Administration Mauryan Empire

The Mauryan empire was the largest state in the whole of the ancient world, and they form a new government i.e., centralized government
• Kings were described as Devanampriya, beloved of the god. The king was the source and centre of all authority.
• The king led a strenuous life and there was a well planned system of supervision and inspection.
• According to kautilya an ideal ruler is one who follows the teachings of the shastras, who is free from disease, is brave, strong, confident, truthful and of noble birth.
• The Mauryan government was completely centralized a purely bureaucratic set up with several officers of different ranks.
1. The Kings
2. The viceroys and governors functioning as king’s representatives
3. The Ministers
4. The head of Departments
5. The subordinate civil service
6. The officers in charge of rural administration
• The king was assisted by a council of ministers called the mantriparishad, the ministers themselves were known as mantrins.
• Their salary was 48,000 panas per year. The Arthasashtra gives a list of qualities that minister should possess and stresses on those of birth, integrity and intelligence.
• The mantriparishad consisted of purohit (high priest), senapati (commander in chief), yuvaraj (heir apparent) and a few other ministers.
• The central administration was conducted through a number of senior officers, who were like modern secretaries in the ministers.
• The amatyas of the arthasashtra have been equated with secretaries. These amatyas may be compared with the seventh castel of megasthenes.
• It comtemplates a vast, numerous and all pervading bureaucracy, keeping in touch with all aspects of social, economic and administrative needs of the country.
• And it was a great achievement of the Mauryan administration.
• The central administration was conducted by highly skilled secretariat divided into several departments, each headed by an adhyaksha or superintendent.
• There were superintendents of both the civil and military departments.
• Sannidhata: They were the head of the royal treasury and of the state income both in cash and kind.
• Samaharta: They were like the chancellor and responsible for the collection of revenue from various parts of the country.
• Akshapataladhyaksha: They were the accountant general who was in charge of two offices of currency and accounts.
• Sitadhyaksha: They were the director of Agriculture, and cultivation of crown lands of government agricultural forms.
• Akaradhyaksha: They were the superintendent of mining and processed scientific knowledge of mines, metallurgy, gems, and precious stones.
• Lavanadhyaksha: They were the salt superintendent. The manufacture of salt was a government monopoly administration by the salt superintendent.
• Navadhyaksha: They were the superintendent of ports, and also policed the rivers and seashores.
• Panyadhyaksha: They were the controller of commerce whos was in charge of supply of prices, purchase and sale of commodities.
• Sulkadhyaksha: They were he collector of custom or tolls. Goods were classified according to the custom or tolls charge on them.
• Suradhyaksha: They were the superintendent of excise who controlled the manufacture and sale of liquor and intoxicating drug.
• Pautavadhyaksha: They were superintendent of weights and measures. Weight and measures used by private parties and stamped them.
• A remarkable feature of the Mauryan administration was the uninhibited man in which the organization of secret service were recommended and the use of secret agents.
• A large number of detectives, secret agents, double agents, news agents, spies, counter spies etc… were posted all over the kingdom.
• Kautilya divides them into stationary and wandering each having several sub division.
• There were spies who had to perform their duties. They were spies against the spies and on important matter more than one agent was asked to collect information.
• The Mauryan ruler had a large and well organized army. The King was the supreme commander.
• Mauryan army consist of 6,00,000 infantry, 30,000 cavalry, 9,000 war elephants and 1,000 chariots, besides transport corps and the fleet
• The soldiers were provided with uniforms, arms and armour by the state and they received their regular pay.
• The overall in charge of the defense force was the senapati (commander in chief), he was directly appointed by the king.
• There was a war council comprising thirty member divided into six sub councils of five members in each.
• The navy, transport and commissariat were Mauryan innovations. Ships and bots were constructed and used for defense
• There were two kinds of soldiers, Hereditary and Mercenary. It was the well regulated army that the Mauryans could rule over vast empire.
• Asoka declaimed war and proclaimed the policy of peace and non-violence.
• The king was to treat his subjects like his own sons and daughters and to undertake various public welfare schemes.
• The department of road , constructed, repaired and maintained national highways and other important roads
• Trees were planted and well were dug, important roads were paved with stones and milestones and signboards were set up frequent intervals.
