Active discussions

This is the talk page for discussing improvements to the Chanakya page.


  • A debt should be paid off till the last penny, and an enemy should be destroyed till last trace.
  • A human being should strive for four things in life — dharma (duty), artha (money), kama (pleasure) and moksha (salvation). A person who hasn't striven for even one of these things has wasted life.
  • A man is great by deeds, not by birth.
  • A person should not be too honest. Straight trees are cut first and honest people are victimized first.
  • A rich man has many friends.
  • A woman is four times as shy, six times as brave and eight times as lusty as a man.
  • An egoist can be won over by being respected, a crazy person can be won over by allowing him to behave in an insane manner and a wise person can be won over by truth.
  • As centesimal droppings will fill a pot so also are knowledge, virtue and wealth gradually obtained.
  • As soon as the fear approaches near, attack it and destroy it.
  • Avoid him who talks sweetly before you but tries to ruin you behind your back, for he is like a pitcher of poison with milk on top.
  • Before you start any work, always ask yourself three questions — Why am I doing it? What might the results be? And Will I be successful? Only when you think deeply and find satisfactory answers to these questions, go ahead.
  • Books are as useless to a stupid person as a mirror is useless to a blind person.
  • Education is the best friend. An educated person is respected everywhere. Education surpasses the beauty and the youth.
  • Even if a snake is not venomous, it should pretend to be.
  • God is not present in idols. Your feelings are your god. The soul is your temple.
  • He who befriends a man whose conduct is vicious, whose vision impure, and who is notoriously crooked, is rapidly ruined.
  • Don't hesitate to learn something even from the most lowly of creatures.
  • In a state where the ruler lives like a common man, the citizens live like kings. And in the state where the ruler lives like a king, the citizens live like beggars.
  • Jealousy is another name for failure.
  • Never go on a long journey alone.
  • Never make friends with people who are above or below you in status. Such friendships will never give you any happiness.
    • Variant version: Friendship should be among equals.
  • Once you start working on something, don't be afraid of failure and don't abandon it. People who work sincerely are the happiest.
  • One who is in search of knowledge should give up the search of pleasure and the one who is in search of pleasure should give up the search of knowledge.
  • The biggest guru-mantra is: Never share your secrets with anybody. It will destroy you.
  • The four greatest enemies of a man are — the father who has taken a loan, the characterless mother, the beautiful but promiscuous wife and the stupid child.
  • The fragrance of flowers spreads only in the direction of the wind. But the goodness of a person spreads in all directions.
  • The world's biggest power is the youth and beauty of a woman.
  • There is some self-interest behind every friendship. There is no friendship without self-interests. This is a bitter truth.
  • Whores don't live in company of poor men, birds don't build nests on a tree that doesn't bear fruits and citizens never support a weak administration.
  • Wise men should never go into a country where there are no means of earning one's livelihood, where the people have no dread of anybody, have no sense of shame, no intelligence, or a charitable disposition.

