A WISDOM VILLAGE PRESENTATIONBooks from Wisdom Village Publications envision to enhance and enrich their readers with life...
Pavan ChoudaryBrief IntroductionPavan Choudary is the author of path breaking books like Broom & Groom (co-author Kiran Be...
Other Books by Pavan Choudary1. How a Good Person can Really Win2. Confucius’ Social Wisdom3. Kabir’s Spiritual Wisdom4. M...
Praise for the Author and his BooksA Trilogy of Wisdom (on Chanakya, Confucius and Kabir)Each book in this collection of m...
Broom & Groom co-author Kiran BediBroom & Groom by proud Indians Kiran Bedi and Pavan Choudary is a collector’s item. Amus...
INTRODUCTIONTo peep into the megamind of Chanakya will be easier if we understand these two traitsabout him - One: Chanaky...
Chanakyas ruthlessness. Chanakyas positivism is immense. He is so positive that hispositivism also accommodates the negati...
1An impolite servant upsets his masters mind every now and then.In this verse the term servant means the subordinate and m...
2rival family smells a rat. They understand there is a rift in the Corleone familyand this knowledge makes them attack the...
3Even a priest needs to inspire some aweto command the faith of the faithful.By priest, Chanakya means a virtuous man - a ...
4One whose anger does not inspire aweand whose pleasure gives no rewardswill be of no consequence.Here Chanakya is speakin...
5vanquished for your bravado.Also if you have no strength and you say that youare forgiving some body who is more powerful...
11A man should not make a place his home where -there are no prosperous people (that is no commerce to offer opportunity),...
Second thing to ascertain before making a place your home is - Soldiers. WhySoldiers? Because money needs guarding. Chanak...
East starts becoming wealthy and the weapons are still in the West, then first themilitarily powerful nations will try to ...
The third necessary requisite in a place before you make it your home is thepresence of scholarly Brahmins or wise people....
will happen in the battle?The astrologer said, “You will be victorious Sir”. RanaSanga sent this message to Babar. Babar r...
laughed their way to victory. Somewhere Chanakya knew that even our kingswere naive. It is not that our kings could not co...
46The meaning of this verse follows from an understanding of how Chanakyadefines a kings duty. Chanakya defines the kings ...
heights by setting a good agenda and creating opportunities for the people. TheBritish Government even gave its convicts, ...
Chanakya's Political Wisdom
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Chanakya's Political Wisdom

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To peep into the megamind of Chanakya will be easier if we understand these two traits
about him - One: Chanakya loves his motherland passionately and intensely. He doesnt
want his motherland to be enslaved at any cost. He spends sleepless nights when he
learns the news that the Greeks are advancing towards Magadha. He gives up his career
as a Professor at the Takshila University with the hope of advising the Nanda dynasty as
to how to stave-off the impending attack and preserve independence. He is often deeply
frustrated when the rulers of the populace behave imprudently. His frustration is the
yard-stick to measure his love for the country. Two: Chanakya detests the hypocrisy of
the Indian society because he knows that it makes India weak and non-credible.
Chanakya himself sees life as it is and has the courage to talk about it like that. He is not
sugarcoat. He is sandpaper.

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Chanakya's Political Wisdom

  1. 1. A WISDOM VILLAGE PRESENTATIONBooks from Wisdom Village Publications envision to enhance and enrich their readers with life changingexperiences from the business, mind, body and soul genres. They strive towards holistic development.Editorial Coordinator Anu AnandCopyright © Pavan Choudary , 2009All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means,electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any information storage or retrievalsystem, without permission in writing from the publisher.ISBN 978190655507Published in 2009 by:WVPD is a part of Wisdom Village649, O4U, Udyog Vihar, Phase V, Gurgaon, Haryana – 122001www.wvpd.inTo Book Your Orders:Email: wvpdindia@gmail.comOr Call: +91 9810800469Published by Anu Anand ; Cover Design and Page Setting by Arpan Advertising ;Printed by J.K. Offset Graphics (P) ltd, C-21, O.I.A, Phase-1, New Delhi-20.
