A Sanskrit treatise of the fourth century bc, Arthashastra is, ostensibly, the world's oldest surviving document of its genre. Written by Kautilya (also known as Vishnugupta and Chanakya): the astute Brahmin preceptor and prime minister of Chandragupta Maurya, it is now widely recognized as a classic on statecraft, including a discussion of contemporary Indian polity, political theories, administrative mechanisms, war and peace, and a variety of other subjects.
Though a lot has already been written on Kautilya's world view of statecraft, polity and kindred themes, this book is veritably the first ever effort to examine Arthashastra from the standpoint of modern science and technology. Analysing meticulously layers after layers of Kautilya's complex sutras (aphoristic statements), the author unfolds scientific perceptions, hypotheses, operational techniques and other significant dimensions of several ancient Indian disciplines, like minerology, mining, gemmology, metallurgy, agriculture, town planning, civil engineering, and even environment. Himself a professional geologist, Sunil Sarma has adopted the current normative techniques for the scientific evaluation of Arthashastra, while using all through modern idiom to spell out its scientific content.
An unbiased study based on Sarma's honest, altogether fresh interpretation of Arthasastra's archaic Sanskrit language and its peculiar scientific terminology, the book will fascinate Indologists, historians of science, and many area-specialists.