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Chanakya

On the banks of the river Ganga stood the city of Pataliputra, also calledKusumapura. In front of a choultry in the city, a man walked as if in haste, on a hot afternoon. He   was a brahmin, with bright and shining eyes.
Chanakya is perhaps less well known outside India compared to other social and political philosophers of the world like Confucius and Machiavelli. His foresight and wide knowledge coupled with politics of expediency helped found the mighty Mauryan Empire in India. He compiled his political ideas into the 'Arthashastra', one of the world's earliest treatises on political thought and social order. His ideas remain popular to this day in India. In Jawaharlal Nehru's Discovery of India, Chanakya has been called the Indian Machiavelli. Three books are attributed to Chanakya: Arthashastra, Nitishastra and Chanakya Niti. Arthashastra (literally 'the Science of Material Gain' in Sanskrit) is arguably the first systematic book on economics. It discusses monetary and fiscal policies, welfare, international relations, and war strategies in details. Many of his nitis or policies have been compiled under the book title Chanakya Niti. Nitishastra is a treatise on the ideal way of life, and shows Chanakya's in depth study of the Indian way of life. According to a legend, while Chanakya served as the Prime Minister of Chandragupta Maurya, he started adding small amounts of poison in Chandragupta's food so that he would get used to it. The aim of this was to prevent the Emperor from being poisoned by enemies. One day the queen, Durdha, shared the food with the Emperor while she was pregnant. Since she was not used to eating poisoned food, she died. Chanakya decided that the baby should not die; hence he cut open the belly of the queen and took out the baby. A drop (bindu in Sanskrit) of poison had passed to the baby's head, and hence Chanakya named him Bindusara. Bindusara would go on to become a great king and to father the greatest Mauryan Emperor since Chandragupta - Asoka. When Bindusara became a youth, Chandragupta gave up the throne and followed the Jain saint Bhadrabahu to present day Karnataka and settled in a place known as Sravana Belagola. He lived as an ascetic for some years and died of voluntary starvation according to Jain tradition. Chanakya meanwhile stayed as the Prime Minister 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. It is said that Chanakya, on hearing that the Emperor was angry with him, thought that anyway he was at the end of his life. He donated all his wealth to the poor, widows and orphans and sat on a dung heap, prepared to die by total abstinence from food and drink. Bindusara meanwhile heard the full story of his birth from the nurses and rushed to beg forgiveness of Chanakya. But Chanakya would not relent. Bindusara went back and vent his fury on Subandhu, who asked for time to beg for forgiveness from Chanakya. Subandhu, who still hated Chanakya, wanted to make sure that Chanakya did not return to the city. So he arranged for a ceremony of respect, but unnoticed by anyone, slipped a smoldering charcoal ember inside the dung heap. Aided by the wind, the dung heap swiftly caught fire, and the man behind the Mauryan Empire and the author of Arthashastra was burned to death. His main philosophy was "A debt should be paid off till the last penny; An enemy should be destroyed without a trace". He seemed to have lived - and died - by his philosopy.Chanakya, also known as Kautilya or Vishnugupta, was born in Pataliputra, Magadh (modern Bihar), and later moved to Taxila, in Gandhar province(now in Pakistan). He was a professor (acharya) of political science at the Takshashila University and later the Prime Minister of the Emperor Chandragupta Maurya. He is regarded as one of the earliest known political thinkers, economists and king-makers. He was the man to envision the first Indian empire by unification of the then numerous kingdoms in the Indian sub-continent and provide the impetus for fights against the Greek conqueror Alexander
Chānakya /चाणक्य /was an adviser of the first Maurya Emperor Chandragupta (c. 340–293 BCE), and was the chief architect of his rise to power. Kautilya andVishnugupta, the names by which the ancient South Asian political treatise called the Arthaśāstra identifies its author, are traditionally identified with Chanakya. It is important to identify Chanakya as a great Indian because his cultural significance has reached far and wide, and his words are just as internalised in other parts of South Asia. Chanakya has been considered as the pioneer of the field of economics and political science. In the Western world, he has been referred to as The Indian Machiavelli, although Chanakya's works predate Machiavelli's by about 1,800 years.Chanakya was a teacher in Takṣaśila, 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.
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 like Chanakya.Chāṇakya'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 who is a born leader even as a child.
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. Chāṇakya 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 Chandragupt Maurya, 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 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 Kautilya or Vishnugupta was born in a family of Brahmin as the son of Acharya Chanak in Pataliputra, Magadh (Modern day Patna, Bihar, India. In the modern day it has been found that social, political and professional life of Brahmins reflects Chanakya Neeti. A South Indian group of Brahmins, Chozhiyas, claim that Chanakya was one of them. Though this may sound very improbable considering the vast distance between present day Tamil Nadu in the south and Magadha in Bihar, it finds curious echos in Parishista-parvan, where Hemachandra claims that Chankya was a Dramila (Dramila, being a very common variant of Dravida). Chanakya enjoyed the best education of the time, in 'Takshashila' (also known in its corrupted form as Taxila).Takshasilâ had established itself as a place of learning. The school had by that time existed for at least five centuries and attracted students from all over the ancient world of Southeast Asia. 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 Maga Brahmin couple.
Death
According to the Jain texts, Chanakya lived to a ripe old age and died around 275 BC and was cremated by his disciple Radhagupta who succeeded Rakshasa Katyayan (great-grand son of Prabuddha Katyayan, who attained Nirvana during the same period as Gautam Budhha as Prime Minister of the Maurya Empire and was instrumental in backing Ashoka to the throne.
According to a Jaina tradition, while Chanakya served as the chief administrator of Chandragupta Maurya, he started adding small amounts of poison in Chandragupta's food so that he would get used to it. The aim of this was to prevent the Emperor from being poisoned by enemies. One day the queen, Durdha, shared the food with the Emperor while she was pregnant. Since she was not used to eating poisoned food, she died. Chanakya decided that the baby should not die; hence he cut open the belly of the queen and took out the baby. A drop (bindu in Sanskrit) of poison had passed to the baby's head, and hence Chanakya named him Bindusara. Bindusara would go on to become a great king and to father the greatest Mauryan Emperor since Chandragupt - Asoka.
When Bindusara became a youth, Chandragupta gave up the throne and followed the Jain saint Bhadrabahu to present day Karnataka and settled in a place known as 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.
It is said that Chanakya, on hearing that the Emperor was angry with him, thought that anyway he was at the end of his life. He donated all his wealth to the poor, widows and orphans and sat on a dung heap, prepared to die by total abstinence from food and drink. Bindusara meanwhile heard the full story of his birth from the nurses and rushed to beg forgiveness of Chanakya. But Chanakya would not change his mind. Bindusara went back and vented his fury on Subandhu, and killed him.
Chanakya after this incident, renounced food and shortly died thereafter. Bindusara revered Chanakya and the loss of his advisor was a considerable blow to him.
CHANAKYA – NEETI