  2. 2. Pavan ChoudaryBrief IntroductionPavan Choudary is the author of path breaking books like Broom & Groom (co-author Kiran Bedi), A Trilogy of Wisdom, Machiavelli for Moral People and The RxFactor. Pavan is also the Managing Director of Vygon, a leading FrenchMultinational, hosts the TV program Hum Aise Kyun Hain on Doordarshan,and has written columns for The Times of India and Financial Chronicle. Today,Pavan is considered one of the most original Indian socio-political thinkers andmanagement strategists. To know more visit www.pavanchoudary.inYou may reach the author at pavan2000pc@yahoo.com
  3. 3. Other Books by Pavan Choudary1. How a Good Person can Really Win2. Confucius’ Social Wisdom3. Kabir’s Spiritual Wisdom4. Machiavelli for Moral People5. When you are Sinking Become a Submarine6. The Rx Factor: Strategic Creativity in PharmaceuticalMarketing7. Broom & Groom (on Hygiene and Manners) co-authoredwith Kiran Bedi8. Uprising 2011- Indians Against Corruption co-authoredwith Kiran Bedi
  4. 4. Praise for the Author and his BooksA Trilogy of Wisdom (on Chanakya, Confucius and Kabir)Each book in this collection of mini books has great depth…there is great insight on politicalsharpness, social gain and spiritual intelligence - to aid the ambitious soul.- Hindustan TimesThis book has been able to capture the spirit of Confucianism. It is most appropriate that itdwells on the social aspect of Confucianism. It talks of Social Harmony, which is key toConfucius.- Mr. Xei Fei (Cultural Head, Chinese Embassy)How a Good Person can Really WinThis book is for real people in the real world with insights, practical wisdom and a freshperspective for everyone…the alternative of course, is to read up hundreds of books over tensof years!- Carolyn Marcille (Barnes & Noble, NewYork, USA)Pavan Choudarys passion for dwelling deep into the questions one feels remain unanswered,has ensured him a place amongst the foremost thinkers of the world.- The Times of IndiaAn invaluable, timeless treasure. Pavan is a megamind taking Indian thinking to refreshingnew heights in the global arena. His works should be made compulsory reading for leaders,teachers and parents.- Dr. Kiran BediThe Rx FactorKip Piper, Senior health Advisor to the White House Office, USA, has included The RxFactor in his list of Top 10 books on Pharmaceutical Marketing. To view the list you mayvisit amazon.com at http://www.amazon.com/Pharmaceutical-Marketing-Bookshelf-Recommended-Piper/lm/2RUHJCQM7ERX0I strongly recommend this book for all pharmacy students and marketing professionals…itgives a creative landscape for Pharmaceutical marketing filled with innovative and practicalmarketing strategies.- Dr. B. Suresh, President, Pharmacy Council of India
  5. 5. Broom & Groom co-author Kiran BediBroom & Groom by proud Indians Kiran Bedi and Pavan Choudary is a collector’s item. Amust on every book shelf.- Deccan ChronicleIndians and civic sense don’t often go together. That may change if our worthy countrymentake broom & groom to heart.-The TelegraphIt addresses separate categories- students, government officials, and so on and theillustrations help make it a useful handbook for people who badly need it.-The Times of IndiaMachiavelli for Moral PeopleWant to read a politician like a book…read Machiavelli for Moral People.– The Tribune
  6. 6. INTRODUCTIONTo peep into the megamind of Chanakya will be easier if we understand these two traitsabout him - One: Chanakya loves his motherland passionately and intensely. He doesntwant his motherland to be enslaved at any cost. He spends sleepless nights when helearns the news that the Greeks are advancing towards Magadha. He gives up his careeras a Professor at the Takshila University with the hope of advising the Nanda dynasty asto how to stave-off the impending attack and preserve independence. He is often deeplyfrustrated when the rulers of the populace behave imprudently. His frustration is theyard-stick to measure his love for the country. Two: Chanakya detests the hypocrisy ofthe Indian society because he knows that it makes India