Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Chankya: An Introduction

Chanakya (Sanskrit: चाणक्य Cāṇakya) (c. 350-283 BC) was an adviser and a prime minister to the first Maurya Emperor Chandragupta (c. 340-293 BC), and architect of his rise to power. Kautilya and Vishnugupta, the names by which the political treatise Arthaśhāstra identifies its author, are traditionally identified with Chanakya. Some scholars consider Chanakya to be "the pioneer economist of the world". He is known as "The Indian Machiavelli" in the Western world.Chanakya was a professor at Taxila University and is widely believed to be responsible for the first Indian empire.

He is generally called Chanakya but, in his capacity as author of the Arthaśhāstra, is generally referred to as Kautilya. The Arthaśhāstra identifies its author by the name Kautilya, except for one verse which refers to him by the name Vishnugupta.One of the earliest Sanskrit literature to explicitly identify Chanakya with Vishnugupta was Vishnu Sarma's Panchatantra in the 3rd century BC.

K.C. Ojha puts forward the view that the traditional identification of Vishnugupta with Kautilya was caused by a confusion of editor and originator and suggests that Vishnugupta was a redactor of the original work of Kautilya.Thomas Burrow goes even further and suggests that Chanakya and Kautilya may have been two different people.

Works By Chankya

Two books are attributed to Chanakya: Arthashastra and Nitishastra which is also know as Chanakya Niti. The Arthashastra discusses monetary and fiscal policies, welfare, international relations, and war strategies in detail. Nitishastra is a treatise on the ideal way of life, and shows Chanakya's in depth study of the Indian way of life.

Cited From
From Wikipedia,Dated:०१-०४-2008