Best of quotesEdit

Abhi Sharma (12 January 2013). The Great Book Of Best Quotes Of All Time.: A collection of 2000+ quotes with interactive & impressive design representation. Best quotation book of all time.. Abhi Sharma. pp. 46–. GGKEY:FQN21BYRHEG. , a collection of unsourced attributions.[specific citation needed]
  • A person should not be too honest. Straight trees are cut first and honest people are screwed first.
  • Before you start some work, always ask yourself three questions — Why I am doing it, What the results might be and Will I be successful. Only when you think deeply and find satisfactory answers to these questions, go ahead.
  • A good wife is one who serves her husband in the morning like a mother does, loves him in the day like a sister does, and pleases him like a prostitute in the night.
  • Once you start working on something, don’t be afraid of failure and don’t abandon it. People who work are sincerely are the happiest.
  • The biggest guru-mantra is: Never share your secrets with anybody. If you can not keep secret with you, do not expect that others will keep it? It will destroy you.
  • There is some self interest behind every friendship. There is no friendship without self-interests. This a bitter truth.
  • People’s fury is above all furies.
  • God is not present in idols. Your feelings are your god. The soul is your temple.
  • Education is the best friend. An Educated Person is Respected Everywhere. Education beats the Beauty and the Youth.
  • The serpent, the king, the tiger, the stinging wasp, the small child, the dog owned by other people, and the fool; these seven ought not to be awakened from sleep.
  • O! wise man Give your wealth only to the worthy and never to others. The water of the sea received by the clouds is always sweet.
  • Even if a snake is not poisonous, it should pretend to be venomous.
  • Never make friends with people who are above or below you in status. Such friendship will never give you any happiness.
  • Books are as useful to a stupid person as a mirror is useful to a blind person.
  • Test a servant while in the discharge of his duty, a relative in difficulty, a friend in adversity, and a wife in misfortune.
  • The life of an uneducated man is as useless as the tail of a dog which neither covers its rear end nor protects it from the bite of insects.
  • One whose knowledge is confined to books and whose wealth is in the possession of others can use neither knowledge nor wealth when the need for them arises.
  • There is poison in the fang of the serpent, in the mouth of the fly and in the sting of a scorpion; but the wicked man is saturated with it.
  • He whose son is obedient to him, whose wife’s conduct is in accordance with his wishes and who is content with his riches has the heaven here on earth.
  • Avoid him who tries to talk sweetly before you but tries to ruin you behind your back, for he is like a pitcher full of poison with milk on top.
  • As water collected in a tank gets pure by filtration, so accumulated wealth is preserved by being employed in charity.
  • Time perfects men as well as destroys them.
  • It is better to have only one son endowed with good quality than a hundred devoid of them. For the Moon though one, dispels the darkness, which the stars, though numerous, do not
  • Do not put your trust in rivers, men who carry weapons, beasts with claws or horns, women and members of a royal family.
  • Those parents who do not educate their sons are their enemies; for as is a crane among swans, so are ignorant sons in a public assembly.
  • Trees on a river bank, a woman in another man’s house, and kings without counselors go without doubt to swift destruction.
  • Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth comes of Her own accord where fools are not respected, grain is well stored up and the husband and wife do not quarrel.
  • The goddess of wealth is unsteady, and so is the life breath. The duration of life is uncertain, and the place of habitation is uncertain, but in all this uncertain world religious merit alone is immovable.
  • A father who is chronic debtor, an adulterous mother, a beautiful wife, and an unlearned son are enemies in one’s own home.
  • Beauty is spoiled by an immoral nature; noble birth by bad conduct; learning without being perfected; and wealth by not being properly utilized.
  • There are three gems on this earth: food, water, and pleasing words – fools consider pieces of rocks as gems.

Section II Chanakya NitiEdit

Rule The World The Way I Did. Pustak Mahal. 1 January 2008. ISBN 978-81-223-1010-8. 
  • Even a wise man comes to grief and feels depressions if he imparts instructions to a foolish disciple or when maintains a wicked wife or when comes in close contact with the miserable.
  • A wicked wife, a foolish friend, an ill tongued servant and a house infested with serpents will undoubtedly bring death.
  • One should save money against hard times, save his wife against spending or sacrificing the money and one should save self at the cost of the wife and the riches.
  • Save your wealth against unforeseen calamities without thinking that a rich man has no fear of calamity. Wealth has supple legs. Even saved riches are destroyed.
  • One should not inhabit a country where one gets no respect, no opportunity to earn once’s livelihood, where one has no friends or relatives, or from where one can not acquire knowledge.
  • Test a servant while on his duty, and a relative in difficulty, test a friend in adversity, and a wife in misfortune.
  • He is a true friend and sincere relative who cooperates and stands by in time of need, depression, misfortune, famine, a war, in a king’s court, or at he crematorium (the place of last rituals where the dead are put on a pyre).
  • He who opts out for an uncertain thing leaving behind the certain things, loses that which is in possession and fails to get what is already perishable.
  • If there is nectar in poison, it should be extracted; if gold is fallen in filth it should be taken out, washed and kept; if a low-born person possesses knowledge, he should be treated respectfully; in the same way a girl in the family of evil-doers be accepted, if she possess virtuous qualities.
  • Women eat double than men. They have four times more wisdom than men, they have six times more courage, and eight times more sensual urge than men.
  • Untruthfulness, rashness, guile, stupidity, avarice, unseemliness, and cruelty are a women’s natural flaws.
  • It is a boon of extraordinary austerities to get healthy and delicious dishes, to eat them and to have a strong system to digest them, to have a beautiful socially accepted wife and to be virile in her company, and to have a longing and mental set up for charity in prosperity. All these are boons.

