Lielukhine D.N.Institute of Oriental studies of the Russian Academy of Science

(Paper for J.Roerich readings, 2001)

The term "adhyaksha" in the Indian tradition.


The reference to a problem of interpretation of the term "adhyaksha", is connected to new attempts of the decision of the "state" problematics with use of the information of II book of КА. Thus I would like to pay attention not so much to interpretation of the term, as to general problem of a correctness of interpretation special (in this case, so-called "administrative") Sanskrit terminology as a whole, that till now remains the important lacuna in works devoted to the general problems of a history of an Ancient Indian society and the State and researches specially devoted to КА, epigraphy.

Despite of presence of some A.A.Vigasin publications and mine as in our and foreign (Indian and European) historiography, in many such researches the uniform unhistorical study approach to interpretation of materials of КА is kept. It is connected, first of all, with modernized representations about the Ancient State which is understood by researchers as institute under the form similar to the modern state - with the central government, various sort "departments" or "ministries", bureaucratic administration, "districts" or "provinces", etc. Authors proceed from an axiom - so far as there was a state, there were also state officials, machinery of state, centralization, departments, at all not assuming an opportunity of existence of the state in other form. The reason of preservation of such approach, in my opinion, is not from the text, but in the general representations of the researchers working with the treatise.

Already in the first researches from the moment of opening КА, materials of II book of the treatise have got rather tendentious interpretation which continues to be recreated as a whole, and in the parts, in separate not having any relation to the text odious theses, for example, about fixing in КА so-called " passport system ", two kinds of prisons, etc. Monumental constructions of " Ancient Indian statehood " based on incorrect interpretation of materials of КА and other sources already in the beginning of a XX century caused the various attitude from the part of indologists. A problem of reliability of КА information about the state in this connection, it was skeptically estimated, for example, by O.Shtein and J.Heesterman. However, and it seems necessary to emphasize, they only emphasized contradictions arising inside the text and at its comparison with materials of other sources inside "bureaucratic" interpretation of evidences of II book КА.

Such discrepancies and contradiction were recognized also by some supporters of the "bureaucratic" concept. So, for example, at B.Breloer, attempt to connect the "supercentralized" model of the state which in his opinion has been reflected in II book of the treatise with evidences of other books of the treatise conducts to occurrence of an original hybrid - models feudal (i.e. decentralized) and, simultaneously, the supercentralized state. Besides in a number of concepts (for example, K.P.Jayaswal, A.Bose, R.Sh.Sharma) the supercentralized state KA (more often connected with the Maurya state) appears in India suddenly, in essence without preconditions, and, having existed hardly is more than hundred years, so suddenly disappears, though determines the further evolution of the Indian statehood.

Discussions about reliability of КА evidences have not led to to more correct interpretation of the treatise, first of all its important II book. Both sides started with the "bureaucratic" concept and, accordingly, adhyaksha was always interpreted as the official, the head of corresponding department, and materials of corresponding chapters of the book - as "instructions", recommendations for such head. In result, now we have, in essence two basic points of view on the materials of II book of КА based on the uniform "bureaucratic" approach. In the simplified kind they look so:

- The treatise fixes existence of the powerful centralized state. This state existed also materials of КА are authentic (in the certain degree);

- The treatise fixes existence of such state, but this state never existed, the state KA - the invention or Kautilya's "dreams", adhyakshas, mahamatras and other "officials" in KA never existed, it is pure abstraction, nomination of Kautilya.

I.e., the majority of researchers or aspire to see in КА the concrete description of the real state, defining the meaning and sense of any sutras, quite often, by associations with the state, at least from the New time, or, in the same measure following " the bureaucratic concept ", deny reliability of КА, offering for understanding of the maintenance of the treatise various formulations (for example, dreams of the centralized bureaucracy imposed on a tribal society, classification for the sake of classification). Such approach pulls out КА from frameworks of uniform literary tradition, breaks off the contents of the treatise as naturally results in opposition КА to other sources, a complex of ideas II-IV and VI-XIII books of the treatise. And the term "adhyaksha", "supervisor", one of the most appreciable victims of such approach.

Difference of our point of view is reduced to the following. КА describes " the ideal state " which never really existed and could not exist, as it is an original ideal, though based on experience. However authors of the treatise should reflect within the framework of such ideal both last political experience known for them, and surrounding them, a real society known for them, features of its structure. Main principles of construction of such ideal state, which is not having anything common with the bureaucratic centralized state, reflect the basic features of many really existing Ancient Indian states as they were represented for authors of the treatise. In other words it is possible to speak about existence of KA concept - at accurate, without exaggerations its use. The analysis of model of the ideal state KA, at comparison of its results with information of other sources - enables to judge features of structure of an Ancient Indian society and the state.

