Chanakya the ancient economist of India and the mentor of emporer Chandra Gupta Maurya in his book ‘Artha Shastra’ has listed words of wisdom which are better known as ‘Chanakya neeti’
These nitis (tenets or ethics) of Chanakya have found place in the literary works in Srilanka , Myanmar , Tibet and even in Arab countries. Though Chanakya wrote these books in the sixth century, his teachings on social life and political ethics still holds good to modern India. Notwithstanding the rapid economic reforms and technological advancements being witnessed in India, Chanakya neetis are still beacon lights to many social and political thinkers in India.
Chanakyaneeti’s particularly the social ethics deals with several aspects like parenting, child rearing, servants, friendship ,love , responsibilities of teachers,
education,wisedom and social responsibilities. In one of his tenets on parenting , Chanakya advises ” Rear up your son effectionately till he is five year old, then admonish him for next ten years.When he turns sixteen treat him as your friend.” Such are the ethics of Chanakya. The political ethics deal with the responsibilities and duties of the rulers and the ruled.It attempts to remind everybody their responsibilities and duties.
The opening verse of chanakya neeti is:
प्रणम्य शिरसा विष्णुमं त्रिलोक्यधिपतिम प्रभु |
नानाशास्त्रोद्धातम वक्शे राजनीति समुच्च्यम||
(After) I bow in front of Lord Vishnu, the master of the three worlds and present this treatise on politics having taken excerpts from various shastras.
Chanakya also known as Kautilya was an ardent devotee of lord vishnu which is evident in his opening verse of Chanakya neeti. The opening verse also says that it is a compilation based on many other ancient scriptures which Chanakya had read/collected.
Today I’m making an effort to bring forth the chanakya neeti chapterwise,which I’ll be posting daily in devnagari font alon with its english transliteration.