Chanakya, also known as Kautilya or Vishnugupta, was born in Pataliputra, Magadh (modern Bihar in India), and later moved to Taxila, in Gandhar province (now in Pakistan).

• He was a professor (acharya) of political science at the Takshashila (Taxila) University and later the Prime Minister of the Emperor Chandragupta Maurya.

• He is regarded as one of the earliest known political thinkers, economists, and king-makers.

• He was the man to envision the first Indian empire by the unification of the then numerous kingdoms to fight against the Greek conqueror Alexander.

• His foresight and wide knowledge coupled with politics of expediency helped found the mighty Mauryan Empire in India.

Ashoka was the grandson of Chandragupta who was made a king by Chanakya. Ashoka became one of the great emperors of India and we see his dharma chakra on the Indian flag, coins, currency notes, etc.

Chanakya Neeti

Chanakya Neeti slokas are useful slokas composed by Chanakya (Kautilya), for our day-to-day life and environment. These slokas give us very valuable insight into society and political life. They were written in Sanskrit two thousand years ago. Even today these slokas are applicable to our lives as they were more than 2000 years ago. Some of them are given below:

  1. Scholar and king are never comparable. King is worshipped in his country, but the scholar is worshipped everywhere.
  2. Nobel people have all good qualities and fools have only bad qualities. So, people respect only one noble person instead of a thousand fools.
  3. Wealth comes and goes, life and youth goes from the living. In this world of coming and going, ‘dharma’ alone is firm.
  4. One good and noble child is better than a hundred fool children. Only one moon lights the sky, where as thousand stars do not. Similarly, one noble child brings fame and respect to family than hundred fools.
  5. Wearing expensive dresses a fool looks like a scholar from a distance. But when he opens his mouth his ignorance comes out.
  6. He who stands with, in good times, bad times, drought, riot, war, king’s court and after death is a real friend.
  7. Break all your relations with such a friend who talks sweetly in your presence and brings harm at your back. Such a friend must be left just like a pot of poison with cream of milk on top.
  8. An evil person must never be trusted even if talks sweet. Because an evil person has sweet on tongue, but has a heart filled with poison
  9. Snake is cruel and an evil person is also cruel, but an evil person is crueler than a snake. Snake can be controlled by mantra and medicine, but how can an evil person be controlled?
  10. A distance of a thousand hands in case of elephant, hundred hands for a horse, and ten hands for cattle should be maintained. But, in case of an evil person one must leave the place.
  11. A wise man should not reveal the – loss of wealth, sadness in heart, family scandal, abusive language used by others and insult.
  12. Wealthy people, scholars, king, river and doctor; where these five are not there, one should not live in that place.
  13. The country where people do not have respect or friends or love and where there are no scholars; one should leave that country.
  14. Do not reveal what you have planned to do, the best counsel is to keep it a secret and try to execute it with determination.
  15. Rain over ocean is meaningless, meaningless is feeding a well fed person, charity to a rich person is meaningless, meaningless is lighting lamp in daylight.
  16. Loan should be completely paid back, fire should be removed completely, and root of illness should be completely removed. Otherwise these three again grow up.
  17. No drink is better than rain water, no power is equal to will power, no light is brighter that vision of eyes, no wealth is more satisfying than food.
  18. Lanka was destroyed because of too much pride of Ravana; Kauravas were destroyed due to too much pride; Bali was bound because of too much giving; too much of everything is bad.
  19. Charity destroys poverty, good behavior destroys trouble, intelligence removes ignorance, and confidence(worshipping God) removes fear.
  20. There is no gem in every mountain, and no pearl on the forehead of every elephant; similarly noble people are not found everywhere and sandalwood trees are not seen in every forest.
  21. Massaging dog’s tail with oil and keeping it straight with rope around it for twelve years does not make it straight. Similarly, a person’s natural behavior and characteristics cannot be changed.
  22. There is no friend like knowledge, no enemy like disease, no love like love for son, and no power like God’s power.
  23. There is no penance better than peace, no happiness better than satisfaction, there is no disease worse than greed, and no better dharma than kindness.
  24. As gold is tested in four ways by rubbing, cutting, heating and beating; in the same way a man is tested by his renunciation, conduct, qualities and actions.
  25. Knowledge is maintained through practice, family’s name by its credentials, a noble person is known by his good qualities, and a person’s anger from his eyes.
  26. Scent in flower, oil in sesame seeds, fire in wood, ghee in milk, sweetness in sugarcane, and soul in body are not seen from outside. The wise should make an endeavor to know the soul and the God.
  27. There is no official coronation ceremony held to declare that lion is the king of the jungle. He becomes king by his own attributes and heroism.
  28. One should learn from every moment and one should earn from every bit. If you waste a second (kshaNa) you cannot get knowledge (vidyaa) and similarly if you waste a bit (kaNa) you cannot get money (artham).
  29. One should avoid friendship or warm relationship with a wicked person. If hot, coal burns your hands; if cold, it blackens your hands. Similarly, wicked people cause problems -whether they are good or bad- to you.
  30. One should not start digging the well after the house has caught fire; but one should be proactive and prepare the solutions for anticipated problems.
  31. Greatness is not by birth; greatness is determined by a person’s qualities. Ghee is derived from curd; which in turn is derived from milk.
  32. Any work will not get accomplished just by desiring for its completion. A prey by itself will not enter into a sleeping lion’s mouth. The desires and capabilities of a person should be complimented by his/her efforts and hard work to achieve the goal.
  33. It cannot be stolen by thieves, nor it can be taken away by kings; it cannot be divided among brothers and it is not heavy. If spent well, it always keeps growing. The wealth of knowledge is the most superior wealth to all.
  34. The greatest of tasks can be accomplished by completing the smaller tasks-This is similar to a thick rope that is used to bind a wild elephant in rage. Thick rope gains its strength from the numerous small threads that are bound together.
  35. One excellent thing we can learn from a lion is to make a whole-hearted and strenuous effort at the start of whatever one wishes to accomplish even if it a small task.
  36. We should not mourn for what is past, nor should we worry about the future. The wise men think of and work according to the present needs and circumstances.
  37. A man attains greatness by his merits, not simply by occupying a high position. Can a crow be called a Garuda simply because he is sitting at the top of a palace?
  38. All creatures are pleased by sweet tongue and loving words; therefore, we should always speak sweetly to please all. One should never be bankrupt of sweet words.