Skip to main content

Arthaśāstra

Arthaśāstra (Skt., artha, ‘advantage’ + śāstra, ‘teaching’). A Sanskrit text concerned with artha, worldly advantage, especially the advantage of the prince (rājanya) and universal monarch (cakravartin).

One of the most influential works of political philosophy, it is attributed to Kāuṭilya (or Caṇakya) a minister of Candragupta Māurya.

Kāuṭilya presupposes the traditional S. Asian concept of matsyanyāya, or ‘law of the fishes’, according to which large fish prey upon smaller fish. The role of the king, established through a pact made with the people, is to mitigate this law by providing protection for all bhūtas, all human and non-human beings. Kāuṭilya maintains that warfare or daṇḍanīti is necessary to uphold the sanctity of the pact, the basis of social and cosmic peace. For Kāuṭilya, peace is not the absence of war, but the order maintained through war.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Arthaśāstra." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Aug. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Arthaśāstra." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 20, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/arthasastra

"Arthaśāstra." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . Retrieved August 20, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/arthasastra

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.