Thursday, 27 November 2014


In his Arthasastra, Chanakya explains about inefficiency. He talks about how it is caused by a number of factors such as the ignorance of the nature of work, apathy or laziness to work, sheer negligence or procrastination due to engagements in sensuality, timidity caused by fear of working with subordinates, corruption, showing favoritism, short temperedness, violent nature, over confidence about one’s capacity, and greed.

As we can tell from the list, the Arthasastra speaks about more than just having good skills. It emphasizes on a certain character that makes for a successful administrator. Administration maybe an external skill but it is deeply connected to the internal administration of a person. On the other hand, one may argue that we can grow with brutality too. Maybe, but is short lived and creates far-reaching consequences; the aftermath of that is very destructive.

The growth that Arthasastra refers to is comprehensive and creates complete circles of life. One who grows his resources without this principle simply abuses his resources and creates a lasting disturbance.

Ravana, in his golden city of Lanka, had acquired wealth by dubious means. That wealth couldn’t make him a refined man, instead bad qualities plus wealth with dubious means translated into his eventual destruction. Bad qualities are bad already but with wealth, they get worse much faster. They’re like firewood and wealth plays fuel while arrogance becomes the fire. The consequences are burning our entire civilizations. Women of Lanka did not blame Ram for the war, but they blamed Ravana’s ignorance and Surpanaka’s instigating tendency for their woes.

Therefore, it is not money or wealth that is bad, but the wrong qualities we acquire that make us inefficient to handle that wealth. It can become a weapon of mass destruction when handled by a person of poor character. So beware of that black gold. It is a powerful fuel and carries the potency of changing one from being savaged or saving the human civilization.