Chanakya

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Chanakya (Sanskrit: चाणक्य Cāṇakya, Tamil: சாணக்கியர்; c. 350-283 BCE) was an adviser and a prime minister to Chandragupta Maurya (c. 340-293 BCE). Chanakya helped Chandragupta create the Maurya Empire. Chanakya is considered a pioneer (someone who explores a new area) in economics. He wrote about economics a very long time before Ibn Khaldun.

Identity[change | change source]

He is generally called Chanakya (taken from his father's name "Chanak")[1] but, in his capacity as author of the Arthaśhāstra, is generally referred to as Kautilya derived from his gotra's name "KOTIL"(Kautilya means "of Kotil"). He believed in four ways: Treating with Equality, Enticement, Punishment or War and Sowing Dissension.[2] The Arthaśhāstra identifies its author by the name Kautilya, except for one verse which refers to him by the name Vishnugupta.[3] One of the earliest Sanskrit literatures to explicitly identify Chanakya with Vishnugupta was Vishnu Sarma's Panchatantra in the 3rd century BC.[4]

Media[change | change source]

  • Television series Chanakya is a fictionalized account of the life and times of Chanakya.
  • A book has been published in English titled 'Chanakya on Management"{18} in which each of the 216 sutras on raja-neeti has been translated and commented upon. Clearly, the entire system of thought propounded by Chanakya is based on following good ethical principles.
  • In his Arthasastra, Chanakya has discussed widely various economic issues. A book written by Ratan Lal Basu & Rajkumar Sen has dealt exhaustively with these economic concepts of Chanakya and their relevance for the modern world.[5]
  • Many eminent Kautilya experts from all over the world had discussed various aspects of Kautilya's thought in an International Conference held in 1902 at Oriental Research Institute, Mysore, India to celebrate the Centenary of discovery of the manuscript of the Arthashastra by R. Shamasastry. Most of the papers presented in the Conference have been compiled in an edited volume by Raj Kumar Sen and Ratan Lal Basu.[6]

References[change | change source]

  1. Trautmann, Thomas R. (1971). Kautilya and the Arthaśhāstra: A Statistical Investigation of the Authorship and Evolution of the Text. Leiden: E.J. Brill. pp. 10.
  2. Trautmann 1971:10 "while in his character as author of an arthaśhāstra he is generally referred to by his gotra name, Kautilya."
  3. Mabbett 1964
    Trautmann 1971:5 "the very last verse of the work...is the unique instance of the personal name Vishnugupta rather than the gotra name Kautilya in the Arthaśhāstra.
  4. Mabbett 1964: "References to the work in other Sanskrit literature attribute it variously to Vishnugupta, Chanakya and Kautilya. The same individual is meant in each case. The Pańcatantra explicitly identifies Chanakya with Vishnugupta."
  5. Ratan Lal Basu & Rajkumar Sen: Ancient Indian Economic Thought, Relevance for Today, ISBN 81-316-0125-0, Rawat Publications, New Delhi, 2008
  6. Raj Kumar Sen & Ratan Lal Basu (eds): Economics in Arthasastra, ISBN 81-7629-819-0, Deep& Deep Publications Pvt. Ltd., New Delhi, 2006