We have all heard this name right? But do we know him closely? Chanakya, chief advisor of Chandragupta maurya of the maurya dynasty is one of the greatest politicians and strategist knew by India. Let’s take a closer look at him.
Birth and Name
He is said to be born in 350 BC. He is also known by the name of ‘vishnugupta’ and ‘Kautilya’. Chanakya is very popularly known for his ‘chanakyaneeti’, meaning the clever strategies of Chanakya.
Chanakya had groundbreaking knowledge in economics and politics. He wrote the book called ‘arthashastra’ which is still read in many institutes. He was also well versed in philosophy, astronomy, medicine, and ethics.
Chanakya helped Chandragupta Maurya in forming the legendary Maurya dynasty. His strategies and political knowledge helped in forming the greatest empire in India. It was Chanakya’s guidance that made Chandragupta Maurya one of the greatest kings in India
His Relations with Nanda Dynasty
Before working for a Maurya dynasty, Chanakya was a minister at the Nanda dynasty. It’s known that he didn’t like the strategies used by Dhana Nanda, the emperor. When the Greeks started reaching India’s border, he advised the emperor to change his strategy. But the emperor insulted him. Chanakya, infuriated with the insult, untied his lock of hair and swore to completely destroy the Nanda dynasty.
Chanakya was known to completely and dedicatedly work for the Maurya dynasty. When he was searching for an ideal king, he came across a boy of 19, who was Chandragupta Maurya. Chanakya knew that he is was the ideal king to serve. He looked after the complete administration of the empire. It was his life’s motive to dedicate his life to save the king from any possible threats.
Poisoning the Food
If the legends are to be believed, Chanakya used to mix small amounts of poison in the food given to the emperor. The purpose of mixing little doses of poison was to make the emperor immune to poisons. This was amongst his strategies to save Chandragupta Maurya from death threats. It was known that poison was one of the methods to assassinate the king and take over the throne.
Death of the Emperor’s Wife
It is known that one day Chandragupta Maurya mistakenly fed his food to his wife. The dose of poison being high in the food, the wife died. She wasn’t immune to the poison like the emperor was. During the time of her death, emperor’s wife was pregnant and was just a week away from delivery.
The Birth of Bindusara
After Maurya’s wife collapsed due to the poison, it was Chanakya who saved the child from being dead. Chanakya cut open the belly of the dead wife of the emperor before the poison could reach him. According to the legends, the child was saved but a touch of poison left a dot on his forehead. This is how the child was named Bindusara.
Women and Chanakya
Chanakya’s views on women were derogatory and demeaning. According to Chanakya, a woman is corrupt in nature and is highly untrustworthy. He also believed that a woman inherently possesses low moral character. (context may differ)
The Ideal Wife
According to Chanakya, ideal wife is the one who cares for her husband like a mother in the morning, loves like a sister during the day and satisfies him like a prostitute during the night. He also said that a woman can attain purity by drinking the water used for cleaning her husband’s feet. Chanakya’s views on women are highly condemned in today’s date.
Note: History is something which is told and not seen or experienced. This perspective of Chanakya towards Women might be true and false at both times.
A Politician – Shrewd and Cunning
As the legend says, Chanakya united India against the battle with Alexander, the great. He made an army of young girls known as vishkanyas. These girls were fed with small doses of poison from their childhood to make them immune to it. The same girls were used to attack the enemies by seducing them and then poisoning them to death.
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