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Kautilya's Arthashastra
Book XIII: Strategic Means to Capture a Fortress
Translated by R. Shamasastry

Sowing the seeds of dissension; enticement of kings by secret contrivances; the work of spies in a siege; the operation of a siege; restoration of peace in a conquered country.


        WHEN the conqueror is desirous of seizing an enemy's village, he should infuse enthusiastic spirit among his own men and frighten his enemy's people by giving publicity to his power of omniscience and close association with gods.

        Proclamation of his omniscience is as follows:--rejection of his chief officers when their secret, domestic and other private affairs are known; revealing the names of traitors after receiving information from spies specially employed to find out such men; pointing out the impolitic aspect of any course of action suggested to him; and pretensions to the knowledge of foreign affairs by means of his power to read omens and signs invisible to others when information about foreign affairs is just received through a domestic pigeon which has brought a sealed letter.

        Proclamation of his association with gods is as follows:--Holding conversation with, and worshipping, the spies who pretend to be the gods of fire or altar when through a tunnel they come to stand in the midst of fire, altar, or in the interior of a hollow image; holding conversation with, and worshipping, the spies who rise up from water and pretend to be the gods and goddesses of Nágas (snakes); placing under water at night a mass of sea-foam mixed with burning oil, and exhibiting it as the spontaneous outbreak of fire, when it is burning in a line; sitting on a raft in water which is secretly fastened by a rope to a rock; such magical performance in water as is usually done at night by bands of magicians, using the sack of abdomen or womb of water animals to hide the head and the nose, and applying to the nose the oil, prepared from the entrails of red spotted deer and the serum of the flesh of the crab, crocodile, porpoise and otter; holding conversation, as though, with women of Varuna (the god of water), or of Nága (the snake-god) when they are performing magical tricks in water; and sending out volumes of smoke from the mouth on occasions of anger.

        Astrologers, sooth-sayers, horologists, story-tellers, (Pauránika), as well as those who read the forebodings of every moment, together with spies and their disciples, inclusive of those who have witnessed the wonderful performances of the conqueror should give wide publicity to the power of the king to associate with gods throughout his territory. Likewise in foreign countries, they should spread the news of gods appearing before the conqueror and of his having received from heaven weapons and treasure. Those who are well versed in horary and astrology and the science of omens should proclaim abroad that the conqueror is a successful expert in explaining the indications of dreams and in understanding the language of beasts and birds. They should not only attribute the contrary to his enemy, but also show to the enemy's people the shower of firebrand (ulká) with the noise of drums (from the sky) on the day of the birth-star of the enemy.

        The conqueror’s chief messengers, pretending to be friendly towards the enemy, should highly speak of the conqueror's respectful treatment of visitors, of the strength of his army, and of the likelihood of impending destruction of his enemy's men. They should also make it known to the enemy that under their master, both ministers and soldiers are equally safe and happy, and that their master treats his servants with parental care in their weal or woe.

        By these and other means, they should win over the enemy's men as pointed out above, and as we are going to treat of them again at length:--

        They should characterise the enemy as an ordinary donkey towards skilful persons; as the branch of lakucha (Artocarpus Lacucha) broken to the officers of his army; as a crab on the shore to anxious persons; as a downpour of lightnings to those who are treated with contempt; as a reed, a barren tree, or an iron ball, or as false clouds to those who are disappointed; as the ornaments of an ugly woman to those who are disappointed in spite of their worshipful service; as a tiger's skin, or as a trap of death to his favourites; and as eating a piece of the wood of pílu (Careya-Arborea), or as churning the milk of a she-camel or a she-donkey (for butter) to those who are rendering to him valuable help.

        When the people of the enemy are convinced of this, they may be sent to the conqueror to receive wealth and, honour. Those of the enemy who are in need of money and food should be supplied with an abundance of those things. Those who do not like to receive such things may be presented with ornaments for their wives and children.

        When the people of the enemy are suffering from famine and the oppression of thieves and wild tribes, the conqueror's spies should sow the seeds of dissension among them, saying: "Let us request the king for favour and go elsewhere if not favoured."

        * When they agree to such proposals, they should be supplied with money, grains, and other necessary help: thus, much can be done by sowing the seeds of dissension.

[Thus ends Chapter I, “Sowing the Seeds of Dissension,” in Book XIII, “Strategic Means to Capture a Fortress” of the Arthasástra, of Kautilya. End of the hundred and forty-first chapter from the beginning.]



