“The fragrance of flowers spreads only in the direction of the wind. But the goodness of a person spreads in all directions.”- Acharya Chanakya.
Acharya Chanakya was a prominent statesman, philosopher, jurist, teacher, and economist. A highly educated man, it is fair to consider him an all-rounder in the field of knowledge. He had many theories regarding life and politics, which have helped guide the generations and are extremely relevant even today. History describes the blissful Mauryan Empire as one of the biggest in India, in which Chanakya is the significant contributor. Acharya Chanakya was the mentor of Chandragupta Maurya and also the founder of the Mauryan Empire who overthrew the Nanda King and officially became the essential and royal advisor of Chandragupta and his son known as Bindusara. “Arthashastra,” an ancient Indian political treatise, was written by Acharya Chanakya that is widely celebrated even today. His theories which are based upon his experiences throughout his life and wisdom, are reflected in his book, “Chanakya Niti” which is equally popular as “Arthashastra” and loved by the readers. It is famous mainly because it helps people from different walks of life whenever they encounter difficulties and dilemmas. It encompasses all aspects of life, such as career, goal, friendship, family, emotions. “Chanakya Niti” includes numerous lessons and doses of wisdom that no one should miss out on. It delivers several good teachings. It is well known that literature is influenced by Time. Literature from the medieval period depicts the state of society and the contemporary issues faced by men and kings. Hence, whenever we splurge on a reading spree, we must analyze it according to our Time, era and society without forgetting or completely abandoning the same teachings in the meant context throughout the piece of writing. “Chanakya Niti” is said to help you in recovering from everyday problems of life. Though it is an age-old chronicle, it is impressive when referred to today’s era, which makes it highly distinctive.
Chanakya was a very keen strategist and an expert in business, war strategies, and financial matters. He is also referred to as the “Pioneer Economist of India.” Chanakya began educating himself about the “Vedas” at an early age. He had a spectacular instance towards authoritative questions. He professed to put his very own kinfolks in the enemy’s encampment and observe the opponent’s moves without the knowledge of the foe. He was a professional in turning tables and never alleged nor watched for after laws made by the constituent authorities. As he gained knowledge in several aspects of the study, he anticipated that everyone should be at an advantage. “Chanakya Niti” guides an individual to be the leader of oneself and trains one to be smart and full of strength in the wake of the cruel world. Chanakya was a prominent figure in aiding Chandragupta Maurya to establish the strong base of the glorious Mauryan empire. It is also known as “Neeti Shastra” and treasures the lessons by Acharya Chanakya. The book deals with interesting mind games, lessons of strategy, management guidance, and everything required for mind growth and development. Chanakya has noted his exercises for the reader to analyze and reflect and come up with their own strategy of implementation. “Chanakya Neeti” is stunningly helpful in constraining and perceiving loads of measures in an individual’s life. The book doesn’t consist of factual data or any kind of boring surveys but expects the reader to find the data in themselves in the form of knowledge and wisdom, which Chanakya selflessly shares. However wise it may seem, the book is not all tinsel when it comes to teaching about life. The book reflects ideas and thoughts of ancient times and hence paints women in a demeaning light. Apart from that, the book definitely proves to be helpful in molding your thinking pattern and creating a productive base for your thoughts.
Let’s read some answers given by Chanakya when asked questions by his disciple.
What is poison? – “Anything more than our necessity is poison. It may be power, wealth, hunger, ego, greed, laziness, love, ambition, wealth, hate or anything at all.”
What is fear? – “Non acceptance of uncertainty. If we accept the uncertainties, it becomes an adventure!”
What is envy? – “Non acceptance of good in others, if we accept that good, it becomes inspiration.”
What is anger? – “Non acceptance of things which are beyond our control. If we accept it, it becomes tolerance.”
What is hatred? – “Non acceptance of a person as he is. If we accept the person unconditionally, it becomes love!”
The above beautiful answers throw light on the extent of wisdom and knowledge that Chanakya’s theories harbour. He is not just wise and knowledgeable but also witty and intelligent. Imagine what the book holds in store for us if a simple glimpse of his wisdom can positively question our thoughts.
Let’s skim through some of his well-known teachings
According to Chanakya, education is a man’s best friend. All materialistic achievements are insignificant as whatever education and knowledge are acquired is the only thing that will stick with oneself throughout life. Beauty is supposed to eventually fade away, the connection with friends will gradually be lost, so amidst these changes, education and the learnings gained from it will prove to be the constants. Society doesn’t respect someone who is not nurtured by education. Education can also prove to be a great guide in the absence of a mentor. Overall, education shouldn’t be seen as an option but rather a necessity. After all, the parameter through which a country’s progress is measured is education.
Mistakes can be our greatest teacher. We shouldn’t fear making mistakes; instead, focus on what they could learn and then implement it. Mistakes don’t have to be only yours, but by being keenly observant, you can watch the mistakes made by the people in your surroundings and learn from them. Analysing actions and their consequences can make you better receptive to learning from the mistakes, regardless of the individual who commits them.
In Chanakya’s opinion, debt is like an enemy. Enemies are supposed to be destroyed along with each and every trace of it. All the debts should be paid back to the last amount. Debt leads to disrespect of a person in the eyes of the lender and the eyes of the self. Any circumstance which can lead to loans or debts should be avoided at any cost. Having any loan or debt can turn into a rabbit hole quickly. Debt takes away your power to enjoy life to its fullest and makes you feel inferior in society.
Chanakya says, “Time perfects all living beings as well as kills them. It alone is awake when the entire world is asleep.” He shows us the power of Time and how superior it is to all mankind. Time heals, mends, and even destroys. Time and tide wait for none. Time is crucial as the lost time can never be recovered. The present moment is the only moment where your mind must be and seize it. Seizing the present Time can, in fact, save you from any future embarrassments and repents. A meaningful life consists of knowing the significance of Time and respecting it. It takes forever to build something but only a split-second for it to be destroyed.
We all can take away something from Chanakya’s teachings. Several insights and meaningful lessons await you. Make sure that you don’t miss out on this legendary piece of work and polish up your mind.
“Sometimes you have to suffer in life, not because you were bad but because you didn’t realise where to stop being good.” – Acharya Chanakya.