Chanakya: The Great Indian Philosopher Followed by the World

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Chanakya also known as Kautilya was a great Indian scholar, teacher, philosophist, economist, and royal advisor to Chandragupta Maurya. Chanakya was a pioneer in the subject of political science and economics in India, and his work is still being mentioned in classical economics. Chanakya is popularly known for his book on economics and military strategy; the Arthashastra.

Story of Chanakya

The story of Chanakya begins when he used to be a simple brahmin but with ugly appearance. One day king Dhana Nanda organised an alms-giving ceremony for Brahmins.

The king was disgusted by the appearance of Chanakya and he therefore, threw him out. Chanakya angrily broke his sacred thread and along with it he cursed the king. The king ordered for him to be captured, Chanakya ran away and later found and trained Chandragupta. Chanakya played a vital role in the establishment of the Mauryan Empire. He was the royal advisor to Chandragupta and his son Bindusara. There are many versions of Chanakya’s story, mainly four, a Jain version, a Kashmiri version, a Buddhist version, and a Vishakhadatta’s version.

It is said that Chanakya knew a secret technique to convert 1 gold coin into 8 gold coins, Chanakya during his time at forest saved 800 million gold coins and buried it all. Later when he finished his training with Chandragupta, he dig out those gold coins and formed his own army. To take down the Nanda king Chanakya and Chandragupta signed pacts with Parvataka (King Porus) that helped them to defeat Nandas. The combined army had Shaka, Yavana (Greek), Kirata, Kamboja and Vahlik soldiers. After their victory, the territories were divided among Chandragupta and Parvataka.

After Parvataka, his son Malayketu took up the reign of his empire. Malayaketu then joined up with Rakshasaa, a former Nanda minister, with whom, they made several attempts to kill Chandragupta – all of which were destroyed by Chanakya.

One of the most famous tricks of Chanakya was the Chanakya Neeti. It is said that Chanakya came up with that strategy from a mother and his son. Once Kautilya saw a mother scolding her son, for getting his hands burned by eating from the centre of the hot plate, rather than starting from the cold edges. That’s where Chanakya made the strategy of not attacking Magadha, the centre of Nanda empire. But started to take down all the princely states surrounding Magadha.

Policies and Strategies Introduced by Chanakya

There are many policies and strategies introduced by Chanakya that showed he was a master of political science. One of the other popular policy introduced by Chanakya was relating the foreign relations. Whenever the Mauryan empire was visited by a foreigner he would be all time taken care of and he was only shown all the positivity of the Mauryan empire, this way they would start trade and it would be a benefit to the Mauryan treasury. Kautilya was also very disciplined he would use the royal benefits only during his royal duty.

He believed that the king and his underlings are equally related, 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.

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