From the Arthashastra we learn that there was a widespread belief in magical prac­tices and superstitions of all kinds in the Mauryan society. It mentions numerous magical rites and practices for finding favour with the king, for ob­taining inexhaustible wealth, for afflicting enemies with disease, for securing a long life or for getting a son.

Most of Book Fourteen of the Arthashastra, called Aupanisadika, describes a number of rites and practices which are supposed to produce oc­cult manifestations or miraculous effects.