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Chanakya: Story of India’s greatest politician

To be witty and intelligent is one thing and to conquer everything with that is just Greatness. Chanakya: Story of India’s greatest politician is one such example from the pages of Indian History. There are two other names which we have heard for this Great Philosopher and those are Kautilya and Vishnugupta. Chanakya wrote Arthashastra around the time of Mauryan Empire. According to Historians Chanakya played the most important role in the rise of Mauryan Empire in India and he was chief advisor to Chandragupta who was the founder of Mauryan Empire and his son Bindusara. There is not much information available about Chanakya but there are different versions available of Chanakya’s Story. Lets take a look at the stories and you will amazed at the intelligence of Chanakya.

 

RISE OF CHANAKYA,CHANDRAGUPTA AND THE MAURYAN EMPIRE

To understand this version we must know what Mahavamsa is, Mahavamsa is a canonical text written is Pali language which describes the Kings of Sri Lanka. This story is mentioned in Mahavamsa. As the story goes, People who ruled before Mauryan empire were Nandas. Chanakya was a Brahmin with crooked teeth with ugly appearance and he was good with Vedas and the knowledge of politics. As per story, Once Dhanananda who was the ruler of Nanda Dynasty organised a ceremony for Brahmins and when he saw Chanakya there with those ugly looks, He ordered him to be thrown out of the ceremony. Chanakya didn’t liked this one bit and cursed the king and when Dhanananda heard that he ordered the arrest of Chanakya. Arresting Chanakya was not easy as he was very intelligent and with his knowledge of Ajivika and with the help of Pabbata, Chanakya escaped from there.

Chanakya could not forget the insult that he had to go though in the kingdom of Nandas. Chanakya started to influence the son of Dhanananda that he needs to overthrow his father and become the king. Chanakya had only one aim now and which was to overthrow the Nanda kingdom and to achieve that he became friends with Pabbata. On a sunny afternoon Chanakya saw a group of young boys playing a game where one person became the king and others were ministers and robbers, in the course of the game the boy who was the king ordered his ministers that the limbs of the robbers should be cut off and after that the King re attached those limbs. When Chanakya saw this miraculous power of the boy, He asked him what is your name? The boy replied my name is Chandragupta. Chanakya saw something in the boy and he lured him with 100 coins and took him away.

Chanakya: Story of India's greatest politician

Chanakya: Story of India’s greatest politician

Chanakya thought that if he has to overthrow Dhanananda then either Chandragupta could be the king or Pabbata. Chanakya thought that he would decide that who is the best between them and he said to himself that he would test them and then find out that who is the best. Chanakya gave each of them an amulet to be worn around the neck with a woolen thread. One day when Chandragupta was sleeping, He asked Pabbata to remove the amulet without breaking it and without waking up Chandragupta. Pabbata was unable to do it and when one day Pabbata was sleeping, Chanakya asked the same to Chandragupta and he cut his head and removed the amulet. What happened next is History and rigorous training of Chandragupta for seven years in royal duties. Now Chandragupta has grown into an adult and the all the money that was saved by Chanakya was used to built an army by Chanakya and Chandragupta to usurp the Nanda Kingdom.

Chanakya: Story of India's greatest politician

The stage was set and so was the army of Chandragupta and Chanakya and they invaded the Nanda Kingdom but forgot that Dhanananda was more powerful then they thought and Chanakya and Chandragupta were defeated badly. One day when Chanakya and Chandragupta were strolling along when they heard a mother saying to a child that you have eaten the cake like Chandragupta, which is only from the middle without eating the sides. This made Chanakya realised his mistake that he attacked the most powerful part first without conquering the neighbouring villages first. Chanakya rebuilt the army again and started slowly conquering all the neighbouring villages of Nanda kingdom and then they finally attacked the capital Patliputra and killed Dhanananda and with that Chanakya took all the wealth and Chandragupta was declared as the new King.

Chanakya: Story of India's greatest politician

Chanakya: Story of India’s greatest politician

Chanakya was so intelligent that he always protected his king from outside force and dangers. Chanakya used to mix small bits of poison so that he could immune Chandragupta’s body against Poison. Chandragupta was not aware of this fact and once he shared his meal with his pregnant queen and Chanakya came to know this and realised that she is going to die and Chanakya decided that he has to save the child. Chanakya cut the head of the queen and then her belly and took out the foetus and the he placed the foetus everyday in the belly of a freshly cut goat. Exactly after seven days the child was born, Chanakya named the child as Bindusara as the body of the child had spots(Bindu) of goat’s blood.

After this Mauryan empire rose to great heights and Ashoka who was the son of Bindusara took the empire to another level and became the greatest rulers of India.

Chanakya: Story of India's greatest politician

Chanakya: Story of India’s greatest politician

This story clearly suggests that Chanakya was a great politician and with his amazing politics he completely destroyed the Nanda Dynasty. It shows the Chanakya was India’s greatest politician. It brought another Empire which was the Mauryan Empire. Chanakya also wrote Arthashastra  and the Chanakya niti. Arthashastra was written in Sanskrit around 2nd century. There is an amazing phrase in Arthashastra which says:

सुखस्य मूलं धर्मः । धर्मस्य मूलं अर्थः । अर्थस्य मूलं राज्यं । राज्यस्य मूलं इन्द्रिय जयः । इन्द्रियाजयस्य मूलं विनयः । विनयस्य मूलं वृद्धोपसेवा॥

The root of happiness is Dharma (ethics, righteousness), the root of Dharma is Artha (economy, polity), the root of Artha is right governance, the root of right governance is victorious inner-restraint, the root of victorious inner-restraint is humility, the root of humility is serving the aged.

— Kautilya, Chanakya Sutra 1-6

Chanakya was not only good in politics but also well versed with topics of economics and state and social welfare.

Himanshuy.

 

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