Theories of Origin of State in India

Topics: Political philosophy, History of India, Vedas Pages: 3 (873 words) Published: October 15, 2012
The origin of the state is shrouded in mystery. It lies in the limbs of the obscure past. History does not help authentically in tracing the origin of the state, why and when it came into existence. It is because of the lack of historical evidence that a political thinker has to depend upon sociology, biology, ethnology and anthropology for any suggestion as to the circumstances and conditions under which the state came into being. But the material at our disposal is so inadequate that we have to depend upon conjectures and generalizations to explain the origin of the state. Counterparts of the Western theory of origin of State can be found in ancient Indian texts albeit without much regard for their age or sources. The uncertainties of dates and content of these texts render the task difficult. Therefore any effort made to elucidate upon the various theories of origin of state will be, in no uncertain terms, provisional and based on conjecture. However, to examine and reject a speculative theory is a means of arriving at the truth. Speculative theories exhibit the spirit of the time in which they flourished and are, consequently, the index of the people, their thoughts, and their environments and describe the forces that moulded and shaped the practices of the State. Finally, speculative theories led to the development of political thought. It is only by groping in the dark that we hope to reach the light. ¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬The earliest legend about the origin of the State occurs in the Aitreya Brahmana, one of the later Vedic texts which talks about the war between the gods and demons at which the gods were suffering. They decided that they need a raja to lead them in battle and appointed Soma (possibly the earliest emendation to Indra) as their king. In the Taittiriya Upanishad tells a slightly different story where the discomfited gods sacrificed to the high god, Prajapati, who sent his son Indra to be king. These legends suggest that ancient Indians...
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