Chanakya

Chanakya

Overview
Chānakya (c. 370–283 BCE) was a teacher to the first Maurya
Maurya Empire
The Maurya Empire was a geographically extensive Iron Age historical power in ancient India, ruled by the Mauryan dynasty from 321 to 185 BC...

 Emperor Chandragupta
Chandragupta Maurya
Chandragupta Maurya , was the founder of the Maurya Empire. Chandragupta succeeded in conquering most of the Indian subcontinent. Chandragupta is considered the first unifier of India and its first genuine emperor...

 (c. 340–293 BCE), and the first Indian emperor generally considered to be the architect of his rise to power. Traditionally, Chanakya is also identified by the names Kautilya and VishnuGupta, who authored the ancient Indian political treatise called Arthaśāstra. Chanakya has been considered as the pioneer of the field of economics
Economics
Economics is the social science that analyzes the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services. The term economics comes from the Ancient Greek from + , hence "rules of the house"...

 and political science
Political science
Political Science is a social science discipline concerned with the study of the state, government and politics. Aristotle defined it as the study of the state. It deals extensively with the theory and practice of politics, and the analysis of political systems and political behavior...

.
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Quotations

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. Besides, a reckless king will easily fall into the hands of his enemies. Hence the king shall ever be wakeful.

Book I : "Concerning Discipline" Chapter 19 "The Duties of a King"

All urgent calls he shall hear at once, but never put off; for when postponed, they will prove too hard or impossible to accomplish.

Book I : "Concerning Discipline" Chapter 19
Encyclopedia
Chānakya (c. 370–283 BCE) was a teacher to the first Maurya
Maurya Empire
The Maurya Empire was a geographically extensive Iron Age historical power in ancient India, ruled by the Mauryan dynasty from 321 to 185 BC...

 Emperor Chandragupta
Chandragupta Maurya
Chandragupta Maurya , was the founder of the Maurya Empire. Chandragupta succeeded in conquering most of the Indian subcontinent. Chandragupta is considered the first unifier of India and its first genuine emperor...

 (c. 340–293 BCE), and the first Indian emperor generally considered to be the architect of his rise to power. Traditionally, Chanakya is also identified by the names Kautilya and VishnuGupta, who authored the ancient Indian political treatise called Arthaśāstra. Chanakya has been considered as the pioneer of the field of economics
Economics
Economics is the social science that analyzes the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services. The term economics comes from the Ancient Greek from + , hence "rules of the house"...

 and political science
Political science
Political Science is a social science discipline concerned with the study of the state, government and politics. Aristotle defined it as the study of the state. It deals extensively with the theory and practice of politics, and the analysis of political systems and political behavior...

. In the Western world, he has been referred to as The Indian Machiavelli
Niccolò Machiavelli
Niccolò di Bernardo dei Machiavelli was an Italian historian, philosopher, humanist, and writer based in Florence during the Renaissance. He is one of the main founders of modern political science. He was a diplomat, political philosopher, playwright, and a civil servant of the Florentine Republic...

, although Chanakya's works predate Machiavelli's by about 1,800 years. Chanakya was a teacher in Takṣaśila
Taxila
Taxila is a Tehsil in the Rawalpindi District of Punjab province of Pakistan. It is an important archaeological site.Taxila is situated about northwest of Islamabad Capital Territory and Rawalpindi in Panjab; just off the Grand Trunk Road...

, an ancient centre of learning, and was responsible for the creation of Mauryan empire, the first of its kind on the Indian subcontinent. His works were lost near the end of the Gupta dynasty and not rediscovered until 1915.

Legend



Thomas R. Trautmann lists the following elements as common to different forms of the Chanakya legend:
  • Chanakya was born with a complete set of teeth, a sign that he would become king, which is inappropriate for a Brahmin
    Brahmin
    Brahmin Brahman, Brahma and Brahmin.Brahman, Brahmin and Brahma have different meanings. Brahman refers to the Supreme Self...

     like Chanakya. 's teeth were therefore broken and it was prophesied that he will rule through another.
  • The Nanda King throws Chānakya out of his court, prompting Chānakya to swear revenge.
  • Chānakya searches for one worthy for him to rule through. Chānakya encounters a young Chandragupta Maurya
    Chandragupta Maurya
    Chandragupta Maurya , was the founder of the Maurya Empire. Chandragupta succeeded in conquering most of the Indian subcontinent. Chandragupta is considered the first unifier of India and its first genuine emperor...