        AN ascetic, with shaved head or braided hair and living in the cave of a mountain, may pretend to be four hundred years old, and, followed by a number of disciples with braided hair, halt in the vicinity of the capital city of the enemy. The disciples of the ascetic may make presentations of roots and fruits to the king and his ministers and invite them to pay a visit to the venerable ascetic. On the arrival of the king on the spot, the ascetic may acquaint him with the history of ancient kings and their states, and tell him: "Every time when I complete the course of a hundred years, I enter into the fire and come out of it as a fresh youth (bála). Now, here in your presence, I am going to enter into the fire for the fourth time. It is highly necessary that you may be pleased to honour me with your presence at the time. Please request three boons." When the king agrees to do so, he may be requested to come and remain at the spot with his wives and children for seven nights to witness the sacrificial performance. When he does so, he may be caught hold of.

        An ascetic, with shaved head or braided hair, and followed by a number of disciples with shaved heads or braided hair, and pretending to be aware of whatever is contained in the interior of the earth, may put in the interior of an ant-hill either a bamboo stick wound round with a piece of cloth drenched in blood and painted with gold dust, or a hollow golden tube into which a snake can enter and remain. One of the disciples may tell the king: "This ascetic can discover blooming treasure trove." When he asks the ascetic (as to the veracity of the statement), the latter should acknowledge it, and produce a confirmatory evidence (by pulling out the bamboo stick); or having kept some more gold in the interior of the ant-hill, the ascetic may tell the king: "This treasure trove is guarded by a snake and can possibly be taken out by performing necessary sacrifice. When the king agrees to do so, he may be requested to come and remain. . . (as before).

        When an ascetic, pretending to be able to find out hidden treasure trove, is seated with his body burning with magical fire at night in a lonely place, his disciples may bring the king to see him and inform the king that the ascetic can find out treasure trove. While engaged in performing some work at the request of the king, the latter may be requested to come and remain at the spot for seven nights . . . (as before).

        An accomplished ascetic may beguile a king by his knowledge of the science of magic known as jambhaka, and request him to come and remain . . . (as before).

        An accomplished ascetic, pretending to have secured the favour of the powerful guardian deity of the country, may often beguile the king's chief ministers with his wonderful performance and gradually impose upon the king.

        Any person, disguised as an ascetic and living under water or in the interior of an idol entered into through a tunnel or an underground chamber, may be said by his disciples to be Varuna, the god of water, or the king of snakes, and shown to the king. While going to accomplish whatever the king may desire, the latter may be requested to come and remain . . . (as before.)

        An accomplished ascetic, halting in the vicinity of the capital city, may invite the king to witness the person (of his enemy) when he comes to witness the invocation of his enemy's life in the image to be destroyed, he may be murdered in an unguarded place.

        Spies, under the, guise of merchants come to sell horses, may invite the king to examine and purchase any of the animals. While attentively examining the horses, he may be murdered in the tumult or trampled down by horses.

        Getting into an altar at night in the vicinity of the capital city of the enemy and blowing through tubes or hollow reeds the fire contained in a few pots, some fiery spies may shout aloud: "We are going to eat the flesh of the king or of his ministers; let the worship of the gods go on." Spies, under the guise of sooth-sayers and horologists may spread the news abroad.

        Spies, disguised as Nagas (snake-gods and with their body besmeared with burning oil (tejánataila), may stand in the centre of a sacred pool of water or of a lake at night, and sharpening their iron swords or spikes, may shout aloud as before.

        Spies, wearing coats formed of the skins of bears and sending out volumes of smoke from their mouth, may pretend to be demons, and after circumambulating the city thrice from right to left, may shout aloud as before at a place full of the horrid noise of antelopes and jackals; or spies may set fire to an altar or an image of a god covered with a layer of mica besmeared with burning oil at night, and shout aloud as before. Others may spread this news abroad; or they may cause (by some contrivance or other) blood to flow out in floods from revered images of gods. Others may spread this news abroad and challenge any bold or brave man to come out to witness this flow of divine blood. Whoever accepts the challenge may be beaten to death by others with rods, making the people believe that he was killed by demons. Spies and other witnesses may inform the king of this wonder. Then spies, disguised as sooth-sayers and astrologers may prescribe auspicious and expiatory rites to avert the evil consequences which would otherwise overtake the king and his country. When the king agrees to the proposal he may be asked to perform in person special sacrifices and offerings with special mantras every night for seven days. Then (while doing this, he may be slain) as before.

