The Qualities of an Undeserving Leader according to Chanakya a.k.a. Kautilya

राज्य (Rajya) in Vedic Sanskrit means Administration. A great many translators of Kautilya’s Arthashastra have mistranslated it as Nation-State, State, Country, etc. Kautilya a.k.a. Chanakya also uses a word called राज्यनर्ह: Rajyanarha. And because Rajya is misunderstood as Nation-State and Anarha mean Unworthy, Rajyanarha is often misunderstood as an individual unworthy of the state, or citizenship. The correct translation of Rajyanarha, therefore, is a person unworthy of administration, power or Leadership. And according to Kautilya the following ten are unmistakable qualities of an individual unworthy of power:

अश्रुतश्च समुन्नद्धो दरिद्रश्च महामना: अर्थाश्चाकर्मणा प्रेप्सुर्मूढ इत्युच्यते राज्यनर्ह: |

That person, bereft of knowledge and wisdom, poor yet proud, and who resorts to unjust means to acquire the position of power and leadership, is a fool undeserving of the position of power.

 

स्वमर्थं य: परित्यज्य परार्थमनुतिष्टति मिथ्या चरति मित्रार्थे यश्च मूढ: स राज्यनर्ह: |

That person who forsaking his own duties poke his nose in the affairs of strangers and who practices deceitful means all the times, who practices favoritism and nepotism is certainly a fool undeserving of the position of power.

 

अकामां कामयति य: कामयानां परित्यजेत् बलवन्तं च यो द्वेष्टि तमाहुर्मूढ राज्यनर्ह: |

A person who is encircled with people always agree with decisions, who forsakes those who are wise and competent, who bears malice towards those who are humble yet powerful is a foolish and, therefore, undeserving of power.

 

अमित्रं कुरुते मित्रं मित्रं द्वेष्टि हिनस्ति च कर्म चारभते दुष्टं तमाहुर्मुढ राज्यनर्ह: |

A person who is incapable of distinguishing foes from friends, who confuses foes with friends and vice versa, who secretly hates, berates and breeds malice towards his loyal friends and confidants, is to be known as a foolish person undeserving of power.

 

संसारयति कृत्यानि सर्वत्र विचिकित्सते चिरं करोति क्षिप्रार्थे स मूढा राज्यनर्ह: |

That person who likes to show off, who has problems with people, and spends a great amount of time to achieve what requires less amount of time is a fool undeserving of power.

 

श्राद्धं पितृभ्यो न ददाति दैवतानि नार्चति सहृन्मित्रं न लभते तमहुर्मूढ राज्यनर्ह: |

The person who fails to honor the ancestors whose wealth and legacy (s)he has benefited from, who fails to respect and give due honors to the deserving, who is bereft of well-intentioned friends is certainly a fool undeserving of power.

 

अनाहूत: प्रविशति अपृष्टो बहु भाषते विश्वसत्यमत्तेषु मूढ चेता राज्यनर्ह: |

That silly person who goes anywhere uninvited, talks too much without being asked and trust the untrustworthy is a fool undeserving of power.

 

परं क्षिपति दोषेण वर्तमान: स्वयं तथा यश्च क्रुध्यत्यनीश: सन्स च मूढातमो राज्यनर्ह: |

That person who, being guilty, casts blame on others, and who though without any strength gives vent to anger, is undoubtedly foolish person undeserving of power.

 

आत्मनो बलमज्ञाय धर्मार्थपरिवर्जितम् अलभ्यमिच्छान्नैष्कर्म्यान्मूढ राज्यनर्ह: |

That individual, who, without knowing his own true self, strength and weakness desire power by remaining dissociated from the wealth of wisdom, is destitute of intelligence and therefore undeserving of power.

 

अशिष्यं शास्ति यो राजन्यश्च शून्यमुपासते कदर्यं भजते यश्च तमाहुर्मूढराज्यनर्ह: |

That individual who punishes the innocent, but never the culprit, who pays homage to the ones destitute of knowledge or wisdom, who admires the miserly is a person of little sense and therefore undeserving of power.

 

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