600 – 200 BC Personalities – Chanakya
Chanakya was raised around 350 BC, In the city of Magadha born during the reign of the Nanda Dynasty. He is also known as Kautilya or Vishnugupta. He was the son of an acharya (teacher) named Rishi Canak, who died when Chankya was a toddler; he was raised by his mother.
At a very early age, Chanakya began to study and memorize Vedas as the hardest writings to study. However, Chanakya’s ingenuity and wisdom from his childhood was visible in politics. Known as a masterful political strategist, he knew how to place his own people in the opposite camp and spy on the enemy without his knowledge before destroying him forever. Chanakya was an ace, turning tables in his favor, regardless of circumstances. Chanakya has never pressed himself from the ruthless politicians to tactics. In this way, after studying religion and politics, Chanakya turned to the economics which remained his lifelong friend. “Nitishastra”, a treatise on the ideal way of life, shows his thorough investigation of the Indian way of life.
Takshashila, (later damaged as Taxila), became one of the top centers of formation at this time in the subcontinent, Chanakyas became a breed of acquiring knowledge in practical and theoretical aspect. The teachers were very knowledgeable, the sons of kings taught. It is said that a certain teacher had 101 disciples and all were princes. The university at Taxila was good at teaching the subjects with the best practical knowledge acquired by the teachers. The most taught branches of the courses range from law, medicine, war and other indigenous forms of learning. In addition, Archery, Hunting, Elephant Lore and 18 Arts were also taught at the University of Taxila. So famous was Chanakya near the university that Chanakya had many nicknames. He was called different by different people, namely – Vishnugupta, Kautilya and Chanakya.
When the Greek invasion of West India caused the political turmoil, Chanakya forced to leave the university environment for the city of Pataliputra (now Patna, in the state of Bihar, India) ruled by Nanda king Dhanananda. Although Chanakya initially flourishes in his relations with the ruler, a dull man Chanakya was removed from the official position that he enjoyed. Soon after, Chanakya met Chandra Gupta Maurya, founder of the Maurya dynasty, and became a personal adviser and leader. Chandra Gupta under the auspices of his teacher could find the Mauryan Empire. As Prime Minister of Chandergupta Maurya, Chanakya was the man who introduced the first Indian empire through the unification of numerous monarchies in the subcontinent.
Chanakya, whose dexterity, to overthrow his enemies, was himself the victim of a courtly intrigue, and died, Lived while still serving as Prime Minister at Bindusara, son of Chandra Gupta Maurya. He is famous for three great works he wrote: Arthashastra, Nitishastra and Chanakya Niti. Arthashastra literally means “the science of material gain” in Sanskrit is probably the first systematic book on economics. It discusses monetary and fiscal policy, welfare, international relations and the war strategies in detail. Many of his nitis or policemen were collected under the bay of Chanakya Niti.