In EssaysEdit

Steven J. Rosen (June 2012). The Agni and the Ecstasy: Collected Essays of Steven J. Rosen. Arktos. pp. 201–. ISBN 978-1-907166-79-2. 
  • Virtuous persons and fruit-laden trees bow, but fools and dry sticks break because they do not bend.
  • A person becomes great not be sitting on some high seat, but through higher qualities. Can a crow become an eagle by simply sitting on the top of a palatial building? (page 201
  • The sounding of the mridanga (drum) in the kirtana (Devotional singing) is proclaiming loudly that those who have no devotion to Lord Krishna are very shameful and reprehensible. This is so because the mridanga sound diktum diktum, which means Oh! great shame! Oh! great shame!

Other quotesEdit

Maxims of Chanakya collected by V.K. SubramanianEdit

Righteousness is the root of happiness.
Wealth is the root of righteousness.
The state is the root of wealth.
Victory over senses is the root of the state.
Humility is the root of sense control.
Worship of elders is the root of humility.
Wisdom results from the worship of elders.
With wisdom one can prosper.
The prosperous one becomes the victorious one.
The victorious one attains all riches.
Economic prosperity creates prosperity for the people.
If the people are prosperous, even a leaderless state can be governed.
Peoples fury is the greatest of fury.
To be without a master is better than having an arrogant master.
After equipping oneself fully, one should seek an ally. (aide.)
One without an adviser has no certainty of counsel.
One wheel does not move (the vehicle).
The true aide serves alike is prosperity and adversity.
A self-respecting ruler should appoint as counselor, one who is inferior to him and respect hims.
He should not take into counsel out of love, one who is impertinent.
One who is learned and free from fraud should be made a minister.
All things begin with counsel.
Accomplishment of the task depends on guarding the secret of counsel.
One who lets out counsel destroys the task.
Defection to the enemy takes place do to negligence.
Ministerial advice should be kept secret from all quarters.
The country prospers by proper ministerial counsel.
The secret of ministerial counsel is of supreme importance.
Counsel is a beacon to the one blind of action.
Through ministerial eyes other's weaknesses are seen.
At the time of taking ministerial advice there should be no quarrels.
A decision should be taken on the unanimous opinion of three (counsellors).
Counsellors (ministers) are the ones who see the true implications of what ought to be done and what out not to be done.
On being heard by six ears, secrecy of counsel gets broken.
One who is aectionate in difficulties is the friend.
In the aquisition of allies, one develops strength.
The strong one tries to get what has not been attained.
The Lazy one does not get what has not been obtained.
The lazy one cannot guard even what has been begotten.
Anything looked after by the lazy does not grow.
(The lazy one) cannot even command servants.
Getting what has not been got, guarding it, developing it and than distributing it- these four constitute state policy.
Politics is the tool of state policy.
Internal administration and foreign relations are dependent on state policy.
Deployment of the fourfold policy (councilation, donation, division, and punishment) in one's own country is internal administration.
Foreign policy is deplotment of the same (fourfold means) towards (neighbouring states).
Neighbouring states are the source of treaties and hostilities.
A ruler should follow political science.
A ruler with contiguous territory is a rival.
The ruler next to the adjoining one is to be deemed a friend.
Friendship and enmity result from some cause.
The one who is facing defeat should make peace.
Power is the cause of an allience.
Unheated metal does not coalesee with metal.
The strong ruler should fight the weak. : One should not fight with a superior or equal.
Fight with a stronger one is like that of the infantry with the elephant force.
An unbaked vessel collidig with another unbaked vessel gets destroyed. (Hence equals should also not fight)
Enemies efforts should be watched.
When there are many enemies , treaty should be entered into with one.
One's security should be guarded from the enemy's anger.
The weak should seek refuge in the strong.
