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NITAAI-Veda.nyf > All Scriptures By Acharyas > Chanakya Pandita > MAXIMS OF CHANAKYA > MAXIMS FROM ARTHASASTRA > DUTIES OF OFFICIALS

11.   DUTIES OF OFFICIALS

 

A  worldly wise person  should seek,   through   the agency of a  dear friend, the service of a  ruler endowed  with personal qualities,  wealth and loyal subjects.

 

One may seek to serve a ruler devoid of wealth or loyal subjects,    but never a  ruler  without  character, for a characterless ruler  disregards the tenets of political science, associates himself with  evil company and comes to ruin even after inheriting a large and  prosperous kingdom.

 

Fire may burn a part or whole of the body. But a ruler can destroy  one along with his wife and children. He can also cause their   advancement.

 

Absence of a contradicting tendency makes one's  position secure.

 

(A courtier)  should  speak out the ruler's interest without loss of  time, his own interest with his dear friends, others' interests at the  appropriate time and place, keeping in view the requirements of  righteousness and material well-being.

 

(A courtier) when questioned by a ruler on  important matters  requiring intellectual analysis, should, like an expert and unafraid of  the assembly, mention his views on what is practicable, consistent  with righteousness and material   benefit.

 

Those who goad one into rash acts, unrighteousness and  extravagance are really enemies under the mask of friends.

 

One should avoid hearing evil aspersions spoken about others nor  speak such things oneself.

 

One should forgive evil words spoken to oneself and have  forbearance like that of the earth.

 

Even competent persons bpeaking unpleasant  things have been  banished by rulers.

 

Undesirable persons become  favourites by  acting according to the  reading of the ruler's mind.

 

One may laugh at jokes,   but never iaugh ioudiy.

 

The wise ones should always first look to their own self pro­tection.  Those who serve rulers are said to function in fire.

 

When asked, one should speak out what is pleasing and beneficial.  One should not speak pleasing things which are not beneficial.

 

What is good,  though unpleasant,   shall be spoken in private, if  (the listener) is willing to listen.

 

One may even be silent in reply but  never  mention anything  displeasing.

 

The occasions when one should leave one's post are:   (a) when  one's  work  gets destroyed  without  fruition, (b) one's power gets  reduced, (c) when one's  learning is treated like a tradeable  commodity, (d) one"s hopes are frustrated, (e)one is eager to be in   new countries, (f) when one loses the confidence of the master, (g)    when one comes into conflict with powerful people.