“A brahmana named Kautilya will slay these Nandas. On their death, the Mauryas will enjoy the earth. Kautilya himself will install Chandragupta on the throne. His son will be Bindusara and his son will be Ashokavardhana." Similar prophecies are also repeated in the Bhagavata, Vayu, and Matsya Puranas.
‘Chanakya was born with a complete set of teeth, a sign that he would become king, which is inappropriate for a Brahmin like Chanakya. Chanakya's teeth were therefore broken and it was prophesied that he will rule through another.’
Accordingly, Chanakya was born in 350 BC at Pataliputra in a poor Brahmin family.
Chanakya Pandit or Vishnugupta, feeling deeply distressed at heart since he had been personally offended by King Nanda searched for and discovered a competent King in the Chandragupta Maurya.
A man of acute discretion, foresight, and enormous knowledge of political feasibility, Chanakya vowed that only a ruler of extraordinary capabilities be raised to the glorious position of King of Magadha so that the odious torture launched by the Greeks could be repressed.
Vishnugupta or Chanakya, a man of bravery, resentment, quickness, and dexterity vowed to keep his long sikha unknotted until he saw the demise of the contemptuous ruler and his drunken princes who harassed the women, ladies, unmarried girls. True to his pledge, after he uprooted the regime of degraded and worthless rulers of the Nanda dynasty that this great Kautilya tied up his bunch of hair. (Like the Queen of Pandavas – Draupadi.)
Arthashastra, Chanakyanithi, Neetishastra were pioneered by Kautilya Vishnugupta that serve as a testimony of his greatness. The contribution made by Shri Vishnugupta in the field of political science and economics portrayed him as one of the greatest figures of wisdom and knowledge in Indian history.
Let us examine a few verses from the science of Kautilya’s nithi –
"Man's glory is in common sense,
Dictating us the grace,
That man is made to live and love
The beauteous Heaven's embrace"
The real goal of nithi is to realize one's eternal position of Krishna consciousness.
Few learnings depicted from Chankyanithi that can be applied in today’s living -
- The elephant has a huge body but is controlled by the ankusha (goad): yet, is the goad as large as the elephant? A lighted candle banishes darkness: is the candle as vast as the darkness. A mountain is broken even by a thunderbolt: is the thunderbolt therefore as big as the mountain? No, he whose power prevails is really mighty; what is there in bulk?
- What fault of spring that the bamboo shoot has no leaves? What fault of the sun if the owl cannot see during the daytime? Is it the fault of the clouds if no raindrops fall into the mouth of the chatak bird? Who can erase what Lord Brahma has inscribed upon our foreheads at the time of birth?
- A wicked man may develop saintly qualities in the company of a devotee, but a devotee does not become impious in the company of a wicked person. The earth is scented by a flower that falls upon it, but the flower does not contact the odor of the earth.
- We should not feel pride in our charity, austerity, valor, scriptural knowledge, modesty, and morality for the world is full of the rarest gems.
- We should always speak what would please the man of whom we expect a favor, like a hunter who sings sweetly when he desires to shoot a deer.
- Although sandalwood is cut, it does not forsake its natural quality of fragrance; so also the elephant does not give up sportiveness though he should grow old. The sugarcane does not cease to be sweet though squeezed in a mill; so the man of noble extraction does not lose his lofty qualities, no matter how pinched he is by poverty/ circumstances.
- Scholarship and kingship can never be equated. A king is respected in his own kingdom whereas a scholar is respected everywhere.
- For those noble souls in whose heart arise the thoughts of helping others, there is no adversity and sorrow; prosperity and happiness embrace them at every step.
- On should think of acquiring learning and wealth as if one will never age or die (meaning that one should engage oneself in learning and earning wealth throughout one’s life). One should do dharma as if Death has caught hold of one’s locks of hair (Since death can claim one any moment, one should hasten to do acts of dharma before one dies.)
- One can bring the whole world under one’s influence (power) by such sterling qualities as patience (or forgiveness), kindness, love, truth, straightforwardness, humility and service