A Page from History : Economy in Vedic Government
|Vol. V, No. 41 Baishakh 30, 2009, May 26, 1952 Four Annas. Air-/4/6|
By Pt.SD Safwalekar
The Aryans had thought over all conceivable aspects of state craft and it was natural that the expenditure involved in a system of government had not escaped their attention. In fact their government machinery was—in comparison with today—remarkable inexpensive. What is more. This economy they had effected not by curtailing State subsidies to various spheres of corporate life but by building up such a society as would voluntarily take upon itself the tasks which would otherwise be the burden of the administration.
| (From our Bharatpur Correspondent)
Bharatpur continued to defy the British even after all other states had acquiesced. Historians, native and foreign alike, therefore aptly described it as “The Last Bulwark of Indian Independence”. Out of chivalry the British a lowed Bharatpur to fly its own flag even after it was at last sub dued.
Even Sardar Patel saw the value of the great local signpost of patriotism and in his agreement with the states( including Bharatpur) merging into the Matsga Union, specifically permitted the continued hoisting of the Bharatpur flag.
Then, all of a sudden, on the morning of April 22,1952….. the people found it removed from the ramparts of the Bharatpur Fort. Reason: the Congress Government of Rajasthan wanted to break the moral of Bharatpur people who had dared to return 5 non-Congressmen out of total of 6. n
One of the most significant adjectives characterizing the form of government advocated in the Gita is avyaya-inexpensive. Government , directs the Gita, must not be a money-burning concern. But under what social conditions is such a cheap reign possible? The Answer is a certain Vedic (rather, Upanishadic) King’s description of his kingdom. He says:
Na me steno Janapade na kadaryo na madyapo,
Nanahit agnirnarvidvan na swairi swairini kutah?
(CHH. Upa 5/11/5)
“In my Kingdom there are no thieves, no misers and no drunkards. There are neither any who fail to worship the God of Fire nor any illiterate. There are also no libertines. How then, can thre be loose women?”
High Morality : Cheap Government. It is obviously when goodness is so all-pervading that an inexpensive Government is possible. For when men and women are good the state has no necessity to spend huge sums of money in means of enforcement to maintain law, order and morality. Which logically means that the inexpensiveness of the administrative machinery is directly proportional to high standard of morality (not in the merely, sexual sense) in the society.
The statelessness or anarchy(in the technical and not popular sense of the term) at which ancient Hinduism and modern communism aim was but he ultimate destination of this cheap Government. The Hindu declaration goes : Na rajyam naiva rajasect no dando na cha daandikah, Dharm anaiva prajas sarvaa, rakshantisma parasparam. “In the ideal condition there would be no Kingdom and no king, no penalty and no penaliser. The subjects themselves would protect one another by fulfilling their dharma (self-imposed duty)”. But statelessness apart, even an inexpensive Govern men would be idle talk if the units of the society, the men and women, do not possess and moral and spiritual stature which would qualify them to relieve the state or administration of its duties and perform them of their own voluntary accord.
Way Through education
What, then, were the ways and means to this desired moral stature? The Vedic answer was only one: Education. It is a truism to say that it is the education imparted to and received and assimilated by the individual that determines his moral worth. This the Vedic system of education ensured. The explanation of how it achieved this is inextricably mingled with the Va’na system not the C’ste system of modern days. Varnas, as we know, are (or rather, were) four in number: Brahmacharya (period of celibacy and education), Grihasthashram (the period of married life and social activity) Vaanprastha (the period of hermit hood or voluntary social service) and lastly Saynas (the period of renouncement and contemplation of God.)