കൗടില്യന്റെ അർത്ഥശാസ്ത്രം/FOREWORD

വിക്കിഗ്രന്ഥശാല സംരംഭത്തിൽ നിന്ന്
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കൗടില്യന്റെ അർത്ഥശാസ്ത്രം
FOREWORD
[ i ]
FOREWORD
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India has been famous all the world over for contribution she has made to the world's to wealth of literature and philosophy;but, it remains to be shown that even in the field of political speculation our ancients were not without their own ideas of internal organisation and inter-state intercourse. The average European student of social thought has heard of the great Manu-the Solon of ancient Hindu polity; but it is only orientalists will have heard of the name of Kautilya and his Arthasastra which occupies a position in Hindu political speculation comparable only to the "Republic" of Plato and the "Politics" of Aristotle in classical antiquity, and which in point of acuteness and clear grasp of facts is matched perhaps only by "The Prince" of Machiavelli.The Arthasastra presents the same baffling variety and complexly which characterise all early attempts at scientific speculation. Like the Darsanas which,from a modern point of view, combine a mixture of curious speculation on Physics ,Psychology, Logic, Ethics and Metaphysics, the Arthasastra is a sustained effort at treating in an exhaustive if not thoroughly systematic manner a variety of social,economic and political problem in the light of antecedent historical evolution and contemporary political and inter-state organisation. In stating his problems and attempting their solution Kautilya shows a measure of [ ii ] political sagacity and businesslikeness which have at times led unsympathetic or undescerning crtics to to charge him with frank immoralism. But, any average student of ancient Indian history will be able to show that Kautilya, if he was only the social philosopher of his age and failed to rise to the political idealism of Plato, was a faithful interpreter of the social traditions and the economic and political aspirations of his epoch.

In point of exhaustiveness it is doubtful if there is any work by western thinkers which can equal the "ARTHASASTRA".To the uninitiated the outlines are invisible on account of the wealth of details; but, the work follows a line of logical classification and sequence which will be clear to the close student. The magnitude of the undertaking is sufficient excuse for any small degree of looseness of arrangement; and this is more than made up by the cogency and practical sagacity of Kautilya's reasoning. In the mouth of an age which has witnessed the European conflagration of 1914 and the gradual frustration of the hopes that were raised about the possibilities of international brotherhood,the charge of immoralism against the Arthasastra must taste a little stale and insipid.

The Cochin Malayalam Improvement Committee has laid the whole of Kerala under a deep debt by their laudable efforts at placing within the reach of the ordinary man in the street a translation of this invaluable work which has so far remained inaccessible to the non-Sanscritist. I [ iii ] have glanced through the pages of the book as a whole and carefully read through some of the most important chapters and I have been struck by the simplicity and directness of style, the faithfulness with which it follows the original, and the brevity and purity of diction which characterise the translation. Not being a Malayam scholar I am not competent to say anything authoritative about the literary graces of the work which are obvious only to trained of the expert litrrary critic But, even independent of the literary quality of the translation , the translator has accomplished a task the intricacy and magnitude of which are sufficient to repulse anyone but the most patient and painstaking reserch scholar. Mr Moosad deserves warmest thanks of all iover of India and her traditional culture and the unqualified praise of all scholar and sanscritist. I commend this translation to all those who are interested in upholding the name of India in the world of letters and in the field of political achievements.

TRICHUR
29th January, 1935.

I.N.MENON, M.A., B.Litt (Oxon.)

DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC INSTRUCTION,
COCHIN GOVERNMENT.