Vishnu Gupta, known as Kautilya and Chanakya (BC 371-283), was a phenomenal economist, teacher, philosopher, jurist and diplomat. Due to his epitome of intelligence and wisdom, he received high values and considered eminent during the Mauryan Empire. Chanakya’s lessons on life and politics guided generations after generations, which still holds. He was the reason history describes the glorious Mauryan Empire as one of the biggest and most prosperous empires that ruled the nation. Besides, history knows Chanakya for creating the ancient political treatise, Arthashastra.
What is Chanakya Niti?
The Chanakya Niti or Chanakya Neeti contains life lessons he observed throughout his life. It helps people from all walks of life at any given point where they face difficulty. It can be any aspect of life- from career and goal to friendship, family and emotions.
Major Teachings from Chanakya Niti
Although the book contains numerous lessons, we will talk about the nine most prominent teachings of the wise man that would help a person in their daily lives.
Education is the Best Friend
Chanakya emphasized the need for education. According to him, whatever a person acquires through education is the only thing that will stay with the person throughout life. Education helps individuals achieve their goals in life, the calmness of a wise mind, and the sense of completeness, even if alone. A person nurtured through education fails to receive respect from society. He considers education a long-term investment that would yield results for his life. Today, education is not a choice but a necessity and a fundamental right of the people. It is one of the parameters that help decide the progress of a country.
Learn from others’ mistakes
Life is too short for a person to make several mistakes and learn from them. Doing so will pull an individual back from timely success. Therefore, everyone needs to be extremely observant and learn from the surroundings and the people committing mistakes around them. It is essential to analyze the consequences of some actions; however, nothing is better and more vivid than real-life experiences witnessed by eyes.
Debt is like an enemy
As you should not destroy your enemy without leaving any traces of existence, Chanakya says, you must also pay back any debt to the last penny. When you have debts to pay off, you lose respect in the eyes of the lender and other people who know about the loan. You must avoid every circumstance that creates the necessity to loan money, even in the worst scenario.
Never be Lazy
Laziness does not make any effort. Therefore, an individual can’t gain anything advantageous. If you are lazy, you cannot protect the advantage that you receive. According to Chanakya, you will have no present or future if you are lazy. You must not even be lazy in learning and adopting good qualities.
True friends make you powerful
Good friends help you prosper in your life. A person surrounded by true friends is very powerful and will guide you when confused. True friends will make you believe in yourself, helping you prosper and succeed in life, as they support you emotionally and psychologically during your lowest and highest time in life.
Control the anger
People who know to control anger win over everyone. A calm mind helps others to mull over effectively, resulting in wise actions. Often when you take decisions in anger, it leads to more problems and confusion that you could avoid in the past.
One reaps as one sow
A babool tree will not yield mangoes. Chanakya, in his teachings, asked to do well to others, and good will come to you. Every person must have compassion and love for others and help the needy and poor when they can. It is like karma, a boomerang.
One must make donations according to the need of the receiver, as an excess of everything will cause harm later. Donating wisely will keep the receiver grounded and treat you respectfully.
Time is insurmountable
Time plays a crucial role in every living being’s life as it heals, mends and destroys us. It alone demonstrates the consequences of your actions if you fail to analyze them beforehand. Time never pauses for anyone, nor does it come back. Therefore, you must utilize it to save yourself from failure, embarrassment and repent later in life. If you want to live a meaningful life, you must never have any regrets about losing; instead, you must befriend and respect time. It will take years for your hard work and dedication to show results; however, all of it will shatter in a snap.
Although people criticized Chanakya for his brutally honest and cunning teachings, Chanakya Niti stood the test of time. It will remain true until eternity, as these are universal experiences from people worldwide and ideologies.