A Glimpse at the life of “Guru Chanakya”
Born to Rishi Canak, Chanakya, was an Indian teacher, economist, and royal advisor. His birthplace is not known but according to Buddhist text ‘Mahavamsa Tika’ his birthplace was ‘Taxila’. While according to other sources he was a South Indian. Traditionally he was known as Kautaliya or Vishnugupta.
Birth of “The man of wisdom” :
Chanakya, unlike other kids, was born with a set of full teeth. This indicated that he would be a king or an emperor. But, since he was a Brahmin, it wasn’t possible.Later his teeth were broken and it was predicted that he would make another person king or ruler.
Education that made Chanakya the greatest teacher:
Chanakya started studying Vedas at a very early age. Vedas considered as the most difficult script were studied and learned by him at a very young age. His shrewdness in politics could be seen from childhood age. He used to change the whole game in his favor irrespective of the circumstances. Later he turned to ‘economics’ which remained his companion now and forever.
Chanakya received his education from Takshashila(later known as Taxila) which was one of the top most universities. Son’s of the kings used to gain knowledge there. The knowledge of Vedas was taught. Such was the place where great Indian economist was taught. Today Taxila is in Rawal Pindi, Pakistan.
Chankaya later became the Professor of Taxila University. His students looked at him as an example. They respected and adored him. It is said that two of his students-Bhadrabhatt and Purushdutt acted as spies for him, collecting information about his enemies.
In between all this Chanakya came to know that foreign armies were ready to attack India. He was very well aware of the political conditions of the country. These all things gave Chanakya sleepless nights. He could see India in chains of slavery. Thus he decided to save the country and decided that there is need to strengthen the country.
Chanakya’s journey that changed Indian History:
With these thoughts, he left ‘Taxila’ to change the political conditions of the country. He then decided to start his glorious campaign from Patlipura(presently known as Patna). But ‘Dhanananda’ the ruler of Patlipura was a cruel ruler. He used to collect money from public without any reason. He was a villain for common people.
Chanakya went to his place to discuss the foreign invaders and how to rescue India from them. But he humiliated him in front of the entire Darbar. ‘He then promised the king that he will destroy and dethrone him’.
Chanakya’s role in making Chandra-the Chandragupta Maurya:
Then he wandered in the streets of Patlipura. Being a man of great knowledge he never let his anger to overcome him. To calm his anger he started picking up grass from their roots. But there was someone who was closely noticing him doing so. He was ‘Chandragupta-the would be emperor of Mauryan Empire’. Chandragupta wanted to talk to him. So he went to him nad addressed him respectfully.
Chankaya looked at him and asked him about his background and reasons of his worries.Chandra told him that he was Grandson of King Sarvarthasiddhi. He had two wives. His first wife had nine sons called ‘Nalanda’s’. And his father was the only son of his second wife.
Nanadas tried to kill his father some time again. He wanted to take revenge as they even tried to kill hundreds of brothers. But somehow he survived.
Chanakya got a mate in his revenge. He promised Chandra that he will get his place as the King of Patlipura.
Chanakya and Chandra-an army in themselves :
Years passed and the relationship between the two grew stronger and they together made a strong force against their enemies. Chandragupta met Alexander, who was then planning to conquer India. He had a bold talk with him due to which he was arrested. There he learned the strategies of the foreign army and also came to know about the weakness of Indian rulers.
A young boy now was matured into a sound military commander. In the war of independence of the Northern-India, Chandra was fighting for victory but the mind behind him was of Chanakya. Chandra’s form as a commanders and mind games of Chanakya left Alexander weak like never before. Alexander died in 321 B.C.
They then moved to conquer Nanda King’s throne. With their strategies, they failed time nad again but always learned from their defaults. Later Chanakya with his mind games won the friendship of King Parvataka who helped them. Nanda king got support from his very able minister, Amatya Rakshasa. There was a bitter fight between both armies. At end, Nanda King died. His relatives, sons all were no more. Even Amatya Rakshasa was now helpless.