     who is a born leader even as a child. Chanakya established monarchial system in ancient historical times in India. He may be main architect to groom a child, but his means to reach power were manipulative and secretive.
  • Chānakya's initial attempt to overthrow Nanda fails, whereupon he comes across a mother scolding her child for burning himself by eating from the middle of a bun or bowl of porridge rather than the cooler edge. realizes his initial strategic error and, instead of attacking the heart of Nanda territory, slowly chips away at its edges.
  • Chānakya changed his alliance with the mountain king Parvata due to his obstinacy and non-adherence to the principles of the treaty as agreed.
  • Chānakya enlists the services of a fanatical weaver to rid the kingdom of rebels.
  • Chānakya adds poison to the food eaten by Chandragupta Maurya
    Chandragupta Maurya
    Chandragupta Maurya , was the founder of the Maurya Empire. Chandragupta succeeded in conquering most of the Indian subcontinent. Chandragupta is considered the first unifier of India and its first genuine emperor...

    , now king, in order to make him immune. Unaware, Chandragupta feeds some of his food to his queen, who is in her ninth month of pregnancy. In order to save the heir to the throne, Chānakya cuts the queen open and extracts the foetus, who is named Bindusara
    Bindusara
    Bindusara was the second Mauryan emperor after Chandragupta Maurya. During his reign, the empire expanded southwards. He had two well-known sons, Susima and Ashoka, who were the viceroys of Taxila and Ujjain...

     because he was touched by a drop (bindu) of blood having poison.
  • Chānakya's political rivalry with Subandhu leads to his death.


Chanakya was a shrewd observer of nature. Once, it is said that Mauryan forces had to hide in a cave. There was no food, and the soldiers were starving.They could not come out of the cave either, as there was a threat to their lives. Chanakya saw an ant taking a grain of rice, whereas, there was no sign of food or grain anywhere. Moreover, the rice grain was cooked. He ordered the soldiers to search and they found that their enemies had been dining under the cave. Indeed, they were eating at the ground floor. As soon as they saw this, they escaped and were thus saved.

Birth and Origin:
Chanakya (c.350 - c.275 BC), also known as Anshul or Anshu or Kauṭilya or Vishnugupta was born in a family of either Brahmin or Baniya as the son of Acharya Chanak in Pataliputra, Magadh (Modern day Patna, Bihar, India.
Chanakya enjoyed the best education of the time, in Nalanda. Then he is said to have taught in Takshasilâ which had established itself as a place of learning. The school had by that time existed for more than five centuries and attracted students from all over the ancient world. The Kingdom of Magadha maintained contact with Takshasilâ. Chanakya's life was connected to these two cities, Pataliputra and Takshasilâ. According to Jaina accounts, Chānakya was born in the village of Caṇaka in the Golla district to Caṇin and Caṇeśvarī, a Mag brahmin couple.

Death


When Bindusara was in his youth, Chandragupta gave up the throne and followed the Jain saint Bhadrabahu to present day Karnataka
Karnataka
Karnataka , the land of the Kannadigas, is a state in South West India. It was created on 1 November 1956, with the passing of the States Reorganisation Act and this day is annually celebrated as Karnataka Rajyotsava...

 and settled in the place of Shravana Belagola. He lived as an ascetic for some years and died of voluntary starvation according to Jain tradition.

Chanakya meanwhile stayed as the administrator of Bindusara. Bindusara also had a minister named Subandhu who did not like Chanakya. One day he told Bindusara that Chanakya was responsible for the murder of his mother. Bindusara asked the nurses who confirmed this story and he became very angry with Chanakya. But, he then came to know why the great soul did so.
but there is no real truth find that what are the causes of his death

Other versions


The classical Sanskrit play by Vishakhadatta, Mudrarakshasa
Mudrarakshasa
The Mudrarakshasa , a historical play in Sanskrit by Vishakhadatta in late 4th or early 5th century narrates the ascent of the king Chandragupta Maurya to power in Northern India.-Origin:...

, is one popular source of Chanakya lore.

According one tradition, Chanakya was a native of Dravida. One of Chanakya's various names was Dramila, the Sanskrit form of "Tamilian".("Dramila" is believed to be the root of the word "Dravida" by some scholars). Chozhiars, a sub-sect of Iyers, claim that Chanakya was one of them.But this claim is far-fetched and without a single proof.

