Source | Businesstoday.in | BY: S. Venkatesh
As key people would have to be entrusted with these critical tasks for implementation, the advisor had to possess a deep, 360-degree understanding of the skill sets, temperament and past track records of those individuals.
Ancient kings always had a trusted advisor in their courts. He was usually the most senior minister or a man of religion or great education. Prince Philip of Macedonia had Aristotle, who also tutored his famous son, Alexander the Great. The pharaohs of Egypt had their viziers. Closer home, Vashishta was the advisor to all the kings of the Ikshvaku dynasty – right down to Maharaja Dasharatha and after that, to his son Lord Rama. In the Mahabharata, Veda Vyasa was the principal advisor (and protagonist of the epic), revered by both Kauravas and Pandavas, even though the Kauravas had other advisors such as Drona and Kripacharya. Chandragupta Maurya had Chanakya as his principal advisor. These men were considered the ultimate repositories of all wisdom and knowledge. They would advise the king on subjects ranging from the treasury, state craft, espionage, art of negotiation, weaponry and so on.
As key people would have to be entrusted with these critical tasks for implementation, the advisor had to possess a deep, 360-degree understanding of the skill sets, temperament and past track records of those individuals. Besides their loyalty to the king, which was non-negotiable, such men had to be chosen with care, based on these parameters. After their missions were completed, these key ‘human resources’ (a term not discovered until the 20th century) would have to be rewarded to ensure that they remained loyal to the king. The families of those, who unfortunately lost their lives during their missions, would be compensated and taken care of financially. It was an unwritten code of fairness and justice. And all this was done by these advisors to the king.