1HAVING set up spies over his prime ministers (mahámátra), the king shall proceed to espy both citizens and country people.
2Classmate spies (satri) formed as opposing factions shall carry on disputations in places of pilgrimage (tírtha), in assemblies, houses, corporations (púga), and amid congregations of people. One spy may say:–
3“This king is said to be endowed with all desirable qualities; he seems to be a stranger to such tendencies as would lead him to oppress citizens and country people by levying heavy fines and taxes.”
4Against those who seem to commend this opinion, another spy may interrupt the speaker and say:
5“People suffering from anarchy as illustrated by the proverbial tendency of a large fish swallowing a small one (mátsyanyáyábhibhútah prajáh), first elected Manu, the Vaivasvata, to be their king; and allotted one-sixth of the grains grown and one-tenth of merchandise as sovereign dues. Fed by this payment, kings took upon themselves the responsibility of maintaining the safety and security of their subjects (yogakshemavaháh), and of being answerable for the sins of their subjects when the principle of levying just punishments and taxes has been violated. Hence hermits, too, provide the king with one- sixth of the grains gleaned by them, thinking that ‘it is a tax payable to him who protects us.’ It is the king in whom the duties of both Indra (the rewarder) and Yama (the punisher) are blended, and he is a visible dispenser of punishments and rewards (heda-prasáda); whoever disregards kings will be visited with divine punishments, too. Hence kings shall never be despised.”
6Thus treacherous opponents of sovereignty shall be silenced.
7Spies shall also know the rumours prevalent in the state. Spies with shaved heads or braided hair shall ascertain whether there prevails content or discontent among those who live upon the grains, cattle, and gold of the king, among those who supply the same (to the king) in weal or woe, those who keep under restraint a disaffected relative of the king or a rebellious district, as well as those who drive away an invading enemy or a wild tribe. The greater the contentment of such persons, the more shall be the honour shown to them; while those who are disaffected shall be ingratiated by rewards or conciliation; or dissension may be sown among them so that they may alienate themselves from each other, from a neighbouring enemy, from a wild tribe, or from a banished or imprisoned prince. Failing this measure, they may be so employed in collecting fines and taxes as to incur the displeasure of the people. Those who are inebriated with feelings of enmity may be put down by punishment in secret or by making them incur the displeasure of the whole country. Or having taken the sons and wives of such treacherous persons under State protection, they may be made to live in mines, lest they may afford shelter to enemies.
8Those that are angry, those that are greedy, those that are alarmed, as well as those that despise the king are the instruments of enemies. Spies under the guise of astrologers and tellers of omens and augury shall ascertain the relationship of such persons with each other and with foreign kings.
9Honours and rewards shall be conferred upon those that are contented, while those that are disaffected shall be brought round by conciliation, by gifts, or by sowing dissension, or by punishment.
10Thus in his own state a wise king shall guard factions among his people, friendly or hostile, powerful or powerless against the intrigue of foreign kings.