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book reviews 187

Andreas Pohlus
Two Commentaries on the Arthastra: Jayamagal & Cakyak, critically
re-edited from Harihara Sastris Fascicle Editions (Studia Indologica Universitatis
Halensis 2), Halle an der Saale: Universittsverlag Halle-Wittenberg, 2011, 200 pp.
ISBN 978-3-869-77034-5. 59.00

When the first manuscript of the Kauilya Arthastra (KA) was discovered
early in the last century, and the first edition and translation by Shama Sas-
try appeared (in 1909 [rev. 1919] and 1915, respectively), it attracted tremendous
attention. Very little in the way of commentary has been found, however, and
what there is seems to come mainly from the south. There are several fragments
of commentary in Sanskrit. This volume combines what was known as the Jaya-
magal, on KA 1.1.31.21.29, and the Cakyak of Bhikuprabhamati, on
KA 2.1.13.1.47. Harihara Sastri makes it clear (pp. 5657) that these are actu-
ally fragments of a single longer pre-11th century commentary. Other extant
bits of commentary are Ntinirti of Yogghama, on KA 2.1.12.4.32 (the only
one deriving from North India; published by Muni Jinavijaya in 1956); the Prati-
padapacik of Bhaasvmin on KA 2.836; and the Nayacandrik of Md-
havayajvan, on KA 7.711 and 7.1512.4 (published in Jolly & Schmidts 1923
edition of the KA). There is also one in Old Malayalam, the c. 12th-century
Bhkaualyam or Bhvykhynam which constitutes the earliest speci-
men of a text in that language, and covers the first seven books of the KA.
In spite of the wide interest in the KA, relatively few readers have had
recourse to these materials. The first three parts of the Malayalam work were
published from Trivandrum in three parts between 1930 and 1945, and the
remainder from Madras in 1960, but the language has restricted it use, espe-
cially by Western scholars, though Gaapati str drew on it for his edition
and commentary (as does Olivelle in his new annotated translation of the
KA [Oxford, 2013]). However even the partial Sanskrit commentaries have not
often been consulted, as Pohlus observes (p. 193). One of the reasons is that the
Jayamagal and the Cakyak were published in numerous short fascicles
as supplements to the Journal of Oriental Research, Madras by Harihara Sastri
between 1953 and 1968. These supplements were subsequently reissued by the
Kuppuswami Sastri Research Institute in Madras in two volumes (the Jayama-
gal in 1958, and the Cakyak in 1971). But tracking down the original fasci-
cles can be quite a chore if one doesnt have a complete run of this obscure jour-
nal at hand, and the KSRI volumes too are out of print and quite scarce. (Indeed,
I was unable to obtain a copy of one fascicle, despite repeated attempts.) Hence,
Pohlus has provided a useful service in republishing the whole, newly reset, in
a single volume, so that it may be more easily and frequently read.

koninklijke brill nv, leiden, 2014 | doi: 10.1163/15728536-05701030


188 book reviews

The resulting integral version of Harihara Sastris introductions and editions


constitutes almost the whole of the book. Bhikuprabhamatis commentary is
probably the best of them all, despite being available to Harihara Sastri in only
a single, incomplete, and inaccurately written manuscript. Bhikuprabhamati,
as Olivelle points out (2013: 1011), is the only commentator to explain the larger
structure of the KA. Noting (at the start of his comments on Book 2) that Book 1
laid the groundwork by prescribing the training of the king, Bhikuprabhamati
divides the rest of the KA into Books 25, treating the kings duties within
his own territory (svamaala), and Books 614, which concern his duties
with respect to the enemys territory (paramaala), which are secondary
since they presuppose the kings successful management of internal affairs.
The first section is further analyzed in terms of the old concept of yogakema,
enterprise and security. Book 2 (the longest), he says, deals with how the king
acquires property and wealth, and Books 35 prescribe how to preserve and
secure those acquisitions.
Beyond these broader observations, the commentary displays erudition in
analyses both grammatical and substantive, and explains the text with refer-
ence to other literature, including of course Manus code. This does not prevent
his wrestling with the questions of principle or interpretation according to his
own lights. For instance, in explaining the function of the dharmastha (jus-
tice or judge), Bhikuprabhamati takes pains to explain the judges authority
in relation to that of the king. The commentator acknowledges that Kauilya
himself had earlier specified that it is the kings duty to try cases brought by
inhabitants of the cities and the countryside (KA 1.19.10). But, he continues,
the king has the capacity to delegate authority (prayojakakarttva) to officials
whose authority remains secondary and dependent (prayojyaka): It is true
that only the king has authority, but he may also have assistants for transactions
transacted in different places. Accordingly, the kings own capacity to commis-
sion others comes about [accepting Harihara Sastris emendation here], which
means that agents thus commissioned should be installed for the purpose of
countermanding any legal errors made during the hearing of cases. In sup-
port of this interpretation, Bhikuprabhamati selectively quotes MDh 8.9ab
and 10ab:

When the king does not try a case himself, however


Accompanied by three assessors (sabhya) he should try his cases.

Now Manu actually does envision a judge hearing a suit in the kings stead,
which is made clear in the half-stanza that Bhikuprabhamati omits (8.9cd):
he should appoint a learned Brahmin to do so. (The subject of the sec-

Indo-Iranian Journal 57 (2014) 105198


book reviews 189

ond stanza is in fact this Brahminnot the king, who is the referent of his
[asya]). But Bhikuprabhamati, apparently anxious to affirm the kings exclu-
sive authority and obligation to hear cases in person, concludes by explicitly
identifying Kauilyas dharmastha with Manus sabhya (assessor) rather than
with the appointee of the king (rja cdhikta, MDh 8.11c). He concludes:
Therefore, they are rendered dependent in their agency as commissioned, by
virtue of their being the kings assistants.
Readers will be grateful to Harihara Sastri, an unsung hero in Arthastric
scholarship (Olivelle 2013: ix), for his lengthy and informative introductions
to the two fragments. Pohluss own remarks are restricted to the two-page
editorische Notiz at the end (pp. 193194). One might have wished him to have
said more about the content and significance of the texts, or even to have
provided a translation of them, though that would have been quite a larger
project. In any case, the re-edition of Harihara Sastris work is carefully done;
misprints in the original have been silently corrected (and hardly any new ones
have been introduced).
Here and there, inevitably, a few typographical errors occur. Obvious errors
in the original fascicle edition seem to have been corrected, but a few others
have crept in. On p. 24 (but not in the JORM original), the word brhmao
is set in bold type as if it were a lemma from the root text. It would be quite
noteworthy if this implied that the commentator thought this word belonged
to that text, for it would mean that the Arthastra explicitly regarded Brahmin
status as a recommended characteristic of a royal minister (amtya). However
no edition of the Arthastra includes this word, and it is clear from the context
that the phrase in which is occurs is meant to explain abhijta, well-born:
brhmao nyo v kulaputratvn na vikarmai pravartate na pravartayati ca,
whether a Brahmin or someone else, on account of stemming from a (good)
family, he does not indulge in bad deeds or cause others to do sowhich is to
say that others besides Brahmins may be considered well-born.
The few other typographical errors that I noticed were trivial, and are far
outweighed by the utility of having the many parts in a single, clearly formatted
volume.

Timothy Lubin
Washington and Lee University

Indo-Iranian Journal 57 (2014) 105198