• Drinking water facilities and hospital wee provided for men and animals schools and colleges, temples and other religious places were built at the time.
• There was a full-fledged department which looks after irrigation activities throughout the state
• Water for irrigation was supplied through network of canals, lakes and other sources
• The most famous Sudarshan Lake at Girnar in Gujarat was constructed by pushyagupta governor of Chandra gupta maurya.
• Both Megasthenes and Kautilya inform us that there was a regular department of census and each birth and death was properly record I the register.
• It was easy to know the number of farmers, cowherds, traders, etc.., or the person of different caste, religion or creed along with their profession, income and so on.
• The census officers of the cities was called nagaraka.
• Hospital for men and animals were set up at all important places. Physicians, surgeons equipped with surgical tools, nurses etc…
• The treatment was universally free, foreign travelers were looked after very well
• The streets were kept clean and there were separate place for dumping rubbish and other waste.
• The taxes were levied both in cash and in kind, the chief source of revenue is land taxes and second source is toll tax.
• The taxes approximately 10% and was equal to modern exercise duty. Then there were on liquor, shops, gambling house and professional dancers.
• Those who could not pay in cash and kind are asked to pay in terms of labour. They were asked to work free for one day in a month.
• The Arthashashtra says treasury receives revenue from mines, forest, trade and forts. The king own estate or lands yielded income called as sita.
• Mauryan period has two kinds of taxes called Bali and bhaga are referred to in the Edicts of Asoka.
• Money thus obtained was largely spent on the maintenance and upkeep of the kings. A large expense was incurred on the salaries of army personnel and government officials.
• Public welfare acts such the construction of road , hospitals, canals, wells etc… were given priority
• A number of states were left more or less autonomous on a feudatory basis. Alongside monarchical there existed republican formation called sanghas
• Some distinctive features of these political organization were, absence of autocratic laws; election of the elders and the head; existence of democratic; council of elders, etc…
• According to kautilya the suppression of crimes and the maintenance of law and order were the foremost duty of the kings. He called these elements as kantakas.
• The general condition of law and order then prevailing in the country as a whole was very good.
• The pradesika were the principal police officers whose duty was to investigate the crimes and committed within their jurisdiction.
• The king was the head of justice, there were special courts in the cities and village by the pradesika, mahamatras and rajukas.
• There were two kinds of courts Dharmastheya dealing with civil matters and kantakasodhana deciding cases of a criminal nature.
• Punishment was very severe even for the small offences there body was mutilated. and there were eighteen kinds of tortures.
• There were different kinds of prisons for different criminals and detailed rules were prescribed for the jailors and the jailed
• The empire was divided into number of provinces which is probably five.
• The five provinces has five different capital such as Taxila, Ujjaini, Toshali, Suvarnagiri and Pataliputhra.
• The most important provinces such as Taxila and Ujjaini were directly governed by command of Kumaras.
• Provinces are subdivided for districts purpose and a group of officials worked. The three major officials are the pradesika, the rajuka, the yukta.
• Pradesika will make tour every five years to inspect the entire administration, Rajuka responsible for surveying and addressing the land.
• Yukta largely comprised secretarial work and accounting. The unit were formed in district levels.
• The unit here as group of 5 to 10 villages. Two important officials in the unit were the gopa and sthanika.
• Village was the smallest unit of administration head by Gramika, who was assist by ‘village elders’.
• Gramika was not a paid servant and elected by the people. Most of the disputes were settled by gramika in an open panchayat,
• A number of cities are mentioned in the edicts of Asoka such as Pataliputra, Taxila, Ujjaini, Tosali, Suvarnagiri, Samapa, Isila, Kausambi, Etc.,
• Megasthenes has described in detail the administrative set-up of Pataliputra and it is presumed that, by and large, similar municipal administration would be applicable to others cities as well
• There was local self-government with some autonomy, the important affairs of the city of Pataliputra were conducted by a body consisting of thirty commissioners who had formed themselves into six board’s five members each.
• The first board looked provided raw material, fixed the wages and second board was for the visitors, specially the foreign tourists, who came to pataliputra for business.