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12 July 2010


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If there is any antiquarian interest in spying and associated arts ....


Spies, gaining access to all these corporations and finding out jealousy, hatred and other causes of quarrel among them, should sow the seeds of a well-planned dissension among them, and tell one of them: "This man decries you." Spies, under the guise of teachers (áchárya) should cause childish embroils among those of mutual enmity on occasions of disputations about certain points of science, arts, gambling or sports.

Fiery spies may occasion quarrel among the leaders of corporations by praising inferior leaders in taverns and theatres; or pretending to be friends, they may excite ambition in the minds of princes by praising their high birth, though they (the princes) are low-born; they may prevent the superiors from interdining and intermarriage with others; they may persuade the superiors to interdine or to intermarry with inferiors; or they may give publicity to the consideration of priority shown to inferior persons in social intercourse in the face of the established custom of recognising the status of other persons by birth, bravery and social position; or fiery spies may bring about quarrel among them at night by destroying the things, beasts, or persons concerned in some legal disputes.

In all these disputes, the conqueror should help the inferior party with men and money and set them against the superior party. When they are divided, he should remove them (from their country); or he may gather them together and cause them to settle in a cultivable part of their own country, under the designation of "five households" and "ten households"; for when living together, they can be trained in the art of wielding weapons. Specified fines should also be prescribed against any treacherous combinations among them. He may install as the heir-apparent a prince born of a high family, but dethroned or imprisoned.

Spies, under the guise of astrologers and others, should bring to the notice of the corporations the royal characteristics of the prince, and should induce the virtuous leaders of the corporations to acknowledge their duty to the prince who is the son of such and such a king, and who is the hearer of their complaints. To those who are thus prevailed upon, the conqueror should send men and money for the purpose of winning over other partisans.

On occasions of any affray spies under the guise of vintners, should, under the plea of the birth of a son, of marriage or of the death of a man, distribute as toast (naishechanika) hundreds of vessels of liquor adulterated with the juice of madana plant. Near the gates of altars (chaitya), temples, and other places under the watch of sentinels, spies should pretend to declare their agreement (with the enemy of the corporations), their mission, their rewards, and bags of money with the golden seals of the enemy; when the corporations appear before the spies, they may tell the corporations that they (the spies) have sold themselves to the enemy, and challenge the corporations for war.

Or having seized the draught animals and golden articles belonging to the corporations, they may give the most important of those animals and articles to the chief of the corporations, and tell the corporations, when asked for, that it was given to the chief (for the purpose of causing quarrel among them).

This explains the method of sowing the seeds of dissension in camps and among wild tribes.

Surprisingly little has changed in 2300 years.

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