  1. MONEYTYAJANTI MITRAANI DHANAIRVIHIINAM ||
    DAARAASHCHA BHRITYAASHCHA SUHRIJJANASCHA ||
    TAM CHARTHAVANNTAM PUNARAASHRAYANTE ||
    HYARTHO HI LOKE PURUSHASYA BANDHUH ||

    (The money- less man is quit cold by friends, wife, and well wishers and dependents, on his becoming rich, they hang on to him again. In this world, money is only the true ally of man.

    ANYAAYOPAARJITAM VITTAM DASHAVARSHAANI TISTHATI ||
    PRAPTE CHAIKAADASHE VARSHE SAMULANCHA VINASYATI ||

    (Unjustly earned money stays only for ten years. In the eleventh year, it disappears along with the Principal)

  2. BIRTH AND DEATHJANMA MRITYUN HI YAATYEKO BHUNAKTYEKAH SHUBHAASHUBHAM ||
    NARAKE CHA PATATYEKA, EKO YAATI PARANGATIM ||

    (Everyone experiences birth and death alone, he also faces the consequences of good and bad actions, and he faces the hell and heaven alone)

  3. DESTINYPATRAM NAIVA YADA KARIRVITAPE DOSHO VASANTASYA KIM ||
    GHUKO NAIVA VILOKATE YADI DIVA SURYASYA KIM DUSHANAM ||
    DHAARAA NAIVA PATANTI CHATAKMUKHE MEGHASYA KIM DUSHANAM ||
    YATPURVAM VIDHINAA LALAATALIKHITAM TANMAARJITUM KAH KSHAMAH ||

    (It is not the fault of spring season, if leaves don’t grow on a KARIRA tree. It is not the fault of the sun if the owl can’t see during the day. Cloud is not to be blamed if no raindrops fall into the mouth of the cuckoo. One is powerless to wipe off the destiny inscribed on one’s forehead)

