Chanakya Niti

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : Jun 1, 2022, 7:13

A well-known, admired character from ancient India, Chanakya was a royal advisor, economist, philosopher, and teacher who served as a minister of the Mauryan King Chandragupta.

It was Chanakya who helped the King acquire the rule of Magadh from the powerful kingdom of the Nandas. He is quite famous for his deep understanding of human psychology, knowledge of economics and political science, and practical concepts.

Chanakya's Contribution

His contribution gave him recognition as a valuable administrative asset of the kingdom and the driving force behind the Maurya empire. Chanakya's philosophy is relevant even today, specifically in personal life, management, and politics, most of which can be found in Chanakya Niti.

Chanakya Niti - What You Should Know?

Chanakya Niti is a collection of ideas and concepts created by the great philosopher and teacher, many of which give amazing guidance on leading a contented and productive life. It was composed around the fourth and third centuries BC.

Here are some of the statements and thoughts about a ruler mentioned in the historical text of Chanakya Niti -

  • A king is the face of a nation, a reflection of society, and accountable for all that happens within the society.
  • A ruler's ultimate aim should be his people's welfare, and he should strive to achieve this.
  • Justice should not be delayed, and matters should be immediately heard.
  • A King can lose the loyalty of his people with unjust actions.
  • A King should always make sure no wasteful expenditure is ever made.
  • A ruler should propagate only Dharma which means the wicked is punished and the innocent is never punished.
  • A leader should have a character that makes them a role model for the public.
  • If a ruler is virtuous, his people are also virtuous; if he is sinful, the subjects also commit sins. In short, as is the King, so are his people.
  • Parents who don't educate their kids are enemies because an ignorant person in an assembly is like a crane among swans.
  • Pamper a child for five years and then use a stick for the next ten years, but once they become sixteen, treat them like a friend.
  • Though a ruler has the power to introduce new laws, he should make sure they abide by the principles of the shastras.
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These were some of the concepts related to political rule from Chanakya Niti.

Chanakya Niti has not only helped transform the face of economics and politics but is also notable for outlining thoughts and concepts that find relevance today and help improve the lives of common people.

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FAQs on Chanakya Niti

Q.1. How are Arthashastra and Chanakya Niti different from each other?

Arthashastra is mostly directed toward scholars, as it covers topics on diplomacy, politics, government, and economics. On the other hand, Chanakya Niti is for the common people, as it contains maxims in everyday life.

Q.2. How Many Sutras Are There In Chanakya Niti?

Chanakya Niti contains 216 sutras on politics, governance, and management and is widely regarded as one of the earliest authoritative takes on these subjects worldwide.

Q.3. In which language was Chanakya Niti originally written?

Chanakya Niti was originally written in the Sanskrit language and later translated into other languages.

Q.4. Who authored Arthashastra?

Arthashastra was composed around the fourth century BC by Vishnugupta, also known by the name Kautilya or Chanakya, the Prime Minister of the Great Mauryan Empire. Arthashastra and Chanakya Niti are two of his most notable works.