Chandragupta became the ultimate King and Chanakya became his advice minister. This was the great role played by Chanakya to build the first Emperor of Maurya Empire.
Famous sayings of Guru Chanakya that would change your opinion to see the world:
Chanakya accomplished two major works. Arthashastra(the principles of economics) and Chanakya Niti.
Some of his famous sayings are:
1.learn from the mistakes of others,you can’t live long enough to make them all yourselves’
- This is a small line with great meaning. Chanakya said that we don’t have that long life to do mistakes,learn from them and correct them. We have to learn from mistakes of others and try not to do the same mistake.
2. A person should not be too honest. Straight trees are cut first and honest people are screwed first’.
- He said that honesty is not a compulsion at times. Treat a person as he treats you. Your honesty can prove futile. Leave your honesty when it acts as the axe for you. Learn where and when to use the power of honesty.
3. Even if a snake is not poisonous, it should pretend to be venomous.
- He said that one should never disclose his weakness to anyone else. It is so because wrong times can even make your good friends your bitter enemies. They knowing your weakness can use it against you.
4. The fragrance of flower spread only in the direction of the wind. But the goodness of a person spreads in all direction
- He said that the fragrance of flower only blows towards the direction of the wind. But your goodness blows in all directions. So be good to all. Let the fragrance of your goodness fill smiles in lives of others.
5. As soon as fear approaches near, attack and destroy it
- He said don’t let fear overcome you. The time you feel its overshadowing your strengths, stand against and kill it. That’s the way you can succeed.
6.’He is a true friend who does not forsake us in times of need, misfortune, famine or war, in a king’s court or at the crematorium(smasana) ‘.
- He said that one can be regarded as a true friend only when he is always by your side. One who does not leave you alone in any situation whether in the time of need, in times of misfortune or any other situation, is a true friend.
- In the above saying, Chanakya said that one should avoid a person who is sweet at his face but talks shit at his back. Because such person is just like a pitcher plant which is poisonous but attracts with its milk.
8.’Do not reveal what you have thought upon doing, but by wise council keep it secret being determined to carry it into execution’.
- He said that in order to succeed one should never disclose his ideas and his thoughts. One should keep them to oneself and execute them in the best say possibly.
9.’Education is the best friend. An educated person is respected everywhere. Education beats the beauty and the youth’.
- He stated the importance of education. He said that education is the best friend of a person. One who is educated is respected by all in the society. Even the beauty and youth cannot stand anywhere in front of education.
10.’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‘.
- He said that one has to live alone and die alone. No one will accompany him after death. So one should not get attached to anyone in excess. As one will face the consequences of his bad Karma or the rewards of his goodness alone.
These were some beautiful sayings of Chanakya that every human must follow in his life to lead a happy and successful life.
End of the great soul:
He died around 283 BC and was cremated by his disciple Raghugupta. His death is clouded with mystery and not clear reason could be known. The story which came out as the reason of death was that he starved himself to death.
Chandragupta’s son Bindusara succeeded Chandragupta. Chanakya remained his adviser.
Chanakya used to add little poison in Chandragupta’s food in order to make him strong and immune to strongest of the poison so that he shall not be poisoned by his enemies. Not aware of the fact the queen ate a part of his food during pregnancy. Learning this Chanakya wanted to save the heir to the throne and therefore cut open the womb to save the child but could save the queen.
A mastermind was plotted by Subandhu, the minister of Bindusara. He made him believe that Chanakya killed his mother. Bindusara was now totally against Chanakya. But Chanakya was not able to handle his behavior. Then he left the palace and decided to starve until death. Later, a nurse of Bindusara’s mother revealed the mystery behind her death. Bindusara realized his mistake and did efforts to bring him back but he didn’t agree. Bindusara killed Subandhu in utter disgust. However, the mysterious death of Chanakya is not fully resolved yet.
This brings an end to the life journey of great economist and advisor who played an important role in changing the history of India.