        In order to delude other kings, the conqueror may himself undertake the performance of expiatory rites to avert such evil consequences as the above and thus set an example to others.

        In view of averting the evil consequences of unnatural occurrences, he (the conqueror) may collect money (from his subjects).

        When the enemy is fond of elephants, spies may delude him with the sight of a beautiful elephant reared by the officer in charge of elephant forests. When he desires to capture the elephant, he may be taken to a remote desolate part of the forest, and killed or carried off as a prisoner. This explains the fate of kings addicted to hunting.

        When the enemy is fond of wealth or women, he may be beguiled at the sight of rich and beautiful widows brought before him with a plaint for the recovery of a deposit kept by them in the custody of one of their kinsmen; and when he comes to meet with a woman at night as arranged, hidden spies may kill him with weapons or poison.

        When the enemy is in the habit of paying frequent visits to ascetics, altars, sacred pillars (stúpa), and images of gods, spies hidden in underground chambers or in subterranean passages, or inside the walls, may strike him down.

        * Whatever may be the sights or spectacles which the king goes in person to witness; wherever he may engage himself in sports or in swimming in water;

        * Wherever he may be careless in uttering such words of rebuke as "Tut" or on the occasions of sacrificial performance or during the accouchement of women or at the time of death or disease (of some person in the palace), or at the time of love, sorrow, or fear;

        * Whatever may be the festivities of his own men, which the king goes to attend, wherever he is unguarded or during a cloudy day, or in the tumultuous concourse of people;

        * Or in an assembly of Bráhmans, or whenever he may go in person to see the outbreak of fire, or when, he is in a lonely place, or when he is putting on dress or ornaments, or garlands of flower, or when he is lying in his bed or sitting on a seat;

        * Or when he is eating or drinking, on these and other occasions, spies, together with other persons previously hidden at those places, may strike him down at the sound of trumpets.

        *And they may get out as secretly as they came there with the pretence of witnessing the sights; thus it is that kings and other persons are enticed to come out and be captured.

[Thus ends Chapter II, "Enticement of Kings by Secret Contrivances," in Book XIII, "Strategic means to Capture a Fortress," of the Arthasástra of Kautilya. End of the hundred and forty-second chapter from the beginning.]


        THE conqueror may dismiss a confidential chief of a corporation. The chief may go over to the enemy as a friend and offer to supply him with recruits and other help collected from the conqueror's territory or followed by a band of spies, the chief may please the enemy by destroying a disloyal village or a regiment or an ally of the conqueror and by sending as a present the elephants, horses, and disaffected persons of the conqueror's army or of the latter's ally; or a confidential chief officer of the conqueror may solicit help from a portion of the territory (of the enemy), or from a corporation of people (sreni) or from wild tribes; and when he has gained their confidence, he may send them down to the conqueror to be routed down on the occasion of a farcical attempt to capture elephants or wild tribes. 

        This explains the work of ministers and wild chiefs under the mission of the conqueror.

        After making peace with the enemy, the conqueror may dismiss his own confidential ministers. They may request the enemy to reconcile them to their master. When the enemy sends a messenger for this purpose, the conqueror may rebuke him and say: "Thy master attempts to sow the seeds of dissension between myself and my ministers; so thou should not come here again." Then one of the dismissed ministers may go over to the enemy, taking with him a band of spies, disaffected people, traitors, brave thieves, and wild tribes who make no distinction between a friend and a foe. Having secured the good graces of the enemy, the minister may propose to him the destruction of his officers, such as the boundary-guard, wild chief, and commander of his army, telling him: "These and other persons are in concert with your enemy." Then these persons may be put to death under the unequivocal orders of the enemy.