weak and non-credible.Chanakya himself sees life as it is and has the courage to talk about it like that. He is notsugarcoat.He issandpaper.Chanakya is a peak in political consciousness, a peak in political thought. But he is notjust a thinker he is a doer. Karl Marx has said philosophers have only interpreted theworld- the point however is to change it. Hebert Spencer has said the great point ofeducation is not knowledge but action. Chanakya is a man of action. Chanakya broughttogether several quarreling and splintered states under one umbrella. He created for thefirst time in recorded history a strong India, a proud India, an India which for a changewas proud of its present and of its present strengths, an India which was ready to repelsuccessfully, theneverbeatenarmiesofevenAlexander.Chanakya is as ruthless as Machiavelli - still there is a moral strand in him.This moralityis his second distinguishing factor. He is a votary of guile with the wicked but he feelsenduring strength comes from principles. He has stated that a debt should be paid of tillthe last penny and an enemy should be destroyed without a trace. In the first part of thestatement you sense Chanakyas morality in the second part of the statement you feelxi
  7. 7. Chanakyas ruthlessness. Chanakyas positivism is immense. He is so positive that hispositivism also accommodates the negative in it. This positivism is the otherdistinguishingtraitof Chanakya.xii
  8. 8. 1An impolite servant upsets his masters mind every now and then.In this verse the term servant means the subordinate and master means thesuperior. Chanakya is a great one for discipline and he goes to great lengths toensure the right chain of command. Like Nietzsche, Chanakya does not believein equality of men. He feels that to impose equality on a human race which is sounequal would be the biggest injustice. Very few people have in the history ofmankind spoken against equality. Why? Because the egalitarian argument is ahumanitarian argument, when you speak against equality then you seem asinhuman. But Chanakya differs from the world he does not go with the trend hegoes with the truth. So he feels that for any organization to function, there isneed for authority. You need an umpire for the game to be played. Similarly,Chanakyafeelsyou needauthorityforanorganizationtofunction.I am reminded of the movie “The God Father”. In God Father the Corleone familyis having a meeting with a rival family and the rival family is going to propose tothem the prospect of entering into the drugs trade. The Corleone family isheaded by Don Corleone. His sons, Sonny and Michael, are with him atthe meeting. The Corleone family decides among themselves that they willdecline this offer as they dont wish to get into the drugs trade.At the meeting theoffer is made by the rival family and Sonny Corleone cannot resist thetemptation of telling the group that he is interested in the deal, however, hefinally defers to Don Corleone, the God Father, and does not push his point. ThePolitical Wisdom of Chanakya
  9. 9. 2rival family smells a rat. They understand there is a rift in the Corleone familyand this knowledge makes them attack the Corleone family and engage them inaverybloodywarwhichcoststheCorleonefamilydearly.Certainly enough, an impolite servant upsets his masters mind every now andthen. Not only does he upset his masters mind every now and then, he alsoweakens the enterprise as cited in the case above. Secondly, by upsetting hismasters mind he does not allow the master to function peacefully. He does notallow the master to play his best game. Such servants also lose out because themaster doesnt want them to accompany him to public gatherings or where he ismeeting other people. This reduces any chance of social interaction. In this way,these subordinates miss many an opportunity. They dont even know that thoseopportunities existed. Their master decides not to take them along because themaster feels that the servant will dilute his authority or he will not be able tooperatewitheasebecauseofhis servants insubordinateattitude.
