Shukraniti- Tenets of Governance & Leadership from the Golden Age of India (in 2 Vol Set) by Margie Parikh

Shukraniti- Tenets of Governance & Leadership from the Golden Age of India (in 2 Vol Set)

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Shukraniti- Tenets of Governance & Leadership from the Golden Age of India (in 2 Vol Set)
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We are thankful to Chaukhamba Sanskrit Pratishthan, under whose aegis this book is being published. Specifically, we thank Mr. Praveen Gupta for his support and encouragement that saw us through. We also thank the publishing team that patiently completed the typesetting and proof-reading of the manuscript, especially Dr. Narendra Kumar who provided us with the complete Anvaya in Sanskrit, which appears under the title 'verse realignment', for all the verses of this book. Lastly, Margie Parikh would like to thank the Vice Chancellor of Gujarat University and her colleagues at the BK School of Professional and Management Studies for supporting and encouraging this entire venture that started some time in 2015. We collectively thank all those colleagues, friends, and well-wishers, whose direct or indirect support and encouragement sustained us through our journey. The errors in this work are entirely ours and we would be grateful to our readers to show us the way to improvement.



This work on Shukraniti is, in a true sense, fortuitous. We had no conscious plan to write exposition of this classic book on governance and leadership. It just happened as if some kind of inspiration was at work-an inspiration not quite dissimilar to the one that moved the wise preceptors of the kings of India in the first millennium to guide their governance practices.

It so happened that Margie enrolled for her bachelor's degree in 2014, while she was still teaching at her management school. Her doctoral research was all about balancing seemingly contradictory goals and concerns, and she knew that the Indian knowledge system had some answers. A bachelor-level course could indicate where to look for those. During her first semester, the Nitishatakam-one hundred verses on Niti written by the poet-philosopher king Bhartrihari, was a compulsory paper. The powerful verses of Nitishatakam prompted her to explore the wider Niti literature, among which was the work Shukraniti. She came across Shukraniti's celebrated verse about the Yojaka mentioned below and began to read the entire text. She also began to discuss her interpretations with Vinayak Buch, as he is fluent in Sanskrit and a deeply devoted scholar of the Indian knowledge system in Sanskrit. In a delightful surprise, she found that he also had gone through the Shukraniti and even had maintained his copious notes on the same. By this time, Margie's semester was already passed, and Vinayak's notes were already in his library, but the Shukraniti's hold on both remained.

Vidya or the Para Vidya (farm). Shukraniti emphasizes that the king's duty is to maintain his own tribalance and make arrangements such that his subjects maintain theirs. Thus, whether one reads this text from philosophical perspective, or from the perspective of designing systems and processes, the guiding principle is not exclusivist (the one that emphasizes exclusive pursuit of duty or success or desire). But inclusive, which balances all three.

While we often say that learning is a journey which involves one step at a time, we often overlook the fact that for each foot that we place ahead of us, the other foot needs to stand firmly on the ground. When we walk the path of learning, that firm ground is provided by the knowledge that our predecessors have created, preserved, and shared with us. That is how we also found our dedication of this book. This book aims at enhancing the appreciation and understanding of this Nitishastra. Our rishis remind us that we all carry three debts: the debt to the God and Nature, the debt to our parents, and lastly, the debt to our Rishis for the body of knowledge they left us. For us, the children of an ancient civilization, the third debt can be huge, even when discounted by the historical twists. As we developed this book, we felt that we were repaying a small bit of that third debt- insignificant though it may be - just opening the gates to a reservoir.

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