        The conqueror may tell his enemy: "A chief with a powerfu1 army means to offend us, so let us combine and put him down; you may take possession of his treasury or territory." When the enemy agrees to the proposal and comes out honoured by the conqueror, he may be slain in a tumult or in an open battle with the chief (in concert with the conqueror). Or having invited the enemy to be present as a thick friend on the occasion of a pretended gift of territory, or the installation of the heir-apparent, or the performance of some expiatory rites, the conqueror may capture the enemy. Whoever withstands such inducements may be slain by secret means. If the enemy refuses to meet any man in person, then also attempts may be made to kill him by employing his enemy. If the enemy likes to march alone with his army, but not in company with the conqueror, then he may be hemmed in between two forces and destroyed. If, trusting to none, he wants to march alone in order to capture a portion of the territory of an assailable enemy, then he may be slain by employing one of his enemies or any other person provided with all necessary help. When he goes to his subdued enemy for the purpose of collecting an army, his capital may be captured. Or he may be asked to take possession of the territory of another enemy or a friend of the conqueror; and when he goes to seize the territory, the conqueror may ask his (the conqueror's) friend to offend him (the conqueror), and then enable the friend to catch hold of the enemy. These and other contrivances lead to the same end.

        When the enemy is desirous of taking possession of the territory of the conqueror's friend, then the conqueror may, under the pretence of compliance, supply the enemy with army. Then having entered into a secret concert with the friend, the conqueror may pretend to be under troubles and allow himself to be attacked by the enemy combined with the neglected friend. Then, hemmed from two sides, the enemy may be killed or captured alive to distribute his territory among the conqueror and his friend.

        If the enemy, helped by his friend, shuts himself in an impregnable fort, then his neighbouring enemies may be employed to lay waste his territory. If he attempts to defend his territory by his army, that army may be annihilated. If the enemy and his ally cannot be separated, then each of these may be openly asked to come to an agreement with the conqueror to seize the territory of the other. Then they will, of course, send such of their messengers as are termed friends and recipients of salaries from two states to each other with information: "This king (the conqueror), allied with my army, desires to seize thy territory." Then one of them may, with enragement and suspicion, act as before (i.e., fall upon the conqueror or the friend).

        The conqueror may dismiss his chief officers in charge of his forests, country parts, and army, under the pretence of their intrigue with the enemy. Then going over to 'the enemy, they may catch hold of him on occasions of war, siege, or any other troubles; or they may sow the seeds of dissension between the enemy and his party, corroborating the causes of dissension by producing witnesses specially tutored.

        Spies, disguised as hunters, may take a stand near the gate of the enemy's fort to sell flesh, and make friendship with the sentinels at the gate. Having informed the enemy of the arrival of thieves on two or three occasions, they may prove themselves to be of reliable character and cause him to split his army into two divisions and to station them in two different parts of his territory. When his villages are being plundered or besieged, they may tell him that thieves are come very near, that the tumult is very great, and that a large army is required. They may take the army supplied, and surrendering it to the commander laying waste the villages, return at night with a part of the commander's army, and cry aloud at the gate of the fort that the thieves are slain, that the army has returned victorious, and that the gate may be opened. When the gate is opened by the watchmen under the enemy’s order or by others in confidence, they may strike the enemy with the help of the army.

        Painters, carpenters, heretics, actors, merchants, and other disguised spies belonging to the conqueror's army may also reside inside the fort of the enemy. Spies, disguised as agriculturists, may supply them with weapons taken in carts loaded with firewood, grass, grains, and other commodities of commerce, or disguised as images and flags of gods. Then spies, disguised as priests, may announce to the enemy, blowing their conch shells and beating their drums, that a besieging army, eager to destroy all, and armed with weapons, is coming closely behind them. Then in the ensuing tumult, they may surrender the fort-gate and the towers of the fort to the army of the conqueror or disperse the enemy’s army and bring about his fall.

        Or taking advantage of peace and friendship with the enemy, army and weapons may be collected inside the enemy's fort by spies disguised as merchants, caravans, processions leading a bride, merchants selling horses, peddlers trading in miscellaneous articles, purchasers or sellers of grains, and as ascetics. These and others are the spies aiming on the life of a king.

        The same spies, together with those described in "Removal of thorns" may, by employing thieves, destroy the flock of the enemy's cattle or merchandise in the vicinity of wild tracts. They may poison with the juice of the madana plant, the food-stuffs and beverage kept, as previously arranged, in a definite place for the enemy's cowherds, and go out unknown. When the cowherds show signs of intoxication in consequence of their eating the above food-stuffs, spies, disguised as cowherds, merchants, and thieves, may fall upon the enemy's cowherds, and carry off the cattle.

        Spies disguised as ascetics with shaved head or braided hair and pretending to be the worshippers of god, Sankarshana, may mix their sacrificial beverage with the juice of the madana plant (and give it to the cowherds), and carry off the cattle.