3.1. Erroneous, from our point of view a sight on "adhyakshas" - as on extremely nomination of КА (A.M. Samozvanzev), based on reproduction for a long time out-of-date " bureaucratic model " of KA state, being one of arguments for denying reliability of general ideas of КА, for exaggerated representations about artificiality of the contents of this treatise interpreted as " classification for the sake of classification " has induced us to address to other texts of the Ancient Indian literature with a question - whether the term "adhyaksha" and what it matters is used in them. Similar reference is represented for me useful to more correct decoding special "administrative" and other terminology, especially in epigraphy.

Even the first sight convinces that the term "adhyaksha" was perfectly known in literary tradition and was widely used in various texts. The term repeatedly meets in Vedic literature - in Rig-veda, in Atharva-veda, in Taittiriya, Shatapatha and other brahmanas, Maitrayani upanishada, Taittiriya aranyaka, in many shrauta and grihyasutras (Vaidikapada index only in section Vedanga gives 25 sendings). The term adhyaksha is mentioned by Panini, is present in dharmashastras Manu and Yajnavalkya, Vishnu, Katyayana and Brihaspatismriti, in Amarakosha of Amarasinha, is actively used in a Mahabharata (34 cases) and Ramayana (25 cases), are mentioned by Varahamihira and by lexicographs (for example, by Hemachandra). Quite often a term "adhyaksha" used in epigraphy - for the first time in XII edict of Ashoka, then in epigraphy of early Pallavas, Vakatakas and later inscriptions.

Even the preliminary analysis of the use of the term in various sources convinces of correctness of point of view of O.Bettling, not knowing КА, published the dictionary before its opening. New Pune dictionary, to three major meanings of the term "adhyaksha" in the St.-Petersburg dictionary (1. adjective. seen, distinct; 2. noun. - the eyewitness - the supervisor, the head, including at the end of compounds; 3. name of a plant) having added two derivative its meanings, one of which is based on the analysis of philosophical texts, in the rest only details it, develops. And to this detailed elaboration of meaning of a noun "adhyaksha", in my opinion, it is necessary to pay attention .

1. A. Observer, surveyor, supervisor, overseer; BI - eyewitness; BII - the judge, magistrate (as one of 12 observers, alongside with king, sakshin - from the late concept);

2. A. Master, lord (including the universe, the world), the god the carrying out control (behind parts of the world, elements); B. - king, ruler; C - the leader or the head (of the governmental department), the chief, the head of group.

It is uneasy to notice close interrelation of the specified meanings or reserve from division that proves to be true and by consideration of various contexts.

In the earliest texts as "supervisors" called the gods (more often Agni), and this "supervision" had quite real meaning natural to such texts - management, a manual of all world processes, authority (" who supervises this world in the supreme sky, only he knows or does not know " - RV.X.129.7; " Ruler of tribes, this surprising (god) who is watching the customs, Agni I call. " RV.VIII.43.24). Thus, mediative function (the supervision - court, judgement) most likely, looks only as one of components of such authority, initially not allocated (it is visible and under references of the Pune dictionary - mentioning in this case only Brihaspati-smriti, Vyavaharamayukha, Smritichandrika and later texts). And it is already enough early (in Atharvaveda of Paippalada version) is reflected representation about splitting and hierarchization such authority when in the seventh hymn of XV book at once it is mentioned many adhyakshas - Surya assume the name - the supervisor of daylight, Moon - supervisor of constellations, Vayu - the supervisor of air space, etc. The Last is represented for us important - even at rather conditional "centralization" of the world of gods, heavenly space, in Vedic literature the term "adhyaksha" is used more often not for the description of the Supreme authority, and for the description of authority of a structural part of space, the world.

Naturally, the terminology describing structure of the world of gods was used for description of the world of people, in this case the term adhyaksha is used more often as a part of a compound which first part characterizes that part of space, sphere in which he possessed authority. And these "spheres" look remarkable. By way of illustration it is possible to result an allocation of cases of the using of the term "adhyaksha" in a Mahabharata and Ramayana (59 cases). Only in 7 cases the term meets as a separate word. Most frequently (15 cases) are mentioned "Dhanadhyaksha", " the lord of riches ", steady epithet of Kubera. In five cases are mentioned "Lokadhyaksha" and "Prajadhyaksha" (" the observer of the world ", " the observer of all people ", in one case - both they are synonyms) and in two cases lines from three terms (Lingadhyaksha-Suradhyaksha-Lokadhyaksha and Lokadhyaksha-Suradhyaksha-Dharmadhyaksha) are given. All mentioned, as well as one more, when "leaders of Ganas"(spirits accompanied Shiva) are mentioned, in my opinion it is possible to carry to the world of gods and the term "adhyaksha" here is presented in the initial meaning (the governor, the observer, etc.).

