“Maxims of Chanakya” is the crystallised wisdom of chanakya, also known as kautilya, the Indian Philosopher- States- Man, who helped chandragupta Maurya establish the first unified state in Indian History in fourth century B.C.
Often called the Indian Machiavelli, chanakya is known for his Political acumen and statecraft which enabled him to win bloodless victories over his enemies, overthrow a tyrannical regime and prevent the balkanisation of India at a time when it was ravaged by foreign invasions.
The Maxims of Chanakya, over one thousand in number, included in this book, culled from the tree major works attributed to him: Arthasastra, Chanakyasutras and Chankyanitrajanitisastra (sometime known as Chanakyanitidarpana), Cover a wide range of subjects.
No branch of life or learning has been left untouched by the great political genius. He has something pithy to say on politics, administrations, economics, ethics, education, health, sex, and self improvement.
In terseness of expression, no language, with the possible exception of Latin, can excel Sanskrit and the great master has used this wonderful language to such perfection that one is awestruck by the volume of message often conveyed in a couple of words.
The English translation of Chanakya’s original Sanskrit maxims captures their and wisdom, for the benefit of a larger audience, not Conversant with the Sanskrit language.
The Introduction: “Chanakya: His Life. Times and work” adds to the value of this publication.
It is hoped that “Maxims of Chanakya will prove an invaluable guide to the Legislator, the Administrator, the Planner and the Educationist- all those who shape a country’s policy or an individual’s future.
Born in 1930 in kerala (India), Vadakaymadom Krishnaiyer Subramanian, the author of several books, is a keen student of Indian affairs, scholar, he has translated several ancient Indian Sanskrit texts into English. His Publication in this regard include Rudraprasna, Sivanandalahari, Saundaryalahari and Maxims of chanakya. He has just completed a mammoth work, Siva-Sakti. Subramanianhas also written several works of fiction, which include Lali and Other Short Stories, Love-Twigs and A Bond to sorrow. His book on astrology and planets, Palms and Predictions, is a highly Popular Publications.
Subramanian is also a reputed artist and art historians. He has held 18 one man exhibitions of his paintings, which have won wide acclaim from art critics and the press throughout the country. His book, The great ones in art, is being published by the bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Bombay.
Subramanian’s perceptive thoroughness on Indian public finance would be evident to any reader of the Indian Financial System.
Chanakya, also known as Kautilya and Vishnugupta, was the famous Indian Machiavelli who was responsible for the overthrow of the last ruler of the Nanda Dynasty and the enthronement of Chandragupta Maurya. Brahmin by Caste he roughly lived during the period 350.275 B.C.
There is an interesting story about Chanakyas first encounterwith Chandragupta, which ultimately ended in their collaboration and capture of power.
One day when Chandragupta who had been dismissed from Nanda's army was walking through the forest he saw a Brahmin pouring sugar syrup on the roots of Kusa grass. Rendered curious, Chandragupta asked Chanakya the rationale of his action. Chanakya replied: "This Kusa grass hurt my leg. I hence intend to destroy it. By pouring sugar syrup, I am rendering the root of the grass sweet. As a result, thousands of ants will be attracted to it. These ants will nibble at a destroy the root and the grass will die."
Even as he spoke, the ants started collecting and soon there was an army of ants around the root of the Kusa grass which had hurt Chanakya. Chandragupta bowed his head before the sagacity and foresight of Chanakya and pleaded for his help and advice in becoming a Ruler. Chanakya, who already bore a grudge against Nanda, readily agreed.
Chanakya helped Chandragupta in raising a large army a defeating Nanda. After making him the Emperor of India Chanakya functioned as his Counsellor and advised him in matters of the State.
With the able advice of Chanakya, Chandragupta Maurya ruled for twenty-four years.
Biographical details available about Chanakya are scanty. We have mainly to rely on tradition, and the Buddhist and Jain texts of later periods.
Chanakya's place of birth is a matter of controversy. The Mahavamsa Tika, a Ceylonese Buddhist work mentions Taxila as his birth place, while Hemachandra, the Jain writer in his "Abhtdhanachintamani" says that Chanakya, son of Chanaka, was a Dramlla, that is, an inhabitant of South India. There is another version that the name Chanakya is derived from the name of his native land (some place called Chanaka in the Punjab) as per a statement in the Jayamangala commentary on the Nitisara.
A place called "Gollavishaya" has also been mentioned as the birth place of Chanakya in the" Parisishtaparvan": Kerala has also staked a claim as the homeland of Chanakya on the basis that his tuft was that of a Nambudiri Brahmin.
Since Alexander's campaigns were predominantly in the Punjab and Plutarch has gone on record that Alexander had met Chandragupta as a youth during his campaigns, it would be safer to accept the version that Takshasila (Taxila) in the Punjab was the native city of Chanakya, where he and Chandragupta spent several years together.
Though the story about the encounter between Chanakya and Chandragupta mentioned at the beginning of this introduction is the popular one, according to Buddhist texts and traditions, accepted by historians, the version is that Chanakya found Chandragupta in a village as the adopted son of a cowherd from whom he bought the boy by paying on the spot 1,000 "Karsapanas"; seeing in him the sure promise of future greatness. Chanakya is supposed to have taken the young Chandragupta with him to his native city of Takshasila (Taxila), then the most renowned seat of learning in India and had him educated there for a period of seven or eight years in the Humanities and the Practical Arts and Crafts of the time, including the Military Arts.
Despite the apparent contradictions in the various legends and traditions about Chanakya and Cbandragupta, as Prof. K .A. Nilakanta Sastri points out, "There' is little reason to doubt the truth of the main story In Its outline: An unusually valiant Kshatriya Warrior and a Brahmin Statesman of great learning and resourcefulness joined to bring about the downfall of an avaricious dynasty of hated rulers, and establish a new empire which made the good of the people its chief concern; they freed the land from the foreign invader, and from internal tyranny, and established a State which, in due course, embraced practically the whole of India; together they organised one of the most powerful and efficient bureaucracies known to the history of the world. Kshatra (imperium) and Brahma (sacerdotium) came together and engaged in the most fruitful co-operation for the great good of the land and the people."
Indian epigraphical researches confirm 321 B.C. as the year in which Chandragupta Maurya was enthroned as King. It would hence be safe to assume that Chanakya's works were produced during the period 321 B.C. to 290 B.C.
The" Arthasastra", a treatise on the science of politics, is the most famous work of Chanakya, Though it is more often known as Kautilya's Arthasastra, the authorship of Chanakya is unmistakable.
There is a reference to Cbanakya's Arthasastra in the Panchatantra. In an introduction to his work, the author of Panchatantra refers to the Dharmasastras of Manu, the Arthasastras of Chanakya and the Kamasutras of Vatsyayana and others.
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