Words of Chanakya

Amal Chatterjee
6 min readJan 4, 2020

Source : Google photo of Chanakya

Kautilya (also known as Chanakya, c. 350–275 BCE) was an Indian statesman and philosopher, chief advisor and Prime Minister of the Indian Emperor Chandragupta, the first ruler of the Mauryan Empire. His words of wisdom are still valid today. His book on economics and economic policy that serves humanity is still followed by able rulers and administrators. He was known for his shrewd knowledge of politics that made Chandragupta Maurya the greatest king of his time.

Source : Google photo of the ruins of Nalanda University in Bihar, India today

When and Who destroyed Nalanda ?

According to the records Nalanda University was destroyed three times by invaders, but rebuilt only twice. The first destruction was caused by the Huns under Mihirakula during the reign of Skandagupta (455–467 AD). But Skandagupta’s successors restored the library and improved it with an even bigger building.

The second destruction came in the early 7th century by the Gaudas. This time, the Buddhist king Harshavardhana (606–648 AD) restored the university.

The third and most destructive attack came when the ancient Nalanda University was destroyed by the Muslim army led by the Turkish leader Bakhtiyar Khilji in 1193. It is believed that Buddhism as a major religion in India had a setback for hundreds of years due to the loss of the religious texts during the attack. It took over six months to burn the vast library of the University by the ravaging fanatics of Khilji .

He taught economics at the Nalanda University in Bihar that Bakhtiar Khilji destroyed and burned to ground because of religious fanaticism thus destroying a great centre of learning in India that attracted students from many countries who later became great teachers in their own countries and spread the teachings of Buddha there.

https://youtu.be/rWXLC9wGzbk ( It is in Hindi )

Source: U tube video in Hindi

Today I would like to share with you some of the good advice Chanakya gave to the world that are still valid and worth following.

  1. Waking up on time, fighting on time and chasing the brothers away to take their properties are things we should all learn from the chicken.
  2. You may praise someone all you want but think carefully before you insult someone because insult is one loan people pay back with interest.
  3. Accede to people only to the extent it is right. Unnecessary subservience only encourages the ego of a person.
  4. If the character of a person is decided by the clothes he wears then cloth shops would be temples but it is not so.
  5. Just like a calf that always follows his mother, the good and bad deeds of a person also follow him no matter where he goes.
  6. Do not laugh at someone’s misfortunes because he will always remember it.
  7. If someone doubts your good deeds and ability then ignore them. People always doubt the purity of gold and not the coal.
  8. The best teacher is the hard knocks you get in life. I know everything attitude makes a person the frog in the well.
  9. If you buy the things you need with your hard earned money, your greed and desire will diminish.
  10. It is difficult to knock down a person who has learned to face all challenges in life.
  11. Two things show the mental weakness of a person . 1. when he keeps quiet when he should speak and 2nd he speaks when he should not speak.
  12. One must save for the hard times and protect the wife more than wealth but one must not hesitate to lose wealth or wife in order to protect one’s own dignity.
  13. If you do not earn enough then you must control your expenses, if you do not have enough knowledge then control your mouth.
  14. Everyone hides behind his speech. To understand him better let him speak.
  15. World runs on necessity. The sun is welcome when it is cold but is cursed when it is hot.
  16. Your value as a person is decided when it is time for it. The father who lives in debt is your worst enemy. The unprincipled but beautiful mother and illiterate son are also like enemies.
  17. Who says the company makes the person the same? Man does not live with wolves but he is still adroit. He does not live with lion but he is still cruel. He may live with dogs but is not loyal like dogs.
  18. Do not waste your time with regrets but do something that make people regret leaving you. The person who admits his own faults conquers the world.
  19. A wise person works to help others without strings attached. Some people will try to advise you after learning the wisdom from you. They are not the wise people.
  20. A sweet talk is like a gift so do not be stringent on it.
  21. There is nothing like the balanced mind, no good deed like charity, no happiness like self-satisfaction, no disease like bad people, no enrichment of soul like compassion. Those who make mistakes are the people who work. The lazy and jobless people spend their life finding faults with others.
  22. Do not deviate from your goal in life just because some people criticize you. They will praise you once you achieve your goal.
  23. Learn from ants how to work hard, from spider the craftsmanship and methods from the egrets.
  24. Never stop the struggle in life .The good results will bring you joy and the failures will bring you experience from which you can learn. Both are necessary for a successful life.
  25. The poor vision can be treated but poor thoughts have no treatment. Those who criticize you are those who do not measure up to you. There is no one who does not face challenges and there is no challenge that does not have a solution. Thinking of solution is an excuse but finding the solution shows the way.
  26. Life is hard so be capable to deal with it. There is no good time to come unless you make it so.
  27. Never lose your courage. The river coming down from the mountains does not ask where and how far is the ocean.
  28. Always think before you speak so you will never go wrong. Those who speak before they think end up wondering what effect it may have on others.
  29. Dependability and blessings may not be visible but make impossible possible.
  30. Four people only go in one direction when they carry the fifth on their shoulder. People waste their entire life worrying what others will say about them but the only truth is that God’s words are eternal.
  31. Do not be proud of yourself. When a stone gets to the water, it sinks of its own weight. If your thoughts are pure and beautiful, the whole world is beautiful.
  32. If you do not have the courage to run, you will never learn how to be competitive.
  33. All typhoons do not come to create havoc. Some come to clean up your way forward as well.
  34. Show respect to a person that he deserves and not more because it may go to his head.
  35. Keep your mind free for ideas but not from virtues and values.

Note : My blogs are also available in French, Spanish, German and Japanese languages at the following links as well as my biography. My blogs can be shared by anyone anytime in any social media.

Mes blogs en français.

Mis blogs en espagnol

Blogs von Anil in Deutsch

Blogs in Japanese

My blogs at Wix site

tumblr posts



Anil’s biography in English.

Biographie d’Anil en français

La biografía de anil en español.

Anil’s Biografie auf Deutsch

Anil’s biography in Japanese

Биография Анила по-русскиu