    AAYUH KARMA CHA VITTAM CHA VIDDYA NIDHANAMEYA CHA ||
    PANCHAITAANI HI SRIJAYANTE GARBHASTHASYAIVA DEHINAH ||

    (Life-span, occupation, wealth, education and ‘How death will occur, these five things are determined while a person is in the womb of the mother)

    RANKANKAROTI RAJAANAM RAJAANAM RANKAMEVA CHA ||
    DHANINAM NIRDHANAM CHAIVA NIRDHANAM DHANINAM VIDHIH ||

    (The beggar becomes a king and the king becomes miserly. Destiny makes the rich poor and the poor are made rich by destiny)

  4. ALMIGHTY GODAGNIRDEVO DVIJAATINAAM MUNINAAM HRIDI DAIVATAM ||
    PRATIMA SVALPABUDDHINAM SARVATRA SAMADARSINAAM ||

    (Brahmin (Dvija) believes God to be in fire. Sage believes God to be in the heart itself. A person with little knowledge thinks that God resides in the Idol. But a man with just knowledge knows that God is omnipresent)

    NA DEVO VIDDYATE KAASTH, NA PAASHAANE NA MRINMAYE ||
    BHAAVO HI VIDDYATE DEVASTASMAADVBHAAVO HI KAARANAM ||

    (The deity neither dwells in a piece of wood or in a stone or clay model He dwells in one’s faith)

  5. DUTIESMAATRU DEVO BHAVAH! PITRU DEVO BHAVAH! ||
    AACHAARYA DEVO BHAVAH! ATITHI DEVO BHAVAH! ||

    (MOTHER, FATHER, TEACHER AND GUEST are perceivable Deities)

    EKENAAPI SUPUTRENA VIDDYAYUKTENA SAADHUNAA ||
    AAHLAADITAM KULAM SARVAM YATHAA CHANDRENA SHARVARI ||

    (As the moon illuminates up in the night, in the same way only one good son who is well educated and upright is a delight to the whole family)

    KIM JAATAIRBAHUBHIH PUTRAIH SHOKASANTAAPKAARAKAIH ||
    VARAMEKAH KULAALAMBI YAATRA VISHRAAMYATE KULAM ||

    (One virtuous son is enough than a hundred duds for only one moon can dispel the darkness and not the stars though they are in thousands)

    EKEN SHUSKAVRIKSHENA DAHYAMAANENA VAHVINAA ||
    DAHYATE TADVANAM SARVAM KUPUTRENA KULAM YATHAA || 

    (A wicked son causes distress to the whole family, in the same way as one dried up burning tree makes the whole forest to burn)

  6. DUTY OF PARENTS TOWARDS THEIR CHILDLAALAYETPANCHA VARSHANI, DASHA VARSHAANI TADAAYET ||
    PRAAPTE TU, SHODASHE VARSHE, PUTRAM MITRAVADAACHARET ||

    (A child should be given all the love and affection for the first five years. The next ten years, discipline should be taught to him strictly. A son should be treated as a friend after the age of sixteen).

  7. DUTY OF A WIFESAA BHAARYAA YAA SUCHIRDAKSHA SAA BHAARYA YAA PATIVRATAA ||
    SAA BHARYAA YAA PATIPRITA SAA BHARYAA YA PRIYAVAADINI ||

    (Wife is she who is chaste and deft, she swears only by her husband and she takes delight in her husband and she is soft spoken).

  8. MIND CONTROL AND PURITY OF MIND MANA EVA MANUSHYAANAAM KAARANAM BANDHMOKSHAYOH ||
    BANDHAAYA VISHAYAASANGO MUKTAYAI NIRVISHAYAM MANAH ||

    (The human mind is the cause of bondage and deliverance. The love for pleasure enslaves us but indifference towards it, liberate us).

    NAASTI KAAMSAMO VYAADHIRNAASTI MOHASAMO RIPUH ||
    NAASTI KOPASAMO VAHNIRNAASTI GYAANAATPARAM SUKHAM ||

    (Passion causes distraction of the mind, the delusion is the biggest enemy of the mind, and Anger burns the mind the most. One who possesses the enlightened mind is the happiest)

  9. ANGER (KRODHA)KRODHO VAIVASVATO RAAJAA TRISHNAA VAITARNI NADII ||
    VIDDYA KAAMDUHA DHENUH SANTOSHO NANDANAM VANAM ||

    (Anger is the king of death, greed is the river of hell, knowledge is the wish granting cow and contentment is the celestial garden)