        A spy, under the guise of a vintner, may, on the occasion of procession of gods, funeral rites, festivals, and other congregations of people, go to sell liquor and present the cowherds with some liquor mixed with the juice of the madana plant. Then others may fall upon the intoxicated cowherds (and carry off the cattle).

        * Those spies, who enter into the wild tracts of the enemy with the intention of plundering his villages, and who, leaving that work, set themselves to destroy the enemy, are termed spies under the garb of thieves.

[Thus ends Chapter III, “The Work of Spies in a Siege,” in Book XIII, “The Strategic Means to Capture a Fortress,” of the Arthasástra of Kautilya. End of the hundred and forty-third chapter from the beginning.]


        REDUCTION (of the enemy) must precede a siege. The territory that has been conquered should be kept so peacefully that it might sleep without any fear. When it is in rebellion, it is to be pacified by bestowing re- wards and remitting taxes, unless the conqueror means to quit it. Or he may select his battle fields in a remote part of the enemy's territory, far from the populous centres; for, in the opinion of Kautilya, no territory deserves the name of a kingdom or country unless it is full of people. When a people resist the attempt of the conqueror, then he may destroy their stores, crops, and granaries, and trade.

        * By the destruction of trade, agricultural produce, and standing crops, by causing the people to run away, and by slaying their leaders in secret, the country will be denuded of its people.

        When the conqueror thinks: "My army is provided with abundance of staple corn, raw materials, machines, weapons, dress, labourers, ropes and the like, and has a favourable season to act, whereas my enemy has an unfavourable season and is suffering from disease, famine and loss of stores and defencive force, while his hired troops as well as the army of his friend are in a miserable condition,"--then he may begin the siege.

        Having well guarded his camp, transports, supplies and also the roads of communication, and having dug up a ditch and raised a rampart round his camp, he may vitiate the water in the ditches round the enemy's fort, or empty the ditches of their water or fill them with water if empty, and then he may assail the rampart and the parapets by making use of underground tunnels and iron rods. If the ditch (dváram) is very deep, he may fill it up with soil. If it is defended by a number of men, he may destroy it by means of machines. Horse soldiers may force their passage through the gate into the fort and smite the enemy. Now and then in the midst of tumult, he may offer terms to the enemy by taking recourse to one, two, three, or all of the strategic means.

        Having captured the birds such as the vulture, crow, naptri, bhása, parrot, máina, and pigeon which have their nests in the fort-walls, and having tied to their tails inflammable powders (agniyoga), he may let them fly to the forts. If the camp is situated at a distance from the fort and is provided with an elevated post for archers and their flags, then the enemy's fort may be set on fire. Spies, living as watchmen of the fort, may tie inflammable powder to the tails of mongooses, monkeys, cats and dogs and let them go over the thatched roofs of the houses. A splinter of fire kept in the body of a dried fish may be caused to be carried off by a monkey, or a crow, or any other bird (to the thatched roofs of the houses).

        Small balls prepared from the mixture of sarala (Pinus Longifolia), devadáru (deodár), pútitrina (stinking grass), guggulu (Bdellium), sriveshtaka (turpentine), the juice of sarja (Vatica Robusta), and láksha (lac) combined with dungs of an ass, camel, sheep, and goat are inflammable (agnidharanah, i.e., such as keep fire.)

        The mixture of the powder of priyala (Chironjia Sapida), the charcoal of avalguja (oanyza, serratula, anthelmintica), madhúchchhishta (wax), and the dung of a horse, ass, camel, and cow is an inflammable powder to be hurled against the enemy.

        The powder of all the metals (sarvaloha) as red as fire, or the mixture of the powder of kumbhí (gmelia arberea, sísa (lead), trapu (zinc), mixed with the charcoal powder of the flowers of páribhadraka (deodar), palása (Butea Frondosa), and hair, and with oil, wax, and turpentine, is also an inflammable powder.

        A stick of visvásagháti painted with the above mixture and wound round with a bark made of hemp, zinc, and lead, is a fire-arrow (to be hurled against the enemy).

        When a fort can be captured by other means, no attempt should be made to set fire to it; for fire cannot be trusted; it not only offends gods, but also destroys the people, grains, cattle, gold, raw materials and the like. Also the acquisition of a fort with its property all destroyed is a source of further loss. Such is the aspect of a siege.