Kauṭilya was educated at Taxila
Taxila
Taxila is a Tehsil in the Rawalpindi District of Punjab province of Pakistan. It is an important archaeological site.Taxila is situated about northwest of Islamabad Capital Territory and Rawalpindi in Panjab; just off the Grand Trunk Road...

 or Takshashila, then present in north-western India and now in present day Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

. The new states (in present-day Bihar
Bihar
Bihar is a state in eastern India. It is the 12th largest state in terms of geographical size at and 3rd largest by population. Almost 58% of Biharis are below the age of 25, which is the highest proportion in India....

 and Uttar Pradesh
Uttar Pradesh
Uttar Pradesh abbreviation U.P. , is a state located in the northern part of India. With a population of over 200 million people, it is India's most populous state, as well as the world's most populous sub-national entity...

) by the northern high road of commerce
Uttarapatha
Ancient Buddhist and Hindu texts use Uttarapatha as the name of the northern part of Jambudvipa, one of the "continents" in Hindu mythology.The name is derived from the Sanskrit terms uttara, for north, and patha, for road...

 along the base of the Himalayas
Himalayas
The Himalaya Range or Himalaya Mountains Sanskrit: Devanagari: हिमालय, literally "abode of snow"), usually called the Himalayas or Himalaya for short, is a mountain range in Asia, separating the Indian subcontinent from the Tibetan Plateau...

 maintained contact with Takshasilâ and at the eastern end of the northern high road (uttarapatha)
Uttarapatha
Ancient Buddhist and Hindu texts use Uttarapatha as the name of the northern part of Jambudvipa, one of the "continents" in Hindu mythology.The name is derived from the Sanskrit terms uttara, for north, and patha, for road...

 was the kingdom of Magadha with its capital city, Pataliputra, now known as Patna.

In his early years he was tutored extensively in the Vedas
Vedas
The Vedas are a large body of texts originating in ancient India. Composed in Vedic Sanskrit, the texts constitute the oldest layer of Sanskrit literature and the oldest scriptures of Hinduism....

 - Chanakya memorized them completely at a very early age. He also taught mathematics, geography and science along with dharmic education. Later he travelled to Takshashila, where he became a teacher of politics. Chanakya taught subjects using the best of practical knowledge acquired by the teachers. The age of entering the University was sixteen. The branches of study most sought after around India at that time ranged from law, medicine, warfare and other disciplines. Two of his more famous students were Bhadrabhatta and Purushdutta.

According to the Kashmiri version of his legend, , there is an anecdote which says a thorn had pricked his foot once. After that instead of uprooting the tree, he poured buttermilk on the tree so that the ants will gather around tree and finish the tree to its last pieces.

Media

  • The story of Chanakya and Chandragupta was taken as film in Telugu language in 1977 entitled Chanakya Chandragupta
    Chanakya Chandragupta
    -Cast:-Soundtrack:* Chirunavvula Tholakarilo Sirimallela Chinukulalo * Evaro Aa Chandrudevaro Aa Veera Chandrudu Evaro...

    . Akkineni Nageswara Rao
    Akkineni Nageswara Rao
    Akkineni Nageswara Rao , also known as ANR, is a Telugu cinema actor from Gudivada, Andhra Pradesh. Nageswara Rao has worked in several genres of films in his 70-year acting career, including mythological, social, and drama films...

     played the role of Chanakya, while N. T. Rama Rao
    N. T. Rama Rao
    Nandamuri Taraka Rama Rao , also known as NTR and fondly referred to as Anna Garu, was an Indian film actor, director, producer, and a politician...

     portrayed as Chandragupta.
  • Television series Chanakya
    Chanakya (TV series)
    Chanakya is a 47-part Indian television historical drama written and directed by Dr. Chandraprakash Dwivedi that was originally telecast on DD National from September 1991 to August 1992...

    is archetypal account of the life and times of Chanakya, based on the play "Mudra Rakshasa" (The Signet Ring of "Rakshasa")
  • A Television series on Imagine TV available as "Chandragupta Maurya" (The serial is based on the life of Indian ruler "Chandragupta Maurya" and "Chanakya")
  • A book has been published in English titled 'Chanakya on Management"{18} in which each of the 216 sutras on raja-neeti has been translated and commented upon. Clearly, the entire system of thought propounded by Chanakya is based on following good ethical principles.
  • In his Arthasastra, Chanakya has discussed widely various economic issues. A book written by Ratan Lal Basu
    Ratan Lal Basu
    Ratan Lal Basu is an economist and English fiction author from Kolkata, India.-Childhood and parents:...

