History was one of my favourite subjects in school. I remember how keenly I used to read history with dad but when it used to be exam time same history was a nightmare for me - since remembering dates and periods used to make my life miserable. Well, I presume I should inculcate the habit of reading history once again and who knows this time I might be able to remember dates, periods and lives of many people who reigned the world at some or the other point.
So, let me start with Chanakya – one of my favourite characters in history who is revered and esteemed as a master strategist, astute statesman and a shrewd political administrator.
Chanakya (350 - 275 BC), also known as Kautilya or Vishnugupta, was born in Pataliputra, Magadha (modern Bihar, India) and later moved to Taxila, in Gandhara province (now in Pakistan). He was a professor (acharya) of political science at the Takshashila University and later the prime minister of the emperor Chandragupta Maurya. He is regarded as one of the earliest known political thinkers, economists and king-makers.
Chanakya is perhaps less well known outside India compared to other social and political philosophers of the world like Confucius and Machiavelli. His foresight and wide knowledge coupled with politics of expediency helped found the mighty Mauryan Empire in India. He compiled his political ideas into the Arthashastra, one of the world's earliest treatises on political thought and social order. His ideas remain popular to this day in India. In Jawaharlal Nehru's Discovery of India, Chanakya has been called the Indian Machiavelli, although he lived and died long before Machiavelli's time.
Pearls of wisdom by Chanakya: (The Quotes)
"A person should not be too honest. Straight trees are cut first and honest people are screwed first."
"Even if a snake is not poisonous, it should pretend to be venomous."
"The biggest guru-mantra is: Never share your secrets with anybody. It will destroy you."
"There is some self-interest behind every friendship. There is no friendship without self-interests. This is a bitter truth."
"Before you start some work, always ask yourself three questions - Why am I doing it, what the results might be and will I be successful. Only when you think deeply and find satisfactory answers to these questions, go ahead."
"As soon as the fear approaches near, attack and destroy it."
"The world's biggest power is the youth and beauty of a woman."
"Once you start a working on something, don't be afraid of failure and don't abandon it. People who work sincerely are the happiest."
"The fragrance of flowers spreads only in the direction of the wind. But the goodness of a person spreads in all direction."
"God is not present in idols. Your feelings are your god. The soul is your temple."
"A man is great by deeds, not by birth."
"Never make friends with people who are above or below you in status. Such friendships will never give you any happiness."
"Treat your kid like a darling for the first five years. For the next five years, scold them. By the time they turn sixteen, treat them like a friend. Your grown up children are your best friends."
"Books are as useful to a stupid person as a mirror is useful to a blind person."
"Education is the best friend. An educated person is respected everywhere. Education beats the beauty and the youth.”
Coutesy - Google and Wikipedia