Other 29 cases, obviously concern to " the world of people ". In overwhelming majority of cases so military leaders (Baladhyaksha - 12, Sena - Gana-adhyaksha - 2 and Senadhyaksha) refer to. On the second place there are persons obviously connected with the imperial house - Stri-adhyaksha (the supervisor for women, 4), and Dvaradhyaksha (the gatekeeper, 2). In other cases one time "adhyakshas" governors of various territories (or collectives) - vishayadhyaksha, Janapadadhyaksha, Gramadhyaksha, and also equerry (ashvadhyaksha), the shepherd (Gavadhyaksha) and drovers of elephants (Gajadhyaksha) refer to. And the logic of last three word-formations looks like natural.

Even more interesting looks point of view of Amarasinha, who in interpretation of the term "adhyaksha" gives as those examples only "sthanika" and "gopa" (interpreting them as a rural management), though in other cases names two more persons - connected with stamping a coin (bhaurika) - Kanakadhyaksha (treasurer) and Rupyadhyaksha (masters of stamping from Colebruke) and two - in connection with an king's economy - the shepherd (Goshthadhyaksha-govinda) and " the supervisor in king's kitchen".

The resulted material allows to assume a similar circle of meanings for the term in Manu and Yajnavalkya. In one case such understanding is unconditional (Baladhyaksha-senapati - the military leader, M. VII.189). In the other (the governor of 10 villages can use 1 kula, 20 - five, etc. - VII.115-120) it follows from the contents when it is spoken about hierarchy of "local" authorities - governors of 10-20-100 and 1000 villages called pati, adhipati, isha and adhyaksha of which it is offered to observe to the adviser (saciva) of the king. This context, in my opinion, determines also the maintenance of two general statements - Manu VII.81 (it is necessary to appoint supervisors who let observe of all affairs of people), and Yaj.1.321 (it is necessary to appoint supervisors carrying out affairs connected with arrival, the charge and workshops). Translation of a predicate in these phrases - " let appoints ", certainly hardly means literal "assignment of the official" (it is similarly spoken about governors of the hierarchy of authorities designated above, including about the village head - gramika) and absence of detailed elaboration, enumeration of "adhyakshas" simply is not required - the governor, for example, of 20 villages was the supervisor " behind all affairs " of people. Probably it is not casual, therefore, the term "adhyaksha", after a specific first mention in Ashokas edicts (" the supervisor for women "), for the first time in structure of a compound meets in Vakatakas inscriptions in the form "Sarvadhyaksha", " the supervisor behind all " (that looks similar to the term vishvamatya, associate in all, mentioned by Satavahanas).

Similar meaning can be assumed for Vishnusmriti (ViS.3.08-16) where also it is spoken about "assignment" of a local management - "supervisors" behind 10,100 villages and behind area (desha), however in this case already all of them refer to "adhyakshas", and as a synonym of this term - "adhipa", the ruler again appears. And, though last sutra in the given fragment does not contain the term "adhyaksha" (" And let charges to reliable [people management of] mines, customs houses, passages, elephant woods "), it is quite on a due place - if the mine is in territory of such "governor", he can naturally be interpreted and as " the supervisor behind mine " (and as such supervisor - should provide receipts in treasury from such mine).

And, at last, in Brihaspatismriti the term "adhyaksha" meets at ordering kinds of "assemblies" (sabha), one of which, " connected by the contract ", refers to " connected with adhyaksha " and as in a compound word "kula-shreni-gana-adhyaksha" which refer to as "the best among adhyakshas".

All concerning a mentions in various texts the term "adhyaksha", many of which in КА do not meet, allows for us to add conclusions present in my published works on the meaning of this term in КА.

1. There are no bases to attribute with Kautilya authorship in the use of the term adhyaksha, it was perfectly known in the Indian literary tradition. The sense of the term is similar in many texts and КА.

2. There are no bases to give to the term "adhyaksha" (as well as to information about them) special "bureaucratic" meaning in КА and being based on it to judge about reliability of the treatise. Major importances of the term - the supervisor - i.e. the head, the governor, the ruler are quite comprehensible both for КА, and to other texts. "Adhyakshas" representatives of authority (instead of "officials"), "governors" from various levels, big peoples were called, mainly in connection with execution of corresponding functions by them (first of all, gathering of taxes and fill up of treasury). Similar artificial division when the same person depending on a context is called as various terms, is quite comprehensible both to the traditional literature and for shastras. "Activity of adhyakshas", equally, as well as "mandala", follows, more likely to examine as a complex of ideas on the describing an ideal of an Ancient Indian state. And recommendations of the treatise, thus, equally it is possible to correlate the "ideal" state KA both with large and little states of an Ancient times.