     & Rajkumar Sen has dealt exhaustively with these economic concepts of Chanakya and their relevance for the modern world.
  • Many eminent Kauṭilya experts from all over the world had discussed various aspects of Kauṭilya's thought in an International Conference held in 1902 at Oriental Research Institute, Mysore, India
    India
    India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

     to celebrate the Centenary of discovery of the manuscript of the Arthashastra
    Arthashastra
    The Arthashastra is an ancient Indian treatise on statecraft, economic policy and military strategy which identifies its author by the names Kautilya and , who are traditionally identified with The Arthashastra (IAST: Arthaśāstra) is an ancient Indian treatise on statecraft, economic policy and...

     by R. Shamasastry
    R. Shamasastry
    Rudrapatnam Shamasastry was a Sanskrit scholar and librarian at the Oriental Research Institute Mysore who is known for discovering and publishing the Arthashastra, an ancient Indian treatise on statecraft, economic policy and military strategy....

    . Most of the papers presented in the Conference have been compiled in an edited volume by Raj Kumar Sen and Ratan Lal Basu
    Ratan Lal Basu
    Ratan Lal Basu is an economist and English fiction author from Kolkata, India.-Childhood and parents:...

    .
  • Chanakya's Chant
    Chanakya's Chant
    Chanakya's Chant is a novel written by Indian author Ashwin Sanghi. Sanghi, a Yale University graduate, wrote the book two years after his first novel The Rozabal Line was released in India and became a national bestseller. Chanakya's Chant was released on January 26, 2011 and entered all major...

     by Ashwin Sanghi
    Ashwin Sanghi
    Ashwin Sanghi is an Indian author of thriller fiction, best known for his 2007 novel, The Rozabal Line. Sanghi is interested in the lost years of Jesus, the primary theme of his first novel which hypothesizes that Jesus survived the crucifixion and traveled to India. The Rozabal Line was...

     is a fictional retelling of the life of Chanakya a political strategist of ancient India. The novel relates two stories in parallel, the first of Chanakya and his machinations to bring Chandragupta Maurya to the throne of Magadha
    Magadha
    Magadha formed one of the sixteen Mahājanapadas or kingdoms in ancient India. The core of the kingdom was the area of Bihar south of the Ganga; its first capital was Rajagriha then Pataliputra...

    ; the second, that of a modern-day character called Gangasagar Mishra who makes it his ambition to position a slum child as the Prime Minister of India.
  • Recently,a popular hindi channel started a Biographical mega series on the life of Chandragupta Maurya and his teacher,Chanakya.The series is named "CHANDRAGUPTA MAURYA".

See also

  • Magadha Empire
  • Mauryan dynasty
  • Chandragupta Maurya
    Chandragupta Maurya
    Chandragupta Maurya , was the founder of the Maurya Empire. Chandragupta succeeded in conquering most of the Indian subcontinent. Chandragupta is considered the first unifier of India and its first genuine emperor...

  • Asoka Maurya
    Ashoka
    Ashok Maurya or Ashoka , popularly known as Ashoka the Great, was an Indian emperor of the Maurya Dynasty who ruled almost all of the Indian subcontinent from ca. 269 BC to 232 BC. One of India's greatest emperors, Ashoka reigned over most of present-day India after a number of military conquests...

  • Bindusara Maurya
    Bindusara
    Bindusara was the second Mauryan emperor after Chandragupta Maurya. During his reign, the empire expanded southwards. He had two well-known sons, Susima and Ashoka, who were the viceroys of Taxila and Ujjain...

  • Dasaratha Maurya
    Dasaratha Maurya
    Dasaratha Maurya was the Emperor of the Mauryan dynasty from 232 BCE to 224 BCE.-Accession:According to the Matsya Purana , Dasaratha succeeded his paternal grandfather Ashoka the Great as ruler of the Mauryan empire. was only about twenty years old, when he ascended the throne of the Mauryan...

  • Arthashastra
    Arthashastra
    The Arthashastra is an ancient Indian treatise on statecraft, economic policy and military strategy which identifies its author by the names Kautilya and , who are traditionally identified with The Arthashastra (IAST: Arthaśāstra) is an ancient Indian treatise on statecraft, economic policy and...

  • History of assassination
    History of assassination
    Assassination, the murder of an opponent or well-known public figure, is one of the oldest tools of power struggles, as well as the expression of certain psychopathic disorders. It dates back to the earliest governments and tribal structures of the world....


External links