  10. 10. 3Even a priest needs to inspire some aweto command the faith of the faithful.By priest, Chanakya means a virtuous man - a kind, honest, sincere, generous,loving man. If you wish to live like such a man your life would be saintly. If youwish to be like a saint, then Chanakya says you should have a weapon. Whatdoes he mean by a weapon? Weapon means either the ability to stand for yourprinciples or your network of contacts and your good will or your ability toexpose the other persons misdeeds.This will inspire awe. So Chanakya is tryingto tell the student that even the most virtuous man needs some power, some aweto command the faithful. A western author has said that, “so that it may have alittle peace even the most gentlemanly of dogs need to snarl occasionally.”Chanakyaconveyedthisverythoughtthroughhis writings2500yearsago.
  11. 11. 4One whose anger does not inspire aweand whose pleasure gives no rewardswill be of no consequence.Here Chanakya is speaking about how authority is linked to sanctions or torewards. He is trying to tell the ruler that if you are angry and do not imposesanctions and do not punish, and if you are most pleased and cannot giverewards you will be of no consequence. Post Indo-China war, China encroachedthousands of kilometers of our territory. Even post this encroachment, ourPrime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru said that, “We forgive China for thistransgression”(sic).NextdayRamDhariSingh Dinkar,aHindipoethadthistosay,Shama Shobti Us Bhujang Ko,JiskePasGaral HoVo Shama KyaKare, Jo Dantheen, Vishheen or Saral HoA serpent that has venom, has teeth and has strength - when it forgives, there isgrace in its forgiving, there is magnanimity. But when a serpent that has novenom and no bite claims to forgive, it sounds like hypocrisy (hiding its defeatwithnoblewords). Itmeans nothingandfoolsnoone.In other words, Dinkar was trying to tell the leadership of the country that youcan only forgive when you are strong. It is in this vein that Chanakya is sayingthat your anger and conversely, your forgiveness are graceful only when youhave strength. If you do not have strength and you get angry you might be
  12. 12. 5vanquished for your bravado.Also if you have no strength and you say that youare forgiving some body who is more powerful than you, the world will laugh atyou.
  13. 13. 11A man should not make a place his home where -there are no prosperous people (that is no commerce to offer opportunity),no soldiers, scholars, a king, river and physicians.Here Chanakya speaks about those factors which make a nation stable. Hethrows light on those traits which are necessary to allow prosperity and smoothconduct of life in a state. First, he says a man should not make a place his homewhere there are no prosperous people that is there is no opportunity forcommercetoflower.Whydoes hesay this?Chanakya understands the importance of wealth. In fact he has said that only arich man lives. What does he mean by this? He feels that only a rich man isrespected, is attended to, is listened to, can experience the pleasures of life andcan help those whom he loves. So Chanakya is very aware about the importanceof wealth. He knows that wealth will not buy everything but he also knows thatwhenever it cannot buy something it buys a substitute for that. For examplewealth cannot buy love but it can buy you attention- you go to a five star hotelyou will get all the attention you require. Wealth can not buy you health but itcan buy you good healthcare -you can go to the best hospitals and get yourselftreated. So wealth is important and Chanakya understands this importance andhe frankly states it; that one of the important things you should ascertain beforeyou make a place your home is whether there is opportunity which leads to thefloweringofCommerce.
