Acharya Chanakya, also known as Kautilya or Vishnu Gupta, was a highly intelligent strategist, economist and political advisor who by his excelling planning and analytical skills helped take down the Nanda kingdom and guided Chandragupta Maurya, a common by birth to become the emperor of Maurya Kingdom and defend his kingdom from Alexander the Great. In addition to writing his treatise ‘Arthashastra’, Chanakya wrote a number of other important works that covered a range of important topics, including economic policy, military strategy, social welfare, and other topics. The work served as a guide for the king to follow during times of war, famine, and epidemics.
Here are some of the important life lessons from Chanakya also popularised by Chanakya Niti advocated by the great advisor as means of living life.
Never waste food
We often see people wasting food while homeless people are eating out of trashcans. According to Acharya Chanakya, a person whose wastage of food is minimal shall never face the dearth of money in his lifetime. Furthermore, he said that Mother Lakshmi blesses such people who are good to her.
Unrest leads to financial issues
It is a happy home if the husband and wife are in love. Couples like these are always happy and wealthy, and they will never face marital problems.
A problem with money always accompanies unrest.
Do not overspend
Life never goes according to a plan. It does not come with a script. In our lives we constantly dwell on the turbulent waters where sometimes we are on the crest while at other times we are on the trough. Whenever you are showered with abundance, Chanakya advices one not to overspend but to keep something aside for times of need.
Saam, Daam, Dand, Bhed
In the absence of substantive resolution of disagreements, conflicts grow. Saam means listening and understanding the points of view of your adversaries and allaying any disagreements.
It is not uncommon for people to work for money, incentives, or recognition. For work to be completed, Chanakya suggests rewarding people adequately. Cash or kind is the method chosen by organizations according to the policy formulated.
In Dand Neeti, Chanakya says, “The rod of the king becomes a terror.” “Kings with mild rods are despised, but kings who only use rods are honored”. In spite of constant follow-ups, some employees may fail to show signs of improvement as a result of the above motivational methods. Punishment is a stronger option if no reward or incentive can persuade them to do well, but this must be done carefully. Effort is always directed toward improving, not deteriorating when punishment is administered.
Chanakya says something very important regarding the neeti, divide and rule. The final option when no other weapon works, although not recommended, is the hard path.
There is a sequence for each of the above-mentioned neeti, starting with Saam, then Daam Neeti, and so on. Bhed Neeti is the last step and following.
Learn from the mistakes and experience of others. One might not live long enough to make them all yourself.
He suggests that one should keep an open eye and observe the mistakes even when its not ours. This would help us deal with similar situations in the future while avoiding the same mistake as the previous person.
Action is important.
Till the time you don’t decide to run, you are not in the competition. Therefore one cannot simply wait for things to happen. It is important to have a plan of action and execution of the same.
Time is insurmounatbe
Time all living beings as well as kills them. It alone is awake when all others are asleep. Time is insurmountable
The importance of time is beautifully emphasized by Chanakya here. Neither time nor you can race against it. Making the most of what you have and what you can do with the luxury of time is therefore essential. With time, everything will fall into place. By comparing your pace to others, you must never judge or criticize yourself. After all, we each run on our own clock. The time will come for you to reap the results of your sowing
Learn to appreciate others
Each person can teach you one good thing. It is often our differences that blind us to a person’s positive attributes. The parts of their personalities that we dislike tend to dominate our perception of them. Each of us, however, consists of both positive and negative traits. The best that each has to offer should be appreciated and absorbed. It is a universal truth that everyone can become a little better by learning a little something from everyone they meet in their daily lives, regardless of their age, regardless of their status.
Truth Triumphs over all:
Ultimately, truth wins. Despite its bareness, it is untamed and fearless. Creating a mountain of lies may be easy, but the weight it carries cannot be sustained. Pick the right path at the crossroads of life and speak the truth always. You can overcome any challenge by knowing the truth.
Keep your secrets hidden
Chanakya Neeti’s most important life lesson is to never disclose your secrets to anyone because you don’t know who might use them against you. Additionally, never divulge your weaknesses to prevent them from attacking you.
Acharya Chanakya was an extremely learned and intelligent being who was motivated to find patterns and analyze situations to turn the game in his favor. In modern times, the context might have changed but the wisdom and advice still are relevant and highly effective in dealing with the complexities of life. One must not apply them thoughtlessly and understand the meaning and conditions where they can be applied while being humane and kind.