ABSTRACT

Base and arduous tasks were left to the Sudras, the slaves (dasya), and all the dregs of the people who were kept outside the caste system. Of these, the slaves deserve special mention. A free man (aTya) might be a "temporary" slave-if, for example, he pledged his person because he could not otherwise pay a fine or the costs of a law-suit, or if he was carried off in a raid. Also, if a man left his caste to enter a monastic order and then left the order or never entered it, he became a slave of the King. We should note, too, that the King must liberate every free man reduced to bondage by violence, for he is, in principle, obliged to abolish or compensate every injustice, and the proverb says that slavery is not for a1'yas (natvevaTyasya dasabhiivalJ,. Kautilya, iii, 18, 65). The only case in which a free man who had become a slave could not buy himself off was where he had himself sold his person ; he then became like the permanent slaves. Of these there were four kinds-born in the house, bought, captured in a raid, and inherited. In all four cases the only legal duty owed by the slave to his master was obedience, the obligation to serve him in the matter of work.