15 Great Thoughts By Chanakya and Brief History of Chanakya Maurya - Father of Political Science in India

One of the greatest figures of wisdom and knowledge in the Indian history is Chanakya. He is estimated to have lived from 350 - 283 B.C. Chanakya is touted as the "Pioneer Economist of India". Chanakya was the adviser and Prime Minister of Emperor Chandragupta. Chanakya was a professor at the University of Takshila (located in present day Pakistan) and was an expert in commerce, warfare, economics, etc. His famous works include Chanakya Neeti, Arthashastra and Neetishastra. Read this biography of Kautilya that covers his interesting life history.



Chanakya is also known by the name of Kautilya and Vishnugupta as is mentioned in his text. His famous work called Arthashastra is a classic example of statecraft and politics and is read in Europe even today. It basically consists of the principles of politics and how the state works. An able ruler has to be a ruthless leader to make sure that the state works smoothly and efficiently. The legends associated with Chanakya are very interesting and provide a testimony of his greatness.

Legends:
  • When Chanakya was born he had a full set of teeth, which is a sign that he would become a king or an emperor. But since he was born in a Brahmin family, it was considered inappropriate. Thus, his teeth were broken and it was predicted that he would make another person a king and rule through him.
  • Even as a child, Chanakya had the qualities of a born leader. His level of knowledge was beyond children of his age. 
  • Chanakya was thrown out of the court of King Nanda as he was a blunt man and spoke his mind clearly. Chanakya swore he would take revenge. 
  • Chanakya comes across Chandragupta as a young child. Even at that age, he was a born leader and showed the qualities of an able Emperor. He was the guiding force behind Chandragupta and the vital person who made him an able Emperor. 
  • Chanakya adds poison in little amounts daily in Chandragupta's food in order to make him immune to poison, lest some enemy tries to poison him. 
  • However Chandragupta was unaware about this and once gave a little food to his wife who was in the ninth month of pregnancy. She didn't survive but Chanakya cut open her belly and took out the baby. 
  • This baby grew up to become an able emperor named Bindusara. He had a minister named Subandhu who did not like Chanakya. He told Bindusara that Chanakya had killed his mother. 
  • Without assessing facts, Bindusara confronted Chanakya. On knowing the whole story, he felt ashamed at his hasty actions and begged for forgiveness. He asked Subandhu to go and apologize and make Chanakya come back. 
  • Subandhu was very cunning and on the pretext of going to apologize to Chanakya, he killed him. Thus, ended the life of a great person like Chanakya just because of political rivalry.

15 Great Thoughts By Chanakya

1) “Learn from the mistakes of others… you can’t live long enough to make them all yourselves!!”

2)”A person should not be too honest. Straight trees are cut first and Honest people are screwed first.”

3)”Even if a snake is not poisonous, it should pretend to be venomous.”

4)”There is some self-interest behind every friendship. There is no friendship without self-interests. This is a bitter truth.”

5)” Before you start some work, always ask yourself three questions – Why am I doing it, What the results might be and Will I be successful. Only when you think deeply and find satisfactory answers to these questions, go ahead.”

6)”As soon as the fear approaches near, attack and destroy it.”

7)”The world’s biggest power is the youth and beauty of a woman.”

8)”Once you start a working on something, don’t be afraid of failure and don’t abandon it. People who work sincerely are the happiest.”



9)”The fragrance of flowers spreads only in the direction of the wind. But the goodness of a person spreads in all direction.”

10)”God is not present in idols. Your feelings are your god. The soul is your temple.”

11) “A man is great by deeds, not by birth.”

12) “Never make friends with people who are above or below you in status. Such friendships will never give you any happiness.”

13) “Treat your kid like a darling for the first five years. For the next five years, scold them. By the time they turn sixteen, treat them like a friend. Your grown up children are your best friends.”

14) “Books are as useful to a stupid person as a mirror is useful to a blind person.”

15) “Education is the Best Friend. An Educated Person is Respected Everywhere. Education beats the Beauty and the Youth.”


What is Chanakya Neeti


Chanakya Neeti is a collection of Chanakya's thoughts in "Dos and Don'ts" format which one can apply in the conduct of one's daily life, follow a set of simple rules enunciated in the couplets and stud one's mindset with the gems of his philosophy and wisdom. This page presents couplets or quatrains in English followed by a faithful and lucid commentry explaining the importance of the message contained therein in the present day context.

1. A wicked wife, a false friend, a saucy servant and living in a house with a serpent सर्प in it are nothing but death.

2. Do not inhabit a country where you are not respected, cannot earn your livelihood, have no friends, or cannot acquire knowledge.

3. Do not stay for a single day where there are not these five persons: a wealthy man, a brahmin well versed in Vedic lore, a king, a river and a physician.

4. Test a servant while in the discharge of his duty, a relative in difficulty, a friend in adversity, and a wife in misfortune.

5. Do not put your trust in rivers, men who carry weapons, beasts पशु‌ with claws नाखून or horns , women, and members of a royal family.

6. Separation from the wife, disgrace from one’s own people, an enemy saved in battle, service to a wicked king, poverty गरीबी, and a mismanaged assembly: these six kinds of evils, if afflicting a person, burn him even without fire.

7. Trees on a riverbank, a woman in another man’s house, and kings without counsellors go without doubt to swift destruction.

8. Friendship between equals flourishes, service under a king is respectable, it is good to be business-minded in public dealings, and a handsome lady is safe in her own home.


9. Of a rascal दुर्जन and a serpent सर्प, the serpent is the better of the two, for he strikes only at the time he is destined to kill, while the former at every step.

10. Give up a member to save a family, a family to save a village, a village to save a country, and the country to save yourself.
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