        When the conqueror thinks: "I am well provided with all necessary means and with workmen whereas my enemy is diseased with officers proved to be impure under temptations, with unfinished forts and deficient stores, allied with no friends, or with friends inimical at heart," then he should consider it as an opportune moment to take up arms and storm the fort.

        When fire, accidental or intentionally kindled, breaks out; when the enemy's people are engaged in a sacrificial performance, or in witnessing spectacles or the troops, or in a quarrel due to the drinking of liquor; or when the enemy's army is too much tired by daily engagements in battles and is reduced in strength in consequence of the slaughter of a number of its men in a number of battles; when the enemy's people wearied from sleeplessness have fallen asleep; or on the occasion of a cloudy day, of floods, or of a thick fog or snow, general assault should be made.

        Or having concealed himself in a forest after abandoning the camp, the conqueror may strike the enemy when the latter comes out.

        A king pretending to be the enemy's chief friend or ally, may make the friendship closer with the besieged, and send a messenger to say: "This is thy weak point; these are thy internal enemies; that is the weak point of the besieger; and this person (who, deserting the conqueror, is now coming to thee) is thy partisan." When this partisan is returning with another messenger from the enemy, the conqueror should catch hold of him and, having published the partisan's guilt, should banish him, and retire from the siege operations. Then the pretending friend may tell the besieged: "Come out to help me, or let us combine and strike the besieger." Accordingly, when the enemy comes out, he may be hemmed between the two forces (the conqueror's force and the pretending friend's force) and killed or captured alive to distribute his territory (between the conqueror and the friend). His capital city may be razed to the ground; and the flower of his army made to come out and destroyed.

        This explains the treatment of a conquered enemy or wild chief.

        Either a conquered enemy or the chief of a wild tribe (in conspiracy with the conqueror) may inform the besieged: "With the intention of escaping from a disease, or from the attack in his weak point by his enemy in the rear, or from a rebellion in his army, the conqueror seems to be thinking of going elsewhere, abandoning the siege." When the enemy is made to believe this, the conqueror may set fire to his camp and retire. Then the enemy coming out may be hemmed . . . as before.

        Or having collected merchandise mixed with poison, the conqueror may deceive the enemy by sending that merchandise to the latter.

        Or a pretending ally of the enemy may send a messenger to the enemy, asking him: "Come out to smite the conqueror already struck by me." When he does so, he may be hemmed . . . as before.

        Spies, disguised as friends or relatives and with passports and orders in their hands, may enter the enemy's fort and help to its capture.

        Or a pretending ally of the enemy may send information to the besieged: "I am going to strike the besieging camp at such a time and place; then you should also fight along with me." When the enemy does so, or when he comes out of his fort after witnessing the tumult and uproar of the besieging army in danger, he may be slain as before.

        Or a friend or a wild chief in friendship with the enemy may be induced and encouraged to seize the land of the enemy when the latter is besieged by the conqueror. When accordingly any one of them attempts to seize the enemy's territory, the enemy's people or the leaders of the enemy's traitors may be employed to murder him (the friend or the wild chief); or the conqueror himself may administer poison to him. Then another pretending friend may inform the enemy that the murdered person was a fratricide (as he attempted to seize the territory of his friend in troubles). After strengthening his intimacy with the enemy, the pretending friend may sow the seeds of dissension between the enemy and his officers and have the latter hanged. Causing the peaceful people of the enemy to rebel, he may put them down, unknown to the enemy. Then having taken with him a portion of his army composed of furious wild tribes, he may enter the enemy's fort and allow it to be captured by the conqueror. Or traitors, enemies, wild tribes and other persons who have deserted the enemy, may, under the plea of having been reconciled, honoured and rewarded, go back to the enemy and allow the fort to be captured by the conqueror.

        Having captured the fort or having returned to the camp after its capture, he should give quarter to those of the enemy's army who, whether as lying prostrate in the field, or as standing with their back turned to the conqueror, or with their hair dishevelled, with their weapons thrown down or with their body disfigured and shivering under fear, surrender themselves. After the captured fort is cleared of the enemy's partisans and is well guarded by the conqueror's men both within and without, he should make his victorious entry into it.

