Chanakya, also known as Kautilya or Vishnugupta, was a philosopher, economist, and political advisor who lived in ancient India during the 4th century BCE. He is best known for his role in advising and guiding the Maurya Empire, one of the most powerful empires of ancient India, under the reign of Emperor Chandragupta Maurya.
Chanakya was born in the town of Pataliputra, which is now present-day Patna in Bihar, India. He was believed to have been born into a Brahmin family and received a thorough education in fields such as economics, politics, philosophy, and literature.
He is best known for his influential political treatise, the Arthashastra, which details his political and economic theories and strategies for governing an empire. He was known for his ruthless tactics and cunning strategies and was instrumental in the founding of the Maurya Empire.
Chanakya is also remembered for his role as a teacher, having trained several disciples, including Chandragupta Maurya, who went on to become one of the greatest emperors in Indian history.
Although the exact details of his death are not known, Chanakya is believed to have died around 283 BCE. His legacy as a philosopher, economist, and political strategist continues to be studied and admired to this day, and his ideas and teachings have had a lasting impact on Indian political and economic thought.
One who can’t determine his goals; cannot win.
A man is born alone and dies alone, and he experiences the good and bad consequences of his karma alone, and he goes alone to hell or the supreme abode.
Do not reveal what you have thought upon doing, but by wise council keep it secret being determined to carry it into execution.
He who is overly attached to his family members experiences fear and sorrow, for the root of all grief is attachment. Thus one should discard attachments to be happy.
The world’s biggest power is the beauty and the youth of a woman.
There is some self-interest behind every friendship. There is no friendship without self-interests. This is a bitter truth.
It’s better to die than to preserve this life by incurring disgrace.
He who lives in our mind is near though he may actually be far away, but he who is not in our heart is far though he may really be nearby.
The loss of life causes but a moment’s grief, but disgrace brings grief every day of one’s life.
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.
No one can defeat a powerful mind.
Even if a snake is not poisonous, it should pretend to be venomous.
Wealth, a friend, a wife, and a kingdom may be regained, but this body when lost may never be acquired again.
As a single withered tree, if set aflame, causes a whole forest to burn, so does a rascal son destroy a whole family.
Accumulated wealth is saved by spending just as incoming fresh water is saved by letting out stagnant water.
The life of an uneducated man is as useless as the tail of a dog which neither covers its rear end nor protects it from bites of insects.
A wise man should restrain his senses like the crane and accomplish his purpose with due knowledge of his place, time, and ability.
The serpent, the king, the tiger, the stinging wasp, the small child, the dog owned by other people, and the fool: these seven ought not to be awakened from sleep.
The one excellent thing that can be learned from a lion is that whatever a man intends doing should be done by him with a whole-hearted and strenuous effort.
Purity of speech, of the mind, of the senses, and of a compassionate heart are needed by one who desires to rise to the divine platform.
Drop the idea that love and attachment are one thing. They are enemies. It is attachment that destroys all love.
One whose knowledge is confined to books and whose wealth is in the possession of others can use neither knowledge nor wealth to carry it into execution.
We should not fret for what is past, nor should we be anxious about the future; men of discernment deal only with the present moment.
The fragrance of flowers spreads only in the direction of the wind. But the goodness of a person spreads in all directions.
Never reveal what you have thought upon doing, but by wise council keep it secret being determined to carry it into execution.
The earth is supported by the power of truth; it is the power of truth that makes the sun shine and the winds blow; indeed all things rest upon truth.
God is not present in idols. Your feelings are your god. The soul is your temple.
Every neighboring state is an enemy and the enemy’s enemy is a friend.
Before you start some work, always ask yourself three questions- Why am I doing it, what are the results might be and will I be successful. Only when you think deeply and find satisfactory answers to these questions.
Dharma is law in the widest sense -spiritual, moral, ethical, and temporal
Every individual whether the ruler or the ruled is governed by his or her own dharma. To the extent that society respected dharma, society protected itself; to the extent, society offended it, society undermined.
Just as it is impossible to know when a swimming fish is drinking water, so it is impossible to find out when a government servant is stealing money.
Whoever imposes severe punishment becomes repulsive to the people; while he who awards mild punishment becomes contemptible. But whoever imposes punishment as deserved becomes respectable.
For every effect, there is a specific cause. Success is not an accident. Success is not based on chance. Success is not a matter of luck. Success is the result of well thought out action.
Success needs action. Action needs initiative.
He shall despise none, but hear the opinions of all. A wise man shall make use of even a child’s sensible utterance.
If a king is energetic, his subjects will be equally energetic. If he is reckless, they will not only be reckless likewise but also eat into his works.
As soon as the fear approaches near; attack and destroy it.
Education is the best friend. An educated person is respected everywhere. Education beats the beauty and the youth.
Books are useful to a stupid person as a mirror is useful to a blind person.
Knowledge is lost without putting it into practice; a man is lost due to ignorance; an army is lost without a commander; and a woman is lost without a husband.
O, wise man! Give your wealth only to the worthy and never to others. The water of the sea received by the clouds is always sweet.
Avoid him who talks sweetly before you but tries to ruin you behind your back, for he is like a pitcher full of poison with milk on top.
A man is great by deeds, not by birth.
Test a servant while in the discharge of his duty, a relative in difficulty, a friend in adversity, and a wife in misfortune.
The biggest guru mantra is: never share your secrets with anybody. It will destroy you.
Once you start working on something, don’t be afraid of failure and don’t abandon it. People who work sincerely are the happiest.
Humbleness is at the root of self-control.
Learn from other people’s mistakes… you can’t live long enough to make them all yourselves.
A person should not be too honest. Straight trees are cut first and honest people are screwed first.
There is no austerity equal to a balanced mind, and there is no happiness equal to contentment; there is no disease like covetousness and no virtue like mercy.
Time perfects men as well as destroys them.
Sinfully acquired wealth may remain for ten years; in the eleventh year it disappears when even the original stock.