete state machinary.

(b) Amatya

Amatya is Constitutes the important part of the state administration. He must be native of the Kingdom and possess too much devotion towards the Swani.

(c) Janapada

Janapada is the third element of the state which includes population and territory, Kautilya has divided Janapada into eight categories on the basis of Organisation of functions. Janapada is Sanskrit word which implies population or territory.

(d) Durga

Durga is very Vital from the defence point of View. He Spoke of different types of forts such as Hill forts, Water Forts, Forest Forts & Desert Fort. These forts are generally used for the defense of the state.

(e) Kosha

Kosha means treasury which must be replenished for Self-Sufficient and self-reliant state. Without a rich treasury, the development of the state and the People could not be undertaken. To him the state treasury should be filled with gold, silver & other Valuable things. For the growth of treasury, he emphasised on Increasing agriculture, Industrial development, Prosperity of trade & Commerce.

(f) Bala 

Bala means the standing army of the state which is Very Vital for preservation of the state. Kautilya Spoke of six types of armies such as – Hereditary Forces. Hired Forces, Troops of fighting Corporation, Troops of Enemy state, Troops belong to Ally and Wild tribe Troops.

g) Mitra

Mitra is the last element of the state, which is also necessary in the preservation & development of the state. Kautilya spoke of two types of Mitras – Sahaja Mitra & Kritrima Mitra

*A Sahaja Mitrta is one whose friendship has been Proved from the time of his forefather.

*A Kritrima Mitra is one who becomes an ally or Friend only to Protect his own life & Property.


.Duties of the king*

The 1st and for most duty of the king was to protect his Subjects and their Property.

* The king was to Collect revenue and look to the

appointment of Superintendent

*The King has to decided on the number of department the kingdom should have.

*The King must be assisted by this Council of ministers and engage in Collective Secret information of spy

*The king must see the plans taken by his commander in chief before undertaking any operation against his neighbours countries.

*He was to observe the practice of celibacy to the age 16, after which he was to celebrate the practice of tonur.

Council of ministers

The council of ministers constitute an important part of the king’s administration, just as a single wheel can not move. Similarly the king can not perform all his responsibilities. That’s why he depend on the guidance of council of ministers in order to run the system smoothly.


criteria for ministers

1.The ministers must be the native of the kingdom

2. they must born in aristocratic family

3.They must be wise, bold eloquent, pure in character and family , devotee towards the king.

4. They must be brave, healthy and clever

5. They must have pure .


Village administration

Responsibilities of Gopa Gopa was in charge of 4 to 5 villages. He keeps the records of plates of land (cultivated and uncultivated land), places of pilgrims, crematorium ground, forest, etc, and also he is engaged in keeping the record of cultivators merchants, and artisans, etc, also fixes the boundaries between two villages.

Above the gopa, there is another officer called the sthanika, who oversees the work of the gopa within his administration. Both gopa and sthanika are responsible for urban administration.

Above sthanika, there is another officer called samharta then village elderman. They are in charge of temples, land and ornament of gods  and goddess. The top officer is samharta but village eldermans were given a special place.

Kautilya views on laws and justice

In his Arthashastra, kautilya has given special attention to the administration of laws and justice.

To him, it was the duty of king and state to protect the people and secure them justice. Kautilya

stressed on early and speedy justice as justice delayed would mean the same as justice denied.

In Kautilya’s judicial system there was the rule of law as nobody was above law.

Kautilya viewed that there were four types of laws such as sacred law, evidence law,

history/charita and edicts of king(Dharmanyaya).

The sacred law which was also known as dharma was based on the eternal truth which was

accepted by all people of the world.

Evidence law was the law based on witness.

History means the traditions of the people.

The edict of the king and the equity constituted dharmanyaya.


Kautilya spoke of three types of law courts.

*High court

*Itinerant court

*executive court

High court:- The High court situated at the capital city was the highest court of appeal against the decision of the itinerant court. It deal with the cases among citizen between a citizen and an agent of foreign power.

Itinerant court:- The itinerant court was a mobile court established is various administrative unit of the state and consisted of three members proficient in sacred law and three minister having deep knowledge in ethics.

Executive court:– An executive court consisting of three commissioners or three ministers deal with suppressing disturbance weavers, sweepers,goldsmiths,cheats etc.

Qualities of judge:-

He must be a person of great calibre, restraint, balance, and knowledge of all fundamental legal principles.

● He needs to get to know the locals and learn about their traditions.

●The judge shouldn’t be dishonest, avaricious, or disrespectful.

●He is required to punish the offender in proportion to the seriousness of the crime.

◆Also emphasising eyewitnesses was Kautilya. However, he was unable to admit the following individuals: the brother of the eyewitness’s wife, co-partners, inmates, debtors, adversaries, etc.

◆◆Additionally, Kautilya provided two different sorts of courts to handle civil and criminal disputes.

●The criminal court is Sodhana, while the civil court is named Dharmasthiya.