Chanakya was born in Pataliputra to a Brahmin family in 371 BC. He studied and later taught in Taxila university. As a young student he memorized and mastered Vedas, one of the most difficult scriptures. He was instrumental in overthrowing Nanda dynasty and installing Chandragupt Maurya to the throne of Magadh. He served as adviser of Chandragupt Maurya and help him to consolidate his rule over North India. He used to add small amount of poison to Chandragupt’s food so that he develop resistance to poison.
Chanakya wrote compiled his political idea of in the book called Arthashastra. This was systematic book on politics and economics. It has in depth analysis on Economics, war and International Politics. He advised ruler to setup efficient spy system throughout the empire to maintain effective control over his empire. The main aim of this act was to prevent Chandragupt from being poisoned by his enemy.
Chanakya Niti and Niti Shastra
Chanakya also wrote two other books- Chanakya Niti and Niti Shastra. Chanakya Niti describe various tactics and strategies employed by Chanakya. Niti Shastra describe formally and systematically the means to achieve perfect way of life. This book give us his comprehension and understanding of Indian way of life.
He was also called Kautilya and Vishugupt. He once proclaimed that A debt should be paid till the last penny and enemy should be completely destroyed. He is often compared with Machiavelli as he advocate ruthless policy to gain and maintain power.Though he is condemned for his ruthless policy but praised for deep insight into political wisdom.
Artha Shastra means science of material gain.
Chanakya was used to teach Political Science at Taxila University.
There is significant similarities between the language and style of authors of Panchatantra and Arthashastra, so he could also be the author of Panchatantra, Vishnu Sharma.
His works were lost near the end of the Gupta Empire and not rediscovered until the early twentieth century