        Having thus seized the territory of the enemy close to his country, the conqueror should direct his attention to that of the madhyama king; this being taken, he should catch hold of that of the neutral king. This is the first way to conquer the world. In the absence of the madhyama and neutral kings, he should, in virtue of his own excellent qualities, win the hearts of his enemy's subjects, and then direct his attention to other remote enemies. This is the second way. In the absence of a Circle of States (to be conquered), he should conquer his friend or his enemy by hemming each between his own force and that of his enemy or that of his friend respectively. This is the third way.

        Or he may first put down an almost invincible immediate enemy. Having doubled his power by this victory, he may go against a second enemy; having trebled his power by this victory, he may attack a third. This is the fourth way to conquer the world.

        Having conquered the earth with its people of distinct castes and divisions of religious life, he should enjoy it by governing it in accordance with the duties prescribed to kings.

        * Intrigue, spies, winning over the enemy's people, siege, and assault are the five means to capture a fort.

[Thus ends Chapter IV, "The Operation of a Siege and Storming a Fort," in Book XIII, "Strategic Means to Capture a Fortress," of the Arthasástra of Kautilya. End of the hundred and forty-fourth chapter from the beginning.]



        THE expedition which the conqueror has to undertake may be of two kinds: in wild tracts or in single villages and the like.

        The territory which he acquires may be of three kinds: that which is newly acquired, that which is recovered (from an usurper) and that which is inherited.

        Having acquired a new territory, he should cover the enemy's vices with his own virtues, and the enemy's virtues by doubling his own virtues, by strict observance of his own duties, by attending to his works, by bestowing rewards, by remitting taxes, by giving gifts, and by bestowing honours. He should follow the friends and leaders of the people. He should give rewards, as promised, to those who deserted the enemy for his cause; he should also offer rewards to them as often as they render help to him; for whoever fails to fullfil his promises becomes untrustworthy both to his own and his enemy's people. Whoever acts against the will of the people will also become unreliable. He should adopt the same mode of life, the same dress, language, and customs as those of the people. He should follow the people in their faith with which they celebrate their national, religious and congregational festivals or amusements. His spies should often bring home to the mind of the leaders of provinces, villages, castes, and corporations the hurt inflicted on the enemies in contrast with the high esteem and favour with which they are treated by the conqueror, who finds his own prosperity in theirs. He should please them by giving gifts, remitting taxes, and providing for their security. He should always hold religious 1ife in high esteem. Learned men, orators, charitable and brave persons should be favoured with gifts of land and money and with remission of taxes. He should release all the prisoners, and afford help to miserable, helpless, and diseased persons. He should prohibit the slaughter of animals for half a month during the period of Cháturmásya (from July to September), for four nights during the full moon, and for a night on the day of the birth-star of the conqueror or of the national star. He should also prohibit the slaughter of females and young ones (yonibálavadham) as well as castration. Having abolished those customs or transactions which he might consider either as injurious to the growth of his revenue and army or as unrighteous, he should establish righteous transactions. He should compel born thieves as well as the Mlechchhas to change their habitations often and reside in many places. Such of his chief officers in charge of the forts, country parts, and the army, and ministers and priests as are found to have been in conspiracy with the enemy should also be compelled to have their habitations in different places on the borders of the enemy's country. Such of his men as are capable to hurt him, but are convinced of their own fall with that of their master, should be pacified by secret remonstrance. Such renegades of his own country as are captured along with the enemy should be made to reside in remote corners. Whoever of the enemy's family is capable to wrest the conquered territory and is taking shelter in a wild tract on the border, often harassing the conqueror, should be provided with a sterile portion of territory or with a fourth part of a fertile tract on the condition of supplying to the conqueror a fixed amount of money and a fixed number of troops, in raising which he may incur the displeasure of the people and may be destroyed by them. Whoever has caused excitement to the people or incurred their displeasure should be removed and placed in a dangerous locality.

        Having recovered a lost territory, he should hide those vices of his, owing to which he lost it, and increase those virtues by which he recovered it.

        With regard to the inherited territory, he should cover the vices of his father, and display his own virtues.

        * He should initiate the observance of all those customs, which, though righteous and practised by others, are not observed in his own country, and give no room for the practice of whatever is unrighteous, though observed by others.

[Thus ends Chapter V, "Restoration of Peace in a Conquered Country,” in Book XIII, “Strategic Means to Capture a Fortress,” of the Arthasástra of Kautilya. End of the hundred and forty-fifth chapter from the beginning. With this ends the thirteenth Book “Strategic Means to Capture a Fortress,” of the Arthasástra of Kautilya.]


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