Refuge in the weak results in sorrow.
A ruler should be approached like fire.
One should not act against the ruler.
One should not wear provocative clothes.
One should not imitate the ways of gods.
When two persons quarrel, one should maintain an attitude of duplicity.
One addicted to vices does not accomplish tasks.
Even one with a fourfold army is destroyed if he is a slave of the senses.
One addicted to gambling does not accomplish anything.
The ruler addicted to hunting loses his righteousness and wealth.
Desire for wealth is not considered a vice. The lust-ridden (ruler) cannot preform his task.
Sting of words is stronger than the burning of fire.
By excessively cruel punishment, (the ruler) becomes hated by all.
Prosperity abandons one who is satisfied with wealth.
An enemy should be won over by the use of political science.
Practicing political science, the ruler protests the people.
The scepter links one to riches.
In the absence of the scepter, there are no ministers.
Due to (fear of) punishing rod, people do not do things which should not be done.
One's self-protection is dependent on the practice of political science.
In self-protection, all are protected.
Advancement and decay are dependent on oneself.
The scepter should be wielded wisely.:
A ruler, even if weak should not be despised.
Fire has no weakness.
All activity is understood in wielding the scepter.
Accuisition of wealth has its root in activity.
Righteousness and pleasure have their rotin wealth.
Work is the root of wealth.
Little effort accomplishes the task.
A task in which an expedient is used is not difficult to achieve.
If no expedient is used, a task, even if attempted, fails.
Expedient is the aid to those who seek success in undertakings.
A task attains its objective through human effort.
Fortune follows human effort.
Without God's grace even excessive effort proves fruitless.
One who is not calm and collected cannot accomplish tasks.
One should decide first and then commence the task.
There should be no delay in the undertaking of a new task after completing one.
The fickle-minded one does not accomplish tasks.
If what is obtained is despises, things go awry.
Flawless jobs are rare.
A work which is obstacle-ridden should not be started.
One who knows (the opportune) time accomplishes the task.
Due to lapse of time, time itself consumes the fruit.
In all tasks, one should not delay even for a moment.
One should commence a wok after understanding the country and consequences.
Without God's grace, even an easy task becomes difficult to accomplish.
The wise one should consider the (interests) of the country and the times
Prosperity lasts long for one who acts after proper consideration.
All types of riches should be amassed by all means.
Prosperity forsakes even a lucky one, if he acts without foresight.
Examination ( of a thing) should be done with reference to what is known and what is to be inferred.
Every one should be yoked to the task for which he is befitted.
The one who knows the means makes the impossible possible.
What is done by an unintelligent person should not be rated high.
Sometimes, due to fortuitous circumstances even a worm assumes different worms.
Only accomplished deeds should be publicized.
Even the affairs of the learned go awry due to defective destiny and human interference.
Destiny has to be counteracted through proprietary deeds.
Man-made obstacles should be overcome through one's skill.
When things get into difficulties, the childish describe the handicaps.
Those who's seek to achieve things should show no mercy.
The milk-seeking calf strikes at the mother's udders.
Due to lack of effort tasks fail.
Those who blindly believe in destiny do not achieve anything.
An inactive person cannot protect those who seek refuge in them.
He who does not see action is blind.
Things should be examined with references to facts patent and latent, and inferences.
Prosperity forsakes one who does things without proper examination.
Danger should be overcome after proper analysis.
One should begin a venture after assessing one's strength.
He feeds on nectar, who first feeds his people and then eats the left-overs. By undertaking all kinds of activities, the ways to profit develop.
The coward does not think of action.
The favor-seeker accomplished his end after knowing the nature of his master.
Return to "Chanakya" page.