  10. GREED (LOBHA)DHANESHU JIVITAVYESHU STRISHU CHAAHAARKARMASU ||
    ATRIPTAH PRANINAH SARVE YAATAA YAASYANTI YAANTI CHA ||

    (Man is unsatisfied with life, women and food because it does not have permanence. Man has to leave all his belongings one day)

  11. ATTACHMENT (MOHA)YASYA SNEHO BHAYAM TASYAA, SNEHO DUHKHASYAA BHAAJANAM ||
    SNEHAMULANI DHUKHANI SNEHAM TYAKTVA VASETSUKHAM ||

    (Attachment is the root cause of fear and suffering by giving up attachment one gains happiness)

Chanakya Quotes

  1. A man is great by deeds, not by birth.
  2. A person should not be too honest. Straight trees are cut first and honest people are screwed first.
  3. A good wife is one who serves her husband in the morning like a mother does, loves him in the day like a sister does and pleases him like a prostitute in the night.
  4. 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.
  5. As long as your body is healthy and under control and death is distant, try to save your soul; when death is immanent what can you do?
  6. As a single withered tree, if set aflame, causes a whole forest to burn, so does a rascal son destroy a whole family.
  7. Do not reveal what you have thought upon doing, but by wise council keep it secret being determined to carry it into execution.
  8. 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 attachment to be happy.
  9. It is better to die than to preserve this life by incurring disgrace. The loss of life causes but a moment’s grief, but disgrace brings grief every day of one’s life.
  10. 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.
  11. 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 the bites of insects.
  12. One whose knowledge is confined to books and whose wealth is in the possession of others, can use neither his knowledge nor wealth when the need for them arises.
  13. 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.
  14. Test a servant while in the discharge of his duty, a relative in difficulty, a friend in adversity, and a wife in misfortune.
  15. 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.
  16. The biggest guru-mantra is: never share your secrets with anybody. It will destroy you. If you cannot keep your secrets with you then how can you trust others to keep them secret?
  17. 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.
  18. The fragrance of flowers spreads only in the direction of the wind. But the goodness of a person spreads in all direction.
  19. A rich man has many friends.
  20. A woman is four times as shy, six times as brave and eight times as lusty as a man.
  21. An egoist can be won over by being respected, a crazy person can be won over by allowing him to behave in an insane manner and a wise person can be won over by truth.
  22. As centesimal droppings will fill a pot so also are knowledge, virtue and wealth gradually obtained.
  23. As soon as the fear approaches near, attack and destroy it.
  24. Avoid him who talks sweetly before you but tries to ruin you behind your back, for he is like a pitcher of poison with milk on top.
  25. 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.
  26. Books are as useful to a stupid person as a mirror is useful to a blind person.
  27. Education is the best friend. An educated person is respected everywhere. Education beats the beauty and the youth.
  28. Even if a snake is not poisonous, it should pretend to be venomous.
  29. God is not present in idols. Your feelings are your god. The soul is your temple.
  30. He who befriends a man whose conduct is vicious, whose vision impure, and who is notoriously crooked, is rapidly ruined.
  31. If you get to learn something even from the worst of creatures, don’t hesitate.
  32. In a state where the ruler lives like a common man, the citizens live like kings do. And in the state where the ruler lives like a king, the citizens live like beggars do.
  33. Jealousy is another name for failure.
  34. Never go on a long journey alone.
  35. Never make friends with people who are above or below you in status. Such friendships will never give you any happiness.
  36. Once you start working on something, don’t be afraid of failure and don’t abandon it. People who work sincerely are the happiest.
  37. One who is in search of knowledge should give up the search of pleasure and the one who is in search of pleasure should give up the search of knowledge.
  38. The biggest guru-mantra is: Never share your secrets with anybody. It will destroy you.
  39. The four greatest enemies of a man are – the father who has taken a loan, the characterless mother, the beautiful but promiscuous wife and the stupid child.
  40. The fragrance of flowers spreads only in the direction of the wind. But the goodness of a person spreads in all directions.
  41. The world’s biggest power is the youth and beauty of a woman.
  42. There is some self-interest behind every friendship. There is no friendship without self-interests. This is a bitter truth.
  43. 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.
  44. Whores don’t live in company of poor men, birds don’t build nests on a tree that doesn’t bear fruits and citizens never support a weak administration.
  45. Wise men should never go into a country where there are no means of earning one’s livelihood, where the people have no dread of anybody, have no sense of shame, no intelligence, or a charitable disposition.



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