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Chanakya Neeti

Chanakya Neeti: Part 1


प्रणम्य शिरसा विष्णुः त्रैलोक्याधिपति: प्रभुम् |
नानाशस्त्रोद्ध्रत वक्ष्ये रज्नितिस्मुक्च्य्मू ||

I bow my head to the Master of the Universe, the Almighty and Omnipresent, Lord Vishnu.
After paying my obeisance, I will venture to present the political knowledge collected from many scriptures. (I)

It has been a tradition of our land that sages and scholars invoked the name of God before beginning any task for the success of the effort.  Guru Chanakya prayed to Lord Vishnu before scripting the main matter.

Chanakya has described his work as a fine collection of political wisdom commonly known as “Chanakya Neeti”.


अथीत्येद यथाशास्त्र नरो जानाति स्यतं: |
धर्मोप्देशाविख्यात: कार्याऽकार्य शुभाऽशुभम् ||

After studying this book with due attention, the persons of proper breeding, will learn about what is good and what is bad, according to the wisdom of the great scriptures. (2)

Before embarking on a task one should have the knowledge about its desirability and the consequences, what would be right and wrong?  And only those people with the highest upbringing have the capacity to understand the messages contained in the revered scriptures.

One should have proper understanding of lawfulness and unlawfulness.  For example, taking a life is normally considered a criminal act of murder and a sin, yet under certain circumstances it is not considered a sin as in self-defence or on the battlefield.


तदः संप्रवक्ष्यामि लोकानाः हितकाम्यया |
येन विज्ञानमात्रेण सर्वज्ञत्व प्रपधते ||

For the benefit of the common man, I will state the political knowledge which makes one wise in all aspects. (3)

Chanakya claims the book will make any careful reader willing to learn, understand the difference between right and wrong, good or bad, proper and improper, so he is able to make the right decisions in his life without any confusions.


मूर्ख्शियोपदेषेन, मूर्खशिष्योपदेशेन दुष्तिस्त्रिभ्ररणेन च |
दुःखितै: संप्रयोगेण पण्डितोऽप्यवसीदति ||

A wise man will come to grief if he:
– give advice to a foolish pupil
– looks after a woman of loose character, and
– keeps the company of a sad person who has lost everything.

According to Chanakya, offer advice to a foolish student brings more harm than any good.  He also thinks sheltering a bad woman will create problems and bring infamy to the person taking care of her.

A person who is always sad either because of his bad luck or ill health will continuously berate his ill-luck, making everyone around him depressed and gloomy just like himself.  This affects not only the mood of the person taking care of him but also affects their health, personal and professional life, resulting in a terrible loss of time which is a commodity to a wise and creative person.  Such a person gets cheated out of his time, money or ends up in a situation that creates more problems for him. (4)


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  • Sir, can you not put a different picture of chanakya along with this article(and not that of some scheming hindu)…perceptions matter..so do the images..

  • Mr. Harish has a point there. Why put up a picture of a ‘scheming hindu’ when you can put up pictures of schemers of other religions, it just looks so out of style. I can volunteer to paint a picture of an all white European schemer of a religion chosen by Mr. Harish. Maybe that will suit his taste. What do you think? Us scheming Hindus are only here to serve our master Harish.

  • Our High intellectual by name Harish,probably should have a shamefull instinct of coming from a Hindu background , I feel. If Chanakya appeared to be like this what is the problem for him..Do he mean that Chanakya should wear a cross and a coat and tie to impress him…if Einstin can wear a Christian dress code and speak about theory of releativity and if Harish does not have any problem with it to absorb only what the knowledge part of Einstin, the same should be the case here also. If Chanakya is in a Hindu dress code he should only absorb what knowledge he is offering to the society instead of seeing him in a communal angle. Sick minded , underdeveloped self defeating species could be right name which could be given to persons like Harish. My reply applies to all who have a crocked view on weighing a person communally , based on his external appearance , instead of listening to what knowledge he/she is about to offer to our society.