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R.P. Kangle is the author of The Kautiliya Arthasastra – Vol. 1,2&3 ( avg rating, 11 ratings, 0 reviews, published ), The Kautiliya Arthasastra. As per Kangle there are multiple Authors who added to the Arthashastra and it does reflect some influence of Manu Smriti as well which perhaps is a much later . Kautiliya Arthashatra, by R P Kangle (MLBD). R P Kangle’s three volume compilation, translation and commentary on Kautilya’s Arthashastra is.

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There are persons to have known whom is an education. Kangle was one such person. It was my great fortune that I know him well for a little less than fifty years, for about ten of them as a colleague at two colleges. Somewhat less than a close friend, and much more than a good acquaintance.

I was fourteen years Kangle’s junior in age, but I was always at ease with him. And so, I told myself, was he with me. The difference in age apart, we were made differently, but it made his warmth for me no less.

He suffered me gladly though I was distinctly inferior to him in intellectual interests, both in their width and depth. And also though I suffered from a half-sceptical and near-frivolous way of talking about men and matters. He was generous enough to dismiss the latter as a mere idiosyncrasy. Sometimes he was generous enough to respond to this idiosyncrasy with what I persuaded myself was a smile of appreciation. More likely, it was out of his inherent politeness. Kangle’s intellectual interests are borne out by his published work, though only partially.

A few of his manuscripts are yet to be published. All this work is academic in its tone and purpose. It is not entirely limited to Sanskrit literature, and ancient Indian history and philosophy. But the range of his academic interests was much wider.

It included Western philosophy and some of the social sciences. A distinct memory glimmers across well over fifty years of Kangle sitting in a quiet corner of the Common Room at the Ismail Yusuf college immersed in The Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics, or The Encyclopedia of Social Science, or Frazer’s The Golden Bough and other such forbidding-looking works, “caviare to the general”.

Some colleague, without a clue to the seriousness of the reading Professor Kangle was engaged in, would draw him into small talk, but he did not seem to mind the interruption, thanks to his politeness.

He was a single-minded perfectionist, and not a scholar in a hurry. And he worked on his project silently. He would not make the solemn and self-complacent noises a publicity – hunting, ambitious scholar would make.

I don’t know how many of those who met him frequently enough, and considered themselves his friends, had an inkling of the magnitude of the work he had undertaken. He had, of course, presented papers on some aspects of his subject before learned bodies like the All India Oriental Conference. They had deeply impressed discerning scholars for whom their sterling merit stood out in the glut of the half-baked, derivative papers that crowded the business of such conferences.

These scholars entered into correspondence with him on the content of his papers. Invitations arrived for further exchange of views, and for lectures, particularly from centres of oriental learning in Europe. Kangle thus visited a couple of centres in Italy and spent some time in Munich and Paris. His stay in England took up a month. It should be unnecessary to add he utilised these visits and the discussions he had with the orientalists there for further research One of Kangle’s distinguished pupils tells me that his teacher’s models among European Sanskritists were Oldenberg, Lueders, Grassmann, and Renou, and that he drew much from them.

A dedicated teacher, he was thorough and lucid in expounding his subject, and passed on to the better ones among his pupils some of his zest for research. These pupils also imbibed from him the quality of intellectual rigour. He was gentle and patient with his pupils, with the range of his intellectual interests, he brought to his study of Sanskrit a holistic view, and not the kind of limited and compartmentalised view the University syllabi would seem to prescribe or encourage.


Kangle had a brilliant career at the Bombay University behind, him, winning, besides a First, coveted prizes like the Dr. Bhau Daji prize at the B. These successes were to him no end in themselves. They were a spur to more intensive study. Classical Sanskrit, Vedanta, Poetics and Prakrit were his areas of specialisation in his early years as a teacher. Later, the range widened to take in Sanskrit Dramaturgy, Ancient Indian Polity, and contemporary history, among others.

Kangle’s scholarship brought him many admirers besides his students. The most important of these was Dr. Ambedkar, later to grow into one of the tallest figures on the socio-political scene. He too was a profound scholar. Regarded as the father of the Indian Constitution or, at least one of its major architects Dr.

Ambedkar carried on a life-long struggle for the uplift of the untouchables, he himself being one of them. The struggle ranged the orthodox against him and they invariably fell back on the ancient texts to sustain their position.

In meeting them on their own allegedly hallowed ground and demolishing their bigoted argument Dr. Ambedkar found an able ally in Kangle. But somehow later the distance between them grew, one can only guess why. Could it be a difference of temperament? Ambedkar was not ungrateful. Inwhen promotion to a full-fledged professorship in the Government Educational Service was due to Kangle, he was not selected on a rigid technical ground. Ambedkar called on the Chief Minister of the State, persuaded him of Kangle’s high worth, and had the injustice to him prevented.

