The Biography Of Chanakya
Also called Kautilya or Vishnuguta, Chanakya was a Hindu statesman, economist, jurist, royal advisor, and philosopher who wrote the ancient Indian political treatise, Artha-shastra between the 3rd century BCE and 3rd century CE.
Talking about his personal life, Chanakya was born in a Brahmin family in 375 BCE in Takshshila (now in Punjab, Pakistan). He was known to be the building-block behind the Maurya Empire. Chanakya is also considered as the pioneer of the field of Political Science and Economics in India. His leads and work are still followed. He had immersive knowledge of medicine and astrology, and it is said that he was familiar with elements of Greek and Persian learning introduced into India by Zoroastrians. Many believed he was a Zoroastrian due to his phenomenal command of Persian and Greek language, or at least was strongly influenced by that religion.
Chanakya played an instrumental role in assisting the first Mauryan emperor Chandragupta Maurya in his rise to power. He also served as the chief advisor to Bindusara, the son of Chandragupta, and the father of Ashoka- The Great.
Chanakya was a highly knowledgeable person with a deep understanding of subjects like politics, war strategies, economics, astrology, and medicine. He helped Chandragupta Maurya in defeating the Nanda dynasty at Patliputra. He went onto consolidate Chandragupta his powers in the Magadha region.
The book he wrote named Arthashastra discussed various topics like fiscal policies, monetary terms, international relations, and war strategies in detail. The book explores issues related to the nature of the law, government, markets and trade, civil and criminal court systems, economics, ethics, nature of peace, and the duties of a king or a ruler. Apart from the monetary aspects, he covered topics like mineralogy, mining & metals, agriculture, medicine, animal husbandry, wildlife, forest, etc.
Philosophy of Chanakya
Chanakya always talked about simplicity and the way life should be lived. He wanted to create a society where people are not much indulged in the material aspects of life.
- He believed in equality for all
- He emphasized spirituality too
- Agriculture was one of the primary things in his support as he considered it to be a state subject
- Women’s safety was also a key aspect of his radar. He always wanted to end all sort of exploitations against them
- He always proposed land as a resource and wanted everyone to utilize it perfectly
- He looked after the resources of the annexed kingdoms and empire to harness the maximum optimization
- Being a strategist, he flared balance between both the states and the citizens
- He always believed in the flourishing of trade and hence bare minimum taxes that benefited both citizens and states
- He encouraged building forts to counter external attacks
- He had a desire to build cities for trade both within and outside the state
Ethics a leader should have according to Chanakya
- According to Chanakya, a leader is the face of the nation. He is responsible for everything that happens in a community and set standards for the society
- The welfare of society should be the only goal of a leader
- A leader will lose the loyalty of its subject if it disheartens them by his unjust actions
- A leader should never go for any wasteful expenditure
- A leader should never look to propagate adharma. He should be unbiased and never favor the wicked
- He should do justice by punishing the culprit and releasing the innocent
- He should listen to all the judgments and custodians and give justice to the innocent without any delay because justice delayed is justice denied
- An ethical leader should never antagonize the wise and the elders
The Acclaimed Chanakyaneeti
The famous Chanakya-Neeti that is still implemented to make strategies is one of its kind. It is focused on good governance and comprises eight factors,
- Consensus Oriented
- Equitable and inclusive
- Effective and efficient
- Follows the rule of law
One should be exploring cognitive minds, should be stretched, should find the answers in unlimited time to make a decision. Chanakya also realized the importance of good bureaucracy and believed that a king could only walk with the help of his subjects, as one single wheel can not move the whole chariot.
He was a good observer of corruption and believed in keeping spies to look after if the officials carried forward their work with perfection.
After living a highly influential and inspiring life that included numerous good deeds, the great philosopher, economist Chanakya died in 283 BC in Patliputra, Maurya Empire, leaving a rich legacy behind.
Time to wrap up:
Chanakya’s life has been an inspiration. His deeds will always remain immortal in our history books. We have compiled whatever we could about the great influencer, and if you like our post, please feel free to share your views in the comment section.