Fundamentals of Rajaneeti: Vedic approach to Politics
To understand fundamentals of Vedic approach to politics – Rajaneeti – it’s important to understand five words in Sanskrit vis-à-vis Artha Sutras found in Kautilya’s Arthashastra, namely: Sukham, Dharma, Artha, Rajyam, and Indriya-Vijayi. This is because these words are often hastily (or bluntly) mistranslated thereby making understanding the greater wisdom – almost, impossible.
Sukham is translated as Happiness. Dharma is mistranslated as Religion. Artha is translated as Economy. Rashtra is taught as ‘Nation’ or ‘Nation-state’ and Rajyam is translated as ‘State’. As you’d see these translations are only partially correct – at best. The moment you truly understand these five words you’d verily know the core fundamentals of Rajaneeti – which also represents ideas and ideals of good politics.
In his Arthashastra, Kautilya enlists a series of Sutras. The first five of the sutras, mentioned below, forms the foundation of Rajaneeti:
Objective of life is Sukham
Dharma is foundation of Sukham
Artha is foundation of Dharma
Dharma’s foundation is Rajyam
Rajyam’s are well administered by those who are Indriya Vijayi