It must be added though that, after Dr. Ambedkar rose to a high position in the central Government, and in the country’s public life, Kangle scrupulously kept the old distance from him and would not exploit their relationship. Kangle was educated at the Elphinstone college in Mumbai, the oldest and most renowned college in Western India.

Among the glittering alumni of the institution at least three Orientalists stood out; Dr. Apart from these, such towering personalities as Mr.

Ranade, one of the men who contributed richly to the renaissance taking shape in the last century, were produced by the college. Another, though he was of a much later day, was Dr.

Kangle started his teaching career at the Gujarat College Ahmedabad, from where he moved after a few years to Elphinstone, a home-coming as it were. Then came a transfer, some years later, to the Ismail Yusuf College, also in Mumbai.

Five years there and he was back at Elphinstone, the second homecoming, and he retired from service from that college in to settle down in the same city. Mumbai has a few well-stocked libraries, and they offered excellent opportunities for research.

Kangle derived the best from them – Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute in Pune, and others even in some far-flung mangle like Kerala. He declined invitations to teach from local colleges in Mumbai, although he could have done with the money considering his family responsibilities!

One may say that Kangle was a great Sanskritist because his learning was not confined to Sanskrit — to its customary and rather limited range of subjects. His study of history was not confined kanglle ancient and mediaeval Indian History. It took in the history of Europe, and of much of the rest of the world. This gave him an excellent perspective and detachment and insight as well — whatever branch of study he was jangle in.


It also gave him a freedom from the narrowness and preconceptions so common among the tribe of Sanskritists. For uncounted centuries Sanskrit learning had been mainly a matter of memorizing: But even after arthasuastra arrival of printing – well more than a hundred and fifty years ago in this part of the world – it would not get off the back of Sanskrit learning, preventing it from being submitted to a free play of the intellect.

Kangle could be said to have belonged to the new breed of Sanskritists who depend on the cold light of reason to guide them. Except for a couple or books meant for University students, Kangle did not seek publication till he was nearing sixty. He could have dumped unripe books on undemanding readers arfhashastra earlier. But his rigorous standards and integrity would not let him. The real flowering came during his sixties and seventies.

He was not a writer in a hurry. The second edition followed soon. The work sold well but the royalty Kangle received from the University was pitifully small. Motilal Banarasidass, the Delhi publishing house famous for its publication of books in the field, offered to publish the next edition.

R. P. Kangle (Kautilya: Arthashastra)

The third edition really a reprint of the earlier edition brought Kangle the handsome royalty of sixteen thousand rupees, a princely amount in those days. And Kangle donated the entire amount to the Library of the Asiatic Society of Bombay in grateful acknowledgment of what he had derived from the library, which had been like a second home to him, particularly after his retirement from the Educational Service.

That he did this when the pension on which he had to subsist was quite meagre – and when his family responsibilities had not lessened appreciably -speaks much of his selflessness and of his unwillingness to translate his scholarship into easy money. Durga Bhagwat, herself a scholar of great repute in Indological and allied studies, has recorded these facts in her eloquent tribute to Kangle after his death. She has also mentioned how he was at ease in such European languages as French, German, Italian, and Russian, particularly in French.

Bhagwat is not known to be a writer to indulge in high-pitched praise! This critical temper and intellectual honesty would not let Kangle jump on the band -wagon of the revivalists. Rampant in his formative years, revivalism was a satellite of nationalism. He would not approach all Sanskrit learning reverentially, and of course he would have nothing to do with the amusingly naive belief that Sanskrit was the language of the Gods!

2. Autor und Entstehungszeit: die Argumentation R. P. Kangle’s

I have pleasant memories of the fortnight in August which Kangle and I spent visiting the cave temples at Ellora and Ajanta, created in a few centuries on either side of the advent of the Christian era. Kangle had equipped himself with learned tomes on these hoary sculptures. My visit was that of a typical, holidaying tourist; his was kanglee of a savant keen kanglle furthering his knowledge. I gratefully imbibed, as best arthashasra I could, some of his perceptive comments— even more gratefully because he did not talk down to me, in spite of my rather obvious ignorance.

Kangle’s interests were wide-ranging, and that not just in the domain of scholarship. I recall seeing in the hall of the Elphinstone College a photograph of a scene from Hamlet put up by the students, one of the characters in which is Kangle – most probably in the role of Hamlet.