CHAPTER X – ASCERTAINING BY TEMPTATIONS PURITY OR IMPURITY
1ASSISTED by his prime minister (mantri) and his high priest, the king shall, by offering temptations, examine the character of ministers (amátya) appointed in government departments of ordinary nature.
2The king shall dismiss a priest who, when ordered, refuses to teach the Vedás to an outcaste person or to officiate in a sacrificial performance (apparently) undertaken by an outcaste person (ayájya).
3Then the dismissed priest shall, through the medium of spies under the guise of class-mates (satri), instigate each minister one after another, saying on oath “this king is unrighteous; well let us set up in his place another king who is righteous, or who is born of the same family as of this king, or who is kept imprisoned, or a neighbouring king of his family and of self-sufficiency (ekapragraha), or a wild chief (atavika), or an upstart (aupapádika); this attempt is to the liking of all of us; what dost thou think ?”
4If any one or all of the ministers refuse to acquiesce in such a measure, he or they shall be considered pure. This is what is called religious allurement.
5A commander of the army, dismissed from service for receiving condemnable things (asatpragraha) may, through the agency of spies under the guise of class-mates (satri), incite each minister to murder the king in view of acquiring immense wealth, each minister being asked “this attempt is to the liking of all of us; what dost thou think?”
6If they refuse to agree, they are to be considered pure. This is what is termed monetary allurement.
7A woman-spy under the guise of an ascetic and highly esteemed in the harem of the king may allure each prime minister (mahámátra) one after another, saying “the queen is enamoured of thee and has made arrangements for thy entrance into her chamber; besides this, there is also the certainty of large acquisitions of wealth.”
8If they discard the proposal, they are pure. This is what is styled love-allurement.
9With the intention of sailing on a commercial vessel (prahavananimittam), a minister may induce all other ministers to follow him. Apprehensive of danger, the king may arrest them all. A spy under the guise of a fraudulent disciple, pretending to have suffered imprisonment may incite each of the ministers thus deprived of wealth and rank, saying, “the king has betaken himself to an unwise course; well, having murdered him, let us put another in his stead. We all like this; what dost thou think?”
10If they refuse to agree, they are pure. This is what is termed allurement under fear.
11Of these tried ministers, those whose character has been tested under religious allurements shall be employed in civil and criminal courts (dharmasthaníyakantaka sodhaneshu); those whose purity has been tested under monetary allurements shall be employed in the work of a revenue collector and chamberlain; those who have been tried under love-allurements shall be appointed to superintend the pleasure-grounds (vihára) both external and internal; those who have been tested by allurements under fear shall be appointed to immediate service; and those whose character has been tested under all kinds of allurements shall be employed as prime ministers (mantrinah), while those who are proved impure under one or all of these allurements shall be appointed in mines, timber and elephant forests, and manufactories.
12Teachers have decided that in accordance with ascertained purity, the king shall employ in corresponding works those ministers whose character has been tested under the three pursuits of life, religion, wealth and love, and under fear.
13Never, in the view of Kautilya, shall the king make himself or his queen an object (laksham, butt) of testing the character of his councillors, nor shall he vitiate the pure like water with poison.
14Sometimes the prescribed medicine may fail to reach the person of moral disease; the mind of the valiant, though naturally kept steadfast, may not, when once vitiated and repelled under the four kinds of allurements, return to and recover its original form.
15Hence having set up an external object as the butt for all the four kinds of allurements, the king shall, through the agency of spies (satri), find out the pure or impure character of his ministers (amátya).