  14. 14. Second thing to ascertain before making a place your home is - Soldiers. WhySoldiers? Because money needs guarding. Chanakya understands that once youhave money you should have the ability, the strength to protect that moneyotherwise dacoits will come. He also understands that whenever there has beena fight between the treasure and the tank, the tank has won. He also understandsthat often when nations are negotiating trade treaties with other nations in theirboard rooms and their interests are at cross purposes, these boardroom battlesoften spill over to battle grounds. That means when a mighty nation cannot givethe other nation economic justice then often it steps from the board room intothe battle ground and moves aggressively towards it. When a powerful nationcant be fair it tries to overpower the other nation. He understands this. So hesays there should be soldiers and he is so correct in wishing for a strong army orgood soldiers.Even today you find that there are five nations in the Security Council of theUnited Nations. They all have one thing in common - they all haveIntercontinental Ballistic Missiles. (Intercontinental ballistic missiles aremissileswhichfirefrombetween6000 to12000 kmrange.)Recently Mr. Henry Kissinger was in India and I had the opportunity of askinghim that the riches of the world are coming to India but the weapons are still inthe West; what will happen? He said it will be a time of tension. He said this isthe first time it will be happening so it will be a time of tension and it will requirea lot of resilience to preserve the wealth of the country. What is it that he wasreferring to? His implication was that when this imbalance happens, when the12
  15. 15. East starts becoming wealthy and the weapons are still in the West, then first themilitarily powerful nations will try to stop this flow of wealth to the lesspowerful nations.And how will they do so? By changing the rules of commerce.The rules of the world favour the mighty because the mighty make the rules. Sothey will begin by changing the rules. They will change the rules or proposechanges in the rules of globalization etc., so that they start favoring them againor start favoring them disproportionately. It is then that the less powerfulnations like us will protest and that protest is good. There will be some frictionand remember all polishing comes through friction. So that friction is good.However whether we will be listened to or not is the important point. Who willbe listened to? In the final analysis (and I say this only on the basis of historyso far), those nations who have IntercontinentalBallistic Missiles (or fire powerto defend themselves) will be listened to - those are the nations which will getjustice.Why?Becauseanintercontinentalballisticmissileis adeterrentforce.Militarily - Army, Navy and Air Force wise, India cannot match up to the mostpowerful nations. They have far more fire power than us. Intercontinentalballistic missile is the slingshot which tells them that if you step from theboardroom into the battle ground and try to march towards us with sinisterintentions, then we have this slingshot which can take your eye. This deepunderstanding of human nature is making Chanakya say how important is thepresenceofsoldiersandastrong defenseforanormalandhealthystate.13
  16. 16. The third necessary requisite in a place before you make it your home is thepresence of scholarly Brahmins or wise people. Wisdom means the ability to seethe true nature of things and then make choices which are true, right and lasting.It is to be informed by the sum of learning through the ages using multiple formsof intelligence reason, instinct, intuition, heart and spirit.Wisdom balances selfinterestwith publicgood. True wisdom is grounded in past experienceor historyand yet it is able to anticipate the likely consequences in future. This is the kindof people he is looking for who can guide the society towards the right direction,who have learned from the past and can foresee the future because of theirhighlydevelopedsenses.The fourth requirement for a place to qualify as a good home is a good king. Weneed a good ruler; who maintains law and order and is able to protect thecountry; who is wise and courageous and who engages in state craft. Chanakyaknew the importance of a good king because he had noticed that our kings haveoften been the people who betrayed the nation or public. Sometimes theybetrayed the public because they wished to cheat it but more often they betrayedbecause they were unwise, because they were naive. In the recent past, if wewere to look at our kings (leaders), many of them forgot that the most importantduty of a king is to protect the country, engage in state craft and protect itspeople.When Babar came to India, he came with eight thousand soldiers and campedoutside Rana Sanga’s Kingdom. Rana Sanga had a hundred thousand soldiers.Rana Sanga called his astrologer one day before the battle and asked him what14
