Who was Chanakya and why his teachings are relevant even today?

Chanakya played guardian to the Mauryan dynasty founder and was instrumental in the formation of the empire.

By Gayatri Sankar | Last Updated: Jan 14, 2016, 09:59 AM IST
Who was Chanakya and why his teachings are relevant even today?
Pic courtesy: @Manoj_N_Joshi. Veteran actor Manoj Joshi as Chanakya.

Chanakya also known as Vishnugupta or Kautilya was the pioneer of political science in ancient India, whose works are of great relevance even today.

He served as an advisor to the great Chandragupta Maurya and played a vital role in the emergence of the Mauryan Empire. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that he played guardian to the Mauryan dynasty founder and was instrumental in the formation of the empire.

His vision, diplomacy and wisdom helped the Mauryan Empire expand its boundaries.  He also served Bindusara, son of Chandragupta.

It is also believed that Chanakya dreamt of Akhand Bharat. He knew it was important for all regional kings to remain united so that they could collectively fight foreign invasion. He went about building alliances with rulers of different states with his diplomatic astuteness and thus was able to strengthen the roots of the Mauryan empire.

Popular ancient Indian texts - Arthashashtra and Chanakya Niti –are attributed to Chanakya. These treatises come in handy even today while working on a state’s economic policy and military strategy.

He lectured at the Takshashila University and was hence also addressed as Acharya.

The contributions of Chanakya are infinite, and the best way to remember this great thinker, philosopher, teacher, advisor and strategist would be by keeping his vision and teachings alive.