  17. 17. will happen in the battle?The astrologer said, “You will be victorious Sir”. RanaSanga sent this message to Babar. Babar replied, “I would like to meet theastrologer personally. Can you send him over?” Rana Sanga sent his astrologerto Babars camp. Babar asked him, “What will happen in the war tomorrow?”The astrologer said, “You will lose, Sir”. Babar took out his sword andbeheaded the astrologer, and pointing to the astrologers dead body told his eightthousand soldiers, “A man who cannot tell his own future, how can he tell myfuture? Let us finish them”. And this army of eight thousand people defeatedour army of a hundred thousand people. Another reason why Babar won wasthat Babar understood that the Indian mind is a mind that has not been able todistinguish the eternal truths in a scripture from the temporal sayings. Theeternal recommendation in the Geeta says that once in a while, when it isrequired, the good should stand up and snuff out the bad. In other words, youshould resist evil and also be prepared to take arms to annihilate it whenrequired. This is an eternal truth. The Geeta also says that the cow should beworshipped as aGoddess.Thisrecommendationis temporal.Itmust havearisenfrom the socio-economic importance of cows in the period when the Geeta waswritten - so it should have expired when its utility was up. Babar understood thatthe temporal sayings which should have been discarded are also continuing aseternal truths. The Mughals invaded India as they knew that Hindus are stillstuck up with the temporal recommendations of their scriptures. So they led thecharge of their armies with herds of cows. They tied calves to the foreheads oftheir charging elephants. And the Hindu archers laid down their bows andarrows! The Mughals converted the battle grounds in to cattle grounds and15
  18. 18. laughed their way to victory. Somewhere Chanakya knew that even our kingswere naive. It is not that our kings could not convince our people to give upsuperstitions and rituals. They themselves were superstitious and believed inhocus pocus. Here Chanakya tells us the importance of a good wise king who isdiscerninganddiscriminating.The next requirement he mentions for a good home is a river, because a riverwould give you water which is life sustaining and also good harvests which keepyou selfsufficientinfood.Lastly, Chanakya talks about physicians. Physicians promise you good health.Physicians ensure that any outbreaks are controlled. Physicians ensure that thepopulation stays healthy and strong and that is why Chanakya highlights theimportanceofphysicians.16
  19. 19. 46The meaning of this verse follows from an understanding of how Chanakyadefines a kings duty. Chanakya defines the kings duty as ensuring the welfareof his people. Chanakya felt that war should not be waged to destroy othernations nor should war be waged to settle previous grievances. War, whenresorted to, should be a means to improve the state of your people. Chanakyaalso knew that whenever there is an incompetent and dishonest Government itblames the public. It says for e.g. that a public gets the government it deserves.How right he proved in times to come. When Britain conquered so manycountries of the world, in every country whenever there were protests againsttheir mis-rule the British rulers said a public gets the government it deserves,thus washing their hands from the responsibility of being a good government.Such rationalizations allowed them to juice all these countries and send theirwealth to Britain.About three hundred years back, more then fifty percent of thetotal share of world trade was coming from India and China and by the time theBritish left India this share had come to around two percent for India. DavidSteingart, a noted economist has recently come out with a book, War for Wealth,which explains how the British held India in coma for more than two hundredyears so that they could drain its wealth. So all this wealth was sucked away byBritain and all the time we, like other colonies were told, that a public gets onlythe government it deserves. But this was not the British Governments rhetoricin Britain. In Britain it behaved very responsibly and led the public to greatThe public follows the king.If the king (government) is good, the public will be / become good.
  20. 20. heights by setting a good agenda and creating opportunities for the people. TheBritish Government even gave its convicts, its prisoners, its criminals a chancein Australia It sent them there and gave them an opportunity to establish anempire. It also helped these convicts en-cash opportunity in Australia. Soelsewhere it was saying that the public sets the agenda but, in Britain, it wasresponsiblysettingtheagendaandthedirection.Unfortunately post independence when our politicians took over the reins of thenation they kept on repeating the dialogue they had learnt from the British, “Apublic gets the Government it deserves,” and went on sucking the country. Theywere so naive that they didnt even realize that the script writer of this dialoguewas a foreign invader and post independence it was the sons of the soil who wererulingthecountry.Chanakya is close to the truth when he says, “The king will and should set theagenda”. The public follows the kings lead. The King is the game setter. Hecarves the destiny of the nation. It is his responsibility that good governanceprevails, that there is opportunity for all to engage in productive activities, thatthe nations interest is protected in the international comity of nations and thenation stays strong to handle all external and internal threats. These are theresponsibilitieshebearsandthereis norunningawayfromthem..47

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